I’ve needed 10 years to really understand the magic behind Buffy the vampire slayer.
I used to think I was an expert. Characters, storylines, plots, actors, actresses, crossovers… Years of following around Joss and his minions. Of watching and enjoying the show. Of selling it to friends and family. Of imposing it. “It is more than a teeny show”, I’ve said like a million of times. “It’s something else!”
It did have a huge cultural impact, it attracted the interest of scholars of popular culture as a subset of popular culture studies. Some academic settings included and include the show as a topic of literary study and analysis. Buffy had an special following among academics, some of whom have staked a claim in what they call ‘Buffy Studies,’ commonly used amongst the peer-reviewed academic Buffy-related writings. Nonetheless Buffy eventually led to the publication of around twenty books and hundreds of articles examining the themes of the show from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including sociology, Speech Communication, psychology, philosophy, and women’s studies.
In a 2012 study, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was named the most studied pop culture work by academics, with more than 200 papers, essays, and books devoted to the series.
And all this for a teeny show? No way.
As all those people, I knew Buffy was different. I knew the story was not just the story of a girl in a battle (well, 7 battles) to kill vampires. There is something more than the witty blond with the scooby gang, confronting a banged Nathan Fillion…
The magic of Buffy is that Joss manages to tell my story through her story. Every girl in the world’s story.
In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.
That’s the premise of the show. She is the one, she stands alone facing the fears of vampires (everybody hurts, right?), high school (devastating!), an addict friend (also on my list), college (still recovering), a destructive first love (again, on my list), being in love with someone that ignores you (anyone?), having someone in love that you ignore (rings a bell?), death, sickness, friends betrayals…
And despite she is surrounded by people (her friends try to help, want to help) she is the one feeling, fighting, even dying in the process. And that’s life, right?
Even when my friends stand by my side, suffer my problems, figh with me, I am the one who hurts, who fights, who faces. I am the one who stands again the vampires, the demons and the forces of life. I am the Slayer. That’s the magic of Buffy… And at the end, we all are…