Sink your teeth into fang-tastic nostalgia Buffy still slaying strong 17 years on
Buffy the Vampire Slayer All 4/E4
Well this one takes me back.
Tuning in as a high school pupil and college student, Buffy was a TV show that gripped me from start to finish when first shown in the late nineties/ early noughties.
One of the good things about the Covid-19 lockdown is that it’s given me the chance to revisit Buffy in all its pun-tastic, action-packed, emotionallygrounded glory, with All 4 streaming all seven seasons.
Joss Whedon created a show ahead of its time with a kick-a** female lead, same-sex relationships and the hellish after effects of grief just some of the things he brought to the small screen.
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy is the perfect heroine; as often flawed and vulnerable as she is strong and inspirational, she endures many ups and downs.
On the romance front, I always found David Boreanaz’s Angel a bit of a wet blanket, so was very relieved when he disappeared to front his own spin-off show and James Marsters’ way more charismatic Spike took over as Buffy’s often unwanted vampire love interest.
Nicholas Brendon’s Xander is hilarious – it’s a crime Brendon’s career stalled post-Buffy – and Alyson Hannigan wowed as Willow; the latter’s tranformation across the 144 episodes rivals anyone else’s.
Anthony Head’s Giles makes for a marvellous mentor and other sensational supporting players include Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Seth Green (Oz), Eliza Dushku (Faith) and
Emma Caulfield Ford (Anya).
Less impressive are Buffy’s brief boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas), the slayer’s grating sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) and the show’s worst big bad, George Hertzberg’s Adam.
Standout episodes are season six’s Tabula Rasa – outstandingly funny – and Once More, with Feeling – musical magic – season four’s almost completely silent Hush and the fifth season’s heartbreaking Body which sees an acting tour-de-force from Gellar.
My favourite seasons are three and five – largely due to the wickedly likeable villainy of respective antagonists Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener) and Glory (Clare Kramer) – and the final run provides a fitting way to end Buffy and the gang’s incredible journey.
Stake your life on her Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy was the perfect heroine