Currently working on: Arm wrestling Book 3
Mood: Sore but unbowed
Powerful women. Hot men. Zinging dialogue. Fate of the world and the human heart at stake. If you’ve enjoyed those elements in a paranormal romance, I believe you can blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a good chunk of it. Oh sure, brooding bad boys existed before Spike and definitely high school was hell all along, but when it came to mixing big paranormal love with big paranormal problems, Buffy was in a class by herself.
In previous posts, I’ve betrayed my adoration — which is not to say weird stalkeryness — for Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy and the equally wonderful spin-off Angel and the even more wonderful Firefly plus the wacky Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog. So why keep reliving the glory days? Because I don’t think they’ve been done better since.
Lost lost me. Heroes had a few too many to keep track of. Smallville felt that way to me. Supernatural… okay, that one has the hot guys. Still, the lack of a compelling-t0-me romance in most of today’s paranormal themed television shows leaves me cold. I’m at a disadvantage because I don’t have cable; maybe True Blood would have been ”my show”?
So many of the things I love about a paranormal story can be done so well on screen: Claustrophic close-ups to heighten the tension of what’s sneaking up behind; creepy fog-filled settings with obligatory search-light backlighting; eerie music to heighten the tension of what’s sneaking up behind; high action quick-cut edits to make you feel like you’re really there; terrific gore-ific special effects to release the tension of what was sneaking up behind.
And yet portraying that compelling-t0-me love story is apparently really hard. Maybe because the course of many months — years, if the show is lucky and good — is a tough timeframe. A two-hour movie can get away with a kiss, some witty banter, and a soft-focus love scene. But a television show has the opportunity to build a romance from first glance to true love with all the stages in between. And maybe that’s not easy at all.
So maybe that’s why I read romance novels while my 11-year-old TV sits in the basement with dust on the screen and the picture slowly blowing out into strange flares of red and blue.
But could be I’m missing something. I’m watching Whedon’s newest show Dollhouse in its second season. No love story, except my love for Whedon himself. So perhaps I have room for another show, one with a romance I can sink my teeth into, although I don’t demand vampires necessarily. Enlighten me, those of you with a working television set — Any worthy successors to Buffy?