If you haven't had a chance to read the introduction to my Girl Crush series, make sure to check it out here.
While I can't say I escaped the pop culture phenomenon that was Twilight (#TeamEdward, am I right?), I spent many afternoons after school watching a different vampire program. Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on March 10, 1997 (exactly 20 years ago!) and I discovered it in the early 2000s. Best known for its supernatural characters and heart-wrenching love triangles, this show had such an impact on me and the world. It only seems fitting to add Buffy to my list of badass and inspiring women in my Girl Crush series.
When we first meet our heroine, she was an average girl about to start high school, completely unaware that she was the slayer.
But after a few bump and bruises, she became the blonde, vampire slaying, cheerleader that redefined how fans and non-fans alike saw female heroes. In fact, in a 2012 study by Slate, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was named the most studied pop culture work by academics, with more than 200 papers, essays, and books devoted to the series. I have to admit, if there had been a course on Buffy at my school, I definitely would have taken it.
Throughout its seven seasons, Buffy pushed the envelope of how teenagers were shown on TV. While many shows depicted teenagers dealing with trivial things like skipping class or getting a flat tire, Buffy dared to talk about social norms, death, sexuality and loneliness. Which are things all young people fear but are often too afraid to articulate out loud. Beyond the themes, Buffy showed that teens are just as capable of being smart and witty as adults. Buffy's role as a female lead gave us perspective into issues like cliques and slut shaming, that we wouldn't have seen from a male main character. Even the way the show was structured went against the television norm with large arcs tying together multiple episodes and seasons.
And the impact of Buffy wasn't only felt by those watching at home, but by the actress picked to bring her to life. In an Instagram post celebrating the show's 20thanniversary, Sarah Michelle Gellar described her experience playing Buffy and what made the character so great..
You can read her full post below. If it's been awhile since you've watched an episode or even if you never thought the story of a blonde, vampire slaying, highschooler wouldn't interest you, I highly recommend putting your feet up and diving into the Sunnydale High. You can watch every episode on Hulu now!
If it's been awhile since you've watched an episode or even if you never thought the story of a blonde, vampire slaying, highschooler wouldn't interest you, I highly recommend putting your feet up and diving into the Sunnydale High. You can watch every episode on Hulu now!