How did your parents navigate the awkward teenage years? Educational books? Long, meaningful talks? My mom had a different method: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is still my favourite show of all time, and as I was growing into adulthood my mom would use scenarios from the show as cryptic warnings about how to behave. Here are some prime examples. (*WARNING* spoilers to follow. Big ones. But have you seriously not watched this show!? If so, go watch it immediately).
Advice from mom
- Don’t drink alcohol with older college guys while in high school. If you do, you will be drugged and nearly sacrificed to a giant snake demon. (Season 2, Episode 5 )
- Don’t have unprotected sex with your boyfriend. If you do, he will lose his soul and become the essence of evil. (Season 2, Episode 13 )
- Don’t run away from home to Los Angeles. If you do, you will be forced into slave labour in an alternate dimension. (Season 3, Episode 1)
- Don’t drink too much beer. If you do, you will turn into a caveperson. (Season 4, Episode 5)
- Be nice to your sister even when she is super annoying. If you aren’t, you may lose the key to the universe. (All of season 5)
Inspiration from Joss
While these consequences might seem a bit extreme, this was a pretty effective method of parenting. And hey, there are worse shows to grow up on. Besides being hilarious and entertaining, Buffy sends positive and empowering messages to its audience. In an age where too many shows include violence for the sake of violence, Buffy stands apart. She fights evil because she has to, and is a strong, independent role model for girls everywhere. While she makes her fair share of bad choices, she’s smart, resourceful, and selfless. She has a close-knit circle of friends and maintains her humanity and compassion while facing adversity.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a show that others writers should try to emulate. It proves that TV can be entertaining while inspiring viewers and making the world a better place (while providing strange analogies for parenting…). So thanks again, Joss Whedon! You made growing up not as painful as it could have been.