I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, planning it in fact.
I’m going to re-watch all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in order, and possibly Angel. I think.
I started to think about it back in the early part of last year. From mid-2000 I’ve been a huge BtVS fan. I acquired the videos and later the DVDs and watched them over and over (often in preference to anything new on TV). I discussed each new episode on the internet endlessly with other fans. However when it ended I was not distraught. It had run its course, finished whilst it was still good enough not to tarnish its reputation (others would not agree). I remained, remain, a fan but there’s less to be fannish about. The internet discussions died down and the ones remaining tend to re-visit the same old ground.
Then last year, after some of the dust had settled from moving house, and after I had got over the initial initial excitement of setting up Mythtv, I began to realise I hadn’t watched an episode of Buffy for some time. I began to deliberately not do so i.e. not pick out a favourite ep when I was at a loose end what to watch.
I wanted to have a clear stretch – at least a year – so that I could, to some extent watch them with new eyes. Would they, I nervously wondered, stand up? I think the answer to that is yes for the really good episodes and perhaps less so for others. I was very forgiving of any mistakes when I was in full-on fan mode.
During October, when I had some time off work, I started copying my DVDs onto my Mythtv box. This means I can watch them without getting up to change the disc. In my mind this was all part of the preparation. As I was transcoding them down to smaller files this took 3 or 4 weeks to do them all, plus Angel. Then I got into writing again. Then it was Christmas.
And now, now that I have organised myself time-wise, I am actually going to do it. I think.
Why the hesitation? Well the idea was not just to re-watch them but to review them in my blog – like the Harry Potter re-read. The problem with that is that there are 144 episodes of Buffy and 110 of Angel. That’s 254 45minute episodes. At one a day that would take more than half a year. Of course in the old days I watched four in an evening sometimes. But I wasn’t trying to write anything about them, or about anything else come to that. And even if I accept that it’s a longer term project and maybe take a year or two over it – do I want my blog to be about that for so long? After all my worries about getting people to read is this a good strategy? 3-4 years ago it would have been, even now though there will be people who’d be interested, I’d be discussing things that have been done to death in many ways.
So what to do? Well I think my plan is to definitely watch all the episodes but not necessarily comment on them all. Or perhaps I will comment on groups together with a line or two about the less interesting ones, keeping the focus always on – what it’s like to re-visit them. My goal also is to update this blog a couple of times a week with only one being a Buffy review post.
Another question is what order to do them in. Sounds a silly question – but it’s very tempting to do them in ‘autobiographical’ order – the order I originally watched them in and the meaning that had to me (so my first ep was the first ep but after that I missed a few only later going back when I had them on video/DVD). It’s tempting but I don’t have the memory to get that order right, except for a few key points which I’ll highlight along the way.
Having got that off my chest, and therefore not ‘contaminating’ the reviews themselves with it, I’ll now go and watch the first – which is probably not what you think.