Mondays with Brooke: A Very Buffy Rewatch

Buffy1bI watched Buffy on and off when it originally aired depending on whether I had the channel it was broadcast on. The show started in Spring 1997 when the Scooby gang were sophomores in high school, and I was finishing up my 7th grade year. So they were three years ahead of me and my heroes. My second watch was in 2007 when I was still in college. A lot has changed in those six years, and my newest rewatch has me filled with new observations.

What hasn’t changed is how much I adore the show. The writing is just phenomenal. The special effects and makeup design are also award worthy, particularly for nineties teenage genre shows. Joss Whedon won my heart with Buffy and rewins it every stinkin’ time I watch the first few seasons. I would join Joss’s cult. Truth.

I’m only currently about a third of the way through season three, but I’m having so many feelings that I wanted to get them out before I forget about them. The reasons I love the show have definitely altered since 2007 in really fascinating ways (at least to me). Traditionally, the first three seasons (mostly two and three) have always been my favorite so I think this is a good time to pause and reflect.

Initially, teenage Brooke loved Buffy best. She was my favorite character because she’s who I wanted to be. She managed to be a normal girl who could also save the world time and time again. Ordinary wrapped in extraordinary. Buffy faces all the normal challenges of adolescence and fails in those challenges as often as she wins. But then she would kick a vamp’s ass and be awesome.

If Buffy was who I wanted to be, Willow was who I was. She was smart, nerdy, shy, and super awkward with boys. Pretty much my own high school years in a nutshell. I felt like I was seeing a version of myself on the screen. Despite the fact that Willow didn’t have super powers, she was still amazingly gifted and managed to help Buffy out loads of times with the skills she did have.

Interestingly, adult Brooke loves Xander best. And I’m not even sure why. His wit, charm, and floundering are all endearing to me as I head out of my twenties. Xander is always the most loyal and perhaps even most moral character. He’s also the most directionless which is how most of my later twenties have felt – at least professionally. He proves that even a normal person without super inspiring ambitions can be happy, healthy, and pivotal to society. My ambitions since graduating college have definitely fallen, and now I just strive to find my own version of happiness and to help those most important to me. Everything else be damned. Xander gives me the courage to continue on this path.

Another observation that smacked me across the face is how Buffy is my Harry Potter. Seriously, so many parallels – chosen one, child saving the world from evil, trusty sidekicks, and really the list goes on and on. I’ve always been so sad that I didn’t really have HP growing up (They were published during Buffy’s time, but I didn’t read them), but now I realize I did! I hope all young people find something or someone so inspirational – it makes all the difference really.

And finally, the epic love that is Buffy and Angel is no longer my OTP. I still love them and think they have epic (although rather instant) love. But Angel (as one of my all tme favorite characters ever – but mostly in his own show) is far more interesting without Buffy making him lovesick. In season two, Angel really came into his own as Angelus. Evil Angel kicked ass. As for Buffy, I don’t really ship her with anyone she met on the show. I prefer to think she kept on kicking ass until someone equally strong and reliable came into the picture. But if that never happened, cool beans – Buffy doesn’t need a man.

So those are my current thoughts. I’m sure I’ll have more as the seasons continue and once I start Angel. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Angel/Cordelia dynamic so I’m looking forward to seeing how I react now. I think rewatching these shows on the cusp of turning thirty is kind of poignant in a very geeky way. Sentences like that make me love my life!

But mostly, thank you Joss Whedon! You helped get me through middle and high school. And you’re continuing to help me succeed into adulthood. Which is why I will see everything you produce even if nothing will ever replace BtVS as my favorite.

Monday with Brooke and the Week Ahead!

ea_b_s1My first work day! Excited and a complete bag of nerves as I type this. I’ve filled out all my paperwork – tax forms and benefits and whatnot. Can’t wait to start earning a paycheck again.

In order news, this past week was filled with my BtVS rewatch. Almost through season 2 now. Love how different the show feels at my current age versus high school/college.  Enjoying it in an entirely different way.

This weekend was a blast! Saturday was the Brookhaven Beerfest, an evening at the pool, and then Sweet Hut Bakery for a midnight snack. Sunday was some good eating – brunch at Buttermilk Kitchen and dinner at Amura Steak and Sushi. We also explored Roswell where Jimmy signed up for a 22 mile bike ride. Then we hit up a new used book store that I’m in love with – Once and Again in Marietta! I may have gotten a few things – obviously. We rounded out the day with stops at a UGA gift shop (Glory Glory), Target (there may have been more book buying), and the Frontgate outlet store where we got some new bath towels. We did this in torrential rain.

The week ahead promises more than just new work adventures! Jimmy’s out-of-town, but we’ll definitely be checking out the new Superman movie once he gets back. Plus, I’m dead set on keeping the reading mojo going after finishing 4 books last week! I’m hoping to complete The Kite Runner and begin The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. If those get completed, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer is calling my name!

Wishing everyone the happiest of weeks!

Mondays with Brooke

Oh Monday! How much promise and fear you incite among the masses. You’re such a bittersweet beasty, you are.

Firstly, I’d like to take a moment to honor my niece, Sydney, and the 5 year anniversary of her passing. She would have turned 8 this year and everyday she’s missed. I’d also like to pre-welcome her first little sister, Emery, into our family! The first picture below is of Sydney and my sis-in-law. The second is Christina’s recent maternity photo shoot announcing that she’s having another little girl with my handsome nephews!

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Today also marks the final week of my impromptu but much appreciated summer vacation! I start the new job next week and can’t wait. Both eager and anxious to rejoin the workforce after a month off. Lots of paper work to complete and a drug test to take before next Monday. Plus, the hubs got his yearly evaluation this past week with included his annual bonus and raise. Nothing huge but every little bit counts. Now we’ve got to sit down and plan out a new budget. I wonder if he’ll let me add a book line to said budget? Probably not since we’re dedicating this next year to paying down debts. Which we have. Unfortunately. Keepin’ it real, y’all. Not that we are buried beneath credit card debt or anything, but we’d like to pay off my car loan and whittle the student loans down a bit. The mortgage will continue to loom large, I’m afraid. We’re just thankful our home is worth more than we paid since so many people are in the opposite situation.

I feel like I should delve into religion or politics next to keep the awkward subjects going! I’ll spare y’all those rants and tell you what’s up on the reading and blogging front this week. Currently reading Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in anticipation of Joss Whedon’s film and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I’m loving both! Hopefully, I’ll have reviews of both those up this week as well as Lionel Shriver’s newest, Big Brother. Happy Reading!