What Are You Watching?: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003, The WB/UPN)

With this semester quickly coming to an end, I’ve taken on the mundane task of planning my next semester of classes. With options that seem far less than interesting, I get discouraged (especially considering a university in Europe is now teaching a Britney Spears class on how she was overly sexualized by her management and ultimately became a feminist icon). I began looking for more fun alternative classes at other schools and stumbled upon “Buffyology,” which is the study of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and how it explored issues in sexuality, gender, religion, family dynamics, and more.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer became a staple of my favorite television series a few years ago when it was first added to Netflix. Having heard little to nothing about the show, I gave the first episode a shot. Once I had gotten over the (admittedly cheesy) vampire face makeup, which resembled that of a villain on the Power Rangers TV show, I fell in love. Buffy was a literal kickass teenage girl who dealt with divorce, moving to a new school at a young age, young love drama, and all that comes with hunting vampires at night.

The show transgressed vampires and played with lure and mythology long before the Winchester brothers did so on the CW’s hit show, Supernatural. Buffy also took on social elements like interracial dating, homosexuality, and divorce, as well as death and the psychological tolls it can take on a character. These elements are what add to the “Buffy formula” that makes it truly something more magical, enchanting, and profound than it may appear to be.

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What Are You Watching?: “Ringer”

Ringer (2011, The CW)

Ringer
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Binge-watching TV shows has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby for me because I hate cliffhangers. I am a true millennial in the sense that I’m incredibly impatient and need everything provided to me instantly – especially answers to plot points in television series. That said, I finally rewatched a show I had watched when it was on air a few years back, Ringer, and I was so glad I didn’t have to wait through commercials or days until the next episode aired.

Ringer is a concluded TV drama that lasted only one season, which I attribute to it being aired on a younger-viewer network. At the time of Ringer’s premiere, the CW was already talking about ending its front-running series Gossip Girl and was looking for a replacement. However, Ringer’s complex plot about murder and deception was not the right fit to replace Gossip Girl’s quick-witted sass and the Upper East Side drama of love affairs. Had Ringer been picked up by a more mature-audience based network, like ABC, it definitely would’ve hit its target audience and lasted much longer.

This show, though short lived, was thankfully aired in a full order of 22 episodes and also marked the return of the incomparable Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to television.

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