May 22, 2001

Yikes!

Talk about unexpected...

Up until the very last minute, it didn't occur to me what was going to happen, although I suppose we all should have seen it a mile off. There were plenty of hints, certainly.

Still!

Five years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? It hardly seems that long. And yet the fast forward "five years in 15 seconds" series of clips made me realize that I've probably forgotten more Buffy episodes than I remember. (And talk about another foreshadowing; can we say "your life flashes before your eyes"?)

It's lagged a bit this last season -- the jokemeisters all seem to be working for Angel now. This year it's been touching and heartfelt in ways that weren't always there before -- Buffy grew up, and so did the show, at least for it's last season.

I can't imagine that most people would think it's even a gay show (aside from the Willow & Tara bit) but I think it's plausible to argue that show is the best allegory of gay life that's ever been presented on prime time television -- much more so than that hackneyed Queer As Folk caca.

From the very beginning, it's been about discovering that you were different. About hiding those differences from your family. About finding, tentatively, cautiously, with a high degree of anxiety, a group of special friends. About coming out to them and them coming out to you. About finally, finally having the courage to come out to your family -- and finding out that no matter how cranky and mad and disapproving they are, they really do love you. About finally realizing that how you get there is more important than where you're going.

That it managed to do so with humor and gore and probably the best-developed fantasy story line in TV history is more than a little amazing!

I was pretty much over prime time TV until Buffy came along. It's been a brilliant ride, and if I ever happen to meet Joss Whedon he's going to suffer a big hug and a peck on the cheek. Either that or an elaborate curtsy -- I'm not sure which he'll find scarier.

I can't quite imagine what Buffy on UPN will be like. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, whatever it is.

But I don't think it can be the same.

RPJ


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