I keep coming across references to scholarly people discussing the show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in relation to fairy tales, especially as a modern retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood". Last year Heidi Anne Heiner of Surlalune shared the schedule for the American Folklore Society's Annual Meeting, and it included a session titled "What's in the Basket Little Girl?: Reading Buffy as Little Red Riding Hood." I remember reading that and thinking I could almost teach that session (not really, but Buffy is one of my go-to Netflix shows to have on while I do chores and by now I've seen every episode at least once). There are of course some obvious connections-the transformation of Little Red, a helpless girl being overtaken by monsters, to Buffy, a powerful young woman whom the monsters themselves fear. And of course there's the episode where Buffy dresses up as LRRH for Halloween.
But there's more to delve into. The book Buffy in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching With the Vampire Slayer, edited by Jodie A. Kreider and Meghan K. Winchell, includes a chapter called "Little Red Riding...Buffy?" The chapter outlines a unit that can be taught to college literature students, covers a thorough history of the famous tale, and encourages students to compare and contrast the themes found in LRRH and a specific episode of Buffy. Sample pages can be read online and it's clear from those that using television as a teaching tool doesn't mean your lesson plan is dumbed down! The chapter also includes discussion questions which could be used outside of a classroom-perhaps a book club or other discussion group.
Buffy and connections to fairy tales are also discussed in the book Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies). Apparently using Buffy in academic contexts is nothing new or unusual. According to Wikipedia,
Buffy is notable for attracting the interest of scholars of popular culture, as a subset of popular culture studies, and some academic settings include the show as a topic of literary study and analysis. National Public Radio describes Buffy as having a "special following among academics, some of whom have staked a claim in what they call 'Buffy Studies.'" Though not widely recognized as a distinct discipline, the term "Buffy studies" is commonly used amongst the peer-reviewed academic Buffy-related writings.
Gingerbread," which has an interesting way of looking at "Hansel and Gretel"...