Buffy The Vampire Slayer
By Amy Diaz
A last dance with the slayer
Buffy guide a treat for hard-core fans
Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Watcher’s Guide, Volume 3, by Paul Ruditis, Simon Spotlight, 2004, 359 pages.
There’s just no substitute for the real thing.
The recent debut of Point Pleasant, co-created by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s last executive producer, Marti Noxon, proves that you can’t just fling some good-looking teenagers on the screen, give them a vague plot about evil and expect a cult following to appear. Buffy the Vampire Slayer might have had many of the markings of a cheap and easy bit of teen cheese, but the show truly worked for what it had. And even in its sunset seasons, past its original glory, the series was a standout example of the possibilities of episodic television.
This most recent and, sigh, last Buffy guide offers a look at seasons five, six and seven — better known to fans as the season when Buffy died, the season when Willow went evil and the season when the show went to pot. The book breaks down each episode for plot, continuity and funny quotes — very much the standard for a series guide. But the breakdown offers a nice little skip down memory lane for those of us too poor to buy all of the DVD collections.
For the intense, I-Heart-Joss-bumper-sticker-owning fan, the book also offers a breakdown of exactly what the heck the extended dream sequence at the end of the fourth season means. The translation, from Joss Whedon’s brain to English, doesn’t reveal anything particularly surprising other than that much more was possible in those remaining scenes than actually came about.
Perhaps the real treat in the Guide comes toward the end with a series of essays that extol the greatness of the show and the deep affection people have for it. As one writer says, “No show has ever captured me so much as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No show ever will.”
— Lisa Parsons
2005 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH