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Revisiting Buffy

 Over the last year, I spent a lot of time sitting in front of my computer and writing dry business papers, and the only thing that made that bearable was to put a well-loved show on in the background for a mindless rewatch. Among the shows watched were:



     


I read somewhere that one of the hallmark behaviors of highly anxious people was to go back and rewatch familiar movies and tv shows or to read books they've read multiple times before. For typical minds, this behavior can be puzzling, but the psychology behind it is that someone who is highly anxious (like yours truly) finds comfort in familiarity. They don't control it, but they know what's coming next.

For example, I've been watching Futurama since it first premiered back in 1999 on Fox. I've seen pretty much every episode, including the seventh episode in Season 4: Jurassic Bark. That episode devastates me, so I have the ability to monitor my progress through the episodes and skip that episode every time, thereby mitigating the potential fallout that I experience whenever I even so much as think about that last scene. 

In fact, excuse me for a moment, I'm going to go hug my dogs.

Ok, now that I've annoyed Cupcake and Nelson, I feel better. But that's my point entirely. When I watch Futurama, I'm familiar enough with it that I know what episodes to avoid, which ones to focus on to make me laugh, and so on and so forth. New shows, while exciting, have an element of the unknown that I can only manage in doses, so I find myself retreating to the familiar whenever I feel I need some stability. I'll admit that this need has arisen more than normal over the last year for a multitude of obvious reasons that we won't go into today.

Now that I'm done with my Master's, I'm making up for lost time in the creative writing category and sitting down in front of this here blog as well as wherever I'm crafting Spectre. Right now, I'm using Google Docs in conjunction with the Screenplay Formatter add-on which is working quite nicely. 

When I'm writing, I either have a lo-fi playlist running or an episode of one of the above TV shows playing in the background. It's kind of like my version of white noise. 

My most recent foray into the familiar has been rewatching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I chill out at the house or write. I still have that same strong love and respect for the show, but when viewing it through a contemporary lens. Whoo, buddy, does it have some moments throughout that don't stand up to scrutiny. 

Putting aside the controversy over Joss Whedon's behavior and shitty viewpoints regarding women and his virtue-signaling faux feminism, there are a few elements and episodes peppered throughout the series that simply wouldn't fly today. I'm not suggesting that these elements make the show unwatchable or are deserving of punishment of any sort, and I most assuredly am not implying that the show doesn't stand the test of time (because it absolutely does). What I'm saying is that there are definite examples of now-cringey topics.

For example, the show as a whole doesn't handle gender too well, and it's beginning seasons struggled with non-heterosexuality. Whether it's Cordy teasing Xander for running "like a woman" out of fear, her frequent slut-shaming, or even the episode in which Xander and Paul Rudd ran the school campus as human hyenas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was most assuredly not perfect in its execution. Don't even get me started on the absolute dumpster fire that is Spuffy. Seriously, Joss, why?

I mean, come ON.

All of this being said, I still love Buffy. It reminds me of a time in my life where I was young and without a care in the world. Before I had to actively fight against misogyny and ultra-conservativism. And every once in a while, it's nice to take a step back and take a breather.

Do you put old favorites on in the background while you write? Or are you a music person? Perhaps you're a total silence writer. I'm always so interested to hear other peoples' methods.

With that, I'm out. I have more prep work to do for Spectre, and time is not a kind mistress.

Peace.
Stef.

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