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January 10 2003

Don't Let Your Kids Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer - But you can tape it and watch after they go to bed. From the most-read article list at Christianity Today: A pretty balanced article from September that amounts to praise, mostly, from the Christian perspective about BtVS.

"Well don't I feel like the F___ A______ ."

-- Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men

Oops
It's still worthy of a second look. The first time I saw that Christianity Today was criticising Buffy I started reading it with a chip on my shoulder, ready to defend the show against closed-minded theocrats, but this report is actually one of the most objective, fair and impartial critiques of Buffy that I've ever seen. Sure it's tainted from a religious standpoint, but Todd Hertz doesn't blindly dismiss the series outright. This reminds me of one of my favorite exchanges of dialogue from CwDP:

HOLDEN - Oh my god.
BUFFY - Oh your god what?
HOLDEN - Well, not MY god, 'cause I defy him and all his works -- does he exist, by the way? Is there word on that?
BUFFY (shrugs) - Nothing solid.


Whedon doesn't dismiss theology. He also doesn't solidify where Buffy stands. He purposefully keeps the series vague, allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own opinion. Whedon's able to do this without disturbing the core of the series' message. I think it's cool that Christianity Today respected that.
I note that this CT article praises particularly those elements in the series that have been received as double-standards by some viewers. The writer points out that BtVS show us that drinking beer is bad, witchcraft is evil, and sex before marriage can make you lose your soul. From all I know, that would be the exact opposite of what Joss wanted, since showing negative after-effects is not the same as condemning. Maybe a misunderstanding like that makes this "objective" article less positive than it seems. It just makes me wonder /ponder, if misappropriated liking is not worse than criticism? I know that can be argued both ways.

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