If you know anything about me at all, it’s that my favorite television series off all time are a tie between, Seinfeld, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ever since the first episode, Enter the Hellmouth, made it’s premiere on the WB in 1997; I’ve been hooked. The moment that the gorgeous, Sarah Michelle Gellar, bounced on the screen and transformed from ditzy blonde to baddass slayer of the undead; I couldn’t look away. For 7 seasons, it was the show that had me turning away any calls, IM’s (yes, back then they had those), and shutting out my friends and family; just so that I could spend time with the Scoobs.
Joss Whedon created Buffy in celluloid form back in 1992, with Kristy Swanson in the role made more memorable by SMG. The film was OK. I didn’t really go back to it, even though I enjoyed Rutger Hauer as a vampire. It wasn’t until Whedon had gotten the formula correct, by adding a whole ‘gang’, did everything come together and become the show that I cherish so much now.
What worked best for me with Buffy was that everyone had a part and it didn’t seem fake that twenty-somethings were playing high-schoolers. Honestly, they didn’t really even look that old! You had the funny geek, Xander (Nicholas Brendan), the shy nerd, Willow (Allison Hannigan), the popular cheerleader, Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), the stuffy librarian, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), and the brooding 100 year old vampire, Angel (David Boreanez.) Ok, so maybe that last guy didn’t go to high-school in this century, but you get the drift.
Whedon had a way of bringing the stereotypical high-school student, and making them accessible to people of all age groups. It especially spoke to me, being that I was the Class of ’99 like the kids in the show. I felt as if a ‘Big Bad’ were to come to my hometown, I would react exactly the way the Scooby’s did, more or less. The episodes of BTVS spoke to a generation of youngsters who weren’t quite old enough for an X-Files, and not childish enough for a Goosebumps; but at the same time, the characters on Buffy grew up and so did it’s watchers. As time went on, the themes became more mature, as we matured along with them.
15 years later, I have probably watched through the entire Buffy series more times than I can count. There’s been some wonky times, like the times with Riley, or when Angel didn’t have his own show and would just show up and brood; but I loved every minute. Well, there were times where I just wanted to punch Dawn in the face. Yet, through it all, I never forgot why I fell in love with it in the first place.
One of the best things about Buffy, is that it’s legacy still continues. Buffy’s television run only last 7, yet in comics it is still going; and has just started up it’s 9th season. The Scooby’s still fight the things that go bump in the night, and bring on new fans from around the planet; in the same way that they recruit new slayers. Whedon and most of his television writers, like Jane Espenson, still work on the comic, and it has the same voice that we’ve come to expect from Buffy and the rest of the Whedon-verse.
If you haven’t had the chance to ever watch Buffy, I say you better get on it; then immediately watch the spin-0ff, Angel. I sometimes think that if Angel was made before Buffy I would have loved it more, except it lacks what I love the most from Buffy, The Scooby’s. They are both Whedon, so you really can’t go wrong either way. I will forever hold a place in my heart for Buffy and I hope that this little article can get at least one Towelite to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is available to watch on Netflix.