Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

We’ve Already Had #20YearsOfBuffy, Yet the Show Remains Revolutionary

March 10, 2017 marks exactly 20 years since the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was aired. Currently, my biggest regret in life is not watching the show earlier on in life, but I’m so, so glad I did eventually and in my 19 years old mindset so that I could appreciate it to its fullest. In less than a month, I’ve watched four seasons and a half, so it’s pretty clear how incredible it is. In a nutshell, the show in about Buffy, the chosen vampire slayer of her generation trying to balance out her life as a teen and young adult with her slayer duties. And you know, she basically saves the world every episode, stopping the apocalypse every season.

The show is from the late 1990s, having it’s last season in 2003, but it is still so ahead of our time. First of all, the entire premises of the show is that, for every generation, there is a chosen woman assigned with the task of saving the world. Yup, a woman.

No super demon guy, or military squad has nearly enough strength to top Buffy. But that’s not all the empowerment we get.

What’s so amazing about the show is that Buffy isn’t the only strong female character.

Her mother, Joyce, jumps in at any occasion to save her daughter even before knowing she’s the slayer and what she was fighting were demons. She’s a single mother that took on the task of moving with Buffy after complications (Blame the Slayer duties!) with her previous school in Los Angeles. Buffy’s dad drops by here and there, but after the divorce, it was Joyce who packed up her life up and moved to good-ol’ Sunnydale with her troublemaker of a daughter. Well, or so she thinks. Once Joyce is in on the loop regarding demons, vampires, and the slaying, she shows immense appreciation for her daughter, supporting her in what Buffy calls a job, but never doing away with her motherly love and affection.

Willow might just be my favorite character. To me, she definitely has the best character development in television. We meet Willow as a shy nerd who’s in love with her best friend, then turned into Buffy’s sidekick, but she turns it around and becomes an incredibly powerful witch.

Willow also has the healthiest relationship on the show and, get this, with her girlfriend (Yes, girlfriend! A healthy lesbian relationship on TV! In the 1990s!) Tara.

I mean, Oz and Willow were a pretty great couple that loved and supported each other. That being until the wolf kicked in with the cheating so… let’s skip that. The show so naturally and beautiful portray Willow’s understanding of her feelings for Tara and her friend’s acceptance of her girlfriend. While it does take her some time to introduce Tara to the Scooby Gang, the moment she does, the gang is welcoming and accepting of Tara and their relationship. The show does add some “Willow, everyone knows” jokes here and there, but that usually comes from Xander, the best friend turned ex-major-crush, known for not really getting what’s going on.

Buffy opened doors for kickass female characters and honestly everyone, but most importantly every girl and woman, should watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And if you dive in too deep like I did, there’s also the spin-off Angel that allows for a bit more time with past Buffy characters. I couldn’t possibly forget to mention Cordelia, while we’re on the Angel tangent. She shows up as Sunnydale High’s own personal mean girl, but, boy, she can kick ass in a Homecoming dress. She becomes a strong warrior, does some slaying herself, and is always available as a helping hand.

Even Faith deserves an honorable mention. While she did turn to the dark side, she owned it. Faith is strong, a powerful slayer, and a worthy adversary to Buffy. See, not even the villains disappoint! Darla, Drusilla, Glory, you might have all done some bad in your days, but all of you did it with class and never submitting to the patriarchal powers that tried holding you down. We salute your female leadership.

From strong, empowering female warriors, LGBT witches that can work any spell, and villains that can fight on tight dresses and high heels (And win, by the way), Buffy’s 20 years of revolutionary characters just seems so fit to fall so closely to Women’s Day. Sadly, Netflix will be taking the show down this April 1st. So buckle up, make some popcorn, and binge-watch. It’ll be 5 by 5.

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