The show was a mix of humour and drama, touching on wide ranging issues such as morality, death, sex, bullying and parenting all filtered through the hell a high school experience can be, especially when you character is a reversal of the traditional blonde bimbo victim, now turned slayer, destined to protect the world from demons and vampires.
I came late to the show, accidentally watching the finale of the 2nd series, intrigued by this girl in love with a vampire, her simple wish to be a normal girl suffocated by huge obligations, forced into killing her fella to save the world. I don’t know how hammy that premise sounds but the episode was outstanding, a bank of rich characters filled out the story and the ending left my jaw on the floor.
The show was brave, so often Joss Whedon has had his visions stifled by studios, he has just left the Wonderwoman project and his script was butchered to turn Alien Resurrection into the mess it was. It is hardly new now but it was the first show I’d seen that had series long arcs, at times scenes dropped hints of events that would unfold two years later. Every episode, even the poorer episodes of which bettered anything churned out by the pretenders to follow (Charmed, Smallville) were littered with twists and were endlessly funny and equally poignant all in the space of 50 minutes. There were benchmark episodes when you knew you were watching something special, episodes totally devoid of dialogue or with no backing music, with plot developments turning everything on its head, no character was safe, the story telling was real and determined. To watch the development of the show, the themes to each series and see the attention paid to evolving the main players as well as supporters is a testament to the talent at play. I could go on: favourite episodes, scenes, characters, running gags, pop culture references. You get the idea. Buffy is currently being shown weekdays on Channel 6 and Sky 1.
IMDB kindly lists some of the best dialogue of the show here, and there is no end to the fan-sites on offer, everything from philosophical debates to examinations of Sarah Michelle Gellars diminishing waistline throughout the series.