For those of you who were deprived during your teenage years or for those youngsters out there, here's a brief recap on the world of Buffy (just so you'll have an idea of what I'm ranting on about later in the post):
Buffy is the story of a teenage girl who discovers she has supernatural powers which she has been given in order to fight vampires, demons and the forces of darkness. As you do. There's only one Slayer in each generation but generally they die young because of the high level of violence associated with the job. Luckily Buffy has her "Watcher"- Giles, who trains her and provides her with the information she needs to defeat her enemies, thanks to his huge knowledge of the demon world. He works as a librarian in the school in Sunnydale (the library is coincidentally situated directly over the Hellmouth) where Buffy attends. She steadily builds up a close group of friends; Willow, Xander, Angel, Cordelia and Oz- outcasts like herself and they become the "Scooby Gang". They all have their part to play in helping Buffy; research, computer skills, fighting, spells etc to take on the various baddies. Buffy also has the misfortune to be the only slayer ever to fall in love with a vampire (a "good one" though, thanks to a gypsy curse- don't ask)- Angel, a tortured soul who happens to be fairly hot, fortunately for us viewers.
The show ran for seven years and was hugely successful, leading to Buffy magazines and comics, the current love for all things Vampire and also the less brilliant spin-off show, Angel.
Recently I saw a tweet that said that the Buffy franchise is now twenty years old (cause of that awful Luke Perry film from 1992) and even more shocking, that James Marsters, who played Spike is now 50..Aargh. I think we all feel ancient now, right? Before I need to install a stair lift, I'll get on with the many reasons why I loved, still love and would still recommend this show to everyone:
- Buffy herself was a great character. Joss Whedon (the shows writer/director/producer, also known for the Avengers and the Cabin in the Woods) wanted to create a world where the small, weak-looking blonde girl isn't automatically the victim, as was always seen in horror movies. Buffy is seriously strong thanks to her superpowers and is a warrior, not to be messed with. She's a leader, is stronger than all the men around her and pretty much always wins. Hurrah!
- The scooby gang were just such great characters- I LOVED Willow and Xander, Angel was gorgeous, Oz was really cool, I was fond of Giles, I even liked Cordelia and that's saying something. Kennedy and Dawn did grate on me a little bit in later episodes though..
- It's nerd heaven. The story of a parallel world where vampires, werewolves, witches and monsters of all sorts reside is always going to draw in the nerd contingency. When I was in school, the rest of my class watched wet-blanket Dawson and his massive forehead spout his absurdly large vocabulary- instead, my friends and I were watching Buffy kick ass..far cooler.
- The show never took itself too seriously- it was riddled with in-jokes, clever quips and popular culture references, which was a really good thing because given some of the story lines it could easily have become a bit ridiculous if it weren't for that important element of humour.
Buffy Baddies, Hush (bottom left) about the "Gentlemen" who steal your voice so you cant scream while they take out your heart..uurgh..
- The baddies. While each episode usually had a stand alone storyline with a demon Buffy had to fight, in each series there was also the "Big Bad", an ongoing storyline which usually culminated in the end of the world and a big Buffy v Demon showdown at the end of each series. My personal favourites were Spike, Drusilla and Angelus in Series 2 and The Mayor/Faith in Series 3. Also, the vampires and monsters all looked really scary- amazing make up and costume work.
- There was a great soundtrack, real bands played in The Bronze- Sunnydales nightclub.
- The love story between Buffy and Angel was really well done and it was absolutely heartbreaking when (SPOILER ALERT, 15 years later) he turned evil in series 2 and she had to kill him to save the world. Sniffle.
- If you want to watch it now and like me you're heading for 30 then you'll be pleased to know that you're now officially (ahem) old enough to indulge in the Buffy drinking game- there's loads of triggers. For instance; every time Giles takes off and cleans his glasses, every time Buffy and Angel have a tearful interlude, whenever Spike uses British slang, every time someone says "wiggins" etc. There are literally hundreds more so prepare to be hammered.
There's plenty more reasons why I love Buffy, but we really would all be needing stair lifts if I kept going at this rate. What I will say, (lastly!) is that I find it really comforting to re-watch Buffy now- both cause it reminds me of good times when I was younger but also cause, as I've clearly stated, I just love the story lines and the characters. It was a really original concept at the time and to be honest, I'm not sure any TV show aimed at teens has come close to its brilliance since then. So yeah, yis can keep your Twilight and your Vampire Diaries. Nothing beats the original and best!
Any other die hard Buffy fans out there?!
P.s. Apparently there's talk of a Hollywood style Buffy-reboot. I am more than unimpressed. They'll make a hames of it!!