Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Proselytizing Buffy

For those of you who've always entertained the idea of getting into Buffy the Vampire Slayer but have been too overwhelmed by the idea of jumping headlong into seven seasons' worth of DVDs without knowing quite what you're getting yourself into (or just what the big deal is), and for those of you who are already rabid fans but have been trying for ages to convert that one stubborn friend (who you just know would love the show) without a convincing way to ease him/her into the time commitment it necessarily requires, a friend of a friend has devised a brilliant primer to meet your needs. From the eminent Steve Maxey:

I'm trying to make a new Buffy fan here at work.

Joanne said she was never interested in Buffy for the same reasons she was never interested in Star Trek. I said it was in some ways more like Twin Peaks (which she liked) than Star Trek--story arcs that take up the entire season, characters living both in a real world we recognize and a shadow world, and a visual style.

I talked her into trying a four- or five-episode arc.

So this morning I gave her the Season 2 box with this note of instruction:

Buffy: The Buffy-Angelus chapter

A five-episode arc (with an optional sixth)

* Surprise (episode 13; disc 4, ep 1)
* Innocence (episode 14; disc 4, ep 2)
* Passion (episode 17; disc 5, ep 1)
* (optional) I Only Have Eyes for You (episode 19; disc 5,
ep 3)
* Becoming, part 1 (episode 21, disc 6, ep 1)
* Becoming, part 2 (episode 22, disc 6, ep 2)

Backstory: The relationships between Buffy and Angel and between Giles and Jenny have been developing slowly over the past two years. Everything else you need to know is revealed in the first 10 minutes of "Surprise."

"To me, Buffy was a real girl. These were metaphors for real demons. This was about how, in high school, the demons of high school literally become these monsters." --Sarah Michelle Gellar

[SPOILER ALERT!] This is the Buffy-birthday, Angel turns evil, the Scoobies kill the Judge, Angel stalks Buffy and kills Jenny Calendar, Angel becomes a vampire flashback, Angel is saved and Buffy has to kill him storyline (the optional ep is where they're possessed by the ghosts of the teacher and student lovers). It's great soap opera, Harlan Ellison's "human heart in conflict with itself" definition of drama, and the arc that converted me from liking the series to being a "true fan."

Use as directed. Thank us later.

(As always, mad props to GH for passing this along and for keeping the fire burning!! And, for the record, the optional "I Only Have Eyes for You" episode is one of my personal favorites evuh.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

as I owe my Buffy fanship to you, dear Felus, who sired me into the truth even when i was just a doubting friend on the outisde, you should know that the first season of Buffy, which my fianc' gave to me for my b-day this year, is part of the Confirmation (faith formation) class curriculum that i teach to the church youngsters.
what better way to talk openly about the perils of high school then to watch them literalized before our eyes?
and, only slightly more fun than Luther's large catechism.
luv, parson larson