When Buffy The Vampire Slayer first came out in theatres I made my husband go with me on opening day. Rutger Hauer was in it, and anyone who knows me knows that I will not pass up Rutger Hauer for anything. Nothing. A bit later I heard they were making a TV show out of the movie but since I didn’t think the movie was all that great and I’ve never really been able to gin up much of a care about Vampires in general I just didn’t pay that much attention. The show ran for alot of years, concurrent to a period in my life where we were busy beyond belief and preoccupied with things like keeping start-up companies in business. We didn’t watch as much TV then, and we didn’t have a TiVo. So the cultural zeitgeist of Buffy a la Joss Whedon just passed me by.
A jump to the left and a step to the right later, we’ve got that TiVo player and we’ve also got a Blu-Ray player that streams Netflix Instant, and Netflix Instant is showing all the seasons of Buffy at the touch of a button. I watched Season One this week, and started Season Two. Then I just deleted all of them.
I know a lot of my family and friends love this show. Pretty much everyone in all my circles of friends references it, and many of them own all seasons on DVD. I don’t say this to offend any of you, because I respect and love you all.
But here’s the thing…
I can handle mythic fiction about a lot of things that make some other Christians leery. I clearly had no problem with Harry Potter despite the whole “Witchcraft and Wizardry” thing, because upon reading them it was clear to me that they were built around their own mythology and didn’t involve real witchraft. Sort of like C.S. Lewis’ witchcraft in the Narnia series. I also have no problem with a lot of the Arthurian legends that contextualise their pagan roots. I have no problem with studying comparative religion, in fact that is one of my main avocations.
But I cannot accept Demons–which I know to be very real–as a form of entertainment. Yes, I know Buffy conquers the demons, fighting them with crosses and stakes and other parachristian implements and symbology. But at the root of the show I watched is a reliance on demons and demonic possession as entertainment. I felt a weird sense of oppression when watching the show and I just can’t keep at it. Yes, I’m curious about some things–will Xander ever realise Willow loves him? Do Buffy and Angel ever get together? I really liked hanging out with this gang of kids and their gentle-hearted librarian leader. I liked them a lot.
It’s just that with me there seems to be this line…one where I don’t feel comfortable compartmentalising demons in fictional entertainment.