1997: Buffy moves to Sunnydale
Twenty years ago this month, Buffy graced the small screen bringing wit, grave puns, and acrobatic fight moves. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the brainchild of Joss Whedon, a then largely unknown writer/director. He wanted to bring a character that contradicted the blonde bimbos often seen dying early in horror flicks. So, he created the ultimate demon fighter [with blonde hair]. Buffy is meant to be a normal kid in every respect except one: she fights supernatural threats on a regular basis, in fact she’s the one person in all the world that has been chosen for it.
He originally wrote the character for a full-length film, but Hollywood commercialized his vision a little too much for his liking. Luckily, some entrepreneurial writer saw the potential in making it TV series, and a fandom was born.
TV Buffy was much more relatable. Although she had popular roots, her world of vampires and demons kept her on the fringe of high school’s high society. She immediately made a close knit group of friends who were commissioned to help her in her fight against evil. This was the world’s first taste at Joss Whedon’s talent for ensemble casting. Although the main characters had tangents that came and went throughout the seasons, the core message was always one of “What can’t we face if we’re together.” This sentiment was literally, and aptly spoken in the musical (yeah, Whedon did that first, too) episode of season 6.
This focus on a family of friends, combined with the weekly allegories between the supernatural and a normal teenager’s life struggles kept Buffy at the forefront. The series had its ups and downs between network issues and a spinoff that ended up somewhat disconnected for a time. However, Whedon always managed to bring the story back to its core message, with killer sass.
Another thing I love about Buffy is Whedon’s talent at foreshadowing. He often gave clues, years in advance, of his plans for the show. I love that he thought that far ahead with no guarantee the show would ever make it there. It created more of a universe for the viewer.
Yeah. You could probably say that Buffy is my all time favorite TV show (and I watch a lot!). There’s humor and heart, and a heavy dose of ass kicking that just makes me giggle. So, every March, I settle into Netflix and watch it from start to finish.
Ok….I skip ONE episode… but that stupid ventriloquist dummy just creeps me out!
I document my efforts on Twitter. I enjoy the challenge of creating vague one liners that hopefully evoke memories for fellow Buffy-fans.
So, as Buffy celebrates 20, I celebrate Buffy.
If the apocalypse comes, beep me.