Friday, May 8, 2015

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 18 years later?

So, as strange as this is for those who know me, I've never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh, sure, I watched the movie way back in 1992, and enjoyed it. But when the TV series came out I didn't have whatever channel it aired on, so I never watched it. I always went for the cheapest TV plans, so I've missed a lot of shows over the years. Today I decided to remedy this blank in my TV education. After all, I like Joss Whedon, I'm a fan of sci-fi and strong women, and everyone raves about Buffy.

The first two episodes brought me back to those less than glorious days of the late 90's. Girls with long hair and short tops. White fingernail polish and pointed nails. Clubs that you can attend wearing dark slacks, a button up shirt, and sensible high heel loafers. It was a different time.

Speaking of different times, there's also the obligatory computer trope, with Willow as the "hacker." She casually mentions that she decrypted government sewer maps and has done an extensive computer search. Ironically, she had to think through the search phrases and group them herself, as there's no awesome Google formula to answer the question "Is tonight the apocalypse at Hellmouth?"

It's quite apparent how old the show is when "Booth" shows up as Angel. David Boreanaz plays the role and WOW he is young! And hot. His skin is so smooth, no 5 o'clock shadow, no forehead wrinkles. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. 

The humor of the show is uneven as of right now. There's a hint of the campiness of the movie (at least what I can remember), like when Buffy points out a vampire based on his distinct lack of style. Buffy doesn't like her role as slayer, although it's not because she has moral qualms or concerns about her safety; it's more because, like, it totally cramps her style. She kind of wants to graduate from high school, although that desire is easily trumped when a guy she barely knows is in need of rescuing.

There's also a weird lack of concern about all the deaths. A dead student is stowed in a locker and school isn't even cancelled. After a mass murder at the local club, students are still at school just hanging out. This is definitely a pre-Columbine universe, and a pre-9-11 universe. 

Right now, the show isn't getting a lot of stars from me, but the first 2 episodes can be pretty rough. This is a show about a strong woman with a killer instinct, but she was built on a fish out of water premise - the title says it all. Buffy is originally a fluffy cheerleader, a very unlikely slayer, and clearly Whedon is trying to shift that persona. I'll be interested to see where he lands.

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