Hello Joss, here I am with something really really amazing.
My Buffy Series Report!
After lovingly consuming all sever seasons of your awesome show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, analyzing every single episode, and doing season summaries, all while picking up Angel at the same time, their is one thing I did not want to do.
And that was to babble on and on about how wonderful and amazing and fantastic your show is.
Legions of fans have already done this multiple times, and by even casually glancing at my posts, you can tell my love of Buffy is ever present.
So to try something different, I figured a Series Report made into a Buffy A to Z would be mighty fun! And Spoiler Filled!
Time to start with…
A is for Angel!
You know Joss, I stated right at the beginning that I thought Angel was a Warlock or something. Then you threw that twist at me. And my head exploded. Just like in Scanners. Angel might be moody and mopey, from his first appearance to a ton of flashbacks to his own series to almost every moment he does not breathe, but we still grew to love him. It was not surprising Angel got his own series, wobbly as it was, especially after Amends. His ever continuing mission of redemption will someday, hopefully, finally reach fruition. And by then, Buffy might be finished baking, and the two can be together forever. Sigh, I am a hopeless romantic. And of course A is for Anya and Andrew.
B is for Buffy!
Our favourite, and the most amazing, Slayer of all time. Love love love Buffy. While she may occasionally stumble personally and professionally, Buffy Summers still lived and breathed to fight the good fight to help others and save the world. A lot. No wonder she won the well deserved Class Protector Award that is like a mini me Kaylee umbrella. Buffy may have started the show Joss with a bit of experience as a Slayer under her belt already, but it is obvious her real life with and without the stake began with her move to Sunnydale at fifteen. Buffy enters maturity and grows into her first serious relationship and her first major heartbreak, all before she blows up the high school. That is probably more than most teens go through, even without the drama of Vampires all around you. Buffy soldiers on and lives life, only falling prey to depression when she is plucked out of Heaven after dying a righteous death. After all she had gone through with life and death and pressure and complications, it is surprising worse mental issues did not surface earlier. Heck, even Superman, who is way way more powerful, has sucky days and sometimes gets really down about it. The other cool thing about our Buffy is how when the war against evil gets even more nasty and deadly in season seven, she ably steps up into the role of general. By the time we get the final end of the show, she realizes she is even more not truly alone, multiple Slayers now exist. Which finally brings another measure of happiness to Buffy. She deserves it Joss, she deserves it. And of course B is for Big Bad. Buffy and the Scoobies always defeated them. Saving the world. A lot.
C is for Cordelia!
I am the first to admit Joss, I was not a huge fan of Cordelia at first, but over time she really really grew on me. Once she was over on Angel, that growing changed to loving her open and honest sarcasm of truthfulness. Plus, despite her saying otherwise, we all knew Cordelia did truly care. And of course C is for Class Protector and Cheese Man and Clem. Gotta love Clem.
D is for Dawn!
This crazy addition to Buffy drove me nuts and I loved it. Dawn was the key to so much in season five and key to bringing out a whole other side to Buffy and key to changing the fabric of the Scoobies. She really was a key, you know that Joss? Even before Dawn finished her first season, her so called life was becoming more and more real. Dawn was the best. And of course D is for Drusilla and Dingoes Ate My Baby. Hoping for Drive Shaft to play a double bill with Dingoes soon because that would be awesome.
E is for Earshot!
We get the funny with all the mind reading that you would expect, then you get the scares with the overheard threat, then you get the dual drama of Buffy going crazy and stopping the shooting. This leads to one of Buffy’s greatest speeches that tells oh so much truth. I know this one was delayed from airing Joss, for reasons I disagree with, and I fully believe it contains quality thoughts helpful to all.
F is for Faith!
She was the notorious bad girl who caused all so much damage because she was so very badly damaged herself. Finding out her mother was an alcoholic was revealing, but not surprising, and I don’t recall her father ever being mentioned. Faith is the Slayer who was broken before she even began. Seeing her beginning redemption on Angel and completing it back on Buffy was compelling.
G is for Giles!
Buffy’s real dad. They had their ups and downs, but we all could tell how close these two became, going far beyond Watcher and Slayer. I think this happens quite often, more then the Watchers Council care to admit, but I fully believe Buffy and Giles had a deeper connection that quickly went from father raising daughter to father letting daughter be a grown up. And of course G is for Glory.
H is for Hellmouth!
The best plot device since the McGuffin. So many shows, from Smallville to The Flash, have kinda copied the concept, which just shows you how cool and awesome it really is. Gotta love the Hellmouth. And of course H is for Hush. Yeah, that scared the living crud out of me, thanks Joss.
I is for The Initiative!
While you outright showed that the government knew what the Hellmouth was and almost all it entailed, you never quite dived straight into all the real messiness of it all. So with The Initiative we got a secret government agency messing with demons and knowing not what they be doing. With the predictable disastrous results. And I loved how they knew almost nothing of the Slayers. You really expanded, in a logical way, the world of the Buffyverse.
J is for Joyce!
I will admit Joyce bothered me over the first season or so. Her crankiness and general whatever attitude towards Buffy greatly got under my skin. But I noticed in Ted a change in Joyce, where I did not have to vainly search for her caring for Buffy. By the time Faith came around more, Joyce was closer to human, and by the time Dawn settled in, she was fully human. With that in mind, don’t even mention The Body to me Joss, you cruel man. RIP Joyce. And of course J is for Jenny Calendar. RIP Jenny.
K is for Kendra!
Another Slayer was a cool and a surprise and very very different. I wondered if Kendra could even understand the concept of fun. She was so serious about her Slaying! And for that and so many other things, I loved Kendra. RIP Kendra, you wonderful Slayer. And of course K is for Kennedy.
L is for Love!
Love! Love! Love! All You Need is Love! As the Beatles so aptly put it, that’s all you need. Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a show filled with love. Family love between Buffy and mom Joyce and sister Dawn, definitely slammed home in the sad sad sad The Body. Romantic love with the troubled boyfriend Angel in the uplifting Amends. Friendship love by trying ceaselessly to save Willow from her grief in Grave. And love of just living and trying and going down fighting as she faced the impossible foe in The First Evil. So yes Joss, Buffy is very much about love, and we love it.
M is for the Movie!
Now it is obvious to all Joss that you have tried to distance the excellent show from the painful movie, and that was wise beyond measure. But I still give you enormous credit for gently carefully stitching the basic template of the film into your new tapestry. Found out a comic miniseries exists that truly makes the two mesh.
N is for Nikki Wood!
Of all the previous Slayers, Nikki Wood is the one we learn the most about. And the one that teaches Buffy, long after Nikki has passed, that Slayers can have lives. She is truly surprised by this because it seems like a big Watcher secret. Was Nikki a trailblazer? Or have other Slayers moved into slightly normal lives as well? Plus, she raised a wonderful child who become the awesome Principal Wood.
O is for Once More With Feeling!
Loved love love love love love love Once More With Feeling!! The singing!! The dancing!! The mustard mention!! The fire truck going by the exact right moment!! I love this so much I even got the soundtrack Joss!! And of course O is for Oz.
P is for Potentials!
I hear some fans did not like the potentials, but they be fools Joss. The potentials were cool and showed us even more how differently each young lady would handle the pressure and responsibilities of being the next possible Slayer. And they kept multiplying like bunnies! Just don’t tell Anya I said that Joss!
Q is for Quentin Travers!
Long may he rot. This lousy leader of the Watchers was the most officious blowhard full of bullpoop we have seen for awhile. I applauded when he got blown up real good Joss, and I think you knew we all would.
R is for Riley!
I hear some fans at the time did not like good old dependable Agent Riley, but I certainly did. He loved Buffy for all that she was and really did give his heart to her. But unfortunately the moaning of some whiny fans caused you Joss to sabotage the wonderful Riley.
S is for Spike!
I started out thinking he was a cool villain. Then I just hated him. Then I partly despised him. Then I felt sorry for him. Then I really really hated him. Then I felt sorry for him again. Then I liked him a whole whole lot. Now he is a champion and dead. Wait, nevermind about the dead part. And of course S is for Principal Snyder.
T is for Tara!
Tara clicked with Willow right away, which made us love her or think she was secretly evil. We know how you think Joss. But as time went on we realized how wonderful and nice and lovely Tara was. Plus, having Tara and Willow come together as a couple just worked oh so well. I won’t mention the heartbreak of the breakup. And I really won’t mention the devastating anguish of Tara’s death. Still not over that Joss. RIP Tara. And of course T is for Tabula Rasa. Still snicker at Randy Giles.
U is for University!
Yes, it is generally agreed Joss, that season four with the promise of the Scoobies in University started strong and had interesting moments and concepts, but kinda fell off the rails. Was it Professor Walsh being a bit too cranky? Or maybe the endless prattling of big bad Adam? Or was it how everyone felt adrift for what seemed like far too long? I could tell your season ender with the dreams was you trying to course correct with what didn’t really happen with the characters that you wanted to happen. I liked that one and I can understand why you did it, and also understand how the pressure of fixing the Angel show distracted you. University also brought changes in Scoobies both bad and good, since we may have lost Oz, but at least we gained Tara and Riley.
V is for Vampire!
You added a ton of fodder to the Vampire mythos, just like Nosferatu and the Hammer films and Bela Lugosi did. I still find it fascinating Joss how you would occasionally delve into the nature of the Vampire. Is it merely a shell housing a demon that mimics the person it once was, as Buffy believes or was taught? Or is it a cohabitation of demon and person with the omnipresent evil mostly in charge, as Angel believes and hopes for? Excellent questions never truly answered. And by the way, it is really spelled Vampyre, Andrew told me so.
W is for Willow!
The Scooby with the best sweaters ever was always one of my favourites. Willow went from the meek computer geek to the in charge witch who really made the Scoobies click along. All this and going through her first real relationship with Oz, leading to the true love of her life, Tara. I don’t think anyone was surprised when Willow went all Dark after Tara died, and it was brilliant that Xander was the one who brought her back to good side of the Force. Willow has been through the wringer, but still remains her perky self. And that’s one of the reasons we love her Joss. And of course W is for Wesley. These two characters would be interesting together more.
X is for Xander!
For a long long time Xander was loyal and helpful and a good soldier. But he was also an immature manchild who really needed to grow up and get away. And finally did. I much more liked good old Xander when he moved out and got a life. One glitch, his jerkass move of dumping Anya. Still annoyed at that Joss.
Y is for Why!
Okay, this is a complete and utter cheat, but I really do not care. I changed Y to Why, which means Why Did I Wait So Long To Watch Buffy? That is a question that will now plague my existence forever. Well, maybe not, but you get the picture. Really really wished Buffy and I had met years ago.
Z is for The Zeppo!
This is one I did not like, but I mention it here simply because it had to be mentioned that not every episode was gold. But that’s okay Joss, since the number of stinkers on Buffy was way way way less then the average show. And even the less stellar ones had good points and interesting character bits.
So that is it with My Upcoming Year of Buffy!
It was exactly one year ago today that I finished watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer as well Joss.
I think Buffy would appreciate that symmetry.
Experiencing Buffy and the Scoobies has been a wild and crazy ride. My enjoyment of one of the best series ever was immense and will last a lifetime. And soon I hope to start on the Buffy comics as well.
Many thanks to you Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and to my younger brother for the gracious long tern loan of his boxset. Also thanks to you, the readers, for coming along with his Buffy neophyte on his journey of discovery.
It was awesome. A lot.
…is currently reading Watership Down by Richard Adams. And clutching my copy of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee very very close.