A to Z: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

So.  Buffy.

Alright, first let me get some housekeeping thoughts out of the way, which are: Yeah, it's a show about vampires and monsters and demons, many of whom are wearing some of the most ridiculously campy costumes I've ever seen.  I know.  I thought it would be stupid too.  That's why I didn't watch it while it was actually on TV, depriving me of the opportunity to interact in Real Time with one of the largest fandoms on the net.  (Did you know that the TV Tropes Wiki actually started as a Buffy site?)  (WARNING: don't click that link if you value your time.)  And yes, I am aware that there are certainly some problematic notions of femininity, relationships, and sexuality contained in the show's writing.  Joss Whedon is a Nice Guy(TM), and he tends to tell his stories - even the ones with a strong female lead - in a way that encourages/forgives Nice Guy Syndrome.

I don't overlook or apologize for that in my watching of the show.  But there are so many things - SO many things - that work, that I still absolutely maintain that it's a show worth watching.

I mostly love this show because Buffy is just such a kick-ass female character.  Yes, she's imperfect and impulsive and sometimes gets in way over her head.  She's also playful and hopeful and she argues with her friends and keeps secrets from her mom and falls for the wrong guy, over and over.  The thing about Buffy is, she can take care of herself, physically; that's not really an issue.  What the show really deals with is how she learns to take care of herself emotionally - how she comes to grow up.  And, in starts and stops and over the course of seven seasons, that's exactly what she does.

It's a classic coming of age story, with some supernatural stuff thrown in along the way.  (And would it be too hipster of me to say that Buffy did paranormal before paranormal was cool?)

Anyway.  When things are hard, and it would be easier to walk away - Buffy sucks it up and does what she has to do.  She gets shit done.  And I am a total sucker for girls who get shit done.

Also: there is a musical episode.  And despite the ridiculous costumes on some of them, there are also several genuinely frightening villains.  (The Gentlemen, anyone?)


Also, out lesbians on TV.  Who kiss.  And are in love.  On TV.  IN THE 90s.

And finally, if none of this has convinced you, I give you Buffy vs. Edward.

If that doesn't make you want to watch the show, I don't know what will.

One month.  26 posts.  A to Z.  (Don't know what I'm talking about?  Check out the Challenge here.)


  1. Hi! Sorry I missed the AtoZ kickoff yesterday -- I was out of town and got back late. But I wanted to be sure to repay the visit you made to my blog.

    I have to admit, I rarely watched Buffy when it was on, simply because I wasn't watching much TV in general. Given your post, I think I should rent some DVDs and get caught up, LOL!

    1. You definitely should! Let me know what you think if you do. :)

  2. There isn't enough Buffy love in the world. It's one of my favorite shows. EVER.

    I tried watching when it first aired, but life took over, so I picked it up again when it started coming out on DVD. LOVE them. :)

    Thanks for spreading the Buffy love!

  3. Man, I loved this show--still do. I used to watch it with my daughter, even though she was a bit young for it, because I figured a dose of Buffy might counteract the vapid heroines on most of the other TV shows of the time. (She's still a huge Buffy fan, by the way, and a very strong young woman in her own right, so I'm pretty sure I didn't scar her for life.)

    That musical episode was one of my favourites. One among MANY.

    Thanks for the memories!

    1. Oh, I love that you watched it with your daughter. :) I sort of feel like all the Buffy fans should get together and have virtual viewings or something. I know I'm due for a re-watching...

  4. Aww. Buffy. My first ever fandom/tv show that I fell in love with! I adored it completely. Still do, even of it feels so very 1990s now! I remember how after the show I would phone up my friend and we would talk for ages about the episode! :D Good times, good memories!

  5. What's cool about Buffy (besides everything you listed) is despite a limited budget, the show makes the most of its special effects, which were pretty decent for the time. "Hush" actually still looks great 10 years later. I bring this up when people gush about how awesome Dr. Who is - those early reboot episodes from 2005-2006 are downright EMBARASSING.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm now a follower for your blog too!

  6. I like everything you wrote, except that part about keeping secrets from her mother. :)