The Buffy Void

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : February 9, 2005

I confess.  I am a Buffy the Vampire fan.  And nothing has filled the void created by Buffy’s absense.  Ignorant people have suggested "Charmed" or "Point Pleasant" to fill the void. The thing that I liked about Buffy was that it could treat darkness in a serious and silly way at the same time, all the while treating human inter-relations in a very honest and vulnerable way. 

Buffythevampireslayer3I’ve always loved the fantasy genre for being able to give us the cognitive distance necessary for us to be able to examine our own lives, and our own society.  Because we are seeing an alternate reality to our own, we can analyse and judge it in ways that we couldn’t otherwise.  And unlike other unrealistic shows, like the OC, or Desperate Housewives, Buffy is blatantly unrealistic.  And it revels in its unrealism.  It is deeply embedded in the myths that shape our own society, but it embodies these myths in dark, disturbing, and often hillarious ways.  No show does that (at least not on broadcast TV).  And because no show can do what Buffy does, I feel a small void. 

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.

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    The She-Wolf of Incontinence 3 years ago
    Hey Mark - great blog. I found you from Pat's. I felt a similar pain at the demise of Northern Exposure. Actually, the pain was sort of retrospective - when the show was on, I didn't fully appreciate it. I just started to love the reruns when they were on A&E at midnight. All of the characters were American archetypes - Chris as the free-spirit and intellectual, Maurice as big business/progress without a conscience, Joel as the anal New Yorker. Each episode would have three subplots woven together, and because the characters were archetypal in some way, the show managed to contain some real social commentary without being overt about it. In my opinion, Northern Exposure is a show without equal.
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    For my money, you should go with the Gillmore Girls.
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    There is a void with nothing new in the Buffyverse. I feel your pain. I recommend buying all seven seasons on DVD and watching them constantly (or at least catching the reruns on Saturdays on UPN 29--usually 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. The afternoon slot is currently at the season 2 finale, and the late night slot is at the season five finale.)

    Mmm... Buffy.

    And Angel just doesn't cut it. The man couldn't do funny. He may have a soul, but not the soul of wit.


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