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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

"Buffy" Tv Series Cast - 2008 Paley Center Event DVD - Filmsnobbery.com Review

Thursday 7 May 2009, by Webmaster

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) superfans, present company included, REJOICE!!! The DVD you have all been waiting for has arrived. The Paley Center for Media, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, released this DVD in March 2009. The reunion itself officially occurred on March 20, 2008 and features the following Buffy alumni: Amber Benson, Nicholas Brendon, Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seth Green, David Greenwalt (executive producer), James Marsters, Marti Noxon (executive producer), Michelle Trachtenburg, and Joss Whedon(creator). Noticeably absent from the panel were: Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Stewart Head, and David Boreanaz. They were sorely missed! Not attending was like missing your 10year high school reunion! If you ever find out the reason for their absence, please post a comment here.

This DVD was originally released as a Best Buy exclusive promotional disc in October 2008, with no bonus features. The bonus features on the PaleyFest version amounts to little more than fluff material. The most noteworthy bonus feature includes a Paleyfest promotional ad featuring actors Kim Cattrall, Ted Danson, and Mariska Hargitay. The rest of the features are a skimpy, but high resolution photo gallery, with only 16 pictures. The backstage feature amounts to little more than our favorites smiling for the press with incessant flashes going off and a lot of inaudible dialogue. Considering the Paley Center took a full year in releasing this disc, the bonus features are a real letdown.

The panel discussion on the disc was mostly enjoyable. The panel is preceded by the Paley Center executive director, TV Guide’s senior critic Matt Roush, and Executive producer Marti Noxon. This feature can be viewed separately from the rest of the panel. The evening’s event began with a big screen presentation of Buffy’s Season 6 musical episode “Once More, with Feeling”. This presentation was noticeably absent from this release. The musical episode would have been an outstanding bonus feature. Is that too much to ask in this day and age of virtually charging for every bit of added content?

As for the panel discussion, the discussion of the show was mostly educational and included a dialogue related to some of Buffy’s most notable episodes. TV Guide’s Matt Roush, an avid Buffy fan since 1997, does an outstanding job in leading the discussion. This was a Herculean task considering Nicholas Brendon and Seth Green periodically interrupted other panelists with jokes. One must begin to wonder if Brendon and Green drank a case of Red Bull together before taking the stage. Unfortunately, in a 75-minute time format, this siphoned away a lot of time from the other Buffy alumni in responding to Matt Roush’s questions. I was hoping to see a more serious discussion of the show, as time was precious. Kudos to Joss Whedon, James Marsters, Amber Benson, and others for trying to stay on topic. It was disheartening that Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfied, and David Greenwalt weren’t in a position to say more about their participation on the show.

The panel was best when discussing Buffy’s Season 4 silent episode “Hush”. Joss Whedon, a living genius, discusses how he had to dig deep to perform this genre breaking episode. Also, Sarah Michelle Gellar, shares insights into how challenging doing a silent episode being out of the comfort zone. The panelists also provided major insight into filming Season 5’s episode “The Body”. As the fans know, Buffy’s mother died in this episode from a brain disease. The panel seemed to most cherish their participation in Season 6’s musical episode “Once More, with Feeling”. Several cast members expressed their fear over singing on the show for the first time. As we fans know, it worked out great. The fan consensus has always been Tara Maclay, played by the fabulous actress and author Amber Benson, gave the best vocal performance on the episode. I wish that was mentioned in the panel discussion.

The final portion of the panel discussion consisted of an audience question and answer session. This session started out as a “train wreck in slow motion”. The first fan asked each cast member to tell what is on their IPOD and also what is their favorite movie. What resulted was an exercise in time suckage. Note to Paley Center for Media: Please advise audience participants to limit their questions to ones relevant to the show at hand. Also, audience members would do well to ask questions rather than relate personal anecdotes or tell the actors how “amazing they are” multiple times. Other audience members asked some quality questions such as “what happened to Oz’s storyline” or “why didn’t Tara Maclay make another appearance on the show”? Good to know there are people out there who don’t always throw softball questions!

Final thoughts on this DVD are it is a must buy for serious Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. Purchasing the DVD, at http://www.paleycenter.org/shop or www.amazon.com Keyword: Paleyfest, will greatly assist the Paley Center in bringing together their annual panel of great entertainment stars of TV and movies. Now we can also hope for a Buffy big screen movie. As Joss Whedon said during the panel, “a lot of stars would have to align for that to happen”! Joss does mention if things line up correctly, he would let other projects drop by the wayside to do a Buffy movie. Then we superfans can really REJOICE and watch our favorite Buffy stars in action once more!