Friday was the 20th anniversary of the first airing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – one of the defining tv shows of my life.
I remember watching the first season on BBC2 with my little sister and my dad, and just thinking here was a show that spoke to me. I was just starting secondary school and those teenage monsters were very familiar.
Now we were all supposed to be in love with David Boreanaz’s tortured vampire-with-a-soul Angel but I must admit I do love a bad boy – there was a huge poster of Spike (James Marsters) on my bedroom wall.
The monsters as metaphors is a construct as old as story telling but these were monsters A teenage girl with a sharp stick and a great line in quips could kill. That’s a pretty empowering thing for any young woman.
Buffy dealt with bullies, death, a bratty sister, love, heartbreak, exams and friendships – all the things we all go through. She showed us the way. How many times did you want to quite literally stab your heart breaking ex through the heart with a wooden stake.
And then there was the kickass soundtrack. I still have all 3 of the soundtrack cds – including the musical episode ‘Once More With Feeling’.
I have trouble picking a favourite episode, character etc but here’s my highlights.
The silent episode ‘Hush’ was masterful. And proves the cast can all act.
Xander and Willow’s relationship is definitely a friendship to aspire to – he saves her from becoming full on evil Willow with the power of his love for his best pal. And then there’s the Snoopy dance (bless Nicholas Brendon for still doing this at fan conventions).
When everyone loses their memories and Spike and Giles think they’re father and son (and Spike’s called Randy)
Faith – just too damn cool for school. But also power crazed, murderous and just a tad unhinged.
The Halloween episodes – vamps took the night off but all sorts of havoc would break loose. My favourite was either when everyone became their costumes (Buffy as an actual damsel in distress) or when they get trapped in a haunted house and have to defeat a fear demon – who’s about 3 inches high!
Tara and Willow’s beautiful falling in love story. Pretty much the first sane sex couples I remember seeing on tv. Sweet, sad, romantic and tragic.
How much I hated Riley the cardboard soldier and that whole plotline – even more than the Glory/Dawn storyline and I really hated that.
When did Buffy sleep? Demon fighting by night and school by day. What a hero, or serious caffeine habit.
How sad I was when it all ended.
This weekend I am planning a boxset binge to mark the anniversary – anyone else?