Happy 20th Buffy! Yes, our favorite Slayer turned twenty last week. Time, it flies.
To start off, Vox took a stab at ranking every episode of Buffy. Reading this list, I realized I knew every episode they were talking about just based on their brief description. So, I watch way too much television.
As for their ranking, I totally agree with the top five. Those are amazing episodes. "The Body" never fails to make me cry. However, that being said, number one is total bullshit. It's a good episode, top ten totally, top five, maybe. But number one? Come on! Let's be honest, the music is just okay (though super ambitious) and the Dawn addition makes any episode worse. However, I don't know what else would be number one. "The Body" doesn't feel like the best episode. "Hush?"
But there's their ranking and, more importantly, a list of all the episodes and a summary of what happened.
Earlier this week, I talked about my experience with The Sopranos. Admission: while I'm most of the way through a Sopranos rewatch, I haven't seen an episode of Buffy in years. I know I went through the series not long after leaving Portland, but I think that was it, so it's been about six years, at least. I'm a little nervous, does the dialogue hold up? But I do know that there is a Slayer podcast highly recommended by friends. It's on my list, so once I get around to Buffy, I'm doing the podcast + episode combo that is currently working out so well for me for The Sopranos.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about why I am the way I am. I come from a very conservative small town. Why did I end up so liberal? Why did I want to live in Europe, move to the East Coast? I have no idea. While there are probably a million things that led to me being me, from my parents to genetics to my teachers, I think also Hollywood was a big part. For as long as I can remember I've consumed pop culture. I've always had a book or two or five going, always a television show to enjoy, a movie to obsess over. I've had an Entertainment Weekly subscription since middle school. In elementary school, my friend Jessica would call me each night and we'd watch Entertainment Tonight together. The top of my list of influences are Stephen King and Edith Wharton, Tarantino and Scorsese, Stewart and Colbert. I was somewhat progressive before I got into The West Wing but it really confirmed it. But the biggest influence was probably Buffy.
Why we started watching Buffy, I don't remember. But once we started, it was truly required watching. Every week, I would go over to my friend's house, the only one who lived nearby and who had the necessary cable package. We would watch the new episode, then hang out for an hour or so to discuss. In between episodes, Buffy was a constant source of discussion and heated debate. We dressed like the characters and tried to speak like them. One summer, a friend and I would dress up like Buffy and Willow and reenact scenes and take pictures, walking to the local church and taking pictures in the cemetery. We were dorks and probably more than a little disrespectful. Sorry. I thought about including one of these pictures in the entry but figured just the admission was embarrassing enough.
While I mark The Sopranos with my 'growing up' and adulthood transition, Buffy is firmly in the 'adolescence' category. Buffy crafted my high school and young adult expectations and fears.
I never questioned whether or not I could or should do something because I was/am a woman. I went to an engineering school that, just a decade prior, had been all-boys without hesitation. I moved myself to Portland, then Germany, then the East Coast, without hesitation. I became an engineer. Without hesitation. Yes, there are a million little things that made all that happen, but Buffy is pretty high on the list.
Thanks, is what I'm saying. And Happy Birthday.