Praising, not burying

A couple of weeks ago one of the greatest tv shows ever broadcast its final episode. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a silly title and was based on a mediocre movie. These two facts kept me from watching it for years, despite several friends who kept telling me it was good. But when I finally started watching it, near the beginning of its fourth season, I got hooked.

It was like nothing else on television, and not just because of its setting, a small town in California where every old horror movie monster (plus a few new ones) showed up to prey upon the unwary. Buffy relentlessly put new spins on old material. Even the show's central concept was a reversal of an old horror movie staple. This time, the young blond girl was ready and waiting to kick some monster butt. And the show was funny. It used humor constantly, to undercut tension, to emphasize character, to underline absurdity. Some episodes would be played mostly straight, while other episodes would gleefully do 110mph into the realm of the absurd. It was often the funniest show on tv, putting the lame laugh-track sitcoms to shame.

Buffy fearlessly mixed genres, using horror, comedy, action, fantasy, romance and a sort of epic melodrama, sometimes all in the same episode. It often had cool fighting scenes worthy of a big-budget movie, particularly in seasons 2-4. It regularly annoyed the censors and prudes, pushing the envelope on what could be shown on broadcast tv. Decapitations, disembowlings, eye-gougings. Lesbian macking, deflowerings, a sadomasochistic relationship. But the show always provided a moral framework, a context to view its characters' actions, inviting discussions of morality. And the show rarely flinched from following the logical repercussions of a character's action, from the bad things that can happen "the morning after" to the effect of constant violence on our hero.

For me, Buffy's biggest attraction has always been its cast of characters. They're strong, smart, cool, sexy, interesting, which is not to say they weren't geeks, snobs, selfish, greedy, or stupid, because they were, at least sometimes. But they're people I'd like to hang out with, people I grew to care about, and for all the show's supernatural trappings, the characters were what the show was all about. Buffy and her friends Xander and Willow were the core. They were sometimes upstaged by interesting secondary characters, but they were always there, our guides, and in the end, the show was always about them and their journey. How they survived high school and became adults. The ways they grew and changed (or were killed and ripped out of heaven, or went evil and threatened the world, etc.) Cheers, guys. I'll miss you.

To comemmorate the end of show, I'll be making Buffy posts all week. Top 10 lists, season-by-season reviews, philosophical ruminations, incoherent ramblings. Stay tuned!

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Woot! John has arrived!

Woot! John has arrived!

Truthfully, I think this

Truthfully, I think this show went out with a whimper. The final episode was not anywhere as good as it should have been. Also, they did not really take into account the spinoff. What exactly is Angel's purpose now that there are thousands of Slayers running around, all ready to kill evil. Hell, I bet Angel has 3 living in LA now, making him moot.

They should have taken out most of the scoobies, Buffy included, in a very large final showdown that would have closed the Hellmouth (and not mentioned the one in Cleveland) and left Buffy dead.

Blah.

Ya'know.. I'll never

Ya'know.. I'll never understand the Buffy thing. I was forced to watch the final ep. Just don't get it.

Great first post John!

Great first post John! Looking forward to it.

Oh man, if your first

Oh man, if your first episode was the LAST episode.... I don't blame you. You'd never get it from that.

I think the 7th season was the weakest, beyond the 5th season (JCR disagrees with me about the 5th vs. 4th seasons), and generally weak in plotting, characterization, writing, etc.

You have to watch either Season 2 or 3 if you want to know why Buffy was interesting.

And John O- I agree that the ending was kind of weak. I enjoyed it anyway, but it went out with a whimper instead of a bang.

Thanks for the welcome,

Thanks for the welcome, guys. I'm glad you guys liked the post.

And I liked the finale, although it didn't make the rest of season 7 make any more sense. But I thought it was a good ending. I didn't want to see everyone dead.

I plan to post mini-reviews of all the seasons, so we can argue about things then, Brian.

How lame would it have been

How lame would it have been if Buffy had died *again*? As it was they killed Anya and Spike, plus a few of the potentials. I thought it was a good (but, hey, not great) finish to a fantastic show. And yes s7 didn't completely make sense, but BtVS has never been about that anyway...

I thought it was kinda a let

I thought it was kinda a let down. I live in NZ and we only had it here a couple of weeks back. I was upset that Spike died and that when Buffy told him she loved him all he had to say was "no you don't, but thanks for saying it". After all the build up, that was kind aa blow off. I also believe something more dramatic should have happened. This was by far the best show I have ever watched and I miss it already. However, I only started watching it at the end of Season 5 and since then I have watched Season 1 and 2 and half of 3 on DVD so its interesting to see how the characters develop. Long live Buffy!

I personally think the way

I personally think the way Spike dealt with Buffy telling him that she loved him was a credit to the character, after being partically lame in the last few years. Also i think he was right, because i think if he was certain other characters, she would have saved him, or died trying.

I agree with whoever said the ending was not very good, it was nowhere near as good as most of the other finales, although I loved Giles' 'The earth is definatley doomed' that was the only thing in the ep that was touching in any way, probaly 'cos I'm a sucker for nostalgia.