“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the best and most popular alum of The WB, changed the television landscape forever, allowing supernatural beings and strong women to occupy the airwaves forever more.
When “Buffy” first started it became an instant hit and even managed to draw in over eight million viewers for its second season episode “Surprise.” Eight million for The WB was unheard of. The character Buffy Summers went on to be one of the best to ever be on television. She was number three on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the best characters of the decade (2000s), which included movies, books, and video games as well. The name has become synonomous with the character and it would be very hard to find someone who doesn’t know who she is.
The show revolved around Buffy, a vampire slayer (hence the name), who moves to the town of Sunnydale—a town that just so happens to be on top of a “hellmouth” where various demons, vampires, and creatures frequent. She, along with her watcher (Anthony Stewart Head) and friends, most notably Alyson Hannigan’s sweet and smart Willow, Nicholas Brendon’s sarcastic Xander, and Charisma Carpenter’s likable witch-with-a-capital-B Cordelia, fought off attacks by these various baddies, while at the same time provided the audience with laughs and root worthy relationships. One of the biggest, and most debatable, relationships ever on television can be found on this show: Buffy, the vampire slayer, and Angel (David Boreanaz, now on “Bones”), the vampire. A third party (another vampire. It seems Buffy had a love/hate relationship with them!) enters into the mix later on in the series, forming a triangle that still has fans talking, or, more likely, arguing. David Boreanaz also got his own spinoff, aptly titled “Angel.”
Other actors who co-starred or recurred were Julie Benz, Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku (as the fan-favorite slayer, Faith), Seth Green, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, and James Marsters.
The series had many great episodes and some that are said to be some of the greatest ever on television, such as season four’s creepy “Hush” and season six’s musical, “Once More With Feeling.”
The show was action-packed, witty, mostly well-acted, and entertaining as ever. It’s no wonder that it’s usually mentioned as one of the best television series to ever air, making it on almost any list you’ll look at. It’s been reported that there will be a movie in the coming years, though none of the castmembers from the show, as of now at least, will make an appearance. Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, now stars on the CW’s “Ringer.” Eight years later and she’s still kicking butt.
Letter Grade: A