Archive for the ‘Buffy’ Category

FX airs the pilot episode of Ellen this morning at 9:00 am eastern, followed by the second episode at 9:30.

The broadcast is preceded by the pilot of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, which had a large lesbian and gay following, at 7:00 am, also followed by the second episode at 8:00 am.

Ms. Degeneres’ television debut was on the then infant FOX network as a recurring character, an eccentric administrative assistant,  Margo Van Meter, on the 1989-1991 sitcom Open House, about a California real estate brokerage.  Open House was a spin off of one of the infant FOX network’s original 9 shows, Duet (1987-1989) (where the van Meter character first appeared).  Both series starred actress Mary Paige Keller, who later played Ellen Morgan’s love interest Sarah in the final season of Ellen.


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Vampiric bad boy Spike and his abs were admired by many a girl and a boy who were fans of Buffy.

Full name: James Wesley Marsters
Birthday: August 20, 1962
AMERICAN actor, singer and songwriter James Marsters first found international fame playing punk-goth Brit vampire Spike in the critically acclaimed American TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the equally popular spin-off Angel.
Film roles include live action film Dragon Ball, romantic love story P.S. I Love Youwith Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler and Kathy Bates , USA Original true-crime filmCool Money, independent thriller Shadow PuppetsWinding RoadsThe House On Haunted Hill and Chance with Buffy co-star Amber Benson.
The Californian actor, who grew up in Modesto, has also played Brainiac in TV’sSmallville and guest starred in Without A TraceMillenniumAndromedaThe MountainSaving Grace and mostly recently Caprica. James is currently filming in CBS’s Hawaii Five-O.
James’s voiceover talents can be found portraying Lex Luthor on the DVD release of Superman: Doomsday and he continues to read for the very popular Dresden Files books on tape series.
He has received numerous nominations and awards, including the Spacey Award, the Saturn Award, the Cinescape Face of the Future Award, the Golden Satellite Award, and the Teen Choice Award.
James attended New York’s prestigious Juilliard, the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, and the American Conservatory Theatre and spent 10 years doing stage work before moving to LA to work in film and television.
He worked in Chicago’s famous Goodman Theater and also set-up and ran companies in Chicago and Seattle. One of his early television appearances was as a hotel bellhop in the television series Northern Exposure.
James is also a singer songwriter and has enjoyed sell-out concerts in America, Canada, Australia and Europe. He brought out his first solo album, Civilized Man, in 2005 and has followed it up with Like A Waterfall.
– James is left handed
– Co-founded the New Mercury Theater in Seattle, named after Orson Welles’ own theatre group
– He shaved off his famous platinum blond “Spike” locks on television in On Air With Ryan Seacrest for charity
– Wrote comic book Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike And Dru for Dark Horse Comics.

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Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and savior of various stalled movie franchises, has produced a perfect date movie, incredibly sweet, from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  Somewhere half way through one forgets both the antique English and the fact that the actors may be known to you as “Wesley Wyndham-Price” and “Winifred Burkle” (the lovers Alexis Denisov and Amy Acker played on Angel before they were Beatrice and Benedick in the current film) and the movie becomes adorable and engaging, Shakespeare’s comedy of love reset in suburban Los Angeles.  I hadn’t realized what a great debt Pat and Mike and other Hepburn/Tracy fare owed to this play about two arrogant, witty know-it-alls being dragged into admitting their desire for each other.(Libertarians have long been in the forefront of Whedon fans for reasons I have written about elsewhere, though the libertarian content in his work may come partly from some of his less well known writer collaborators.) Mr. Whedon also sets several short Shakespeare poems from the play to music that he wrote, sung by his brother and sister in law:

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April 14 is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s birthday. Gellar originated the role ofBuffy, the Vampire Slayer for TV in 1997 (Kristi Swanson having earlier played Buffy in Jos Whedon’s 1992 film of the same name). During the series Buffy dies (and is resurrected) and we see her gravestone, which reads: “Best Friend. Beloved Sister. She saved the world — a lot.” And Buffy did save the world a lot; but we should stop and ask: from what?

I first saw Buffy in its second season, in 1999. I was working 80 hours a week in residential real estate in downtown DC, and could have easily cloned myself and given my triplets lucrative full-time employment. I was an hour late to meet a lesbian couple in Dupont Circle, and as soon I entered their rented co-op I was handed a plate of the pasta they had just prepared and told to join them, because we would have to watch “Buffy” and then write the offer. It was a season two finale, with Buffy battling the evil alter ego of her boyfriend (to save the world). Sword play, martial arts (Gellar is a black belt in taekwondo), incredible gymnastics; I was hooked.

Buffy always had a big lesbian and gay following; female action heroes, anti-authoritarianism, a love that dare not speak its name between a slayer (human) and a vampire, a teen and her friends (“the Scoobies”) who must keep the secrets of their blossoming identities and their after-school activities from their parents and teachers, a major character who becomes a lesbian.

But Buffy had wider political ramifications. Buffy protected a sunlit world of oblivious humans (in Sunnydale in sunny southern California) from a dark world of predators waiting to eat them. Predators who either were the authorities in charge (a Mayor working dark magic to become a pure demon in dragon form, by a ritual that included eating the graduating senior class), or aided and abetted by authorities (Buffy’s bete noir, Principal Snyder). And even when the government stepped in to manage and control the demonic threat (a military funded “project 314” which captured demons and vampires, with the hope of turning them into weapons), it failed and Buffy had to save the world, again. (In the case of the military she was aided by a boyfriend played by actor Marc Blucas as a kind of hunky heterosexual Bradley Manning defector, who slugs his commanding officer and declares “I’m an anarchist.”)

And while Buffy was becoming a cult hit we were all in our own sunlit world, the asset bubble created by the federal government and the Federal Reserve’s inflating the currency to buy government debt and fuel expanding government under Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. An inflation that lit a boom and bust cycle with one collapsing asset bubble after another, from the tech bubble, to the real estate bubble, to the coming devaluation of the currency and downgrading of government bonds. The predators in this case also operate in the dark, with the Federal Reserve refusing transparency and both major parties (aside from Ron and Rand Paul and a few others) discussing tax rates and proposing gimmicky miniscule pseudo-spending cuts, but never discussing the effects of currency inflation on investment and employment.  Most voters and taxpayers are oblivious to this, just as Sunnydale residents were oblivious the vampires lurking in the night.

The writers at Buffy actually knocked government and statism often. Social climbing cheer-leader and mean girl Cordelia Chase is thrown into poverty in her senior year when the IRS seizes her home and her parents’ business and assets. Demon-turned-human and Buffy friend Anya is shown in one flashback sparking the Russian revolution as a vengeance demon because she wants to see maximum bloodshed; later when Buffy’s cancer patient mom is facing a hospital that can’t cure her, someone in the Buffy entourage says “I hate hospitals” and ever-Dadaist Anya says “it’s like communism.” And of course there is always Principal Snyder, tin pot dictator of Sunnydale High (played by Armin Shimmerman, who has a role as a villain in the new “Atlas Shrugged” movie). This isn’t surprising, since Jos Whedon (who is a liberal, not a libertarian) always has libertarianish heroes in his work, like the crew of the ship Serenity, the rebels turned smugglers in the space opera Firefly, who outwit a galactic empire that created an aerosolized drug used by the government for mind control of the population.

Sara Michelle Gellar is reported to be registered as a Republican, as is her reportedly more politically active husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. One assumes that being young Hollywooders they are more libertarian than social conservative, but I have never heard them interviewed about it. (Emma Caufield, who played Anya for the last half of the series, publicly endorsed Ron Paul.) Of “Buffy” Gellar has said: “I truly believe that it is one of the greatest shows of all time and it will go down in history as that. And I don’t feel that that is a cocky statement. We changed the way that people looked at television.” I can’t help but agree with that, even aside from the politics of the Scoobies, and the show does seem to have helped encourage an endless array of entertaining occult fantasy shows (Moonlight, Being Human, TrueBlood). Happy Birthday Sarah Michelle Gellar!

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Woman hating dwarves for Obama!

It’s funny, “Game Change” seems to be a project by relatively unknown actor/writer/producer Danny Strong, whose best known work heretofore is as a criminal nerd on “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.”. On Buffy his recurring role was that of a dwarf social outcast who is obssessed with Buffy, jealous that a girl gets to be a super hero. He eventually turns to the occult to try to do her in with black magic, and when that fails teams up with two other villains, one a woman hating serial killer, to try again.

(Teeny Danny Strong, center, with “The Trio”)

Looks like it was type casting.


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The Fades – If Buffy Were a Coltish, Dewy Skinned Young British Man

Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse formula has now been copied by many paranormal books and TV shows, from Charlaine Harris (and the TrueBlood series based on her books), to Kim Harrison, to Patricia Briggs, to both paranormal characters like Bo in SyFy’s Lost Girl or ordinary human women like Emma Swan in ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

In an episode of Angel, the Buffy spin-off series, a character asks one of the female superheroines why all the vampire slayers are women, to which she replies “Dunno.  We’re just better at it I guess.”  And indeed most of the copycats do not alter that aspect of the Whedon formula.  The central protagonist is female, even if she has male (and female) friends and lovers and children, some of whom may also be more than human.  I think this is in part because our prejudices and experiences don’t allow us to believe that a teeny, perky cheerleader can dispatch a gang of demons, vampires, or just regular bad guys.  And the slayer is outside the awareness of normal human conventions, battling hidden forces society has not identified.

So it is interesting that the BBC has produced a Buffyverse copy with a male slayer, The Fades.

The Fades centers on a 17 year old student, Paul, skinny, physically and socially awkward, though not unattractive.  Even as his girlfriend takes his virginity she tells him he is a “loser. A total loser,” because of his status as a social outcast.  Like Sookie Stackhouse, the telepathic girl in HBO’s TrueBlood who grows up being thought a weirdo because she is a distracted student and perpetually shocked by the thoughts she overhears, Paul becomes weirder as he acquires new powers.  He sees ghosts, he has visions, he develops a touch that can both heal and maim, and in one scene when he has an orgasm he sprouts wings.  He is part of an elite group, like Buffyverse slayers, mystically chosen to receive these gifts, who call themselves Angelics (one of whom is a female Anglican priest), and who search each other out.  Paul seems to be the most special, the most gifted of the Angelics, most of whom can simply see the spirits of the dead (the Fades).

And the Angelics’ job is to fight the evil dead, called the Fades, as some naughty ghosts seems to want to stay here on earth for unknown purposes, a goal made easier if they consume human flesh and so become corporeal.  An Angelic is either killed or wounded in almost every episode (Paul himself is plowed down by a truck in one).

The characters are all heterosexual, but the show has a lot of homoerotic content, with the coltish Iain De Caestecker (who plays Paul and is in real life 25)) pleasuring himself in bed and walking around in his room naked (even in clothes the producers dress him in tight, straight legged jeans and oddly cut shirts that look like children’s clothes).  In the 6th episode, Paul discusses losing his virginity to his best mate Mac (Daniel Kaluuya who is in real life 23), the other nerdy outcast (and the only black student) at their school, and they agree that they will always be each others’ best friends and put each other before the women they are in love with.  Paul then gives Mac a belated birthday present to apologize for forgetting his birthday the day before.  It’s a key to his house (cleared with his mom, played by Claire Rushbrook, the white daughter in 1996’s Secrets and Lies) — he can come over anytime his police detective dad becomes too ogre-ish, and sleep on the couch or in Paul’s room, wherever.  It’s a Sam and Frodo bromance.  Though in this production Frodo walks around naked and shows his middle earth.

It’s a good show, though slowly developed.  It’s erotically confusing since it dangles a naked 17 year old in front of us (though the actor and his body are 25).  The character Paul (absent father by the way) starts out so lost and outcast one wants to adopt him and parent him.  Then he starts having sex and developing super powers and the series starts showing you his young round buttocks.  It reminds one of an episode of Buffy where she and her friends Xander and Willow (a straight man and a lesbian woman) watch an entrancing if somewhat slutty girl’s erotic dance at a local club with a football star.  Xander tells Willow “Daddy l-i-k-e.” Only to realize, after eros has flapped his little wings, that the dancer is Buffy’s little sister, whom they have all babysat only a year before, breaking curfew and all tarted up in momma’s makeup.  Yikes!

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It’s a Lesbian Weekend I: Have a jones for some Buffy?

At the Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW) in DC they show an episode of Buffy every Saturday night as a Hellmouth Happy Hour.  And this week’s episode is The Wish, where Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) decides she might be “a little gay.”


Saturday Jan 14


One episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer & drink specials every Saturday!

free Backstage / Doors at 7:00
Every Saturday from 7:00 to 8:30, we’ll be screening one episode of Buffy, starting from the beginning. This week is The Wish and a delicious drink special.

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