Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Kaylan Freeman (Kingsbury High School)
Going into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was skeptical. How could anything with the words “vampire slayer” in the title be worth a watch? Twenty-two hours and a gallon of ice cream later, I found myself riveted by my computer screen; as I burned through the first season, I was in awe.
This brings up an interesting question. Why should anyone care about a show that first premiered almost 20 years ago? Why should we revisit the vampire craze from the beginning of this decade?
Buffy is still relevant because the biggest monsters they face aren’t the ones they can simply stake and kill; they are inside of them: Depression, performance anxiety, low self-esteem, you name it.
We all have things inside of us we don’t want to face, things we’d rather keep beneath the surface because we’re afraid of being judged. Buffy the Vampire Slayer forces its characters to abandon this thinking and face their fears head on. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy Summers struggles to balance high school and later adulthood with killing demons and monsters as the prophesized Slayer; however, not only is she not a normal girl, but she also is not the typical Slayer. Buffy attempts and succeeds in maintaining friendships, relationships and her family even though she is destined to save the world alone. She defies her fate by refusing to stand by herself.
The first season of Buffy has a really campy feel to it with every episode featuring a monster of the week. One of the most memorable examples is the episode “The Puppet Show” which features a particularly cheesy plot-a supposed evil dummy slicing and dicing innocent high school students. That was one of the better ones, too. However, it is the growth from this quality throughout the seasons that makes up for it.
I admit, the graphics of the show tend to leave more to be desired, but the music, acting, and general standard of the writing almost makes you forget the woes of the 20th century.
Even if you don’t like vampires, you will still enjoy this series. Many times in Buffy, vampires and monsters alike are used as metaphors for inner struggles, desires and emotions that characters feel. They only serve as plot devices.
They also provide cause for well-choreographed action scenes in almost every episode. While facing off a vampire Buffy says, “I’m the thing that monsters have nightmares about.”
This is what ultimately drew me into the series. The women of Buffy exude this level of awesomeness seemingly without even trying; Joss Whedon introduced feminism into a primetime television show and started a revolution.
As Internet Movie Database user zephyr-123 states, “Buffy, herself, isn’t the “traditional” feminist TV icon. Many of those are women who have forfeited the ultra-feminine symbols of their gender–love, compassion and vulnerability in order to maintain equal footing with men. Buffy doesn’t do this. Buffy embraces those symbols in one hand and hones and wields them to fight evil in the other.”
The author of this review states that Buffy isn’t like media’s typical empowered women. Unlike them, she keeps intact the core traits of herself instead of giving them up to be considered the same as her male counterparts. She accepts and uses these qualities.
Buffy is able to show that just because a girl can handle a few deadly weapons doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy the occasional pedicure or mourn lost love. Before Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Tris Prior in Divergent, and Allison Argent in Teen Wolf, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer starting the trend in 1997.
Today’s generation can use this honesty. in their own lives .even though the show itself is older than they are.