Written by Cal Wilson

Arts

Rated or Dated: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

In the latest of our film/book/TV reassessments, Cal Wilson plonks Sunnydale’s iconic midriff-bearer under the microscope.

Feminist icon Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) with some sort of slaying thing.

Feminist icon Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) with some sort of slaying thing.

What and why: I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon, but with everyone waxing lyrical about Game Of Thrones I thought it was time I finally watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

For the other three people who haven’t seen it, Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) lives in the seemingly innocuous town of Sunnydale, and is an all-American teenager destined to fight evil and slay vampires. They all turn up: it’s 90210 meets Nosferatu.

Rated or dated: Rated. I loved it. I binge-watched all seven series. I wasn’t expecting it to be so campy and fun, yet still have such heart (mumble mumble, may have cried at one point, mumble mumble). I also got way too into the fight sequences and have been subsequently itching for the opportunity to run up a wall and kick someone in the neck.

I did get hung up on a few implausibilities, though. Namely, how many leather jackets can a teenager reasonably own? And how many midriff-baring tops – did we not feel the cold in the 90s?

Also, Buffy’s gang are always at a club called The Bronze (why call it The Bronze? Is it Sunnydale’s third-best nightclub?) I don’t recall ever going clubbing on a weeknight when I was at high school. Anyway, they would never have let us through the door: Sunnydale’s bouncers are terrible.

The fashion, special effects and technology might date it a little (their computers, especially, look hilariously antiquated) but I still rate Buffy. It has a great female hero. Actually, it has loads. They’re everywhere, being fierce and flawed and vivid and funny.

Buffy and pals. Forgive them, for they knew not what they wore.

Buffy and pals. Forgive them, for they knew not what they wore.

All the supporting characters are marvellous as well, although there are some truly wonky English accents that suggest they hired Dick Van Dyke as dialect coach.

Most of all, I love the beautifully feminist ending. (Probably Unnecessary) Spoiler Alert: Buffy and her Wiccan wing-woman, Willow, rewrite ancient lore, (decreed, as Buffy says, by “a bunch of old men”), so every potential Slayer comes into her full power, and they defeat the “Big Bad” together. It’s ace.

I already know I’ll watch it again and, this time, I won’t leave it 15 years.

@calbo

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Written by Cal Wilson

Cal Wilson is a Kiwi who calls Australia home. Comedian, Writer, amateur Cat Lady.