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20 Reasons Buffy the Vampire Slayer Endures – #BuffySlays20

, and on March 13, 2017 · 28 comments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,TV

Marines: Almost five years ago, our baby website decided to expand from its usual fare (the terrible books we read as children) to cover a TV show. At the insistence of my friends, I’d watched the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer even before the founding of the blog. In fact, “Childhood Trauma” was the first name of this blog, thanks to the classic line in the pilot. When it came time to pick a show to cover here, it seemed natural to start with Buffy.

In a lot of ways, Buffy allowed us to find our style and our audience. Even watching it years after it originally aired, it became an important experience of my 20’s. It remains one of the shows I can talk about with episode titles and one that I reference often and compare to lots of other media.

20 years after the pilot aired, Buffy still matters. It matters to pop-culture, it matters to this website and it matters to me. What is it about this 20-year-old show about a young girl who kills vampires that endures?

Well, we’ve decided to take a crack at the reasons why we think Buffy sticks, perhaps especially with us.

In no particular order:

1. The dialogue.

Mari: I vividly remember my reaction to the dialogue when I first watched the pilot. If I’m honest, that reaction was “what the hell is this?” That was short-lived, though. The quirkiness and speed of the dialogue sweep you right up, and it quickly becomes apparent that Whedon uses dialogue as a means of world building. It works in the same way as when you pick up speech patterns or sayings from the people you hang out with. I’m not sure how many TV shows I can credit with adding to my vocabulary as much as Buffy does, but I still regularly quote it.

Kirsti: Not only that, but terminology that Whedon came up with in the show has influenced countless other shows. Hell, I’m pretty sure one of the characters in Riverdale (#aroacejugheadorbust) mentioned a Hellmouth in last week’s episode.

Sweeney: It is fitting that a show so layered with cultural references has become such an important cultural milestone in its own right.

The dialogue on this show made these characters feel like friends, and so this show endures like any true friendship.

 

2. The sass.

Mari: There was something about the sass and swagger of Buffy that made her supremely easy to root for. Things sometimes got dark on this show, but it was balanced well by the incredible amounts of sass wielded by our heroine. There wasn’t ever really a time when she wasn’t punning and running.

Kirsti: If I were at full Slayer power, I’d be punning right about now” is a standout for me. Self-sass while also sassing the villain.

Sweeney: I may be dead but I’m still pretty,” is a forever favorite, not because it’s one of Buffy’s best, but because it sells so much of who this character is.

I still want to grow up to pun and run just like Buffy.

 

3. The friendships.

Mari: Yeah, I chose a gif from “Reptile Boy.” Of all the friendship moments I could’ve picked, I think it’s telling that this is one that stands out in my memory so clearly (along with the tackle hug). Perhaps it’s because over the years, supernatural activity really tested the limits of this friendship and so the more “normal” moments standout to me. In the same scene from above, Buffy makes a comment about how nice it is to hang out with friends and not have to fight bad guys. Her longing for some semblance of normality, for dates and college and friends, follows her story for a while and it makes me happy that she found that in Xander, Willow and the rest of the Scoobies.

All of that to say that the depiction of friendship is fundamental to this story and its success. As much as this is Buffy’s story, the side characters all manage to take center stage at one point or another, to the point that I’d venture to say that Buffy suffers Harry Potter syndrome. I just made that up, but it means that if you ask fans of this show who their favorite character is, most times Buffy is overlooked for other members of the Scooby gang. They work together well because they work as individual characters. And just like the sass, it is the core of friendship that really helps balance the show’s darker moments.

 

4. The good.

Mari: Across our time watching Buffy, we did a lot of ranking. Ranking by season, ranking the seasons, and of course talking about the very best episodes. When Buffy was good, it was amazing. I stand by “The Body” as one of the best episodes of TV, ever. I think about the muted soundtrack, about the sentiments conveyed concerning grief, and I still feel the same rush of feelings I felt the first time. It was both emotional and brilliantly executed. Plus, it was a development in the story I didn’t expect at all as a first time watcher.

Hush” and “Once More With Feeling” both play with sound and music in ways that are incredibly memorable. Once More wasn’t only a musical episode, but it was smart in the way it progressed the story arc. It wasn’t just a “something different” episode. It mattered.

Think of episodes like “Restless” and “Normal Again” and “Storyteller” and how absolutely brilliant they were in their break from typical TV. Season openers like “Bargaining” Parts 1 and 2 and season finales like “The Gift” and the already mentioned “Prophecy Girl” and honestly, I could go on for a while. The point is that Buffy endures because it’s quality storytelling. While the look and costumes and effects may date badly, quality storytelling doesn’t. (And anyway, all of it helps the show stick. Keep reading.)

 

5. The bad.

Mari: To echo here, when Buffy was bad, it was pretty damn bad. To be sure, there was campy bad– things that weren’t necessarily the best quality, but that still had a measure of enjoyment and fun. I would put most of season 1 here . There was also just plain terrible, episodes that made me question who saw these things and okayed them. “Beer Bad“, anyone? “Where The Wild Things Are“? “I Robot… You Jane“? Nothing can be good all the time.

Why include this on a list of why Buffy endures? Maybe because the image of Buffy with her crimpy hair as a cave woman is burned onto my retinas. You can’t forget storylines about space roaches and robot mom dates and sorority snakes, for better or for worse.

Kirsti: Personally, I will never be over “Living Conditions“, in which Buffy collects her roommate’s toenails to prove she’s a demon… That, and the penis monster in “Doublemeat Palace.” *shudder*

 

6. The ugly.

Mari: 20 years later, start a conversation with anyone who watched Buffy about Spike or Buffy’s depression in season 5 or “Seeing Red” and get. ready. There were some really tough, ugly moments during the course of the series and I mean that for both in- and out-of-story reasons. Buffy went through a lot, but so do the viewers. Like the previous entry, while that doesn’t seem like a ringing endorsement of the series, I think it adds to this conversation of why Buffy sticks. I’ll always be ready to talk about the nuances of the story and specifically about why I think it got some of its messaging about Buffy’s sexuality and her attempted rape completely wrong.

Sweeney: There’s also something of the personal here, for us. Blogging this show was a PROJECT in a way I don’t think we’ve encountered since (K: AGREED). It was that way because this show endures and people come to it filled with feelings.

And so it meant that our life experience of the show became good, bad, and ugly too. (But mostly very, very good.)

 

7. The cry-worthy.

Mari: Around the Buffy recaps, we came up with two terms to describe our varying emotional investments: Team Feels and Team Heartless Cow. Sweeney and I were typically #teamfeels and Kirsti was solidly #teamheartlesscow (K: Still am), but there were moments during the series where we were all completely lost to the heartbreak and emotions. Why does Buffy endure? Because it plays to such common, human emotions nestled in the middle of a story about more fantastical fears and dangers. The Big Bads are important, but I think the most memorable and enduring moments are watching Buffy face things like her parent’s divorce, her first love, her breakups, Giles letting her down, her mother’s death, her depression– it made all made me cry. It all cemented this story as one that feels evergreen, because feelings are forever.

Kirsti: I also love that the cry-worthy moments aren’t all related to Buffy. We get Willow’s break up with Oz, Willow debating her sexuality, Willow losing Tara, Willow’s guilt over Warren. We get Anya not knowing how to react to Joyce’s death. We get Dawn realising that she’s not a Slayer. We get Xander losing an eye. Every single character has SOME moment over the course of the seven seasons that breaks your heart.

Sweeney: Buffy’s speech in “The Gift” is a thing I have actually thought of in personal dark times and seeing gifsets of it on Tumblr makes me emotional. Also that episode has those unique moments for everybody, which is great.  I just really love “The Gift,” you guys.

 

8. The ridiculous.

Sweeney: But also… there are other moments where the show made choices that I will never understand. This show’s high highs made its lows all the more pronounced, because we knew it could be better than that. And what’s fun about this show is that it’s moments of absurdity also span the range of quality outcomes.

Fear Itself” is absurd but also fantastic. Meanwhile, I am still wishing I could erase the memories of “Where the Wild Things Are.” For all of its turns, the show knew how to keep shit interesting. And really, how can one forget the time Buffy and her worst boyfriend entered some weird poltergeist raising sex trance?

(Serious question: how can one forget?)

Kirsti: Brain bleach is the only way I know how, but we used all of that during season 4 of Angel. So…

Anyway, back to the point. “Halloween” is another one that, for me, feels totally ridiculous and yet is somehow completely endearing. In contrast, “Doublemeat Palace” and “The Puppet Show” and “Buffy vs Dracula” are ridiculous in a memorable but not-so-great way.

Mari: I think the fact that this item contains good and bad is the reason it deserves to be its own entry on the list. Often times, some of my favorite things on this show were also just plain ridiculous in ways that make it worth experiencing because where else will you see this shit? My examples include my favorite villain (The Mayor) turning into a giant snake monster for reasons that are still beyond me, Willow’s doppleganger and honestly I can’t be the only one who thought “Doublemeat Palace” wasn’t THAT bad…

 

9. The groundbreaking.

Sweeney: I watched this show for the first time years after it aired, but even still, it was clear how much the TV landscape I knew owed to this show.

Whedon’s flare for bending conventions and playing with the format is key to Buffy’s legacy.  Even now, 20 years later, things like the silence of “Hush” are unique and clever, but as Mari noted earlier, they’re unique and clever with a purpose.

The show took a lot of risks and sometimes we felt like it was taking those risks for risk’s sake, but more often than not it was about advancing the story and these characters in exciting ways.

Kirsti: It’s interesting how quickly it’s become de rigeur for a show to do a musical episode (Grey’s Anatomy comes to mind for all the wrong reasons…). At least in the case of Buffy, the songs actually fitted with the plot of the show – both for that episode and for the season as a whole. So while it may be a little bit passe now for a show to do a musical episode, Whedon genuinely did something new and different and groundbreaking with “Once More With Feeling.”

 

10. The costumes.

Sweeney: Buffy’s high school wardrobe was everything I, an 8-10 year old child, also aspired to wear at that time. Make of that what you will.

Importantly, this show also endures because Willow’s fashion choices have given this blog a very important award, so, there’s also that.

Kirsti: Oh Willow. I honestly can’t decide if my favourite is the fuzzy smily face jumper from “Doppelgangland” or whatever the hell this is:

Mari: Willow was probably the greatest offender, but everyone participated. Everyone. Like, I can vividly imagine the outfits of the pilot, from Xanders jellyfish printed shirt (?) to the high-watered bell bottoms Buffy wears to The Bronze. When Angel first appears, he’s wearing crushed velvet. That’s not even saying anything about Cordelia.

However, I think there were moments that the costumes also felt kind of iconic. The example I first thought of was (hold your shock) “Prophecy Girl.” Was there ever anything more Buffy than Buffy in a pretty white virginal prom dress and leather jacket?

 

11. The D grade special effects.

Sweeney: Angel’s face going all wiggly in that episode with Ethan is still lolforever, but also kudos and high fives to this show for trying to do things it clearly had no budget for.

If nothing else, it makes for one hell of a drinking game.

Kirsti: I have an unnatural soft spot for the terrible special effects in Buffy, whether it’s the season 1 “Okay, now shake your head back and forth, then we’ll cut and have you shake your head back and forth in your vampire make up and cut the two together!” or any of the numerous giant snakes over the seasons. It’s not quite the same soft spot I have for the BBC props department using kitchen utensils as alien devices. But it’s close.

 

12. The concept.

Sweeney: Of all the show’s metaphors, the high school on a Hellmouth might be the one that I loved most. It took this silly, supernatural show and made it feel real. You felt unseen in high school? Cool, well someone actually becomes invisible because Hellmouth.

Being a teenager is complicated and intense in all these ways that can be hard to articulate and somehow amplifying with sci if weirdness was the perfect solution. It makes vampires and demons somehow #relateable

Mari: I think the college as hell thing was even onto something (Kirsti mentioned the roommate from actual hell) but season’s 4 larger problems are another topic. Point is that using a supernatural stand-in for basic problems was great. Additionally, the entire idea of this teenage girl being a bad-ass hero while trying to navigate “normal” life is one that still makes me excited to watch. Which I suppose brings us to:

 

13. The Girl Power.

Sweeney: Right away, Buffy is a super powered badass who also wants to wear makeup and go to the mall and she gets to be all of those things at once and, by extension, all of those things get to be feminine at once.

But Buffy also had some wonderful female foils over the years. We got to see female characters kick ass and fuck up in all kinds of ways with Willow and Faith and Anya and the bizarre Big Bad that was Glory.

The show sucked at a lot of other representation, but it was a multifaceted girl power party.

Mari: I love that in addition to being feminine and a badass, Buffy also got to be vulnerable. Too many times, strong translates to being emotionally closed off, especially for female characters. Not our girl, who from the beginning is super honest about her reluctance to sacrifice her life for her calling. I think showing such  multi-faceted girls is why this show excels at (most of) what it taught us about girl power.

 

14. The big speeches.

  
  
  
Sweeney: I am sucker for the big speeches. I am sure I mentioned at some point in the blog that I love graduation speeches. Buffy gives these speeches that achieve the same core goal of being engaging and inspirational but she does it in like 3-4 sentences, which is even better.

There is a Buffy motivational speech for every occasion, so how could this show not endure?

Mari: I think one of the most memorable for me comes from Xander in season 7, when he and Dawn bond about being everymen. Look, guys, we have a whole blog tad dedicated to big speeches on TV. It’s a thing.

 

15. The Big Bads.

Kirsti: What changed most over Buffy’s seven years was the villains. Buffy was always the hero and the Scoobies were always there for her (shhh, let’s just forget those few episodes at the end of season 7). The variety came in the Villain of the Week and the Big Bad. Some of them were completely terrible (*cough* Doublemeat Palace*), but some of them were absolutely amazing. If you asked me to rank my top TV villains, The Mayor would be right up there. The Master probably wouldn’t make the list because he’s ridickity, but is he an iconic and memorable symbol of the show? HELL YES.

Mari: I loved them as season arcs, which usually worked to infuse a bit more tension and gravity into the story. The Villain of the Week might be defeated by the end of the episode, but we had to keep watching to figure out how Buffy beats The Master or her boyfriend turned evil or The Mayor etc. It also helps pinpoint moments in the show and in Buffy’s character arc. Anything that makes this more memorable or easier to reference helps its sticking power.

 

16. The morally grey.

Kirsti: In season 2’s “Lie to Me“, Buffy asks Giles if life ever gets easy and asks him to lie to her (earning her a gold star, but that’s not the point right now). His response is “Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.

But Buffy excelled at characters who occupied the moral grey zone. Characters who don’t do the right thing. Characters who are messed up but are still trying. Characters like Clem, who’s trusted to look after Dawn and who Buffy’s always happy to see, but who’s still a demon who plays kitten poker. Characters like Faith, who stakes first and asks questions later. Characters like Spike at the end of season 2: decidedly evil, but still helping to save the world because this is where he keeps all his stuff. Characters like Anya, who’s technically human but doesn’t have the same morals as the rest of the Scoobies, courtesy of a millennium of demoning.

And characters like Giles. We’d like to think that Giles is one of those stalwart and true good guys. But his Ripper-era past indicates otherwise. The way he handles Jenny’s death indicates otherwise. And the way he steps up and kills Ben – with his bare hands – because he knows Buffy won’t be able to most definitely indicates otherwise.

 

17. The relationships.

Kirsti: The romantic relationships are certainly iconic and an eternal cause for argument within the fandom. But for me, it’s the OTHER relationships that make the show memorable. Every TV show has its iconic romantic relationships. But not every TV show has the friendships that Buffy has, as we discussed earlier. Not every show has the relationship between Buffy and Giles. Not every show has the sibling feels of Buffy and Dawn. Not every show has the weirdly complex blend of sister/friend/enemy/rival(/possible love interest) that Buffy and Faith had. And those for me stand out far more than the romantic relationships.

Mari: I agree with all of that definitely… though shout-out to the romantic relationships. Willow and Oz and Willow and Tara are equally as important and iconic to me. Xander and Anya are probably one of the more devastating relationships I’ve watched. And Buffy’s boyfriends all have some serious issues, but they provide endless fodder because they are so complicated and because we care so much. And yeah I picked a Bangel gif for this entry. Ha ha ha ha ha #trolling

 

18. The spin off.

Kirsti: It’s hard to discuss Buffy without also discussing Angel. Was season 4 an abomination that should never be discussed again with the exception of Faith’s redemption arc? Uh, YES. But season 1? Season 1 was INCREDIBLE. It took these two (later three) characters that we knew and loved (or loved to hate) from Buffy and it gave them life. It gave them depth. It gave them character development. And it gave them humour.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Angel that we see in Buffy. But it’s in his own show that we see his sense of humour and his incredible awkwardness, which made him far more relatable. It’s in Angel that we see Cordy as being useful for more than her car, as more than the bitchy popular girl in the antagonistic relationship with Xander. It’s in Angel that we see Wesley as more than a joke. And for me? It’s impossible to think of Faith’s story without thinking of Angel, because that’s where her redemption arc happened, and I maintain that it’s one of the best redemption arcs in television history.

Sweeney: Having seen Angel and having all of my mixed feelings about it, I also definitely feel that a BtVS-only understanding of Cordelia and Faith is deprived.

And while this is mostly because two shows, two related-but-ultimately-distinct spaces, it’s also an interesting play on perspective. Who you are to one person isn’t who you are to everyone.

Mari: The moments of crossover were also epic enough that a viewing of Buffy without a viewing of Angel means you are missing something.

 

19. The Wiggins Library 

Kirsti: This one may just be me because, like, LIBRARIAN. But when I think of Buffy? I think of the Wiggins Library. For the first three years of the show, it was Scooby HQ. It was where they did their research, where Buffy trained, where they saved the world. Even in the world of “The Wish”, the Wiggins Library was still where the white hats met and fought back. Did a huge part of that have to do with the fact that Giles is a librarian? Probably. But when I hear anything about Buffy, I immediately think of the Wiggins Library.

 

20. The fandom, which is still going strong after 20 years.

Kirsti: I’ve always been on periphery of fandom. As a teenager, I was trash for The X-Files, but mostly showed my status as a fan by buying X-Files t-shirts and posters and novels. I’d seen odd episodes of Buffy during high school and didn’t really get what all the hype was about. And then in late February of 2002, I caught a rerun of “The Gift” which Channel 7 was replaying in preparation for airing season 6 the following week. And I was HOOKED.

When I went to uni the next day, I mentioned to a Buffy-mad friend of mine that I’d finally seen an episode, and she was like “OMG YES LET ME SEND YOU ALL THE THINGS”. Thanks to her, I got through my Honours thesis in 2004 with “Just write 250 words and you can go watch an episode of Buffy” because she owned the entire show on DVD. It’s thanks to her that I found websites full of quotes and images and fan discussions and memorabilia. It’s thanks to her that my “ew, sci-fi is dumb” former self watched Firefly, but that’s besides the point. In short: it’s thanks to her that I found fandom.

The Buffy fandom has had its turf wars, like any fandom. But after 20 years, to have a fandom that is still THIS passionate and THIS dedicated to a show that had a special effects budget of whatever small change they found down the back of the sofa? That we still have a fandom that talks in quotes and episode titles, that we still have a fandom who wants to see the actors at conventions, saying their most iconic lines? That’s pretty damned astonishing.

Sweeney: This fandom is truly remarkable. The way in which we joined it here on the blog affected my life in all sorts of little ways and ultimately that is probably the main reason this show endures, for me, at least.

I am very grateful that our time in Sunnydale let us meet so many thoughtful, funny, lovely people in this corner of the internet.

 

 

We’d love to hear in the comments what makes Buffy stick with you! Is there anything we missed on our list? 

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  • Democracy Diva

    How dare you include multiple “The Body” gifs. I teared up at that, and also just at seeing your three names on this post, and also somehow, at the Clem shout-out. #ClemCorner

    Thank you for bringing this show into my life. <3

    • I came across of that gif that is a smash cut between Buffy and Joyce baking and then her dead face and there were actual tears. And now I’ve reminded you that it exists and I’m SORRY.

      CLEM CORNER. How did I ever forget that??

      • Democracy Diva

        It popped back into my brain as I was writing that comment, and I was so grateful it did.

    • #CLEMCORNER

  • The Bad Slayer

    Unlike you ladies, I watched the show on the original run (and numerous times after until I bought all the dvds) and the show meant so much to me, then and now. First, I experienced my first love through Buffy. Real, passionate epic love (#teamAngel 5va). But more than that, I didn’t feel as alone. I wasn’t the only weird one. And more than that, I got to learn that even the pretty ones that seem altogether are weird ones too. It helped me make actual people friends and not be scared to talk to people. And that just season 1 and 2. Buffy was always great; until I met Anya. Anya was and always will be one of the best characters written. She was unapologetic in her lack of humanity and I loved it. She was always too good for Xander but loved the moron anyway. She was just as clumsy and weird as I was but still so fucking cool.

    • Nicholas Dedless

      I watched the originals too. At the time I was an insane workaholic who didn’t have time to watch TV but I always tried to catch Buffy and would talk about it with fellow fans at work the next day. In spite of, actually because of the work (it was demanding but I worked with the coolest most motivated people ever… we were building new kinds of web systems) that was really a great part of my life and the memories of my friends are part of why I never get tired of rewatching.

      • I actually haven’t been able to rewatch since we blogged our way through it because it was such an intense project around here. I feel like a lot of those extreme emotions have kind of softened, but my point is that I get what you mean about the experience with friends helps along the experience with the show. This probably goes hand in hand with the fact that Buffy has such a dedicated and longlasting fandom. There is ALWAYS someone to talk about Buffy with, you know? I definitely tie friend memories to episode memories.

    • Angel! Angel! Angel!

      I love what you say about everyone being weird, even the popular kids and the pretty kids are weird because everyone is.

      I’m one of those rare people that is Buffy first and foremost. I love the side characters, to be sure, but Buffy is my favorite, she’s the heart of the show for me and it’s her progression and story arch that I really, really invest it. She might not be the character I most relate to, or who is most like me, but because the story is framed in her POV and by her experiences, my heart just always goes out to her.

  • SnazzyO

    Excellent stroll down memory lane. I love all your reasons for why the show is iconic. I still read the comic books so it’s still going for me.
    Thanks for the write-up.

    • Nicholas Dedless

      The comics started to lose me with Angel and Buffy F*ing a new universe into existence but I still kept going up to the (Ugh!) romance between Xander and Dawn. After that it was just nope, nope, nope, and I was done.

      • I remember when we were finishing S7, lots of readers were trying to get us to read the comics. I cheated and read some spoilers and remember being like “I don’t think I can do this…” To be fair, though, I’m not a huge consumer of that kind of extra content, even with the stuff I love. I love Firefly and I love Avatar: The Last Airbender and even though I’ve been meaning to get to those comics forever and I actively read comics and graphic novels and manga, I just haven’t. And I’ll definitely do those two way before I ever do Buffy.

    • The Bad Slayer

      I couldn’t get into the comics. I wanted to. I tried so hard but it was just not working for me. Do Angel and Buffy ever get together?

  • Nicholas Dedless

    I think another under appreciated aspect was that the characters evolved. They changed in significant ways that (usually) made sense given what came before. We take that for granted now but it was almost unheard of before Buffy. Good guys (and before Buffy they were almost always guys) stayed good, comic relief side kicks, villains they all pretty much were identical from one season to the next because most producers were to risk averse to change something while it was popular. Whedon deserves a lot of credit for having the courage to significantly change the characters, Willow really stands out but even my least favorite Xander changed from an annoying dweeb to… a less annoying no not really, to someone who wasn’t always useless.

    Actually, while I’m stating the obvious and things we take for granted now, both having a BAMF female lead and an openly gay romance were really ground breaking at the time. I’m definitely on team heartless cow but I still tear up every time I watch Willow and Tara dancing/floating at the end of Family.

    • I love this! I guess I take it for granted that character development is A THING, but when you mentioned it, I can look back at TV during a certain time period or of a certain genre and really see how stale that development is. I think it might also tie to the morally gray aspect of this story. When good is good and bad is bad, there really isn’t much place to grow or explore.

      Looking at that gif of Xander in season 7 made me realize that I did soften to him eventually but boy howdy did we struggle with him all the time always throughout the series.

  • The Bad Slayer

    Oh, and I am still salty as hell when it comes to the Mora demon, Buffy, and Angel. I Will Remember You always makes me cry (the real ugly cry to boot) and after all was said and done, WHY COULDN’T THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN?

    • Gosh, that episode. I’m more ready to rewatch Buffy than Angel, but I’d rewatch the crap out of I Will Remember You.

      • Raluca

        Whereas I’d rather see some Angelus-heavy S4 episode like Orpheus or Soulless. Love DB when he has his Angelus on. 🙂 Much better at it than at being Broody Angel.

  • Blinvy .

    I’ve watched this show since the very beginning when I was 13 and I loved it. It was everything I ever wanted in a show. I was a weird kid who was fascinated by all things supernatural so the spooky element hooked me right away even if it scared the dickens out of me because I was also a huge wimp. Like every episode of the first season terrified me. That’s how chicken I was. But what cemented my love for the show was Buffy, the fact that in this world with monsters and demons, the one meant to defeat them and kick ass was a teenaged girl. “That could be me” I would think and I’d idolize her, look up to her, and get incredibly excited any time she fought.

    Buffy was my inspiration to take karate lessons because, for the first time in my life, I believed that I could do something like that because she could. I earned my black belt some 7 or 8 years later and I felt incredibly proud of myself. I gained so much confidence in myself, based on watching a silly tv show about a girl who slays vampires. I will treasure this show for the rest of my life because of what it gave me as a shy and awkward teen. Confidence.

    But also, everything you mentioned in your post is why it is still awesome to watch as an adult. I still find myself talking like I’m in a Buffy show. I say things like “wiggens” and “that makes the kind of sense that doesn’t” and especially “Your logic is not like our Earth logic” all the damn time because it’s fun to talk like Buffy and they are such useful words/phrases. Buffy is and always will be dear to my heart.

    • I love that piece about Buffy inspiring you to get your black belt. I must’ve mentioned somewhere in recaps, but part of what I love and look up to I suppose in Buffy’s character is her ability to enter a space confidently, if that makes sense. Just the knowledge that you can kick ass and how that means you can go punning and running into cemeteries and Basements of Don’t Go In There etc. It’s a hard sentiment to express, but I don’t know. I’m enough of a scaredy cat myself that I admire the courage to go anywhere boldly.

  • Samantha

    Thank you for this post, ladies. Thank you. I just started introducing the show to my bf and I’ve been using the old posts as a kind of guide. What I told him was sort of mentioned here. “Buffy was the first woman I ever saw who kicked ass and also got to feminine. She made me realize, at a young age, that girls could do both.” She’s important to me because she was the first in my life and I go rabid in her defense. I used to practice my “Buffy Kicks” in my bedroom.

    • this sounds like a very good workout routine

  • emmison

    I’ve been reading your blog for years while watching Buffy for the first time, never commenting but always feeling like a part of the community. As chance would have it, I watched Chosen this Saturday just in time for all the Buffy nostalgia on Twitter and elsewhere. Definitely helped with the out-of-Buffy feels. (Although I still have S5 Angel.)

    I kind of wish I’d been commenting on your posts as an outlet for all the thoughts and feelings, especially during the later seasons. On the other hand, most stuff was already said and done and I’m not sure more thoughts about, say, Spike would have added anything of value. And it felt kind of silly to comment on a three year old blog. I’m very happy for this post as an opportunity to say hi! Maybe some time I’ll go back and write something about my vampire rules headcanon and how I felt sorry for Spike always.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for a great blog! It meant something to me. I’ll go check out the non-Buffy stuff now.

    • Oh man, comments on old posts are always the best because it’s fun to think through all those feels again. Buffy posts, especially, because I have forgotten lots of things, but also I have a very strong emotional memory about it? So in my head I’m like, “I felt X, but I’m not really sure I can explain why because it’s been so long,” which makes it fun to think about sometimes.

      • emmison

        Oh, I just might then :). I think I need a rewatch quite soon, at least the key episodes.

  • I first watched BtVS (and Angel) at age…21, I think? It was my first time ever living on my own, living in a studio apartment in the U-district in Seattle. I had a TV and DVD player and no couch, so I’d make a pillow nest in the middle of the living room and binge-watch the DVDs I’d rent from the library, basically any time I didn’t have to be at work. Whenever I think about Buffy now, that image and feeling always comes back; it was a new city, so I didn’t really have any friends yet or places I hung out regularly, but as long as I was watching the Scooby Gang kick monster ass I didn’t feel lonely.

    I’ve been meaning to rewatch again (I’ve done so many times since that first viewing, of course), since it’s been a while since the last run-though. This post has definitely highlighted all the reasons why I should go do that right now. <3

  • Raluca

    I am currently on Season 3 of Angel. Re-watch. Third or fourth.
    I saw Buffy when I was a young adult, but didn’t pay much attention to it. I thought it silly, but endearing. However, it kinds stuck to the back of my mind.
    Then I had a baby girl, almost 5 years ago (I was 36 at the time). She caught one of those hospital bacterial infections during birth and we spent an additional 10 days in the hospital, when she was on antibiotics. She was mostly sleeping (as small babies sometimes do) and I was bored out of my mind (and scared shitless for her). I had no patience to read and no wireless to watch movies. So I watched TV instead. And Season 4 of Buffy was on one channel. Having nothing else to see, I kinda watched it. Then I started to enjoy it. Yes, season 4 😀 Then I decided to remember what Seasons 1 to 3 were all about. Enter Wikipedia. Then I read about Seasons 5 to 7. Then I went home and watched all seasons, in correct order. Then I did a re-watch. Then I heard Spike (whom I loved at the time) was on Season 5 of Angel. So I watched that. Then I watched Angel in the correct order and started loving Angel (the character) and Wes and Cordy and Fred. And I’ve been a fan eversince. Of Whedon (partially, that Agents of Shield was crap!). Of Firefly and Dr. Horrible. And of course of Buffy and Angel.
    I still love them all. The good, the bad and the ugly and all that jazz. 🙂
    Buffy changed TV for me. I don’t give a crap about the bad special effects (as I don’t on Dr. Who either). I like the stories. I like the character development. I like the lack of pointless violence.
    Whenever I watch anything nowadays, I expect good stories and amazing character development. And I am sad to say, most shows nowadays do not deliver.
    Buffy and Angel (and Firefly) are amazing. I will always love them. And rewatch them. One day, I hope, together with my little girl.
    PS: I am currently re-watching Angel, as I said above, and re-reading your reviews and the comments. Priceless, as usual. Keep up the good work! And post some new Dr. Who review, for crying out loud! 😛

  • The_v_from_the_sub_B

    Kept me going through a rough time. Buffy was something I could rely on to be good.

  • Karen

    So it looks like I’m the only one here who’s never actually watched Buffy, beyond a few episodes here and there. But I have read all of your Buffy posts (somehow not commenting on any of them), and am now in the middle of reading through Angel (mid-S4). So I’m not a Buffy fan, but I am a Snark Squad fan, and I just wanted to say thanks for all the time, thought and love you guys put into it. Like Diva said above, seeing your names together again is oddly emotional, and I’m glad that you guys can look back on the series with good memories even though it got preeeetty rough for a while there.

    So, yeah. I just wanted to comment to give you guys some love.

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