|My heroes, compliments of TheQuarterBin|
"Please ... please .... PLEASE tell me that you're into 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Because I wanted his lips on mine, I lied outright: "Of course. I love it!"
And we kissed.
In truth, I hadn't seen a single episode and the whole romance tumbled down soon after but the moment always nagged me. What was so important about a stupidly-named television show? How could it possibly be an obstruction to making out? And who was this Buffy chick anyhow? Surely she couldn't be that amazing.
Last night, with great sadness, the DVD player spit out the final disc and I groaned aloud. A seven-year show, 144 brilliant episodes, and it was all over for me, seven years after its actual demise but still, I mourn. I cannot begin to describe how much I will miss these characters and even the writers, directors and producers, as I obsessively watched every commentary and extra that was available. Thank god for the mad genius that is Joss Whedon, who has given popular culture such an amazing heroine.
As TV writing goes, it doesn't get any better; there is simply no fat or fluff to be found. I kept waiting for the show to lag, for the characters to become predictable, for the entire premise to fail. Instead, every episode was like a rung on a ladder and you found yourself going deeper and deeper into the world of Sunnydale and all the demon residents of the Hellmouth. The amount of action and comedy packed into one hour (not to mention some real tear-jerkers) was relentless. A typical exchange:
Amy: I've been a rat for three years.
Buffy: Oh, right.
Amy: Yeah, I heard. Bummer.
And then there's Spike. Good lord, he's just pure walking sex. Truly. (Angel? Oh, please. No contest.) I get quickly turned on hearing even a few notes from a Billy Idol song based solely on the resemblance, which, as we all know, is a look that Spike had first. Of course, Spike also had a way of delivering truth that could be counted on, and even that was hot. My favorite Spike speech:
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other until it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood -- blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."
--Spike, speaking to Buffy and Angel, in Season 3
"You won. All right? You came in, and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying, 'I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it."Arrrrgh. I could go on and on about each character but to love Buffy is to understand why Joss made it in the first place. He created Buffy to redeem every helpless female victim that has ever been portrayed in film, television, opera, novel or comic book. Buffy is the anti-victim and, as a result, the show is the most entertaining version of feminism that has ever snuck past you.
[SPOILER ALERT] In the final moments of the last show, Willow induces magic to bring out the inner slayer in every capable woman in the world. (Turns out the world will need it, since there's a Hellmouth under Cleveland too, Giles casually informs us.)
Watching it again with Joss commenting, I learned that the final scene that was shot - the last shot of the last show of the last season - was a wordless frame showing a battered woman in a dingy trailer, about to be struck by her abusive husband. Now suddenly infused with slayer strength, she stands up to him and the look in her eye says that things are going to be very, very different from now on.
And that, my friends, is what makes Buffy so special. Also, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy so perfectly reminded me of my best friend, Lisa, who is also blonde, beautiful and super strong.
And finally, to that boy, wherever he is .... Joe, I finally understand. And you were absolutely right.
|Compliments of Manny the Movie Guy|