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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #193: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Original Slayer

You want a fun piece of geek sacrilege? I've never seen any of the Buffy TV show. Not a minute. I know, I'm missing out on one of the great things in life. But I guess everyone who watched the show loved it, and everyone who loved it hates the movie (because Joss Whedon told them to). And I don't want to hate the movie. I like the movie. It was 1992 and I was seventeen and it was funny and different and there wasn't this all-important canonical heroine to compare it to and find it wanting. Sorry, Gellar, but Kristy Swanson is my Buffy (and that's why she's referred to above with no last name - Summers is never mentioned until the show).

The movie itself is 90210 and Teen Wolf and Evil Dead 2 thrown in a blender and set on puree. Luke Perry has his one likable moment in life, Paul Reubens is perfectly campy, Rutger Hauer overacts marvelously, and we even get first glimpses of Ben Affleck and Hilary Swank. But Kristy Swanson was great in the title role. I liked her valley girl irreverence, her bubble-gum skepticism, her lack of discipline. There was a wildness to Kristy's Buffy, and yet a joy too, a sunny-side optimism that kept her laughing through the graveyard. She could slay, but she could also live. She wasn't a tragic Christ figure, a grand sacrificial martyr, just a girl with a legendary job to do who still wanted the guy and the friends and the life. I liked that about her. I still do. I know I'm wrong, but I'm happy in my wrong. And Kristy Swanson is my Buffy.

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