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March 17 2007

It's Do Or Die, Hey I've Died Twice; Or, My Life As A Comfortador. The beginning of a beautiful friendship between a young critic and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It's how I've always felt about the show, but he's far more eloquent than I.

That was marvelous, & very moving. My "late comer" experience was very similiar, although my first episode was The Yoko Factor. And I was in the exact same position, too broke to buy the DVD's. It was already in syndication, so I got to do my catching up at the rate of ten eps a week, through season six. They hadn't yet put season 7 in syndication, for which I'm eternally grateful. Because at the end of seasson 6, I got to start from the beginning & pick up all the loose ends, before seeing season 7 for the first time.
Thanks so much for that link, greentara.
Glad you liked it, Shey. I was also quite the latecomer, but thankfully in the wonderful era of Netflix. Now I of course own every single episode, including Season 8-1 (I can't stop the glee!)
The writer is a critic on Pajiba, which I highly recommend everybody check out for some deliciously snarky (but only when deserved!) and well-written critiques on film, television, etc. And no, I have no affiliation with them.
That was very nice. I was yet another latecomer, ran across the dvds for season 1 in the library and remembered that a friend whose good taste sometimes borders on pretentious always spoke highly of the series. As I tried to reconcile my negative (and unfounded) impressions of the show with my positive (and clearly well-founded) impressions of my friend's taste, I decided that it would be easier to just watch a few episodes.

Now I work on academic articles that examine the Latin American reception of Buffy and Angel, the only way I could think of matching up my obsession with my professional career.
"Season 6 is a vastly underrated look at the aimlessness of your early 20s and the damage we do to each other"

I'm so glad that someone else gets this and is able to articulate it better than I. I hate the season 6 bashing!
"I was living alone in a college town that had been deserted for the summer..."

That's actually exactly how I first started watching the show. Except that I was living with a roommate, who casually mentioned that this Buffy show was pretty cool, so I started watching and, well, that's what I did for the rest of the summer.
I was another late-comer, but a little differently. In 2004 I went on a business trip that took me to Minneapolis and Ottawa in January. (It was so cold in Minneapolis that they closed down the Ice Festival.) I'd heard good things from people I respected, and that gradually wore down my assumptions about the title and setting, and about the bad reviews of the movie. So I picked up season 1 to take on that trip, and to keep me entertained on those cold nights in hotels.

It was lots of fun at first, but the "I quit" scene in Prophecy Girl left me gasping. I was hooked!

I, too, made the journey from disdain to presenting a paper at a Slayage conference.
My first episode was also 'The Body', caught by chance on a mid June rerun, the same year that it originally aired. From that moment there was no looking back, except to the Space channel where we began watching every night. Then came the box sets, and this wonderful community. In many ways it saved my life.
I can't imagine what it must have been like for "The Body" to have been your first episode. It's so overwhelming. It must have been mindblowing to have these preconcieved notions of what the show was like and then be smacked in the face (in, ultimately, a good way) by it.
Thanks for posting it, I loved reading it.

And I love reading how latecomers got hooked on the show. Imo, nothing shows the continuing power of Buffy than hearing about how it still captures people's interest.
Ahh, I love these stories on how people came to find Buffy. I was fortunate enough to have caught the show from the very beginning. 'The Body' seems to be the episode most mentioned that hooked non viewers.
I lost a bet. My friend who is a filmie(?) and works part time at a snooty independent movie rental joint won the bet, and so I was made to watch a Season 1 marathon.

It was all Buffy all afternoon and evening...a Buffy backtoback bonanza.

4 Indian pizzas were ritually sacrificed, a thesis was neglected, curses were lifted, and my evenings for many moons thereafter were no longer my own.
Nicely written, Dan Carlson, and I too enjoy reading "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Buffy" stories, so do have at it, folks, if you feel the slightest interest in getting it off your chest or entertaining me.

(it would indeed have been interesting to watch "The Body" as one's first Buffy episode - if nothing else, it would have immediately blown away the common misperception that this stuff is fluff...)

My older sister and her daughter, who have gone through quite a bit of pain and loss in the past few years, and who are currently not Buffy watchers, are making their first California visit starting tonight, and I intend to leave Buffy DVDs lying strewn artlessly about the place. They have turned up their noses at my Buffy talk over the years, while my younger sister came late to the party but is now a Buffy freak, and I intend to get them to watch a little while they're here. They will love it - how can they not? - but it will take a little doing to get them to start. (The first one's free...)

I gave them Firefly for Christmas, which they thought was weird, 'cause they both "don't like science fiction," but now they absolutely adore it, and I expect they will come to love BtVS and AtVS as well.

Just doing my bit to make the world a slightly better place...
QG, You evil woman. Then they will go home and have to buy the DVds because they won't have had time to get all the way through the series.
Good work!
QG, getting past the scifi hurdle is a problem sometimes when trying to turn folks on to Buffy.

I myself don't like Westerns, and yet, The Searchers makes my top 10 all-time favorite movie list (and I also love Shane, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, The Wild Bunch, etc). Mr R loathes musicals, but one of his favorite movies is Singin' in the Rain.

A couple of years ago I was at my father's house and I was watching Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast. Now, my father adores westerns, his favorite writer is Louis L'Amour, and he would never willingly watch a movie with subtitles. But, he watched the entire film with me and said afterwards it was one of the best movies he had ever seen.

Buffy, like the examples I mentioned above, really transcends its genre and I'll never give up on trying to get Mr R to give it a chance.
Another late-comer. Didn't start watching until it was off the air. I hated TV. Then I found Buffy and Angel. Dang. Can't believe I'm crying at a TV show.

That Whedon has a way.....
I'm another late comer to the series. Some friends watched the show in first run in college but I was in a "not watching tv" phase at the time. On the urging of a friend, after a late evening phone call, I tried to watch the rerun of "Once more with feeling" but turned it off *gasp* about midway through "Under your spell". I couldn't get my head around the homosexuality.
Then, in late 2001 I had moved to California for a few months for work. I was living on the edge of the desert, knew almost no one, working in a horrible work environment and not at all happy. And I discovered that FX was running MASH reruns regularly. So, I started taping and watching those. And I really connected with those characters who were stuck in a difficult situation, far from home and making the best of it. At the time FX was running Buffy right before MASH, so I usually caught the last few minutes of an episode on the tape before MASH, and I started watching those few minutes, and became a little more interested. But not enough to start taping and watching Buffy.
Fast forward a year or three and I was on a work trip, channel surfing in the hotel (or it might have been my sister's house, I don't remember) and came across the season 3 episode Gingerbread. Not the best episode, but I watched it and I enjoyed it. But, not enough to watch it regularly (didn't have cable at home) or buy the DVDs.
Fast forward another couple of years and I was bored with the tv that was one but wanted to watch something, so I taped a couple of Buffy episodes that were in syndication, but the episodes were being shown out of order and I knew I was missing stuff. I realized this was a show that needed to be watched in order, so I stopped taping. A few months later a friend gave me a gift card for Best Buy for my birthday. Since I didn't really have anything I was terribly interested in buying at the time, I picked up the season 1 DVD set...and watched it over the course of about a week and a half. I was hooked from the end of "Welcome to the Hellmouth". I got season 2-5 off Ebay and found 6 and 7 in stores for cheap (Season 7 was a day after Thanksgiving special at Target). It took me almost two years to get through all seven seasons (I did watch Firefly three times through between seasons 5 and 6). During those two years all sorts of stuff happened in my life. A close friend and mentor moved away, two coworkers were diagnosed and killed by cancer, various things happened with friends and life, generally, was just lousy for a while there. And, somehow, watching Buffy made things better, at least for a little while. There were these characters that were sufffering through life and dealing with massive issues and trying to make the best of it. And while the issues themselves were different, feelings were the same. And with a lot of help from my friends and this amazing television show created by the genius that is Joss Whedon, I got through it.
Also a late-comer. I discovered Angel last summer(had already been a Firefly fan for awhile) in it's late night airings (three episodes per night) on SPACE and absolutly fell in love with the show- "Smile Time" was my first Buffyverse episode. Finally last November The Chosen Collection went on sale, I picked it up, and have been enjoying Buffy ever since. As of now I've only got ten episodes left and will probably finish this week. *sniff* Thank goodness for these comics. :D

Couldn't imagine The Body being my first episode.....
gt0163c, you just made me tear up. Thanks for that...

Oooh, keep the stories coming. I may be cleaning the house, but ya know, have to take cleaning breaks.
Another latecomer here. So new that I have only watched 10 episodes of Angel.

I only started watching BtvS after (Channel) five in the UK rebroadcast the first series in March 2005. After we (my husband and I) realised it was cut we borrowed a friendís box set and we were off: buying and selling video copies on Ebay until we decided to buy the region 1 box-set, the Chosen Collection. We finished season 7 at the beginning of January 2006.

I can declare my passion for the show (a passion that no other tv programme has, or I suspect ever will, provoked in me) from the Oz/Willow/Tara arc of season four when I became smitten with the latter two. I can safely say that the ending of Seeing Red broke the part of my heart that loved BtVS and season 7 would have had to be brilliant to compensate for the loss of Tara (and the luminous Amber Benson).

Joss Whedon and his crew of fantastic writers created a show that is endlessly rewatchable. It has everything and more. And I am very grateful for it.
I started watching in second grade (which was when the show was in its second season) right before all the Angelus stuff...

I have to wonder how that affected my development.
I felt as if I'd found this world that had been waiting for me


That's exactly how I felt when I discovered Buffy. It was even more true in my case since Buffy had been waiting for me for the couple years I'd been hearing good things about it. I knew it was something I'd enjoy, I just had no idea how deeply it would resonate with me or how drastically it would change my life. When I initially got hooked on Buffy, and then many times later when I gained more friends because of it, it felt like the very thing I'd been searching for all my life. I've been making a lot of positive changes in my life in the last 10 years, and I think Buffy was the catalyst in my final stages of self-discovery.

It's amazing how powerful one TV show can be, but that's the beauty of art when it has a life of it's own.
Wow!! I seriously hope Joss is reading this. So much emotional sharing gives me the courage to relate the rest of my "late comer' introduction to BtS. I'd just gone through the devastating, bitter breakup of a very long, tumultous marriage. No sooner had I moved out and setteled into my own little new home than I was in an accident that resulted in injuries requiring two knee surgeries. It was during my recuperation from the first surgery that I discovered BtS. It helped me through the physical pain and enforced long hours on the couch with my leg elevated & my knee wrapped in ice, but far more important, it helped me through the emotional pain and disillusion of having to face the fact that not all the intense, passionate love in the universe can overcome the clash of two peoples' very different internal demons.
A little later, it helped me walk away from a new potential relationship that fell into all the same old destructive patterns as prior failed relationships. And yes, I'm old enough to have 'a number of' relationships under my belt. So it just blew me away to read a post by someone who started watching "in second grade". BtS as therapy, yet another revelation. I hope this thread doesn't fall off the front page too soon.
QuoterGal, since you asked so nicely ...

Serenity was one of the last movies I saw before I had my son in October of 2005. I rented a ton of movies from Netflix when I was on maternity leave and Bax was still just a sleepy little meatsack. I rented Firefly since Serenity was still pretty fresh on the bean. After I was done with that, I thought to myself, "Hey, that Joss Whedon guy whose name is in those big gold letters at the end of the credits, wasn't that that guy who also did that Buffy the Vampire Slayer show that every single one of my coworkers back in D.C. loved yet I was too stubborn to try because I thought the name was silly? Yes? Ok, let's give that a try!"

And so it began. Eventually Netflix couldn't send me the DVDs quickly enough so I bought a crappy, scratched-up series set sans boxes on eBay. Once I finished all the seasons the scratched-up, boxless set just wasn't good enough, so I got the then-out-of-print Chosen Collection for a ridik mark-up. Then I added whedonesque to my bloglines and started checking the membership page every day to see if registration had opened up. Then I bullied my best friend into watching and when she admitted she was hooked, I bought her all seven seasons when I saw (on whedonesque, of course) they were on sale. Then I finally registered. Then I started posting. Wednesday I bought my first comic book and today I went to my very first convention and got my picture taken with Glory.

And so here we are.

[ edited by karosurly on 2007-03-18 04:15 ]
Wow, you guys, I had no idea that this thread would inspire so many of us to give up our Buffy stories. I guess we're all in that BTVS State of Mind (apologies to all Billy Joel fans out there). But yeah, I was and have been in a really low place personally, and I credit the Slayer and her pals with giving me a bit of inspiration. Since watching the show in its entirety a little over a year ago, I understand what I am personally looking for in my entertainment. I want the whole enchilada, folks: drama, humor, pathos, ethos, angst, and pop-cultural relevance. Buffy gave us all of the above, and more truth than any other show has the balls to dole out, wrapped up in a tasty burrito of funny. It has inspired me in my writing, and my cultural tastes. I will not settle for mindless pap any more. I simply know we are capable of so much more.
Full disclosure: This post is undoubtedly affected by my ingestion of several margaritas earlier. Tequila makes me all sentimental and stuff. However, I don't regret this in the least.

[ edited by greentara on 2007-03-18 06:37 ]

[ edited by greentara on 2007-03-18 06:37 ]
Yet another latecomer to the show.

After about 5 years of numerous friends from different groups trying to get me to watch Buffy (and despite Joss' insistence that the people who dismiss Buffy because of the name just don't get it, I had seen too much dross on tv for far too many years and my recollections of the previews for the Buffy movie weren't exactly captivating), I happened to catch the last five minutes of "Once More, With Feeling" and then "Tabula Rosa" one morning on FX and was pretty instantly hooked.

I didn't follow everything going on in these eps, but I could recognize quality when I saw it, and I was impressed with a show that would take such chances. It reminded me of the X-Files (back before it became incomprehensible) when the show was quite daring at times.

I finished watching the sixth season and then watched seasons 1 through 5 on FX before catching the latter part of season 7 on UPN.

Lesson learned: listen to your friends :)
I finished watching the show last night and this morning, and I have to say I don't think I'll ever find another show quite like Buffy. Like a lot of you guys here, it's helped me deal with this thing called life in a way I never thought a television show could.....I only wish I had discovered it in high school.

I think this Joss-person is kinda smart.

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