Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Complete Second Season

Title: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Two
Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: June 11, 2002
Running Time: approximately 1060 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: Spike and Drusilla hit town, Jonathan starts popping up, Buffy loses her innocence and Angel loses his soul.

  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection
  • Interviews with Joss Whedon
  • Commentary by David Greenwalt, Marti Moxon, and Joss Whedon
  • Scripts for several episodes
  • Featurette: Designing Buffy
  • Featurette: A Buffy Bestiary
  • Featurette: Beauty and Beasts
  • TV spots both UK and U.S.
  • trailer for Angel
  • Photo Galleries
  • Cast Biographies

    Choice Scene:"If every vampire who claimed he was at the Crucifixion had actually been there, it would have been like Woodstock. Actually, I was at Woodstock." Spike was more fun evil.

    Tech Specs: Full-frame format (1.33:1), English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround

    Creator Joss Whedon was so convinced that turning Buffy The Vampire Slayer into a television series would not work that he designed it to end after its initial 12 episode season. Imagine his surprise when he got renewed, and had to figure out what could possibly come after Buffy died, resurrected (sort of), destroyed The Master and closed the Hellmouth under Sunnydale.

    The results can be seen in the release this week of the second season on DVD. As fun as the first season was, it's the second year that really established the series, with throwaway plot elements still having repercussions on the show, now entering its seventh season this fall.

    For sheer entertainment value, this disc set would be hard to beat. At the very least, all Buffy fans are going to want it. Sure, you could tape the re-runs on FX, but little snippets are likely to be cut for syndicated broadcast; this is the only way to guarantee having these 22 episodes in their entirety.

    And these episodes are some doozies. In this second season we get introduced to Spike (pre-behavior modification chip) and Drusilla, integral to the mythos. Angel turns bad, in the best use of the series as metaphor for teen life. Unlucky at love from the beginning, Xander falls for both an Incan Mummy Girl and Cordelia (at the time, few could decide which was worse). Tentatively at first, both Oz and Jonathan appear in the corners of the episodes, though the best for these two characters is yet to be released.

    In one of my personal favorites, John Ritter turns his image upside down as an intractable robot stepfather in Ted. He even appears in the accompanying documentaries to talk about his experiences on the show, which is one of his few, if not only, genre appearances. (Does The Barefoot Executive count?)

    Unlike the first season set Fox released in January, this collection is chock full of extras. Then Whedon did commentary on the pilot episode, which also had a script option, and appeared in a couple of on-camera interviews. Now you get Whedon, David Greenwalt (who moved on to shepherd Angel), and Marti Noxon all offering commentary, as well as appearing in on-camera interviews sprinkled throughout the collection.

    The last disc brings the season to a stunning apocalyptic finale, and loads on the bonus materials. All three included featurettes offer different behind-the-scenes angles on the show, and are all surprisingly interesting. It's also cool to see the British advertisements for the show, as well as what was then an early look at Angel. (When do we start seeing that DVD collection?)

    Also unlike the season one set, Fox has taken advantage of the visuals possible for DVD, and made the disc menus into a three-dimensional tour through the crypts of the Sunnydale cemetery. Very cool at first, it may get a little wearing, but hey, that seems to be the style for DVD menus - make them as flashy as possible.

    As for the rest of the technical aspects, they're a mixed bag. The sound quality is fairly good, presented in Dolby Surround, but nothing more than you would get off a television broadcast. And at least on the first disc, the transfer is very murky, with a few scenes being almost black. The first season set was not re-mastered, either, but did not appear as grainy as this set does.

    So beware. As a completist, you have to have this. The episodes are still great. It's just not as good as it could have been.

    Buy Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 DVD from Amazon.

    Derek McCaw



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