Ok, fine, I admit it… I was completely wrong about Buffy The Vampire Slayer

People always looked at me sideways when I said didn’t like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“Wait, you like Joss Whedon though.”
“Like him? The man’s a genius.”
“You like Firefly, right?”
“Love it! Have I shown you my model of Serenity?”
“And you’ve got that whole Alyson Hannigan thing going on.”
“Boy, do I! Let me show that model of Sere…”
“No one cares. Why don’t you like Buffy?”

That was me six weeks ago. Today, having just finished the seventh and final season, I’m happy to grovel and gorge on that humble pie. In fact, throw in a side of crow and an extra helping of ‘my words’ please.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is required viewing.

A few months ago I bought Mrs. Beardman the boxset for a birthday. We weren’t really hooked on anything in particular and she recommended we watch it at some point. Her exact words were “I think I remember enjoying it”. Well what are we waiting for baby! We’ll feed the cats another day, put that thing on!

I can’t remember why I let it pass me by the first time around. I knew the basic idea. I knew it was about vampires being slain, I knew there was a spinoff series, Angel, and I had some odd idea that Billy Idol was in it but I had no idea it was this good.

It’s brilliant. It’s utterly brilliant. Even to begin with (the first series is arguably the weakest) Buffy is witty, creepy and weird in all the right ways. The first series, like an opening scene in a film, perfectly establishes the tone of what’s to come and it introduces the characters.

All of the strengths of the show; the writing, the dialogue, the direction, the awful quirky effects, all of it is redundant without characters you can fall in love with and Buffy has them. Buffy, Giles, Willow, Spike and my beloved Xander (who I like to believe was based on me somehow) these are some of the most beautifully written characters I’ve seen on television. You buy everything in the show because you buy them. At the end of season six when a distraught Willow collapses into Xander’s arms you’re heartbroken because they’re heartbroken.

But the quality of the characters reflects the writing of the show in general. Any television series worth it’s salt will use it’s characters and stories to address various themes. Even fantasy shows like Buffy can address human trials and tribulations. Love, death, betrayal, loss, fear, all the things that make us human and define us. This is the real meat of the program and this is what the characters face… as well as weird snake monster things…. and a particularly awful robot.

And the cast? Sublime. There isn’t a weak link in the bunch. The young cast embody their roles. They may start as archetypes, but they grow into this wonderful ensemble of heroes. Sarah Michelle Gellar changes so much through the course of the show’s seven seasons she is nearly unrecognisable by the end. Initially Buffy is cocky and ditzy and that’s about it. But she turns into a deep, frankly damaged, hero. She makes terrible mistakes and pays dearly for them. There’s an old saying that if a Joss Whedon character is happy they must be immediately punished. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a lot of fun but being the slayer is murder. She, along with her friends, is battered and hammered relentlessly and Gellar sells that slow difficult transformation from young girl to battle hardened warrior.

The whole cast is magnificent. I honestly don’t think there was an episode where Nicholas Brendan didn’t deliver at least one Xander line that killed me. Alyson Hannigan is adorable as Willow, but gets to unleash a terrifying darkness in one of the most memorable arcs. James Marsters’ Spike is a fanged Johnny Rotten and while some disliked his arc it feels natural. Marsters had to be frightening, funny and deadly serious and some how he managed it all at once.

Also…

Best. Watcher. Ever.

There are lows (a few episodes fall on their face) but the highs are dizzying. Season Four’s Hush, features arguably the scariest beasties ever conceived; The Gentlemen. These ghoulish creatures steal the voices form every person in the town and begin cutting out people’s hearts. For 27 minutes Hush features no dialogue, an inconceivable notion for a mainstream, prime time hour of television but the effect is incredible.

Pictured: The Gentlemen
Not Pictured: My Soiled Underpants

Whedon would challenge himself again in the musical episode Once More with Feeling. This is another example of just how willing this team was take risks to keep the show fresh and interesting. While the result was a critically acclaimed episode, James Marsters later revealed the cast weren’t particularly optimistic saying “It’s obvious now that they were good songs but the thing was Joss and his wife Kai, they don’t sing very well. And they don’t play piano very well. The songs sounded really cheesy and horrible… We were saying, “Joss, you’re ruining our careers.””

But even those examples are over shadowed by the Season five episode The Body.

I wish someone would have Clockwork Orange’d me to a television and shown me The Body years ago. It’s the best single episode of television I have ever seen. It’s a bold, bleak and shockingly honest look at death. There is no music, it’s deliberately slow and for most of the episode characters sit, as you do when in mourning, in silence. It’s breathtaking.

Today television is bursting at the seams with serialized genre shows, but back when Buffy was starting that format was seen as experimental. The X-Files, the closest show like it at the time, was in swing at the time, but a fantasy show, with series long arcs and ‘big bads’ (Buffy coined that term) was not the norm. Some individual episodes were groundbreaking but the series as a whole was hugely influential on what television looks like now. It’s sort of like listening to The Beatles and hearing where all your favourite bands came from.

So here’s my coming clean. I loved Buffy, I miss Buffy. I hate Twilight that little bit more now because Joss Whedon wiped the floor with that series years before it was even written. I have a birthday coming up and have developed a cough that sounds a lot like *Angel*. I want more, I’ll probably buy the comics that continued the story. I might die my hair blonde and adopt a London accent. Time to make room on the shelf the figurines won’t buy themselves.

Posted on July 31, 2012, in Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 78 Comments.

  1. Interesting. I may have to give it a shot. The best episode of tv ever? Uh, final episode of Lost?

    • It doesn’t compare mate. It’s amazing. The Lost finale made me cry for a whole different reason.

    • The final episode of Lost was like the final episode of The Sopranos, except it had a narrative ending. After it’s done, one’s natural response is still “…WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!?” Lost’s strongest episodes were in its first three seasons. Once it got that three-season-48-episode deal with ABC, it just went downhill.

      • Thanks for reading! You are 100% correct on the lost front! I feel a lost article brewing…

    • Great article – I watched buffy when it first aired and am now re-watching the box set with my 11 year old son. It is, if anything, better than I remember. As to ‘The Body’ I can safely say it is the best episode of TV ever (and I am comparing to things like ‘Edge of Darkness’ and ‘Smiley’s People’ with Alec Guinness). I have seen this episode maybe half a dozen times and I never fail to cry like a little baby.

      • Thank you. It’s just jaw dropping, in conception and execution. Most of the best episodes were directed by Joss but he completely knocked it out of the park on that one. You could watch it as a standalone short film even. Just stunning. Thanks for reading!

      • The LOST ending was kind of inevitable when I look back. They simply wrote themselves too many loose ends without planning out the answer to the mysteries first. Had they gone the other way of ‘solving’ everything, the Oceanic survivors would have been reduced to mere puppets in the narrative while other people explained what was going on. It was a lose-lose situation.

        Of course, if they’d have started the revelations back when they were given an end date instead of wasting time still…

  2. Sorry, I never could get into it; it’s so cheesy, and I really have to take issue when you say these people are great actors (maybe in a high school play sort of way)…
    Personally and emotionally I prefer “ALIAS”…The ensemble cast of Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Ron Rifkin, Michael Vartan, etc. eats Gellar,et.al., for lunch, and I’d much rather look at Vartan than Brendan or Boreanaz…
    Sorry, Buff, I’m just not into you…

    • Cheers for reading. Initially the gang are all very one dimensional but I’d still argue that they each improve dramatically over the course of the show. I’ll do you a deal. If you give it another go, I’ll give Alias a shot ;)

    • I watched both Buffy and Alias back in the day. True, they were aiming for entirely different audiences (I don’t recall the Buffy glamour-shot every time she threw on a new outfit), but Alias just lost its way so badly.

      I admired its choices, especially to change the game so early on in the series (a move which would be echoed by Nikita years later), but it got too soap opera-y, what with evil doppelgängers, mysterious artefacts and laser-guided amnesia. I got the sense they were going more for wham episodes than making-sense episodes after a while.

      Buffy had its weak moments (that stupid Go Fish episode for one) and in truth I prefer Angel, but it ran the emotional gambit, took risks, forged tremendously strong connections between viewer and characters and had the best dialogue on TV. So I wouldn’t change it for the world.

      • Laser guided amnesia sound awesome!

      • Even the worst episodes of Buffy had their moments.

        Go Fish? Young Nick Brennan in a Speedo…..

      • Yeah I’m happily married but even I swooned at that.

      • Completely agree with you. I loved the first 2 seasons of Alias, but it quickly became obvious that the writers had no idea where they were taking this great idea. Each Rambaldi device did nothing but lead to another Rambaldi device, which then led to another Rambaldi device… yawn. It became such an embarrassing mess, I didn’t even watch the last season.

        Whedon was always writing Buffy at least a season ahead, so he always knew where it was going (roughly). I think that helped immensely. But I’ll admit, Alias never even compared to Buffy for me. The writing was so self-serious; there was very little wit, and I don’t think any episode had the emotional impact of something like The Body. It also never made me laugh hysterically, as I did through Dopplegangland or The Zeppo. It never scared me the way Hush did. Different tastes, but I like that I could never peg Buffy down because it was too many genres in one.

      • Speaking of scaring, I honestly lost sleep after seeing The Gnarl. That was horrible!!!!!

    • Alias > Buffy? In what universe? Alias had a great cast but the acting in Buffy was far superior. How can you watch the Body or, well, all of season two especially and make that argument? I seriously doubt you gave Buffy much of a chance. Alias had some great moments (like Phase One, probably the only episode I’d label as groundbreaking, and Buffy quality) but it usually sagged and it never once made me feel emotional while many Buffy episodes could have me in tears. Also, I have never hated a series finale more than I hated Alias’s. Practically all my favorite characters were screwed over and I felt disturbingly apathetic about the part that was a little “happily ever after”.

  3. did deadgeek say he’d give it a shot? wow! this almost makes me wish i was back to work. almost.

  4. I had a similar experience two years ago. I was Alice falling down the rabbit hole and consumed the whole series in less than two months. And I say “go” with the figurines. They make a rocking nativity scene!

  5. Hush and The Body are absolutely worthy of this recognition. Restless is another great episode that breaks the typical structure and goes to a much richer place. I have to mention Becoming Part II and The Gift as the best season finales I’ve ever seen on any TV program. I’m glad you gave Buffy another chance!

    • I’m glad too! The Gift is another stand out, though for some reason I knew everything that was going to happen. A lot of the big beats of the show I knew, I guess from hearing about it at the time. Thanks again for reading!

  6. “serialized genre” was started Babylon 5 which predated Buffy. Not that I liked B5, but credit where due.

    • Duly noted. I have a friend who is a huge XFiles fan and he’d have murdered me if I didn’t squeeze that in their. I completely forgot about Babylon 5. I suppose Star Trek counts as well.

      • Timothy Collett

        Actually…no. Star Trek was about as episodic as shows came. Babylon 5 was really the first show with a serious plot arc. Deep Space Nine immediately saw the light and began doing essentially the same thing (to great effect), but IIRC, B5 was at least written/created/pitched first.

      • You know, I’m watching X-Files for the first time with my husband, who was a huge fan when it was on (I had seen a couple of episodes here and there, but never watched steadily). It doesn’t really live up to the hype for me. My hubby has even said to me several times, “I really remember this being better.” It’s not a bad show by any stretch, but it’s much more episodic than I thought – there’s very little through line at all (at least, so far. We’ve made it through 2 seasons). And David Duchovny is a terrible actor. Holy balls, how did I never see it before? He’s awful. I feel sorry for Gillian Anderson having to try to respond to his wooden reactions. I think it also suffers because of the astonishing TV we’ve had since (The Wire, Deadwood, Lost – some of the time anyway, Breaking Bad, BSG, Mad Men, Fringe – and yes, I count Buffy in this mix, but I’m a biased fangirl).

        I get the same vibe from Twin Peaks, which I should love in every way (I’m a horror FANATIC and love weird, unpredictable narratives). Instead when I watch it, I think, “I can see why this was so influential. I think I’ll go watch one of the shows it influenced.” I know it’s Lynch and no one else does weird like he does (I’ll admit, I LOVE the freaky dream sequences), and it’s a show I feel guilty for not loving, but I think it’s one that is remembered as better than it is just because it was SO different from anything else on TV at the time. I get the feeling that’s a little bit what is going on for me with The X-Files too.

        Rant over. Sorry for babbling!

      • Babble and rant away my friend, we love everyone’s thought here!

  7. I’d definitely recommend watching Angel now, because – whisper it quietly – it’s arguably better.

  8. I Just have to say I was joking about the final Lost episode! Just so you dont think I’m a complete idiot!

  9. Jessica LeAnne

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I literally wrote my own post about this same topic a month or so ago. Everyone thought I was crazy for not loving it since it was “right up my alley.” So, to finally shut them up, I started watching. Season one was miserable. Season two was passable. Season three was enjoyable. By season four, I was completely hooked. What blew me out of the water, though, was how much the show grew in the last three seasons. Most people I talk to enjoyed the monster-of-the-week formatting that the first few seasons used. But I love the more experimental and ground-breaking risks that the last three took.

    Angel, though, was difficult to watch. I hated his character with a passion, even on Buffy. I don’t understand how Angel got his own show and Spike didn’t. Definitely watch Angel just to say that you did it, but season four is miserable (if you hated Dawn’s character in Buffy, season four will drive you insane). The one redeeming quality about Angel is season five. It takes on the more creative qualities that the last half of Buffy used. Also, Amy Acker’s plot arc is mind-blowing. Hers is arguably one of the best plot arcs in the entirety of the Buffyverse.

    Anyways, it looks like you’ll have to start reading the comics. Good stuff!

    • Thanks for reading and the Angel prep. I keep hearing that Connor is a nightmare? But say no more. I know nothing Angel, whereas I was aware of some of the big Buffy moments.

      I’m totally getting the comics. What kind of nerd would I be if I didn’t?

      • Jessica LeAnne

        They’re making four library editions containing all 40 installations of chapter 8. But the first one is the only one that has been released so far. Otherwise, you have to each of the episodes separately. Just a heads up.

      • That’s brilliant cheers. I’ll keep an eye out.

      • Don’t read the comics until you finish watching AtS S5 and also read Angel After the Fall comics series first – because it takes place before Buffy S8 comics start. The comics make little sense – especially later volumes without watching Angel and reading its canonical continuation.

  10. Well if you don’t like Angel the character, you’ll naturally have problems with Angel, but otherwise, it is a great companion series to Buffy, and in its last season as good as Buffy at its best-which is to say, damn near perfect.

  11. Welcome to gang, fellow Scoobie! BtVS is some of the best TV ever. When I tell people that they typically give me staggeringly distrustful reactions. They are also typically people who have never watched multiple seasons (thru season 4 is enough to completely hook anyone). The Buffy writers (if you’re a fan of exceptional story telling the BtVS writers were phenomenal and are STILL doing great work – Whedon, Noxon, Espenson, DeKnight, Greenwalt, Fury, etc). Angel is a very good and contains several GREAT character story arcs, my favorite of which are Fred/Illyria and Wesley (what a FANTASTIC character evolution Wesley takes from bumbling idiot to dark, DARK sacrifice and heartbreak). The Buffy comics (S8 and S9) are not as good as the TV series, so if you’re expecting the same level of greatness, you’ll be disappointed. BUT… they are a good extension of the Buffy verse. The comics done while the series was airing are meant as additional stories – in canonical order – for which they couldn’t make a TV episode. If you really liked BtVS, B5 is worth the same effort. Londo Mollari has one of the best character arcs of all time.

  12. This review is fantastic, and you totally nailed it. I’ve re-watched Buffy every year since it aired (terrifyingly long ago) and it’s the best television show I’ve ever seen, keeping pretty much consistently awesome throughout the seven years. I weep like a baby watching it, especially the final episode.

    And oh boy, you are going to LOVE Angel. It’s funny and dark and so much more messed up in later seasons. Watch it and report back!! :)

    • Will do! I always heard that Angel was the “not quite as good” spinoff. From what you’re all saying that’s dead wrong. Thanks very much for reading.

      • Dead wrong? Not entirely. Angel goes off the rails with some character stories, most notably Cordelia and Connor. Some episodes left me asking WTF were the writers thinking?! To me it felt like they were trying a little too hard to put a twist in the plot. But it does recover somewhat in the last season. You can also look forward to Buffy making the occasional appearance in Angel as Angel’s story begins when he leaves Sunnydale at the same time as BtVS season 4. Also, there is a S9 comic called ‘Angel and Faith’ that is, arguably, more entertaining than S9 Buffy comic. Angel and Faith make an interesting story line because they’re both seeking redemption.

      • Absolutely Dead Wrong. Angel , IMHO, is a better tv series of the two verse -based series (especially if you stop and think how hard it is to get into BtVS S1 and compare it to AtS S1 ). And as Buffy declines into its post S3 chaotic misery sprinkled with a few now and then good episodes AtS rises in quality season by season to end up with Whedon’s best tv ever. And don’t get dragged into continuous Angel vs Spike fandom wars if you want to keep enjoyng both shows.

      • @deerinheadlighs: imh*O* = opinion -> can never be “absolutely dead wrong.” I can respect your opinion, but my opinion is that comparing S1 BtVS with S1 Angel (which I re-watched just last week) does not provide a measuring stick with which to compare the entirety of both shows. Why? Because BtVS S1 was the start of the entire verse and was not great (for the reasons BeardMan notes). Angel started 4 years LATER when the writers and the verse had well established, deep character development and story lines and is CLEARLY the better “first season” of the two.

      • I have no interest in denigrating Angel … it is a good show … by and large. But, for me, while it has some great individual episodes … it just doesn’t have the charm of Buffy, and while Angel arcs get a bit messy … and strange … Buffy arcs are tight, and are a compelling charting of Buffy’s growth from school-girl slayer to grown-up warrior-slayer.

      • Angel has its strengths and weaknesses. I think Season 4 of Angel is the worst season of either show, but Angel also has Fred who is my all-time favorite Whedon character. She has an excellent character arc and showcases some of the best acting on either show, imho. And Wesley has the best character arc I’ve ever seen outside a David Simon show (who, incidentally, thinks Buffy is the greatest show ever made), maybe the best period.

        Also Angel has Ben Edlund on the writing staff and he’s just awesome.

        I should add that I never watched Angel when it was on TV because I didn’t care for his character on Buffy, but the character grows quite a bit on his show and I regretted it. It really depends on my mood which one I think is better.

      • Im looking forward to getting an opinion on Angel. And Ben Edlund is phenomenal!

  13. The thing you need to know when starting Angel is, it takes awhile to get going. Late in season two it starts getting good and gets better as it goes so you have to kind of stick to it.
    I don’t think it’s better than Buffy, but I guess it depends on your personal taste.

  14. Nothing makes me smile harder than a new Buffy convert! I didn’t watch BTVS during it’s initial run until Season 6 (which may be part of the reason S6 is my favorite…no, S6 is just THAT good!) and I watched Angel sporadically at first but for the last few years (yes, years) I watch a Buffy and/or Angel episode pretty much every day. Wonderful write-up by the way, I agree with The Body and Hush being some of the best television ever but there’s a few others I love just as much; Once More With Feeling never gets old (the soundtrack lives in my cd player) and kudos to the entire cast for singing their own parts. I read somewhere SMG didn’t want to sing at first but when she read the script and realized how heavy the plot development was for Buffy she got some vocal teachers and did a damn good job IMO.
    Restless is another one I can’t get enough of and every time I watch it I pick up another bit of foreshadowing, it’s just brilliant!
    And who doesn’t love a great body-switch episode? SMG’s portrayal of Faith as Buffy in Who Are You is amazing!
    I’ve been following yet another rewatch (Markwatches.net) where a completely 100% unspoiled Mark watches both Angel and Buffy concurrently which is really neat with the crossovers and has given me a new appreciation for Angel. (Huge gigantic hint hoping you’ll do an episode by episode Buffy/Angel rewatch/watch so we can all talk about it together)
    I’m looking forward to reading about your thoughts on Angel!

    • Looking forward to watching it! Eliza and Sarah did such a good job on the body swap episode! I need to look at Markwatches. It’s come up a lot. Thanks very much for looking.

  15. i agree that with Hush, Once More with Feeling, and especially The Body, you are seeing 3 fantastic episodes of TV that are so innovative in how they expand the whole concept of what TV can do. Brilliant TV!!!

    Apart from fantastic acting … it is impossible not to cry along with Sarah or Alyson when they cry … it is the writing that takes BtVS to such heights. It mixes genres, switching from humour to horror in moments. It is demanding … expecting one to have watched and remembered all earlier episodes (inter-espisode-textuality … or something!) However, what I love most about the writing … even more than the witty quippy dialogue … is its moral integrity. Buffy is brought back … but the ramifications last all season. Willow has a slight selfish attitude to magic, and this just grows and grows over seasons … to really bite her. The Trio are immoral …. and it leads inexorably to a dark dark place for everyone.

    Also, surely no show has ever allowed the eponymous heroine to make such bad sexual choices as Buffy … but without demonising her for them (nor excusing her).

    Fantastic show. Indeed, The. Best. Show. Ever. Full. Stop.

    • I love that idea that Willow bringing Buffy back was arguably the worst thing she could have done for her friend was such a brilliant choice, narratively speaking. That it was brought out in Once More With Feeling just elevated and already incredible episode.

      • Yes, couldn’t agree more.

        But also … Willow in doing this went to a whole new level of magic, and that led to her addiction … to losing Tara … to going to Rack … to risking Dawn’s life … and, ultimately, to being able to do what she did to Warren … and hence going to the dark dark place.

        This is all on top of Buffy’s arc … which leads via the darkness of her using of Spike …

        Brilliant choices all … narratively and characterily … speaking!

  16. Also, was there every a high school show which really allowed its characters to grow up quite as realistically as BtVS? Great writing … by and large.

    • There’s that too! Willow’s growth is probably my favourite. The character starts as a bit of cliche but Willow (and Hannigan) grow so well. It’s so gradual, but so real. A friend of mine just told me she met her and she was lovely. I’m consumed with a jealous rage right now.

  17. I stand by what I said about Buffy years ago, when I first discovered how great it really is.

    “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: everyone who has never seen it can tell you what a terrible show it is.”

  18. I was hooked with S2 which is why it’s my favorite season. As a whole, it was a great show, but I’m one of those Angel is a better show people. But I loved Buffy first. Beardman if you want to watch another awesome show watch Veronica Mars. If you got hooked with Buffy, you’ll for sure get hooked with Veronica Mars.

    • Thanks for the tip. Is that the Kirsten Bell thing? I’ll keep an eye out for it!

      • OMG Yes Veronica Mars. Joss Whedon himself has said its the best television show ever. And Joss guest stars in an episode. Great show. A shame it was canceled with no warning so they could wrap up properly. And Yes watch Angel too for sure. I prefer Buffy but its still great!

    • Veronica Mars is a great show. The character is strong – like Buffy, and the relationship between Veronica and her father is nicely acted, and is unlike most portrayals of father/daughters on TV. The stories are great too.

      However, it is not BtVS. What is missing is the moral integrity of Buffy, and the determination to work through the implications of the bad/less-than-good things that the characters do. It needed a Joss who was prepared to take the characters to a real dark place, and put them through hell.

  19. Awesome review! I too finished watching the entire Buffy series and absolutely loved it! I remember when it first aired my parents forbade me to watch it. Demons, vamps, witches, you get it. But I couldn’t help noticing the Billy Idol look-a-like. Mind you, I was around 12 when I first heard about the show. Now, years later and thanks to the internet, I am a true fan!
    And, by the way, have you considered watching Angel afterwards?

    • I certainly am. I’m almost glad I wasn’t watching it when I was twelve. I wouldn’t have picked up on some of the delicate subtexts or appreciated the Subtle nuances of the characters.

      Also I would have crapped my pants.

  20. Hurray! Welcome to the club, we’re thrilled to have you. I agreed with everything you wrote. I’ve written five books on Lost, and I still think “The Body” is the best hour of TV I’ve ever seen. Bravo, and yes: run, don’t walk, to get that Angel box set. ;)

    • Thanks for the welcome. Wow, I know your books! I was a lost maniac in the day! We were utterly obsessed. Thanks very much for stopping by, I’m thrilled you liked it.

  21. I was a teenager when Bufffy first aired and I loved it. 13 years later (last month) I decided to marathon the entire season and I’m so thrilled I did. I forgot how poignant and real some of Buffy’s situations were for me: her awkward attempts at love, maintaining friendships while growing up and apart, dealing with bratty sisters and suspicious moms, and ultimately death. I loved seeing the timely(bad) special fx, the obvious stunt work, and hearing the guitar riff into the opening credits. The second time around I laughed, cried, wanted to punch Dawn again, and really really wished that Buffy had loved Spike. I felt for him and cringed the hardest when he attacked her in the bathroom, and sobbed during his final scene in the last episode. I can’t remember watching a show with so many characters that were acted to perfection. I cheerlead for Buffy.
    I could have no idea that when I was watching Buffy first run in 98 that my 15 year old self was receiving amazing life lessons in the form of entertainment. I watched because Buffy kicked ass, Angel was hot, and I secretly wished I was The Chosen One.
    As a women, I realize how much of a one-off, a show like Buffy was. I fear I’ll never see anything like it again and that devastates me. We don’t allow women on
    screen like Buffy, powerful, smart, flawed, vulnerable, not overly sexualized, and strong. A show like Bufffy comes along once in a lifetime and I am thrilled to have been there to see it. If I ever have a daughter, I will make sure that when she reache proper age, that we will sit down and watch Buffy from start to finish. If she doesn’t like she’s grounded!

    • “We don’t allow women on screen like Buffy, powerful, smart, flawed, vulnerable, not overly sexualized, and strong.”

      This perfectly sums up how great the show was with respect to the character Buffy.

      I am watching S6 (along with Mark-Watches), and it is shocking again how Buffy is portrayed as making poor choices sexually, and yet is not demonised for making them. …. Let’s hope Joss uses his Avengers freedom to return to a Buffy-like TV show!!

  22. The comics are awesome as well. Xander is more hardened, but as he grows from his grief, he finds a new softness. Also, the big bad is named Twilight. I laughed for ten minutes straight when I read that :)

  23. The writing in most episodes of Buffy are beyond outstanding. It gets to a point where you can even sympathize with the villains. I watched “Graduation” parts 1 and 2 yesterday and found myself tearing up for the Mayor as he watchers over Faith. Whedon and the Buffy team can take anything, even evil, and turn it into something personal and beautiful.

  24. How funny, I am a new Buffy convert also. I missed the show entirely first time around, and endured years of harassment from friends to watch it. When the entire 7 season box set went on sale on Amazon for $60 I finally bit the bullet. Wow! I’m just at the beginning of Season 6, and loving every minute. I’ve also been following along with Mark reads/watches and have also resorted to scouring the net for Buffy discussions, hence my finding this post.i got Angel for Christmas and am watching concurrently, so am now at the start of S3. The first season is all over the place but it starts to get good towards the end of S2. Hope you and Mrs Beardman enjoy. :)

  25. There are two eras in this history of television drama: the pre-Buffy era, and the post-Buffy era.

    Buffy sets the gold standard for superb character writing, development, and dialogue.

  26. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet visitors,
    its really really pleasant post on building up new blog.

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