Sink your teeth into fang-tas­tic nostal­gia

Buffy still slay­ing strong 17 years on

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - WATCH LIST - 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.

●What are your thoughts on Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer? Did you watch it the first time around?

Pop me an email at ian.bunting@ reach­plc.com and I will pass on your com­ments – and any movie or TV show rec­om­men­da­tions you have – to your fel­low read­ers.

Stake your life on her Sarah Michelle Gel­lar’s Buffy was the perfect hero­ine

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