The Misunderstood Vampire

The vampire is one of the oldest, most resilient archetypes in modern media. It has existed in a variety of forms in nearly every culture around the world. Historically, vampire lore has reflected the values and social structures of the culture it has existed in. In the twentieth century, the United States became the focal point of the vampire genre. As the archetype became integrated into American culture, modern vampire media changed. Several cultural elements were responsible for these alterations. The American people’s relationship with religion and spirituality were important elements of the changes. Also, the American fascination with a variety of scientific theories in the fields of evolutionary, medical and psychological science, were other forces that shaped vampire media in the modern era. Modern concepts of gender and sexuality also contributed to the dynamic alteration that has ultimately occurred within vampire media in the last twenty-five years.

Okay… so I watched every last one of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which spoke so eloquently to a media-literate savvy, self-aware audience, was witty, sardonic, complex and stylishly self-conscious. It worked on so many levels. It was a take on the horror genre, a soap opera about teenage and young adult angst, a bang-kapow action drama with plenty of fast-and-furious martial arts, and an exploration of modern and traditional storytelling. The scripts were more than just a bit inventive and the plots were always unpredictable, filled with a ton of sharp twists and even sharper turns. Buy the entire boxed DVD set. You’ll inevitably thank me.

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~ by upbeatmag on November 15, 2008.

One Response to “The Misunderstood Vampire”

  1. I’m with you accepting the series as it was intended- as camp. And, of course, the core premise was brilliant from inception, from a creative as well as from marketing perspectives; that being turning the heretorore “terrified, helpless teen age girl as archetypal victim” into the heroine.

    However, as is often the case, it’s arguable that the success of this show took the tongue right out of the show’s cheek and wagged it in the collective ears of studio decision makers who are always in the hunt for the impossible formula for commercial success and, lacking any true mathematics for calculating it, wind up offering paling shadows of original templates. More than a little frustrating to a story teller hoping to render an arguably smarter iteration of vampire lore…

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