TV Observations

From March 10: Happy 20th tv series premiere anniversary, Buffy. You saved the world a lot. (ok, I’m paraphrasing the line from one of the season finales – the third or fourth one? The one of many where Buffy sacrifices herself? The tone was just the right tone).

Thank you, Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the rest of the Scooby team of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

I realized that it was the 20th anniversary when A.V Club featured their Buffy Week special. Check it out. A lot of good stuff.

And, goodness, I’m old. I can’t believe that it’s been 20 years?

Entertainment Weekly posted on Sarah Michelle Gellar’s thanks via Twitter, to the fandom for their support.

Vox ranked the episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Constance Grady over at Vox wrote on the subversiveness of Buffy’s feminism. I thought it was interesting how Grady noted that Buffy, the very feminine ex-cheerleader, was very much the beholder of what was the traditional masculine protagonist’s burden of saving the world. And, if I remembered one of the key Slayer mythos episodes correctly, as the slayer, she shook off being chained to the male Watchers (while acknowledging the familial bonds to at least Giles, the senior Scooby member).

David Sims over at The Atlantic wrote on how Buffy, the tv series, was the pioneer of the current Golden Age of tv storytelling – that whole balance of serialization and Monster Of The Week stuff was because of Buffy (in fact, I think “Monster Of The Week” was because of Buffy the tv series, either because tv critics or fans referenced to that, or the producers themselves acknowledged that).  I thought that this article was a fascinating look at television history, anyway.

Here’s where I talked about the series finale of Buffy, through the lenses of an episode of “Angel” (which, yes, if you watched the Buffy series, you should watch “Angel.”).

Speaking of television, lately, it seems like I watch just two shows: “Elementary” (oh, the craziness that constitutes the adventures of Holmes and Watson) and “Legion.”  I’ll have to post separately on “Legion,” but talk about odd storytelling.  It’s tied to the X-Men, but I’m still not sure how or when, if ever, that this will be shown or told.  It’s just been strangely compelling to watch, for me, anyway.

Over at an interesting post by Timothy Harvie, a philosophy and ethics professor, on the importance of friendship in Star Trek. (I really do not read items that reference Aristotle. Not since college, anyway, and the reference in there to Aristotle – weirdly interesting). Come to think of it, the old ST episodes of McCoy and Spock being ridiculously nasty to each other (strange how I don’t realize how ridiculous they were until I really pay attention) is such a big difference from how they become in the movies – when Spock sacrifices himself for McCoy, McCoy carries Spock’s soul, and Kirk keeps trying to balance them – the evolution of friendship is real.

Actually, one of the biggest morals of ST is how friendship is the biggest and best thing of all (because the things we do for our friends…).

To be even broader: television tends to show how friends become family – how or ties to each other may help rather than hurt us.  Well, good dramatized fictional tv, anyway.  (I do not have an analysis for what we’re supposed to derive from so-called reality television).  Ultimately, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its spinoff, “Angel,” showed how friends working together overcome challenges, whether it was getting through high school, growing up, and maybe saving the world.  The universe of Buffy, much like Star Trek, ends up impacting the fandom – and hopefully has brought people together.

See? Television isn’t all that bad.


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