What a difference the slayer makes. Our scoop on Sarah Michelle Gellar's exit from Buffy (#699, March 7) struck at the hearts of our readers. ''It saddens me to think about my favorite show ending,'' says Sarah Cox of Burke, Va., ''but I understand why it should end on top (X-Files...need I say more?).'' But Gellar drew blood with her comment ''teachers get sabbaticals.'' ''Teachers are expected to take classes and do research during their sabbaticals,'' notes Sally Gober of Slatington, Pa. ''Don't try to make us feel sorry for you because you have worked for seven years and are tired. There's a club for that -- it's called everyone.'' And barbershop-quartet fans sang out against our Grammy-'N Sync critique. ''Did David Browne even notice 'N Sync was not singing barbershop?'' asks Amy Malkoff of Marblehead, Mass. ''There are lots of ways to sing a cappella that are not barbershop.'' How's that for an unkind cut?
One Last Stab
Your cover and Sarah Michelle Gellar's announcement that she's leaving Buffy the Vampire Slayer, while not unexpected, still hurt like being staked in the heart with ''Mr. Pointy.'' Thanks to Joss, Marti, Sarah Michelle, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew for seven wonderful years. JEFF SEIDL email@example.com Jefferson, Wis.
Even though I knew this was coming, I couldn't keep myself from tearing up at the confirmation of Buffy's demise. I just wanted to take a moment to thank EW (and especially Ken Tucker) for always giving Buffy the praise and admiration it deserved, and to thank fellow fans who never wavered in their support or knowledge, despite frequent naysayers, that what they watched every Tuesday night was something groundbreaking and truly special. Joss, Sarah, and the entire Buffy universe: For seven years you let us revel in your brilliance, and come May 20, I'll be riveted to my television set to pay you my final thank-you. AMANDA POWERS Rowland Heights, Calif.
I think I can best sum up the tragic news of Sarah Michelle Gellar's quitting Buffy with two words: Grrrrr arghhhh! MICHAEL MEYERS firstname.lastname@example.org San Ramon, Calif.
Our little disillusioned slayer needs a reality check. As a 27-year-old teacher who ''get(s) sabbaticals,'' I don't earn one tenth of the salary Sarah Michelle Gellar makes! Tell our overworked damsel to trade with me her popularity or her paycheck (I'm not picky), and she can have as much of my time off as she wants. BRIAN SANGUINITO email@example.com Bethlehem, Pa.
We Harvey Noticed
When it seems that most studio executives don't even watch the garbage they put out (or they just have plain bad taste), your interview with Harvey Weinstein (''If You're Good to Harvey, Harvey's Good to You'') makes me optimistic to know that someone is out there fighting to put quality films in theaters, while sacrificing potential profits he could be making from mindless, commercial flicks. Thank you, Miramax, for keeping artistic integrity in film. JOEY HACKENJOS West Linn, Ore.