You wouldn’t know it by looking at the types of books I read or some of the scenes I, myself, have written, but when I was younger I was quite a wuss. I was a Disney kid who liked puppies and kittens and was too shy for her own good, so scary stuff wasn’t really my thing. To explain to you just how much of a wuss I was, it took several years for me to make it all the way through Pinocchio because I was scared half to death of Monstro the whale. I had more than a few nightmares about that devil-whale.
Yet, despite the adrenaline that would kick up the second something even began to consider being scary, there were a few ghosts-and-monsters related shows that I loved to watch, most of them on YTV on Friday nights. One such show was Buffy the Vampire slayer, which I began watching right from the very beginning. At this point in my life I’d never seen the original movie version of Buffy, but I took immediately to the show, and to Buffy in particular.
There have been many arguments on both sides of the fence when it comes to this particular show, but all I can say either way is that I’ve loved it from the moment I first discovered it, and Buffy immediately became one of my favorite characters ever. She was created by (in my opinion) a brilliant writer in Joss Whedon, and brought to live by (in my opinion) a wonderful actress in Sarah Michelle Gellar, but neither of those things were the reason why I took to Buffy so well.
When I was a kid things were starting to sway, but it was still the “way” of things for the guy to be the hero. The handsome jock would lead the team (Power Rangers), the men would be responsible for the most important battles (Luke Skywalker and Han Solo), the charming prince would rescue the damsel in distress (so many examples I couldn’t possibly list them all). In a world where, for the most part, the girls were the background characters or constantly being rescued, here was a female character who was front line and center. She was the main character, strong and powerful and could totally kick ass, and she was the one doing 99% of the saving. And for all her strength and Chosen One-liness, she was at the core just a regular girl. Her strength didn’t come from size, nor her abilities from super-intelligence. She was just a girl. She had been a cheerleader. She had been totally full of herself, as many teenage girls are. In other words, she could have been anyone. She could have been me, or my best friend, or that really quiet girl in my class who was sweet but shy, or the loud-mouth popular girl who everyone secretly hated.
That appealed to me as a kid. The idea that any random, completely typical teenage girl could just up and become a superhero was a huge thing.
But – and here’s the important part that Whedon and Gellar had a huge influence on – even though she was the center of the monster-slaying universe, and was the most important character, and was the kick-ass female hero, Buffy was not by any means infallible or invulnerable. She made huge mistakes. She got her butt handed to her on multiple occasions. She fell into deep depressions. She hurt the ones she loved and then made herself miserable trying to fix things. She saved the world, but she couldn’t always save all the victims. And that just made her that much more real, that much easier to relate to, that much easier to care for. Buffy Summers is one of those characters whom I became so fond of, so invested in, that it hurt me physically to see her in any kind of pain.
It’s been 17 years since the first time I watched a Buffy episode, and over the course of those 17 years I’ve watched every Buffy episode at least three or four times. Some episodes were better than others, and I will readily agree with some that the first couple of seasons were leaps and bounds over the last couple, but in the end I loved them all. Buffy was one of the first fictional characters to make me bawl like a little girl, something I am none too embarrassed to admit, but as crying for a fictional character is not exactly a common occurrence for me, I think that just goes to prove how awesome Buffy really was.
20 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge Day 2: Buffy Summers (the Vampire Slayer)”
I’ve only watched a few episodes of Buffy, but I did like the ones I saw.
You should watch some more! 😀
I can honestly say that I loved the show (all seven seasons are still on my shelf and are watched every few years front to back), but didn’t have much patience for Buffy herself (and stopped watching for a bit when Angel showed up as he just irritated me…)
I always liked Willow and Xander the best. They were awkward, loyal, and I felt had a lot more personal growth throughout the series. They were more relateable to awkward, tongue shy, says the wrong thing but loves everyone with a frightening degree of loyalty me. They were beyond ordinary, and until Willow got her powers, even more defenseless than Buffy (at least she got the slayer strength) and they didn’t back down from it. I saw tremendous growth in them over the seasons personally, where as I just didn’t see it as much with Buffy.
It all depends who we were when we first started watching 🙂 I’m glad there are still other people who appreciate it.
I have all the seasons on DVD as well, and similarly I watch everything in order at least once every year or two. lol Insanity, I tells ya.
While I’m totally on team Buffy, I definitely agree with you on Willow and Xander as well. The show would have been nothing without them, nothing at all. And Giles too…I was always a huge fan of Giles. ^_^
i was a die hard buffy fan and angel fan and charmed fan. i would torture my mom by watching all those shows. but my favorite character were giles and spike.
I’m sure my mother was a bit tortured as well. She is NOT a sci-fi kind of person and I used to watch things like Buffy CONSTANTLY. lol
I have never seen an episode of Buffy, but I’ve only ever heard great things. It isn’t too say that I WOULDN’T watch it. I’m just no much of a TV watcher. However, I THINK that the show is on Netflix, so I may give it a shot. 🙂 Thanks for the post!
I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but it does have a hell of a following. 🙂
There are a few episodes in particular that are just amazing, I don’t care who you are. lol “Hush” is one such, where monsters steal the voices of everyone in Sunnydale and so the entire cast has to do the episode without speaking. It is AMAZINGLY well done.
Avid Buffy fan who watched every show multiple times, especially Hush. Joss Whedon was, as you say, an essential part of the show but not as much as Sarah Michelle Geller. Great A-Z so far… and thanks for the visit.
I LOVE the “Hush” episode. Definitely one of my favs. 🙂 And although it’s a bit goofy I absolutely adore the musical episode. 😀
I hate to admit, I saw the movie, but never watched the show. I don’t do vampires. I know, crazy talk.
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*Gasp!* My heart! lol
I know vampires aren’t for everyone, but you still might enjoy this show if you give it a chance because it’s not ALL about vampires. There’s lots of other kinds of monsters, and the characters are just classic. 🙂
I’ve only seen the movie. Apparently, my world didn’t include TV for awhile, because I didn’t learn about the Buffy Series until it was no longer being produced.
I really can’t say anything about that because there are lots of shows that my husband and I became obsessed with only after they were long gone from TV. lol
You’re the first person who has admitted that back to me. Normally, I’m just left feeling like the goof. Haha.
Haha…no worries, no worries. Honestly, I prefer our way. Instead of spending so much time and energy making sure that we’re in front of the TV at the right time on the right day, my husband and I just locate shows via friends, word of mouth, and popularity, and if we like it we go get every available episode and binge to our hearts’ content. XD
Reminds me of the college days where we used to watch like mad people 😛 😀 😉
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lmao Oh my goodness, yes. I can remember getting together with friends and binge-watching shows for seven and eight hours straight. lol Oh to have the time to do that kind of thing again!
You hit on some really great points there! I think if she’d been invulnerable, we wouldn’t have liked her nearly as much! That she did mess things up–sometimes REALLY bad–made her so much more approachable as a character. And her entire support group? They were just as awesome! JUST as awesome!
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