For the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” wrap party, Twentieth Century Fox Television executives threw a bash fit for the glitterati of dedicated demon fighters.
Guests were summoned to the minimalist-chic Miauhaus by invites printed on parchment paper, wrapped around pillar candles and hand-sealed with wax. When guests arrived, their first few steps sent them through a graveyard that had been built on-site. Inside, walls were airbrushed with 10-foot-tall original pieces of art of the show’s heroes and villains; seafood nibbles were served out of an ice-lined sarcophagus; and skull replicas were used as vases for blood-red roses.
Against that goth-fabulous backdrop, some 500 guests partied like the undead.
After seven seasons, two networks and innumerable critics’ top-show lists, Buffy packs up her stakes and crossbows and calls it a night on Tuesday. For those who never latched on to the quirky pulp-drama-thriller-comedy-girl-empowerment-teen-angst story, it will be a nonevent. But for those who love and live by the series -- no one seems to be ambivalent about it -- it’s an apocalypse rivaling the one promised on-screen.
How best, then, to celebrate the end? If money’s no object, there’s the wrap party as a template. Otherwise, a more modest “Buffy” bash could be the order of the day.
“Buffy” has always pulled together diverse people online, at fan fests and in small viewing circles. It did not inspire big, raucous groups watching in bars, a la “Survivor” or “American Idol.” The finale will be no exception. And as with any well-loved show, parting is sweet sorrow.
One of the show’s writers, Drew Greenberg, usually suggests doing “Buffy” viewings alone, phone unplugged, lights off, doors locked, neighbors shushed. But for the finale, he thinks a little company could be a good thing.
“That way, you’ll have someone’s shoulder to wipe your tears on,” he said. Guests are welcome as long as they don’t talk during the show, he added. “That always drives me crazy.”
Some suggestions on setting the mood:
Rules: Talking -- if you must, save it for the commercials, when you can make up your own “Buffy” trivia games.
Drinks: If you want to be like bad-vamp-turned-good-boy Spike, then it’s bourbon -- straight. For everyone else, anything blood red. Red Bull is an acceptable substitution.
Nibbles: Pizza is a fave of the Scooby gang, as Buffy and her pals are affectionately called. Delivery only -- nothing homemade. Who has time to cook when the world’s ending? Acceptable substitution: Hot Pockets.
Accouterments: Loads of candles, for atmosphere. Crucifixes and holy water, purely for effect. (We all know vampires aren’t real, right?) Tissues -- well, there will be death, we just don’t know whose. Pointy weapons not suggested. Nor are copies of episode guides, Slayer Slang, comic books or other “Buffy” publications. Save those as salve for the inevitable withdrawal symptoms once the episode has ended.
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Who’s watching where
SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR:
Unknown if she’ll catch the finale. She’s in Canada shooting the “Scooby-Doo” sequel.
(Dawn, Buffy’s little sister):
Ditto. She’s in Prague shooting the DreamWorks movie “Ugly Americans.”
JAMES MARSTERS (Spike, left): Ditto again. He’s touring in Europe with his band.
TONY HEAD (Giles, the last Watcher standing):
Watching at home in England with his daughters, who are mega-"Buffy” fans.
JOSS WHEDON (series creator, left):
Having a viewing party at his L.A. home for the show’s writing staff. The menu: takeout pizza.
(mostly good guy Xander):
He and his wife are inviting a few friends over to their house for a finale viewing party.
At Whedon’s party -- who could resist free pizza?
What: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” finale
When: Tuesday, 8 p.m. on UPN
T.L. Stanley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.