It’s apparently the 12th anniversary of the last episode of Buffy. That’s a weird anniversary to celebrate, but celebrate it I shall, with fan art!
I watched Buffy lovingly and in awe when I was in high school, on a faux-wood-paneled TV the size of two hundred MacBook Airs strapped together. I don’t think I was technically allowed to watch Buffy because a) I was the kind of teenager not allowed to do things on a regular basis and b) it did look pretty edgy and occult-y in TV spots at the time. Still, I would switch over from the acceptable-to-watch Gilmore Girls to this scandalously smart show where the characters talked like my friend Jaime and I did, and were also Interesting and Hot.
“Conversations with Dead People” was one of my favorite episodes, and largely responsible for me not being able to write anything fictional without also thinking- could I squeeze a wisecracking ghost into this?
The episode is broken into vignettes, unlike most other episodes of the show, and Buffy has an unexpected, Breakfast Club-like chat with a guy she went to high school with who has recently died and gone vampire.
The mood of it struck me as so strangely adult. Buffy was ancient to me at the time, being a grown woman of 20. She had a calling, she had sex, her mom had died, and she had a sister/plot device to care for. This was a far cry from my teenagerly responsibilities, but the tone tipped in ends and regrets caught my eye and ear. Buffy and her classmate quipped about inferiority, superiority, secrets, and shame…and then they fought to the death!
It was maybe one of the first times the idea of being in the eye of the storm registered with me, albeit on a fictional level. We know what’s coming, it isn’t good, but we go towards it. With wary eye, sassy mouth, wooden stake drawn.
The guy was pretty cute, too.