Blurring the Lines of ‘Suburban Girl’ and ‘Buffy’: A.K.A. I Love You, Sarah Michelle Gellar


This post is one third a review/discussion of Suburban Girl, one third Sarah Michelle Gellar love, and one third desperately angsting over being done Buffy. I’m already well aware that I’m writing this as some sort of therapeutic effort to work through my Buffy obsession and that it will only serve to confuse and alarm many readers. I will be thrilled if you read and find humor or enjoy the fan!squee of the post, but if not, you may sit back and wait for more posts about food, awkward situations, or other television, and I will not be offended.

After watching all seven seasons of Buffy during my three weeks home bonding with my Netflix instant watch, I felt extraordinarily empty. Sure there was Angel: The Series, but the first three episodes just made the aching, gaping Buffy Summers shaped hole in my heart more profound. Realization dawned. It was Sarah Michelle Gellar I was missing. My Netflix recommendations understood this before I did as it kept trying to get me to watch shows and movies that were “like” Buffy in the sense that one of Buffy’s actors was in said movie or show. Suburban Girl caught my eye because it not only starred SMG but Alec Baldwin. That is what I call a win—a show that unites two actors who play(ed) incredible characters on incredible shows. Oh, and freaking Maggie Grace is in it too, a.k.a., Shannon from Lost, who I proudly love love love despite her initial (seemingly) awfulness. Also Luke from The O.C. is in it, but I can’t be bothered to look up the actor’s name, and something tells me more people will identify “Luke from The O.C. than whatever his name really is. No offense, handsome actor man in the off chance you happen upon this.)

My first thought while watching this movie was, “What has Buffy SMG done with her hair in this film. Why is Maggie Grace the only blonde one? Unacceptable.” But cool factor—her character’s name is Brett after the character from The Sun Also Rises, which I’ve been trying to finish for the past few months. I like this book but only seem to pick it up at odd intervals and make no real progress. Mainly because I like the words but not really the story. Oh, Hemmingway, you and your words.

Brett is an aspiring editor, while Baldwin plays Archie a high-powered editor who takes an interest in Brett because SMG is prettyful because of her mind. Lolnototallynothermind.

There is a scene about 12 minutes in where I was making Buffy jokes in my head, when I swear to god Archie says, “Goodnight, Buffy,” and I re-watched it four times, and it still sounded the same, or maybe he’s saying Pumpkin, I cannot freaking tell. I also couldn’t figure out how to turn subtitles on, but whatever, he totally said Buffy. Maybe. Probably not. Okay, just saw the end of the movie, and he says the same line. He’s actually saying “bumpkin”. Hoookay.

But then again, what if this is some strange alternate universe where Buffy moves on with her life by becoming an editor, and the boyfriend she mentions who is in Europe finding himself is Spike or Angel, and Archie is actually not that much older than her when you think of this whole thing in the context of her usual penchant for dating vampires who are indeed much older than she. Nope, not the case. The boyfriend who is abroad is The O.C. dude.

Then there’s a scene where she is pulled aside by her two work friends (Willow and Xander), and she’s all, “Oh my god Seaver, blah blah blah”, but Seaver sounds like Xander. Sort of. It sounds like it enough. Oh my god I’m going through Buffy withdraw.

I won’t go into detail about the context of this line but it bears repeating in this post:

Brett: “Does it have a happy ending?”

Archie: “You deserved one.”

My thoughts about both Brett and Buffy, Archie.

The end of Suburban Girl echoed Buffy a little; both Buffy and Brett have a whole future ahead of them. It’s just the beginning. They both leave behind something safe for a new and unknown world.

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this movie as much as I did, but it just worked for me. I love two characters sharing a connection. It doesn’t have to be true love or happily ever after, just a connection that made two people human, alive. Buffy was chock full of that. Don’t get me started on all the romantic and platonic relationships of the show that I think fit this bill or I will go on a hell of a tangent, which will probably end up happening in a separate post because this is my blog and if I want to talk about Buffy a whole lot, I can and might.

I also loved that the movie didn’t bash age gap relationships as a whole—Brett and Archie definitely had something real, but Brett realized their specific relationship was way too teacher/student, and she couldn’t have a “cheat-sheet” for life in him. Plus there was the whole weird daughter and father stand-in situations that were really icky to analyze, but whatever. It was a real relationship, and Brett is awesome and not a victim or anything like that (the same way Buffy refused to be.) And all I’m left wanting is for Buffy to fall into an alternate universe and meet Brett and learn things about love and life and futures, and perhaps become an editor or writer herself and write like a memoir about being a slayer and get really rich and famous and have Angel and Spike confront her about how they’re portrayed, or based on her portrayal of all of them they understand her better. Then somehow everyone lives happily ever after or something. OH! Even better, both Brett and Buffy exist in the same world, Brett as Buffy’s ghost-writer/editor of this book, and one of them ends up with Spike (probably Brett) and the other ends up with Angel (probably Buffy), and then everyone is really fucking happy. Oh my god. Someone get Joss Whedon and everyone from Suburban Girl on the phone.

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