Many of you know that I participate in an online RPG called #MageTech. It’s pretty awesome and often quite silly. Over Halloween our illustrious DM, Kristin McFarland, mapped out a one-off special episode that deviated from our normal play. It was so much fun and successful, she’s decided we could try to do these more often. But one of the cool things is that there are many RPGs based on beloved TV shows and movies.
So we were all deciding what RPGs we’d like to do and of course the standards came up, D&D spinoffs, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At that last, a few of our gammers went on a happy little tangent about the show and characters, while I just sat there, smiling awkwardly.
Why was this my reaction? Because, gentle viewers, I have never watched BtVS. That’s right, now you know my big secret. Yes, get it out…
Feel better? Anyway. I had a lot of reasons not to watch the show growing up. I won’t get into all of them, but it has finally come back to haunt me. So, of course, everyone screamed that I had to watch the show, least I be shamed throughout the game.
BUT WAIT!!! I said. Someone else in our little group deserves just as much shame! Our dear Brian O’Conor, epic fantasy writer, has never watched an episode of Supernatural.
Yes. You read that right.
Listen, BtVS came out in ’96 when I was a mere fourteen years old, but Supernatural came out in 2005! C’mon! How could you not watch?
Anyway. Because of our mutual freak out, Brian and I have a wager. For every episode of BtVS I watch, he must watch one of Supernatural. I don’t know how fair this is really, because EVERYONE said, “Just get through season one and you’ll be okay. Season one is super campy, BUT IT GETS BETTER, WE SWEARS IT! WE SWEARS ON THE PRECIOUS!”
That is not a glowing endorsement for me. This might’ve been one of the big reasons I didn’t watch when I was a kid. A campy first season isn’t going to get me to commit.
As of this writing I am eight episodes in and yes, it is INCREDIBLY campy. But I’m getting through. The thing is, it doesn’t need to be so campy. If someone had slashed some of the cheesy slang that doesn’t sound natural (anyone wiggin’ out?!), it wouldn’t be so bad. But what has bugged me the most is the girly “sexy” gasps and grunts that Buffy makes when fighting. I’m sorry, she’s a teenager, do we need to sexualize her like this? It’s creepy. Also, girls DON’T MAKE SEX NOISES WHEN THEY FIGHT. Have you ever seen a real life girl fight? That shit is serious and scary.
Speaking of, all the “mean kids” on the show is so weird to me. I didn’t go to a school where kids just randomly walked up to people and insulted them, while the meek person they are picking on just snivels and tries to hide. If someone came up to you in my HS to say something to you, it was usually followed by a punch, which lead to a bloody fight and the armed campus police arresting people. So this doesn’t speak to me in a familiar way. But, hell, I like Mean Girls, I can get past the fantasy that high school is like this in real life.
I do already love Xander. He’s adorbs and hilarious. So he’s keeping me watching. And I’ve been promised new characters as soon as S2. So we shall see.
I did tell Brian that the Leviathan season of Supernatural will balance us out with BtVS’s S1 (though by the time you get to the dreaded Leviathans, you already love the show and chars, I’m asked to deal with the worst season right off the bat, not fair if you ask me).
Anyway. I’m getting through a bad season. Brian has a bad season to look forward to, but we’ve made the damn bet.
Stay tuned to watch me get through the rest of the show and TAKE BRIAN DOWN!
Also, Emmie has promised cookies to whoever finishes their task.
ETA: Last night I finished Season One of BtVS. Brian? You. Are. Going. Down. Sucka.
21 thoughts on “A Wager Between Friends”
I never watched BtVS until my wife got me hooked on it (after it was off the air) — we binge-watched it with regular trips to the video-rental store. Without spoilers, I can say season 2 presents some of the best writing of the early seasons, but there are absolutely great episodes and storylines in each (even the much-maligned 4rth and 6th seasons…). I can’t comment on on Supernatural, though, as I’ve never seen it!
DAMMIT DAVID, YOU TOO? GO WATCH SUPERNATURAL!
I have so little time to watch TV! But: I have Netflix. Convince me why it’s the awesomesauce, and I will trust you! (I know nothing about this show, but am a quasi expert on many, MANY kids’ shows [weeps].)
I’ll give you a few good reasons. You’re a huge fan of classic rock, right? The music in the show would be enough to pull you in. It is full of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Metallica, Bad Company and so much more. Check this site out: http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Category:Music
It shows an awesome bond between two bothers who compliment and yet still challenge each other. The research into the mythology is amazing. I am consistently impressed with how true to cannon they are when portraying different creatures that we’ve all studied so much in our writing. And it has its funny moments. WATCH IT.
Er, I replied in the wrong place (below). I’ll find it & try it out!
I didn’t watch Buffy until grad school and I was very “meh” on the show until one particular episode in Season 2. That episode, “Passion”, cemented the show in my heart.
But I agree about the HS/mean girl stuff. I went to a HS that was so not like that. Granted my HS had 4,000 students so it was really hard for there to be one ruling popular crowd. I’m also thinking that maybe it was the difference between high schools in the ’80s versus millennial high schools. And I think Joss Whedon went to HS in the ’80s, so it explains why he’s stuck in those 80’s tropes.
You know, Mandy, those are good points! I went to a HS that was over 3,000 students as well. There were more popular kids than others, but those were always the really friendly people. Our “classes” were more divided into “gang affiliated” and “non-gang affiliated.” People didn’t care if you were in honors classes, a pothead, or a jock, everyone hung out with everyone.
As far as the slang goes, my hubs is older than me and went to HS in the early ’90s and he said he remembered upper classmen saying “wiggin'” and other odd sounding slag from the show, so his comment was, “The writers are a few years older than me and thought kids still said things like that.”
There is also a current of slang on Buffy that I suspect was flat-out made-up by Joss Whedon…
Yes, those are Whedonisms. I’m okay with writers making up words/slang. That I can deal with and often love. But out of date slang sounds like parents saying they can get jiggy wit’ it.
My school was pretty rigidly divided based on perceived intelligence level (i.e. what classes you were taking). There was APEX (which is a weird accelerated AP program we had), AP, Honors, and then everyone else. But because of things like band some kids, like me, had friends in all levels. That, plus the fact I was president of like *every* club, is how I ended up on Prom Court, even though I am and always have been a HUGE GEEK. (Didn’t win, but I didn’t really care. The perk of prom court was it meant I and my date got to go for free! That was reward enough considering our tickets were $60 each).
But yeah the slang and references can be very dated. When I watched it every once in a while they would reference something and I was like “I bet if I was watching this in the 90s, I would have understood that.” (Actually feel the same way about Gilmore Girls. I only get like one in five references.)
Though funny story, I once said to someone “Melancholy much?” and they were like “you’ve been watching Buffy too much, that’s such a Buffy-ism” and at that point in my life I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT BUFFY WAS. So apparently some Buffy-isms have so pervaded our culture (or at least my HS and college) that I could use one and consider it normal even though I’d never heard of the show.
Actually, that is pretty much how ours worked too (once you got away from the gang stuffs), only because we had so few people in AP/Honors classes, that it was pretty much the same 20-30 people so we were all together all day anyway. And yeah, band and squads helped with the crossover. But it was never like, “Oh, you wear knock offs? Huh. *nose in the air*”
I was in HS from 96-00, not all of that slang was current then. My hubs graduated in ’93 and he says that some of that slang was dated for even him.
I don’t thing the, “WHATEVERWORD much?” was a Buffy-ism. I think that was from a movie, but I can’t think of what it’s been so long.
Haha! I love the wager. I binge-watched all 7 seasons of Buffy when I was going through a rough patch in college, and to this day the show gives me so many warm, happy feels. But yeah, the camp-factor can be excruciating at times. Still, I find S1 charming–my least favorite season is actually S4 (sorry).
Good luck! And take Brian down 🙂
I will say, even the last two episodes of S1 were starting to show a difference in the writing and the camp was starting to wane, thank god. And I was happy to notice a drop off in the creepy fighting sounds, making it sound normal. So we shall see! I have heard mixed reviews of seasons 4, 5, and 6, so don’t apologize.
OK, Shauna, I will give it a go!
WOOT! One of us. One of us.
I don’t exactly get Supernatural. Have watched some of season one and a few other random episodes (which seem to be cut from the same bolt, imho), and, meh. I’ve watched all of Buffy & loved it…and now I hope my SPN confession hasn’t totally ruined my cred…
DAMMIT LIV, YOU TOO?!? GAAAH! Sit down and watch it. In order. SPN is definitely a show that matures and grows as it goes on. And the few eps where the boys lose their shirts ain’t too shabby. WATCH IT DAMMIT.
Oh, um, okay 😉
Reblogged this on Spellbound Scribes and commented:
Last week I blogged about my wager with fellow writer, Brian O’Conor, on completing the many seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As of the early writing I wasn’t through season 1 yet, but now I am and on to season two. I will win this bet. See my thoughts so far and share your own!
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