"Almost" Love Hurts Most

on Friday, May 11, 2007

I was seeking inspiration by visiting my blogging friends. I noticed that a few of them were posting or had recently posted about TV programs. This is a topic that I have actually never posted on before except incidentally when I posted about the M*A*S*H song and when I posted about scenes that make me cry. I was still moseying along when I came across Proxima posting about the works of Joss Whedon and especially about the TV series he created called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Well, I got really excited cause I share the opinion that Joss Whedon is a genius writer. One critic once said that the quickest way to create a TV flop was to put the words "Buffy" and "Vampire Slayer" together and yet Whedon made it into an international hit which ran for 7 seasons and with a huge cult following around the world. I could go on for a very long time on this topic but have avoided doing so because I feel I need to spend sometime in research to do this topic justice. For that reason, I am not making this a post about Whedon or Buffy either.

After reading Proxima's post, I got a little nostalgic for the series. One of the many themes of the series was the issue of unrequited love. Charles Schultz (creator of Peanuts) once said there is no comedy in being happy and made unrequited love one of the things that will plague many of his adorable characters. Hence, Charlie Brown's agonising relationship with the little red haired girl. While at the meantime, Charles is oblivious to Peppermint Patty's and Marcie's affections. And will Schroeder ever reward Lucy's devotion?

I add to Mr. Schultz's observation and note that there is no drama in being happy. Drama finds its voice in challenge and in pain. Once again, unrequited love or sometimes the tragedy of "almost" love can be powerful elements of a story.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, our heroine is a young teenage girl with supernatural powers to fight vampires. Yet in the end, one of the strongest friend and ally to her is a vampire, Spike. This journey from mortal enemies to reluctant allies to friends to almost lovers was developed masterfully over six seasons. Sometimes your enemies know you better than your friends but as they learn to know you might they also grow to love you? That was one wonderful thread of the story. Their's was both a case of unrequited love and later a case of "almost" love.

Below is a video tribute by a fan using clippings from the TV series. It begins with the last time Buffy and Spike interact during the season and series finale. Spike is about to find redemption for all his evil deeds by performing an act of self-sacrifice. In the love-hate, almost relationship between the pair, Spike had actually said and demonstrated his love and had repeatedly received a rebuff from Buffy. Even when they shared intimate moments of closeness and friendship, he had never heard her return his feelings.

I have been watching this clip a few times and I think this video combines the climax of one of the most tragic "almost" love relationships ever on TV together with a wonderful song to make a particularly evocative tribute to the world of Buffy as created by Joss Whedon. It stirs my heart and I would like to share it with you.


22 comments:

...Kat said...

that was very nice!

I never followed the series.....

been years since I have followed any series but this season i got hooked seeing previews for HEROES and have followed it ever since. A wonderful imaginative roller coaster of a ride!

Save The Cheerleader, Save The World.

HeiressChild said...

hi LGS,

thanks for your encouraging support while my internet was down. it's great to be back blogging with friends.

great post. i like rascal flats. good song choice. i never watched buffy either, but this video clip was really heartwarming, heartbreaking, and beautiful. when spike dies, it made me think of the Bible scripture, "no greater love has a man than to lay down/give up his own life for his friends." (john 15:13) i think "almost" love hurts most too. me--i'm a "happily ever after" person.

i watch heroes also. are you on the list?

geewits said...

That was sweet. We just finished with season 7 a couple of weeks ago. I was just thinking the other day, "How long should we wait to start all over at the beginning again?" Maybe July.

Michael C said...

I never watched Buffy, but I am the biggest Charlie Brown fan there is!

ivan said...

LGS,

Great expository writing.

I rarely watch reruns of Buffy, but I remember her as one foxy lady, though certainly beyond high school age.
Maybe it was Sarah Michelle Geller's face that really made the program.
As for vampires, they are strangely attractive and add depth and sexual tension.

But most times, they just suck.

Ivan

Gledwood said...

"Almost" love hurts?

So does love!!

Gledwood said...

How R U btw? Long time no hear. I hope U OK. & surviving the trials of life. Please tell how you are ....

All the best ...

Gleds

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

kat,
HEROES just reached Malaysia about 2 months ago so I'm guessing we are way behind the series in America. I watch it. I like the catch phrases like " Save the Cheerleader, Save the World." I find the coincidences in the story a bit hard to swallow but it is fun.

heiresschild,
good to have you back from your loooooong break. Thanks for your kind comments for this post. There are parallels wih Christ's own sacrifice for us all except Christ redeems us whereas Spike in the story saves lives but ultimately it is his redemption for his evils. Am I on the list? Yes, my speciality is finding nuts buried in the ground.

Ah, geewits,
I was trying to remember who else was a closet buffy fan. Yeah, its good to go back to the beginning.

michael c.,
I should have guessed about you and Charlie Brown. Who was your favorite character? Mine was Linus.

Ivan,
Wow, thanks. I appreciate your kind words. You're right about Sarah being a foxy lady. I think she was well casted for the role though. She certainly made a difference to the show. The strange thing is that I actually do not like vampire stories all that much. Buffy twisted the story so it was more about the mystical history of the slayer and that made it far more interesting. But it did not shy away from very normal everyday issues like first dates, prom night, single mothers, mis-fits, death of a parent, dead-end jobs, living in the streets, ego, depression,etc. It was definately more than just vampires.

gledwood,
Hi, man. You are right. Love hurts in all its forms. But "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

Thanks for asking after me. I am fine. Had a rough time with people at work and poison pen letters some weeks back but things worked out. I have been visiting your blog (and your bnew video blog) regularly. Sorry if I haven't always left a comment.

Hope you are well and have some plans for Mother's Day. We celebrate it this Sunday. I am not sure about UK. Keep well and God bless.

Josie said...

LGS, every girl loves a "bad boy", and Spike was the ultimate bad boy, wasn't he?

They say the loneliest place in the world to be is sitting right next to someone you love, who doesn't love you back.

Josie

gledwood said...

You're right about better to have loved and lost... very much so... but sometimes don't you even feel that that is not so? Sometimes it hurts TOO MUCH... know what I mean?

Many thanks for your comment last weekend on my childhood thing ... hey! I opened 2 new blogs! They're both video blogs. One is musical, the other mostly comedy. So come have a look! They're linked via the right hand side of mine & of course via profile ...

See you there I hope!

All the very best 2u

Gleds ...

Anonymous said...

Hi LGS,

Dropping in to say my good bye to you. I deleted my blog today. I am going to try and do without having a blog for now. I can always start a new one if I can't let go. You have been an interesting person to get to know and have blessed me on several occasions with some words of wisdom you directed towards me. I appreciated it and will remember you for being a very wise fellow who cares about almost everybody. I will probably drop in occasionally to visit.

Wishing you well and many blessings,

Ellie

geewits said...

Closet Buffy fan? I love the Buffy. I even have a Buffy T-shirt. I'm not a closet anything. Heck, I even tell people I watch a soap (and that really is embarrassing)!.

Dave said...

I seem to remember you once before mentioning Buffy and I found it interesting that you would enjoy this type of show ... NOT that there is anything wrong with that of course! You are a man of unique interests... Of that I have no doubt. :-) This is coming from a guy who enjoys The Simpsons, the earlier years of Saturday Night Live as well as some other ridiculous shows that I would never admit to watching.

A well written post LGS... I much enjoyed it. :-)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

geewits,
I apologise. I'm the closet Buffy fan! just coming out.

dave,
Good to hear from you. Well,it's quirky, goes against convention and is well written. Love all three.

Jocelyn said...

Pretty much everyone I respect loves Buffy.

This means that I need to add it to my queue for summer watching!

patterns of ink said...

LGS,
What a great post! I was reading in amazement because, though I've cut back to one or two posts a week, I've been thinking about this all week. You see, last week our school performed the great musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" and the Little Red Headed girl theme runs throughout.
(If you've never seen that musical, Youtube the title. There are samples there.) I once directed that play and studied Schultz. You probably know that there really was a little red-headed girl he like while growing up in Minnesota. They interviewed her once. She was happily married and stilled considered Charles a friend (worth untold millions, but he never acted like it). I went back to you links from before I read here. Good stuff!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

jocelyn,
Thank you. For some reason, people are surprised when I say I am a Buffy fan. But while I admitted to Ivan that Sarah Geller is pleasant on the eye, it is the writing and the story that really gets my attention. In fact, even though the movie wasn't the best, I liked the concept even then and that was pre-Sarah. The highlight there was probably Donald Pleasance.

Tom,
Many of us probably had a little red haired girl/boy in our lives too. Didn't you? I used to have the entire collection of Peanuts. Sadly it was given away without my knowledge and permission. look forward to your post on Charles Schultz....there's a lot more oto be said and learnt. As I told Michael, I identify most with Linus and his misguided philosophy and belief in the Great Pumpkin.

etain_lavena said...

I loved loved Buffy and the series...will wait for the full post about it...:)

nancycle said...

OK, I have a thought or two on this one (by the way thanks for posting such a though provoking post). I agree that "Almost" Love might Hurt Most, but I am too snoopy to dip into the drama. I think it sucks that she never articulated her feelings back and then threw him a bone before he burst into flames. *huff* The hole thing insenses me. Maybe it just hits too close to home.

Either way, great post!

nancycle said...

grr...Incenses.

WHERE'S MY EDITOR?!

Jay said...

I've never seen the show, and never felt like I wanted to. It's funny how much there is to watch, and how we can't all be watching the same thing, and not at the same time, and not for the same reasons...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

etain,
good to hear from you, girl.

nancycle,
I agree with you that she threw him a bone. Glad you noticed. But it didn't matter to him anyway. He still loved her. Sad really.

jay,
how are things? As you say, there's too many things to watch and probably too many things we should do instead of watching but I think you would have liked Buffy's tough spunky character. :)

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