Just hear me out! If you didn’t have a TV or internet any time in the 1997-2003 period, Buffy was a tv show about the world’s “only” vampire slayer (I use “only” loosely since they found plenty of loopholes for that one) and everything in her life that set her apart from the slayers that came before her. Let’s face it, the Buffster isn’t exactly your typical slayer. She goes to high school, eventually attends college and even attempts to hold down a day job. She has friends (a slayer “no no”) and is a total slave to fashion (which, quite frankly, adds to the horror effect: i.e. did we really dress like that??). If you can get past the cheesiness of the show, here are my top reasons (with slight spoilers, SORRY!) for watching BtVS which should work to sway you to at least add the seasons to your Netflix queue. You should try anything once, right? Here you go:
5. The Dream Sequences
I don’t know how he does it, but Joss Whedon can create a dream sequence like nobody’s business! The music, the visuals, everything is right on track. From that embarrassing dream, you know the one, where you’re supposed to perform in front of everyone including your very judgmental parents but then you get on stage and just can’t sing. Or you didn’t study for that great big test. Or there’s a guy wearing cheese. Wait… back up. A guy. Wearing cheese? Yea, there’s plenty of that.
4. The “Big Bads”
The Big Bads were the great evils that plagued Sunnydale for the majority of the season. This list could seriously become a list within a list, but then I’d be too worried that I’d inception this list so I will do my best to keep this simple with seasons. In order from least favorite to favorite, they would have to be:
- The Master (Season 1)
- Spike, Drusilla, & Angelus (Season 2) (Don’t get me wrong, I totally love Spike. Just not as a Big Bad.)
- Adam (Season 4)
- Glory (Season 5)
- The Mayor (Season 3)
- The First & Caleb (Season 7)
- The Trio (Season 6)
The Trio are hands down my favorite. Okay, okay, maybe not Warren so much. But seriously, how can you not love bad guys that first argue about whether painting the Death Star on their secret van was a good idea or not, and then where the exhaust ports should actually be. Besides, the Trio decided to take over Sunnydale while playing a game of D&D. I would totally be buds with Andrew (especially after his journey through the Buffyverse) and not just because of the (incredibly poor quality) video below either:
3. The Body
I will do my best to not completely ruin the series by explaining this one. But truly, my list would be incomplete without this episode. The Body is a heart wrenching episode that hits all of the notes of grief so masterfully. Yes, someone very near and dear to the main characters dies and Joss Whedon takes the characters and viewers through silence and off-center character framing that creates such an awkward experience. The episode has also been stripped of all music which really helps the pauses in dialogue to feel incredibly bare. Death isn’t exactly a new concept on the show, but The Body takes BtVS to a very realistic level. Oddly (pun intended, if you’re a Buffy fan you’ll get it), Anya is the one that really sells how hard it is for everyone. See, Anya was a vengeance demon until her powers were taken from her. It’s been centuries since she was last human and she has absolutely no grasp on human emotions and how she’s meant to react in these sort of situations. It’s weird, but I totally tear up any time I hear “fruit punch” because of the scene below. Warning: the video does reveal who has died.
BtVS, as a horror show, didn’t exactly reach the scare level that, say, Supernatural does and it certainly never reached the gore level of Dexter. But in Season 4, the episode Hush definitely pushed Buff to a whole new level. Aside from the insanely high “WTF are those and why are they smiling?!” reaction over the episode’s baddies, there is something eerie about an episode with no talking. Yup, about 90% of this episode is done without a word. Why? Because The Gentlemen have come to Sunnydale and have stolen everyone’s voices so they can cut out 7 hearts without hearing the screams. And did I mention they do this all with a smile on their face? *shiver*
1. Karaoke Meet & Greets
Don’t worry, you read that right. BtVS Season 6 featured a musical episode. Considering there are plenty of wacky demons in the world of Buffy, it completely works with the plot, though I won’t reveal who calls forth this musical demon. In college, I worked at Sam Goody at Westlake Center in Seattle and you’d better believe that my friend and I would play Once More, With Feeling as often as possible! Joss Whedon is a lyrical genius and the Buffy musical totally implements his tongue-in-cheek nature that subtly pokes fun at itself. Example: Willow’s line in Walk Through the Fire that truly is mostly filler. Or Tara’s line in I’m Under Your Spell, we see what you did there with the editing Whedon! Whereas the musical episode is definitely a good reason to watch the series, the fact that Nicholas Brendon (Xander) does Karaoke Meet & Greets to the tunes of Once More, With Feeling is incredibly epic!
Buffy deals with a plethora of issues: coming out, addiction, depression, abusive relationships, grief, murder, financial stress, and plenty more. But it also shows how friendship, love, and sacrifice can defeat the evilest of evils. There’s nothing we can’t face. Except for bunnies.
p.s. If you’re still not convinced, maybe I should mention that Felicia Day plays an adorable little Potential named Vi. Yea, that should get you geeks going. 😉