Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Complete Second Season
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.
Commentary by David
Greenwalt, Marti Moxon, and Joss Whedon
Scripts for several
TV spots both UK
trailer for Angel
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.
Full-frame format (1.33:1), English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround
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
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.