Sucked In, Again

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).

Hot

Hotter

Yowza!

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.

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2 thoughts on “Sucked In, Again

  1. I’ve got to say, I never really jumped on (or even attempted to locate where the proverbial Band Wagon picks people up) for Fan Fiction as a genre. For anything. I guess that would make me a ‘purist’ in the Geekdom of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but anything that I’ve managed to pick up just seemed really horribly contrived in the fact that who ever wrote it (not a critique on your writing, dearest, as I’ve not read any of it) was trying to hard to create relationships and dynamics that, well frankly, had no business being. Otherwise, the author would have brought that across in the original work, had that been their intent.
    My current love affair is for doing book-to-movie comparisons – and some of this drives me up a tree because they like to change the dynamic of situations to force relationships in a smaller time frame – and while I understand why they do it, I think that movie makers today sometimes miss the boat completely on some of what was intended. Latest comparisons – Reading the entire Harry Potters then watching all the movies, (The 3rd one is my least favorite for book butchering, the 4th because I hate what they did with Daniel Ratcliff’s hair) and Water for Elephants – Robert Patterson was a surprisingly good choice for Jacob, but they cut out one of the main characters, which really didn’t sit well with me.

  2. I see a bit of your wife in each of your obsessive fantasy chicks. Never was in to any of those shows, guess i can’t hang.

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