Watching American TV shows is one of things I love doing most. They gain my attention more than movies, probably due to the serialisation factor that gives me time to grow fond of the characters; besides, with me being Italian, watching American series is a great way to “steal” the language.
So I decided to write about how my “addiction” started: I was 12, and one night I turned on the TV and there was this show on, about vampires. At first I was a little scared, but I couldn’t turn off, I was captured. Later I realised that this single episode had been enough to make me fall completely in love with the show called “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” 12 years later it is still my favourite. 10 years on from the last episode, there are still thousands of fans around the world, and the Internet is full of communities where they can gather, along with several books that have been written. The series is even become a subject of study in some Universities.
So what are the secrets to the slayer’s success?
Much can be put down to Joss Whedon, the creator of the show, with an original idea that changes the rules of classic horror movies where the blonde girl is the first hopeless victim of an awful monster. Joss made that blonde girl a heroine. Though the idea was great, for some reason, in 1992 the movie was a big flop. But Whedon, well aware of the power of his creation, did not give up, and five years later he turned the movie into a TV show. He gave to his main character, Buffy, a new face, that of Sarah Michelle Gellar.
So, in March 1997 the adventures of Buffy, a sixteen year old girl chosen to hunt vampires and demons living in the city of Sunnydale, aired on WB, and it was soon pretty clear that Joss Whedon had won his battle. Buffy was an incredible success that lasted for seven years.
Great creator, great idea, great cast. But there’s more; the story was about Buffy fighting everyday to defeat the forces of evil and save the world, but the show still needed something more: romance. That’s when Angel arrived. A handsome vampire with a soul, who falls in love with the slayer.
These are just some of the elements that gave Buffy such a huge impact. Dialogues were witty and full of references to pop culture and although supernatural was one of the main subjects of the show, Buffy dealt with problems that teenagers could easily relate to. The result was a masterpiece beyond compare at the time.