What is an old lady like me doing watching a series about teenaged vampire slayers? Good question! Sit in a comfy chair with a cup of herbal tea (or in a beanbag with a beer) and I shall tell you.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is not about vampires.
I know, right? Mind *blown*!
Well, being honest… it is and it isn’t.
Allow me to explain.
On the surface, the show does revolve around teenagers and vampires. It’s a fun and campy romp where a small-town girl and her friends turn the bad guys (vampires) into poofy piles of dust. There’s an enviable school library, a wise mentor, cemeteries (of course!), and lots of battles in the dark of night.
A tiny scratch below the surface brings us to the relationships between characters: mentor and students, mother and daughter, and friend to friend.
Deeper still… the relationship between good and evil. And hey, by the way… the show seems to ask… What is good? Evil?
The layers of the storylines are myriad. This is a testament to the writing, of course, and also some excellent casting.
I’ve mentioned – oh, about a zillion times – that shows like this appealed to me as I was healing (mentally and emotionally) from 2014: The Year of Pain (the details of which are all over this blog. If you really don’t know what it’s about, click on the tag at the end of this post and you’ll get more than you ever need or want to know).
I had watched the entire series of Ghost Whisperer – twice. I remember talking to my therapist at the time and went on and on about “the underground” and what it represented to me. Absolutely everything carries meaning for me. But you know that, if you’ve been reading along. Anyway, she asked if I’d ever watched Buffy. I hadn’t. She said I might like it and left it at that. A few weeks later, I asked her why she recommended it. She answered with this: It isn’t just about teenagers and vampires.
Ghost Whisperer was – in my opinion – an oasis in my sea of turmoil. Yes, it could and did get gritty at times but mostly, it was beautiful. I almost always cried… and Lord knew I needed to cry.
Buffy grabbed me by the collar and didn’t put me down. It thrust me into the action… and then plunked me back in the library with all the kids and their mentor Giles, the librarian. Everything about it screamed fresh, young, and energetic. Maybe I needed that, too.
But… even that wasn’t “it”. <<< What my therapist intimated.
What was “it”?
It was buried – which is apropos, agreed? 😉
It = symbolism, religion, philosophy, mythology, heroism and to a lesser extent chosen families, gender and sexual identity, and morality.
Take for example the very first episode, in which we learn that Buffy has a bit of a checkered past… and you get the idea right away that this will be her road to redemption. I love REDEMPTION. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
Or, that she has to embrace her true self and do the self-sacrificial thing by fighting away the baddies. Saving the world is what all the Marvel Movies are about – and they’re so popular. Wonder why? I don’t! We love heroes! Don’t we? Some of us dream to BE them, too!
Or, witnessing the transformation of each and every character who passes through Sunnydale – or, as the super-fans say – The Buffyverse. To me… this is what life is all about… finding out who you are and jumping into that person.
And of course, there are the love stories. The most prolific is between Buffy and Angel which spawned a whole ‘nuther show. But I digress.
Finally, there are the demons and bad forces that plague us ALL. Nobody goes by unscathed in this life, do they? Just ask pretty-much everyone right now, during this blasted pandemic.
Yep, Buffy is my pint-sized hero. Well, maybe I mean my pint-aged. Ha!
Boy, I love this series! While I didn’t see the original movie or read any of the fan fiction after, the series was good enough for me. Even as an old lady.