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August 19, 2003
OPINION
To Wish Impossible Things
by Daniel Erenberg

As of this writing, Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended a day shy of three months ago, a fact that disturbs and saddens me. Iím beginning to gain some distance from the show, and with this distance, I believe that Iím gaining some perspective on the way it ended and just how much it impacted my life.

For instance, I feel as though I donít think about the show every day these days. I donít watch it on FX because it sickens me how many great moments have been cut from the episodes in favor of three more minutes of commercials.

I definitely look back fondly on it. I was and still am so pleased with the way it ended. There wasnít a single season that Iím not proud of having watched, there isnít a single episode thatís completely frustrating to watch (I even enjoyed ďBeer BadĒ slightly when I watched it on DVD), and I donít think there was a single line of dialogue in the seven year history of the show that I look back on as campy or unrealistic. I know that this is awfully high praise. And I mean it.

Now all we have to do is find new shows to watch. I watch more television than anyone probably should, and I find the TV landscape more and more desolate each and every year. Weíve got Angel. Thatís a no-brainer. Where Joss is involved, youíll find good television. However, I was surprised to find great solace in HBO this year. For instance, I implore you all to purchase the first season of Six Feet Under on DVD. Also, the only shows Iíve watched this summer on a regular basis are Sex And The City and my personal favorite summer obsession Project Greenlight.

You might be wondering what (if anything) this has to do with Buffy. Well, Iíll tell you: Four years ago Angel premiered. Three years before that Buffy premiered. Since these two shows, I havenít found a single show on the TV dial that I can proudly call a perfect show. I have pleasures, shows that I like watching, even a few that I can call great. But I havenít seen anything thatís completely changed my life like the Buffyverse did all those years ago. Looking at the new shows premiering this year, I feel as though the fact I just stated will not be changed anytime soon.

The next new show that Iím looking for doesnít premiere until 2004. Itís a show called Nice Guys thatís being developed by the creator of Freaks And Geeks and Undeclared (two shows that didnít get the ratings they deserved). Nice Guys is about, well, nice guys, the geeks in High School that tried to romance the ladies and be gentlemen about it and still got shot down in favor of the dick-wad jocks. This is one that Iím looking forward to (a lot of that is because I always got shot down by the girls in favor of the dick-wad jocks in High School).

Beyond Nice Guys, I havenít heard of a single new show that excites me. Thereís Tru Calling, the Eliza Dushku show that doesnít look so good. Maybe itíll get cancelled so she can return to Faith and her blooming movie career. Iíve liked Dushku in more than one movie. She just always seems to get cast in simplistic pieces of garbage (anyone else other then me see Soul Survivors in theaters?). (Anyone?).

Then thereís the Friends spin-off Joey. Anyone else hear of this one? I watch Friends. Iím proud to say that. Itís mainstream, it gets a lot of ratings, and Iíve watched every single episode. Itís a fun show and it can be pretty complex sometimes. I recall a fourth season plotline featuring a love triangle with Chandler, Joey, and Joeyís girlfriend Kathy that reached an almost operatic level of drama. However, I canít see Joey starring in a creatively successful spin-off. Heís the dumb guy with a heart of gold. No way in Hell would he leave his five bestest buddies to start a new life in the great unknown. Unrealistic. NEXT.

Thereís Las Vegas, the high profile new NBC drama that Rebecca Rand Kirshner will be writing for this year. Looks pretty boring to me.

After that there is no next.

I watch a lot of WB. I watch Everwood, I used to watch Dawsonís Creek and Felicity, and I absolutely adore Gilmore Girls. Itís a good network with interesting shows. NBC has some good stuff (Scrubs comes to mind). So does FOX (well, I guess only The Simpsons). I think the place to go though would be HBO. The only drawback is that each of their wonderful shows are only on for twelve weeks a season. It sucks. It really really does.

Us television viewers are left wishing for impossible things that really shouldnít be impossible. This year we should have Firefly on the airwaves. Instead we have Fastlane. I think that sad fact right there is the reason television is in a deep rut and far from recovery.

THE POP CULTURE CORNER:
This is a new portion of my column. In the Pop Culture Corner, each week Iíll tell you what movies, television shows, music, and books that Iím into that particular weekófor what thatís worth. You can comment and add your own. Also, sorry about the delay between articles. Wonít happen again. Blame Verizon.

MOVIES: Saw Freddy Vs. Jason yesterday. Itís a really fun throwback to Ď80ís era horror flicks. If you love to see really people die in brutal ways, this is the one for you. And the human characters are more well-developed than youíd expect from a movie with a title like this. The movie Iím looking forward to seeing is The Battle Of Shaker Heights, the Project Greenlight movie. Which brings us toÖ

TV: Project Greenlight. I canít recommend this series enough. Next Sunday HBO airs the final episode of season two and if you missed it, I feel terrible for you. Iím looking forward to Angel. Check out my article ďPopular DemandĒ to read why.

MUSIC: Got tickets to a Radiohead show in October. Iím looking forward to that. Also, the week of the concert, a new album called Transatlanticism, Death Cab For Cutieís fourth record is being released.

BOOKS: Next Tuesday head to your book stores and purchase my personal favorite writer Chuck Palahniukís new novel Diary. It promises to be quite brilliant. Also, go to your comic store and pick up the first issue of Neal Gaimanís epic opus 1602. Iím also loving a comic called Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn thatís currently on issue four.

Daniel Erenberg lives in a gothic-looking house in a suburb of Long Island shrouded by trees and darkness. His backyard is so overrun with shrubbery that he can't plant flowers in the soil. He's penned articles for numerous magazines (and a couple of websites for free). Currently, he's writing his first novel, entitled People That I've Long Since Forgotten. He's also written two plays, Little Room and Dystopia and a screenplay called Youth Or Consequence. He lives a fairly happy life alone except for the mind-numbing loneliness he feels on occasion. If youíre a beautiful woman thatís fallen in love with Daniel, or you just want to talk Buffy with him, ou can contact Daniel on daniel@slayage.com.
Latest Comments


Hi. Something I neglected to mention in the article: the comments section of my last article "Popular Demand" was locked for a while because of all of the negative and downright mean comments on it. However, I've unlocked it because of my belief in freedom of speech. I trust that the comments on "To Wish Impossible Things" can be a bit more civil.

Also, there was one comment on "Popular Demand" that said I am just a shitty writer that's trying to make my name "synonomous to Buffy The Vampire Slayer". Um...no. Call me a shitty writer all you'd like (I do it all the time). You can say I'm uninspired. Call my topics terrible. But don't question my love for Buffy. I write about it because I love it. Not because of some heavy-handed ulterior motives.

...and if you want to praise me, that'd be cool too.

Posted by: Daniel Erenberg on August 19, 2003 10:06 PM
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