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October 13, 2015


Slay-a-thon pleases Buffy fans and raises money

by Debra McDuffee, posted Aug 25th 2008 8:03AM
cast of Buffy the Vampire SlayerPicture this: back-to-back episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel for over twelve hours; raffles, games and prizes; a miniature diorama of The Magic Box, authentically detailed and ready to be auctioned off.

Sound like an outrageously fun event? To me, too, but it gets even better. All of the money raised at the Slay-a-thon, an annual event in Chicago, goes to the Make a Wish Foundation, to help sick kids live their dreams while they still can.

You know what I say about it, but what would the Scooby Gang say about the painstakingly detailed diorama of The Magic Box?

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Ethan Rayne: A tribute - VIDEO

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jun 26th 2008 9:20AM
ethan rayne
Every fan of Buffy has his or her own favorite main character (or characters). But what of the merely recurring characters? You've got Halfrek, the Vengeance Demon (sorry ... "Justice Demon"), Amy the witch/rat and Mr. Trick, to name a few. But there's one character who's always fascinated me, a character with a long, dark and mysterious past filled with magic, mayhem and chaos. I speak, of course, about Rupert "Ripper" Giles' mate from the old days, Ethan Rayne.

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Buffy's not-so-happy birthdays (part two)

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 25th 2008 2:30PM
Ben changing into Glory

Yesterday, we delved into seasons one through four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's birthday episodes. Let's just say you really, really don't want to celebrate Buffy's birthday with her, as catastrophe, drama, and heartache are always center stage.

Season Five, episode 13, "Blood Ties"

Buffy's 20th birthday goes no better than the previous ones. "Blood Ties" is all about how Buffy and Dawn share the same blood, "Summers blood," even though Dawn was created by monks to be The Key. Yes, it was a somewhat syrupy solution to Dawn's incessant whining in this episode, but it is so important for the resolution to the season, and the defeat of Glory, the Big Bad (Buffy can die instead of Dawn to save the world. Again.).


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Buffy's not-so-happy birthdays (part one) - VIDEO

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 24th 2008 3:06PM
NIgel gives Buffy a book for her birthday
Poor Buffy. You'd think that with a life-threatening job like Vampire Slayer, she'd at least get a break once a year, on her birthday. No such luck for Buffy, but great luck for the viewers; we get really meaningful episodes, with significance to both the story arc and insight to the characters' motivations. Buffy's birthday episodes have been some of the strongest of the series.

Season One
These is no birthday episode in season one, since the series began as a mid-season replacement.

Season Two, episode 13, "Surprise"
In this episode, the Scooby Gang throws a surprise party for Buffy, but that is only one minor surprise in an episode filled with significant surprises. We learn that Jenny Calendar is actually "Janna of the Kalderash Gypsies" and that her people were the ones who cursed Angel's soul. Oz gets his surprise when he finds out that vampires are real and that Buffy is the Slayer.


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Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Reaper

by Debra McDuffee, posted May 19th 2008 10:32AM
cast of ReaperI've confessed before -- or should I say shouted from the rooftops -- that I am a Joss Whedon fan. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite shows and I still mourn its loss (the comic books just don't give me my Buffy fix).

This season, I was hopeful when Reaper arrived on the scene. It seemed to have some of the same elements that I liked about Buffy: demon lore, a Scooby gang, a story arc, and a lighthearted, humorous side to a subject that could be very dark.

So how does Reaper measure up to Buffy? When I actually did the breakdown, I was pleasantly surprised. A very interesting outcome, indeed....


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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You, Part II

by Keith McDuffee, posted Oct 11th 2007 11:01AM
buffy season 8 issue 7(S08I07) This issue starts out with the longest - and perhaps first - foray into flashback territory for this "season." I guess I could have gone through my well overplayed DVDs and checked the referred-to episode for accuracy, but it seemed pretty dead-on to me.

Y'know, I love Giles and all, and I especially appreciate that he's a presence in this series, but I'm not really digging how cookie-cutter he seems, particularly in these last two issues. Is it just me or does he drink tea and clean his spectacles way too (stereotypically) often?

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Comic-Con: Joss Whedon panel - BREAKING NEWS

by Julia Ward, posted Jul 28th 2007 8:14PM
GilesI'll have a full report later, but good news for Buffy fans. Joss is currently in talks with the BBC and Mr. Anthony Stewart Head. Plans are almost a go for RIPPER! Ripper is the long-rumored story of Giles pre-Buffy. Who knows what the plot will actually be, but Whedon reported here at Comic-Con - literally, like, five minutes ago - that negotiations are close to finished on a ninety minute BBC special - Ripper.

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Buffy comic update: pre-orders and spoilers

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 11th 2007 10:02AM
Buffy Comic Issue Two CoverThe date draws nearer for the debut of Buffy Season 8 in comic book form. The first and second issues are now available for pre-order at Dark Horse comics. They'll be released on March 7th and April 4th respectively. Well, that's what the Dark Horse website is reporting. In the comic book world, you never know what the actual release date is until the book is sitting in your hot little hands. (Somebody is going to have to explain that to me sometime - how an entire industry can build an expectation for procrastination within its audience. That would have worked wonders for me in college.)

We've shared issue one spoilers with you in the past, but we've got some issue two insight as well. You'll find the skinny after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

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Help Joss Whedon get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 8th 2006 10:07AM
Joss WhedonEven if you're not a Whedonite yourself, you've got to give it up for the fans of Joss Whedon. The Buffy, Angel and Firefly fanatics have created a community that has held multiple nationwide fundraisers for Whedon's favorite charitable organization Equality Now and single-handedly acted as the grassroots marketing engine behind Whedon's directorial film debut Serenity. Let's just say, they're a nice bunch.

A group of those fans has now turned its attention to honoring Whedon with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their collective reasoning is sorta sweet. "It's a tangible way to show respect by giving him something else to add to his legacy and to show how much he means to us...It's not all about Joss...It's about family, not the one we are born into by blood, but the one that Joss created out of his work...We cannot give him the prestigious awards; most of us are not on any academy boards, nor people that have a choice of nominations." Sorta makes you tear up a bit, doesn't it? Pop culture making the connection. The people's star.

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The Five: The thinking woman's sex symbol

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 6th 2006 11:01AM
Jon StewartWhat does it take to be a thinking woman's sex symbol? The definition really comes from what it doesn't take. You don't need to be conventionally handsome. You don't need a full head of shiny hair or photo-ready pearly whites. You don't need six-pack abs or hardened pecs. You certainly don't need a hot car or a fat wallet. What you do need is smarts and a wit best described as "acerbic."

Now, this whole "the five" thing is pretty rough. Only five slots for television's sexiest smarty-pants doesn't make things easy. There was no room for Steve Coogan, Charlie Rose, Bradley Whitford, Naveen Andrews or David Duchovny. So, the order here is arbitrary, and well, let's just preface this list by saying that we're talking about television stars here. This means that even the nerdiest of nerds is a far cry from dogsville, but these five all have one thing in common - they've got it going on upstairs.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Out of Mind, Out of Sight

by Keith McDuffee, posted Aug 7th 2006 5:43PM
buffy classroom
(S01E11) It's interesting to watch how, in the infancy of shows that become cult classics like Buffy, there are some missteps here and there while the series figures out where it wants to go. This episode is an example of one of those missteps.

Sometimes it's interesting to see baddies on Buffy that aren't just demon in nature. While we'll see ghosts in future episodes, this was a totally different take on the invisible threat theme. It was full of holes, and those holes were filled with cheesy badness.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Nightmares

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 31st 2006 11:19PM
buffy as a vampire
(S01E10) The worst nightmare you can have is of an out of control, giggling clown wielding a knife. No wait, it's when you realize there's a class at school you've never been to, but you have to take an exam for it. Or is it going to class naked? Wait, why is that last one scary?

This episode has a theme that's used in a few others in later seasons, in particular the Halloween episodes where fears and costumes take over Sunnydale. It's a theme that definitely works well in providing opportunities for an equal share of drama (through the facing of fears) and humor.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I, Robot... You, Jane

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 17th 2006 11:12PM
Buffy Molock robot
I've caught season one of Buffy a few times, between the reruns shown on TV and the DVD set I own. For some reason, when I started watching this episode, I was taken aback at how things were starting; Jenny Calendar was introduced this soon? And she's not a new teacher? Wait, I'm missing something here, right?

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Pack

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 3rd 2006 11:03AM
buffy the pack
(S01E06) This was an exchange between my wife and I last night:

Me: "Hey, we've gotta watch another Buffy tonight."
Wife: "Oh yeah, that's right. Which episode is it again?"
Me: "Um ... Oh yeah -- the one with the hyenas."
Wife: "Oooh ... ugh."

That pretty much sums up this episode. In fact, later this year, when I list my bottom five Buffy episodes of all time, I'm pretty sure 'The Pack' will be on it.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Harvest

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jun 5th 2006 12:19PM

Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of your favorite shows, in order, every week.

I neglected to mention in last week's review that this was really a two-part first episode, and we pick up from the cliffhanger of the previous week. Frequent TV Squad reader/commenter 'doc' was nice enough to send me a copy of the original unaired pilot (which, as commenter 'Sav' pointed out, can be viewed on YouTube, though in poor quality), and it's got quite a few differences from this two-parter. But I'll save that for another post.

As I touched on a little last week, this is the episode where Jessie becomes a vampire and dies at the hands of Xander (though not exactly intentionally). There aren't a whole lot of shows that will introduce what seems like a main character, only to kill them off within one of the first episodes. The only other show that did this that immediately comes to mind is The Shield with Terry Crowley, though I'm sure there are others.

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