Buffy: Season 4

This always seems to be thought of us as one of the poorer seasons of Buffy and I can see the logic in that, but I actually quite liked it. It was definitely a transitional piece moving from High School to college and grown-upness and I think it actually did it in a very slick manner – conveying the huge life changes while still being Buffy. The characters of Giles and Xander got sidelined a bit by nature of not going through this process – but for Buffy and Willow the season had some nice development and cool stories. For all the grumbling about Riley being a poor substitute for Angel I actually much prefer the character and the relationship – enough brooding and doom already. The initiative is maybe not the most exciting of arcs ever, but it made a change from Big Bad Demon of the year.

The season also features two of my all-time-favourite episodes – Hush and Restless, some hilarious moments in Superstar and almost any time Anya is on screen and makes me cry every time I see Oz leave.

DVD Special Features
A nice collection of commentaries. Joss’ commentaries on Hush and Restless are fascinating, expanding hugely on their themes and implications. Doug Petrie is greatly entertaining in hers and throughout they rarely degenerate into “everyone was wonderful”. The season overview was interesting as ever – although there was a notable lack of cast members. The other mini-features were also informative, I particularly liked the one on the music which actually managed to tell me stuff I didn’t already know. My niggles would be that I really hate the teeny music snippets on the menu, I couldn’t find any way to actually switch a commentary off and the scripts are pretty terrible to read in the format of 8 lines per page.

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