Volume 97, Issue 1
Thursday, May 22, 2003

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The show that slayed all other television: Buffy says farewell

 
Gazette file photo
BUFFY WANTS YOU... to watch reruns of her show, now that the series is over. Hey, what did you think we were talking about?

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

Television bore witness to the end of one of the most dynamic and well-written series ever this week.

Mired with a frighteningly cheesy name and based on a laughable 1992 movie flop, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer drew almost instant praise from critics everywhere as its creator, Joss Whedon, creatively blended humour, horror, drama, action and romance. Perhaps Buffy's greatest accomplishment was its fully developed, real characters, who live in an unreal world with vampires and demons set in a California town called Sunnydale (home to 14 graveyards and apparently, one high school).

What began as a "buff babe beating the monster-of-the-week show" in 1997 evolved into a series with continuous, layered, season-long story-lines. Over the course of its seven seasons, Buffy and her small group of friends matured, often having the hardest time dealing with real life problems while still combating the latest super-villain trying to end the world.

And although every episode contained the requisite dose of blood, action, fighting and – usually – more blood, it was the real life situations that were at the heart of the show.

From broken households, loved ones dying of cancer, love triangles, boyfriends being vampires and losing their souls if they have sex with you (okay, so maybe the love triangle thing isn't too realistic, but you get the point), Buffy attracted more than its fair share of female viewers.

Case in point: near the beginning of Tuesday's series finale, Buffy and Angel (making a quick cameo) get into a mini tiff over Spike, another vampire with a soul who also has eyes for the Slayer.

Just as the scene starts to smell of daytime soap opera and male viewers develop acute gagging, Buffy tells Angel to quit going "Dawson" on her, and they resume planning their battle against evil. It's a small example of how Buffy managed to take advantage of teen angst romance while handily slamming the convention at the same time.

Buffy leaves a considerable mark on the television universe, and although it deserves recognition similar to that given to M*A*S*H, Seinfeld and ER, it's unlikely to get it.

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2002 THE GAZETTE