Buffy the Vampire Slayer : season 4 review


22 50 minute episodes

SF elements

teen vampires


I was concerned BtVS couldn't keep up the standard of the incredible season 3. Well, season 4 isn't as good -- but it is still good!

Some of the slight weakness is caused by the exit of Angel (now spun off into his own series , with some good crossover episodes) and his replacement as love interest by the much less interesting Riley (but, realistically, who could be as interesting as a brooding, tortured, 200 year old cursed vampire?), by the introduction of The Initiative as the seemingly inevitable Secret Government Plot, and by the move from "vampires as metaphor for high school angst" to a not quite as clear metaphor at university.

However, not all these things are what they initially seem, and Spike at least adds a needed touch of acid -- the writers have resisted the temptation to make him "good". So, despite a slight lack of focus and a few weak episodes, there are some very strong ones (in particular, Hush and Who Are You? ), some funny ones (especially Superstar ), and quite a few twists and turns to keep you guessing, as the characters develop off in new directions.

I'm off to start watching season 5...

Rating: 2.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 18 June 2001