There was a time in the early part of this century (and the last part of last century) when I was, admittedly, OBSESSED with the television show Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
It was almost sad, really. But the writing was excellent, the acting ranged from good to great and it was a fun and, in some ways, filled a certain void in my life at the time.
Buffy wasn’t the first television show I’d become overly attached to in my life; I think as teenagers we all go through stages of obsession with media (be it music, television or film) when we’re desperate to feel someone (or something) “gets” us and oh-em-gee our parents are, like, totally clueless, right?!
Erm… yeah… sorry, flashback…
Anyway, there had been shows prior to Buffy that had absorbed a good chunk of my attention, such as Xena (because Gabrielle was totally hot) and the X-Files (because Agent Scully was totally hot) but no other show had ever caused me to obsess the way Buffy did (because Willow was TOTALLY hot).
Ok, in fairness, despite my obvious thing for redheads – what got me hooked on Buffy was the fact that (by the middle/end of Season 4) Willow as officially “out” or “gay now”, as she said. It was like, whoa… lesbian character who’s my age? I can totally relate to this!! Plus, she was in this super sweet and adorable relationship with another girl (Tara) and that is exactly what I wanted for my own life and so I started living vicariously through an imaginary TV couple. I even wrote a good chunk Willow/Tara fan fiction, and had a pretty decent following of readers, too.
But, that was years ago. The series ended (badly IMHO) back in 2003. After continuing to write fan fiction for a few more years, I grew tired of rehashing the characters and, ultimately, fell out of love. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch old episodes because I was (again quoting Willow) “bored now”.
So, I set the series aside and moved on with my life. I am now in a super sweet and adorable relationship with another girl (my wife…who also happens to be a redhead) and I don’t need to live vicariously through anyone (fictional or otherwise). Yay me!
So, really, this should be the end of this post. But, the title probably gave away that it’s not.
Last week I was contacted by someone who had read my Willow/Tara fiction “back in the day” and wanted to interview me for a history they were doing about a popular W/T fan message board (on which I used to post my fic). Naturally, I was keen.
We chatted back and forth for a bit, and then he introduced me to the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer “canonical” Season 8 comic book, written by the writers of the show, including show creator Joss Whedon.
My interest piqued, I read the entire “season”, made up of 40 books in less than three days. Verdict? It was ok. The writing was uneven, the plot confusing and some of the character arcs downright uncharacteristic but, still, it was interesting. Was I drawn back in to the series? No.
But then I made the mistake of reading the first five books of Season 9 and, well dammit, they got me. It was like they had pushed the re-set button and said, “Do over! Let’s try that again.” The writing is still uneven, but the characters are at least behaving like themselves again, and facing obstacles and scenarios that make sense – which is a massive improvement. I was still skeptical until the last frame of the 5th book of this new season and then, wham, they got my full attention with a really nice cliffhanger.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post – I think I set out writing it as a way to see if I could figure out the why’s and how’s of getting pulled back into a series I’d so easily left behind – an article of my youth. Yet, here I am at the end of this little essay and I’m no wiser than I was at the beginning. I guess I’m just fascinated by my own fascination.
How about you guys? Share your experiences if you have any – inquiring minds, as they say, want to know.