A long time ago, in a galaxy that remarkably looks like this one, there was a high school kid who liked exactly one television show. She thought that television in general was a colossal waste of time, and was sure that anyone who proclaimed their love of television was simply a victim of those aliens that dine on mushy brains.
She went to college, and in those days, she got an idea that she wanted to write for that show, and even had managed to get an internship with one of the writers on that show in L.A., and had to turn it down, for various mundane reasons relating to money, and logistics, and no she’s not really bitter about that, except when she thinks about it, and she entertains notions that she would’ve been working in the industry in time for the television show that completely changed her mind about the brain rotting power of the medium.
That television show premiered 20 years ago Friday.
At about this point, you probably have figured out that this “she” is me, right? I knew I couldn’t fool you all.
For those that are not me, and don’t remember the dates that TV shows premiered, that show is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Ridiculous name. Made from a movie that I had, to my great surprise, liked. In my snooty “television is worthless drivel” mindset, I deemed the entire premise incapable of sustaining a series. I didn’t bother with it when it first premiered, but, eventually, I learned my mistake, and took back all the things I had said about it. I know. I am deeply ashamed. I was very wrong.
I didn’t get all confessional about the origins of my marginally unhealthy relationship with television to convince anyone that the show with the silly name is worth watching. Instead, I am celebrating the series that turned me into an unrepentant champion of television worth watching. And, in so doing, I’m revealing to you all another of my deeply geeky traits.
Besides, it’s Lent. Having a moment of reflection is part of the formula. I should assess my relationship to scripted fiction, and think about the horrible things I used to do before I fell under the thrall of television.
More than that, I am sorry for all the insults I once heaped upon those lovers of TV. The things I said were cruel, and might’ve implied that loyal viewers had rotten brains, no standards for quality entertainment and smelled of unfortunate hygiene habits. I hope you forgive me.
If it’s any consolation, I’m doing my best to offer penance. There’s this little confession and apology, and, I hope that one day, all this thinking about the larger metaphors of being a superhero and saving the world will make me a better person. It’s the least I can do.