(Disclaimer: My paranormal story resume is about to include vampires--but the vampires I love are mostly from the 90s. This is an homage to my fave super-couple--and how I wish the show had ended...Please also note, I like to pretend Angel never had his own show...)
As an 8th grade girl, I remember rushing home to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And as a woman in her 30s now, I'm saying, without a doubt, that no other program has replaced the superior wit, the intricate plots, and the wickedly perfect love stories that this show spun.
Most notably, of course, was the epic love story of Buffy and Angel. When Sarah Michelle Gellar's blonde and edgy Buffy locked lips with the sexy and mysterious David Boreanaz, who had been aiding her nocturnal vamp hunts, not a single lady in the 14-30 year age bracket could take a breath--and when Angel pulled back from that kiss and revealed those hungry fangs, not a single lady 14-30 could move.
Buffy had a lot of solid plot points, but the love story between the title character and fallen vampire Angel was a game-changer. It was Romeo and Juliet in the Hellmouth. It was a perfect retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, with a female empowered 90s edge. Maybe that's what set Buffy apart. The hero was always Buffy. The Buffy allies and Buffy villains changed throughout the course of the series. But every little girl who grew up watching Buffy was instilled with a sense of confidence, strength, and edge that had previously been reserved for the guys (Superman, Batman, insert male lead detective here). Wonder Woman was a great show, but it was campy and the outfit was a little too sexualized.
Buffy was just a high school girl born into a destiny she didn't want. She wanted to be a normal girl, nothing more. Instead, the fate of the world was thrust upon her shoulders--and her audience of teen girls wanted to hold her hand as she endured not just wicked battles with the undead, but real-life obstacles: disappointing her family...failing her driver's test...losing her virginity (which, if you haven't seen that episode, it and its aftermath will haunt and devastate you).
Buffy broke ground, too, by incorporating a full-fledged lesbian romance on the show: enter Willow, Buffy's best friend, and Tara--the girl who stole Willow's heart. I loved sweet Tara and I loved that the show propelled a more adult romance without all the cheesiness that had often been associated with gay and lesbian couples on TV.
But...I would have ended the series after the 4th season.
Buffy and Angel's relationship was beautiful and heartbreaking--and it's possibly why I'm still single (ha!--no, but really...maybe...). If you strip both of their superpowers away--her slaying abilities and his vampness--then it's a love story about two people just trying to survive in a complicated world.
And they lost. At least, that's what it felt like at the end of Season 4 (Graduation).
If I could rewrite that ending, I would. The mayor would be destroyed. The world would be saved. But instead of Angel leaving, he'd be waiting for Buffy outside the blown up high school...and they'd leave together. The finale of two people who sacrificed everything for everyone they loved should have been their happy ending.
And in my ending, Cordelia realizes her disdain for high school boys extends to boys in general. And her short romance with Xander was her subconscious way to get closer to Willow. Oh yes--that's my fantasy lesbian couple: Cordelia and Willow. The prom queen and the geek.
Xander finds love with a brainy lady librarian, who takes over the library in the rebuilt high school after Giles and Joyce elope and move to England. Spike and Dru spend their eternity in each other's misery--after Dru's soul is restored.
It's a happy ending for all--and while I did love Anya and Tara, I like my ending better for the sake of Buffy and Angel.
Still and all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer will forever be in my heart like the Twilight saga is for coming-of-age girls today. The difference I hope people will see is how much more powerful Buffy's story is.
She never needed saving. She did the saving. And her final reward should have been a long life with the vampire who owned her heart. <3
Do you love paranormal love stories? Check out the tale of a forbidden romance between a sexy incubus and the girl next door. Awake.
*Photos courtesy of Google*