Premiering in 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is seven seasons of some of the most progressive, eye-opening, and poignant television. Joss Whedons show indulged wide-eyed teenagers and adults with stories about the painful sensibilities of life, each told with masterful technical exploration and detailed literary inspiration. Darting between genres, subject matter, and gripping character arcs, the show brims with moments not to be missed.
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One of the many formidable elements that Whedon brings to the show is unmatched storytelling, frequently subverting what viewers expect. The director-writer heralds the early establishment of storytelling devices like a puppeteer. With sneaky foreshadowing and efficient laying of premise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ensured that almost every moment in the show earned its airtime.
But with how the show delved deep into catastrophic (literally) events in its later seasons, its easy to forget the events of Season One, which shine with significance and the beauty of metaphors.
Within the confines of network television, even the best-laid plans often go to waste. And its even harder when you take puberty into account. Yes, puberty.
Even in its earlier day, Whedon had already planned ahead for the direction of the show. "Never Kill A Boy on the First Date" sees the introduction of The Anointed One, a child turned into a vampire, who would usher the Slayer into hell, allowing the Master to be freed.
The character was meant to play into the eternal child trope and would have become the Big Bad of Season 2. Unfortunately, puberty waits for no one, and actor Andrew J. Ferchland had clearly grown a fair bit in the months between the seasonsnot exactly believable for an unaging vampire. He then gets gracefully written out by way of being burned to death by Spike in Season 2.
But as the fates would have it, this led to the development of Spike and Drusilla as ushers of the true big bad of season 2: Angelus, the one with an angelic face.
Therescould be no better action figure holy grail forthis series like a slaypire (when a slayer is turned into a vampire). In the episode Nightmares, everyone in Sunnydale is forced to live their worst fears. And not everyone is as fearless as Xander -one of his worst fearsis apparently going to school in his underwear.
Buffys worst fear almostbecomes everyone elses worst nightmare,when she crawls out of her grave, vamped. Thankfully, she retains her soul and doesnt unleash hell on earth. If an evil, vampire Buffy had joined The Masters posse, Sunnydale wouldnt have stood a chance.
Before Buffy became part of the Scoobies in Sunnydale, she lived life on the top of the world as a cheerleader in LA. Upon moving to Sunnydale, shes at the mercy of sharp-tongued homecoming queen Cordelia and ends up in an integral and under shadowed part of the high school ecosystem: the geeks.
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Cordelia undergoes a similar journey soon after, earning her merits as a quick-witted, brilliant person whos of great aid to Buffy. The life of a geek is as adventurous as it is unnoticed, and a big reason why the Scoobies world-saving goes unnoticed is that theyre social outcasts and dont have the public eye on them.
Xander often gets the shove when discussing Buffy's team of powerhouses. But long before Willow summoned the power of Osiris, Xander had already brought Buffy back from the dead... 4 years earlier.
The friendship between Buffy and Xander is cemented in moments more memorable to Buffy as a character than they are to viewers. Apart from his very human powers of seeing and knowing, Xander was also the first person to save Buffys life in the Season One finale after The Master drops her in a puddle of water and she drowns. It is Xander who administers CPR to bring her back to life when even Angel couldnt play the hero. First near-death experience as a slayer? Were guessing Buffy remembers that one.
Not many vampires have the honor of being sired by Darla, but Xanders friend Jesse did in the shows first episode, Welcome to The Hellmouth. The death of Jesse is important in establishing that terror was going to strike close to home.
Jesses death may have seemed insubstantial, especially given that Xander accidentally stakes him in a later episode. But according to storyline considerations, when the First Evil comes back to pose a threat for the series ending, it was also supposed to take the form of Jesse to taunt Xander, in the bone-chilling episode, "Conversations with Dead People." Unfortunately, Xander's arc got cut.
Everybody remembers Darla as Angels sire and lethal belle. But fewer people remember that Darla was actually the first vampire to be introduced in the series, ademon sired by The Master himself. The Master poses a serious threat to the Scoobies and the rest of the world in Season One.
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The femme fatale is also a symbol for duality early in the series, an ever-present element in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Used as creator Joss Whedons exploratory devices for the "petite blonde" trope, Buffy and Darla are the unexpected monster hunter and monster herself, instead of victims.
Three whole seasons of seeing the mischievous Amy Madison stuck as a rat in a cage made us feel pity. But after she got her human form back, she intentionally dragged Willow through a tumultuous spiral of black magic addiction. But as it turns out, her selfish streak runs in her blood.
Amy is a natural-born witch, daughter to a very powerful witch who subjected her to a demeaning upbringing. In Season One, Amys mother switches bodies with her to relive her youthful cheerleading days. On the threat of a reversal spell, shes willing to go to the extent of hurting Amy just to keep her youthful vessel.
The principals of Sunnydale High seem to have a thing for ending up in demonic mouths. But before season 7's Principal Wood battled in the Hellmouth, or season 3's Principal Snyder got chewed in a snake's mouth, OG Principal Flutie fell victim to his students' mouths.
The prior Principal Flutie was a little less deserving of his death than Principal Snyder was. as he got devoured by a bunch of school bullies possessed by hyenas in The Pack." Principal Flutie truly cared for the students of Sunnydale High, but as best demonstrated with Buffys life, nothing is fair.
Xanders character may have taken a bit of back seat in later seasons, but the diamond in the rough is riddled with demons throughout the series, starting with Season One.
In Teachers Pet, Xander falls in love with Miss French, a praying-mantis demon also known as Virgin Thief, with the carnal intention of preying on male virgins to have its eggs fertilized. In a later episode The Pack, Xander is one in a pack of students possessed by hyena spirits.
This is followed by him falling in love with a demon in a withering relationship that ultimately failed, and numerous other encounters with demons.
The iconic designed letter B eponymous to Buffy the Vampire Slayer was not part of the series until Season Three. The first-ever title card of the show is far simpler, appearing like handwriting in a single font called Herculanum.
While it isn't unpleasant, its definitely not as tattoo-worthy as the title card from Season Three onwards, which features the Buffy and Kruella fonts by graphic designer Margo Chase. Margo Chase also later designed the gothic logo in the title card of the Angel spin-off series that followed.
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Takes The Office a smidge too seriously, walks into walls, and makes god-awful puns (debatable). Between real music and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hijanah writes about things as sees them. She also writes for Justsaying.ASIA, a pop-culture lifestyle magazine from Singapore, a country where Asia's trends converge.
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