On the twenty-seventh day of Halloween: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE (1997-2003)
October 27, 2023. Today is the eve of the most terrible day of the year — the day Wendy, one of my best friends, was murdered in a random robbery in LA, 23 years ago tomorrow. I was with her when she died and it’s an event that has split my life into a before and after in most atrocious ways. Here’s a piece I wrote about the experience of PTSD in the aftermath for HuffPost.
But thanks to a year and a half of trauma therapy, and the deep healing that resulted, this year is the first year since 2000 that I’m even able to watch horror movies at all. And Halloween has always been my favorite season! This October has been such a pleasure on so many levels, especially enjoying horror movies during their natural month as well as writing these microreviews. Yet another huge step forward.
Today, I’ve been watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show in honor of my friend Wendy. Wendy was obsessed with Buffy and used to have watch parties at her house almost every week when it was airing. And watch parties when the VHS tapes finally came out. This was so long ago, DVDs weren’t even a thing yet. I have such great memories of this show and Wendy-bird. It’s pretty amazing to be able to watch this show now and not be completely devastated by memories of the trauma of her death.
I’d forgotten how much campy fun this show is. What a paradigm shift it ushered in with the way people speak and the snappy pop-culture laden dialogue. My favorite episodes are definitely the monster of the week, which could have been derivative of The X Files, but is done with such a fresh perspective that Buffy is on her own wavelength here, as a character and as a show.
But it’s also strange revisiting Buffy now that we know so much about the awful stuff going on behind the scenes, especially from our once-hero Joss Whedon. A person who has been revealed to be an absolute piece of shit. Xander’s character is so creepy with all the Whedon context. It sucks that the legacy of the show has been tainted in this way.
And yet, because of Wendy, I can actually put aside all the Buffy drama and just remember fun nights with my dear friend in what would end up being her too limited days on this planet. Nobody can take this from me. Somehow, Wendy lives on through this show for me. And not just because her sister was actually in episode 7 of the first season (“Angel”). She’s the “unidentified girl” Cordelia yells at for wearing the same dress. Iconic.
✨Willow/5 stars. Highly recommend not living over a Hellmouth.✨