Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The legacy of the teen heroine

Did you know that they adore BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER in the UK? We didn’t either. But then along came:

ooh_buffyby Naomi Alderman

Believe it or not, it’s 10 years now since the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired in the UK.

If it doesn’t feel that long – and it doesn’t – it’s because the show was ahead of its time in so many ways: the quick-witted teen-speak which influenced conversation; the craze for stories about vampires who are in love with high school girls in a slightly disturbing way.

Creator Joss Whedon’s perfect management of “season arc” plots revolutionised television and is still spoken of with awe and wonder by writers today.

And most importantly – but most disappointingly – Buffy still feels ahead of its time in its portrayal of women characters.

And it’s because of my disappointment about the lack of “daughters of Buffy” I chose to make a Front Row special about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her legacy.

Lagging behind

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a small mid-season replacement show based on a terrible movie, which quickly outstripped its origins to become a cult hit and then a mainstream phenomenon. And in a way, Buffy’s legacy is everywhere.

It was the first show to perfectly balance a “monster of the week” plot – in which a single problem is encountered and defeated in every episode, so that new viewers can easily get the gist – with a season-long “arc” plot around a scary “Big Bad” villain who takes the whole 22-episode season to be brought to book.

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