If it comes as a surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I loved Buffy: The Vampire Slayer as a teenager, then you might want to be checked for mild autism. I was recently reminded of my teenage Wednesday night glories after Jezebel noted an NPR broadcast by Iraq-stationed reporter Jamie Tarabay, who claims to have coped with the haunting terrors and staggering injustice of a seemingly endless war by channeling Sarah Michelle Geller. Naturally, I consider this to be a fully legitimate disposition. Pop culture matters, especially for young women who are often limited to pop escapism in a world preoccupied with making them either slutty , boring, or both.

Personally, I know a lot more girls who found pleasure in their identification with Willow (the lovable nerd) or Spike (the one part comic relief, one part sex-bomb love interest) which if nothing else illustrates that Buffy’s strength as a series is dependent upon a whole spectrum of characters who were all 1)funny 2)smart and 3) subalterns (a revelation for teenage programming). As much as I loath “fantasy speak” (the WB-esque phenomenon where every goddamn cheerleader speaks in the same cadence with Shakespearian vocabulary), BtVS was exemplar of how this ideal challenges girls to be interesting and well-spoken. Imagine– a show marketed to teenage girls that does not condescend to them.

So, long live Buffy: the Vampire Slayer! A true icon of feminist pop. For those of you who have not seen the series, I recommend first of all the musical episode (season 6) as an introduction to Buffy’s humor an innovation. After that, it looks like Hulu is uploading each episode in its entirety, with seasons 1 and 2 already up. Check it out here.

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