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'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' nostalgia react: 6 grown-up questions about 'Anne'

Full disclosure: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is, was, and probably always will be (sorry, all future TV lineups) my favorite show of all time. When Entertainment Weekly‘s Community gave me the chance to return to Sunnydale and recap season 3 of the series, there was much rejoicing. Please relive this wonderful, witty show with me, and forgive any excessive use of exclamation marks (there’s still much rejoicing).

Season 3 | Episode 1 | “Anne” | Aired Sept 29, 1998

Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s season 2 finale was the stuff of legends (or at least it was to 10-year-old me). Buffy had killed Angel, gotten expelled from school, and run away to Los Angeles—all in the final moments of the finale. The world was pretty much over as I knew it, and I had to wait three months for Joss Whedon to piece it back together for me.

It was torture.

Then BtVS returned with “Anne,” in which Buffy is working as a waitress in L.A. and shirking all of her Slayerly duties. She’s not saving the world at all. And on top of that, she’s barely making rent. Of course, this all changes when Lily and Rickie come into the picture. The discerning fan remembers Lily as Chanterelle from the creepy vampire-worshiping cult in “Lie to Me.” Lily remembers Buffy, but she’s a lost soul too, so she totally gets why Buffy changed her name and skipped town, and she’s down for keeping the secret. Lily tries to bond with Buffy, but Buffy rebuffs her because she’s going through a solitary and stoic phase (massive grief and guilt will do that to a girl).

Still, Lily shows up again the next day because her beloved Ricky has gone missing, and everyone in Sunnydale basically knows that Buffy is some kind of badass superhero. Buffy agrees to help her find him, because that’s what superheroes (and vampire slayers) do. Rickie does turn up, but he’s about 100 years old and identifiable only by his distinctive Lily tattoo.

Lily doesn’t love the “your boyfriend aged a lifetime in the last day and a half and now he’s dead” answer, and she runs away, because that’s what she’s good at doing. She meets Ken, a creepy-creepy creepface who claims he knows where Rickie is, and goes with him to his shelter, the “Family Home.” The “Family Home” is really a front for his portal into a demon dimension, where time moves rapidly and where he uses a steady supply of homeless human youths as his slave-labor force. Meanwhile, Buffy beats a lead out of blood-bank worker who has been helping Ken identify his targets. She arrives just in time to see Lily get baptized into the black pool of demon doom. She wrestles Ken into the portal and literally rips off his face, revealing that he’s a demon.

From there, the race is on to escape this hell dimension before everyone on Team Buffy is too old to run anymore. Naturally, she and Lily make it out (and kill some demons along the way), because that’s how the Chosen One does it. Realizing she can’t escape who she is, Buffy heads back to Sunnydale and gifts Lily her Anne identity. It’s a package deal that includes the name, the waitressing job and the apartment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the Slayer strength, but what are you gonna do?

I’m actually a big fan of “Anne,” but rewatching it as an adult is a much different experience. “Grown-up” thoughts I had during this viewing include:

  • “Wow, this really glamorizes teen runaways. Yeah, I guess Buffy is struggling, but no more than some of my friends in their twenties.”
  • “Actually, come to think of it, Buffy is struggling less here than she does when she actually is in her twenties.”
  • “Okay, but to be fair, she was trying to raise Dawn at that point. I should cut 20-something Buffy some slack. She was raising a teenager, and that teenager was Dawn Summers, the most teenagery teenager of all time.”
  • “I’m really proud of Buffy for not going to that rave.”
  • “Ken is so creepy. Why did all of those streetwise homeless kids go with him?”
  • “If Ricky aged like 70 years in 24 hours, that’s almost three years an hour, or about a year every 20 minutes … Hmm, was her escape happening in real time? Couldn’t have been. She probably aged at least a year and a half …”

Of course, none of that matters. The plot, the questions—they’re all irrelevant because you have to like “Anne” if you’re any kind of a BtVS fan. You can’t not like the episode that gave us the all-time best “Buffy looking pissed at the end of the opening credits” shot:


What did you think of “Anne” when you first saw it? Did you have rational grown-up questions? Did the math of the other-dimension timeline make your head hurt? Sound off in the comments!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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