emperor asks "Please blog about Buffy".
Gladly! This will probably be worth several posts... I will start with "How I Met Buffy", and "What Buffy means to me".
It was the year 2000. I was living in Dalston, London, essentially as a lodger with just the one room, in which I had a TV, not something I usually bothered with in my own room when in a shared house with a lounge and stuff. I was home one evening, bored and lonely, and I switched on the TV, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer came up on the BBC. (I didn't have cable back then. I didn't have the internet at home. These were ancient, ancient times.)
I'd seen the show advertized, and thought it sounded extremely silly, but I was bored so I thought I'd give it a chance.
The episode showing was Anne, the Season 3 opener, when Buffy was living incognito in LA.
And, to my surprise, it was... good. It was dark but witty, poignant, heroic, with some social commentary but not too rammed down your throat. I didn't follow everything that was going on with the whole Angel backstory and everything, but... it grabbed me. And then there was the line "I'm Buffy. The Vampire Slayer. And you are?" - which pretty much sold me on the deal. When I rewatch, I tend to play that line over at least three times. It's still one of my favourite episodes. (Though it's kind of a case of "that's one of my nine favourite Beethoven symphonies").
I didn't immediately start watching every ep., some I missed for one reason or another, and I didn't have a VCR. (A what now?) But I saw a fair few and then from episode 12, Helpless, I saw every ep. up to the end of S3, and well before the end I was hopelessly and permanently addicted. Season 3 is, for my money, the best season - it just doesn't have a weak episode, and that second half is just one killer punch after another, an arc that really knows where it's heading, brilliantly paced, with just enough one-off eps. and comedy to balance the drama. And of course, it has Faith, and the incredible way that SMG and Eliza Dushku spark off each other.
Buffy came to mean a lot to me. (Possibly more than is sane...). On the Beeb, they showed S3 and S4 back to back. There was a moment round about the end of S3 when, in real life, there was a load of messy internal politics going on in Campaign Against Arms Trade, that I was on the Steering Committee of at the time (internal politics? In a peace group? Never! Haha.), and I'd found myself on the receiving end of a lot of stick for some stuff that was going down, and I was feeling pretty battered and bruised, and as I lay awake turning it over, I was mentally writing my resignation letter; and then I thought to myself "Well, think about Buffy. She takes a lot of shit one thing and another, sometimes her life 'sucks beyond the telling of it'. But she keeps going." And I said to myself "What would Buffy do?", and mentally tore up the resignation letter. And then, about a week later came the Season 4 opener, and Xander goes and puts into words my exact thoughts:
"Let me tell ya' something: When it's dark, and I'm all alone, and I'm scared, or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero..."
So, yeah. Buffy is my hero. Don't rewatch as frequently these days, into a bunch of other great shows but, perhaps it was a particular time in my life, but none have grabbed hold of me quite like Buffy.