Buffy, the Myth Slayer
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I have long been a fan of the TV series, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I did like the original movie too, but the series is deeper, darker, and more complex. It's one of the few instances where the television show improves on the original source.
The story line can be viewed on several levels, but on the surface, it is simply an ongoing war against evil. And evil is represented by a pantheon of demons from hell, a pantheon that the creator of the series has woven together from the dark side of most of the world's religions, classical mythologies, and horror fiction. And every new season, a new apocalypse is threatened, to be averted in the final episode.
Clearly, I do not regard this as reality television. But do I find it quite entertaining.
Interestingly, while the forces of evil have a base in various religious beliefs and teachings, neither the heroine nor her friends are overtly religious. They may use religious symbolism to as tools, such as crucifixes and holy water against vampires, but there seems to be no linkage of these tools to a higher benevolent power. There seem to be no good gods in Buffy's world , just evil ones. Good comes from within, not from some ill-defined supreme being.
There is no church attendance, no bible study groups, no prayer. And when a character appears who does clearly practice religion, generally that person is aligned with the bad guys.
In Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, religion is not presented as the answer to the evil in the world. It seems to be more the source.
As for Buffy's own religious view, I think it is best expressed by her reaction to the explanation of what a reliquary is used for: "Note to self; 'Religion freaky.'"
And that is a memo we could all bear in mind. Religion is freaky.
- As far as I know, the "Higher Powers" only appear in Angel, the Buffy spin-off.
- Or no synagogue attendance in the case of Willow
- Incantations and magic spells are not really the same thing as prayer.
- Episode 9 of Season 2 - "What's My Line? Part 1