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Like A Fine Wine

Thursday, June 21, 2007
I purchased the complete 7 season Buffy the Vampire Slayer box set for Brazen Hussy last year for Christmas. We've been working steadily through them ever since (we just started Season 5), and I have a confession to make. That show was way, way better than I ever gave it credit for. Now I always liked it - I started watching it I think at the end of the first season or the beginning of the second. But because it was full of monsters and campy dialogue, I considered it a guilty pleasure.

Perhaps it's the distance since the show ended, or blooming nostalgia, or watching the episodes in a more compressed fashion, but I now think it was one of the greatest shows in the history of television. There's the clever allegories of angst actualizing as monsters, of course. There's the wonderfully believable three-dimensional characters, all of whom change in incremental and realistic ways during the series. There's the resistance to hackneyed plot - no end of season cliffhangers, no pregnancy scares, no deaths by main characters (there is that one resurrection by Angel, but I'll forgive it). But what I find truly striking is the sheer discipline of the show. It's amazing - they lay out a plot line and then leave it in the water for years, letting us get a nibble here, a nibble there, until they finally reel us in. The greatest temptation of writers is to rush to the good parts, but Joss Whedon is an expert in leaving us, not hanging, but savoring every twist and turn.

Only is it now, years after the show went off the air, that I really appreciate it for what it was. And now I'm going to have to go and buy that damned comic series Joss is writing to find out what happens next. Because with great characters, you are never ever finished.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 1:52 PM
  • Funny, I've been doing the same lately - lately I've been on Season 4, and I'm alternating it with Angel episodes from the same time. Wow, I just admitted that.

    Anyway, you're right - it's a really well-constructed, smart, disciplined show. I love that seemingly minor events can have payoffs several seasons later. And it's still the best show about growing up I've ever seen.

    But what's up with nobody having a cell phone?

    By Blogger Paul Curtis, at 5:37 PM  
  • Oh HELL yeah. We've been through the whole series three times now, and honestly, every time has been amazing.

    (And the comics? Excellent. Not quite like getting another season, but pretty damn nice.)

    By Blogger luckybuzz, at 1:09 AM  
  • Well I read that Joss is going to write a "Season 8" for the comics, which sounds pretty damn cool!

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 9:28 AM  
  • Paul: Oh I get it. You don't comment on the Bloomberg piece, but you do on the Buffy post? What kind of a political blogger are you? :)

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 9:29 AM  
  • What kind of a political blogger are you? :)

    A half-assed one, my friend. A half-assed one.

    By Blogger Paul Curtis, at 9:57 AM  
  • Boyfriend and I finished the series sometime in April and I'm thinking about starting it all over again. I'm also chomping at the bit to take a peek at the comic - a friend of mine who is both a Buffyphile and graphic novelist loved the first one.

    Is it bad that I jog to the OMWF soundtrack?

    By Blogger Wild Eyed Rose, at 3:03 AM  
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