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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?

A few weeks ago I finished a TV series that had been occupying a good portion of my free time for the past year or so.

I put "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in my Netflix queue at the suggestion of several friends, though I was doubtful that I was going to enjoy the series. I'm not big on sci-fi, and I wasn't sure how a movie from the early '90s could be turned into seven years of television. But as I got to the last few discs, I started dreading the end to the series that I had become totally engrossed in.

"Buffy" follows the life of Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a vampire slayer, and her eclectic group of friends -- including a watcher (Anthony Head), a couple of witches (Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson), a werewolf (Seth Green), a vengeance demon (Emma Caulfield), a slayer (Eliza Dushku), a few vampires (David Boreanaz and James Marsters) and some other demons, as well as a couple of regular human beings (Nicholas Brendan, Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg and Kristine Sutherland), and not-so-regular human beings (Marc Blucas and D.B. Woodside). Buffy fights evil and saves the world, but she's also a regular high schooler and college co-ed who yearns to have a normal life. For seven years, Buffy plays normal by day and kills evil by night. She (mostly) hides her double-life from all but her inner circle, which helps her research, trick and slay demons, gods and whatever else comes out of the Hellmouth to torture and kill us regular folk.

It sounds cheesy, right? The first season or two are fairly campy, but the show picks up steam and improves quickly. Plotlines span several episodes; the series moves away from eliminating one evil per show as "the Scooby gang" begins concentrating on bigger, tougher villains.

The end of the show was almost like the end of a good book: I didn't want it to end because I didn't want the characters to be gone. I became so invested in what was happening that I wanted to see life continue in Sunnydale, Calif., long after Buffy saved the world one more time.

The title of this post is the final line of the series, uttered by Willow (Buffy's best witch friend). I felt the same way when the credits appeared on screen, and I restarted the series finale to watch it one more time. Then, I moved "Angel" to the top of my Netflix queue. The title character was Buffy's first vampire friend (and a love interest). "Angel" is a spin-off of "Buffy" that I thought might fill the new void in my TV watching.

I'm 11 episodes in to "Angel" and not entirely sold on the series. It's not as good as "Buffy" (but I suppose the spin-offs are never as good as the original). I'm still giving the series a shot, though; after all, I wasn't totally sure about "Buffy" until the second or third season. My favorite episode of "Angel" so far included an appearance by the slayer, and fellow copy editor Danielle Capriato has told me there are several crossovers in the two series. I'm planning to start my second viewing of "Buffy" this summer (the boyfriend has never seen it). Maybe we'll have to throw in a second viewing of "Angel" when that series chronologically comes up in the "Buffy"-verse.

So what is it I'm gonna do now, Buffy? Take advantage of the instant viewing option with my Netflix to re-enter the world of Sunnydale.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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