Dani’s Top 5 TV Shows: #1 – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It would come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that my number one TV show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In fact, when we were given this article to write, I immediately said to myself, “Number one – Buffy!”. I was not surprised to see that it made other writers’ lists and was even Kristen’s number one show. It really is worthy of such an honor.

What the show is about

As the title suggest, Buffy is a vampire slayer. This is not a job for which she volunteered but, rather, she was chosen. Every generation a new slayer is born. This process speeds up if a slayer falls victim to an early death. As a slayer, Buffy not only has the job to slay vampires, but hidden strength and what sometimes seems like super powers to get the job done. There is never a shortage of vampires in Sunnydale where Buffy lives as the Hellmouth, where all evil is spawn, is nestled nicely below the city. Add on to the fact that vampires seem to actively seek out slayers for the pure challenge of killing them, and it is clear that Buffy would have her work cut out for her. Did I mention she is in high school?

Why I love it

Buffy is the ultimate female superhero. She is pretty, fun, clever, sarcastic, and can kick some serious ass. However, she does all of this begrudgingly. Even though she is the Chosen One, Buffy does not always accept her fate with the grace one would expect from a superhero. Hence, she is real. She is a teenager attempting to get through high school, deal with her mom, a boyfriend that none of her friends accepts, and spend her nights patrolling evil. At times she is a petulant teenage girl and at other times she shows wisdom beyond her years.

The writing on this show is outstanding. The writers took the characters in directions no one expected and utilized storylines that seemed ludicrous at times, all while somehow making it work. In fact, one of my favorite episodes “Hush” involved no speaking by anyone on the show for close to 55 minutes. Who knew you could be so sucked in and enthralled in almost an hour of a TV show when there are no words?

Why you should watch it

If you are like I was at first, then you probably think the premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer sounds stupid. A teenage girl that fights vampires while attending high school? Sounds lame. I felt that way. I remember the first episode I stumbled upon which involved the high school swim team turning into fish and I just laughed at the lunacy of it all. However, the next time I tuned in, in a later season, the writing was smoother and I was hooked. It was so easy to fall in love with the loyal gang of friends that stood by Buffy, both emotionally and physically. While there was only one slayer, the group whom affectionately called themselves the “Scooby Gang” proved that true friends will move heaven and earth to help you save the world. A lot.

You should watch this because it is easily Joss Whedon’s best series to date. The characters are strong and diverse, the humor is sharp and witty, and the cast featured some of the best up and coming actors around includng Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanez, Allyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Seth Green, and James Marsters. The show also resulted in a spin off for David Boreanez, Angel, which also went on to become a great series. The icing on the cake, of course, were the crossovers between Buffy and Angel. One of the best episodes involving Buffy, aside from “Hush”, was the crossover on Angel called “I Will Remember You.” It still breaks my heart 11 years later.

With the recent resurgence of all things vampire, it is good to know that there is a show out there that deals with the ugly, evil and dark side of vampires and the very human conflicts involved in having to slay and love those same creatures, while still maintaining a light side and keeping the audience entertained the entire way. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, much like Buffy herself, is the whole package. You should take a peek.