10 Reasons Why The First Three Seasons of Buffy Are Better Than the Rest
A Top 10 list by JAMIE!
1. They were in high school. Being in school gave them a reason for all being at the same place at the same time and not having jobs (and for hanging around with a middle-aged librarian). Also, seeing Buffy juggle teenage life with slaying was a big part of the story. It kept her character grounded in real life and made her more relatable to the audience. After they graduated it became more difficult to legitimately explain why these people were always together.
2. Cordelia. Cordelia was amazing. She is one of the most quoteable characters on the show and always told it like it is. Cordelia is what reminded the audience that slaying vampires wasn’t normal to most people. The whole evolution of Cordelia’s character from antagonist to part of the Scooby gang was brilliant. They tried to replace her blunt-talk with Anya but it just wasn’t the same.
3. The villains were better. The first three seasons had simple but effective villains like Spike and Drusilla and the Mayor. After season 3 we get an annoying robot, a goddess (I love Glory, but bringing gods into the picture was a unnecessary idea), Willow gone bad (meh) and The First, which was so complicated I can’t even really explain how it worked.
4. One-episode story arcs. What I love most about the first three seasons is that you can pretty much turn on any episode without knowing what was going on and there was a brand new 40-minute story that would be introduced and solved in one episode. This is also helpful when trying to introduce newbies into the wonderful world of Buffy. In the last few seasons, it became more more complicated and almost impossible to watch them out of order.
5. Angel. Good or bad, I liked having him on the show. At first he was the mysterious love interest. Then he was one of the greatest villains in the show’s history. Whether he was good or bad, Angel definitely added something to the show, just ask one of the many people who consider their love to be one of the greatest (although I might not agree on that subject). Don’t even get me started on what happened in the Season 8 comics.
6. Bad Spike. His chemistry with Drusilla, his English mannerisms, and his pure lack of morality made him a villain that was frightening but fun at the same time. After he got that stupid chip it all went downhill for Spike who went from being one of the most badass snarky villains on TV to a whimpering comic-relief Buffy stalker.
7. Fun Buffy. I liked Buffy better when she was fun and quippy. After awhile Buffy becomes really emo and boring. Granted her mom dies and she has to work to support her and Dawn and lots of people try to kill her, and then she dies and everything, but still, I don’t want to watch Buffy mope all the time. She becomes less of a likable heroine when all she does is sulk and feel sorry for herself.
8. Faith. The is she good is she bad Faith provided an foil to Buffy’s unwaivering heroism. She was likeable at first and fit in well with the gang after being introduced in the third season. Then she teams up with the Mayor and provides a real threat to Buffy. We don’t see her for a while after the third season and when we do there’s nothing terribly exciting or memorable about her, compared to her first stretch on the show.
9. The Bronze. The Bronze was a cool place to hang out, get boyfriends, and slay vampires. It definitely beats the magic shop.
10. No Dawn. I don’t hate Dawn the way some people do, but they were doing just fine without her. When Dawn magically appears Buffy has to become the annoying parental-type and take care of her, which related back to the previous point. Dawn can be kind of annoying herself to be honest, and really never added anything to the show other than a less-than-stellar storyline about a key.
Totally agree, I love Buffy but the first 3 seasons are far and away the best ones, and all your reasons are on the money. Seasons 4-7 are alright and there are some great episodes in there, but they just don’t measure up.
Cordelia is my favourite character from Buffy. She’s the best.
As for the villains, they were better in the second and third season for sure, but the Master in the first season was really just not that great.
And yeah. Buffy’s emo phases were rather annoying. I have to admit, though, I never really liked her as a character. And they probably should have found a way to write Dawn out of the show again a little later on, because she pretty much served no purpose, the further into the 7th season they got.
I have to disagree with pretty much every point except Dawn. I found Dawn annoying and useless, though I understood how she came into the picture. At least Season 7 Dawn grew up a little bit and stopped being the annoying bratty teen (but I think that had to do with sharing screen time with every character then).
Although I understand what you’re saying on each point, I enjoy Buffy because it grew up with the audience. It didn’t stay being the same thing over and over (teen angst in high school).
As for reasons of staying together, college filled that void perfectly. Plus, who said they would stay together all the time? I think I liked that they grew apart a little bit (Willow finding out she’s a lesbian; Xander dealing with his ordinary-ness; Giles trying to find his place in the world).
The fourth season sucked in my honest opinion. The only good thing to come out of it was Hush.
I liked Angel when I first watched, but I found him more agitating as I got older. I prefer him on his show when he isn’t making googly eyes with Buffy and being all mysterious. I like Spike, who says it like it is. No mystery, no “dark haired” stranger of the night. Just a brutally honest man with flaws but doesn’t give a frak.
To this day I still miss evil Spike, he had the potential to truly be the Joker to Buffy’s Batman, that one archnemesis to define her as a hero. I did not mind it when he first got the chip because he was forced to use his brain to come up with creative ways to oppose the Scoobies like allying himself with Adam. But after he allied himself with the Scoobies and fell in love with Buffy out of the blue he became so much of a wuss that I wanted to give him a wedgie.
Pingback: The History of Dracula on Film: Part 3 | Funk's House of Geekery