The odds are you have heard of"'Buffy The Vampire." It would be vaguely surprising if you hadn’t, but that’s okay too.

There is a reason that die-hard fans still rave, even though the show ended years ago. There is a reason that it will always be a top recommendation - even to those who are older now.

You did miss out if you did not see "Buffy," let me enlighten you and pique your interest. Let me tell you why it is worth, at the very least, a brief investigation.

The gist of the show

The story is focused on Buffy Summers, who, when the show begins, has just moved to a new high school in Sunnydale, California.

The secret? She got kicked out of her previous school because the slaying got too intense. Yeah, I said "slaying." It was the 90s, so I do obviously mean fashion, but I am also referring to her profession.

Buffy is given the title of “The Slayer” or “The Chosen One.” She has been called - in a long linear generation of slayers - to slay the vampires, demons, monsters, and other terrors that walk the earth. All the while, she has to balance the terrors of high school, and growing up, and life itself.

For every slayer, it is different. They all take different approaches to their slaying. They lead different lifestyles, live in different locations, make different allies. Each Slayer does have a Watcher - an older guide, who receives guidance from previous Watchers, to aid the Slayer and help her stay alive, frankly, as long as possible.

Buffy is a teenager in high school. it's a time when it is very difficult to leave a solitary lifestyle or to approach the terrors of the world without the help of others. So, in addition to having a Watcher, she allows close friends to join her within the solitary and dangerous world of Slaying.

The characters

The main characters include,

Buffy Summers

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • The Slayer
  • A knockout - always

She is the main woman. The show centers around her - the Slayer. The one who has been chosen. It all begins and ends with Buffy. When it comes down to it, Buffy's decisions are the momentum that propels the show.

The secondary characters are definitely important, but not like she is.

Willow Rosenberg

  • Alyson Hannigan
  • The brilliant best friends, but quiet, sweet, and shy
  • In later seasons she gets more into Wicca and becomes an extremely powerful witch
  • HIMYM ("How I Met Your Mother") came after! Alyson Hannigan is from Buffy.
  • Also, can we take a minute to talk about the fact that Willow was part of the FIRST lesbian romances to appear on TV!?

Xander Harris

  • Nicholas Brendon
  • Sweet, silly, jealous, kind of dumb
  • very smart in his own way, always there when needed - almost never a disappointment
  • Loyal. To the end.

Rupert Giles (goes by Giles)

  • Anthony Head
  • Annoyed, older, British librarian, very funny
  • He is the father figure - he is always there for help, guidance, advice, and even training!
  • Recognizable as King Uther in the BBC show "Merlin"

Angel (or Angelus when evil)

Cordelia Chase

  • Charisma Carpenter
  • Mean, nasty, annoying, yet often hilarious side character
  • Disappears after a few seasons of Buffy - i.e. after high school, but also re-appears in a much larger capacity in the spinoff, "Angel"
  • Is initially shown to be a nuisance and not very smart, but later develops into a much more real, and important character.

Occurrences of note

1.

The Classic Forbidden Romance:

A vampire and a slayer fall in love. This is no ordinary forbidden romance - it does not focus on the difference between slayers - who are human, and vampires - who are not. The unfortunate circumstance is that Angel is already unique - he is a vampire with a soul - which is what lends him the capacity and humanity to love Buffy. The catch - he has been cursed with a soul. The curse? If he experiences a moment of true happiness, he will lose his soul and revert back to his demonic soulless state. This means he can never truly be with Buffy, because he will always be in love with her, and there will always be a danger between them.

2. That One Musical Episode

Yes, there was definitely a musical episode, and it was solid gold.

It featured most of the cast singing naturally. It was a huge turning point for a lot of the characters, and it allowed audiences to see that these characters can go far beyond acting if they so choose.

3. The "And then there were two" twist

The trail of inheritance for a slayer is that there is 1 - she is chosen in each generation. The story goes, that when one slayer dies, the next one is called. Ironically, our slayer - the first that we get to see - dies in the first season. Owing to quick-thinking from Xander and Angel, they are able to save her - but it's too late. This introduces a beautiful addition of a second slayer that recurs until the shows end.

  • Slayer 2.1: Kendra - shows up in season 1. She's fierce and wears thick heavy boots, and has a super long braid. She comes back for season 2 and is killed by the vampire Drusilla.
  • Slayer 2.2: Faith - the worst, coolest, scariest girl around. She sticks around in varying capacities, and even appears on "Angel" for an arc. Played by Eliza Dushku, Faith comes in and out with a bang - every time. She is a highlight of the show - an oftentimes terrifying highlight, but a highlight nonetheless.

4.

The Gentlemen - A Silent Film

This was one of the most remarkable episodes of Season 4. It is done as a silent film when terrifying creatures float into town and steal everyone's voices. This leads to the characters having to band together to save the day without verbal communication, which adds an element of difficulty and danger to the task that hasn't been introduced previously.

Final thoughts

It is worth mentioning the director, Joss Whedon, who not only directed "Buffy" but won hearts with "Angel," "Firefly," "Dollhouse," "The Avengers," and several other well-known titles.

BTVS was a show that started the introduction of heavy topics, and topics that are so important to our society now.

The Uncertainty of Life

Why was I called for this?

Does it matter if I continue on this path? What is it that I will be doing for the rest of my life?

All of the characters are faced with this - the question of whether to keep pushing through the lives they have set for themselves and the paths they thought they would be on, or whether they should make a change. They have to consciously decide to either keep fighting evil or start trying to break away and start anew.

Good Vs. Evil / Love vs. Hate

Demons and Angels and 'big bads' and 'little goods,' and witches, and werewolves. Possession demons, strange powers, and potions, wishes granted, lives taken. This show really digs down into the differences between good and bad, and the deeper and more extreme of Good vs.

Evil.

This is often times heavily explored through pain and loss and what characters will bring themselves to do in the name of love versus hate. It examines what they will do when they are hurting, or when they have to rise above themselves and protect those around them.

Identity

There were so many instances of body switching, missed signs, miscommunication, and misinterpretation. There was a lack of self-understanding and lack of understanding others, but there were also the counters. Characters discovered love and passion, and talents that they were and were not aware of. They also discover the dark, the unpleasant, the tragic, and their own reason to keep fighting so hard in a world of horror.

It also addressed things like heteronormativity, suicide, abusive relationships, self-harm, love, loss, despair, abandonment, and other heavy topics that are still difficult to talk about and deal with. The beauty and grace and rawness that joss whedon put into this show, and that these actors showed, was incredible.

BTVS is truly a gem, a one-of-a-kind story that deserves to live on for continued generations.

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