I could go on forever about the impact of Buffy or make a bunch of lists about its best episodes and yes, though those have been done by me and many others, I feel like I can’t really think of one perfect way to celebrate the anniversary of this momentous series. All I can do is really speak about how Buffy makes me feel, even though its impact on my life hasn’t been measured by how it got me through any particular difficult time in my life.
Since I can remember Buffy has just been Buffy. The funny show I watched with my parents when I was little and could never really pinpoint when I began watching it. I remember specifically watching seminal episode Once More with Feeling with my dad then watching the uncut version later on (in the UK it was on BBC2 on Thursdays).
Later, I remember watching the final episode, Chosen, with my mum, leaning on a stool in front of the TV as Buffy fought against the armies of Turok-Han. After that my memory seems to blur, Buffy was just there. I remember at one pointing buying seasons three and four to complete my collection and finding gems I hadn’t watched before.
It felt like a part of my life and a part I didn’t really appreciate.
A couple more years later I binged through the excellent spin-off series Angel and refound my love for the Buffyverse. A couple after I came to an epiphany, Buffy was my favourite TV show of all time.
There wasn’t a whole lot of grandeur to the revelation, it just happened quietly. In my mind, it clicked. I’d reached the stage of my life where Netflix and DVD boxsets gave me countless new beloved shows to pour over, yet Buffy still came out on top.
As I reached this stage, branching out into adulthood around the time I went to university, I became more open, more aware of the world around me. Politics and morality gave me new perspectives on things and in the case of Buffy, I could see all the flaws I never noticed before.
From the painfully white cast to the obnoxiousness of early Xander, I saw the issues in Buffy that I’d simply not seen before. Yet, it’s even more clear that Buffy was special to me as it didn’t sour my love of the show, just put it into a healthier perspective.
Now, I tend to just get as many people as I can to watch it, convincing friends and co-workers that this was a show worth spending your time on. So I don’t mind re-watching again and again, especially if the other person is enjoying it, so I can see them watch it for the first time and laugh, cry and be shocked in the same ways I do.
I have so many other shows that I love and it’s not that some of my other favourites are any less than it, it’s just that it seems so easy to answer the question “What’s your favourite show?” with Buffy.
There are so many great episodes, good storylines and wonderful characters and so much to love, Buffy isn’t just my favourite show but she’s also my hero, the sort of strong, smart and kick-ass woman who I consider a role model.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t get me through any specific problems in life but rather just made life itself better and that’s reason enough to celebrate.