Recently, 20th Century Fox released Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Chosen Collection. This is what I want. Ok, it’s true, I already have all 7 seasons on DVD and this set doesn’t have but a few things extra (and I got them from the publicist already). Doesn’t matter. I still want it. That’s the kind of irrational love and fanatical devotion this show inspires. I mean, the box is SO cool looking, right?
So here I am, considering spending $150 on a box set I don’t really need. Honestly, hundreds of papers have been written about the cultural, sociological and artistic importance of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and why it appeals to so many people and I’ve written about it as well, Here, here and here. So I won’t do it again…much. Instead, I’ll write about why you, my loyal readers, should buy this box set and only a very little bit about why Buffy is such an important landmark in the cultural history of the latter half of the 20th century, that is to say, the Television Age.
“She was created because I got tired of watching women be victims in horror movies.”
These words are from, of course, show creator Joss Whedon and they’re spoken in the extra “Buffy: An Unlikely Role Model, ” one of the several worthwhile extras on the 40th disc in this set. As a writer as well as a politically and sociologically concerned person, the role model segment and the “Love Bites: Relationships in the Buffyverse” segments were the most interesting to me, although neither taught me anything new. I’ve known and understood for years how groundbreaking and important a show like Buffy was, so there’s not a whole lot for me to learn, here. However, there is quite a lot of ammunition, as it were, for those of us to use on what you might call the unbelievers. Those who refuse to even consider that a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer might be of worth to society as a whole.
Oh crap. I’m doing what I said I wouldn’t do. Ok, so here are the extras on the set:
- Introduction to the Chosen Collection DVD set by Joss Whedon
40-odd seconds of “Hi! Welcome!” Joss-ness.
- Back to the Hellmouth: A Conversation with Creators and Cast, a roundtable discussion with cast and crew (about an hour)
OK, there seems to be a rift in the community about the lack of certain key cast members in these sorts of things. Some fall into the “It’s ok. They did enough for us, just by being in the show.” Others fall into the “Fuck that shit! We MADE you. You OWE us!” camp. Me, I’m on the side of the “You OWE us!” people. This was a show, the success of which is due completely to the devotion of the real fans.
Not only that, the sucessful careers that many these actors enjoy are a direct result are a direct result of the success of the show, ergo, give something back! I do understand that scheduling problems might cause a problem here and there, but with 7 season box sets plus this big collection, are you telling me that Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz and Alexis Denisov, Michelle Trachtenberg and Eliza Dushku are too busy to spend a few hours doing some commentaries or round tables? James Marsters, Seth Green, Nicholas Brendon, Danny Strong and Tom Lenk have all done one episode each, but come on, guys! Over 144 episodes, and no Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, Giles, Angel, Wesley, Dawn or Faith? Lame!
That said, how HOT is Marti Noxon!?
- Buffy Cast and Crew: Favorite Episodes (11 mins.)
Joss, Danny, Charisma, Marti, David Greenwalt, Amber Benson, Drew Z. Greenberg, and Jane Espenson, reflect on their favorite episodes, including “Restless” (“I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.”), “Superstar,” “Hush,” “The Body” and of course, “Once More With Feeling,” perhaps the gutsiest experiment in series TV history.
- Buffy: An Unlikely Role Model (11 mins.)
Well, of course she’s an unlikely role model! She’s a 16 year-old former cheerleader who is the one girl in all the world whose job is to save us from the forces of darkness. Duh!
Flippancy aside, the importance of Buffy (both show and character) to both teenage girls and the boys who love them cannot be overstated. As actor Danny Strong says in this segment, “Hopefully, what a show like Buffy can do as far as that issue of Buffy being a feminist icon is take it to a level where it’s not about feminism anymore. Where she is a humanist icon. Where this is the norm of women. I think there couldn’t have been a better role model than Buffy.”
Additionally, writer/executive producer/show runner Marti Noxon points out, “She is a combination of extraordinary hero and very relatable girl. She survived all the travails of young adulthood and that is why seven seasons was just perfect because it was right through adolescence to the threshold adulthood and she survived!”
- Breaking Barriers: It’s Not a Chick Fight Thing (9 mins.)
A profile of Sophia Crawford, Buffy’s stunt double for much of the first 4 years, as well as Jeff Pruitt, the show’s stunt coordinator.
- Love Bites: Relationships in the Buffyverse (11 mins.)
A little bit of a misnomer, this offering ought to have been called “Nookie Nookie Nookie!” Well, not really, but man was there a lot of sex in this show. That said, the responsibility shown by the characters was high and the consequences that resulted from their liasons were appropriate to their age and actions.
For example, when discussing sex and relationships in the show, Whedon and various other creative team members are quick to point out that while yes, Buffy had sex while still in high school, but she also turned her boyfriend into an evil, soulless demon. Talk about your consequences!
- Evil Fiends (7 mins.)
A look at the process by which the creators developed demons in the series.
What it really all boils down to is, buy this set for the Buffy fanatic in your life. They will love you forever. Or buy it for me.
More gift guide entries coming soon:
Sin City: Recut and Extended, Chicago: The Razzle Dazzle Edition, Rock n’ Roll High School: Rock On Edition, Family Guy season 4, Fantastic 4, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Puddle Cruiser, 9 Songs, M*A*S*H Season 9, 24 Season 4, Simpsons Season 7 and more!
Previous Holiday Gift Guide Entries:
The Rabbi’s Holiday Gift List: Office Space & Murder One
The Rabbi’s Holiday Gift List – Edward Scissorhands: 15th Anniversary Edition
Why not support The Rabbi Report buy buying from my affiliates.
Region 1 buyers:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Chosen Collection
Region 2 buyers:
NB: This set apparently doesn’t incllude the 40th disc with the US extras on it. I can’t be certain, however.
All photos © 20th Century Fox