My Obsession with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Passing the Extra Flamey Torch (Yes, there are spoilers. Duh!)



Pride Flag

During the spring of 1997, my friends kept talking about this new supernatural show, Buffy, over lunch. 1 I wasn’t into the Anne Rice vampire-thing so I dismissed their admiration for the show from the failed movie. However, when summertime came around and my type A schedule slowed, I thought I’d give the season one reruns a chance.

The quips, the dark comedy, the underrated nerdy girl… I was hooked.

When season two began, my friends and I would sit at lunch and have the deepest discussions. Do vampires have living sperm? What would happen if we wore that outfit to school? Could Drusilla be our friend? See, really intense conversations that lasted until graduation.

But my fandom became much more intense once I started college.

Behold…The World Wide Web

Sure, the Internet was around, but I didn’t have reliable Internet access until I started college. Between classes, I’d rush to a computer lab to check my two favorite message boards: The X-Files and Buffy’s, The Bronze. It was through the later I learned about the magical world of fan fiction.

Once I found these highly imaginative stories, I couldn’t get enough, especially, once I discovered ’shippers2 of Buffy/Faith and The Kitten, the Witches, and the Bad Wardrobe. As someone who was really struggling to understand her sexuality, I was obsessed with the Willow and Tara relationship. Fanfic had hundreds (probably thousands) of stories that filled in the gaps to their relationship and their “spells”. I would check in on my favorite stories every day to see if there were updates. Unfortunately, due to Warren and the “tiny piece of metal”, fanfic was all we had to keep Willara together.

The Show Must Go On…Or something like that

I mourned Tara, but despite our beloved Wiccan gone, I thought the last season was okay. However, the high points were brought down by one character who was introduced. She stirred my rage every time she was on the screen. That character is Kennedy.

F*&#ing Kennedy.

If the show writers wanted Willow to hook up with an impulsive, irresponsible brunette, why couldn’t it have been Faith? Talk about your fanfic coming to life.
Wow!

So, I started the Buffy comics after I knew, for certain, Kenillow was no longer a couple. By the way, this is what I think of the comic. The idea of a world without magic and zompires is cool. Where they’ve taken a few love lives is completely abhorrent.3 And, the comic book earns major props for something the original show lacked. Diversity.

“Into every generation…”

My non-supernatural experiences/perspectives paralleled those of Buffy and her friends. They were the same age as me. They looked like me. They had the same socio-economics as me. They went to the fairly local state university like me. And that leads me to the big question, am I okay with bringing back Buffy?

No. No, I’m not. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m okay with a version of “Buffy”.

Yes, I’m okay with the producers-that-be reviving a vampire slayer show under two conditions. One, it needs to embrace diversity and reflect the slayers and non-slayers of the world. 4 And two, the show doesn’t cater to my Xennial demographic. We had our Buffy. It’s time to pass the torch (yep, it’s extra flamey5) to a new generation and a new slayer.

Footnotes

  1. The Scoobies were class of ’99 and I was class of ’98.
  2. This means “relationship” in the fanfic world for all of you not hip with the lingo.
  3. The Xander-Dawn pairing is creepy and I have never liked Buffy-Spike as a couple…there I said it!
  4. Biggest Footnote ever! I’m perfectly aware I’m not the first to point out this glaring flaw with a show that was set in southern California. I counted the characters played by POC who appeared for more than one episode. Do you know who they are?
    • The First Slayer, um, her character name is pretty clear who she is
    • Kendra, the slayer with the bad accent who died
    • Robin Wood, featured for one season (okay, maybe his mom counts too)
    • Olivia, Giles’s friend with benefits
    • Forest, self-righteous Soldier turned human-demon-robot who died
    • Mr. Trick, the stylish season three vamp, who had the potential to be a greater villain…he died too
    • Rona and Chao-Ahn, potential slayers in season 7.
  5. The scene that inspired hundreds of fanfics