Major Influences #4: The WB (The CW)

The WB - Roswell - Smallville - Buffy - Angel - EverwoodThe CW (formerly The WB and UPN) is a force to be reckoned in the world of teen drama. I watched a good number of their shows, back when I was a more appropriate age to be watching teen dramas, and they’ve definitely left a lasting impact.

Vampires before they sparkled

Angel and Buffy

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Angel (David Boreanaz)

Attractive young adults in a show about vampires? No frickin’ way.

Before The Vampire Diaries TV series, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I started out somewhat interested in Buffy, but I didn’t get sucked into Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse until the Angel spin-off. I watched both shows religiously even after Buffy was booted from The WB lineup to second string on UPN.

Though I watched all nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, I’ll always remember Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof as Willow and Wesley (before Lily and Sandy Rivers). At E3 (don’t ask me how I got in), I once awkwardly shook Eliza Dushku’s hand: the most interaction I’ve had with a Hollywood celebrity in all my years living in and around Los Angeles (unless you count walking past Ashton Kutcher a few times on the way to and from the restroom on the set of Jobs).

Beside the paranormal setting, what I love about these two shows is the sometimes-ridiculous character banter, and how no character gets to be cool 100% of the time. When a character’s cool-meter gets close to being full, the writers have something comical happen to him or her (I’ve noticed people other than Whedon doing this, a recent example being Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy—the humor in Guardians reminded me so much of Whedon I had to double check to see that he wasn’t involved).

So, if the characters in my novels have borderline-annoying back-and-forth conversations, and something embarrassing happens to my protagonist when he or she is trying to be cool, you probably have Joss Whedon to blame. Luckily, I didn’t watch Firefly until after I finished several drafts of my novel. Otherwise, it might have been too Whedoned-out.

Aliens, so many aliens

Max (Jason Behr) and Liz (Shiri Appleby)

Max Evans (Jason Behr) and Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby)

In Roswell, three teenage extraterrestrials are sent to Earth as children to escape harm on their home planet. They learn about their origins, fall in love with humans, keep their alien ancestry a secret, and use their superpowers to do stuff (it was pretty awesome when Max discovered his new force field-like ability; and cheesy when his alien-prince healing powers transferred to Michael).

At the time, Roswell had more drama than any show I’d ever watched, so it might have been my gateway into fiction that doesn’t have its focus on action or comedy.

Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk)

Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk)

After its second season, Roswell was demoted from the WB and shipped off to UPN to make room for another show with a very similar premise, but a much stronger franchise: Smallville, also a show about an alien child sent to Earth and raised by human parents. This series about a young, mild-mannered Clark Kent was a clear favorite of mine for at least a year or two. If you’ve read my other posts, you might have guessed that I have a preference for square bear heroes; the pre-tights Superman of Smallville fits the bill.

Along with Buffy and Angel, these two shows about aliens helped to develop my interest in YA science fiction and paranormal stuff.

Regular human beings . . .

I also watched shows on the WB that didn’t involve vampires or aliens.

Chris Pratt and Emily VanCampIt was through Everwood and its super-serious (and very frustrating) drama that I was first exposed to Chris Pratt and Emily VanCamp; Pratt and VanCamp have both recently shown up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Peter “Starlord” Quill and Agent Sharon Carter (Captain America’s potential love interest). And, apparently, the two actors dated for a little while (the things you learn while writing blog posts).

Then, there’s One Tree Hill, which I liked for a season or two (when the brothers were still jerks to each other), and then stopped liking when people started swapping significant others like trading cards. I can no longer think of this show without remembering the bit from Family Guy (“♪High school is such a serious thing, these problems matter♪“).

Overall, the pure-drama shows didn’t influence me as much as their more action-packed WB brethren. During this era of television, if a show didn’t involve superhuman abilities, I’d probably prefer it be a sitcom (e.g., Friends and Boy Meets World).

I guess I should have included The Wayans Bros. in this post rather than my other one, since the show was actually on the WB. And, wow, it took me 15+ years but now I finally see why they might have called the show The Wayans Bros—Wayans Bros. and Warner Bros.

19 thoughts on “Major Influences #4: The WB (The CW)

  1. You’ve made me feel really nostalgic now! I loved watching Buffy and Angel and also, Roswell and Smallville. Buffy and Angel were my favourite and I loved the comedic side of them.
    Omg you did the same thing I did after I saw Guardians of the Galaxy! I also checked whether Joss Whedon had had a part to play in the writing and I was shocked when I found out he hadn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved Buffy. Remember when her and Spike were went through that phase where they were having kind of violent and inappropriate sex all over the town? The show was funny, creepy, and always interesting. And how can you go wrong with hot lesbian witches?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I know you may not like me after this, but I’m just not into Vampires! LOL. Please don’t hold that against me!
    I did kind of like the “Twilight” movie series, but that was because it took place in the Pacific Northwest were I’m from.
    But the good news is? I’m really enjoying reading your prior posts here on your FAB blog! And Thanks for taking a peek at mine 🙂 *I’m a new fan*!
    Much Happiness,
    Author, Catherine Lyon & Lyon Media & Book Promotions 🙂


  4. Wow, this takes me back. These shows were my guilty pleasure. Thank you for visiting my Murder blog, and for the follow. After reading about the genre you prefer I thought I might suggest another blog you might enjoy: Lynette writes in YA. Good luck with your querying. It’s not easy, but you must develop a thick skin (if you don’t already have one). Just keep in mind, most times rejection is not about you or your writing. It has more to do with agent’s time issues. They give each query 8 seconds. That’s it. If you don’t hook them in 8 seconds– rejection.


  5. I really enjoyed Roswell and there I discovered the actress Katherine Heigl. I thought she was very talented
    your blog is very eclectic, cool!

    thank you for the follow!




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