I'm trying to make a new Buffy fan here at work.
Joanne said she was never interested in Buffy for the same reasons she was never interested in Star Trek. I said it was in some ways more like Twin Peaks (which she liked) than Star Trek--story arcs that take up the entire season, characters living both in a real world we recognize and a shadow world, and a visual style.
I talked her into trying a four- or five-episode arc.
So this morning I gave her the Season 2 box with this note of instruction:
Buffy: The Buffy-Angelus chapter
A five-episode arc (with an optional sixth)
* Surprise (episode 13; disc 4, ep 1)
* Innocence (episode 14; disc 4, ep 2)
* Passion (episode 17; disc 5, ep 1)
* (optional) I Only Have Eyes for You (episode 19; disc 5,
* Becoming, part 1 (episode 21, disc 6, ep 1)
* Becoming, part 2 (episode 22, disc 6, ep 2)
Backstory: The relationships between Buffy and Angel and between Giles and Jenny have been developing slowly over the past two years. Everything else you need to know is revealed in the first 10 minutes of "Surprise."
"To me, Buffy was a real girl. These were metaphors for real demons. This was about how, in high school, the demons of high school literally become these monsters." --Sarah Michelle Gellar
[SPOILER ALERT!]This is the Buffy-birthday, Angel turns evil, the Scoobies kill the Judge, Angel stalks Buffy and kills Jenny Calendar, Angel becomes a vampire flashback, Angel is saved and Buffy has to kill him storyline (the optional ep is where they're possessed by the ghosts of the teacher and student lovers). It's great soap opera, Harlan Ellison's "human heart in conflict with itself" definition of drama, and the arc that converted me from liking the series to being a "true fan."
Use as directed. Thank us later.
(As always, mad props to GH for passing this along and for keeping the fire burning!! And, for the record, the optional "I Only Have Eyes for You" episode is one of my personal favorites evuh.)