On my hunt to find a topic to find to write my next blog post about I came across a very interesting article entitled, “The Buffy Effect” written by Rachel Fudge and published within the 10th issue of Bitch Media in 1999. This article brings forth all questions of Buffy’s femininity vs. her slayer side. It is quite a lengthy article and looks into the entire Buffy Series and delves into analysis from Buffy’s wardrobe to the comparison of the villains and certain situations that occurred within the show to issues that are prevalent within any average teenagers life. It compares the failure of the first Buffy Movie to the success of the television show. In general, it is a very good article and I suggest all of you take some time to at least skim through it. I, however, took some of my favorite excerpts from this article and am going to post them here so you all can get an analysis of Buffy published in a magazine that believes in strong women empowerment.
In this following excerpt, the author of this article is posing the suggestion that Joss Whedon created certain scenes or characters to make a metaphor between the show and issues within a teenager’s life:
“True, Buffy’s enemies are more often demons than date rapists, vampires than patriarchal politicians. Buffy’s not a riot grrl renegade out slaying frat-boy harassers or destroying all vestiges of sexism—at least not literally. But evil in Sunnydale often takes a nicely metaphoric slant.
Critics writing about the show have been quick to pinpoint the parallels between Buffy’s demonology and real-life high school horrors, focusing heavily on the high-school-as-hell metaphor: Demons are the gangs; the transformation of gullible kids, victimized and “turned” by demons, represents the effects of drugs; the helplessness of grown-ups in the face of all this, well, that’s just life (according to Psychology Today). Then there are the parallels to real teenage life—as opposed to parents’ fears about drugs and gangs. You can’t bring your boyfriend home to meet your parents ’cause they just won’t understand (or, well, he’s a recovering vampire); the boy you lose your virginity to turns mean and nasty the morning after (vampires, even recovering ones, don’t respond well to human bliss.”
I found this excerpt to parallel really well with what we have recently been talking about in class and once I read these comparisons I truly did see them and when watching the shows for next class, it’s hard not to see these metaphors everywhere within the show. Joss Whedon created a show that could possibly tackle many teenage issues without ever actually tackling them head on, but still getting the message across. However, I am skeptical as whether the normal teenager watching this show in the 1990s truly understood this parallel or they completely missed this message. And this article only speculates to these metaphorical slants, however, I think they are present within the show. What do you think? Did Joss Whedon do this purposely? Are there metaphors? Or do these critics merely take the analysis of this show too far?