Over the long New Year’s weekend, I reconnected with an old friend—Buffy Summers. With a Buffy The Vampire Slayer
marathon playing on New Year’s, my wife and I settled in for a long day of viewing. It led me to remember what I loved most about this show: sharp writing, great acting, wonderfully played out teen angst and Charisma Carpenter’s Cordelia.
In the past few years, the vampire market has been oversaturated. From the Twilight
saga to HBO’s True Blood
to the CW’s Vampire Diaries
, it seems like everywhere you turn there the fanged undead are. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone where this craze originated and where it was handled best. Right there in Sunnydale.
In fact let’s compare all of the above franchises. Long before Bella pined for Edward (and vice-versa) you had Buffy and Angel. The more I think about it, the more I believe Robert Pattinson’s Edward is a pale imitation of David Boreanaz’s Angel. Non-human feeding, hunched posture, dark wardrobe, pale skin, ridiculous hair. Yep, Stephanie Meyer's Edward is basically Angel. As for a teen werewolf running mate… Oz was around long before Jacob. Plus Seth Green, who played Oz, has a ton geek cred for creating Robot Chicken while Taylor Lautner will always be Sharkboy. Evil vampires hunting our heroine? James, Laurent and Victoria had nothing on Spike and Dru. Even the vampire love triangle playing out on True Blood (Bill/Sookie/Eric) played itself out originally on Buffy, twice (Angel/Buffy/Spike and Angel/Druscilla/Spike).
While it’s easy to call Buffy a teen vampire show, you’d be doing it a disservice. It was quite possibly the most honest television portrayal of teens ever. It gave you just about everything you ever went through in high school. Starting in a new place, trying to fit in, being an outcast, the cliques, the camaraderie, and the relationships (see review on “Innocence”) all were deftly handled by series creator Joss Whedon. Simply put, Buffy is my favorite (and I think the best) teen show ever.
While throngs of fans may be on Team Jacob, Edward, Bill or Eric, I say make mine now and forever Team Buffy.My Top 5 Buffy EpisodesHush
: My favorite episode of all time. The Gentlemen (above) are some of the creepiest characters to ever appear on network TV. This college episode introduces Tara who becomes part of the Scooby gang and starts dating Willow. Together they formed one of the most high-profile same sex couples on TV.Once More With Feeling
: The brilliant musical episode. Xander summons a demon who forces everyone in Sunnydale to burst into song and choreographed routines. Amazing!The Body
: Buffy returns from school to find her mother dead on the couch of natural causes. Buffy shows both her strength and frailty in this episode where there is no bad guy to blame. My favorite moments of this episode are of Anya (who is a former demon, now human) trying to make sense of the whole idea of death.Innocence
: Buffy (finally) sleeps with Angel and it does not bring them closer together. In fact, he turns out to be the complete opposite of who she thought he was.The Wish
: Cordelia, in a fit of jealous rage, wishes Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. An alternate reality plays itself out in a town overrun by vampires.