Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hulu Plus Buffy

I was delighted to find out last night that Hulu is offering one free week of their Hulu Plus programming to U.S. viewers, where all seasons of their TV shows are available for viewing. After that, it costs $7.99 per month to continue the service. As usual, we're required to enter credit card information before we sign up for the free service.

My understanding is that viewers who had already been paying $9.99/month will be credited for their $2.00 monthly differentials in the next billing cycle, and will also be credited for one free week of service. Hulu posted a lot of good additional information in this blog post.

I don't have time to look this up today, but I think I found in my online travels last night that if you previously paid some sort of Sony PS3 monthly network charge, the fee is waived if you subscribe to Hulu Plus. (The above-referenced Hulu blog post says "All PlayStation 3 owners with a PlayStation Network account, which is free, can download the Hulu Plus application".) Regardless, it's worth looking into if you have a PS3 system.

After doing a little bit of due diligence where I determined that it appears we can cancel at any time, I decided to take the plunge. My original intention was to see if it would be possible to cancel before I get hit for the monthly charge, but I might go ahead and decide to keep Hulu Plus around for a while. In the meantime I'll give updates about their actual billing practices.

Naturally the first thing I wanted to see was a new (for me) Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. (I've only seen Seasons 1 -3 and the second episode from Season 4.) The episode I immediately chose was Season 5's "Fool for Love", since I'd always been intrigued by what I'd read about Spike comforting Buffy while she was crying on the back steps of her house. What a goldmine the episode turned out to be since it hits on key themes regarding Spike's human background, and also his early relationships with Angelus and Drusilla. This Buffy episode will be invaluable to me when I resume my Angel "reviews", since my next real post will be about Season 5 of Angel's "Destiny".

"Fool for Love" also keyed in on some twin subject matters I've been wondering about for a long time: what mistakes do Slayers make when they get killed, and what qualities did Spike have that allowed him to kill two Slayers? I wish I had time to get into it more, but, judging from the flashbacks, to me it looked like the Slayers were more keyed into the fight than the kill. Spike, of course, had this famous piece of dialogue where he informed Buffy,
Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp. That look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer... has a death wish.

Even you.

The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world... your mum, your brat kid sister, the Scoobies. They all tie you here but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it. And the second- the second- that happens...
From where I'm sitting, Buffy the Vampire Slayer consisted of two distinct TV series: Buffy at Sunnydale High School in Seasons 1 -3, and Buffy post-Sunnydale High in Seasons 4 -7. My first impressions are that the Buffy episodes at Sunnydale High were highly entertaining, while it was more challenging to sit through the later seasons. I'm also thinking that James Marsters could act circles around just about everyone else in the Buffyverse, and his character Spike was the sole reason the series continued on as long as it did. I am certainly looking forward to finding out if I'm right or wrong.

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