Retro Review: Buffy, you tease.

You slay me...What would vampire week be without a little Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

We first fell for the ass-kicking, vampire staker in the 1992 movie, and let’s not breeze over the fact that a whole new generation will fall for a whole new Buffy in the upcoming, yet to to be cast remake. A slight aside, word on the e-street is the powers that be are considering Megan Fox in the titular role. In the name of all that is holy, please DO NOT cast this innocuous mouth-breather.

Anywho, on with the retro review…

This little junkie decided to take the Sarah Michelle Gellar-helmed, Buffy TV series for a spin. While I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, I have to admit to having never watched an entire episode until today. Fret not, though. I get to maintain my junkie status. Let’s put it this way, I was supposed to review the first episode and have this post up by mid-morning. Instead, I watched the entire first season. Delicious, soapy vampire lore? Check. Junkie 1’s nostalgia for mid-late 90s fashion and fear of the Internet? Check. (Oh dial-up, how I missed you).

However, it wasn’t great. I was hoping for more vampire slaying, and I’m not sure I know how to feel about the hyena transpossession, the ventriloquist dummy demon hunter, the praying mantis virgin collector, the cheerleading, Barbie voodoo witch, or the robot demon.

Also, season 1 Buffy didn’t do much for the feminist movement: she is really bummed not to be a first string cheerleader, reminisces about being prom queen at her old school, whines about breaking a nail whilst slaying the ‘pires, her first words post assassination by electrocution attempt: “Seriously, guys. How’s my hair?,” and worst of all in my book: She cuts history class all the time. Gee whiz, Buff, I can’t think of a single reason you should care about things that happened in the past!

No worries, though, because they wrote in a delightful British chap to do your homework for you so you could go about being cute with an inexplicable white manicure, short skirts, and copious amounts of leather in your wardrobe (including a leather pantsuit). Oh, yeah and they made your vamps run at zombie speed, so you could still where heels everywhere.

Okay, I’ll take a breath. After all, it’s just season one, right? So I shouldn’t get too bent out of shape if they want you to believe Sunnydale is so po-dunk that the bad side of town is only a block from the good side, but your high school library rivals the one in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and contains sections like “Organ Harvesting.” Or that Charisma Carpenter was supposed to be playing 16, but really looked to be 28. Or how the writers were too desperately trying to make “wiggin'” happen (so not fetch, by the way). Or that the evil lord master vampire claps like Paula Abdul. Okay, okay. So I wouldn’t have known what Paula Abdul clapped like if I would’ve bothered to watch the show when it aired…

Point is, I am a little bummed. I know Kristy Swanson’s original Buffy wasn’t exactly a MENSA member either, but after all of the hype I was expecting a really cool chick. Instead, I got to see another bordering on “ditz” blonde with super strength. Don’t get me wrong, I plan on siphoning off of Junkie 2’s dvd collection to watch the rest of the series, with the hopes that Buffy actually becomes an intelligent kick-ass woman. I do love Joss, so I have all the confidence that he will steer her in the right direction. And I wouldn’t be upset if I got a little more Angel action.

Author’s Note: I have since watched multiple seasons of Buffy and have a less harsh opinion of our favorite little slayer, but I still feel like the group dynamic is what makes it really work best. In short, more love, less hate (though there was never really any hate hate).

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7 thoughts on “Retro Review: Buffy, you tease.

  1. Junkie2 says:

    In the seasons to come more Angel will definitely happen, more vamp slaying will be included, but Buffy doesn’t become a feminist by any means. But as the seasons go on they find a better balance and it works for her and the show. As with the movie I think they are trying to show that those aspects of her personality are what make her distinct from other vampire hunters and she doesn’t have to change who she is to fulfill her destiny.

    I do remember thinking as I did my first Buffy marathon that I never knew someone in California needed or had so many coats. She puts this Minnesota native to shame.

    • Junkie1 says:

      I just wished she was a little more Lara Croft and a little less Cher Horowitz. Which is really a dis to Cher, because she actually did her homework and got good grades.

      • Junkie2 says:

        You’ll like Faith then. At least for a little while. If I were to rank my favorite characters I think Buffy would come in last. Not because I find faults with her, but because the supporting cast/characters are so strong.

        I think Joss is gifted at creating great friendships/groups/teams/partners and not so much an individual character to root for.

      • Junkie1 says:

        It’s true, Joss’ ladies usually do support. I just found it a little lame that they had a teacher tell Buffy he believed in her capability as a student, that he felt she could be remarkable if she applied herself…and then they promptly had his head bit off. Literally.

        We’ll have no more of that talk, Dr. Gregory!”

  2. Eralc Alegna says:

    It’s all about the development of the character. They might have dumbed her up a bit too much in the beginning and overstated their point, but a main plot line is her growth and acceptance of her fate.
    Keep going! It’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty damn good. Worth it just for the clever throwaway jokes

    • Junkie1 says:

      I already acquired seasons two and three from Junkie2! I do like the show, it’s just got several easy targets to pick off. What show doesn’t, though?

  3. […] find the faults. Although, I can rip something to shreds and still love it (like my retro review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The things I am addicted to (movies, books, television, music, graphic novels, comic books, […]

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