13th Sep2009

thachoo SEXY BEAST!?

by jerad.formby

hey star trek thachoo sexy beast

A long time ago, a channel called UPN acquired Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the WB. The fledgling, United Paramount Network was looking for properties to widen their dynamic.

Later, UPN and the WB merged and formed this new thing called CW.

buffy the vampire slayer versus twilight versus the vampire diaries

CW just had its most successful night ever with a new thing called The Vampire Diaries. It’s put together by Kevin Williamson and it’s based on books that aren’t “Twilight.” The “Twilight Phenomenon” rips through bookshelves, movie theaters, and now television.

Strange to think that now Vampires are the way to go when it used to be the Slaying of Vampires that got us to tune in so many nights ago. Everything that’s old is new again, it seems. Or is it?

veronica mars and buffy were on upn but not at the same time

One needn’t explain to Veronica Mars that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was an amazing television show. It did a lot to define late nineties pop culture and it put a man called Joss Whedon on the creative map. It also got his name tattooed to the souls of millions of genre fans.

My love of all things Vampire begins and ends on or around Buffy Summers and her universe of magic and poetry. Whedon introduced me to a universe that was at once funny and dangerous. The world was full of action and tears. The stakes were always amazing and always seemed to find a way to get just a little higher.

A long time ago, I sat around a table playing Dungeons and Dragons with my creative writing teacher. This gentleman did much in the way of forming my adult critical thinking. There was a point while playing that my “character” was going to die.

A traumatic experience to be sure, as I had never played the game before.

This early mentor of mine informed me that before my character would bite it, the character would be allowed a “heroic” final move which was completely up to me. I can’t remember the heroism my character performed as he died, but the lesson stuck with me.

Always give your characters a heroic motion before they die!

I didn’t understand why my favorite show, Star Trek, could never get that right. Because Star Trek was the model for all things good in television, I just assumed that good proper deaths were against “television rules” or something.

star trek deaths never work out if you're a lead okay spock you did rock your death while it lasted

And then I saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The respect and the treatment Mr. Whedon gives his characters reminds me of those times I played Dungeons and Dragons back in the day. I smile to myself and think that Whedon must have been at those games because he learned that lesson so well.

Of course, he wasn’t at those games and I wish I could say just where it was that Mr. Whedon learned that lesson. Knowing isn’t important, we think. The fact that he knows what to do with his characters is.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer never played it safe with its story, characters, nor it’s fan base. Believe it or not, there are actually fans of the show who won’t watch anything after she graduates high school at the end of the third season.

buffy versus faith was one of the coolest stories ever but the series got even better if you believe it

Maybe they’re under the impression that the Buffy versus Faith story can never be topped (it was). Maybe they’re content seeing Buffy as a simple high school character (she actually ends up a single mother later). They feel a little bit betrayed, we think, because so many were watching the romantic story between Buffy and her first boyfriend –a vampire called Angel. Their story was epic and well developed. It was scary and sexually charged.

We at Hey Star Trek! will argue that the relationship between Angel and Buffy was the most melodramatic Buffy ever got. I guess a number of Buffy’s fans preferred the melodrama to the gritty “realism” that became the show’s charge later.

The show was never called Buffy and Angel. It was called Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her story was never about a man. People fell in love with Buffy and. in a daring move, she didn’t fall in love back. In fact, as she became a young woman, she made lots of choices that only served to complicate her already amazing character.

Buffy lied to herself about loving a man called Riley Finn. Buffy used another person’s feelings to make herself feel better about herself. Buffy lied to her friends about liaisons she kept with one of their enemies.

when buffy gets to sexy for upn

She was a complicated woman –so complicated that the actress who played her didn’t always understand it herself. At one point, she objected to Whedon a choice Buffy made in the sixth season (Hey Star Trek!’s favorite one). She felt the moment she was asked to play, one that involved sex in a public place with a man she hated, was “out of character” for Buffy.

Whedon told her that she wouldn’t understand the sixth season of the series until she was thirty years old.

This amazingly sculpted woman, built with heroism and flaws, has always been a favorite of mine. I love her when I love her and I lover when I hate her (oh yeah, she can get you really mad sometimes). I giggle when people assume she’s about as complicated as Xena.

I can see why comparisons are made between the characters, afterall, both did much to empower women in the late nineties. Both offered themselves up as role models or at least as something to inspire a young lady.

Buffy was born of the old horror model –that silly story beat where the big breasted blonde is killed. Whedon wondered what would happen if the blonde could turn the tables –he wondered what would happen if the horror convention became the monster hunter.

And he gave her powers to boot.

buffy has a message that would benefit any woman or man for that matter

So Buffy Summers once existed as a positive, daring message. You are a woman. You can do things. You are awesome. You are flawed. You are emotional. You can keep it together. You can rule your domain. You don’t need a man to define you.

And now that the boxsets are collecting dust and Buffy’s in syndication somewhere around the world, it almost seems like she never happened. Sometimes I think I’m living in an alternate timeline where Joss Whedon wrote for Rosanne and then dropped off the face of the Earth.

Buffy’s influence isn’t felt anymore. This is where Twilight comes in.

This strangely popular concept simply takes everything back to before Buffy. It suggests that a female is only as good as a supernatural being thinks she is. It pits her in peril so some powerful dude or can save her –or better, fight over her. We at Hey Star Trek! also call that garbage.

It’s like Buffy never happened. We sit in a state of shock and all out offense. It blows our collective mind that the concept of being a powerful woman was handed to the teens of the nineties and the ones of our modern world could care less.

This concept is best selling –they’re churning out movies based on this material because it is so freakishly popular. I’ve listened to people who have delved further into this world and “read ahead” to what happens in this Twilight-world later on.

There is nothing in this concept that makes me want to know more. I find the whole thing insulting.

What’s really adorable is that the Buffy “fans” that only like the show when it’s “Buffy and Angel” probably eat Twilight with a silver spoon. The true edge of Whedon’s universe and his message just might be too much for them.

They just prefer romance. Which, I guess, is what the CW is banking on with “Vampire Diaries.” They’re looking for Twilight money and it looks like they got it. Buffy never made Twilight money, but she has received world wide fame and critical accolades –sort of like this one!

twilight versus vampire diaries

We at Hey Star Trek! are finally scared by vampires and it seems Buffy’s not around to protect us.

It’s actually really sad.

ladies stop admiring twilight pretty please


the new end credits twitter button

youre-almost-finished-with-my-self-promotion1

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the best one.
Star Trek just might be too futuristic to have an army.
Syfy is a cool idea. Warehouse 13 isn’t.
A whole website devoted to hating Abrams trek!? Surely you jest!
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Let’s go to the holodeck!
FOX network, I feel the good in you, the conflict!
Seeking out strange new potential in Abrams’ universe. (fiction)
A little more information about your Hey Star Trek! blogger
Baby steps with Star Trek: Voyager
Hell you say? Film language of Gran Torino!?
A Brief History of Fan Work and Tim Russ’ Of Gods and Men
What the hell do you mean Episode III’s the best one!?
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Baby Steps With Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation
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Meditating on J.J. Abrams’ Lens Flares
Can you tell me more about Trekcast?
Hey! You hated Abrams Trek? Color me unsurprised.
What you show somebody who doesn’t know Star Trek at all
Nerd-Nut-Nods in New Star Trek Movie
Why you don’t need IMAX Star Trek
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
The real reason New Star Wars movies suck
Star Trek continuity whores need to give it a rest
The new Doctor Who . . . or lack thereof!
Why the new Star Trek movie is gonna be cool
Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse
How the Borg went from badass to blowing chunks
Some Star Trek characters get no love
Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica
Why Watchmen’s So Bad
Star Trek Optimism
Ugly Romulans and Vulcans

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  • Sutekh

    You neglected to point out that both of the vamp “heroes” from the Twilight movie and Vamp Diaries series have Angel’s haircut. Blah!!!

  • Apizzagirl

    Let’s not forget that werewolves are also better in the Buffy universe.  I’m only in season two of Buffy but I recently watched the episode where Willow and Oz are sitting in the van while Xander steals military stuff to blow up The Judge and Willow suggests they make out and Oz confesses that he wants her, but not if it’s just for her to even the score for Xander being with Cordelia.  In Twilight, Jacob (the werewolf) also pines for Bella (though he seems to be aware of some personality in her that is never shown to the world) but even worse than that, he’s later “imprinted” on her half vampire, half human baby (I stopped reading at this point).  My rambling point is that rather than being humans who turn into animals three nights out of the year, Twilight werewolves turn into these absolutely devoted servants of those they imprint upon (which creepily enough seems to be toddlers half the time).  Buffy werewolves dreaded the loss of their humanity but Twilight werewolves seem to embrace it.

  • VegasAndorian

    Eeww. So much for progress. I guess kick-ass sword and sorcery women are next.

    ‘Save me, Grunt the Barbarian! Save me!’

    Grunt.

    ‘Don’t be so angsty, Grunt, you did what you had to do.’

    Grunt.

    ‘And I – and I – love you.’

    Grunt x2.

    And scene.

  • AnotherGirlAlien

    Thank you for that Smashed collage…. And Merry Christmas to you, too!

  • KermmitTheFrog

    Love the rant! I would like to present a little different perspective. Twilight “werewolves” mentioned in the book **SPOILER** are not werewolves but shapeshifters that took on the form of the wolf spirit. Werewolves are briey mentioned in the series, and only described as being extremely dangerous.

    Bella is strong in a different way in the series. She knows who she loves and will do anyhing for them. Granted she is the weaker of the couple, but she is fierce in belief, will, and passion. **SPOILER** she makes the ultimate human sacrifice to become a vamp to be with her man. (a decision made by circumstance and choice).

    I’ll have to admit I liked the Twilight series and recommend it for a read. It did end a bit abruptly, but over all entertaining. I would always recommend taking in the whole picture before declaring judgment. Just consider how must David has come to like Enterprise now that he has seen the episodes. Food for thought.

    KermmitTheFrog – signing off.

  • pauk_slayer

    The best serie of vampires is Buffy !!!
    I miss you
    I will wish and i need back

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  • Barry339

    Buffy/Angel/Firefly and the ST ‘verse are far and away my two favorite franchises. Glad you took the time to write about this, Jerad. It took me until last year to finally get around to Buffy/Angel/Firefly. I’ve been a ST fan long before that.

  • Nickorama

    I want to THANK YOU for saying everything I have been feeling (and ranting myself) about the Twilight series. I started watching Buffy as a teen when it first came out and was drawn to her character because she was cool, strong, someone you could relate too AND someone who was inspiring to girls (I wanted to be Buffy and that was NOT because she dated a hot vampire!!!!) Bella is a door mat and her relationship with Edward borders on abusive (he stalks her, takes apart her car to stop her from seeing a friend, the list goes on..). I am sad that this is what teen girls have now for a role model.