Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Dad, Buffy, and I

I think my dad began his attempt to get me to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer sometime in middle school. As a thirteen-year-old girl reading gossip girl and focused on bar and bat mitzvah’s every weekend, I never even considered the concept. Why on earth would I waste my time watching a show about vampires when I could watch The OC? More after the jump.

Then I got to high school and I became infatuated with Veronica Mars. “You know, if you like this, you would love Buffy,” my dad would say. I just rolled my eyes at him. I probably should have listened; at this point I knew that we had similar taste, I just had this preconceived notion that anything with vampires would be, well weird. How could a show about a girl in high school who fights vampires in her free time be anything like a show about a girl in high school who solves mysteries in her free time? Hmm…apparently I failed to see the parallels. I refused to back down from my stand against Buffy.

Three years later with Veronica Mars cancelled and the writer’s strike around the corner, our Tivos began to empty. All of the shows I lived by dropped off the air like flies. One by one, shows like Chuck and Lost were replaced with “Farmer Wants a Wife” and “The Pussycat Dolls 2.” Being the TV addict that I am, I was having major withdrawal from new quality television to satisfy my entertainment needs. So as part of my TV addict strike survival guide I went through the first step of the process. I admitted that there was nothing on TV to watch anymore. That’s as far as I got. If there were any other steps, they were immediately ignored and disregarded. Luckily, I’m not the only addict in my family and my dad has made it his life goal to own as many movies and TV shows as possible. So, one fateful day, I took the journey downstairs to the library of DVDs to see what would win a place as the key to surviving the strike period. In desperation I turned to the show that I had turned my back on for so many years.

I was addicted before the first vampire was dusted. But I didn’t dare say that to my dad, not when I had denied that I would like it all these years. We finished the pilot and he looked at me as if to say, “I told ya so.” And all I said was, “it was all right,” followed by a chill, “we could watch the next one…if you want.” From that day on, with no good shows to occupy our time, my dad and I made a plan to watch at least one episode a day (emphasis on at least) in an attempt to finish the series before I left for college.

Joss Whedon quickly became one of my heroes. Every aspect of the show enamored me. Could Buffy and Angel be together despite their star-crossed love? Would Xander ever realize how many years Willow had been pining for him? How many times would Buffy die and revive throughout the series? Would anyone at Sunnydale High ever go to the library and realize the odd assortment of books and weapons available there?

We didn’t finish all seven seasons before I left for camp. Needless to say, the two months without a Buffy episode was grueling. But within the first three months of school I was watching the last minutes of the final episode with tears running down my face. Every character of Buffy was one that I loved to watch. Whether I enjoyed watching the characters out of hate or out of love, I always wanted to know what would happen to them. That is not something I can say about many shows. Joss’s ability to do an entire silent episode and a musical episode is unparalleled by any show to date. I don’t think any other complete series I have seen thus far in my television-watching career has been as satisfying. Veronica Mars ended too soon. Gilmore Girls screwed up its final season. Smallville…oh wait, that show is still on. Freaks and Geeks I have yet to experience in it's entirety…although by now I should know to trust my Dad’s judgment. Guess that’s next on my list. But shh, don’t tell my Dad or he’ll think I’ve started listening to him.


mkr said...

your dad's life goal is to own as many movies and tv shows as possible?!? that guy is crazy!!

captainxxmel said...