OK, let me say first off that I’m not going to be posting a review of every Buffy episode superplin and I happen to watch. And they aren’t going to be particularly deep and in-depth unless something interesting spontaneously bites me in the ass. As much as I’ve always toyed with the idea of doing reviews of BtVS episodes like I did for AtS episodes, there are a bit more BtVS episodes than AtS episodes, and I don’t have the same level of fandom energy I did after they *cancelled my show right from under me*.
Second off, I suppose some of my flist will be wondering why I don’t get a new theme (i.e., fandom), but as superplin put it so well last night, “I’m not a fannish person in search of a show, I’m a one-show fan.” Well, in my case, a one-‘verse fan, since there were two shows and I loved both. I have deeply loved many TV shows/book series/film series over the years, but turning that appreciation into a social thing, i.e., joining “fandom” is a step beyond that and I’m really not the type. BtVS/AtS was unique in that way, for me.
Third off, I told my origin story on the podcast and in this blog before, so I’ll skip that bit.
Now on to my short, but sweet, review:
OK, I lied. There is one aspect of my origin story I wanted to talk about, because Plin was bringing up reasons why we were drawn to the show, and I remember thinking when she asked that, “What I felt about the show was so strong, and so intangible. I don’t think I can articulate it.” But I’ll try. Shortly after the two-part premiere of BtVS aired in March of 1997, I went on an on-campus interview at the University of Nebraska Omaha. I was in my hotel room the night before my big day surfing cable TV for something to watch when I came across a re-play of the two-parter. I was thrilled. I’d seen it before at home, and I realized in that couple hours of rewatching that this new show really hit the spot of craving I had had for the supernatural painted on a broad canvas in a nevertheless intimate, accessible way. You had likable characters living a life that was completely recognizable to the average (white, middle class American) person, and yet the show promised to explore all the supernatural tropes (vampires! demons! witches! superheroes!) I loved that were most assuredly not a normal part of that everyday life in the real world. It made it easy and fun to imagine that they were, though, because they were on Buffy. It was dark and Gothic and yet at the same time funny and non-nihilistic. In short, it was Very Cool.
And there were other things that hit my “kinks” as we say nowadays: the fact that Buffy had to keep her identity a secret, the fact that she was a bit of a social outcast and had social outcast friends to share her life, the fact that the supernatural was unknown to the population at large, a mysterious stranger who was both helpful and yet seemed dangerous, and a strong, kick-ass female character (who also happened to be the lead).
There had been nothing on television quite like it, and though it would have many imitators subsequently, none of them quite matched up.