Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Seasons 8 & 9 – Parting Thoughts and Looking Ahead

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite shows of all time. It premiered when I was in like 3rd grade, and ran until I was I sophomore in high school. To say it was part of my formative years is an understatement of the highest order. It was the precursor to Smallville – which started out as basically the same show – and maybe even other greats like Alias and Veronica Mars. Buffy was one of the first shows I saw, or even know of, that featured a female lead not as a gimmick a la Charlie’s Angels, but simply because. Yes, she was a hot blonde, the cheerleader girl in a horror movie. But unlike those girls, she KICKED ASS. Literally. She was a hero who was strong, who was deeply flawed, who spoke her mind, who made mistakes, and who saved her world on an almost weekly basis.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite shows of all time. It ran for seven seasons, across two networks. It spawned a spin-off, and nearly two others. But it did need to end. Seven seasons is a long time, for any show, and few shows remain good or interesting after that. Nonetheless, when it ended I was in tears. It was like losing a friend, in a way. Flash forward to the beginning of my college experience, and I get the most wonderful gift! Buffy: The Vampire Slayer: The Comic!! It’s totally canonical! Executive produced and occasionally written by Joss Whedon the Creator! Featuring writers like Jane Espenson (Sci-Fi Queen of Awesome), Brian K. Vaughan (my personal hero), and Drew Goddard of LOST. And THIS time, there would be no pesky TV budget to hinder the story! They could do whatever they wanted!

And boy did they. Dawn was a giant. And a centaur. And a doll. There were vampires. And vampires who could become panthers, wolves, and bees. There was – literally – a Giant Mecha Dawn who had a battle with Giant Dawn in downtown Tokyo. There was lesbian sex. There was flying, crashing, Dimension-Spawning Super Sex. There was time travel. Buffy and Angel got super powers. There were bugs in space ships. There were ancient hindu goddesses. There were possessed Hello Kitty Vampire Dolls. This was both awesome, and also troublesome.

Basically, and Joss admitted this himself, they were drunk on freedom. They were reveling in the unlimited medium they were playing on. And they went too far. It was too much. Some basic things were totally glossed over (such as what exactly Twilight was and what the endgame was there), and left the series feeling less thought-out than it really was. There was a lot of controversy too; particularly Twilight-gate and Lesbian Sex.

Do I regret buying and reading every issue? Not for one single second. There was a crossover with futuristic Slayer Fray, and an explanation as to why her world is the way it is! There were some great character moments, and it was truly wonderful to see people like Oz pop up a little. Am I glad that Season Nine will be a return to basics? HELLZ YESZ.

Buffy Season Nine will see Buffy doing what she does best: SLAYING. Not leading an army. Not flying. Patrolling the streets to keep people safe from evil. Will there undoubtedly be more than just vamps? Yes. Will there be some sort of apocalyptic threat Buffy must rise to defeat? Duhdoi. But we have been guaranteed a tighter focus – both on characters and in general. I really appreciate that, just as I appreciate the fact that the creators heard our input and learned from it.

Also, Buffy Season Nine will be running concurrent with a new Faith and Angel series, with a similarly tight focus. This series should fill in some of the gaps with what happened to Angel, and see a renewed fight for redemption.

All in all, I have high hopes. And may Great Muppety Odin protect them.

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