Thoughts on the 25th Anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

You never forget the first female TV character that inspires you to become a badass.

March 10th was the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

It was more than your standard coming-of-age high school drama. The supernatural elements were an allegory for the messy and very complicated experience of being a teenager. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has more to deal with than grades, boys, and friends. She is the Chosen One, the Slayer who has to save the world from all manners of evil that only exists in the very darkest of imaginations.

Writer and showrunner Joss Whedon (whose reputation has recently tanked due to his inability to act like a mature adult), took the allegory of growing up, added a few literal monsters, and in doing so, made the audience feel seen and understood. We related to Buffy and her friends because they were just like us. The fact that she could kick butt and had to save the world was just the cherry on top.

What made the show appealing was more than its title character. The other people who populated this world added additional flavors and colors. Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) was initially introduced as an unsure young woman trying to find her place in the world. By the time series ended, Willow had come out, both as a gay woman and a witch, lost the woman she loved, and grieved in a way that was representative of how powerful that loss was. Angel (David Boreanaz), was both Buffy’s antagonist as a vampire and her first love. After they slept together for the first time, he turned into Angelus, a villain of the first order. The analogy of sleeping with someone who then becomes someone unrecognizable was all too clear. Buffy’s mother, Joyce Summers (Kristine Sutherland) tries to understand what her daughter is going through. Like any good parent, she is doing the best she can. But that does not mean that she is fully comprehending who Buffy has become.

The reason why BVTS has lasted a quarter of a century and continues to appeal to young people is its ordinariness. Underneath the supernatural nature of the series was the everyday experience of becoming an adult and the pitfalls of that experience.

Happy Birthday, Buffy. Here’s to another 25 years.

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Flashback Friday: Sex and the City (2008)

For many women, their wedding day is supposed to be one of the most important days of their lives. The expectations are that it is supposed to be the gateway to the next chapter of their life story. But what happens when it does not happen as planned?

Sex and the City (2008) is the big-screen sequel to the HBO television series of the same name. After years of will they or won’t they, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) are engaged. Carrie is preparing for her wedding, having certain ideas about how the day will go.

When he develops cold feet just minutes before the ceremony is about to begin, she is naturally angry and heartbroken. Turning to her friends, Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall), they will be the support that she needs to deal with this heartbreaking loss. Meanwhile, each of them are having their own problems. Charlotte has been trying to get pregnant after adopting her oldest daughter. Miranda is dealing with trouble in paradise. Samantha is finding that being in a committed relationship is harder than it initially appeared to be.

I know enough about SATC to get by, but I am far from a superfan. The movie is entertaining, enjoyable, and an appropriate sequel to its television predecessor. The narrative followthrough is organic and natural. It’s the kind of film I would watch if it is on, but it is far from required viewing.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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