Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TV Series of the Month - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This month’s series is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003).

The show is about a teenage girl who moves to a new town, Sunnydale, having to start all over again – making friends, fitting in and all the other problems that come with being in high school. Oh yeah, and Sunnydale just happens to be situated on a Hellmouth. As the chosen Slayer of her generation, Buffy Summers is tasked with protecting the world from all manner of beasts, vampires and demons (and I promise it is much better than I am making it out to be) with the help of her friends (the Scooby Gang). Lasting seven seasons, the show was created by Joss Whedon, who also directed and wrote a number of the best episodes (I love Becoming, Graduation, The Body, The Gift, and of course Once More with Feeling). The series has a phenomenal cast, led by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, and Anthony Stewart Head, while also featuring wonderful other principals along the way in James Marsters (who is many a fan’s favorite character playing Spike), Emma Caulfield (whose Anya is hilarious), Michelle Trachtenberg, and David Boreanaz (who is always awesome – see the Buffy spin off Angel or his latest show Bones). Additionally, the show featured excellent reoccurring and guest stars (my favorites are Eliza Dushku’s Faith, Juliet Landau’s Drusilla and Harry Groener’s Mayor Richard Wilkins). Along with Whedon, it illustrated the work of many fantastic writers (like: Marti Noxon, Jane Espenson, David Fury, and Douglas Petrie). The brilliance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that the show combines action, comedy, drama, and horror extremely well. Whedon also authors a vehicle for a female star (which is still rare today). The show is just not about a young woman running around fighting demons (I mean there is that); it is about growing up, facing responsibilities, friendship, loss, happiness – life – which makes it easily relatable to its audience. There are not too many shows (or films) that can have its viewers scared, entertained, blown away, laughing, and crying all in the same episode. This is one of the great works in television (and among my absolute favorites). Each season has the Scooby Gang facing off against a new Big Bad as its main arch, but throughout the seasons the show addresses many fun, sad and wonderful stories (the nerd in me compels me to list in order my favorite seasons: 5, 3, 7, 2, 6, 1, 4). And for those who love the show, it continues in comic book form with season eight. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an amazing show and a must for fans of Whedon’s work. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and to Rent

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