Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Season 5

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar
20th Century Fox

RRP: £79.99

Certificate: 15
Available now

Series five brings on another dark series for the Buffy cast. Yet another change in direction sees them begin the maturing process both in terms of characterisation and content. Episodes like The Body provide the whole cast with ample opportunity to shine in their roles, while the script manages a tight balance between heavy emotion and maintaining characterisation. One of the downsides to this series is this darkness however. Look back to series one and two and by the end of an episode you'd have a grin on your face and think that life was great. Now you're pretty much on the verge of crying! Hats off to both the writers and actors though, as it really shows what they are capable of.

After the mediocrity of season four, season five sees a move of improvement in storyline and humour, which will eventually lead to the still dark season six, but with that spark back into each episode. Whilst adopting a much darker tone and focussing much more on drama this time round, this season is incredibly strong. The ambitious main storyline is successful due to the great writing and acting.

Instead of being about teen problems, this season starts to focus on the Scoobies as grown ups (after all, they're in their 20s now). Sarah Michelle Gellar is as brilliant as ever, effortlessly portraying the entire range of human emotions. (She suffers a lot this season). Alyson Hannigan is still excellent as Willow and Nick Brendon and Tony Head get much more on-screen time - great for Xander and Giles fans. Also pleasing are some good character developments for newcomer Tara (Amber Benson) and eventfully the removal of Riley (everyone cheer!). Also there is the introduction of Dawn, the most annoying character on the planet, however give Trachtenburg credit - she pulls off an annoying teenager perfectly!

While there are a few poor episodes, the gems outweigh them. The Replacement, No Place Like Home, Triangle, The Body, and The Gift are all masterpieces in their own right.

If you're a Buffy fan, you NEED this. Buy it and remind yourself why Buffy leaves every other TV show in its dust.

Keri Allan

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