There's plenty of great TV out there. From networks, cable, premium channels, and streaming services, there is no shortage of fantastic small screen adventures to follow. But then there are the shows that truly reach pop culture royalty, and end up staying vital to the lexicon of TV. Case in point: 1990's classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was the passion project of eventual Avengers director Joss Whedon. Buffy quickly became a trademark of 90's culture, and has enjoyed a rabid cult following that is still very active today. But did the folks behind the camera know how successful the show would be?
No, no they didn't. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Executive Producer Gail Berman recently sat down with THR to reflect on the show's wild run 20 years later. When asked if she and Joss Whedon knew the show would be a success, she responded with,
It looks like nobody from team Buffy realized just how successful the series would end up being. Little did they know.
While Buffy the Vampire Slayer is absolutely adored by its generations of fans, the show certainly had a rocky road to success. As Gail Berman points out, Joss Whedon and company had a hard time even getting Buffy picked up. But The WB (RIP) did eventually take the series as a midseason replacement, which explains why Season 1 was half the length of the following 6. Additionally, Buffy also sidestepped disaster when it switch from The WB to UPN for Season 6 and 7. And thank goodness they did, as the series finale "Chosen" is one of the most satisfying series finales ever (although Six Feet Under will always be the king of finales).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has remained such a popular series because of how it resonated with it audience. While Buffy fought demons and monsters in Sunnydale, each episode usually highlighted how the characters were facing "demons" in their personal lives as well. This kept the show focused on an overall narrative for each season, rather than becoming a procedural. Additionally, Buffy was groundbreaking for LGBT visibility, as Willow came out in Season 4 and shared one of TV's first same-sex kisses during Season 5 episode "The Body".
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is currently available for your bingeing pleasure on Netflix, now in "beautiful remastered HD" that will make you forget that the series is 20 years old.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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