Picks and Pans Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

updated 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

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All in all, was resurrection worth it?

Monster-masher Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was killed in 2001 at the end of her fifth season on The WB. She returned to the world—feeling depressed—a few months later when the show switched to UPN. Now, with the grand series finale set for May 20, even cultists have to ponder whether the show overstayed its time.

Not that Buffy has lost the sense of humor that makes it worth watching. The May 13 episode finds Buffy and rival slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku) reflecting somberly on their difficult relationship, until Faith lightens the mood with "Thank God we're hot chicks with superpowers." Some of the jokes, though, only underscore the show's played-out feeling. "If you die, I'll just bring you back to life," Buffy's pal Xander (Nicholas Brendon) assures her, trying wanly to sound chipper since a fiend gouged out his left eye in an April scene of unnecessary gore. A corps of novice slayers has been running around lately like refugees from MTV's Sorority Life, but the newbies haven't cured the series' inevitable case of tired blood. The bell tolls for Buffy, so let it go.

BOTTOM LINE: A good run but too long

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