Traditionally, when a film is only marginally successful at the box office, the likelihood of it ever spawning a television series is slim at best. Even more rare is when anyone associated with such a film decides to make the transition into television. But Buffy the Vampire Slayer apparently wasn’t concerned by these preconceptions, because it proceeded to render them null. Not only was this 90s series far more successful than the original film, it also had creator and screenwriter Joss Whedon at the helm. Traditions be damned.
By all outward appearances, Buffy was a typical teenager, but she knew her true calling – as a Slayer, whose job it was to hunt and destroy the surrounding hordes of vampires. By day, she attended High School and acted like the typical 15-year old, but remained ever vigilant in her pursuit of these unholy creatures. The school librarian, Rupert Giles, himself a Watcher kept a cautious eye on Buffy, while she did her best to make sure her parents remained in the dark about her extraordinary escapades.
Her hometown of Sunnyville, like Buffy, also appeared ordinary on the outside, but the place was literally crawling with the fanged creatures of the night, and Buffy was left with the responsibility of foiling their sinister plot to take over the world. Luckily, she had a couple of classmates to assist her, including Willow, a bright but introverted girl with an interest in witchcraft, and Xander, a wannabe vampire hunter. Xander’s ex, Cordelia, had nothing but scorn for Buffy and her outcast pals, while Willow’s boyfriend Oz was capable of transforming into a werewolf when he so desired. Finally, there was Angel, the resident demon hunter and 243 year-old vampire. Strangely enough, this was one vampire Buffy didn’t want to destroy, perhaps because they were both in love which each other. As one might imagine, their respective roles in life led to more than a little relationship tension.
Each week, Buffy and pals battled one supernatural villain or another, most of which were dispatched by Master, their leader who had been trapped within a dimensional prison. Teen and college-aged fans ate it all up and asked for more, making Buffy a certified cult hero. With characters that weren’t afraid to grow and change, an onslaught of supernatural elements, which strangely but creatively chronicled just about every adolescent struggle in life that one could imagine, coupled with a delightful blend of sarcastic humor, fright and drama, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an enormous rating success. Finally, at the end of the 7th season, star Sarah Michelle Gellar decided that her slaying days were over, but just like those pesky vampires, the end isn’t always the end. The Buffy Canon continues to this day, with new stories available in comic book form each month.
If you were a loyal fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we welcome your thoughts and recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to Buffy for making the world a safer place.