Buffy the Vampire Slayer

1997 | United States

A somewhat belated television reincarnation of the box-office flop of the same name, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (originally intended as a vehicle for Beverly Hills 90210's Luke Perry), was given a complete make-over by screenwriter/executive producer Joss Whedon to become a hip, smart, slick and razor-sharp series for Warner Bros' fledgling TV network. Indeed the show takes the teenage angst of series' such as Beverly Hills 90210 and deftly interweaves it with the wonderfully unlikely concept that beautiful all-American teenaged high school girl, Buffy Summers is 'The Slayer', the latest in an ages old line sworn to protect humanity from the forces of darkness which lurk unsuspected under our very noses. (Quite literally in the case of Sunnydale, Buffy's home town which is built over the Hell Mouth, an active portal between earth and other, much darker realities). 

Leading a talented ensemble cast, Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy is a winsomely engaging actress who's performance perfectly treads the delicate line between emerging young woman facing all the problems of the onset of maturity and a dynamically dangerous killing machine with a style and aplomb that's a pleasure to behold. Her teacher in all things 'Scully' (Slayerspeak for the paranormal), is Giles the school librarian, also known as 'The Watcher.' But the real strength of the series lies in the way that it deals with serious emotional issues of personal growth, friendship, loyalty and most crucially, love, with an assuredness which is never at odds with the more overtly action/adventure elements that form the basic bedrock of the premise. 

The love interest for our heroine comes in the form of reformed vampire, Angel, who after bedding the Slayer loses his soul to the forces of darkness. (The character proved so popular that a 1999 spin-off series, Angel, continued to follow his adventures as he relocated to LA, and hooked up with Buffy's old rival-cum-sidekick, Cordelia Chase as a broodingly cool and hip vampiric private detective). Meanwhile as each season progressed, the senior series continued to extend and explore the rich tapestry of its own established mythology in ever more unexpected and adventurous ways, and as always it was in the area of character growth that the richest rewards were to be found. 

Buffy herself continued her sometimes turbulent and painfully emotional development towards the maturity of true adulthood, while a totally unexpected, but impressive and sensitively handled growing lesbian love affair for the gentle Willow, and the return of old adversary Spike, assured the show was in seemingly fine shape to carry forward for a total of 7 seasons. 

Buffy The Vampire Slayer went for the emotional jugular then finished the viewer off with an adrenaline-powered stake to the heart. It was hot, sassy and sexy. It's was also a hellmouth full of fun.

Published on November 30th, 2018. SRH.

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