500 Days of Buffy Summers

When talking horror, often the big screen gets all the Glitz, Guts and Glory (holes)… but there’s another slightly smaller screen that can sometimes shine just as bright as Rihanna’s forehead. Television can be absolutely terrifying but if you turn off Piers Morgan there might be a great new horror show for you to sink your teeth into. Horror on TV continues to grow and grow with largely mixed results in quality. But when all is sliced and diced I just can’t help but think “why am I not re-watching Buffy right now?”

OK I realise I sound like I’m about to go on a “back in my day” rant here but…. back in my day we were spoilt by the best horror television show, like ever. I think of Buffy as my first introduction into what horror really is when you scratch the surface. It taught me how the horrors of life and film can in reality just be manifestations of our own fears, worries and doubts. If you feel like your mother is trying to live out her lost youth through you, then what’s to say she isn’t a witch trying to pull a Freaky Friday switch on you. If you feel like no one in school even realises or cares that you exist then maybe you literally will become invisible. If you do finally sleep with that caring loving boyfriend of yours and he suddenly becomes cruel and nasty then what’s to say he isn’t a 300 year old blood sucking vampire intent on killing you and destroying the world.

I could talk for days about the complexities of the characters, the wittiness of the dialogue, the sheer amount of pop culture references, the sense of female empowerment and the fact that Willow and Tara are in my opinion the most realistic portrayal of a gay couple on screen ever. But alas I digress…. it’s time to get back to the pointy end of the stake. What are the big shows of right now doing right and more importantly what are they doing wrong? The library is open.

So first up let’s talk American Horror Story. The acting is superb, the dialogue is witty and the women are fabulous. I am actually a fan, however it’s never good when your promos are better than the actual show. I appreciate that they want to let all of their talented ensemble cast shine but when you try and tell me 57 convoluted storylines in 12 short episodes it becomes hard work to even give a shit about most of the resolutions – which are all squished into the last two episodes anyway.

Then can we discuss that after a genius rendition of ‘The Name Game’ in AHS Asylum, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck thought they were back on the set of Glee. Suddenly this becomes a running theme and we get the fabulous Stevie Nicks appearing in Coven not once but twice just to shoe-horn in two of her greatest hits. We get Jessica Lange’s best David Bowie impression in every bloody episode of Freak Show and then finally we get Hotel, which as Jon Larkin has said previously on the podcast, is just an elongated Lady Gaga music video.

AHS prides itself on it’s reset refresh format from series to series. But as I’ve just highlighted above, so many of the same beats and themes have become repeated that for a show that tries to stay fresh it can fast become a little stale. Then when the inevitable ‘all- the-series-are-actually-linked-in-the-same-universe’ reveal came along it felt more like a kick in the teeth than something new and exciting to add.

The Walking Dead… if there was an award ceremony for generating overhype this show would take all the trophies. Hands up, I was sucked into the first series too. it does have some redeeming characters namely Carol, Michone and Daryl. I’ll even admit it has the best practical effects I’ve ever seen on tv. So now I’ve got the niceties out of the way let’s begin…

A Walking Dead season is typically 16 episodes in length but there are only four worth watching. The first, the two either side of the mid season break and the finale. The rest of the episodes are packed with more filler than The Best Of Nickelback (yes this album actually exists). It’s rather impressive how they have tricked the general public into watching that many episode where absolutely nothing happens and still have them return with the promise of a disappointing outcome to the latest overused cliff hanger. I’m starting to wonder if it’s all a big social experiment to see if The Walking Dead can transform the audience into The Watching Dead. Real people zombified by the banality of the show.

Alas this isn’t it’s only problem. I almost wish it was because there are much bigger flaws. Take for example its central character. Is Rick still good or has the harsh world turned him evil? That is the big question people debate about the show. Well It’s come to my attention that the he’s not switching between the two as he struggles with the concept and ramifications of good vs evil in a post apocalyptic world. No I believe it’s more the writers can’t make up their mind and just get him to behave in whatever way best suits the plot at that particular point even if it makes no sense to his character’s development. Oh and the most universally hated kid in the world is still alive in a show famous for killing all of its characters. They even shot him in the eye only to have him come back every week tempting me to claw out my own eyes… only stopping for the fact I’d be more like him.

And breathe…..

Ok so now I’ve ripped apart the two biggest shows is there actually anything worth watching and if so what?

Well I gave up on Supernatural after the brothers both died for the seventh time and it was apparent they were now solely writing the show for girls who write gay incestuous fan fiction.

I did thoroughly love Hannibal, and was very upset when it got cancelled. The show was beautiful but sometimes it did feel like it was having a self-congratulating jerk-off to its own stylistic approach.

You could watch the OA – it’s the defination of a Marmite show. It blends together sci fi, horror, fantasy in a modern setting and comes out with something rather unique and certainly worthy of a watch.

The Scream TV series was surprisingly good. Yes I’m biased about this as a massive Scream fan but I had no hope for it stretching out into a series and they actually managed it.

The other Screaming Queenz have been giving rave reviews of the Exorcist TV series but my controversial views on the original film have put me off this so far.

Jon Larkin is massive fan of Teen Wolf but as he refers to it as Teen Wank I believe his views are not entirely pure.

Perhaps my view has become more cynical as I’ve become more accustomed to horror. Perhaps I’m viewing Buffy through rose-tinted glasses. Perhaps Buffy really was just that good it’s spoilt me for life. Regardless of the answers I’m happy that If all else fails then I can head back to Sunnydale and dance with the hottest slayers in town…

Please send any hate for me slagging off your favourite tv show to @hste99 on Twitter. 😂😘

SM

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