Buffy Newbie – Journal 2

November 12, 2012

I’ve finished the first season of Buffy. One I’ve got one word for you; Angel.

Look at him all fresh and crisp

I finally get him. I get the fascination. He shows up and disappears randomly. He is mysterious, handsome, aloof, yet protective and deeply conflicted. What’s not to like?

It takes several episodes before he reveals his vampire nature. In fact he waits until after their first kiss. Smooth.

The Whedon vampire look is definitely not sexy. We are not talking Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood here. In fact, does anyone remember the old TV series ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Linda Hamilton and, as it turns out, Ron Perlman). Well that’s what I always think of when the Buffy vampires show up.

 

Angel with his game face on

I liked how his nature and furthermore, his curse, were only revealed later in the series. It adds depth to the otherwise formulaic nature of such series.

But I gotta hand it to Whedon, while you’ve got the stereotypical dorks and dicks. In some ways this might have been one of the first shows that depicted geeks, nerds and dorks as heroes, which i suspect played a huge part in the shows success.

For those of us who weren’t in the popular crowd at school, which I suspect was most of us, having a show where the nerds and the school librarian end up saving the day must have been pretty powerful. (Huzzah for the underdog.)

The characters not only had more depth than expected but were so relatable. The popular girl has a sensitive side. The goofy Zander, who has a crush on Buffy shows another, more bitter side to himself when she rejects him. Usually Accommodating Willow doesn’t allow him to use her as a consolation prize and so consequently in the last episode, they all end up home alone on prom night. So what do they end up doing? Killing vampires. I mean, don’t we all?

That last episode also features one of my favourite lines; “We saved the world, lets party”

Now a word about Buffy herself. She doesn’t quite cut it for me as a nerd. Sure she flunks classes a lot because she’s out killing ghouls and what not, but she still looks pretty fashionable while she’s doing it. “I even broke a nail.”

But I like that she lives with her single mom who has a nice sarcastic streak and that she isn’t popular and that she gets the crap beat out of her. (Feminist/non-violent interjection: Did I just say that?) What I mean is that she is not an infallible hero-type. In fact she dies in the last episode and is saved by some pretty ordinary CPR.

We are left with hints of change for season two, “I feel different, stronger” she says. I’m looking forward to climbing in to it.

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Buffy Newbie – Journal 1

November 2, 2012

So I watched the first two issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season one last night.

I’ve always kept the fact that I had never watched the series kinda quiet. Joss Whedon, her creator is highly regarded in the feminist community and Buffy herself pretty much has cult status.

In my defense I did see the actual film when it came out in the theatres and it was pretty bad. It was full of Luke Perry, bright colours, stupid jokes (ever get that not-so-fresh feeling Buffy?) and did I mention Luke Perry?

It’s high time I checked out the series.

So I’m watching the first episode and it’s a typical scene, dude brings blonde into empty school building with promises of views and intentions of nookie. She is fearful, nervous. He is insistent, cajoling. She nervously asks if anyone is around, he boldly says no. ‘GOOD!’ she says, and BAM! She turns vampire on him and attacks!

I wasn’t expecting that. Have I mentioned I’m a jumper? I jumped at that one and something in my brain sorta back-flipped. What an excellent way to subvert the damsel in distress moment and set a different tone. It didn’t even fall into the other stereotype; Evil Demon Seductress.

It wasn’t brightly coloured and corny. It’s got lots of dark scenes and it is legitimately scary at times. Although to contextualise this, it’s 1997 scary, not 2012 scary. (And I’m a jumper, so I scare easily.) The lingo is a little quaint, the make-up is make-up like and the effects are a little home-made.

But the fight scenes are awesome! Buffy gets chucked around and smashed into concrete corners but is kicking vampires in the face just as hard. Nobody is pulling any punches.

And I’m already a firm fan of Willow.

I’ll keep you posted..

PS – This isn’t going to be academic analysis stuff. More just observations and me sharing my cheesy enjoyment. Or not. We’ll see.