It’s officially 20 years since Buffy the Vampire slayer hit our screens, so today the internet breaks out in blog tributes to her. I figured I may as well throw my Buffy loving ring into the hat, as #Buffyslays20. (I actually really like this hashtag, unlike most attempts to combined something old with modern slang this one kind of works, I guess because it works on it’s own, I guess not many other shows can use ‘slay’ organically- the ‘I Slay’ shirts are a bit far though).
Oh Buffy, what to say about you? You’re my favourite show, and have been since I was about 14 and tried out a 2nd hand DVD we had lying around the house. Although I didn’t realise at the time, you probably set my standards pretty high for a female lead and what she could do. You also set the standard of TV for me – to this day my favourite style of show is the one that combines episodes with a season long story arc, building up to a (often tragic) show down with the big bad in the season finale.
When I see you advertised and talked about now a lot now people often describe your appeal as camp. While some of your effects and outfits AND references are hilariously outdated now, this does you a true disservice. You’re a funny show, yes you have some great lines and a ton of hilarious moments…….
“Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to come up with a crazier plan”
“We attack the mayor with hummus”
“I stand corrected”
….. but man did you have some gut wrenching moments.
Even your infamous singing episode while full of catchy songs, ends with a break up, abandonment by a father figure and the confession that you didn’t save your friend from hell you stole her from heaven and forced her to come back to a world where she has to work at a burger place just to pay her bills. BTVS your greatest strength was mixing comedy with tragedy.
Beneath the kick-assery of being the chosen one there lay a real tragedy of a teenage girl who had a duty that left her with a very short life span. Sometimes it understandably got too much. Buffy telling Giles she didn’t want to save the world because “I’m sixteen years old, I don’t wanna die” broke my heart. Angel turning evil with a taste for the sadistic. 17 year old Buffy running a sword through her true love’s heart. The entirety of ‘The Body’. Buffy’s sacrifice. The lose of Tara. The yellow crayon. Everyone Joss killed in the final.Dammit Buffy YOU MAKE ME FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS.
So Happy Birthday Buffy, even though it’s an established part of the show that your birthdays always end in disaster, this one feels to big to ignore.
No weapons… no friends… no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?