But there’s a twist! This time, we chose a show that one of us (Janes) knows pretty much by heart, and the other (me, Nerdy Spice) has never watched — Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This is where I’m coming from: I’ve watched two episodes (the Musical Episode, “Once More With Feeling,” and “Hush,” where they all lose their voices) and a WHOLE BUNCH of fanvideos, which means that I have gathered an eclectic and possibly very inaccurate interpretation of the show.
This is pretty much what I know going in (spoiler alert for any other new fans!)
- Buffy and Spike make out a lot, and most people support that, but a few people think Buffy should make out with Angel, and no one thinks Buffy and a guy named “Riley” (I’m not sure who this guy is) should be a thing
- Buffy and Faith switch bodies at some point and the whole fandom collectively is incredibly hot for it
- At some point Buffy dies by diving off a big platform, but she’s not really dead because it’s only season 6 or something?
- Buffy’s little sister is Georgina from Gossip Girl (although really I think of her as Harriet the Spy)
- Sometimes Angel’s normal CW-handsome face turns into a weird vampire face, because he’s a vampire and whatnot. I know Spike is also a vampire but I don’t know if he has a weird vampire face. And there’s something about how Spike gets a soul somewhere around season 6.
Anyway, when I first heard of Buffy, and then also for the next like twelve years, I wasn’t really into fantasy and sci-fi, and I was too serious a child to have an intuitive grasp of camp. But now that I’ve matured beyond my serious phase and discovered a love of camp, I think I’ll have an appreciation of Buffy that I could never have had before. Janes, of course, has always possessed the wisdom of a woman beyond her years, so didn’t need as much “bake time” as I did to age into Buffy.
Anyway, I am prepared to be convinced that I’ve been missing out on something amazing all these years!
First of all, it’s so funny you used the phrase “bake time,” because Buffy stans like myself will recognize it from a very famous line in the show.
Second of all, I am so excited to rewatch this show, which shaped my character even more than Dawson’s Creek (if that’s possible). I started watching it in real time when I was nine, on my mother’s suggestion, because I was getting a little too old for Xena. The first episode I ever saw was the one where Riley goes to a vampire brothel–not the best introduction, granted, but I was hooked. I slowly caught up on the FX reruns after school while watching the fifth season each week. (It took me like, six months to realize that Dawn hadn’t always been there. Life before streaming services was so weird!) For years, Tuesday was my favorite day of the week, because it was Buffy day. I bawled when Buffy died at the end of the fifth season, partially because I was ten, but also because she had already changed my life.
Buffy pretty much changed everything. It subverted campy horror tropes. It was openly, unabashedly feminist in a decade when “post-feminism” was all the rage. It featured the first lesbian sex scene on network television. Buffy has its flaws, which we will definitely talk about, but it’s still a revolutionary, field-of-study-worthy work of art, Joss or no Joss.
If you asked me which show occupies the softest part of my heart, it would probably be Dawson’s Creek. If you asked me which show I admired most, which show is closest to perfect, I would probably say The Americans, or maybe The Leftovers. Buffy is at the intersection–it made me fall in love and, like all great works of art, taught me how to be a human being.
All that being said, I haven’t done a full rewatch in a while (and I hardly ever revisit the first season, TBH). I can’t wait to review all the crazy nineties outfits, fight about ‘ships, and complain about how Xander is absolute garbage.
(Also, it’s been more than 20 years. Feel old.)
We’re going to watch three episodes a week and compare notes: New Fan versus True Stan. Stay tuned!!