Thanksgiving Traditions: Buffy Marathon

I was on Facebook today (because I am old and still use FB on the reg) when my feed showed a post I had written five years ago on this day:

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Time may pass but my Thanksgiving tradition remains- I still use each turkey day as an opportunity to catch up on the best episodes of my favorite television show of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Thanksgiving was different at my house. Brother 1 preferred the company of friends and Brother 2 would spend half of the day at his dad’s house. I was a vegetarian who only wanted to eat mashed potatoes, veggie stuffing, and pumpkin pie, and I insisted on eating it upstairs, alone in my bedroom (I also preferred to eat off of a green plate with divided sections so my food didn’t have to touch. I was a piece of work). Poor Mom. She would try her best to make a meal that only half of us would eat, and half of that half would only eat half of the food.

Usually I would spend Thanksgiving sitting in my Fortress of Solitude reading books or watching movies while devouring enough StoveTop to kill a horse. It sounds lonely, but allow me to paint you a picture. Envision, if you can, a stereotypical teenage girl’s bedroom in the early 2000’s. I had one of those seven drawer dressers with the ginormous matching mirror attached, covered in photos of my friends and family. There was a 19″ tube TV and VCR taking up most of the desk I was supposed to be using to study. Teen heartthrobs and song lyrics covered every square inch of wall space. I had stacks of CDs leaned precariously against my boombox and all my VHS tapes were organized alphabetically on their shelf. It was a kind of controlled chaos and I loved it.

One particular Thanksgiving (circa 2001ish) I was flipping through channels trying to find something interesting to watch while I killed half of the pumpkin pie I had helped Mom bake. Imagine my joy when I came across the perfect thing to beat my Turkey Day boredom: FX’s marathon of the best Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes as chosen by fans. It was a Thanksgiving miracle.

For the next four or five years, I would chow down on by body weight in mashed potatoes (with vegetarian gravy to boot), and share in the laughter and tears of the Scoobies. Without fail I could count on seeing Angel go to Hell just after his soul was returned, alternate Sunnydale, the Gentlemen steal hearts, and Buffy save the world. A lot. Eventually I even managed to rope Mom into watching, connecting my real family with my TV fam. 100% the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Eventually FX stopped airing Buffy but the tradition endured. Now I choose the episodes I want to watch (including the oh so appropriate “Pangs”, which never seemed to make the cut), not just those that are most popular. The place I’m at in my personal life often dictates the chosen eps. Just split up? Bring on “Becoming Part 2”, “Harsh Light of Day”, and “Into the Woods”. Feeling goofy? I turn to “Ted”, “Go Fish”, and “Beer Bad”.

This year should be no different than others. In addition to visiting with family and friend IRL, I will checking in with Buffy and Co. And I am happy to report that this year “Halloween”, “Band Candy”, “Something Blue”, and “Fool For Love” are all on the docket.


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