Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike - Love Is Hell [DVD]

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    Special Features

    • "Spike": Character profile featurette


    By the time its abbreviated first season ran its course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had captured the zeitgeist despite its modest ratings. With a fully formed aesthetic and a small but demographically admirable audience, the show entered what many fans and critics consider its golden age. On the villain front, hell-raising vampires Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) arrived to shake Sunnydale up. Their twisted, Sid and Nancy-esque devotion to one another added depth and nuance to the show's moral compass. It also provided counterpoint to the fever-pitch romance between Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and tormented vampire Angel (David Boreanaz). Watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), too, found love, in the arms of cyber-pagan Jenny Calendar (Robia La Morte), while Willow (Alyson Hannigan) began dating laconic, guitar-playing werewolf Oz (Seth Green). As for nice-guy Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and haughty beauty Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), they ended up, against all odds, in one another's arms. While the profusion of often star-crossed romance drove the show's emotional dynamics, it also supplied sudden shifts of allegiance and the death of a major character. In the two-parter "Surprise" and "Innocence" (aired on consecutive nights as a promotional stunt marking the show's move from Mondays to Tuesdays), Buffy and Angel finally consummated their love -- with unexpectedly disastrous results. A pesky gypsy curse and a moment of true happiness were all it took to turn Angel back into a killing machine. As the actors played out momentous story lines in a keener emotional register, new depths were revealed behind the scenes as well. Future show-runner Marti Noxon joined the writing staff and quickly became a key player, while series creator Joss Whedon wrote and directed several landmark episodes. Continuity buffs relished the revelation that Buffy's momentary death the previous season had triggered the emergence of another slayer. The brief but memorable career of Kendra the Vampire Slayer (Bianca Lawson) underscored the constant danger of Buffy's calling. Ultimately, though, it was the Slayer's lover-turned-nemesis whose seeming demise brought the season to a shattering close. ~ Brian J. Dillard

    Cast & Crew

    • Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy Summers
    • Nicholas Brendon - Xander Harris
    • Alyson Hannigan - Willow Rosenberg
    • Charisma Carpenter - Cordelia Chase
    • Anthony Head - Rupert Giles
    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.