Monday, February 8, 2010

What Would Buffy Do: The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide

So, my mom bought be this book during my Buffy obsession phase (which never really ended). She is all spiritual and mystical and stuff and I guess she thought I would appreciate examing Buffy through a different lens. And I did, really, I like being able to look at my favorite tv show in different ways so I can understand new things about it, and for all I know, Joss Whedon is super secretly religious. But I don't think so.
For some reason Buffy lends itself to a multitude of interpretations some legit and some freaky. There are endless academic texts analyzing it's art, it's aesthetics, it's language, it's ethics, it's morals, it's view of sex, it's view of women and plenty of other random things. And just like another gigantic character from a world of fantasy (Harry Potter!) Buffy is often compared to Jesus (in that she sacrifices herself to save the world among other things).
Although I, like my mother, love a good analysis, there comes a time when I throw up my hands and say, ENOUGH!, can't I just watch the show for fun and enjoy it's awesome girl power campiness without discussing if "Buffy is truly a Kierkegaardian knight of faith or if Faith's (the slayer) corruption and return to the good life demonstrate Platonic eudaimonism" (that's from the blurb for BTVS and Philosophy and I have no idea what it means.) I also think it's funny that on amazon, the Buffy books are all under the tab "good & evil" that about sums it up don't you think?
Buffy as a tv show obviously lends itself to much interpretation and discussion and I love that about it. I also love that when you go back and watch it for the 75th time you keep finding new things to say "oh! that's Joss referencing something that is going to happen in three seasons" about. And Joss is brilliant, there is no doubt about that, and he loves to write strong, tough women, which there are not enough of on tv (RIP Dollhouse) but sometimes I just want to sit back, and watch monsters die.

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