The Vampire Slayer. "Um, is there a guy in there that's dead?"
asks Anthony Clark.
is Buffy the greatest thing on TV? Well, it's a funny,
irreverent, sharply observed comedy drama. It retells popular
myths and legends, updating them along the way, turning them
into modern parables of teen angst and confusion. It's all
that, and more.
just because our story starts life in an American school (normally
the "teen drama" kiss of death) doesn't mean its points of
reference are that narrow. It effortlessly spreads its net
much wider into more universal themes, in the process freeing
it from the traps normally associated with youth-oriented
shows. Buffy is nothing that it first appears to be.
and that's what keeps it from being so last week. But hey,
you've been paying attention so you'd know, right?
closer examination the world Buffy inhabits is actually not
based in anything nearing reality. Even apart from the monsters,
vampires and magic, no one on Planet Buffy gets spots, has
a bad hair day or suffers from acute shyness like most teenagers
do. Willow may claim she is a hapless geek but right from
day one she's the girl that geek teenage boys would want to
date - a babe in geek clothing. Please!
Xander. He's so a loser too, not. But by portraying winners
as losers it makes them good to identify with. After all,
nobody likes a smart arse, but a likeable failure is everyone's
friend. While people like Cordelia, who appears to have it
all, is actually Miss Two-Dimensional vainglorious bitch and
we can therefore hate her. "Being this popular is not just
my right, it's my responsibility." Yeah, right.
Giles is sort of a protector, sort of a teacher, sort of a
friend type guy. The adult you can trust but can't quite understand.
But then isn't that the best you can ever expect from someone
over 40 when you're still in your teens? And as for Angel.
the dangerous love interest from the wrong side of the tracks
but all vulnerable with it. You can't say you wouldn't be
tempted if you were Buffy.
herself is the ideal heroine - smart, sassy, attractive, unsure
of her abilities (despite being a vampire killer), funny and
cute. The girl that has almost everything except for a normal
life and whose boyfriend just so happens to be undead. Yuk!
not convinced that Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the
coolest thing on TV? It's your loss, but next time a creature
from the Hellmouth comes scratching at your door you'll be
pleased she's around because "monsters don't usually send
messages. It's pretty much 'Crush! Kill! Destroy!'" You have