Sorry Kristy Swanson fans, this is about the TV show, not the movie from 1992 (I know you’re crying now and for that, I apologize.)
I start watching Buffy when it premiered in 1997 and watched through the first 4 seasons as they aired. I eventually stopped watching it (until recently, but we’ll come back to that) but a bunch of adults I knew kept watching it through the end. So it would become this awkward thing of, “Hey Teen Erin, did you see that crazy episode of Buffy last night?” And I’d have to say in response, “No, sorry, Adult, I stopped watching that vampire show because I have play rehearsal every night.” So it was only a few years ago (at the insistence of some friends) that I started completely re-watching (and subsequently dragging my husband with me) and finally got to finish watching the series. And boy, was I hooked.
It took maybe 3 minutes for me to remember why I watched the show in the first place and then it just kept coming. And you know what? I don’t care about the weird stuff. I don’t. The Dawn Stuff doesn’t bother me at all (that season 5 finale gets me every single time), and I don’t care that it just goes totally off the rails eventually (come on, you know what I mean). I’m with them all the time. I want to be best friends with Willow and to have dated Angel and have Xander be in love with me and secretly date Spike later on and have a great mentor (and friend) in Giles. I really do.
This show ruined my pre-teen and teen years and then came back to ruin my adult years. I can’t escape it. So for that, here are five ways Buffy ruined my life:
1. I Don’t Understand Why I Don’t Have Slayer Strength
This is the thing, I’m “stronger than I look” but I’m not STRONG. You know what I mean? Like, I can carry heavy things, I took kickboxing briefly in high school and I didn’t wimp out when I went camping with my family and had to hike out 4 miles in pouring rain with a huge camping pack on, but I don’t have Slayer Strength.
Buffy Summers does and she is amazing. I mean, I know she’s The Chosen One and everything, but she can really kick butt. (She also heals quickly and doesn’t bruise which I’ve always been intensely jealous of.) A ton of vampires closing in on her? Who cares! Some gross demon stalking her? She’s fine! And she makes it look SO easy. Never a hair out of place, never without makeup, never sweating.
I’m so jealous that Buffy can go out and kill demons and vampires every night and win (and sometimes date vampires too! Luckily they’re not sparkly on Buffy) and gets to be this strong, tough girl. We always hear about her training with Giles (and sometimes see it) but that mostly just seems fun playtime. She gets to hang out with her best friends and maybe kick a punching bag a few times and throw daggers and stuff. That sounds pretty great to me.
Of course, this also goes for Sarah Michelle Gellar in general. I sort of don’t understand that she personally doesn’t have slayer strength. Anyone else start watching Ringer and then wonder why she didn’t just start beating everyone up?
It’s not like I want to go out and pick a fight or anything, but it’d be nice to know I could defend myself against some demons if necessary.
2. I Think a Bare Midriff and a Stake is a Viable Fashion Option
My basic fashion M.O. is early to mid-90’s teen. I often get comments from my husband describing my outfits as “what teen girls on sitcoms wear when they want to piss off their dads.” This means a lot of boots with stretchy (and kind of short) skirts. I’m trapped in the ’90s. Or maybe just re-embracing them. Anyway, once we got to the late ’90s, I was less excited by what people were wearing. Except for Buffy Summers. That girl can DRESS.
I look at episodes of Buffy and say, “What is Cordelia wearing?” or “I can’t believe they put Willow in THAT.” But I pretty much never think that about Buffy (even when I should). There is something about her character that transcends time periods for me. It’s as if I don’t even notice the horrendous patterns on her clothes or the fact that her stomach is always showing even though she knows she could be in a fight at a moment’s notice.
I mean, come on. Who else could pull off this outfit?