Nombre de messages : 31398
Age : 29
Localisation : Belgique
Date d'inscription : 02/12/2006
|Sujet: Le génie de Btvs Dim 16 Juin 2013, 21:11|| |
- Citation :
The genius of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
She makes casual allusion to Samuel Beckett in daily conversation; she spends her free time in the company of a bespectacled high school librarian; she boasts a brooding love interest who reads Sartre in the original French; at one point, she interrupts her SAT preparation session to stab an enemy with a pencil that's almost as sharp as her intellect. Oh, and she regularly slays demons.
Despite her blonde coiffure, Californian origins and sometime dream of making the Sunnydale cheerleading squad, Buffy Summers is more than your average valley girl. And despite its low-fi special effects, hackneyed title and occasionally campy aesthetic, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is no typical fantasy series.
Or so I am forever in the process of insisting. Ever since my mother happened upon me with two empty boxes of ice cream mochi, 24 episodes and 18 hours into "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," I’ve been on the defensive: No, really, mom, watching "Buffy" is an exercise in the best kind of intellectualism; no, really, mom, the season two Halloween episode is a brilliant commentary on gender performativity; no, really, mom, Whedon rivals Rilke when it comes to effectively and evocatively addressing weighty metaphysical issues.
Little did I suspect that my mother’s "Buffy"-related reservations were only the tip of the massive anti-"Buffy" iceberg with which I, a professed intellectual and unabashed "Buffy" fan girl, would soon have to contend. For months now, I’ve been trying to convince a string of skeptical love interests, friends and family members that "Buffy" is deserving of canonical status and critical attention — and that I am, in fact, able to reconcile my seemingly lowbrow cinematic tastes with my comparatively lofty literary and philosophical interests.
But doubt, as it turns out, is a difficult demon to slay. Buffy’s enemies come at her from a wide variety of angles: Some claim that “Buffy” epitomizes the unforgivable escapism that characterizes the fantasy genre as a whole; some associate "Buffy" with "Twilight," "The Vampire Diaries," and the other cinematic disastors that have collectively given vampire shows a bad name; still others, my mother included, can only express their ill-defined contempt for the series with a dismissive "pff!"
I'm the first to admit that the magical elements so ubiquitous in "Twilight" serve no metaphorical purpose: The confusion of werewolves and vampires therein represents the worst that sheer sensationalism has to offer. But Whedon invokes the supernatural with good cause. The demons, vampires and ghouls that descend so viciously upon Sunnydale are not without their thematic significance, and Buffy's struggles in her capacity as a Slayer parallel the trials she faces as an aspiring prom queen, as a Sunnydale High School student and, most importantly, as a teenaged girl coming to terms with the immanence and import of impending adulthood.
Buffy is heartbroken when her first love, a vampire, turns against her because she made him feel "too human"; she's shocked to find that her best friend's digital boyfriend, so charming in the chatroom, is a robotic demon intent on world destruction in "real life"; she and a group of immature boys learn invaluable lessons about drinking when they are transformed into neanderthals by a batch of cursed beer early on in their college careers--a familiar occurrence, I confess. And as a Dartmouth girl, I harbor particular fondness for the episode in which a seemingly respectable college fraternity is exposed as a satanic cult that has been systematically sacrificing women to a money demon for years.
If "Twilight" and "The Vampire Diaries" smack of the romance novels that birthed them, "Buffy" is best understood as the progeny of the cyberpunk and magical realist traditions. Much like Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" or Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "100 Years of Solitude," "Buffy" introduces a fictional world that enriches our understanding of reality. In drawing implicit comparisons between alpha-male posturing and caveman culture, between the supernatural and the banal, "Buffy" endows everyday events with a new novelty--and thereby provides us with a fresh perspective on behaviors to which we have become familiarized.
And like any good bildungsroman, "Buffy" captures not just the specific tribulations proper to high school and college (who among us hasn't had a roommate who later proved to be a soulless demon?!) but also the general sense of loss, disorientation and confusion that accompanies youth's capitulation to adulthood. "Buffy" encapsulates the simultaneous levity and gravity of adolescent experiences -- experiences that are as ridiculous as a 16 year old vampire slayer and as serious as saving the world from imminent destruction, experiences that are neither black nor white but at least several (if not 50) shades of gray.
Just as Buffy has to overcome the many prejudices that chauvinism has to levy at a busty and classicaly beautiful blond, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has to overcome the prejudices that we levy at a seemingly superficial show. But "Buffy" is an exercise in undermining tropes and expectations, in complicating rather than re-enforcing archetypes. It is precisely in virtue of its absurd premise that it effectively achieves its goal-- that of surprising us over and over again, that of reminding us that profundity is to be found in the most unexpected of places.
- Citation :
- Now, these kids are not destined. In fact, loving each other was a byproduct of their destinies in the sense of their destinies brought them together, but them loving each other actually pushed against their destinies. Their destiny is the mission. Their love distracts from that. The mission wins out. This is their great tragedy. ~ anythingbutgrey, about Cangel