7 Lessons I've Learned from Re-watching Buffy

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

As I noted briefly in the last Caught My Eye post, my boyfriend and I have been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer like fiends ever since I was blessed with the power of Netflix. Since there's nothing like a little '90s programming to get my neurons crackling, check out what I've learned from re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

1. High school was a weird time for everyone. The weird kids always had it bad; the delinquents and the nerds were picked on by everyone from the popular people to the school principal. However, high school in Sunnydale shows, to an extreme, that everyone from the popular girls to the swim team had their own internal weirdness.

2. The macabre was always cool. Vampires and zombies have come back into fashion these days, but just like the return of 80s fashion pieces, popular macabre TV shows have been played time and again. In re-watching Buffy, I see how many of the tropes we now see are often poorly replicated versions of the complex storylines and relationships in shows of old.

3. Comprehensive female characters can be emotional without being whiny. Speaking of current TV, this point needs to be stressed more often. With the advent of weak heroines like Bella from Twilight and the flimsy emotional plots that are often put through these days. My current antidote? Fringe. Diverse characters, great storyline, and strong female lead is everything I asked for.

4. The intended purpose of a high school library is always demon research. It must be so awkward for those occasional students that come in to study...

5. Technology and mythology are not antagonisms. This one applies to writing. As shown in several episodes of Buffy, there are both archane rituals and technological ones (a disk containing the translation for a soul capture spell or a demon soul inside a cyborg robot, for instance), proving that the two definitely can mix. Many shows I have watched recently attempt to separate them, proving science the master over mythology or vice versa. I much prefer the melding of the two in concert.

6. If people were without passion, they may find peace. Coming from season two's very sad episode: Passions. Explains itself on a certain level, but it's the bittersweet logic that intrigues me. Passion creates both our most important moments and our worst. What would it be like if we had neither?

7. It's always darkest before the dawn. This is the another of the saddest Buffy lessons. All sorts of horrifying things happen throughout the Buffy series, and yet there is always a greater solution that follows. I believe this might be a life philosophy that could be truly applicable: the message to never give up hope and always seek the positive solution at the end of even the bitterest fight is the best and most difficult of lessons to follow through.

Bonus: '90s fashion was amazing. By way of cheerfulness: to me, the 90s is a decade that needs to come back. You know you're digging the overalls, midriff-baring tops, and amazing skirts and sweaters. Unfortunately, many of these same styles have not aged well. Having recently been on an Ebay hunt for overalls, its slim pickings if you want cute '90s era fashion to come back into your wardrobe.

Feel free to add any words of wisdom you've learned from watching your favorite TV shows (Buffy or otherwise) in the comments! And shout out to the Buffy Knitters Ravelry group for the inspiration to write this post.

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my other lists, including 3 Ways I Beat Writer's Block to a Pulp.