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Have your views on Buffy changed with age?

Joan the Vampire Slayer

Carpe Spuffy!
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
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WA State
No, I wouldn't say my views on Buffy have changed. I enjoy it just as much as I did when I watched it for the first time. And I still think it's the best show ever made. If anything, I appreciate it more as time goes on and with each re-watch. As I age, and have new experiences, I can relate to the characters and storylines in new and different ways, and I can really appreciate the true brilliance of the series.

As an example, it wasn't after I was depressed and allowed myself to stay in a very toxic relationship, that I could really relate to Spuffy. Or until my ex, whom I loved very much, died unexpectedly that I could relate to how Buffy felt after her mother's sudden death.

But my experience may not be the norm? I didn't watch it on air when I was growing up as many of you did. I watched it for the first time in 2005, when I was 20 years-old, after it had gone off the air.
 
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AnthonyCordova

modulating between criticism and reconstruction
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
2,210
Location
Denver, Colorado
Sineya
Angel's more adult sensibility and themes appeal to me more with age. My desire to watch Buffy though has declined over time compared to Angel since I started watching both shows. There are things about Angel that are still relevant to me as an adult whereas the bildungsroman-related themes (in early Buffy especially, but not limited to that) just aren't relevant anymore at my age. It seems like pre-history now by my own developmental standard. It's not helped by the fact that I also don't have any nostalgia about looking that far back in my life (i.e. high school or college). Some of the things that were thematized on Buffy seem rather superannuated now. For example the theme of female empowerment has been so surpassed by subsequent shows that Buffy feels like a quaint relic on that topic now.

I used to be ambivalent about Faith in the beginning but I find her unbearable at this point. I'm on the record about this in numerous old threads so I won't go into detail about it here. Xander annoyed me from the start and my opinion on this can be found in numerous old threads also. I've grown to appreciate the character of Angel more every re-watch. My opinion of everyone else hasn't fluctuated much. Of all the seasons of Buffy, S4 has improved over time the most in my eyes, and I respect what's happening in S6 a little more thanks to BB members sharing their intelligent and perceptive testimonials on Spike. Angel S2 and S3 used to be my favorites in the beginning, but now Angel S4 and S5 are my favorites.
 
T
thrasherpix
I only have negligible nostalgia for school, but it helps for me that Sunnydale High comes off as so weird that it's kind of like Hogwarts territory for me once the cosmetic surface is peeled off. Rarely does it feel more real to me than that.
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Angel S5 is so good!

Ann

Nee chatwuann Bangel
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
825
Location
Where I live, but really don't want to be.
Buffy is timeless for me and I will never not want to watch no matter how old I get. One of the themes is the fight between good and evil which will be fought for awhile still. The fight between good and evil has been going on since the world began and will continue to do so. Although women are more empowered now they are still not fully empowered yet. Buffy evolved and experienced adult problems and experienced Motherhood as she had to raise Dawn since their Mother died. I relate to that since I have that experienced myself. Buffy will always be a show I want to watch. A lot of what I see is still applicable today. One thing that has changed is re-watch’s. After having seen all the seasons so much I now have my favorite episodes and seasons and re watch’s follow along that line.
 

Dneifrenid

Townie
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
14
Age
42
Yikes. ‘After he got a soul for her’ yes you mean also after he tried to rape her? And she supported him pretty much unconditionally throughout

Why does she need to tell Riley if she doesn’t love him? They’ve been together for less than a year, maybes shes just not there yet? She supported him throughout S4 and then when he has his heart problem, she is then preoccupied because you know, her Mothers dying

I’d also like to add that Buffy never asked Spike to get a soul ‘for her’ that was his choice. She owes him nothing for that, she shouldn’t feel obliged to thank someone for something she never asked them to do anyway.
Yes!!! All this!
 

Dneifrenid

Townie
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
14
Age
42
Yikes. ‘After he got a soul for her’ yes you mean also after he tried to rape her? And she supported him pretty much unconditionally throughout

Why does she need to tell Riley if she doesn’t love him? They’ve been together for less than a year, maybes shes just not there yet? She supported him throughout S4 and then when he has his heart problem, she is then preoccupied because you know, her Mothers dying

I’d also like to add that Buffy never asked Spike to get a soul ‘for her’ that was his choice. She owes him nothing for that, she shouldn’t feel obliged to thank someone for something she never asked them to do anyway.
I absolutely could not agree more!
 

Pilgrim

Townie
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
2
Age
35
When I watched Buffy in the 90s it was probably my favourite show of the time. I would try to catch every episode and back then there was no online streaming to catch up on episodes you'd missed. Back in the 90s I thought Sarah Michelle Gellar was a goddess, Angel was super cool, Xander was really funny, Willow was sweet, Spike was edgy but not as cool as Angel and Anya was really annoying. It was a big part of my childhood that I'd completely forgotten about. I never watched season 7 as I gave up watching after Seeing Red aired and I quickly fell out of love with the show.
Rewatching it twenty years later I think Buffy is a good character but not as amazing as i remembered, Angel is a creep, Willow I still like, Xander may be the only character I really dislike in the later seasons. Spike is by far my favourite character on the show but I also think Anya is great this time around. Its funny how your opinions on characters can dramatically change as you get older.
I found the first couple of seasons enjoyable this time around, but clearly aimed at a younger audience. I carried on watching purely for the sake of nostalgia. Watching season 5 again I began to start enjoying it more than I'd expected, by the beginning of season 6 I was completely invested. Then as season six grew to a close I was starting to loose interest again but for different reasons. In the 90s as a kid I was just getting bored and didn't like Tara getting killed off, didn't like Spikes sudden change in character, was sick of the drama and thought the trio were pathetic as antagonists. This time around I found myself really enjoying the darker start to season 6 and could even accept the trio as antagonists and Taras death (which I'd completely forgotten about) wasn't such a downer. But some of the same things that bugged me as a kid were far more apparent. Mainly Spikes character assassination which this time around I just put down to lazy writing to try and reign in a character who was becoming more popular than the lead. Also having Xander save the world seemed necessary as he'd been such an unlikable ass for most of the season. I did watch season 7 this time around and wasn't blown away. I did like the fact Spike got to save the world but compared to the start of season six season seven felt far more watered down and too similar to the early seasons.
I'm glad I got to rewatch the show I loved so much as a kid and if i see any Spike heavy episodes on I'll probably tune in to watch them again as I now appreciate what a great character he is. As for the rest of the show, it doesn't have the same impact as it did when I was a kid but its still more enjoyable than 90% of tv series today.
 

Nearwild

Townie
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
68
Age
37
I last watched S1-3 back when it first aired and I was in secondary school, and I found my recent re-watch excruciating because some of the themes brought up a lot of painful memories of those school days, particularly in regards to Willow. I kinda want to watch them again, but I think I need to leave it a bit so I can do it without the emotional gut-punch next time. I didn't even remember I'd watched S4 before until Adam showed up and jogged my memory. I hadn't seen S5-7 before, but remember being baffled hearing about the tearful reaction by my peers. Many years later and after having been in the pit, I can relate to Buffy in those seasons, the violence inside. One constant thing is I still feel nothing for Angel, I never understood the swooning at 16 and still don't get it now, he's m just meh to me. I just forced myself to start watching AtS, and after E1 I'm only staying with it for Cordelia 🤣
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
9,011
Location
UK
I just forced myself to start watching AtS, and after E1 I'm only staying with it for Cordelia 🤣
That's the way I watch AtS, I think Cordelia is the central character and everything is about her 😁 But Angel does grow on you, eventually. At least his acting improves.
 
N
Nearwild
I feel bad. I want to like him, but my attention just drifts when he's in focus 😅

Dora

Scooby
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
1,192
Age
55
Always love Buffy S1 to 3 I have watched them many times especially 1 so light hearted some thing to watch to cheer myself up, obviously loved and still love whatever SMG does but there was certainly something missing when Cordelia left , S4 yes thought Sarah was looking at her best , 5 disliked the whole Dawn thing and that goes for the following seasons, S6 watched as it air disliked it then , nothings changed never would watch it again, Start of Season seven was OK one of my favourite episode is conversations with dead people , but from then on the writing / show running got very poor and all about the character I liked least , so basically what I liked then I like now , never watched Angel
 

Kratos

Scooby
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
758
Location
Republic of Ireland
I first started watching Buffy when I was 15 (2002). I just saw a few episodes here and there from seasons 5 and 6 at the time, as I was more interested in other shows back then.

I became a big fan of Buffy in 2009 when I started watching the first three seasons on Syfy UK. Buffy S2, S5, S6 and S3 were my favourite seasons, but S6 is now my second fav and I now rank S7 higher than 1, 3 and 4. I related more to the adult characters on my 2017-2020 rewatch.

BtVS has aged better than AtS imo and it’s become my second favourite show, behind The Fugitive. AtS S4 dragged that series down for me.
 

Nothing13

Potential
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
109
Age
28
When I was younger, I started to watch Buffy during the airing of season 2 in my country; sincerely, in the beginning, I didn't care much about the show, as a matter of fact, I watched all seasons of the show chronologically after some years. Initially, I watched the show mainly for 2 reasons:
1) Buffy was very beautiful
2) Season 2-Spike was an interesting character because he was a badass and i liked his look (during my High School years I dyed my hair platinum blonde because of him for a period)
Growing I started to develop deeper thoughts about the show, its themes, and characters' personalities. I started to dislike Spike's character in successive seasons even if I never really liked Spike from seasons 3-4 onward (for me his evolution was badly handed and inconsistent because writers didn't know what to do with him and despise his popularity). After I started to watch Angel's show and I started to like Angel more as a character and his personality but in the end, I started to don't like both very much.

However, the majority of Btvs' main characters was always been uninteresting for me: Giles, Willow, Dawn, Xander, Anya
-I wasn't interested in Giles, Willow, and Dawn.
-I never cared about Xander and Anya but growing I started to dislike them: their hypocrisy, their double standard of thinking, their continuous judging of others disgusted me (they were right for each other as a couple); in season 7 Xander (not Anya) started to be better as a person even if I never liked him (Sincerely if I was in Angel or Spike's place in seasons 1-6, I would have killed Xander (even with a soul)).
-I wasn't interested in Tara as a character but I always thought she was a great person and I had great respect for her.
-I never liked Cordelia and I didn't care about Gunn
-I wasn't interested in Fred and Wesley as characters, however growing I liked Fred's personality and her intelligence and for me Wesley's development was great. In the last seasons of Angel (4-5) he became a great man (in Season 5 of Angel I think he was better and more mature than Angel and Spike)

I have always considered Faith a great character and for me she was very hot, but I didn't care very much about her
I have always liked Buffy; I have always thought that she was very beautiful and I started to love her spirit of sacrifice, her sense of responsibility, the burden and duty she carried on all her life.

Personally, I think that the show could have been done better if writers were more consistent through seasons and have structured it with less preachy messages, ridiculous characters and plots, and more serious themes and horror elements
 

Cyberdemon

Townie
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
29
Age
33
I used to be ambivalent about Faith in the beginning but I find her unbearable at this point.
i used to think she was cool and now i cant stand her either. she really is awful and has no excuse.
S4 has improved over time the most in my eyes
just randomly decided to rewatch buffy s4 on its own and i really enjoyed it too meanwhile like a decade ago i just endured it when doing a rewatch of the show
and I respect what's happening in S6 a little more thanks to BB members sharing their intelligent and perceptive testimonials on Spike.
i have always liked s6 because it's the most adult season with adult problems. idk what it is but s4 angel reminds me of s6 buffy and not just because they take place around the same time but they have the same depressing tone.
 

AnthonyCordova

modulating between criticism and reconstruction
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
2,210
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Denver, Colorado
Sineya
i used to think she was cool and now i cant stand her either. she really is awful and has no excuse.

just randomly decided to rewatch buffy s4 on its own and i really enjoyed it too meanwhile like a decade ago i just endured it when doing a rewatch of the show

i have always liked s6 because it's the most adult season with adult problems. idk what it is but s4 angel reminds me of s6 buffy and not just because they take place around the same time but they have the same depressing tone.

I agree with you.

I never could understand the appeal of Faith myself. I don't know how you feel about it but she's almost fetishized by the community as sexy and free and confident but I get a very different vibe from her. What strikes me about her most acutely is her profound lack of confidence. She pushes her sexuality on everyone because she's perpetually trying to prove herself. Every conquest is affirmation, but not affirmation of true confidence but a desperate attempt to prove something that isn't there. She's competing with herself in defining who the real Faith really is. True confidence does not require constant gestures and affirmation. If you really are something, most likely you're the least likely to require affirmation of it. On top of that it's just gross. Like her behavior dancing for example. If a woman (a stranger to be more precise) in real life approached me like that on a dance floor I'd quickly walk away in the opposite direction. That is NOT sexy to me. A lot of her behavior is coming from that same insecure place. No thank you.

About Buffy S6 I'm not as enthusiastic as many others. This is where the show really becomes more about Spike than anything else. But I add that my respect for Spike has grown despite the fact that I find him aesthetically repugnant. Or I should say I respect what his role represents. His character is representative of so many philosophical and literary-theoretical trains of thought that he is the most interesting character to consider in either show. He's a cut gemstone that shines in different ways depending on what light you reflect on him.

Angel S4 I liked because I enjoyed how much the stakes were raised in that season compared to everything that came before it. I liked how desperate it became for the group and how difficult it became to persevere under the great stress they were put under. Everything that came before it seems like small potatoes by comparison.
 
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thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,710
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The Moot, England
Sineya
I don't know how you feel about it but she's almost fetishized by the community as sexy and free and confident but I get a very different vibe from her. What strikes me about her most acutely is her profound lack of confidence. She pushes her sexuality on everyone because she's perpetually trying to prove herself. Every conquest is affirmation, but not affirmation of true confidence but a desperate attempt to prove something that isn't there. She's competing with herself in defining who the real Faith really is.

This is Faith's appeal.
People don't just like a character because 'cool sexy badass', they like a character because of vulnerability or foibles they can connect to. That is why they care and is the only reason why Faith works at all as a character to her fans.
 

AnthonyCordova

modulating between criticism and reconstruction
Joined
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Messages
2,210
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Denver, Colorado
Sineya
Some flaws are more attractive and appealing than others. An inability to see certain truths for example because of a stubborn commitment to evidence and a faith in rationality, like Scully from the X-Files, can be endearing. Arrogance such as we find in Iago from Othello is not. If it's a matter of whether I connect or not with Faith's insecurities, I'm afraid to say I don't connect at all. Her insecurities, and how she chooses to vent or express those insecurities, disturb me, It's a combination of ego insecurity (which her version at least I don't like) and the way she expresses it that turns me off.

About the fans, I think I respectfully disagree with you. I think for most fans I've read here or elsewhere it really is "cool sexy badass". What's more, it seems to me that, in Faith's case more than any other character from the show other than perhaps Spike, fans project an awful lot of their secret desires into her, and the consequence seems to be that most fans have a mistaken "objective" view of what she really is. They say all kinds of very fanciful things about her character (like Spike) that don't necessarily fit under more careful and less biased scrutiny. I don't include you into that group of people; I've read enough of your posts to tell you regard her differently than most others in ways. But much like Spike there seems to be a lot of confabulation going on about her character and appeal. The difference seems to be that Spike is divisive whereas the consensus on Faith has always been that she's a "sexy badass" so to speak, regardless of which show or season.

This is more of an issue for early trauma-victim Faith. Faith in S7 or on later Angel is a more complicated question. I will also not deny that Faith had reasons for being the way she was.

And besides, it gets tiresome sometimes to hear the unrelenting stream of praise Faith gets from most corners lol. Once in a while a dissenting opinion is a relief to hear (hence my response to the other poster above).
This is Faith's appeal.
People don't just like a character because 'cool sexy badass', they like a character because of vulnerability or foibles they can connect to. That is why they care and is the only reason why Faith works at all as a character to her fans.
 
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thetopher
thetopher
Fair enough.
Priceless
Priceless
Agree about the fetishistic view many fans have of Faith.

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
845
Age
63
This is Faith's appeal.
People don't just like a character because 'cool sexy badass', they like a character because of vulnerability or foibles they can connect to. That is why they care and is the only reason why Faith works at all as a character to her fans.
I think a lot of Faith’s character works in the subtext (and not just the kind she has with Buffy 😂). It’s almost the things she DOESN’T say that tell us the most. Faith taken at face value particularly in S3 could simply be seen as arrogant and full of herself and very ‘girls just want to have fun woo!’ I think this is almost Buffy/Willow/Xanders biggest ‘crime’ when it comes to Faith in that they believe her ‘I’m just living my best life’ schtick which is understandable because of their age and naivity. Scenes like in F, H and T when she’s telling Xander/Wilow she might have liked High School a bit more if she’d had friends like them. W/X take this purely as a compliment but the subtext is very ‘Faith didn’t have my friends and this contributed to her dropping out’. Even in S7 when she’s having her chat with Spike in the basement and she’s simply bragging about her sexual experience but is actually icky when you think about the timeline and likely age Faith was at the time she’s talking about. She’s the product of loneliness and constant disrespect. I find it fascinating to unpick the layers. She absolutely has moments where she’s a total d*** 😂 but there’s just so much to unpick
 
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Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
3
Age
43
Buffy came out just after I graduated and initially I thought it would be bad so didn´t watch. Then I did and thought Xander was hilarious. I watched more and then I was hooked. I was in uni and often used Buffy for research projects. I was pretty obsessed. I go through phases where I need a break but at almost 43, I´m probably more obsessed than I was 20 years ago. I prefer AtS to BtVS and have had evolving views over the years. The Scoobies seem very much to me like "mean girls," very judgmental of anyone not in their click. I also got over Xander´s misogyny pretty fast. But every rewatch gives me something new to think about. I recommend the Passion of the Nerd youtube channel for his analysis.
 

Nothing13

Potential
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
109
Age
28
People don't just like a character because 'cool sexy badass', they like a character because of vulnerability or foibles they can connect to. That is why they care and is the only reason why Faith works at all as a character to her fans.
I think that the point of the show was to create different characters with a fantasy setting but related to "stereotypical real-life people" in order to make people connect with them in relation to their individuality, preferences, and experience of life.
The majority of Buffy/Angel characters were a metaphor for teens and "their journey of life" with its problems from teen years to adulthood. The entire show created demons, vampires, etc. as metaphors of school problems and real-life problems that must be overcome in order to complete the "journey of growth"
The main characters in the beginning were:
1) Xander: the incompetent nerd out of fashion that always gets bullied and belittled in school
2) Willow: an intelligent nerd and computer geek that is criticized because she is shy and out of fashion
3) Giles: the outdated librarian always in the library
4) Angel: the cursed vampire outcast of the vampire community
7) Faith: the "Bad Girl" with a harsh childhood that uses a tough exterior in order to compensate for her problems, weakness, and insecurities
5) Cordelia and Harmony (a brunette and a blonde girl): the immature "mean girls" of high school that also matured growing because of bad experiences in their lives and they were specular to Angelus and Spike (metaphorically school bullies). They engaged in a relationship also for this reason: Angel-Cordelia and Spike-Harmony
6) Darla, Drusilla, Liam, and William were all outcasts of the society of their time. They were always criticized (a prostitute/Darla, a postulant with visions/Drusilla, a lazy drunken with "daddy issues"/Liam and an incompetent and shy poet with "mommy issues"/William)
-Buffy was the superficial beautiful girl that with the Slayer calling matured and become the hero of the outcasts and everyone, helping them (reversing the stereotype of the girl that is beautiful, blonde but dumb)
All these characters through the course of seasons mature and grown partially overcoming some of their problems

Personally, I don't care about searching vulnerabilities and foibles to connect with characters. Maybe this is the reason I never really cared too much about any one of these characters in these tv shows despite I like the tv shows of Buffy/Angel.
My favorites fictional characters of tv shows and movies have always been (even when I was younger):
-The Joker of the Dark Knight
-Hannibal Lecter
-Dahak, the God of Evil in Hercules/Xena
 
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