Another One of Those Stinkin'
"Buffy" Recollections By
Adam Griffin, Entertainment Editor, Buhner.com
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”.
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
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.
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
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,
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
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”
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.
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
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.
matter what happens, I’m going to miss it.
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