I believe I was the very last person in the world to discover hulu, but when I did, I was very pleased to see that the first few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were on it.
“Fantastic,” I thought. “I can put them up on my computer when I have to clean up, or fold clothes, or just whenever I feel like seeing some of my favorite episodes again.”
So I cue up the first episode of the first season and I begin to fold my collection of shirts that, due to the ongoing fascination of the fashion industry with short women’s shirts and low-cut women’s jeans have to be stretched out strenuously after every wash to have even a prayer of covering my midriff, and I am happy.
For a while. To the ‘font of nothing’ line of Xander’s. And then – then I begin to get irritated.
“Well,” I think, maintaining my good cheer, “This is the pilot episode. They’re establishing character. It’s bound to be a little rocky. I’ll go forward a couple.”
And so I do, while I pair up matching socks, or at least my not so very mismatching socks. And then I get to the usual awkward motormouth dialogue that springs out of every character in the show.
“Never mind,” I think. “I’ll just run down the list of episodes and find one I want to watch.”
So I scan the list and I find nothing. Three seasons of nothing.
I used to love this show. I used to have passionate discussions about this show. This show was fun, and an inspiration. What happened? Has it really gotten so bad that I prefer concentrating on the task at hand?
There are a lot of reasons that things lose their shine for us. Sometimes it’s as simple as growing accustomed to them. I’ve seen each and every episode of that show. Some of them I’ve seen several times. The bloom has to go off the rose eventually.
Sometimes we view them from a different place in our lives. I was exactly the same age as the characters on the show when it aired. Now I’m over ten years older than them. I just don’t care about high school as much anymore.
And sometimes a show can be the victim of its own success. Remember when every crime movie in the world was striving to be Tarantinoesque? Whedonesque stuff wasn’t quite as prevalent, but that kind of dialogue did spread through a lot of different media. What was original and quirky then has become more aggravating than entertaining.
And yet, I can’t help but wonder what else awaits me as I revisit the things I used to love. (Damn I hope I can still enjoy swing sets.) Would I do better to set my shortboxes on fire than re-read them? Should I stay away from my Batman:The Animated Series DVDs? Say it ain’t so, childhood memories, say it ain’t so.