Friday, January 04, 2008

On Buffy

You could call this my transformation to total geekdom.

A few months ago, I was finally persuaded by a couple of friends to start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The friends in question are totally not alike -- two guys who had watched the whole series with their roommates on their giant big-screen TV in between video games and the nerdiest sort of fratty activities possible, and a girl law student who had watched it in high school and loves The OC and Gossip Girl. I had to take both sets at their word, right, given that Buffy seemed to cross such boundaries? I started with the first season while I was really sick, and towards the end of it the guy Buffy fans came up and joined me for the beginning of the second. That was a while ago, and I admit it took me a while to get really into the second season, but once I finally did, and finished it, and moved on to the third, I was entirely hooked. Seriously. I mocked this show in high school (when it was on), but it is actually really awesome. I swear. There are a lot of cheesy monsters and one of the primary plot points revolves around the Vampire Slayer falling in love with a vampire (who has a soul because of a gypsy curse but... I won't go into those details), but it is a really damn good show. In a way that has actually kind of shocked me. I mean, I finally understand these Buffy fanatics. It's the kind of show that brings back old characters and plot lines episodes and episodes after you thought that plot was out, and it's not superfluous, it's actually really clever and sort of heartwarming when previous characters end up being less throwaway than you thought. I'm talking like, full seasons later, kind of like how at the end of the third season of the Office, Pam gives Jim the medal from the Office Olympics which took place at the beginning of the second season. You know when I compare a show to the Office that it must be good. To add to that, it's actually really touching. I have to admit that I cried at "The Prom" episode, not because of the ongoing Buffy-Angel drama but for the award the kids of the high school give to Buffy for saving their hides all the time. And SPEAKING of the Buffy and Angel drama, let me tell you, it is not as goofy and cheesy as you think it is. When Angel's bad he's very bad. But there's one episode (season 2) where Buffy is dealing with this ghost in the high school (played, incidentally, by Henry from Ugly Betty) and there's this fantastic little switcheroo where Buffy and Angel are possessed by the ghost and have this weird moment despite the fact that Angel is evil at the time.

Now here comes the moment in the paragraph of outpouring affection where I realize I sound like a total geek. I know! What the hell! I've crossed some sick line of Buffy love hate. Over Christmas, I accidentally forgot one of the discs for season 3 at my apartment in SF, and had to go on a wild goose chase to find it somewhere in the vicinity of my parents' house. I went to or called four video stores, which is like the majority of video stores in Whittier, on Christmas Eve, trying to find this disk. (I ended up borrowing it from my sister's boyfriend's roommate, who is apparently spending all his days on the couch with the Buffy DVDs, and it's a good thing, too, because those episodes had some pretty crazy things happening.) That's sheer madness! To top it off, I started reading "Twilight," which if you don't know is this young adult book that's allegedly the new Harry Potter-type franchise, only it isn't, and it's about a young girl who falls in love with a vampire. Hello. I read 200 pages of this book the other night in just a teensy bit more than an hour. Am I becoming one of those people who likes stories about vampires? I have no idea. I think so! Stop me before I revoke years of dislike for "The Interview with the Vampire" movie and start reading the Anne Rice books upon which it's based. But don't try to take away my Buffy. I've got four seasons left of that, and something like five or six seasons of Angel (I KNOW, can you believe me right now), before I can come back to earth again. First I need to get my hands on that fourth season.

(Oh, and on a final note, the other day I was on the phone with a FedEx person talking about a delivery that had been made to Sunnyvale, and I kept accidentally saying SunnyDALE, which is the setting for Buffy. Seriously! I have lived just a few miles from Sunnyvale for six years, and I was getting the name wrong.)

I really can't believe I just wrote a whole entry about this.


Kim said...

I definitely spent my fair share of nights in junior high/high school crying over episodes of Buffy. If you think you're emotionally invested now, just wait till the end...

Remind me sometime to tell you how I ended up being able to watch Buffy (and Dawson's Creek), if I haven't already.

Anonymous said...

Once you remind Kim, can you share the story? My curiosity is piqued.