The Beginning - A Tale of a Slayer and her Vampire. — Television
I first started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer while it was in its fifth season back in 2001. I didn't set out to watch it, I'd honestly never given the series a thought beyond "you've got to be kidding me, who would watch this?", but one evening while alone I channel surfed my way right into the world of Joss Whedon and his vastly imaginative world of demons. I don't remember the specific episode that managed to reel me in, but I do remember that when I landed on the WB and found myself staring at a tiny blond girl kicking some vampire ass I could hear the voice inside my head saying, "you cannot watch this, of all things, turn the channel right now". But my eyes kept with her fluid fighting movements as she kicked and spun and punched her way through danger, landing a final stake through the heart complete with a witty one liner that made me giggle in spite of myself. I allowed myself to watch for the rest of the hour, indulging in the silliness that I felt, finding comfort in the fact that I was alone and so no one would have to know. But by the end of the episode, I wanted more, and I didn't care who knew. I was hooked, just like that, I didn't even know what hit me. And so it began, the start of what would prove to be a very long love affair that continues to this day.
The spin-off series "Angel" was already on the air for a year by the time I found myself an official fan of the Buffy series. I wasn't familiar at that point in time with the character of Angel, he had departed Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the fourth season, one season before I became a viewer. At that point, I was so enamored with the Buffy world that I had no interest in this other series that contained a former character that I knew nothing about. Besides all of that, I try not to have more than two TV series addictions at a time. So the Angel series went completely ignored by me for years to come.
In 2002 it was announced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was being canceled and that the upcoming season would be its last. Needless to say, I was heartbroken. In a desperate attempt to cling to anything Whedon, I sought out the Angel series and decided to give it a chance. That week I tuned in, for exactly half of the episode. I just couldn't do it. Angel was so different from BTVS, it was darker and serious and I didn't know any of the characters (besides Angel, I'd watched every season of BTVS on DVD at that point). I was lost in the story line, it seemed that everything happening was so heavily influenced by what had happened previously and I didn't know what was going on. Thirty minutes in and I just gave up. I decided that if ever I was going to watch this series it would have to be from the beginning and I was in no hurry to do so. I just really didn't care that much.
The last season of Buffy limped forward and eventually sizzled out. I was devastated. The Buffy world had become more than a TV show to me in those years, it had incorporated its philosophies and messages into the tiny cracks and crevices of my morality. It redefined the image of a hero. The lessons of dedication and love and loss, and human moral, all reverberated in my mind.
When it was announced that the BTVS character, Spike, would join the cast of Angel (now that Buffy was over), I was thrilled. I decided to tune in, no matter my previous Angel experience. Three of four episodes into the new (and last) season of Angel, I found myself right where I had previously been in regards to the series, completely confused and disappointed. So after a few weeks of forcing myself to watch Angel, I eventually tuned out. It just wasn't for me, I decided.
And so I went, no Buffy, no Angel, no Joss Whedon.
That is, until now...
(Stay tuned for my follow-up post, Buffy VS. Angel)