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January 12, 2004

The earth is definitely doomed.

Daniel Radosh

Emily Nussbaum writes about teenagers, high school, anxiety, and empowerment — and doesn't mention Buffy the Vampire Slayer once. Does this shocking dereliction of duty mean that Nussbaum has ditched Buff for The O.C. (which gets the gratuitous reference that would normally go to BtVS), or have her editors finally decided to reign her in?

Assuming this is indeed the end of an era, here's a look back at Em's three-year campaign to get Buffy into print at least once every other month, no matter how slim the pretext.

"A year ago, the television series "Firefly" was canceled, and promptly became a hit -- at least online. Created by Joss Whedon, who also created "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the show featured an oddball genre mix that might have doomed it from the beginning" -- The New York Times, December 21, 2003

"But the truth is, Joan's lineage comes less from actual religious television than from the superhero tradition. With her secret identity and reluctant embrace of duty, she's the latest incarnation in a decade of teenagers with a calling, from Buffy to "Charmed," "Alias," "Roswell" and "Smallville" -- adolescents whose mysterious destinies are metaphors for the adolescent's search for meaning." — The New York Times, October 19, 2003

"But at best, an Enthusiast track gives the listener the impression of being a silent participant in the most thrilling type of bull session. The fourth-season "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" track for the werewolf episode, "Wild at Heart," features banter from the creator, Joss Whedon, the executive producer, Marti Noxon, and the actor Seth Green. The three communicate in a kind of sarcastic Buffy-speak that's hard to transcribe but fun to listen to." — The New York Times, August 17, 2003,

"Because whatever its nostalgic charms, the 70's femme adventure series "Charlie's Angels" is not quality television. The mystery plots make (to quote that latter-day martial arts expert Buffy) the kind of sense that is not." — The New York Times, June 29, 2003

"Where do we go from here? That's the question the Buffy ensemble asked in one of the finest episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the musical episode, a highlight of the much-disputed Season 6 -- or at least, much-disputed by the type of person who knows lyrics from an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which season they're from, and who sang them." — (Sick of 'Buffy' Cultists? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet), The New York Times, June 8, 2003, Sunday

"Birds of Prey (WB). Heaven on earth for us comic book fans (Eric Deggans, the St. Petersberg Times), featuring fantastical visuals and quippy butt-kicking (Diane Werts, Newsday). While the Miami Herald's easily threatened Glenn Garvin takes a retro-paranoid view of the show as a brooding gothgirl power fantasy about nurturing your inner bitch, the New York Times' Caryn James finds it much closer to the wit of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' than to the banal witchcraft of 'Charmed,' or the earnest, overpraised C.I.A. drama 'Alias.'" —Slate Magazine, October 8, 2002

"Every once in a while, I'll just look up and say, 'My spaceship!"' says Joss Whedon, bouncing on the tips of his sneakers. The 38-year-old creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" grins and gazes up at the Serenity, a pirate vessel of the future." — The New York Times, September 22, 2002,

"Firefly (Fox). In a new season largely bereft of innovative ideas or daring concepts, 'Firefly' stands out like a supermodel at a bus stop, writes Barry Garron in the Hollywood Reporter. Other critics think Buffy creator Joss Whedon's sci-fi/Western missed the bus entirely" although some of them make factual errors in the process of snarking on the show; the first episode is not an edited version of the original two-hour pilot, as Tom Shales suggests. (For my take, read this Sunday's New York Times Magazine.)" —Slate Magazine, September 17, 2002

"It's easy to see why DVR users are willing to spend so much money for the machine. "It has completely changed the way I watch TV," says Emily Nussbaum... Recently, she asked her TiVo to check for episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and discovered that reruns were showing on a channel she had never heard of before." — (Making 'thieves' out of TV viewers: The fight over DVRs reaches the courts by Felix Vikhman), National Post, August 3, 2002

"Six Feet Under may have won an outrageous 23 Emmy nominations, but it's really just Ally McBeal in mortality drag: dream sequences, romanticized narcissism, fake-o self-conscious dialogue, meaning-of-life montages and all. The characters may be grown-ups, but the show isn't about death and mortality at all; it's about adolescence "and not real, morally complex adolescence (the rich subject of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, perpetually snubbed at the Emmys) but creative adolescence, art that only pretends to take risks." — Slate Magazine, July 25, 2002

"Each Tuesday night, as I scurry to my friends' apartment to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I carry more information than could possibly be good for me. I know the title of the episode to come, the name of the writer, often the basic plot." — Slate Magazine, April 4, 2002,

"I have come not to praise MTV's Daria, but to bury her. And a sad, cold funeral day it is. For unlike recently resurrected Buffy Summers "Daria's spiritual sister in angry-and-conflicted teen-age girlhood "it doesn't look like Daria's going to rise from the dead any time soon." — Slate Magazine, January 21, 2002

"Tuesday night, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow Rosenberg finally kissed her girlfriend." — Nerve.com (date unknown; not worth checking BtVS ep guide to determine)

""Angel" isn't bad, but it isn't Buffy -- at least, not yet. Luckily, the original is still going strong." —letter to the editor, Salon, December 12, 1999

Update: Emily writes, "If you're gonna mock me on your blog, you should probably note that you and Gina once attended my party dressed as Buffy and Angel! Enabler."

That is so true (it was Halloween, I should clarify). I certainly did not intend my gentle ribbing to indicate any lack of enthusiasm for the works of Joss Whedon (though I do hold that Buffy jumped the shark when they blew up the high school). And if Emily's enthusiasm is even remotely helpful in getting Firefly onto the big screen, all will be forgiven.

Gina looked awesome and very Buffesque by the way. I looked more like a member of the nerd troika. I'll try to digitize some photos for your all amusement.

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