Friday, May 27, 2011

Thoughts on Buffy Season One

Buffy in Viennaphoto © 2008 anna Hanks | more info (via: Wylio)

Okay, because of the project that I am currently engaged in, I have been forced to watch all seven seasons of Buffy.  Since I know that there are plenty of urban fantasy fans reading this blog, I thought that I would share my impressions of each season with you.

While I was into vampires when Buffy originally aired, it was something that I never got around to watching.  Now that I have seen the first season, I am convinced that I didn't miss a thing.  The original Star Trek had better special effects than Buffy. For all the punches and kicks that Buffy threw, it didn't look look like she actually connected with a single one. Filming the fight scenes in bad lighting certainly did not fool me.  The title of the first season should have been shoestring budget.

What I find interesting about the series is that Buffy truly is the archetype for unlikeable female protagonist, who is filled to the brim with spunky agency. I get that she is the chosen one -- the slayer-- but really, is caution really such a bad thing?  Gotta vampire to kill, why not bring your date along? Then there is Angel. Mmmm Angel, the archetype for the musty vampire.  He denies who is, drinks blood from bags and so he is one of the rare good ones.  I know that Anne Rice started this trend in 1976 when she wrote the character of Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview With the Vampire, but I am convinced that had Whedon just left the mustiness alone, it might have died the slow painful death that it deserved.  For me, the musty vampire, (see Louis, True Blood's Bill etc) just need to be gone for good. 


Then there is the layer upon layer of cheese.  Unfortunately for Buffy, this cheese does not evolve into a gourmet pizza.  I know that as a viewer because of the genre, I am supposed to suspend belief, but really, how is it that so many teenagers from ONE high school can be murdered or commit suicide on a weekly basis, without a single parent having a shit fit?  You would think people would be avoiding that school in droves, what with the death rate and all. On top of all of this, the high school is virtually all White.  Don't tell me that in 1997 they couldn't scare up any Black actors to join the cast.  I suppose I should be thankful, because 14 years later and Blacks constitute snack food on The Vampire Diaries, with the exception of Bonnie purveyor of the woo woo and queen of the White girl painted Black. I guess sometimes erasure can be a good thing.

Then there is the issue of the over interested librarian.  Not a single person wonders why a 16 year old girl is spending so much time alone with him.  When Mr. Giles shows up at Buffy's mother's hospital room after she is attacked by a vampire, she simply comments that teachers believe in giving full service.

Also, the unrequited love triangle between Xander and Buffy and Xander and Willow is ridiculous. Then of course there is the attraction to Angel.  Am I so blown away with the irony of a vampire slayer being head over heels over a vampire (ummm, yes that's snark).  I know that this is meant to build tension, but all I see is ridiculous high school romance.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to relive high school in any way shape of form.

I have six more seasons to go and I don't know if I am going to make it.  I have been avoiding season two like the plague, even though Whedon fans promise me that it will get better.  I actually don't think that it's a stretch, because it could not possibly get worse.