Welcome to the Hellmouth

welcome to the hellmouthSo, as some of the nerdier parts of the Internet have been crowing, today is the 18th anniversary of “Welcome to the Hellmouth”, the first ever episode of my very favorite show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It wasn’t the first episode I ever saw; that was “Hush” when I was in sixth grade, and I was so scared after seeing the Gentlemen floating around eviscerating people that I didn’t watch BtVS for a full two weeks after that.

But I couldn’t stay away long, and I spent probably the next two weeks yelling at my parents until they let me catch up with the rest of the show. (They thought it was too violent, and too sexy.) I’d been banished from watching Xena for the very same reason, and as a young and helpless eight year old, I’d played by the rules; I’m only now catching up on Xena on Netflix. Buffy was already in Season 4 by the time I encountered it, though, and by then I was a teenibopper hellion; they would have had to pry BtVS out of my cold dead hands. Instead, my dad relented on the condition that we watch it together, which if you ask me is a pretty excellent parenting technique. I still don’t know if I ever want spawn of my own, but I can honestly say that watching BtVS for the first time with a future daughter puts a pretty big tick in the pro-column.

Look at this creepo.

*immediately runs off to read a horrifying birth story about calcium-leaching placentas and episiotomies*


ANYYYYYWAY. Like any true Scoobiestan, I have the entire box set of BtVS on DVD. I also have Seasons 1-4 on DVD, separately, because I started buying them separately with my allowance in high school, and then I got a real job like a grown up in college and was just like FUCK IT, why not have roughly 1.5 box sets.

In middle school, all my friends watched BtVS, possibly because I wouldn’t shut up about it if they didn’t, but also because it was REALLY FUCKING GOOD and exactly what middle school aged girls needed. We picked our personas and spent hours and hours after school IMing each other as them (aww, yesteryear). My friend Kathy was Faith, My friend Kat was Dru. I, of course, was Buffy.

Years later, I would take a Cult TV class in college purely because as part of the curriculum, we would be watching Buffy. Since we would watch the show as part of the class, I unfortunately wasn’t allowed to present on it. I was, however, the authority on the subject that day. Unfortunately, this class wasn’t until 8PM and I had a break starting at 5, and happy hour also starts at 5, so when my professor asked me why Buffy was such a huge influential show for me, the best answer I could come up with was to gleefully and drunkenly inform everyone that “I am Buffy.”

Whatever. I still got an A.

So yeah. BtVS? Hugely important to me for the past decade or so. I’ve seen each episode probably between five and ten times, which is a preposterous amount of time to spend watching the same TV show over and over. Then again, you’re talking to the girl who had such an intense, all consuming obsession with Orlando Bloom in eighth grade that she not only had two cardboard cut outs of him as Legolas,  but she  watched The Fellowship of the Ring — I shit you not — twenty-three freaking times. And saw Pirates of the Caribbean four times in theaters when it came out, even though I was literally only making six bucks an hour working at the grocery store. And then, only a couple of years ago, when Orli was playing Romeo on Broadway, I sprung for seats in the second row and — as a grown fucking woman — had to seriously restrain myself from throwing my bra onto the stage.

I like the things I like, okay?

Anyway, here’s my blog post celebrating Buffy, the gang, and the show that got me through middle school, high school, college, and remains a comfort, joy, source of inspiration, and means of figuring my freaky world out, to this day.

Here, too, is a thing that I’d been planning on for a while and never go around to actually implementing: I’ve been wanting to do a rewatch, a real, honest to Glorificus, in-order rewatch, week by week, for a really long time.

That’s right. Tuesdays. 8pm. My couch.

Buffy just turned 18. It’s a Tuesday. Now’s as good as any time to do it.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the Hellmouth

  1. Hello! You and I will be studying together at the BFWS this year. (I was googling the seminars and Roxane Gay and found your blog.) After reading this post, I think we’ll have a lot to talk about!

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