Many thanks to my roommate for showing me this wonderful article from The Awl–What TV Character Have You Wanted To Be?–because it inspired me to write my own version. (It also gave me a new quote I am obsessed with and have already tweeted and Facebooked: “Stick to your principles. Be loyal but not blind. Pull other people up, not down. Have faith. Give a shit.” Pretty awesome, eh?)
So which TV character would I want to be? The answer should be pretty obvious. Angela Chase from My So-Called Life? Well, yes, but I sort of already am her, in that she is all of us at age 15. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City? I would certainly love to be a journalist who makes enough money to have dozens of pairs of Manolos and a huge gorgeous studio in NYC, but if I had to pick a character from that show it would be Samantha. Not because she sleeps with everyone but because she is truly the best friend of the four gals. Come on, still can’t guess? All right I’ll tell you.
BUFFY SUMMERS! Buff-Buff! The Buffster! Slay Gal! Little Miss Likes-To-Fight! (Super mega brownie points to anyone who can identify the episodes to which I am referring with those nicknames.) Not only is Buffy gorgeous, smart and powerful, she could wipe the floor with all these wimpy little vampire or other supernatural show/movie girls that are annoying the heck out of everyone (or just me) these days. And she would have a witty retort for every single one of them.
What I love so much about the show is that each episode has a different demon/villain for Buff and the gang to fight that directly relates to the problems all young people face: meeting someone on the Internet and they turn out to be a total creep (I Robot You Jane), sleeping with a guy for the first time and him turning evil (Surprise and Innocence), even depression and suicide (Earshot). What I love so much about Miss Summers is that she kicks and/or saves everyone’s asses on a daily basis with minimal complaint, always knowing that it comes down to her and her alone. (“In the end, you’re all you’ve got.”)
Buffy bears the weight of the world on her shoulders, as so many of us feel we do, but she bears this weight with grace and dignity. She never asks for praise or recognition, in fact most people think she’s just a total loser (“What is your childhood trauma!?) with a tendency to beat up people who have those weird scrunched-up faces. The one time she gains mass recognition is one of my absolute favorite episodes, The Prom, when her classmates present her with a bejeweled miniature umbrella and dub her “Class Protector”, and all she does is smile and look adorable in her pink satiny dress and super straight blonde hair and then says one of my favorite lines from the show: “Every now and then, people surprise you”. I’m getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
Buffy also suffers tremendous loss after tremendous loss yet she possesses incredible internal and external strength that I for one strive for on a daily basis. And although she is occasionally a huge brat–like, ahem, me–she never loses sight of what is most most most important: her mom, her father figure (Giles), her two best friends (Willow and Xander) and the irreplaceable love of her life (don’t even get me started on the Buffy-Angel Saga, that is a whoooollleee other blog post).
Buffy Summers is essentially perfect in all her imperfections, the ideal television heroine/role model to which no one will ever measure up.