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August 21 2009

A Member of Generation Y Reviews 90's TV Shows. Five pilots are reviewed, and Buffy comes in at number three.

The fact that they didn't watch anything more than the first episode is pretty apparent, though maybe there's hope for the future.

"Plus, there's that awful cliffhanger in the end where we don't know whether Buffy will die, but we all know she won't because she is the name of the show."

I do find that cliffhanger hilarious every time I see it. Oddly enough, whenever I show it to people, they still want to know what's going to happen and get dragged along for the rest of the episode. I can't remember what I was thinking when I first watched Buffy (about a year ago, wanted to check out some older shows). Originally thought it was fun, and was apart of an interesting zeitgeist, but not long after it became an addiction.

I followed up my 90s TV by checking out Dawson's Creek. I watched loads of it, and I still can't get past this terrible Season 5. I found season 1 adorable and season 2 better. From then I found it hard to watch. I just wanted Joey to kick someone's ass or the show to just be about Jen.

As for the others. I keep meaning to check out Freaks & Greeks. I like Judd Apatow stuff. My So-Called Life I might watch if I find the time and Beverly Hills... I'm watching the new 90210. I don't really feel the need to watch TEN seasons of it.

[ edited by Jayme on 2009-08-22 02:41 ]
I feel old.
I feel very old. Buffy's pilot isn't that great, although the "she saves people too much" criticism is not one I agree with.

The Freaks And Geeks pilot, on the other hand? Exceptional. The best on the list in my book. To rank Dawson's and 90210 ahead of it, ugh.

It's also weird to think that a 21 year old was in kindergarten when My So Called Life was on. I was in seventh grade at the time, and I still remember every single girl in my class trying to get petitions signed to keep it on the air. I didn't actually watch the show until college...
The author has woefully confused the fashion trends of the 80s and the television of the 90s. This does remind me of how my sister'd react when I'd try to get her to watch Buffy with me. She loved Freaks and Geeks though.
I love the Buffy pilot. All two hours (not split up) of it. That is all.
Hey, I'm 22 but I grew up watching all these shows(excluding 90210). Was I that odd a ten year old, that's how old I was when Buffy premiered?
Well I started watching Buffy when I was 7 and in 3rd grade! I've been a Buffy fan the majority of my life :D
Still confused which generation this places me in, but whatever.

I felt the author gave a honest review of these selective pilots. Actually, reminded me of the days when a series was given at least a half-season or so to prove its worth. Now, three or four episodes can make or break a series. My, how times have changed.
Yes, the author has deeply misapprehended the fashion trends of the past. Although as is the case with many other cultural decades the fashions and whatnot do not follow the exact years. For example, what gets called 'the 80s' started in about... 1983 and lasted until approximately 1992.

In a not very interesting bit of synchronicity, I note that I was the authors' age right when the 90s were getting started.

Also, 90210 topped the list?!!? Outrageous!

[ edited by wouldestous on 2009-08-22 04:34 ]
Also only slightly younger & of the Gen Y, I've never seen a full ep of any of these shows except Buffy. But I've heard/read plenty about them, and I attribute that to following all the Buffy talk. Yay for the '90s? :)

Also re: the pilot "rank"'s not really ranked, is it? I just read it as a numbered list.
I'm a Gen Xer but I didn't see Buffy until 2003. I was taken by the pilot right away. For me, it was the humor.
For example, what gets called 'the 80s' started in about... 1983 and lasted until approximately 1992.

And then it moved to Canada.
is '83 to '92 the exact time frame of Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High? Because that show sums up the clothing of the 80's to me.

Just googled it... it was from 87-91 (although 'Kids of Degrassi' was on from 79-82)

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-08-22 07:33 ]
I'm 21, and I've seen all of these shows except 90210 (and I have no interest there). All of them after their finales aired (and "Dawson's Creek" only because both my sister and my former roommate watched it). I hate it when people judge a show by the pilot, though. Buffy is so much more than "Welcome to the Hellmouth."
(about a year ago, wanted to check out some older shows)

Yeah, cheers for that Jayme, i'll just go and warm up my zimmer frame ;).

I dunno, kids today. "Platforms" ? In the 90s ? What are they teaching them in 'Animal Husbandry 101' and 'Advanced Butter Churning' these days (i'm assuming those're still on the curriculum).

It's an interesting idea but the shows themselves are very youth oriented rather than necessarily the pick of the crop from or in any specific way representative of the 90s so in that sense the comparison itself is kind of null and void. No 'NYPD Blue' ? No 'E.R.' ? No 'Seinfeld' or 'Frasier' ? No 'Friends' ??

edited to s/8/9/gi;

[ edited by Saje on 2009-08-22 09:48 ]
I'm always sad when people don't mention Reboot on lists of great shows, though its unique place in my childhood (being the only TV show I watched actually on TV in the first 15 or so years of my life) might account for that feeling.
Um, my high school had animal husbandry classes. Still does, I'm sure. FFA (Future Farmers of America, though they say it doesn't stand for that anymore) was the largest club. Just checked online, and the animal science class teaches "livestock identification, selection, nutrition, reproduction and genetics, health management, and marketing of one or more species of farm animals."

Anyway, I was born in January 1980 which I suppose makes me part of Gen Y, but I was in high school when Buffy and Dawson's Creek aired. I liked Buffy from the moment it aired. Also liked Dawson's Creek, but not enough to keep up with it after I graduated. I did Google what happened in the finale.
I feel old.
Simon | August 22, 02:41 CET

I feel older. (maybe becvause I am older) ;)

Didn't discover Buffy until re-runs about 2004 and fell in love immediately, proving that the show had appeal for all ages (I'm ultra-picky about which TV shows I give my time to).

ETA: The time frame for platforms and shoulder pads is definitely off - did you ever see any in Buffy? (Proud to say I never gave in to either trend. But it may have been a little easier, living in rural Hawaii) :)

[ edited by Shey on 2009-08-22 12:24 ]
Are the pilots ranked in order? The author seemed a lot more impressed with Freaks and Geeks than Dawson's Creek/Buffy. I thought it might have been the order she was shown them in or something.

Anyway, I still think the pre-credits sequence in the Buffy pilot is one of the best ever (both in a pilot and generally). The rest of the pilot is fine: the dialogue is all there, and you can see where the characters are at very quickly, and the foundations are laid for the issues that will be dealt with in season 1 pretty well.

Also, I wonder how the author would view the pilot if she knew Angel was a vampire? It was interesting the (semi-)criticism of True Blood, that she doesn't realise how dangerous vampires can be. I think Buffy does an excellent job of convincing us that Angel really struggles with his blood lust, and it makes for a much more striking relationship between him and Buffy as a result.
Are the pilots ranked in order?

The list is in chronological order (though that may just be a coincidence, whether the author intended it isn't clear).
I think I have all you kids out ranked, I am 71 and got to Buffy backward. I loved Bones and found out David was Angel, so bought the series, then had to get Buffy to see how Angel started. Of course fell in love with the show and think it is the best series ever on TV and Spike the best character ever. Have not watched any of the other shows on the list.
Yeah, cheers for that Jayme, i'll just go and warm up my zimmer frame ;).

You go do that, Saje - I'll be playing hopscotch.

The shows being "old" per se wasn't really what I was looking for. I just saw how epic the Wikipedia page for Buffy was and I was pretty much sold on it being cult/groundbreaking and amazing. Before that, I wasn't really following much TV. I was a dedicated anime fan. ;]
Hopefully you still are a dedicated anime fan, Jayme?, because I would hope being a Buffy fun doesn't preclude that! I like both, certainly. :-)

I have left my Buffy DVDs at my parents house the past 4 years while I was out of the country and I really hoped my 10 year younger sister would watch them, but to be honest I don't think she's even been tempted to look at them. I will work at her some more when I go home in a month. I like to share my Whedon addiction!
Yay! rehabber. You have such good taste. ;)
I'm still well apart of the anime community, Bluey. A lot of my most visited sites are still anime-related. I just don't watch as much as I used to, however, the past couple of days I've felt to urge to get to watching some of my DVDs. ;D Going to check out NANA, I think.

I'll leave it at that, I don't want to be more off topic.
90210 only became good when Tiffani Thiessen joined.

I came to watching Buffy after getting the Bring It On DVD and watching the directors commentary where he said she was on it, and I enjoyed it.
For example, what gets called 'the 80s' started in about... 1983 and lasted until approximately 1992.

And then it moved to Canada.
hacksaway | August 22, 05:26 CET


Loved your story Rehabber. What an interesting way to come to the Series!
I started watching season two when it first aired during 7th grade. I didn't know of it's existence until then, but I think their 6th grader watching Buffy would have been too much for my parents. Although hearing some people starting in 3rd grade--wow. Good for you, I just think I didn't get some references, language, enormity of it all until years later.
My first ep of Buffy was Seeing Red, when it first aired, turned it on right when Buffy was breaking off with Spike. Even without knowing the backstory, I was hooked by the fact that the girl was the one trying to let the incredibly hot guy down easy. (We all know how that went.) Very dark variation on the original "cute girl kicks ass" theme -- but it was still there, all you S6 haters. And with all the momentous events I just had to find out how everyone ended up in that very scary place.

90210 was awful, always. I watched it faithfully for years, so I know.
I loved Bones and found out David was Angel, so bought the series, then had to get Buffy to see how Angel started.

Love this story. So deliciously upside-down!
Rehabber - I love your story too! It must have been really weird to go backwards though. I'm currently "making" my step-dad (70) watch the whole thing. He's really liking Angel and his favs are Willow, Anya and Cordelia!

It's also really great to see you here at Whedonesque, makes me glad to be part of a big community spanning the ages.

So, I take it that must mean I was part of Gen X? I starting watching Buffy when it aired, but I was a year or so out of Uni. Loved it from the beginning, but I don't remember seeing any shoulder pads...
Gen X were born in the early/mid-ish 70s I think (maybe slightly earlier). Gen Y is the one after, so mid-late 80s. I have a cheesy 80s retro bar near where I live and my rule of thumb is, if you can remember the whole of the 80s then you're probably too old to be in there ;).

And yep, i'll Nth (lost count, 4th maybe ?) the cool bizarreness of rehabber's tale. Heard folks start in the middle of Buffy and even the middle of Angel, never heard anyone start with 'Bones' and go back into the Whedonverse. I also don't feel as old now either. Good times ;).
1975 - so I'll stamp my claim on gen x then, although that would mean that I was 5 in 1980. Maybe I'm a inbetweener? A gen x/yer?

Whichever, the show did tap in to the zeitgiest *grins* of the time in the UK, what with the girl power and the...girl power....
Now I want to know what comes after Gen Z, Gen AA?!

(no prizes for guessing whose been staring at Excel recently!)...
I'm sorry, but I had to stop reading when he said, "I think I dislike Brenda the most".
Saje, just so you know I don't feel old either. lol I have watched Buffy and Angel many times and never get tired of them, love Firefly also, Dollhouse after ep 5. Told some friends as long as Spike keeps getting me hot, I will stick around. I rehab baby squirrels and name some of them after vampires, a Flying Squirrel was Dracula. I know off topic so out of here.
As soon as I saw the "shoulder pads, big hair and jean jackets" I couldn't take the list seriously. I mean, really: does this person have any idea what they're talking about?

True, though, some of the comments above about Buffy starting slow. If it weren't for those cliffhanger endings, I don't know if I would have kept watching. The first season was not the best. On the other hand, going back and watching it again, and it really is pretty good, knowing where things are going.

I didn't watch any of the other shows on the list (even Freaks and Geeks, which I bet I'd like). Knowing how short Freaks and Geeks turned out, I simply can't bring myself to watch it. I had to force myself to watch Wonderfalls knowing it got cut off early, and while I enjoyed the show, it still makes me angry.
Anyway, I was born in January 1980 which I suppose makes me part of Gen Y

Depending on how you divide it, boomers are born from '45 to 65, X'ers/busters from '65 to '85, and Y/Millenials from '85 to '05. X'ers are further broken down by Howe and Strauss into an "Atari wave" and a "Nintendo wave". Nintendo wavers don't really remember the USSR--Atari wavers (like me) do, and remember the Challenger explosion like boomers remember JFK's assassinaton. Clear enough? :-)
The X'ers definitions always seem waaaay too broad for me. There's something between that and Y/Millenials. Nintendo's a decent marker. I understand all the references in Legend of Neil maybe a little too well.
Wish to welcome rehabber! It's great having a person of such knowledge and experience in the room. Looking forward to discussions with you :) BTW, have you ever seen an albino squirrel? I spotted one a few years ago. I was dumbstruck by the sight.

So, guess I'm a "boomer" Always good to know which category one is placed in.
That categorization doesn't help me, as I was born in 1985. Do I belong to both or neither?! I'm having an identity crisis here. (Actually, it probably makes sense to put me in the younger generation, as I'm the oldest of four kids spanning almost ten years.)

I suppose I would have been about the right age to watch Buffy when it aired, had I lived in a TV-watching household. As it was I had to wait an extra decade.
I'm the same age as the author and grew up watching all these shows, sure they were probably a bit too mature for me initially, but it irks me how groups of people can be stereotyped because they are born within the same decade.
It's just like a Gen Y-er to say something like that.

(kidding ;)

Depending on how you divide it, boomers are born from '45 to 65, X'ers/busters from '65 to '85, and Y/Millenials from '85 to '05.

I think that's way too wide. Apart from anything else it means a Gen X-er could be another Gen X-er's parent (without any sexual weirdness - 18 is young to have kids IMO but not freakishly so by any stretch). Pretty sure that's not how generations are meant to work ;).

Saje, just so you know I don't feel old either. lol

Kudos rehabber, it's just a number, right ? If I get to 71 and still feel that way i'll be happy.
Ah, rehabber, 60 year old boomer daughter gave me some Buffy dvds to check out 5 or so years ago, and I was smitten. The rest is, as they say, history. Which is suitable, I suppose, for a historical character such as yrs, truly.

My brother and I recently discovered that we each have a (sort of) dormant 15 year old in the back of the mind who pops up from time-to-time, to react exactly as the adolescent self. Sometimes,though, I feel ancient as the hills.
Depending on how you divide it, boomers are born from '45 to 65, X'ers/busters from '65 to '85, and Y/Millenials from '85 to '05.

It seems like it would make more sense to divide things by every ten years, or at the most fifteen. I remember a lot of things from the nineties (being a hardcore Sega Genesis fan, watching MTV when it actually showed videos), but age-wise, I'm closer to the author (I'm 23, almost 24). Technically I should probably be more in line with Generation Y, but I think more like a Generation X-er.
Madhatter, I have seen white squirrels, but never an albino except pictures. Have rehabbed a black one and had blacks come to the feeder. I had a blond gray squirrel that I named Spike and he is still hanging around a couple years after release.

Toast I do know what you mean about a youngster living inside, but most of the time I think it is my old one that just comes to
It seems like it would make more sense to divide things by every ten years, or at the most fifteen.

To me it's more about the era you grew up in though there's always going to be an overlap at the edges of any set of arbitrarily defined categories. But if boomer, X, Y etc. are meant to be actual generations (as i've always assumed they are) rather than just a catch-all term for optimism/disaffection/cynicism etc. then a twenty year span for births is much too wide IMO. You have occasional outlier families with siblings that are 20 years apart but it's the exception rather than the norm. 10 years makes a lot more sense (so maybe born '45-'55, '65-'75, '85-'95 - broadly speaking).

Or maybe, if you remember the first TV in your family/wider social group you're a boomer, if you remember the first colour TV in your family/wider social group then you're Gen X. If you don't remember TVs without remote controls then you're Gen Y ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2009-08-23 13:38 ]
That's the most beautiful thing of BtVS, it spans all the generational gaps. Whether you're a boomer, X, Y, or fall somewhere in between, the meaning of Buffy still connects.

Heck, even a cylon would love it!
Yep, too true 'Hatter, we're lucky in this fandom to have such a spread of different people. Not that i'm admitting to being a cylon or anything. OK, maybe just a teeny bit.
I'm '86, so I identify with Generation Y. I remember everything about the nineties, plus my life in the late 80s.
My best friend, on the other hand, is '83 and acts like a total Gen-X-er, to the point where we both feel there's a generational gap in our friendship even though we're only three years apart.
Twenty years is definitely too long. I'm supposed to be a boomer, but I don't remember JFK. I do remember the first color TV in my family, though.

Maybe kids today will say it needs to shorter. You know, don't remember life before Facebook vs. don't remember life before Twitter. :)
I have to agree with the article about the Buffy pilot. It's fun to watch now for the humor, but I would never have given the show a chance if that had been the first episode I saw.

I saw a few episodes of season 2 here and there when it aired originally, but I didn't get hooked until I started watching season 5 reruns on FX one summer. The random new sister, lack of a mother, and not-really-evil Spike sucked me right in.
I remember exactly how I started watching Buffy. I lived at home while going to law school and my sister who is significantly younger was finishing up her Senior year of high school when Buffy premiered. My sister started watching the show and I teased her mercilessly, until one day I noticed that both my Dad and my sister were heading upstairs to watch Buffy. I commented that I couldn't believe she had wrangled my Dad into watching such a ridiculous show when he responded. "You should watch it, best written show on TV, hands down". So I trudged upstairs with them and watched The Pack....and from that point on was hopelessly hooked. To this day I apologize to my sister for being a judgmental jerk and thank her for introducing me to the 'Verse.

PS. I am a Gen Xer, my sister is Gen Y and my dad is a Boomer!

[ edited by jabby on 2009-08-24 16:59 ]
I was born in '83, probably more closely identify with Gen. Y, and yet don't really feel comfortable in either because I grew up almost totally ignorant of pop culture. I didn't watch TV that was on the air between the time I turned off Sesame Street and the time my college friends dragged me into watching "Alias." (On VHS and DVD, yes. But not much.)

I remember hearing radio ads for BtVS and AtS, I think they were promoting the season four/one crossovers... and smirking that anyone could watch a show called "Buffy." Fortunately the musical made me see the error of my ways.
My duaghter was born in 1990 and watched BtVS form the neginning (she had her own playroom with TV and VCR) and, under the excuse of "spending time," I watched it with her and I was born in 1955. Unlike her I didn't lose interest during S-4, and S-5 led to my weird crushes on Amber and Mercedes.)

And the first "episode" was intentionally a two-parter; by not watching both hours, she really didn't see much of anything. Then again, this seemed a "rahther" shallow article and intentionally so.

On another board I once asked if each of Alyson's 3 most fmaous characters were fans of the other two; the general consesnus was Michelle Flaherty would be too shallow to appreciate either BtVS or HIMYM.
ManEnough, what did you do during the TV-free years after Sesame Street, but before college ? Video games, sports, got into trouble ?

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