Another One of Those Stinkin' "Buffy" Recollections
By Adam Griffin, Entertainment Editor,

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how to write this little piece- it’s not really an article, or a retrospective, or a review, or an essay.

    It’s about the end of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

    It’s funny, really- while I’ve had various levels of attachment to shows (the original “Transformers” cartoon from the 80’s, “G.I. Joe”, an unhealthy obsession with the early episodes of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”… it was the MAN IN SUIT~! action, I tell you!  Stupid MAN IN SUIT~!), no show really hit me like “Buffy” did.  No other show seemed to get it right- it’s an ungodly, almost bewildering fusion of horror, comedy, and action all from the mind of Joss Whedon, and fleshed out by a wonderful team of writers and a dedicated cast and crew.  While it might have stumbled over the past two seasons (well, I don’t think so, but that’s what all the other people are saying, and since opinions = fact these days…), there is no other show like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and I have a feeling that we’re never going to see anything like it again.

    So, join me as I remember how it all began for yours truly.  And since this is one of my columns, this is going to be quite disjointed and slightly crazy, so hold on to your seats, and make sure your mouse pointer doesn’t get lost amidst my caffeine-fueled ramblings.


    It was a random Tuesday in 1998- somewhere it was probably a dark and stormy night, but I have no idea what kind of night it was in Griffworld because I was bored.  Completely and utterly bored.  There was nothing on television that I watched regularly, and I hadn’t become a complete slave to Cartoon Network just yet, nor did the Internet completely hook me like it does now.  

    So, like I said, I was bored.

    Accidentally, I clicked over to the WB, and found myself watching some crazy, poorly lit show.  This was before I’d actually gotten into watching and collecting movies, so I described everything as “crap” or “stupid-looking”; occasionally I still describe things as “crap” or “stupid-looking”, but now I can back those claims up intelligently, or at least that’s what my diploma from the University of Pittsburgh means.  Anyway, I was about to change the channel, when something unidentifiable clicked for me.

    The show was kinda interesting.

    I recognized it as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” due to the fact that they kept calling one of the characters “Buffy”, and I was quite wary to continue watching as I, like most of America, wasn’t too keen about the movie of the same name that had come out a couple of years prior and bombed like nobody’s business.

    Although I did own the official movie novelization… foreshadowing, perhaps?

    Where was I?  Oh yes, me and “Buffy” on a random Tuesday. The episode was “Halloween”, and I was thoroughly and utterly hooked, captivated, enthralled, all that good stuff.  I’d been swept up in “Buffy”-induced madness in the nick of time too- the show was gearing up for sweeps week, so I could play catch up on the storylines.  I quickly identified with Xander (played by Nicholas Brendon), who’s the smart-assed, non-powered member of the “Scooby Gang”, and managed to like Willow (played by Alyson Hannigan) oodles and oodles more than Buffy (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar)… then again, that might have something to do with seeing the usually-quirky Willow in a half-shirt during the aforementioned “Halloween”. Talk about a ratings getter.  One cold shower for Griff, please.

    Needless to say, it was the start of a beautiful relationship:  every Tuesday I’d be entertained for an hour, and that was that.  There was no catch, no double standard, just me, “Buffy”, and my TV.  I don’t know what really hooked me during that initial 44 minutes; whether it was the dynamic between the characters or the random bits of people kicking the crap out of each other (or vampires or demons or little kids dressed up as demons… it was a wacky episode), or the “bustiness” of the tactless Cordelia (played by Charisma Carpenter… and, I’m a guy, so I can comment on the “bustiness” of a character in a complimentary, “No, please don’t slap me, I swear I was trying to be nice and appreciative!” sort of way.), I just don’t have any concrete idea as to what got my attention.  

    I realized one thing fairly quickly, however; “Buffy” was  a show that you’d either get or wouldn’t put up with one iota- I had roommates and friends flat-out confused as to why I’d watch the show constantly throughout college, which is pretty funny considering that my roommate freshman year was a rabid “Dawson’s Creek” fan.

    Yeah, Katie Holmes notwithstanding, I don’t know why either.

    As I sit back and think, there have been a lot of moments from the show that I can definitely rate as “good times”.  The whole Buffy/Angel relationship, Xander saving the world not once, but twice, the introductions of Oz, Faith, and Anya, the destruction of Sunnydale High School (and the delay of “Graduation Day, Part 2” thanks to the Columbine shootings… man, I was not a happy Griff that summer), Spike’s journey from being a snarky, lovesick villain to a sarcastic, contemptible, lovesick hero, Willow’s addiction to power and Giles’ subsequent attempt to kick the holy hell out of her, and last but not least, Buffy’s sacrifice to save the world in “The Gift”, the show’s one hundredth episode.  

    Oh, and every single moment of “Once More With Feeling”, which is season six’s musical episode.  You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a character sing a solo about her fear of bunny rabbits.

    There are dozens of dozens of lists out there that state plenty of other standout moments, but those are the ones I think of while I remember.  Those are the characters and situations that kicked me in the head and said, “Hey!  It’s good to create something!  See how much fun this can be?”, and ultimately, this is the show that I blame for making me want to be a writer, and causing my parents, family, and friends to wonder why I am so damn crazy.

    Just like them, I don’t know why either.

    Hey, at least I’m honest.

    “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”; it had a good run, from 1997-2003.  That’s one hundred and forty four hours of television not including a spin-off series, countless comic books and novel tie-ins.  While the “Buffyverse” is large enough to go on forever franchise wise, it’s time for the Slayer to ride off into the sunset… or die again, depending on how much Joss Whedon wants to screw with the fans...  in a logical yet undeniably infuriating manner, of course.

    However, no matter what happens, I’m going to miss it.

    A lot.

    Adam Griffin is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and is currently waiting for someone to show him the money.  He is also fully prepared to be completely devastated in a manly way by the time 9 PM EST rolls around on May 20th, which will cause him to miss all the important developments in the season finale of “24”, or what he refers to as the “Jack Bauer Power Hour”.  Because of that, he is vehemently damning Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy”, in advance.