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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"There are three flowers in a vase. The third flower is green."
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January 28 2016

The resurgence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Back when the show ended in 2003, some of its detractors said that no one would be discussing Buffy after a little while. This Mary Sue article reminds us why that didn't happen.

Netflix strreaming keeps suggesting that I watch "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Oh, and a sci-fi show called "Firefly." I must be doing something right.
First of all...I'm not dead.

It has been many years since I've posted here. Mostly, I've been raising my son, and dealing with my new roles as husband and patriarch--and man, that still sounds weird. But my love and admiration for Joss Whedon's creations has barely dimmed in the intervening years.

This article quite rightly focuses on Buffy as a feminist icon, the inspiration for a new generation of young women. But even old farts like me have drawn inspiration from Buffy and Angel. Buffy was the first TV series to draw inspiration from pulp sources like teen drama, horror and fantasy, and truly explore the intellectual and philosophical underpinnings of these genres. In telling the story of one heroine's journey to adulthood, Buffy tackled faith, ontology, existentialism, the nature of the soul, and dozens of other topics that have kept thinkers tied up in knots for millennia.

I made some lasting friends discussing these ideas on various forums, including this one. I'm not going to go so far to say that Buffy gave me the courage to go forward to the next stage in my life--but there is something to be said for leaving your personal Sunnydale behind and move on.

Buffy will always have lessons for women--and men--everywhere. But let's not stay too focused on the past; Joss is still the greatest pop synthesist in the world today, and I can't to see what he does next.
Nice to see you post here, cjl! Well said, too, so gosh darnit, now I ain't got nuthin' to add.
Thanks, 'puss. I've always enjoyed your posts here and on the All Things Philosophical board.

Buffy was a seminal TV show in form, as well as content: the seasonal arc, mixed in with standalone episodes; female-led ensemble casts; and multi-genre mash-ups are everywhere on TV now. Joss' staff has branched out on their own and taken Joss' methods with them: Buffy veterans like Minear (Wonderfalls, Hannibal), Fury (24, Alias), Greenwalt (Grimm), Petrie, Noxon and DeKnight are always in high demand as show runners.

You can see Buffy's seasonal structure in the vampire dramas on the WB and even in the hoary procedurals on CBS; and, in a case of Joss giving back to one of his original inspirations, Russell T. Davies had always credited Buffy as a model for the new version of Doctor Who.

In a sense, a lot of TV in 2016 could be called the children of Buffy.
As a brand new New-Whovian, (by way of David Tennant's magnificent performance as Killgrave in Jessica Jones, another obvious creative descendant of Buffy), I was immediately grabbed by the Jossian elements, the mix of humor and tragedy, the burden of the heroic figure who is saved by his friends but on whose shoulders the responsibility for protecting the earth falls. Now having just finished up watching Torchwood (right before it leaves Netflix), I couldn't help noticing that Jane Espenson was one of the writers, in what were unmistakenly the higher quality seasons.
By the time we got to Torchwood series 2, Davies' Buffy fetish wasn't even subtle anymore: bringing in James Marsters to play Captain John Hart (essentially, Spike) to John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness (essentially, Angel)? And then--with s4 and Miracle Day--moving the entire production to California to bring in Jane E. and ME's behind-the-scenes crew?

(Well, if you're gonna borrow, borrow from the best.)

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