Why Buffy Rocks!

No, not the movie but the television show – Buffy the Vampire Slayer – which was created by Joss Whedon after his original vision for the movie was butchered by the film studio.

I know this show is old news.  It has, after all, been off the air for a few years now.  That is precisely why I’m writing about it.  This tv show was never given the attention it deserved by the emmys, golden globes, etc.  Only the critics and fans appreciated it for what it was – a great show about teen angst told through the eyes of a pretty blond who could kick your ass and then some.

Buffy Summers, wonderfully portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, is the vampire slayer.  Buffy is a normal teenage girl until she finds out that she has been given superhuman strength for the sole purpose of fighting evil such as monsters, demons, and of course vampires.  The series begins with Buffy starting her first day of school in Sunnydale, the small town in California where she and her mother have relocated after Buffy was expelled from her previous high school in Los Angeles for burning down the gym, which was filled with vampires.  Buffy is determined to stay out of trouble, but almost immediately the high school librarian Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) informs her that she is the vampire slayer and he is her watcher.  She tries to ignore her calling, but since Sunnydale High sits atop the hell mouth, vampires and demons are fairly abundant.

So Buffy fights the forces of evil with the help of Giles and her friends Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicholas Brendon), also known as “the Scooby Gang.”  The Scooby Gang also entails a revolving door of members like Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), the snobby, popular cheerleader who dates Xander, Oz (Seth Green), the bass player of a local rock band, who dates Willow and whom is later discovered to be a werewolf.  And of course, Angel (David Boreanaz), the vampire cursed with a soul, with whom Buffy has a doomed love affair.  Their story is so brilliantly written, and Gellar and Boreanaz have an amazing chemistry.

Each season is complete with a villain that Buffy and her friends battle.  The first season featured the Master (the first vampire).  Other seasons have featured the evil Goddess Glory, a demonic robot, and in a later season, even a member of the Scooby Gang.  By far, the most memorable villain of all is Spike (James Marsters), the punk rock vampire, whom is endlessly devoted to Drusilla (the vampire whom sired Angel).  He is so deliciously evil, he’s the vampire you love to hate.  Spike lasts a number of seasons, and in later seasons, even becomes a love interest for Buffy.

The story lines are unbelievably relatable considering the subject matter: a witch using her powers to get good grades, the same witch’s mother switching bodies with her daughter so she may enjoy her youth again.  Another episode features Xander trying to put a love spell on Cordelia after she dumps him.  The spell backfires and makes everyone but Cordelia fall in love with Xander.  A Christmas Carol like episode shows what Sunnydale would be like had Buffy never moved there.  That world features a Sunnydale where vampires rule the town and humans are few and far between.  In season four when Buffy goes to college, she moves into a dorm room with a roommate who ends up being a demon.  Who can’t relate to an evil roommate?  One of the best episodes is a musical that finds all citizens of Sunnydale prone to break out and sing at the drop of a hat.  The amazing episodes are too numerous to name on a small show that lasted seven seasons.

Most of the cast have gone onto greater things.  David Boreanaz now stars in Bones and previously was spun off onto Angel.  Alyson Hannigan is featured in How I Met Your Mother and James Marsters has guest starred on Smallville.  I’m still waiting for another great turn from Sarah Michelle Gellar.  She has starred in numerous films, none of which have made waves at the box office.  I hate to think that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is her crowning achievement since I believe her to be capable of much more.

Buffy spawned shows like Dark Angel and Alias.  Those shows did not last nearly as long.  Television would be a lot different today if it were not for Joss Whedon and his willingness to create something that most people, including me, thought sounded ridiculous at the time.  Yes, eventually, those other shows would have existed but not without the originality of Buffy.  If you have not seen Buffy, it should absolutely be added to your dvd list.  It will live up to your expectations.

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September 18, 2008. Uncategorized.

3 Comments

  1. Pete replied:

    A fellow NOHO Buffy Fan asks: How are do you feel about the new vampire show True Blood?

  2. jennb276 replied:

    I really like that new show! It’s not Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it’s definitely a new and interesting premise. I don’t think it’s been done before.

  3. jennb276 replied:

    And yes, the next great turn from Sarah Michelle Gellar will be in HBO’s new series Wonderful Maladys. This is sure to make her a household name as HBO has done for other actors.

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