To say that I didn’t deal well with finishing Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be a bit of an understatement. The day after I finished I sat around and moped for a while before landing back in front of my TV to rewatch some favorite episodes. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the things I love about the series including the character growth, the foreshadowing, and the balance of the fun and the serious. There were things I didn’t like about it too, and we’ll get to those as well.
As a whole I am completely blown away. Buffy manages to be everything all at once. It’s clearly supernatural/fantasy, but at the same time there is so much depth. So many of the larger themes that characters deal with are universal, or at least relatable. Buffy is a dynamic television show, a tasting palette if you will, of everything a supernatural/fantasy show can be. Should be. In some ways I don’t even know where to begin. So, in true Maria Von Trapp fashion, let’s start at the beginning. My beginning at least.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer began in 1997 when I was 5. I’m sorry to have made any of you feel old, but it’s true. My first contact with the series was the day before The WB died in 2006. I was 15. I remember the day well. It was a Saturday and for whatever reason my parents were out so my sister and I watched “City Of”, the pilot of Angel, then “Welcome to the Hellmouth” and “The Harvest,” the two part premiere of Buffy (I don’t know why they were flipped, but they were).
Since then, and even before then if I’m being honest, I have always known with a part of my brain that I would need to watch the series in it’s entirety. I watched bits and pieces of the series when I could, trying to watch them in order. Until the past year or so I hadn’t been watching episodes regularly, so there had always been more to watch.
Since there was always more, when a character would die or bad things would happen I would cry a bit and then click through to the next episode. For years I had been ‘working through Buffy,’ and suddenly I’m not. Perhaps it’s the urgency with which I finished the final season that stung. Or the thought that there HAS to be more (which logically my mind know is true, Angel, Comics, Novels). But not having more Buffy to watch is a bit of strange feeling.
Because I remember Buffy starting school in Sunnydale, meeting Xander and Willow for the first time and how she tried to refuse Slayer duties. Like she could ever not be the chosen one. Like Giles would let her. I remember the high school years fraught with crushes on Angel and the weird relationship that was Xander and Cordelia. Willow and Oz. I remember Ms. Calendar and Angelus killing her. I remember Spike’s entrance and Drucilla’s dollies. The Mayor. I remember when Kendra died and how Faith showed up. Five by Five. I can remember UC Sunnydale and Riley. Biley, ugh. I remember how Joyce got sick and Dawn appeared out of nowhere. I remember Glory and Ben. I remember Giles killing Ben, even when Buffy couldn’t. I remember him leaving when Buffy died and the little alien monster that Tara gave to him. Grr, Argh. I remember her being resurrected. “Dawn’s in trouble. It must be Tuesday.” I remember Dark Willow and how Anya was helping even after Xander left her at the alter. I remember Giles coming back. Again. And the potentials. If I remember the final battle, then it can’t possibly die. It will always be a part of me, real as anything else in the world. If I can remember then it must still exist.
In the next few weeks, as am traveling, I have scheduled posts about Buffy, because there’s no way one could possibly do it justice. Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer? What do you think about it? If you haven’t, what are your reservations about the series?
Next in my Buffy rants, Fun vs. Serious.