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A Quaint Little Period Piece

buffy3.jpgSo I just finished Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on my Netflix queue and I've come to appreciate how much has changed in teen culture in the last 8 years, specifically technologically. Nobody in Buffy has cell phones, let alone text messages, and boy would that have saved lives a few times.

"Oh no! Where's Willow?"

"I'll call her house... no one's answering! It rang so that means she's not on her computer."

Gee golly, you young whipersnappers! You better climb aboard your horse and buggy and ride out to see if something is amiss.

It really seems like I'm watching something from an entirely different era, and it was only 8 years ago!

Which got me to thinking how technology influences the process of writing and telling stories. Technology gives a sense of place, gives familiar landmarks, and creates handy plot devices for the writers to use. I'm interested to see how the series will progress from this point of view and how the writers will incorporate the completely changing communications landscape into their stories.


the bigger issue is: who is cooler, spike or angel?

Well, that all depends on your definition of cool, but...

Who am I kidding? Spike by all means!

By the way, I'm about half way through the 4th season now and I saw the first use of a cell phone. It was used by Riley, Buffy's main squeeze and an operative in the the ultra high tech Initiative, so it still isn't mainstream.

Well I just started the 7th season on Friday and in the first episode Dawn, Buffy's little sister, is given a cell phone on her first day of high school. Buffy has one too now.

Joss Whedon discussed this in the commentary for that episode and said that he and the writers had struggled through the series about whether to give their heroes cell phones as that would change the nature of their story telling. The decided that since this last season was about taking power that it was appropriate where it hadn't been before. I'm glad that people out there have conversations about these kind of things and I'm not the only dweeb in the world.

Incidentally my daughter, Emma, got a cell phone this week as an early Christmas present. I have a feeling getting a cell phone for this generation is nearly as important as getting a driver's license was for my generation. Not sure about that, but I think it's close.

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