Earlier this week I participated in my Fantasy Football league’s second annual live draft at the Lederhosen German Pub and Restaurant in NYC’s West Village. We ate bratwurst and Black Forrest Cake, drank Spaten and Berliner Weisse and spent the better part of three hours screaming out NFL player names in the hopes of securing our league’s winning team. Good times. The creators of Fantasy Football are geniuses. Many of us, thanks to the economy, inability to find a mate or just plain negative attitude towards life are struggling, and can’t help but look for and find relief in some faction of a fantasy world. And God knows there are many different outlets in which to get your fantasy dose; Sports (football and baseball), games (Catan and Dungeons & Dragons), television (pick a show) all provide an escape from the ordinary and a respite to the doldrums of everyday life. Which fantasy show have you turned to the most in your life to help block out the noise? Here is my list:
Buffy The Vampire Slayer – I was in high school when this gem hit the TV screen, so as a fifteen year old female, I was the target audience. Buffy was a hero, Angel was hot, Spike was a bad guy you rooted for, Xander provided some comedy relief and after having been obsessed with the 1992 film featuring Luke Perry, I was hooked before I saw the first trailer. The Emmy-award winning, list topping show stayed on the air from 1997 to 2003 and helped make writer-director Joss Whedon a house-hold name amongst dedicated fantasy fans. Every week I enjoyed being transported to a mythical world where vampires could attack at any moment (naturally, as the local Sunnydale High School sat on top of a “Hellmouth”, a gateway to demon realms) as I navigated the streets and subways of my own NYC.
Lost – I really, really miss this show. I was a doubter at first. I remember tuning into the first season and seeing polar bears on an island and I remember not getting it. Fortunately for me, I gave it another try once season 1 and 2 were available on DVD and after a marathon weekend (we ordered in food 6 times, only pressing pause to answer the doorbell) and suddenly, I had a new reason to get up in the mornings. I always rooted for Sawyer and Kate, I was literally scared of “the others” and I enjoyed the challenge this show presented me – having to keep track of timelines, constantly being introduced to subtle clues, meeting new – but really old – characters. I definitely in no way claim to be an expert on the show and I recognize that many die-hard fans took their appreciation for this show to a whole new level (I know people who moved to Hawaii to be a part of the experience), but talk about forgetting whatever it was that was bothering you for a good solid hour every week. This show did that for me and I am grateful.
He-Man Masters of the Universe – OK, so I was 6, not exactly in need of a weekly escape from reality but boy did I love this show as a kid! I had the action figures, I donned Halloween costumes based on the characters and when watching, I scuffed up my parent’s living room ceiling with hundreds of indents, the result of brandishing my sword (fire-place poker) into the air and screaming “By the Power of Grayskull, I Have the Power!” And then when they introduced She-Ra – He-Man’s twin sister whom he had been separated from at birth – forget about it. My mouth dropped open. I think that was the moment I fell in love with TV!
I feel that escape into a fantasy world, while serving a different purpose for a teenager, a twenty something-er and a pre-teen are all important and contribute to a person’s overall development. But there are people whose passion for the fantasy take hold and they are unable to differentiate what is real and what is not. To those people I recommend three things: go hunt for and find a vampire, attempt to travel back in time and try to turn yourself into a cartoon. Fail at those and then GET BACK TO REALITY!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
He-Man Masters of the Universe