the journey to self enlightenment through television

Tag Archives: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Everyone has one.  Maybe more than one.  A show that you can watch over and over again, and it helps you feel better, puts you in a good mood, or helps you to sleep in a good way.

Hubs and I have been talking about our comfort shows for a few weeks.  Mostly because since I bought the first to seasons of The Big Bang Theory it has been a permanent fixture in the dvd player in our bedroom.  I don’t have cable running to the bedroom tv.  I had every intention of doing so, but just never got around to it, and I think we’re better for it.  We just have the dvd player, and it’s just enough television: great show, no commercials.

But Big Bang has been in the rotation for months.  To the point where we’re talking about starting to rate our favorite episodes per disc and then per season.  Yes.  We’re dorks.  Deal with it.

Big Bang is our comfort show.  It’s the show we watch every night before we go to bed while we’re falling asleep and when we wake up just before we get up for the day.

I have other comfort shows.  I don’t know what others Hubs would consider as a comfort show, but I certainly have a few.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer of course is right at the top of my list of favorite shows and is definitely a comfort show for me.  Yes, there are vampires and it can be scary, but it is forever unchanging.  And I can marathon the entire series very easily.

Veronica Mars is there to satisfy my Kristen Bell craving.  And also my desire to be a tiny blonde teen detective.

And then there’s Grey’s Anatomy.  It’s not so much the surgical storylines that keep me coming back.  It’s the personal stories that make me want to watch over and over.  And I can’t wait to watch what will happen in the upcoming season.

What are some of your comfort shows?

Entertainment Weekly, you never cease to entertain me.  I love the way you inform me all the pop culture news I ever needed to know.  But my favorite thing about you, EW, is your photo galleries that contain endless lists.  Oh, how you satisfy my list craving.

The latest of the lists has to do with favorite seasons of some classic tv over the last few decades.  They put their list in no particular order – I won’t list every show here, so check out the full list here.

  • The Simpsons, season 4 (1992-93) – home to great episodes like Homer the Heretic, Marge and the Monorail and Mr. Plow, it’s no secret that season 4 was a great season.  Because who can’t sing the Mr. Plow song every time they see a plow?
  • Alias, season 1 (2001-2002) – I really like when a show’s first season is a favorite.  Mostly because it’s a testament to the writers, show producers and actors that they had something good right off the bat.  But, on the other hand, when the first season is the best, it makes me wonder what went wrong later on.
  • Lost, season 1 (2004-2005) – The only season of Lost I could tolerate.  Unfortunately, it was never a show I could really get into.  But, with that said, season 1 was still excellent.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 2 (1997-1998) – A really amazing season, although not my favorite.  During the second season, everyone just locked step, and the Scoobies were never out of character again.  When I reintroduced myself to Buffy, it was the second season that really pulled me through.
  • The Sopranos, season 4 (2002) – I just love the Sopranos, from beginning to end.  But what I love even more was the show’s ability to go from being really dark to being really REALLY dark and complicated.  Season 4, in my opinion, is the darkest of all, but no less amazing than the others.
  • Sex and the City, season 3 (2000) – Carrie’s infidelity, Miranda’s breakup with Steve, Charlotte’s wedding to Trey, and Samantha and the guy with the “funky spunk.”  Classic.
  • Veronica Mars, season 1 (2004-2005) – The beginning of an amazing story about a young, girl detective with a penchant for lost causes and spying.  The first season of Veronica Mars has always been my favorite, as it was the introduction into the life of a teenaged super sleuth.

There’s quite a few more TV shows with great seasons on the EW’s list.  I definitely recommend checking them out, and voicing which seasons of your favorite shows are your favorites.

I think you know what I’m talking about.  No?  Really?  I thought just saying “Angel” would be enough to give it away completely.  But really, no?  Okay then.

I’ll start by saying that I LOVE Angel.  I love David Boreanaz as Angel.  I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and when he was on it, and I love that he got his own show out of the deal.  Although, I generally think that Angel as a standalone series was a little anticlimactic towards the end.  There’s a lot of build up, and it felt like there was no resolution.  No closure.

But I still love Angel.

And that may be just the problem.  Or not.  Depends on who you are, I guess.

You see, gentle readers, TNT does this awesome thing they like to call Primetime in the Daytime or Primetime in the Morning where they air older shows that used to be on during primetime.  So, yeah, they’re airing reruns.  So if you want to catch up with a particular show, you can.  Law and Order, Angel and Charmed are all on that roster.  But for me, Angel is the only one that really matters.

What’s great about it is that they air the entire series from start to finish over and over again.  All five seasons.  And they air two episodes a day.  So, in theory, if they don’t have any breaks in programming you can catch the beginning and watch all the way until the end every 11 weeks.  How cool is that?  Sure, I own the entire series on dvd once, and I’m on my way to a second time, but if Angel is on TV, and I happen to pass by it, I’m going to watch.  That is a given.

And this is where I talk about how much of a distraction that is.  At least for me.

My issue is the time of day TNT airs Angel.  And then it leads to the fact that they air two episodes a day.  They air it at 6 am.  And if I’m up, I’ll watch it.  But the only time I’m really up that early anymore is if I have to go to work at 8 am.  And if I have to work, I don’t really have time to be watching Angel because it’s easy to get engrossed in it, and I really should be getting ready for work.

Yes, I am easily distractable.  And a show like Angel is just the thing in the morning that will inevitably make me almost late for work every single time.  And I learned this last week when I was cutting it close every day.  Because Angel was on TV, and I had already see the episode, but I’ll watch just until the commercial break, because this is a really good scene, and it’s David Boreanaz.

So, gentle readers, Angel is my weakness.  Well, one of my weaknesses.  And a good enough reason for me to want to work at 11 instead of 8.  At least I can watch Angel AND be on time, if not early for work everyday.

So beware of Angel being all dark and broody so early in the morning.  He might distract you.

– Maybe.

What makes a TV show a “cult favorite”?  A lot of times when you’re talking about cult favorites, you think of movies, but either way, the definition is the same.  A film (or TV show) that has acquired a devoted but specific group of fans.

Yup, that sounds about right.  But is it the writing?  The cast?  Is it a favorite by association, because you’ve seen previous works (ahem *cough cough* Joss Whedon *cough*)?

I’m not entirely sure what makes each one so special, except that they are all different, and each posses their own thing that makes them a favorite.

So, now I’m going to thank Entertainment Weekly for providing me with another list, because we all know how much I LOVE lists, on the 25 Greatest Cult TV Shows Ever.   I’m only going to comment on the shows I’ve seen, and you can view the entire list and all comments over at EW.

25.  Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990) – CBS

24.  Sports Night (1998-2000) – ABC

23.  The Venture Brothers (2003-Present) – Cartoon Network

22.  Get a Life (1990-1992) – FOX

21.  Police Squad (1982) – ABC

20.  The Ben Stiller Show (1990-1993) – MTV, FOX

19.  Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999) – Comedy Central, Sci-fi

18.  The Comeback (2005) – HBO

17.  Chuck (2007-Present) – NBC – I started with a few episodes of this, and decided initially that it wasn’t worth my time because it coincided with other TV shows on at the same time.  And my DVR could only do so much recording at one time.  Maybe I’ll have to give this one another look, especially since it’s still on TV.

16.  The Wire (2002-2008) – HBO – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one.  I’ve spent many nights walking by this one in Blockbuster, but never thought to pick it up.  Hmmm…. I think I may have to update my list of things to watch.

15.  Pushing Daisies (2007-2009) – ABC – I absolutely fell in love with this show from episode one.  It was really a shame that ABC decided to axe this one.  I mean, come on!  Who didn’t ADORE Kristen Chenoweth?

14.  Profit (1996) – FOX

13.  Veronica Mars (2004-2007) – UPN, The CW – I was a little surprised to see this one fall in the #13 spot.  I guess I was hoping that it would rank a little higher.  But I am definitely impressed that it’s a cult favorite.  I love it.  I’m hoping for a movie.  There aren’t any fans like VMars fans.  Dedicated and loyal to the end.

12.  The Tick (1994-1997) – FOX

11.  Supernatural (2005-Present) – The WB, The CW – This was another one I didn’t have time to watch.  But I’ve heard so many great things.  Plus, it has that kid from the Gilmore Girls.

10.  Farscape (1999-2003) – Sci-fi

9.  The X-Files (1993-2002) – FOX – The movie killed the series.  It was a great show, and the first movie was good.  But after that, total crap.

8.  My So-Called Life (1994-1995) – ABC – I actually remember watching this on MTV from time to time on Sundays.  It was pretty good, but to be perfectly honest, sometimes Angela’s depressing, teenager with angst was just too much to watch for too long.

7.  Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009) – Sci-fi – I promise, I WILL get around to watching this.  I must.

6.  Firefly (2002) – FOX – A introduced me to this show.  I’d heard about it for a long time, and never really thought much about it.  And then I watched.  And I fell in love.  And there’s a great crossover with Wash going over to Dollhouse.  When Joss loves someone, he puts them in EVERYTHING he can.

5.  Twin  Peaks (1990-1991) – ABC

4.  The Prisoner (1967-1968) – ITV

3.  Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) – NBC – I rented this one.  Didn’t really get into it.  A few bonuses were that it starred Jason Segel of How I Met Your Mother and Seth Rogan.

2.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) – The WB, UPN – My all-time favorite show, EVER!  It jumped networks.  It spawned a spinoff.  And now there’s talk about another movie.  There’s comic books and toys, and prop replicas and books and commentaries.  It just doesn’t get much better than this.

1.  Doctor Who (1963-Present) – BBC – I’ve seen it here and there on the BBC.  Actually, it’s really a great thing that it’s been on since the 60’s.  And they’ve gone through several cast changes, but that should be expected.  Definitely a good choice for the number one spot.  And also, it is the longest running show on the entire list.  That alone gives it credibility.

It’s funny.  Looking over the completed list and seeing which networks have cult classics and which do not.  ABC seems to be the leader in the cult favorite TV shows.  And I wonder if that’s because they are doing that on purpose.  Canceling shows before they really have a chance to get their stride.  Or is it just because the shows weren’t really going to ever go anywhere.

Either way, so far, I DID notice that Joss Whedon has not one but TWO shows on that list.  Both Firefly AND Buffy are considered cult favorites.  And can you argue?  I’m a little surprised that Angel didn’t round out that trend.  And I wonder if Dollhouse will make it to cult favorite status.  I know I already love it.

What are some of your favorite cult TV shows?

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?       

Apparently so. 

Now, I’m not against the idea of a new Buffy movie, but the idea of Joss Whedon not being involved and the idea of none of the original characters and the original mythology… Not cool.

But, then again, are we really giving it a chance?

According to the New York Times, Kuzui Enterprises, who has owned the franchise since the 1992 flop, has been tossing around the idea that there would be a guardian and a Slayer and a Watcher, etc.  If that’s the case, and you want to continue the mythology, be my guest.  I can see no harm in continuing the mythology and creating different characters and telling new stories.  But don’t call it a “buffy” movie.  It’s not Buffy.  It never has been.  It never will be.  Perhaps it could be a spinoff, but it will never be the real thing.

And Joss’s response to all this madness?  “I hope it’s cool.” 

That was a very diplomatic response.  But then again, Joss has never been one to openly bash other creator’s projects and ideas.  I’m sure he has feelings on the matter, but none that he will ever share with us.  And that’s fine.  He’s a classy guy.  He doesn’t need to bash other creators.  He knows he did well with Buffy, and  that is that.

In light of this month’s almost-summer-blockbusters like Star Trek and the Terminator, you can do movies without the original main characters.  The difference between those movies and a potential Buffy movie is that Star Trek has been on for 40 years, and the idea of original characters not being involved is not a foreign one.  It was a cult classic in later years, and the idea of having someone play Spock differently because Leonard Nimoy was a little too old to be doing it is not a bad thing.

But Sarah Michelle Gellar is not too old.  Buffy hasn’t been on for 40 years.  And the fans are both young enough and old enough to remember and appreciate the original.  There are no factors that I can see that would warrant a new Buffy movie without the original series creator, or the original characters or the same story.

And really… where would Buffy be without the relatable storylines, insane love triangles, in-depth and interwoven mythology and great one-liners?  What would Buffy be without the characters we’ve come to know and love?  Where would Buffy be without Joss? 

And to show my dedication to the series, the characters, the actors and the stories, I am going  to dedicate the next 7 days worth of posts to being Buffy-specific. 

And just an FYI:

If it doesn’t look like Buffy, smell like Buffy, and make you laugh like Buffy, then it’s not Buffy.

End rant.