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.)