We’re on a strange, dark and bloody journey this time, that’s bordering between cheese and apathy. It seems like the Scoobies are more distant than ever before and this time they aren’t hiding behind the whole college façade. Somehow Willow has gotten skankier, dumber and more corrupt. Riley is always off on some dark moral excavation. Tara is still in the way. Dawn is an annoying new member of Buffy’s life. Amy’s still a rat. Giles is more oafish and the moral center seems to rest on Anya and Spike’s shoulders of all things. And the rationale, valor and intelligence (yes, intelligence) award goes to Mr. Xander Harris. Spike has become a soap-watching mooch off the Scoobies and is getting ready to bang up the Buffy trail. But on the ultra-violet bright side—regardless of futile attempts to redeem a sense of coolness they finally killed Buffy’s mom.
Seems like this season is all over the map and doesn’t find its way back to Earth long enough to care about any of the Scoobies and their superficial dilemmas. Even the would-be downer ending leaves one feeling like, “Oh, well, what else is on?” Maybe it has to do with the show switching networks. Maybe everyone just got big-headed and thought anything Buffy is gonna be great-- no matter how lame they get. The production is totally sloppy this time around. You can see booms looming overhead, reflections of the film crew, shadows of cameras, even cameras on the periphery. You can even see that the sets have no ceilings and the crew behind them. When an animal is on the set, you can see the trainer giving it signals just out of frame. On the floors you can see actor’s marks in different colors. Like I said—sloppy.
The special features are a little skimpy, but one can’t expect too much. “Buffy Abroad” a 4-minute featurette talking about the international hoopla over the Buffy show. There’s a super lame featurette with Danny “Jonathon” Strong discussing the beasts of Buffy. The stunt people have their own little, lack-luster segment with uninteresting outtakes from the show. The cast usually forgets their lines and gibber away. There is one gleaming moment with Oz and Xander, but that’s it. There’s a spotlight on Dawn that is neither bad nor good. There’s another segment discussing killing off of Buffy’s mom. And of course a lot of trailers of better Buffy and Angel paraphernalia. This is not the best season of Buffy, but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fifth Season
NR, 2000-2001, 999 min. (6 Disks), Fox Home Video.
Featurettes: “The Season of Season 5,” “Natural Causes,” “Spotlight on Dawn,” “Buffy Outtakes,” “Buffy Abroad,” “Demonology—A Slayer’s Guide,” “Casting Buffy,” “Action Heroes—The Stunts of Buffy.” Still Gallery, Selected Episode Commentaries and Scripts. Trailers: Buffy 1, 2, 3, 4, the original film and Angel 1 and 2.
Buffy Vs. Dracula
Written by Marti Noxon and Directed by David Solomon. Air Date: 9-26-00
Looks like Dracula superstar is hanging out Sunny D and jonsing for some Buffy beaver.
Written by David Fury and Directed by David Grossman. Air Date: 10-3-00
Harmony has had it and now she’s got her own little gang of minions and stuff. Dawn, everyone’s favorite kid sister, shows up to cause some problems.
Special Feature: Commentary by David Fury and David Grossman.
Written by Jane Espenson and Directed by James A. Contner. Air Date: 10-10-00
Xander’s hit by a demon rod and is split into his twin brother. Funny, they sure do look alike.
Special Feature: The Original Script
Out of My Mind
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner and Directed by David Grossman. Air Date: 10-17-00
Looks like Riley’s pulling an “Untamed Heart” and it’s about to bust out of his chest. I guess it’s time to call them Initiative boys again.
No Place Like Home
Written by Douglas Petrie and Directed by David Solomon. Air Date: 10-24-00
Buffy finds out what the hell’s up with that demonic sister of hers. Hey, I knew there was something a little fishy about that Dawn character.
Written and Directed by Joss Whedon. Air Date: 11-7-00
Tara’s family come to visit and try to take her back to Whereversville before she turns into a gamy-ass demon.
Fool For Love
Written by Douglas Petrie and Directed by Nick Marck. Air Date: 11-14-00
The Spike Show. Buffy’s get a case of the heebies so she heads over to Spike’s joint to find out how he killed two slayers. Of course that means more time-traveling blood-shed with Darla, Druscilla and Angel. Oh, and we finally get to see that crazy chaos demon that they talked about for two seasons.
Special Features: Original Script & Commentary by Doug Petrie.
Written by David Fury and Directed by Daniel Attias. Air Date: 11-21-00
Looks like Buffy’s mom is on her way out. Tick, tock, tick, tock…
Listening to Fear
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner and Directed by David Grossman. Air Date: 11-28-00
A space slug crashlands in Sunny D and starts raping retarded people.
Into the Woods
Written and Directed by Marti Noxon. Air Date: 12-19-00
Since Buffy’s not massaging Riley’s stake, he spends his free time with necro-hoes to get his limb sucked upon.
Special Feature: The Original Script.
Written by Jane Espenson and Directed by Christopher Hibler. Air Date: 1-9-01
Giles is kicking it in London leaving Anya and Willow to mind the Magic Box, but then dumb-ass Willow accidentally whips up a marauding troll that used to date Anya.
Written by Douglas Petrie & Jane Espenson and Directed by Nick Marck. Air Date: 1-23-01
The very counsel that fired Giles back in Season 3 returns with vital stuff on Glorificus. But Buffy has to prove herself worthy of their offerings first.
Special Feature: Original Script.
Written by Steven S. Deknight and Directed by Michael Gerhman. Air Date: 2-6-01
It’s Buffy’s B-day and Dawn finds out that she is The Key.
Written by David Fury and Directed by Daniel Attias. Air Date: 2-13-01
Looks like everyone’s got a crush on someone for the Valentine’s Day episode. Dawn goes off to play with Spike. Spike goes out to finagle Buffy’s affection. Druscilla comes back in town ready to turn Spike all evil again.
I Was Made to Love You
Written by Jane Espenson and Directed by James A. Contner. Air Date: 2-20-01
Another robot episode which leads mostly to the inevitable Buffy Bots.
Special Feature: Commentary by Jane Espenson.
Written and Directed by Joss Whedon. Air Date: 2-27-01
Buffy’s mom dies.
Special Feature: Commentary by Joss Whedon.
Written and Directed by Marti Noxon. Air Date: 4-17-01
Looks like “The Monkey’s Paw” episode. Dawn finds a spell to bring back their mother.
Written by Jane Espenson and Directed by Michael Gershman. Air Date: 4-24-01
Spike’s got his Buffy Bot working and they shag like rabbits while the real Buffy is on her vision quest with Giles where she catches up with the first original slayer. You know, the one that tried to kill everyone at the end of Season 4.
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner and Directed by David Grossman. Air Date: 5-1-01
Looks like Glorificus has jacked up Tara nice and good making her another one in a large pile of human vegetables.
Written by Steven S. Deknight and Directed by James A. Contner. Air Date: 5-8-01
The Scoobies are on the lam a la “Near Dark” with a butt-load of knights galloping after them to kill Dawn.
The Weight of the World
Written by Douglas Petrie and Directed by David Solomon. Air Date: 5-15-01
Buffy has a brain fart and slips into catatonia after Glorificus snatches up Dawn. While the rest of the Scoobies are gathering themselves Willow tries to snap Buffy out of her lobotomy phase.
Written and Directed by Joss Whedon. Air Date: 5-22-01
The final battle of the season just before the Scoobies move to a different network.
Other Cooky, Spooky Couch Potato Shows:
Tales From the Darkside, Monsters, Dracula: The Series, Dark Shadows, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone (In the Day, 80s and Now), Goosebumps. The Addams Family, Devil Hunter Yohko, The Munsters, The Munsters Today, Friday the 13th - The Series, Freddy’s Nightmares, Tales From the Crypt, Dr. Who, Read All About It, The Land of the Lost and others if you can find any of the latter… and of course, don’t forget to check out the original 1992 Buffy flick.