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Happy 20th Birthday, Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Today, my favorite show of all-time turns 20!

Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-Then-Now
Online USA, Getty Images

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is quite possibly, the greatest horror-themed show ever created. While shows like Supernatural and The Walking Dead are now commonplace, it wasn’t until a failed 1993 movie was turned into a TV series that a horror/comedy/drama/everything else format could actually exist.

I got into Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was in 8th grade. I had transferred to a new school and was looking for any way to relate to my classmates. I overheard a few of them talking about Buffy (What’s up, Marc). I decided I would check it out. This was during the 5th season of the show. Having never seen the show before, I was instantly lost, before giving up on it.

 

About a year later, I discovered the joy of TV shows on DVD and the reruns of the show on FX. Finally, I was able to get into the show it was meant to be enjoyed: from the beginning. I fell in love with the characters and began to relate to the situations they were put into. Sure, I wasn’t having to fight monsters on a regular basis, but so many of the monsters on the show were just metaphors for common teenage problem, that the show became a representation of how I was feeling. I love that the show could do so much with so little. The show didn’t have a huge budget in the beginning, but they made up for it by engaging the audience in story arcs that got them invested.

Every twist and turn that Buffy would throw at you was earned. They never did anything just to do it. During the 4th season, when Willow became a lesbian, it wasn’t a TV stunt; it was a purposeful choice by her character. I also cite Buffy as a form of media (along with the brilliant HBO show Six Feet Under) made me more aware, educated, and accepting of the LGBT community.

I loved that Buffy wasn’t afraid to take chances. They did an almost entirely silent episode and a musical episode. Both episodes were fantastic. And yes, there were some clunkers throughout the almost 150 episode run, but even the worst Buffy episodes have value. Buffy the Vampire Slayer will always represent a period of my life when I was learning to accept myself. Even if I wasn’t loving how my life was going at the time, it was a simpler time where I didn’t have to worry as much.

I was always appreciate Buffy for sparking my creativity and getting me interested in horror and comedy, two things I still love to this day. Joss Whedon is a genius and his style of writing is unparalleled by anyone. If you’ve never watched Buffy, I highly recommend giving it a chance. Not all shows that turn 20 years old are celebrating, and that is a testament to just how good Buffy really is.

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