Can you believe it has been ten years since a certain plucky blonde punned her way into our hearts?
Welcome to the Hellmouth, the first of what would be seven years worth of episodes following everyone’s favourite vampire slayer, first aired March 10, 1997. Wow. I didn’t start watching from Day 1, and I can’t remember exactly when I started watching. I have a distinct memory of channel surfing and seeing a scene from “The Puppet Show,” and my siblings’ baby-sitter commenting on how much she loved the show. By mid-way through the second season I was hooked.
Buffy the show and Buffy the character I loved (and continue to love, in DVD format) for many reasons. The show was witty and incredibly quotable – I continue to use Buffyisms in everyday speech, four years after cancellation. It alternated moments of comedy and lightness with horror and tragedy with remarkable aplomb; who can forget The Body? It was packed with metaphors! For high school, for love, for life. But mainly, it had amazing characters.
Willow, loveable wall-flower geek, who evolves into a powerful witch alternately hero and villain (I must confess, towards the end I missed her computer nerd incarnation the most). Xander, trusty sidekick, braver than he should have been considering his utter lack of power, occasionally driven to being an asshole and/or making crap choices, but always loyal (Confession #2, I was a Buffy/Xander shipper to the bitter end). Giles, much like Superman with his mild-mannered librarian by day persona, covering an internal badass hiding inside. The powerful and tender father/daughter relationship he had with Buffy, the way he’d idly clean his glasses, the way he was totally hot.
Then of course, Buffy herself. Powerful but vulnerable, angsty yet hilarious, and smarter than she ever gave herself credit for. While there were times, especially in later seasons, that I felt the characterization was a bit off, ultimately Buffy was a wonderful character. She tried to back away from her slayer destiny, but once she realized that wasn’t happening, she became driven with a purpose – to protect her family and friends, a pursuit that led to sacrificing herself more than once. There’s so much more that could be written about: the indignation at her troubles with the law, the apprehension when Faith tempted her with the dark side of power, the pride when her classmates acknowledged her contributions.
Buffy, as a character and as a show, made me laugh and made me cry, and the very last episode back in 2003 made me so sad as I knew I’d be missing the Scooby Gang. That’s why I’m so excited that the 8th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, canon written by Joss Whedon, debuts today in graphic novel form. I can’t wait to see how it goes.