Welcome, one and all, and Happy Buffy Day to you. For it was on this day, exactly twenty years ago, that we all first saw the glory that was the feminist icon of the Slayer.
Except me, obviously, because I live in the UK. I saw it three years later, when it finally aired on BBC2, because there was no illegal streaming of TV shows back then. But I digress.
In honour of this great feat, and how relevant this masterpiece still is today, and also the fact that my husband bought me the FRICKING BOX SET for my birthday on Monday, I am rewatching all the Buffys to see if they still stand up. So let’s plunge in –
Series One, Episodes One and Two – Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest
First up – a big juicy double bill to est up the back story.
Oh my sweet Jesus there is a lot of plot in this opening. Buffy got kicked out of her old school, for being a vampire slayer, and has moved to Sunnydale for a fresh start. Sadly there are a shitload of vampires in Sunnydale and they all go to the same nightclub as the 16 year old high school students. Buffy is guilt tripped by some random British dude into giving a rats ass about all of this, especially after a vampire sneaks away with Willow, who has offered to help Buffy with her maths homework and thus cannot be allowed to die.
Also somewhere among this all, a hot mysterious dude called Angel turns up, refuses to help with anything practical and gives Buffy a necklace.
It turns out those cheeky vampires are collecting hot young plot-relevant teens for an event they call The Harvest. They have a vampire leader who looks like Voldemort’s alcoholic uncle and is trapped in a crypt. He will be freed if they do some stupid looking ritual then kill lots of teens. They go to said nightclub to kill lots of teens. Buffy stops them. POW, vampires. Take that! Buffy has a new gang of mates, a love interest, an enemy and a British dude. We’re all set.
Friendship and belonging, big time. Willow and Xander are so upset about the vampirising of their friend, which is sweet of them as he is an incredibly major character. There is also a beautiful little arc about Cordelia, and how she might seem nice, but she is rude about Willow’s dress and is thus a bitch.
“What is your childhood trauma?” – Cordelia, upon getting a stake pointed at her by Buffy
“All I can think is, you’re building a really little fence.” – Xander, when Buffy carelessly drops her handbag and a stake rolls out of it
“Oh that… It’s for self defence. Everyone has them in LA. Pepper spray is so passe.” – Buffy, excusing her stake
Angel sneaking around outside the Bronze and getting kicked in the back by Buffy. Shouldn’t be so creepy, Angel.
Buffy dramatically declaring it is daybreak and smashing a window behind the episode’s VIV (Very Important Vampire) before revealing that it is midnight and he is a tool, then stabbing him.
What Can We Learn?
Make friends with nerds, not Queen Bees. Never underestimate little blonde girls.