Possibly a slightly controversial opinion but I think Buffy The Vampire Slayer is one of the greatest television series ever made. It has been there with my for most of my life and will always be a ‘go-to’ for me. I felt like I wanted to write this, and then considered how it might be irrelevant or pointless, but then I also figured if I want to write it I should. Feel free to skip this one if you have no inclination to read it!
The last time I went to a pub, the last time I had a pint from a bar (in a glass!) and the last time I was in a room of more than 10 (living, I must add) people was back in March when I went to see a live showing of Once More With Feeling by A Musical at The Clapham Grand. I had the most amazing night, not even really knowing much about COVID-19 or what the following few months would have in store. Well, I knew little enough that I got on a packed train and spent the evening in two crowded venues with lots of people. That may have something to do with the fact that I then spent the following two weeks in bed not being able to breathe but it’s not been confirmed if that even was the coronavirus (and never will be!).
If anything, I’m incredibly grateful I was able to spend the evening in the same room as some of my comedy heroes watching them re-enact one of the greatest episodes of my favourite show. Particularly Rose Matafeo as Buffy and Ed Gamble as Spike, not ignoring Rosie Jones as Willow, Chris Addison as Giles, or Nish Kumar as Xander. Plus also I need to add enormous credit to Jayde Adams, Kiri Pritchard-McClean and Dave Cribb for hosting the whole thing. Any-who, before I get bogged down in attempting to do justice for everyone involved please let it be known it was an amazing evening even considering possibly having contracted the trending virus of the year. The Clapham Grand is a beautiful venue with excellent burgers to boot.
Flash forward and in the midst of the pandemic Channel 4 decides to add the entire box set of the series to it’s on demand service. I do own them all on DVD but the lockdown-friendly format of having handy advert breaks for TikTok and not having to get up to change a disc was all too tempting. Then, for my 33rd birthday in June my other half got me the soundtrack and the musical episode CDs so I can cheerily be retro and listen in my car on my way to work. In the same way I don’t use my Kindle, I love a CD even though I have a Spotify account.
Revisiting Buffy has scarily shown me how far I have come and how much I think I have taken from the show in my life. My ability to maintain my cheery disposition in the face of some pretty dire situations is a very Scooby Gang attitude to have. The show taught me a lot about friendships and about people in general. I wholeheartedly agree that some of it is quite dated now and the early series (particularly one and two) are as lacking in decent visual effect as they are in acting ability in some places. However, what it developed into and became for many is a place to find a strength within that you didn’t know you had. The themes explored (including death in one episode titled ‘The Body’) are done in such a way it leaves you almost with more questions than when you started but still with a deeper understanding. Plus it’s just good fun with vampires, demons and magic if you like that sort of thing. The writing is also clever, and has even been studied as creator Joss Whedon is considered to have created a language in the written dialogue between the younger characters (You can read about this here if you are a nerd like me).
I have a feeling that lockdown meant a lot of us sat and watched a whole lot more television than we may have done previously. If you’re still hiding inside like me, because if people can’t manage to do the socially distanced thing at Tesco I doubt they can do it anywhere else, then think about giving Buffy a try. Just do take into account the first two seasons aren’t great but worth getting through to get to the amazing seasons that are 3-5. Then the next time A Musical do the show (because they simply have to do that all again, please) you can join me in singing along.
Like I stated at the start, this is a tangent from my usual content and a bit of fun but fits well with these unprecedented times. You may notice I haven’t gone into a great amount detail here but I’d hate to be accused of spoilers. Just give it a go and you might have found a new love.