Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Buffyversary!

Fourteen years ago, on March 10, 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired for the first time. Talk about the little mid-season replacement that could! For all the rewatchers, it's been a long, wonderful road, and for the new viewers, better late than never! I'm glad we were able to turn you on to it. ;)

What I'm interested to hear in the comments is, what was the first episode you watched, and when? If you began watching midway through the series, did you immediately go back to the beginning and start over to catch up, or did you watch from that point on and only start over when you got to the end? Did you catch up years later on DVD? My first episode was I Robot, You Jane, and I didn't like it. So I quit, and then during the hiatus that followed Killed by Death I got caught up with the entire series, and watched it week after week from that point on. (That might explain why "I Only Have Eyes For You" is a favourite of mine -- it was the first one I watched live!)

32 comments:

Kristen Romanelli said...

Pilot!

I was 16 and a fan of the movie. (That's right.) It was pretty cool aging at the same pace as the Scoobies. :)

Sarah said...

I had watched pieces of episodes over the years, but last summer I made it my project to watch the entire series from start to finish. I can't believe it took me so long!

Sarah
Uberlibrariana

Mandi said...

I honestly don't remember the first episode I saw. It had to be sometime during the first season, but I don't remember becoming obsessed until Season 2. I even recorded all of those eps on VHS tapes!

Now, I have all of the DVDs and watch it through once a year.

Delvin Anaris said...

I watched from the first episode. As I can vaguely recall, I remembered watching the movie and feeling like it deserved something more.

I was one year younger than Buffy and her friends, and it was always kind of neat to see them at pretty much the same stage of life as me.

Cheeseman Steve said...

Episode 1 on BBC2 at 6.30 on a Tuesday evening. I was very excited, there had been trailers for weeks and I really liked the title of the show. I can't really remember my specific reaction other than I was clearly hooked from the start and started videoing it pretty much from the word go.

BreezieGirl said...

Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest 14 years ago and I didn't love it at the time (a shock to anyone that knows me)... probably because I didn't like the movie and I was bitter about the show being replaced.

I caught bits and pieces of the next several episodes (my brother watched) and was finally hooked and reeled in for life with Nightmares. I caught up on everything I missed that summer.

Nurse Brian said...

It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure the first one I really watched intently was "Bargaining". I was a pretty casual viewer before that, but I think I really jumped on during the season six premiere. After that, I was all for it.

I remember spending the summer watching the entire series on FX when Buffy was in syndication over there.

Nikki, I've been keeping up with the rewatch but I've been so busy to actually read and comment. Loving it. I'm gonna try and jump in for Season Seven.

Oh, for old time's sake...

WV: "dineder" - what I have in the evening after stuffing my face full of marshmallows

Dusk said...

First proper one was late 2010 with Anne. MMM plays one each weekday, then I lost the channel and forgot then came in Wild At Heart, and now I'm addicted.

Today's is After Life.

alexis said...

I watched the episode with Joyce and the creepy mask that she brings home. (Can't remember name) It was in 1999 or 2000, I think.

I had a crush on Seth Green that prompted me to check out the show. I watched and was hooked. I cried when I found out it was cancelled.

(Bonus- I found an episode that I had never watched during the Rewatch. I'd never seen "Killed By Death" before, and was unaware of this until the rewatch. Thanks Nikki!

Sam said...

I'm pretty sure the first ever episode I saw was Chosen, the season 7 (and series) finale. I was over at a friend's house who was obsessed with Buffy, and the last episode had just aired a week or so before, and she forced me and all our friends to watch it again with her. It made absolutely no sense to me at all, and when I started watching the whole series (at the insistence of this friend) on DVD a few years later, I had no memory of watching the finale and (fortunately) wasn't spoiled for the ending despite having seen it.

David Kociemba said...

As I mentioned, “Phases” was the first episode I ever watched.

But my next experience with the series was watching the videotapes. I didn't have cable or even an antenna at the time, so the VCR was the only way to watch it. (Yes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer predates the use of DVDs to sell television series. Introduced commercially for films in 1997, the sale of the entire X-Files series in 2000 popularized the format for television sales, as the storage capacity matters far more with a series that runs dozens of hours than with a film. I’ve heard that seasons 3 and 4 were both top 10 sellers in 2003.) Many fans had a similar experience, watching the series in a nonlinear order. The reruns actually drew better ratings than the initial broadcast of the same episodes early on, as fans tried to catch up. DVDs and tapes had the same effect. You would watch the season being aired while watching a prior season, which fostered a more active reading position. Everything you saw could be foreshadowing. (The writers used the official discussion board to monitor fan reactions as well. This early use of the medium that often made it seem like Mutant Enemy could read the viewers’ minds further fostered active viewing.) This Rewatch Project replicates just one way people watched the series.

Page48 said...

Started with 1.01 in fall of 2009. Watched every episode in order, syncing up with "Angel" when the time came.

Watched all episodes of both shows on my laptop. I've never seen BtVS on an actual TV, but I remember, back in the day, skipping over it every time I saw it on the Bell ExpressVu program menu. (What the hellmouth was I thinking?).

I had no dish or cable during the first 2 seasons, so no way to get in on the ground floor.

I saw Eliza and Alexis on "Dollhouse" before I ever saw an eppie of BtVS.

I'm really kind of glad that the series was over before I started watching, because once I'm hooked, I like to rifle through episodes one after another, without annoying "winter finales" and other lengthy interruptions.

BtVS is only the 2nd series I've ever re-watched, the other being "Alias". I suspect "Angel" may be the 3rd.

Karina Dolehide said...

I was 27 and pregnant, and I watched it from the beginning. Loved it. I have since bought the DVDs and Buffy/Angel area always playing in the background when I am in the kitchen cooking/cleaning. So far I have "seen" the series 19 times. And I still love it...14 years later. My kids even quote it. Like "that's insane troll logic."

Sara Gwen said...

Three Christmases ago (so what ... 2008?) I was given the first season on DVD. I just finished the series about a month ago. I'm too young to have caught any but the last few seasons live :(

briabear84 said...

Hi I'm new but wanted to tell about my first Buffy episode.
My friends were fans and told me I should but I thought it sounded stupid. Well one night I was bored and turned it on. It was halfway through the episode and it ended on a dramtic cliffhanger and I was hooked. The episode was Becoming part 1. Over that summer they aired all the episodes from both seasons.

Tom D. said...

I randomly saw a few episodes from late season 4 (and New Moon Rising may still be my favorite episode), then started consistently watching and taping the show at the beginning of season 5. For me this coincided with my first year of grad school and the aftermath of an emotionally devastating breakup. I got sufficiently obsessed with the show that I taped every rerun episode off FX before the DVDs started coming out.

Cindy/SenexMacDonald said...

I have watched it right from the beginning. I loved it from the moment it started until the very end! And Angel- of course. :)

When Justin and I got together, and then married (11 years tomorrow - the day after Buffy started ... ironic - don't you think?), we spent every week watching the show together. It made the discussion of the show that much more interesting as we did not always see eye-to-eye on the eps but loved the show none the less. And now during the rewatch, we are also reliving that as well. LOL

When Once More With Feeling aired, we ran out to get the CD as soon as it was available. We played in the car, we played it at home, I would start singing and Justin would join in. It became a centre-piece to who we are. It still does as we revisit the soundtrack every once in a while.

We bought the DVDs as they came (or I got them as Christmas gifts on a yearly basis for a long while). And now they are happy to be out of the box again!

Oh, and in case you wanted to ask - I take Anya's role and he takes Xander's. :)

Now about those bunnies...

redeem147 said...

I think I saw part of the one about the woman watcher with the glove at someone's house. But the first one I really remember watching me (and hooking me into the show) was Something Blue. So much chemistry with Buffy and Spike that I had to see what happened with them.

Efthymia said...

I started watching it online in the spring of 2008. I had begun my postgraduate studies in September 2007, not in my home country, and during the two years of my studies I spent MANY hours watching mostly finished TV shows and numerous youtube clips. I had heard (or, better, read) of BtVS on many occasions (most of them probably being my frequent visits on IMDb), but it was never shown on greek TV (Angel was at some point, and probably a little after it originally aired in the US because I was still in school). I saw the first 4 seasons online, but then had some problems with the sites where I found the episodes, and since I had become so addicted by that time, I went to one of those heavenly stores that sell books, DVDs, CDs etc and bought The Complete Series pack (which looks like a leathery book and is lovely). I think I finished it sometime in the winter of 2009 (I did have to study as well...) and immediately began rewatching it. And then rewatched it again early in 2010 with my sister, who had probably gotten tired of me telling her all the time "WE HAVE TO WATCH BTVS!" ("But you've already watched it.." - "Yes, but we have to watch it TOGETHER!").

I babble. Apologies.

mjdolce said...

I came VERY late to the show. My first episode was "Spiral". I watched it while texting/phoning with my friend who was a fan. I was immediately hooked, and that summer, between seasons, FX was showing the show in reruns from the beginning. So by the time season 6 was starting, I was basically caught up! And I've been a frequent rewatcher ever since.

The Question Mark said...

The first one I ever saw involved Buffy meeting and hanging out with a bunch of weird cavemen or something. I had no idea what was going on at the time & I was sure that I was missing a hell of a lot of exposition, so I didn't watch it all the way through.

The Question Mark said...

@ KRISTEN ROMANELLI:
"It was pretty cool aging at the same pace as the Scoobies"

The same thing happened to me, only with "Smallville" instead of "Buffy". That show began in both mine and Clark Kent's first year of high school! :)

Ambivalentman said...

For me, my love affair with Buffy began with the first episode (I'm OCD and have a hard time beginning things in the middle). I took a risk and bought the first season on DVD two years ago. Nikki, your love for "Buffy" encouraged me to start watching. I fell in love right away. The show felt so campy, and was immediately relatable and quotable. Even though the first season was a monster-of-the-week structure, I could sense bigger things were coming, and couldn't stop watching. Suffice to say, three months later I was done with the series and was compelled to put "Buffy" up there with "LOST" and "The Wire" at the top of my All-time favorite TV shows list. Thanks, Nikki, for the recommendation!

Mia said...

I watched it from the beginning, then stopped (I'm not sure why), then started it again when it used to come on from 3-5 on TNT. Thank goodness for syndication!!! My sisters and I would watch it as soon as we got home from school and would do our chores on the commercials, sometimes finishing before mom got home, but mostly not. :)

Anonymous said...

I remember watching part of Hush in a video room at a convention (not a Buffy convention of course). I was fascinating by the response of the audience in the room. Years later when I watched the entire series straight through from the beginning it was like this amazing "click" when I got to Hush. I suddenly felt the density of the story.

Dusk said...

Just wanted to add that SMG may return to TV now with a show called "Ringer"

And in this week's Entertainment Weekly that features updates on the cast of Lost, Nestor Carbonell is going to be in the new show too!

This sounds like the perfect show for this blog!

Paithan1 said...

I watched Buffy from the beginning. I remember seeing in the TV Guide Fall Preview issue that there was going to be a series and I was thrilled. I liked the movie; it was cute. I liked the look of the actors (Sarah Michelle, Alyson, and Nick were featured in TV Guide.) So, there I was in my little bedroom with my TV/VCR combo and my boyfriend, watching what turned out to be my favorite show EVER!!! I had no idea it would change my life or those around me (I got friends and family hooked, made everyone around play the board game, and even took a class where we watched Buffy and wrote about it.)

VW: chion...is that a cheap Scion?

Missy said...

I was 8yrs old.
'Witch' was the 1st ep I remember watching.though it's possible I caught abit of 'WTTH' & 'The Harvest'(I've completely forgotten when it aired....Late 1997/98 I'm pretty sure because S3 was the first season I remember airing just weeks after the US)

JavaChick said...

I think my husband (then boyfriend) started watching it right away and telling me I should watch it. I didn't want to because I thought it was a horror show and I can't do horror. We had been living in different provinces at the time, but eventually I moved to the same city and, from what I remember, I started seeing some season 3 episodes at the boyfriend's place and was hooked for the start of season 4 (and started watching Angel at the same time).

Soon after that, Buffy went into syndication on Space and I started catching up on the earlier seasons and I was completely addicted at that point. Then I started buying the DVD sets. Buffy season 1 was the very first set of TV DVDs I ever bought.

karoliinahv said...

In the end of 90s I was already in the university, I didn't own a tv, but whenever I went home, there were my younger brother and sister obsessing about some show called "Buffy" - I had seen some episodes with them (the cheerleading one, something with bad Angel), but it somehow failed to impress me. So last year I was watching "Firefly" and "Dollhouse", but whereever I went to read something about Whedon, it was all Buffy this and Angel that, so in the end I was obliged to see what all the fuss was about. First seasons took some months to watch, but it all ended for me with sitting for 29 hours straight in the kitchen with my laptop and earphones until that Sunnydale sign fell into that pit (I had apologized for my family that unfortunately I can't talk to them for a while, because Buffy's life is in danger - luckily they understood). Then in some weeks I watched all the series again and then I read about this re-watch, so of course, now I'm watching it yet again.

DelektorskiChick said...

the very first Buffy i ever saw was the second half of barganing, the season six premire. i was probably tn, and had snuck downstairs while my mom was watching. she made me leave and it wasn't until last year when we finally found some dvds at a garage sale that i finally got to watch them! now i am the biggest Buffy fan in the house, and i am having a really good time with this rewatch! (a true rewatch for me, did you really think i'd just let all those summer off hours go to waste? ;)

Teebore said...

Though Buffy and I are the same age (she's a few months older than me), I didn't start watching the show until college, season five (which is why I still have a soft spot for that season, amongst other reasons).

The first episode I watched was "Buffy vs. Dracula". I was familiar with the existence of the show as part of pop culture, and had been thinking about checking it out when I heard a commercial on the radio about Buffy fighting Dracula in the season premiere, and that seemed like a neat high concept and a good place to start (this was before the OCD I have now about starting a show from the beginning really kicked in).

I liked the episode, particularly the sense of history amongst the characters, but wasn't hooked. I caught a few more episodes intermittently ("The Replacement", the one where Riley goes crazy) before "Into the Woods", which got me completely hooked.

Specifically, it was the scene between Xander and Buffy where Xander basically calls Buffy on her BS. I barely knew these characters at that point, but that scene really showed me the strength of the relationships between them, and from that point forward, I couldn't get enough.

I did my best to catch up as I plunged ahead (and also started watching Angel, which then followed Buffy), mainly via VHS collections of "best of" episodes from seasons 1-3 and by reading the "Watchers Guides" episodes guides. Eventually FX started replaying the series, and I made a point to get them all on tape and caught up that way (before DVD, I used to have boxes and boxes of tapes with Buffy, Simpsons and 90210 episodes on them).

And my general love of TV episode guide books and my newfound love of Buffy sent me on a search for more episode guides (beyond the rather basic and unexciting "Watcher's Guides"), a search which shortly landed me a book called Bite Me! by a certain Nikki Stafford...