Happy 20th birthday to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the best thing to come out of the nineties
‘I may be dead but I’m still pretty’
It’s been 20 years to the day since Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on TV, yet it still feels like yesterday we were introduced to some of the best characters ever to be seen on TV. On the 20th anniversary we can finally appreciate how Buffy, the pint-sized heroine who literally killed supervillains, changed our lives for the better.
Buffy is the most kick-ass female lead on TV ever
Buffy is literally the definition of a strong independent woman, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the few major TV shows at the time that centred on a strong female character. Sure, she was shallow, materialistic and there were times when she was mind-numbingly clueless. She was heartbroken, and threw herself one serious pity party, but she was also a vampire slayer with the ability to kick some major ass.
She doesn’t need taking care of, and she’s not afraid to tell people that. Even today, I can’t think of a show with a better role model than Buffy for young girls to look up to. Except maybe minus the vampire killing part.
It was genuinely pretty terrifying
Just because it was a show centred around high school kids with a female lead does not mean that this show was ever going to be some pre-teen, pitifully weak show that wouldn’t even scare a baby. No, this show is scary. Like, absolutely terrifying. Seriously, remember the monster you could only see if you were ill? Or evil priest Caleb? This show would give you nightmares for weeks, and we loved it for that.
So. Many. Hot. Guys
Male leads in Buffy were unreal. And undead, but mostly just unreal. Like Angel, tall, dark, handsome, just your average creature of the night who’s been cursed with a soul. Just maybe don’t sleep with him on the first date, or any date really, unless you’re totally into guy who have a tendency to turn evil after climax, in a he’ll try and eat you kind of way.
But I would honestly be OK with no guys at all in the whole show as long as we still had Spike, the peroxide blonde bad boy with a taste for leather. His Tinder bio would say “likes long walks at night, killing slayers, and drinking people’s blood”, but in my books he’s still possibly the best character ever. He’s not just incredibly hot, but he’s also one of the most compelling TV characters ever. In case you can’t tell, I’m obsessed.
And nothing can beat his one-liners, let’s be real.
Buffy is everyone’s 90s style goals
The 90s is so in right now, and it doesn’t look as if it’s going anywhere any time soon. But if you really want to nail the 90s style, then you need look no further than Buffy the Vampire Slayer for your inspiration. From literally the first moment you see her, it is love at first fashion: a white strappy top and short sleeved cardigan, brown mini skirt, matching knee high boots, and a white clip in her hair.
She was a misfit, totally cute but in a very understated I kill vampires and could kick your ass kind of way. Her outfit style evolved as she did, getting grungier as she became more kick ass. Literally every episode featured a kick ass outfit, accessorised with a smear of blood an an ancient scythe in hand. It was all pretty iconic.
Willow and Tara
Willow and Tara’s relationship will go down in history as one of the greatest romances of all time. Yes, it was doomed, but it was still incredible, and it actually did make history as the first recurring depiction of a lesbian couple on prime time TV in the US. Sure, some have criticised the show for now showing more of their relationship, but the show was groundbreaking in terms of its portrayal of homosexuality.
And Joss Whedon even admitted that they were very limited by the network when it came to Willow and Tara’s relationship, saying “there are things the network will not allow us to show. As, for example, kissing”. That didn’t stop the show airing the first lesbian sex scene ever on network television though.
That one episode that was basically a musical
If life was one big musical where we revealed our hidden feelings through cheerful song, then wouldn’t the world be a better place? Probably not. But the creation of this episode did definitely make the world a better place. Once More, with Feeling, which contains a suit-wearing, tap-dancing blues demon casting a spell over the group causing them to break into song whenever they wanted to express their true feelings was quite possibly the greatest episode of all time.
And I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.
The female characters are still incredible even by today’s standards
Every single female character on this show was more than just a pretty face, and that’s not something you see even in TV shows made now. All the characters were multi-dimensional, fun, and interesting, as well as strong and complicated. And they were all different from each other.
Joss Whedon achieved what so many male writers fail to do: he created a veritable army of strong minded, interesting female characters who weren’t all just clones of each other.
It’s still affecting popular culture
Buffy’s influence can be seen everywhere in popular culture: The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Twilight, need I go on? The show brought vampire stories to the forefront again, and while some people might hate it for that, you cannot deny how influential it’s been.