Okay, maybe I don’t have proof. What I do have is some really strong evidence to support my claim that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best show to ever air on television. If you don’t believe me, it’s time for a rewatch.
It has been 20 years since Buffy Summers, the chosen one, arrived in Sunnydale, stake and Mr. Gordo in hand. Did she want to be the only person who had the strength and skill to take on the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness? Heck no. Did she rise to the occasion and sacrifice everything, including her own life, to protect the world? You’re darn-tootin’ she did.
And that’s not the only thing that Buffy did for the world. For 7 seasons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer seamlessly blended drama, teen angst, supernatural fiction, hilarious one-liners, horror, gut-wrenching agony, action, a cavalcade of interesting characters, and some of the most enduring and incredible storytelling the world has ever seen into one beautifully balanced television series. And the world took notice.
Buffy is, to this day, one of the most influential shows of all time. Just ask The Wire’s creator David Simon who said in a blog post that Buffy is the “best show in years.” Or see what Neil Gaiman says about writing strong female characters like Buffy: “… we write the things we either want to see or always have. Buffy was both.” (BTW, there are plenty of writers who hail Buffy as a show that played a significant role in their writing).
Episode after episode, year after year, Buffy hit its fans young and old right in the feels and delivered critically-acclaimed moments that no one soon forgot. Today, Buffy still feels the same as it always did – dynamic, cutting edge, and always one step ahead of the curve. If you’ve never seen the show before (and seriously, how is that possible?), you may see the same TV clichés that you’ve come to expect in a television playing out.
But the thing to remember is that Buffy was often the first show to introduce them to the world, leaving all other TV shows to catch up or get left behind in Buffy’s dust.
Buffy was revolutionary on many fronts. There’s its treatment of gay characters, one of whom would have the first ever lesbian sex scene on network TV. There’s also the musical episode, which was so incredible that went on a nationwide singalong theater tour and spawned countless musical episode ripoffs. There’s an almost entirely silent episode that is creepier than anything you’ve ever seen on network TV. Finally, it is chock full of strong and nuanced female characters who inspired millions the world over.
Buffy didn’t just make for good viewing. It was landmark television that became the gold standard of genre-mashup, female empowerment, and writing that stands the test of time. And all that, my friends, is what makes Buffy worthy of being called the best show ever. IMHO, of course.
Looking to revisit Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the extended Buffyverse? Whether it’s DVDs, books, comics, box sets, toys, or just someone to geek out with about the Scooby gang, Bookmans stores have you covered.
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