A synopsis is pretty pointless. Either you watch the series or you don’t. But for what it’s worth, Buffy is a high-school student who is also one of the chosen heroes of history whose purpose in life is to combat and destroy vampires. The big complication this season is the fact that she’s fallen love with one (Angel).
The Dolby 2.0 audio is acceptable, but nothing special. While generally clean, the dialogue does occasionally have some buzz to it. The music …ounds fine, and has a good surround presence, but there are very few sound effects coming out of the rear speakers.
The picture quality is extremely variable, far more so than it should be. The night scenes in the first episode are almost unwatchable. There is so much grain the effect is like trying to watch something on a VCR when the TV is set to the wrong channel. Even Madacy would be embarrassed by this. The picture improves later, but the grain is a recurring problem. The colours are okay, but the blacks frequently have a greenish tinge.
The extras are better, but I can’t comment on all of them (only discs 1 and 6 were provided for review). There is nothing on Disc 1, but on Disc 6 you will find three featurettes: “Desining Buff” (about, you guessed it, set design and the like), “A Buffy Bestiary” (the new monsters), and “Beauty and the Bests” (make-up). That’s pretty well it as far as any kind of commentary goes, with the exception of an interview with creator Joss Whedon at the beginning of “Becoming Part I”. There is an art gallery, divided into Stills, Monster Sketches, Set Design and Set Design Blueprints. Perhaps the most informative feature is the 11 bios, which fill you in not only about the actors, but also (at some length) about the characters they play — a nice feature for the uninitiated. Finally, you have your trailers: six TV spots, the Angel trailer, an ad for this very package, and two UK spots. The menu has extremely elaborate transitions and introductions (almost annoyingly long), and still, scored pages. The menu is also rather slow to get itself set up.
Given the popularity of the show, this should have looked a lot better. Perhaps next time, more care should be spent on the transfer and less on the menu’s transitions.
Special Features List
- Three featurettes
- Still Gallery
- TV Spots and Trailers
- Interview with Joss Whedon
- Cast, Crew and Character Bios
- Commentary tracks for some episodes