Sunday, January 15, 2006

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I should probably put a spoiler warning on this for anyone who's not a Buffy fan but might be considering watching the series.

Buffy Logo

So far I've not really talked much about my addiction to Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, largely because it's been so long since I watched any seasons of the series. However I started back at the beginning of season 1 today, watching "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest", and I reminded afresh of just how subversive is Whedon's series. The teaser for the first episode featuring a boy and girl breaking into a school - and you immediately assume that the girl's going to be the victim - until Joss proves you wrong ! Then there's Buffy, the blonde girl who talks California-teen-speak, but is actually intelligent and reasonably capable; I love it when she hides from Angel in the alley - and she's supporting herself upside down from that metal bar - the first time I saw that I gasped with surprise, even though I came to "Buffy" knowing that Buffy herself was not a useless blonde...

Then there's the fact that one of the first teenagers you meet, Jesse, is turned into a vamp and killed in the second episode ! That's subversive too, because you see Buffy making friends with him, Xander and Willow, and assume he's going to be a part of the Scooby Gang...

I confess, though, that every time I watch the first season, I cringe at the American teen-speak, some of which I didn't understand the first time around (I have enough trouble understanding British teen-speak !) - I was relieved when Joss and his writers toned it down, otherwise I don't think I would have coped with such incomprehensible dialogue.

And my favourite character ? Giles - without a shadow of a doubt ! His own incomprehension of the teen-speak, his dry wit and sense of humour, his tendency to get knocked about, and (of course) his sheer love of books, make him hugely appealing to me (plus Anthony Stewart Head is lovely !)

23 comments:

Kerry said...

Hey Michele, this is Kerry from FantasyFavorites.

You were obviously born to be a friend. Not only a book fan, but a Buffy fan - and even more importantly, a Giles fan! Giles has been my favourite character from the very first episode. I was so sorry to see less of him in the last couple of seasons, even though I totally understood that Tony wanted to spend more time with his family.

I agree the beginning of the series sets the tone for all of it as Darla plays the helpless blonde and then turns into the monster.

And the Jesse thing proves you'll never be able to take this show for granted or make assumptions. The Jesse credit comes back to haunt us when the only time Amber Benson makes the main credits is in the episode in which Tara dies.

Are you a Firefly fan too? Another great show.

Michele said...

I'm a total Whedonite - I not only love Buffy, but Firefly/Serenity and Angel too ! I often refer to him as "The Great God Joss (TM)" :-D

And yes - you're quite right to point out that the first time Tara appears in the opening credits is the episode in which she dies...

Yes I missed Tony in seasons 6 and 7 - but I too can understand his desire to spend at least some time at home with his family. And talking of Tony, have you come across his CD "Music for Elevators" ? I recommend it !

Kelly said...

I'm afraid to start watching Buffy. Too many people I like LOVE it. Holding off...

Michele said...

Why ? Why are you deferring the absolute pleasure of watching a beautifully written and characterised series ? You don't have to watch all seven seasons at once... Go, wallow in pleasure ! :-D

Kerry said...

Yes, I have 'Music for Elevators'. Nice album. It must be time to pull it from the shelf and listen to it again.

I went the the NZ pre-screening of Serenity and there were some people there with t-shirts that read 'Joss is my Master now' which I rather liked.

Michele said...

Heh ! That's pretty good... At least he's better looking than the Master !!

Fence said...

I've recently started rewatching my Buffy dvds, although i don't have season 1. I just started in on season 4 at the weekend.

Michele said...

Hmm, season 4 is my least favourite season in many ways. Riley just grates my cheese, unfortunately - although Adam is a seriously unnerving Big Bad !

frankengirl said...

Ah, yes, I adore Giles, too. :) I don't think many realized how much he grounded the show - until he was gone.

Michele said...

I would love to have known Giles in person - he's so fabulous...

Can I ask how you found my Blog - just out of curiosity ?

Lauren said...

Hey there, another Buffy fan here! And a book fan - my flatmate and I are working our way through Australia's top 100 books! Anyway, back to Buffy! Big fan here. Not many people I know are into it as much as I am! Also an Angel fan. I have been working my way though the series on DVD. Up to season 3 near the end. I've been thinking of revisiting Buffy though recently!

Michele said...

Hi Lauren !

I've reached the middle of season 2 of Buffy - just (half an hour ago) finished watching "Surprise" and "Innocence"... I'm not so keen on the rest of this season because I hate Angelus (I know, I'm supposed to hate him !) - and what he does to Jenny and therefore to Giles is really horrible...

I've yet to buy Angel - can't really afford it on my pauper's wages, alas !

Lauren said...

Yeah what he does to Jenny is terrible! But in some really weird way I still love him when he is evil! I do love the episode where Buffy kills him - makes me cry!!!

Michele said...

Oh yes... The bit where Buffy's up against the wall and he says to her "no weapon, no friends, what you got left?" and she says "Me" and catches the blade of the sword between her hands, yanks it out of his grasp and then attacks - I get choked every time.

Lauren said...

Gee thanks! Now all I can picture is that scene!!! :)

What's your favourite episode?

Michele said...

Oh I've got more than one favourite ! 'Prophecy Girl', 'Becoming Parts 1 & 2', 'The Dark Age', 'Earshot', 'Hush', 'The Body', 'Once More, With Feeling', 'Grave', 'The Zeppo', 'Dopplegangland', 'Superstar', 'Primeval', 'Restless', 'Family' (almost the entirety of season 5 in fact), 'Conversations with Dead People', 'Storyteller', 'Chosen' - I think that's everything !

The Poodle's Friend said...

Sadly, I don't know anyone who's as obsessed with Buffy as I am. Which is a pity, really, because I love talking about it. I connect random situations with Buffy moments and expect people to smile, but nobody gets it. In fact, they get annoyed.
It's so irritating when people say that Buffy's just a show about Vampires, and every time I try to tell them that it's so much more, they laugh at me.
Oh, well, they don't know what they're missing.
Is Firefly anywhere near as good as Buffy? I'm debating whether or not to buy the DVD set...
As for Angel, my loyalty to the Buffyverse made me watch it all, but I never found it as good as Buffy. What do you think?

Michele said...

I really know what you mean - I do that myself and just get blank looks back...

Firefly is brilliant ! Another great ensemble cast of characters and some brilliant episodes - "Out of Gas" and "Objects in Space" are my favourites... I was a bit sceptical at first - but so many people raved about it that I decided to give it a go and I haven't looked back.

Lauren said...

Michele and Poodles Friend - I too do that! At least you are not alone!

I need to go an look at the episode listings of both Buffy and Angel to remember which ones are my favourites! I can remember the episodes, just not the names!

Michele said...

I have the three "Watcher's Guide" books... No need for online episode guides !

The Poodle's Friend said...

I happen to know all the episode titles in order...*blushes*
I didn't sit down and learnt them, though.

Michele said...

I've never been that much of a geek about a TV show - being far more of a book geek, myself. (I can't even name all the Firefly episodes in order and there are far fewer of them !)

Michele said...

By the way if you Buffy fans want to continue the conversations with me via email, please feel free to email me - my address is: scolere at gmail dot com