Tuesday, June 23, 2009

what ever happened to girl power?

If you ever have any doubts about the whacked out gender roles present in the Twilight saga, see here.

Last night I surfed the web to my fullest extent, using all my resources to find free episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer online. I know, lame. But it is summer and that is just what I do. Besides watch iCarly and sew, apparently. Try as I might, I could not find seasons four through seven anywhere. Looks like I'm going to have to expend energy walking or driving somewhere, or even restarting my Netflix (or sneaking onto my parents') to watch those elusive episodes. Unfortunately, I don't think I want them that bad. Pardon my digression. The point is that I have been craving some vampire slayage lately. While perusing channels today I happened upon our rather newly acquired HBO channels (for free!) and two minutes before it starts, I find the movie: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nuff said.
So, of course I watched it. I heated up some leftover mac n' cheese, poured some iced tea and settled down to, well, a rather bogus movie (to use the vernacular of the day, which happens to be 1992). I could blabber about differences, draw up a Venn diagram, but I know no one wants to read that. Basically, Joss Whedon is a genius and somehow turned a pretty comical concept into a kick ass TV series. The keys to this transformation, I believe, are dropping Donald Sutherland (or rather, killing him), changing the actress, and most importantly COMPLETELY redesigning the vampires. Sure, getting rid of the creepy Watcher (Sutherland) who I think betrayed her in the end- it's all a bit fuzzy, and I finished watching it less than an hour ago- was a wise choice but the success lies in the last two components.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is amazing. You believe that she could take down any demony bad guy and still make somewhat witty remarks while doing it. You even don't mind that she's dumb, a trait too many TV characters make a weakness and not an endearing character flaw. You want to be her, or her friend, and you even want to hang out in the library with her and the Scooby gang. She works.

The vampires are of course key to the success of the show. Making them almost goofy with pointy ears and lame hissing sounds perhaps led to the lack-luster ratings on the silver screen. Of course, adding a lion roar and squishing their faces when they "vamp-up" always seemed a bit comical to me, but I wouldn't want to meet any of them in a dark alley. The Pee Wee Herman look-alike from the movie, however...let's just say he got his arm ripped off by a non-slayer. Not so tough.

This brings me back to Twilight. Within the teen romance snow globe that is the "twiverse," vampires that sparkle, don't have to be invited in (uh, he watched her sleep... for months), have color changing eyes like Del Sol nail polish, and who can't be killed by anything except another vampire (or possibly a werewolf that isn't really a werewolf) may seem almost normal. within the gaze of Edward Cullen, all logic and sense melts away. I know because it happened to me. But simply watching this video (top) shows just how much of a creeper he really is. It's quite sad that nearly all of America- or the entire world- thinks he's the perfect guy.

These books, which I enjoyed along with everyone else, display some of the worst gender roles I've seen since I don't know, Wuthering Heights. Bella is the classic damsel, only twice as clumsy and three times as stupid. She fell in love with a vampire. Not just any vamp either, but an overbearing, overprotective, bordering on abusive, sparkling maniac. The fact that so many teens worship him as a character and Robert Pattinson, who represents all the unwashed creepy awkward kids you ignored in high school, is ridiculous.

To sum up, I wish Buffy were still on the air so that these now vampire obsessed teens and tweens could be exposed to a true heroine and positive role model, and not some lusty brown-eyed girl who constantly underestimates her own beauty and falls for the first guy who treats her like sh*t.


  1. Um, well said chica. Much more eloquently than I did.

    But, sparkly vampires are cute!

  2. A couple points:
    (keep in mind I've yet to delve into the Buffy Series)

    The movie was written by Whedon. He says they changed a bunch of it though, and that he was ultimately unhappy with it.

    I loved the movie when I was a kid.

    Kristie Swanson is a thousand times hotter than Gellar.

    That WAS Pee-Wee Herman in the movie.

    All that said, I liked the video.

  3. "It's an example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward's character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy's eyes some of the more patriarchal gender roles and sexist Hollywood themes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed - in hilarious ways."

    Oh, theory.

  4. Thanks for that Tony. I'm a bit embarrassed I didn't do the research. And Whedon didn't like how they changed the series?

    to harrison, that is perfect.

  5. No, Whedon wasn't happy with the film. Hence the creation of the series.