Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BTVS) aired 144 episodes in 7 seasons, from 1997-2003. A mix of genres including horror, drama, action and comedy made this a hit show among the young and the young at heart like—ME!
BTVS the series, like the movie with the same name, is about a young girl, Buffy Summers, with a sacred birth right. She is the one girl in all the world- the chosen one- born with the strength and skill to fight vampires.
The series begins with a nod to the motion picture. Buffy was kicked out of a Los Angeles High School for burning down the gymnasium. She and her mother, Joyce, have relocated to a new town Sunnydale, California. Joyce has no idea that her daughter has supernatural strength or that she is the chosen one. She just thinks that Buffy got mixed up with the wrong crowd and is hopeful that starting over, in this new town, will set her straight.
Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Geller, is a high school sophomore who looks like a Breck girl, with bouncing and behaving hair. As any 16-year-old girl, Buffy focuses on things that typical teen girls focus on… mainly hair, fashion and boys. Most of all, she desires to live a normal teenage life in Sunnydale. Unbeknownst to her is that this new town is the center of the demon world called the Hellmouth and there is no avoiding her true calling.
BTVS was a standout hit because beyond vampires, demons, monster and supernatural events that we all love to watch- the show creatively addressed real world problems, teen and later young adult issues including bullying, betrayal, death, and rape.
In the very first episode Buffy, like the viewers, meets the supporting cast. There’s Willow Rosenburg, an awkward computer whiz, who Buffy befriends when she is bullied. Xander Harris, a geek, who falls for her at first sight, and follows her around with big puppy dog eyes, as well as Cordelia, the school’s self-absorbed beauty, and fashion icon, who enjoys belittling others she deems beneath her. These characters and later others, as Buffy matures, become her closest friends and confidantes.
When trouble ensues, they soon discover that she is no ordinary girl and instead of shunning her or running for their lives, they step up, and help her fight the foes! Later in the series, her gang of friends refer to themselves as the Scoobies – no doubt a reference to the animated teen crime fighting group led by Scooby Doo.
Just like in the movie, Buffy has a watcher, aka a mentor, or shall we say a vampire expert / adviser. His name is Rupert Giles and conveniently he works at Sunnydale High as the librarian. Also, in the first episode we meet Angel the love of her life! Angel we later learn is a vampire with a soul who like Buffy is actively hunting and killing vampires and demons. These core characters use their instincts, courage and intelligence to support Buffy’s quest.
As the series progresses, we meet a slew of other characters such as Darla, Drusilla, Oz, Dawn, Anya, Riley, Tara, The Trio, and my favorite of all Spike!
In my opinion, Spike needs his own paragraph. So here goes! Spike is also a vampire. He is British and has bleach blond a hair (He claims that that Billy Idol stole his look!) and wears a long leather coat. Known for having killed two vampire slayers he comes to Sunnydale with his paramour Drusilla to kill the vampire slayer- Buffy. Second to Buffy, his story arc is one of the most intriguing in the series. He is evil, violent, tender, vulnerable, tender, courageous and redeemable. I love everything Spike!
LadyGeek will return next week with an actual rundown of her Top Ten Favorite Buffy episodes. Part II will include 10 through 6 and the following week will be from 5 to 1. I can’t wait to show you some of the great stuff LadyGeek has in store for us. For now, take it easy. See you later. Peace!