BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
The Slayer and the Vampire
Sometimes, greatness is hidden or isn't that obvious; both because of our traditions, our preferences, our prejudices. We construct our little world around us and rarely allow anything else to enter it except what we choose. In theory. When I first heard of a show called Buffy the Vampire slayer I wouldn't have dreamt of watching it. A high school girl called Buffy slaying vampires. Great, just what I needed. But then I came to watch some episodes out of mere analytical interest. And you know what? I fell in love with this show.
I started with some episodes of the second season. At first, the show seemed to be sort of a lighter X-Files version, but then the episodes 2.13 'Surprise' and 2.15 'Innocence' indicated and started something really much deeper, an emotional intensity which otherwise is rarely seen on tv. Somewhat light-hearted moments within other moments then seemed to be just a small distraction from the focus on Buffy and Angel, coming to a climax in episodes 2.17 'Passion' and the beautiful 2.19 'I Only Have Eyes For You'. And then, the tearful and katharsis-loaden finale of season two, 'Becoming', is just plainly and simply amongst the very best ever emerging from television.
Season Three still draws from the previous conflict between Buffy and Angel (3.08 'Lover's Walk', 3.10 'Amends', 3.17 'Enemies'), while at the same time introducing Faith, who later becomes a rogue slayer, a conflict which finds its well deserved finale in Buffy's Season Four, and Angel's Season One. Season Four, all in all, falls a bit aback, though it contains some of the best episodes of the series, both from a dramatic and a comedic standpoint, meaning episodes like 4.08 'Pangs', 4.09 'Something Blue', 4.10 'Hush' and 4.22 'Restless'.
Even if you, like myself, don't really believe in the existence of vampires, werewolves and the likes of them, this show has a strange appeal, unexplainable somehow, but on the other hand the explanation may lie in its above cited intensity, as well as in acting, dialog (a treasure chest for linguistics and cultural studies) and just this insane and sublime mixture of tragedy and humor, played out in a truly post-modern and self-ironic way. This world of horror, comedy, romance and tragedy is definitely worth watching.
May 25th, 1999 / May 20th, 2001