Shows I love, in the month of love: It is February and you know what that means- Valentines Day. Whatever your personal feelings about February 14th, it is nearly impossible to escape the cheesy commercials, influx of red/pink, and chocolate cravings. In honor of this time of year, I decided to pick 4 shows that I love the most in the world and show some appreciation for them. Come Valentines Day, I hope you spend your evening with a box of chocolates and the shows/characters that you love!
Woman Crush: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This week’s post is another one of those catch 22s. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is and was my first favorite show. I can remember watching it when I was a kid and being absolutely terrified and fascinated and I couldn’t stop watching. Nothing has really changed, I still haven’t found a show I connect with more or that has taught me more. This is because of the character of Buffy Summers and the writing of this show. The lessons I learned and years I watched, the times I laughed and so much of who I am was shaped by this show that I love.
The most important/best thing about this week’s woman crush is this: Buffy Summers is her own hero. Much of the show can be boiled down to that simple statement. Buffy has the weight of the world on her shoulders, literally. At least twice a year, there is a massive, seemingly unwinnable, apocalyptic plan to be thwarted, not to mention the day-to-day evils to be stopped. And that’s all between her classes and school work. The point being, Buffy cannot do it all herself. She wouldn’t have been able to last a month without the help of the Scooby Gang. That being said, at the end of the day, Buffy knows it is her fight and that she can do it. She is the hero of her own story and yes heroes ask for help, they accept help, they know when it’s better to not be alone. But when it is all said and done, it comes down to Buffy.
One of the best scenes in the entire show is when Buffy is fighting Angelus and he has her back into a corner, sword to her throat and he says “No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take that away and what’s left?” Buffy takes a breath, grabs the sword, looks him dead in the eyes and says “me.” It so encapsulates who Buffy Summers is and why she is so important. At the end of it, Buffy Summers is enough, and her knowledge of that gives her more power than any supernatural force or weapon. It is one of the most important things for women and girls to learn, they are their own heroes. We have the power to save ourselves, no matter how much the media tells us we need men to do it for us. Buffy taught me that at the end of the day, it’s my life and I need to be the hero of my own story.
Another awesome and crucial thing I learned from this show is how funny Buffy is. She’s hilarious! One of my most important lessons I got from watching Buffy as a young kid is how funny girls can be and how that’s not only okay, but should be encouraged. Buffy Summers is one of the best examples of this. She’s clever and witty and you see her humor grow as she does though the seasons. For girls and women, it’s a rare occurrence to see, let alone be encouraged for years, and it’s one of the reasons Buffy Summers is one of the best characters ever created.
A trope that shows and writers fall into is creating the “strong” female character. The strength in this sense being she can beat people up (like boys!) and boom- equality in characters. The show does an incredible job of not just having Buffy be that. Yeah, she’s stronger than anyone else but not just physically. Sometimes I watch the finale of Buffy and just think about the entire series as a whole, think about all this woman has gone through over the past 7 years and it is amazing. Physically, she’s been beaten, bruised, even died. But it’s not even the physical that’s so incredible, it’s the person she’s becoming through everything. Emotionally, she’s had to deal with so much loss and trauma, rejection and hate, fear and terror. Yet she’s still standing. She’s still the leader, the rock for those around her. They still look to her, expect of her, and she carries the weight of that with her always. And the phenomenal thing about Buffy Summers is, she can handle it. She can carry that weight, she can stay standing and keep fighting. And at the end of it all, that’s what makes her strong. What a great thing to base an entire show around. The emotional, physical, and psychological strength of this teenage girl, who goes through the worst situations, and not only survives, but declares victory over her enemies again and again.
Now to my personal favorite aspect of this show: Buffy calls men out. (I hate the words feminist icon, but if I were to ever use them, this would be the case) People are constantly underestimating this chick, because she’s a teenager, because she’s looks a certain way, because she’s a girl. Yet, every single time, she shuts them down. And what’s so great about the show is that this doesn’t go away. From the first time we see Buffy, to the last, people are judging and doubting this girl because she is a woman. (which is crazy real) Her reactions differ and shift, but she calls them out every time. From violence, to outsmarting them, to explaining why they’re wrong, Buffy doesn’t let it stand when it happens to her or the girls around her. Which is ridiculously important for everyone to see, but especially teenage girls who are consistently judged and put down by society. Not only does Buffy point out their misogyny, but I’ll be damned if she doesn’t beats them every single time. And if that’s not a great reason to love a show, I don’t know what is.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a timeless classic. It will always be relevant and important for each and every person who watches it. It’s been more than a decade since this show went off the air (18 since the pilot, yikes!) and yet it still has tremendous affect on people. And with good reason!
Although Buffy the Vampire Slayer is tragically not on the air anymore… It is the perfect show for a binge watch. It’s available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. Or catch the Valentines Day marathon on Pivot starting Friday Feb 13th to support this week’s woman crush!
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