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Have your views on Buffy changed with age?

Cyberdemon

Townie
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
25
Age
33
I first started watching this show when I was about 9 (1997) and at that point i just thought it was a cool show like goosebumps and obviously didn't appreciate it. Then again when i was about 20 and got obsessed with he show all over again. I'm 33 now and it just doesn't feel the same anymore. Anyone else?
 

WillowsFaith

Townie
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
65
Age
28
I started watching this when I was about 7 with my sister. Since I was young I only cared about the fights and Buffy cuz she was pretty. Now that I’m older I can understand the characters and each seasons storylines. It really is one of the best shows ever made on television. Season 1 & 2 really captures highschool, even more so then the other iconic teen drama of the late 90’s. I’m only 28 now, but I just rewatched it a few months ago and it still holds up on being the most cohesive shows in its genre ever.
 

Cyberdemon

Townie
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
25
Age
33
I started watching this when I was about 7 with my sister. Since I was young I only cared about the fights and Buffy cuz she was pretty. Now that I’m older I can understand the characters and each seasons storylines. It really is one of the best shows ever made on television. Season 1 & 2 really captures highschool, even more so then the other iconic teen drama of the late 90’s. I’m only 28 now, but I just rewatched it a few months ago and it still holds up on being the most cohesive shows in its genre ever.
what are your thoughts on Buffy's relationships with angel/riley/spike? I actually now think that Riley was the most stable/right one for her. Angel was a young and immature love. Spike was the adult/most toxic one. I used to think it didn't matter because he loved her most but really now that im older i realize now that love isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to relationships. I really feel bad for how she treated Riley. He deserved better which is why i guess they showed how he moved on after a year. I also went back to s4 earlier this year and maybe it's because i hadn't seen it in so long but i really enjoyed it, idk why.
 

WillowsFaith

Townie
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
65
Age
28
what are your thoughts on Buffy's relationships with angel/riley/spike? I actually now think that Riley was the most stable/right one for her. Angel was a young and immature love. Spike was the adult/most toxic one. I used to think it didn't matter because he loved her most but really now that im older i realize now that love isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to relationships. I really feel bad for how she treated Riley. He deserved better which is why i guess they showed how he moved on after a year. I also went back to s4 earlier this year and maybe it's because i hadn't seen it in so long but i really enjoyed it, idk why.
I feel the same as you. Riley was the most realistic and best guy overall. He was just boring and didn’t bring any drama. I like Angel because he was so dramatic and kinda fit the fantasy of a heartthrob love story. Spike was horrible but that was kinda the point. Ironically even tho he was a evil and assaulted Buffy multiple times, he cared for her more then anyone. But i was always team Angel, even as a kid cuz it’s what I assume Buffy loves the most
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
9,534
Age
30
I actually now think that Riley was the most stable/right one for her.
I actually think the complete opposite. Riley shows a lot of red flag behaviour towards Buffy that should have her running for the hills, not him being described as "the one who comes along once in a lifetime".

As terrible as Spuffy is, at least t's honest about it. Buffy chooses to engage in that relationship, knowing full well it's not healthy for either her or Spike.

With Briley, Buffy is sleepwalking into that unhealthy relationship. Missing the helicopter was one of the best things that could happen to her because if she had caught the helicopter then she'd feel like she "owed" Riley to try and make the relationship work, even if she was unhappy, because she would've cost him his chance to re-join the military.
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Agree with all of this.

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,672
Age
38
It still feels about the same to me, though my preferences for arcs and seasons, and also how I feel and/or relate to characters, have changed over time.

And currently I'm frustrated with my memory...I can't exactly recall how I saw the early part of Angel season 4 before the big reveals, and watching it again now I want to remember. I know I see it different now, but I don't know much on how!
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
10
I remember when the ads came up for the BTVS premiere on the WB when I was in high school and I so desperately wanted to watch it (I loved the movie when I was a middle schooler - I even had a poster in my room that I got from a video store lol), but for whatever reason, I kept missing it and I don't think any of my friends were watching it (and therefore were not taping it) at the time and it was the era where if you missed an episode you missed it forever unless you were able to find the really really expensive VHS box sets. By S2 it seemed like it was kind of a serialized show and might be tough to catch up on/follow by jumping in in the middle so I kind of just forgot about it until I was in college and it started being advertised on FX that they were going to start airing the series from the beginning - this was also right when Season 6 was premiering on UPN so I started watching in real-time with 6 (which actually isn't a bad time to jump in if you haven't seen any of the prior seasons) while also simultaneously watching from Season 1 onwards.

I loved it while I was watching it originally (in the weird way I was) and when I got all the DVD sets finally watched the whole series in 1-7 order, but then I didn't watch again until almost ten years later. Mostly I remember thinking on that watch that I had forgotten how good BTVS and ATS were and how much I enjoyed them. I then watched both series again this year for the first time in ages (like maybe 8 years I want to say) and honestly, BTVS is even better than I remembered and I already held it in pretty high esteem - it's only gotten richer and more layered and complicated and interesting and even when it stumbles (and is occasionally very much a not so flattering reflection of the times) it holds up astonishingly well and I somehow have even more love for characters that were already favorites and also some new love for ones I hadn't had much of an opinion on either way on prior watches.

I think the biggest thing for me on this most recent rewatch after so so long (and holy crap does 2013 seem like a completely different world) is how awful the "Good Guys", Xander and Riley, are. I liked Xander well enough on previous rewatches but had absolutely not picked up on how sh*tty he is re: Buffy and her relationships, and also his own with Anya. Xander... has not aged particularly well for me. As for Riley, I was always like ugh, he's boring, can we move on pls, but now I'm with @DeadlyDuo re: the red flaggyness of him - it is all over the place - I'm not ambivalent anymore when I watch S4 & early 5 with him, I actively find him really gross and don't just regard him as a (imo) boring charisma vacuum that is only there to be a palate cleanser between vampire boyfriends (whoever said Xander should have been the "in" with the Initiative plot instead of Riley is a genius btw). There are times where I can give him the benefit of the doubt, but I think the fact that the writers clearly uphold him as some kind of ideal boyfriend just adds to my intense dislike. I give Xander a lot more room because he's a teenager through much of the series and also by S7 grows up a lot so he can stay despite some of the yuck. Riley however... can not be gone fast enough for me.

ATS however... whoooooo boy. I hated nearly all of it this time through. Like loathed so much of it. Barring S5, I have no need/desire to ever watch it again, but BTVS... I've already watched a couple of seasons over again after doing a really recent rewatch and don't anticipate ever waiting so long between full rewatches again. It just keeps getting better and more relevant and I keep finding new things every time I watch it.
 

Antho

Scooby
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
2,354
Age
27
Location
Montauban (France)
For my case it’s sure I don’t have the same infatuation for the show now I’m 27 years old than when I had between 16-20 years old. I tend to prefer watch other show ( like Doctor who for example)
 
whatdBuffyDo
whatdBuffyDo
For me it’s the opposite, I used to watch Dr Who in my teenage years and now I watch Buffy lol 😅

Cyberdemon

Townie
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
25
Age
33
With Briley, Buffy is sleepwalking into that unhealthy relationship.
i didnt get that at all. i got that she just didn't care and he was just there lol. which is why xander gave her that talk when it was too late. riley wasnt perfect but i get it now that he was probably the most stable of the three. poor guy lmao.
if she had caught the helicopter then she'd feel like she "owed" Riley to try and make the relationship work
that's a good point
ATS however... whoooooo boy. I hated nearly all of it this time through. Like loathed so much of it. Barring S5
lol im rewatching Angel rn and im on S3. wtf did they just drop Kate? how did i not notice before? i actually liked her way more this time around. Also s1 is really boring and had weaker plot than Buffy s1.
S2 is great, i know it ruins a lot of the buffyverse lore but i still thought it was pretty good. Angel seems to overall ruin the idea of buffyverse vamps and make them more human, which i honestly dont mind. before it just triggere me though because it totally ruins the vampire lore in buffy. like since when do vampires like Darla just causally talk to people like Cordelia like they're almost friends? its super weird lol.
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,672
Age
38
The part on vampire lore I wish they made a lot clearer is on love. Spike and Dru show love, if a demonic version of it, and Angel and Darla seemed to have it (though Liam seemed to have true affection for his little sister, but Angelus showed her no mercy unless a hopefully quick death counted). Gunn's sister seemed to want to turn him just as Spike turned his mother (though his mom didn't return his affection).

And yet there is that gripping Darla talk where she cries that after her baby is born she won't be able to love it without a soul (that she's sharing with the fetus), she won't even be able to REMEMBER loving it, and she wants to remember...

I just wish I knew what it was like to be a vampire as they changed it all the time, though I generally see the "feral" vampires as new to their nature (and likely starving) who need some time before their higher brain functions kick in, though they seem to work well as minions where someone else is doing their thinking for them.


I'm rewatching Angel right now and catching a lot I missed before. Overall I'm liking it even better, though some of the "adult" aspects comes off as more juvenile to me rather than adult (similar to the juvenile humor in Buffy's Go Fish) which is more apparent on rewatch (but maybe I just quickly forgot it the first time as I focused on what I liked or intrigued me). The love triangles being rubbed in our faces is the most grating to me (though it would be easier if it wasn't rubbed so hard in our faces at every opportunity, the ol' "less is more"), but the parts I like make it worth enduring. And overall I'm liking it even better on rewatch, and glad I finally gave the eps I normally skipped another chance.
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
8,822
Location
UK
I loved the show when I watched it back in the day, but my love has only grown. It's only in recent years that I've joined forums to discuss the show. I think I did a full re-watch after several years of not watching the show, and was blown away and was desperate to talk to people about it.

After so many re-watches and discussions my thoughts have changed, and probably will change in the future as I change. As for Buffy's love life, it was a total mess, but from an audience pov, I love Spike and Spuffy and that's something that I doubt will ever change.
 

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
758
Age
63
In terms of Buffy’s love life I’ve realised she had consistently terrible relationships. The idea she’d end up endgame with any of Angel, Riley and Spike I find endlessly depressing for her

Angel - I actually like this one the most of her main relationships but I hate how they sometimes make him treat her like a naughty child at times. Plus the fact he’s having her stalked in the final season of his show I find endlessly problematic. Plus it doesn’t seem fair that the one single time Buffy is outwardly jealous she’s framed as being the bitter resentful ex but anytime Angel is jealous it’s ‘lolz Angel’ but that may be a sign of some rather sexist writing more than anything else. Imagine the reaction of Buffy was having him stalked? I do appreciate a lot of its qualities while they’re together though

Riley - unpopular opinion probably but this relationship had the worst long term effect on Buffy because she’s told his appalling behaviour is HER fault (this is not the case with Spike/Spuffy). Riley is an emotionally abusive asshat who needed therapy. His behaviour in S5 shows that actually he has very little interest in Buffy’s emotional feelings but only about what HE gets from it. That’s what he cares about. Like in Into The Woods when he finds out she had a cry by herself, his concern isn’t ‘oh she’s been really struggling with this’ no his ONLY concern is that she didn’t cry to HIM. It’s an interesting portrayal of how a strong woman can still end up in an emotionallly abusive relationship (and yes I acknowledge that this absolutely isn’t what they intended). This has the worst long term effect on Buffy because it makes her believe she’ll never be able to be with a ‘normal guy’ when in fact she will, as long as they’re not as awful as Riley Finn. He consistently gaslights her and shows that actually he has a very low opinion of her. He’s good at talking the talk about how in love he is but there’s far too much resentment there from someone who is supposedly so in love. Get in the bin

Spike - toxic relationship but it was always honest about it. I don’t find their S7 relationship even remotely healthy though, it’s two damaged people clinging to each other very codependantly because of their shared trauma. I could imagine them being good friends and supportive to each other but I just don’t see a healthy dynamic ever being possible

I have newfound appreciation for The Mayors speech which cuts right to the heart of why a vampire relationship will never be a happy ending for her. I also LOVE Joyce and Angel’s conversation in The Prom - it was a very mature conversation between two people who respect the others love for Buffy . This is something I hated when I was younger 😂
 

ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
7,361
Sineya
Well I have changed my thinking over the years . I thought Anya was really out there the first time I saw her & now I see more of the humor she
brought to the show . And I hated Kennedy at first since she in my mind at first thought was she was taking over for Tara & I didn't like her for that & for
her being a brat . But I let go of my hate for her since I came on here & found out that most of the reason I hated her was because the writers rushed things & made it look forced between them . But one thing I haven't changed was the mild dislike I felt for Xander . He seemed just the comic relief & nothing more . In my mind the rest grew up but he never did or wanted to it seemed . And Faith at first I was neutral about but as I got older started liking her more & finding out other people liked her too . Now I a Fluffy shipper :)
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
finally, someone else who agrees with me about Xander

Cyberdemon

Townie
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
25
Age
33
Buffy because she’s told his appalling behaviour is HER fault
she not loving him and saying nothing was her fault. he was smart to break it off. relationships are give and take. not just like a friend thing. i feel even worse for spike in some ways because she totally didn't deserve him. at the same time they didn't deserve each other. after he got his soul for her it was almost like it meant nothing to her.
 

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
758
Age
63
she not loving him and saying nothing was her fault. he was smart to break it off. relationships are give and take. not just like a friend thing. i feel even worse for spike in some ways because she totally didn't deserve him. at the same time they didn't deserve each other. after he got his soul for her it was almost like it meant nothing to her.
Yikes. ‘After he got a soul for her’ yes you mean also after he tried to rape her? And she supported him pretty much unconditionally throughout

Why does she need to tell Riley if she doesn’t love him? They’ve been together for less than a year, maybes shes just not there yet? She supported him throughout S4 and then when he has his heart problem, she is then preoccupied because you know, her Mothers dying

I’d also like to add that Buffy never asked Spike to get a soul ‘for her’ that was his choice. She owes him nothing for that, she shouldn’t feel obliged to thank someone for something she never asked them to do anyway.
 

Puppet

Actual size.
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
7,451
Age
32
Location
Denmark
Black Thorn
Let's see -- Five years ago, Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have been at the top of my list of best shows ever. Today, it manages 10th place and part of me wonders how much of that is nostalgia. Recent rewatches have forced me to admit to some home truths about a show that I have followed since I was eight, which is sad, but it will always have a special place in my heart. I doubt I'll ever do a rewatch that isn't a reaction by another person online, though.

However, Angel is a completely different story, that show just gets better with each rewatch and I will definitely continue to rewatch in the future as well :)
 
T
thrasherpix
Some assume I don't like later seasons of BTVS so much, despise in the case of s7, 'cause it's too dark for me, etc, but I'm just loving Angel now, even season 4 (and much darker series as well).

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
2,711
Age
21
Sineya
Well I first watched Buffy when I was about 6 and I loved it but I didn't really understand it/become a real fan until I was about 12. I'm 21 now so a lot has changed but my love for the show is still at the same level.

A lot changed opinion wise though. I used to victim blame Buffy a lot when it came to her and Spike's relationship because he was my favourite character at the time and then Faith became my favourite which was obviously a much better fit for me because she's still my favourite now while I quickly grew to dislike Spike. I also jumped ship from Spuffy to Bangel and I became an Angel fan after I watched his show. I grew to love Buffy and in the last year I started to appreciate Willow more.
 

Cyberdemon

Townie
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
25
Age
33
Why does she need to tell Riley if she doesn’t love him?
no it wasn't her job to say it but he could obviously tell which is why the cringe incompatible drama was always happening. spike was obviously just a terrible person before he had a soul and yea she was definitely using him, basically fwbs.
Today, it manages 10th place and part of me wonders how much of that is nostalgia
yeah this last rewatch (maybe my 5th time tbh) was kinda cringe idk why. even some of the characters i found extremely pretentious and unlikeable.
 

Altoz

Potential
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
262
Age
58
Location
Palmerston North, New Zealand
I was in my late thirties when I discovered Buffy for the first time, just settling down and about to form a family with my current husband and our daughter, who loves the series. Initially, I identified with Giles (because of my own developing parental responsibilities) and Oz (because he was an outsider and faced persecution for being a lycanthrope). And then the Willow and Tara relationship unfolded. Which isn't to say things were perfect. I liked Xander but I'm afraid that both Angel and Spike grated on me and I couldn't particularly relate to either Riley or Kennedy either. With Angel, it was Lindsey, because like him, I'm a professional guy from a working class background (although not as hardscrabble as his). Watching Wesley steadily darken over the course of that series was fascinating- and a tribute to Alexis Denisoff's prowess as an actor, as well.
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Great post! It's always cool to hear how people relate to the characters. And I agree about Wesley. He's one of my favorite characters and his arc is fascinating.
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