I spend a lot of time going through the yesteryear of television. It is mostly so I can learn from those who have either retired or long since passed on. Writing is important to me, but what is vital is the how and why. How does one create a good television show and why are people drawn to it? I look at certain things like Columbo, Trailer Park Boys, and even Wallace & Gromit. But there has been a show that has haunted me for years and it’s now high time that I just sit down and watch it.
That show is Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
I’m not going to go through each show beat by beat. That would be a waste of time. Instead, I am going to just talk about how the show made me feel as a viewer.
The first thing that broke reality for me was the notion that everyone except Giles is a teenager. In fact, I have to accept that these are also not seniors in high school. I understand the whole “hire an adult that can play a teenager” thing that the entertainment industry does, but I think I saw a woman with crow’s feet dressed like a grunge kid. The cynical part of me wanted to view this entire school as the “Sunnydale School for the Ultra Remedial”, but I just turned that part of my brain off and took everything at face value.
For the most part, I enjoyed this two-parter. Watching the episodes back to back lead to some slight frustrations with the writing, but these suckers were not written with the ability to binge watch in mind. Remember, this show was made in the 1990’s. Your butt had to wait for the next episode week by week. Week by week. Most would view this as a form of torture in this day and age. I’m looking at you, fans of The Walking Dead.
I have to readily admit that I love Giles, though. This is a guy that just does not care about formalities. He just pops out a book with “VAMPYR” written on the cover in massive golden letters and just gives a polite smile. There’s no skittishness, no beating around the bush. Giles wants these vampires and monsters dead yesterday. This is a man with a goal and has zero time. As for everyone else, I’ll need more time to let them grow on me. Xander and Willow seem to just kinda exist for the moment and I need to see Buffy get fleshed out more.
Shout out to Angel for being a heart-throb version of “The Cigarette Smoking Man.”
I have one glaring problem that I’ll just get out of the way. It will come up constantly over the course of my time watching this show and I will harp on it until the day I die. This show is truly made in the 90’s. An example:
So, Luke is this mountain of meat that has to be The Master’s killing machine for The Harvest. If you’re coming in blind, it’s exactly what sounds like. Big Bad sends Big Evil Dude to kill a bunch of people for him because of Plot Stuff. No need to get further than that. So, Luke takes off his coat. His vampire make-up looks awesome, the tone is kinda creepy. It’s all coming together pretty well.Then I see he’s wearing this dumb metal surfer choker that just rips apart the whole mystique.
Here’s this massive vampire with muscles on muscles, a voice like thunder and is mean as hell. He’s getting marked with blood on his forehead. This man is ready to kill. He just needs to stop by the surf shack really quick to get his paycheck, though. His boss is a total narc, man. I mean, like, he almost didn’t let him get off for The Harvest because Toby said he needed to study for finals, but we all know Toby’s totally gonna get high with his girlfriend.
I will never let this go. No one will ever stop me from pointing out the painfulness of “The 90’s”.
Outside of my insanity, I really did enjoy what was in front of me. The pacing was on point and the balance of “Vampire Slayer” and “Teenage Problems” was well done. The thing that I worry about, though, is if the show will attempt to keep up with the age of the cast. I genuinely want to see these characters move into senior year, graduate, and just deal with becoming adults. However, what I hope for and what everyone else knows are two very different things. I’m just along for the ride.