Line 1: Line 1:
::''This article is about the television series. For other uses, see [[Buffy the Vampire Slayer (disambiguation)]]
::''This article is about the television series. For other uses, see [[Buffy the Vampire Slayer (disambiguation)]]
Line 280: Line 281:
<div class="references-small" style="-moz-column-count:2; column-count:2;"><references /></div>
<div class="references-small" style="-moz-column-count:2; column-count:2;"><references /></div>
[[Category:Buffy the Vampire Slayer]]
[[Category:Buffy the Vampire Slayer]]

Revision as of 11:41, October 30, 2006


This article is about the television series. For other uses, see Buffy the Vampire Slayer (disambiguation)

Template:Infobox television

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American cult television series that aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. Writer-director Joss Whedon created the concept and TV series under his production tag, Mutant Enemy. The series follows the life of Buffy Anne Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons and the forces of darkness. Like previous slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang".

The series usually reached between two and four million viewers on original airings.[1] Although such ratings are lower than successful shows on the "big four" networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox),[2] they were a success for the relatively new and smaller Warner Brothers Network.[3] Reviews for the show were overwhelmingly positive,[4] and it was ranked #41 on the list of TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. The WB network closed on September 17, 2006, after airing an "homage" to their "most memorable series", including the pilot episodes of Buffy and its spin-off, Angel.[5]

Buffy's success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including novels, comics and video games. The series has received attention in fandom, parody and academia, and has influenced the direction of other television series.[6]



Writer Joss Whedon developed Buffy to invert the Hollywood formula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie."[7] Whedon wanted "to subvert that idea and create someone who was a hero."[7] He explained:


The concept was first visited through Whedon's script for the 1992 movie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which featured Kristy Swanson in the title role. The director saw it as a "pop culture comedy about what people think about vampires."[8] Whedon disagreed; "I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was crushing."[9] The script was recognised within the industry,[10] but the movie was not.[11]

File:Buffy the Vampire Slayer (image used by 20th Century Fox to promote Season 1 DVDs).JPG

Several years later, Gail Berman, a Sandollar Productions executive, approached Joss Whedon to develop his Buffy concept into a television series.[12] Whedon explained that "They said, ‘Do you want to do a show?’ And I thought, ‘High school as a horror movie.’ And so the metaphor became the central concept behind Buffy, and that’s how I sold it."[13] The supernatural elements in the series stood as metaphors for personal anxieties associated with adolescence and young adulthood.[14] Whedon went on to write and partly fund a 25-minute unaired Buffy pilot[15] that was shown to networks and eventually sold to the WB Network. The latter promoted the premiere with a series of History of the Slayer clips,[16] and the first episode aired on March 10, 1997.

Executive producers

Joss Whedon was credited as executive producer throughout the run of the series,[17] and for the first five seasons (1997-2001) he was also the show runner (a role that involves serving as head writer and being responsible for every aspect of production). Marti Noxon took on the role for seasons six and seven (2001-2003), but Whedon continued to be involved with writing and directing Buffy alongside projects such as Angel, Fray and Firefly.[17] Fran Rubel Kuzui and her husband, Kaz Kuzui were credited as executive producers[18] but were not heavily involved in the show. Their credit, rights and royalties over the franchise relate to their funding, producing and directing of the original movie version of Buffy.[19]


Script-writing was done by Mutant Enemy, a production company created by Whedon in 1997. The writers with the most writing credits include: Steven S. DeKnight, Jane Espenson, David Fury, Drew Goddard, Drew Greenberg, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, Marti Noxon and Doug Petrie.[20]

Jane Espenson has explained how scripts came together.[21] First, the writers talked about the emotional issues facing Buffy Summers and how she would confront them through her battle against evil supernatural. Then the episode's story was 'broken' into acts and scenes. Act breaks were designed as key moments to intrigue viewers so that they would stay with the episode through advertisements. The writers collectively "filled in" scenes surrounding these actbreaks for a more fleshed out story. A whiteboard marked their progress by mapping brief descriptions of each scene. Once 'breaking' was done, the credited author wrote an outline for the episode, which was checked by Whedon or Noxon. The writer wrote a full script, which went through a quick rewrite from the show runner. The final article was used as the shooting script.


File:Buffy The Vampire Slayer cast2.jpg

Four roles were cast before the series aired. The title role went to Sarah Michelle Gellar, who had appeared as Sydney Rutledge in Swan's Crossing and Kendall Hart in All My Children.[22] At age eighteen in 1995, Gellar had already won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in a Drama Series.[23] In 1996 she was initially cast as Cordelia Chase during a week of auditioning.[24]

Anthony Stewart Head had already led a prolific acting and singing career[25] but remained best known for a series of twelve coffee commercials with Sharon Maughan for Nescafé Gold Blend.[26] He accepted the role of Rupert Giles.

Unlike other Buffy regulars, Nicholas Brendon had little acting experience,[27] instead working various jobs — including production assistant, plumber's assistant, veterinary janitor, food delivery, script delivery, day care counselor and waiter — before deciding to break into acting to help him overcome a stutter.[28][29] He landed his Xander Harris role following only four days of auditioning.[30]

Alyson Hannigan was the last of the original four to be cast. Following her role in My Stepmother Is an Alien,[31] she appeared in commercials and supporting roles on television shows throughout the early 1990s.[31] In 1996 the role of Willow Rosenberg was initially given to Riff Regan for the unaired Buffy pilot but Hannigan auditioned when the role was recast for the series proper. She described her approach to auditions in an interview through her approach to a particular moment: Willow tells Buffy that her Barbie doll was taken from her as a child, and Buffy asks if she ever got the Barbie back. "Willow's line was 'Most of it.' And so I thought I'm gonna make that a really happy thing. I was so proud that she got most of it back. That clued in on how I was going to play the rest of the scene. It defines the character."[32] Her approach subsequently helped her win the role.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired on March 10, 1997 on the WB network and played a key role in the growth of the Warner Bros. television network in its early years.[33] After five seasons, it transferred to the United Paramount Network (UPN) for its final two seasons. The show went into syndication in the U.S. on FX. In the United Kingdom, the entire series aired on BBC2. The BBC gave the show two time slots, an early-evening slot for a family-friendly version with violence and bad language cut out and a late-night uncut version.[34] From the fourth season onwards, the BBC aired the show in anamorphic 16:9 widescreen format, but Whedon later said that Buffy had never intended to be viewed this way.[35]

The seventh and final season was originally broadcast on UPN during 2002-2003. Sarah Michelle Gellar explained to Entertainment Weekly why she decided not to sign on for an eighth season, "[When] we started to have such a strong year this year, I thought: 'This is how I want to go out, on top, at our best."[36] Whedon and UPN gave some considerations to production of a spin-off series that would not require Gellar, this included a possible Faith series, but nothing became of those plans.[37]

Opening sequence

The Buffy opening sequence provides credits early in each show. The music was performed by punk rock band Nerf Herder. The song sounds similar to a German pop song from the Eighties called "Codo" by "Döf", but Nerf Herder have said that they had "never heard of Döf", and the similarity was coicidental.[38] In the DVD commentary for the first Buffy episode, Whedon said his decision to go with Nerf Herder's theme was influenced by cast member Alyson Hannigan who had made him listen to the band's music.[39] Janet Halfyard, in her essay "Music, Gender, and Identity in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel", describes the opening:


But the theme changes; "[The opening sequence] removes itself from the sphere of 1960s and 70s horror by replaying the same motif, the organ now supplanted by an aggressively strummed electric guitar, relocating itself in modern youth culture".[40] This music is heard over images of a young cast involved in the action and turbulence of adolescence. The sequence provides a post-modern twist on the horror genre.[40]


Main articles: Music in Buffy and Angel and List of songs featured in Buffy and Angel

Buffy features a mix of original, indie. Rock and pop music. The composers spent around seven days scoring between fourteen to thirty minutes of music for each episode.[41] Christophe Beck revealed that the Buffy composers used computers and synthesizers and were limited to recording one or two 'real' samples. Despite this, their goal was to produce "dramatic" orchestration that would stand up to film scores.[41]

Alongside the score, most episodes featured indie rock music, usually at the characters' venue of choice, The Bronze. Buffy Music Supervisor John King explained that "we like to use unsigned bands", that "you would believe would play in this place."[41] For example, the group Four Star Mary were portrayed on screen by the fictional front Dingoes Ate My Baby. Pop songs by famous artists were rarely featured prominently, but several episodes spotlighted the sounds of more famous artists such as Sarah McLachlan ("Full of Grace" and "Prayer of St. Francis") and Michelle Branch ("Goodbye to You"). The popularity of music used in Buffy has led to three soundtrack albums: Buffy: The Album, Radio Sunnydale and "Once More, with Feeling" Soundtrack.

Setting and storylines

Setting and filming locations

Main articles: Sunnydale, Hellmouth and Filming locations
File:Sunnydale High School.jpg


Most of Buffy was shot on location in Los Angeles, California.[42] The show is set in the fictional Californian town of Sunnydale (roughly analogous to Santa Barbara), whose suburban Sunnydale High School sits on top of a "Hellmouth", a gateway to demon realms. The Hellmouth serves as a nexus for a wide variety of evil creatures and supernatural phenomena, and lay beneath the school library. In addition to being an open-ended plot device, Joss Whedon has cited the Hellmouth and "High school as Hell" as one of the primary metaphors in creating the series.[43]

The high school used in the first three seasons is actually Torrance High School, in Torrance, California.[44] The school exterior is used in other television shows and movies, most notably Beverly Hills 90210, Bring It On, She's All That (explaining Sarah Michelle Gellar's appearance in the cafeteria scene of that movie), and the spoof, Not Another Teen Movie.[44] In addition to the high school and its library, scenes take place in the town's cemeteries, a local nightclub (The Bronze), and Buffy's home, where many of the characters live at various points in the series.




Buffy is told in a serialized format, with each episode involving a self-contained story while contributing to a larger storyline, which is broken down into season-long narratives marked by the rise and defeat of a powerful antagonist, commonly referred to as the "Big Bad". The show blends different genres, including horror, martial arts, romance, melodrama, farce, comedy, and even (in one episode) musical comedy.

The series narrative revolves around Buffy and her friends (collectively dubbed the 'Scooby Gang') who struggle to balance the fight against supernatural evils with their complex social lives. A typical episode contains one or more villains, or supernatural phenomena that is thwarted or defeated. Though elements and relationships are explored and ongoing subplots are included, the show focuses primarily on Buffy and her role as an archetypal hero.

The most prominent monsters in the Buffy bestiary are vampires, which are based on traditional myths, lore, and literary conventions. Buffy and her companions fight a wide variety of demons, as well as ghosts, werewolves, zombies, and ethically unsound humans. They frequently save the world from complete destruction. They use a combination of physical combat, magic, and detective-style investigation, and are guided by an extensive collection of ancient and mystical reference books. Hand-to-hand combat is chiefly undertaken by Buffy, Angel and later, Spike. Willow eventually becomes an adept witch, while Giles contributes his extensive knowledge of demonology and supernatural lore.

Inspirations and metaphors

During the first year of the series, Whedon described the show as "My So-Called Life meets The X-Files."[45] My So-Called Life gave a sympathetic portrayal of teen anxieties, in contrast, The X-Files delivered a supernatural "monster of the week" storyline. Alongside these series, Whedon has cited cult film Night of the Comet as a "big influence",[46] and credited the X-Men character Kitty Pryde as a significant influence on the character of Buffy.[47] The authors of unofficial guidebook Dusted point out that the series was often a pastiche, borrowing elements from previous horror novels, movies and short stories and from such common literary stock as folklore and mythology.[48] Nevitt & Smith describe Buffy's use of pastiche as "post modern Gothic".[49] For example, the Adam character parallels the Frankenstein monster, the episode "Bad Eggs" parallels Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and so on.

Buffy episodes include a deeper meaning or metaphor as well. Whedon explained, "We think very carefully about what we're trying to say emotionally, politically, and even philosophically while we're writing it… it really is, apart from being a pop-culture phenomenon, something that is deeply layered textually episode by episode."[50] Academics Wilcox and Lavery provide examples of how a few episodes deal with real life issues turned into supernatural metaphors:


The love affair between the vampire Angel and Buffy was fraught with metaphors. For example, their night of passion cost the vampire his soul. Sarah Michelle Gellar said: "That's the ultimate metaphor. You sleep with a guy and he turns bad on you."[51]


Template:Spoiler-about The first season exemplifies the "high school as hell" concept. Buffy Summers has just moved to Sunnydale and hopes to escape her slayer duties. Her plans are complicated by Rupert Giles, her new Watcher, who reminds her of the inescapable presence of evil. Sunnydale High is built atop a Hellmouth, a portal to demon dimensions that attracts supernatural phenomena to the area. Buffy meets two schoolmates who will help fight evil through the series, but they must first prevent an ancient and especially threatening vampire from opening the Hellmouth and unleashing Hell on Earth.

The emotional stakes are raised in the second season. Buffy consummates her relationship with her vampire lover Angel, unknowingly completing a curse and taking away his soul. He once more becomes a sadistic killer seeking to destroy the world. Buffy is forced to kill him, and leaves Sunnydale shattered.

After attempting a new life in Los Angeles, Buffy returns to town in the third season. She is soon confronted with an unstable slayer, Angel (again), and an often affable but definitely evil mayor's plans for Graduation Day.

The fourth season sees Buffy and Willow enroll at UC Sunnydale while Xander joins the workforce. Willow explores her sexuality with another witch, while Buffy begins dating a student who is a member of The Initiative, a top-secret military installation based beneath the UC Sunnydale campus. They appear to be a well-meaning anti-demon operation, but a secret project goes horribly wrong. The season also marked the first year in which Joss Whedon oversaw other TV series.

During the fifth season, an exiled Hell-God searches for a 'key' that will allow her to return to her home dimension. The 'key' has been turned into human form as Buffy's younger sister. The Hell-God eventually discovers the truth and kidnaps Dawn. Buffy sacrifices herself to save Dawn and the world.

Buffy's friends resurrect her through a powerful spell in the sixth season. Buffy returns from Heaven and finds a job at a fast food restaurant. Her friends are unaware of her inner turmoils as they face their own troubles: Xander leaves his fiancée at the altar and Willow becomes addicted to magic. When Willow's girlfriend is killed by a deranged murderer, Willow descends into darkness and begins a rampage.

The instability caused by Buffy's revival enables the First Evil to amass an army of powerful vampires against humankind during the final season. Willow invokes a magical spell that activates all potential Slayers in the world as the Scooby Gang defeats evil once more.


Main characters

Buffy Anne Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is "the Slayer," one in a long line of young women chosen by fate to battle evil forces. This mystic calling endows her with a limited degree of clairvoyance, usually in the form of prophetic dreams, as well as dramatically increased physical strength, endurance, agility, intuition and ease of healing.

Buffy receives guidance from her Watcher, Rupert Giles (played by Anthony Stewart Head). Giles, rarely referred to by his first name, is a member of the Watchers' Council, whose job is to train the Slayers. Giles researches the supernatural creatures that Buffy must face, offering insights into their origins and advice on how to kill them.

Buffy is also helped by friends she meets at Sunnydale High: Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon). Willow is originally a bookish wallflower; she provides a contrast to Buffy's outgoing personality, but shares the social isolation Buffy suffers after becoming a Slayer. As the series progresses, Willow becomes a more assertive character, a powerful witch, and a lesbian. In contrast Xander, with no supernatural skills, provides comic relief and a grounded perspective. (Buffy and Willow are the only characters who appear in all 144 episodes; Xander is missing in only one.)

Supporting, recurring and minor characters

Main articles: List of Buffy characters and Buffy minor characters
File:Buffy the Vampire Slayer (image used by 20th Century Fox to promote Season 5 DVDs).JPG

The cast of characters grew over the course of the series. Buffy first arrives in Sunnydale with her mother, Joyce Summers (portrayed by Kristine Sutherland) who functions as an anchor of normality in the Scoobies' lives, even after she learns of Buffy's role in the supernatural world ("Becoming II"). Buffy's teenage sister Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg) does not appear until the fifth season.

The vampire Angel (portayed by David Boreanaz) is Buffy's love interest throughout the first three seasons. He leaves Buffy to make amends for his sins and search for redemption in his own spin-off, Angel.

At Sunnydale High, Buffy meets several other students willing to join her fight for good (alongside her friends Willow and Xander). Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), the archetypal shallow cheerleader, reluctantly becomes involved, and Daniel "Oz" Osbourne (Seth Green), a fellow student and rock guitarist, joins the Scooby Gang through his relationship with Willow. Anya (Emma Caulfield), a former vengeance demon (Anyanka) who specialized in avenging scorned women, becomes Xander's lover after losing her powers, and joins the Scooby Gang in the fourth season.

In Buffy's senior year at school, she meets Faith (Eliza Dushku), the second current-slayer who was brought forth when a previous slayer was killed by a vampire. Although she initially she fights on the side of good with Buffy and the rest of the Scooby gang, she comes to stand against them after accidentally killing a human.

Buffy gathers other allies: Spike (James Marsters), a vampire, is an old companion of Angelus and one of Buffy's major enemies in early seasons, although they later become allies and lovers. Spike is known for his Billy Idol-style platinum blond hair and his black leather duster, stolen from a previous Slayer. Tara Maclay (Amber Benson) is a fellow member of Willow's Wicca group during the fourth season, and their friendship eventually turns into an ongoing love affair. Buffy also becomes involved personally and professionally with Riley Finn (Marc Blucas), a military operative in "the Initiative," which hunts demons using science and technology.

Buffy featured dozens of recurring characters, both major and minor. For example the Big Bad characters were featured for at least one season (e.g., Glorificus was a character that appeared in 13 episodes, spanning much of Season 5).[52] Similarly, characters that allied themselves to the Scooby Gang and characters which attended the same institutions were sometimes featured in multiple episodes.


Buffy has inspired a range of official and unofficial works, including television shows, books, comics and games. This expansion of the series encouraged use of the term 'Buffyverse' to describe the fictional universe in which Buffy and related stories take place.[53] A timeline listing when these stories take place in relation to each other can be traced in a Buffyverse chronology.

The franchise has inspired Buffy action figures and merchandise such as official Buffy/Angel magazines and Buffy companion books. Eden Studios has published a Buffy role-playing game, while Score Entertainment has released a Buffy Collectible Card Game.


Main article: Angel (TV series)

Buffy's perpetual love for the vampire-with-a-soul, Angel, played by David Boreanaz, is a recurrent theme in the first three seasons of the show. The spin-off Angel was introduced in October, 1999, at the start of Buffy's fourth season. The series was created by Buffy's creator Whedon in collaboration with David Greenwalt. Like Buffy, it was produced by the production company, Mutant Enemy. At times, it performed better in the Nielsen Ratings than its parent series.[54]

The series was given a darker tone focussing on the ongoing trials of Angel in Los Angeles. His character is tormented by guilt following the return of his soul, punishment for more than a century of murder and torture. During the first four seasons of the show, he works as a private detective in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles, California, where he and his associates work to "help the helpless" and to restore the faith and "save the souls" of those who have lost their way. Typically, this mission involves doing battle with evil demons or demonically-allied humans (primarily the law firm Wolfram and Hart), Angel must also contend with his own violent nature. In the fifth season, the Senior Partners of Wolfram and Hart take a bold gamble in their campaign to corrupt Angel, giving him control of their Los Angeles office. Angel accepts the deal as an opportunity to fight evil from the inside.

In addition to Boreanaz, Angel inherited Buffy regulars Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase) and Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Price), followed later by Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall) and James Marsters (Spike). Several actors who played Buffy characters made guest appearances on Angel, including Seth Green (Oz), Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy Summers), Eliza Dushku (Faith Lehane), Tom Lenk (Andrew Wells), and Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg). Angel continued to appear occasionally on Buffy.

Expanded universe

Outside of the TV series, the Buffyverse has been officially expanded and elaborated on by authors and artists in the so-called "Buffyverse Expanded Universe". The creators of these works may or may not keep to established continuity. Similarly, writers for the TV series were under no obligation to use information which had been established by the Expanded Universe, and sometimes contradicted such continuity.

The Buffy comics are published by Dark Horse, which has retained the right to produce from 1998 onwards.[55] In 2003 Whedon wrote an eight-issue miniseries for Dark Horse Comics entitled Fray, about a Slayer in the future. Following the publication of Tales of the Vampires in 2004, Dark Horse Comics halted publication on Buffyverse-related comics and graphic novels. The company has recently announced that Whedon will be producing another comic series with 20 issues beginning in March 2007, to pick up where the television show left off — taking the place of an eighth canonical season.[56]

Pocket Books hold the license to produce Buffy novels. Since 1998, they have published more than 60 Buffy novels. These sometimes flesh out background information on characters; for example, Go Ask Malice provides lots of information about Faith Lehane. The most recent novels include Carnival of Souls and Blackout. They continue to be released approximately every two months with upcoming books scheduled for October and December 2006.

Five official Buffy video games have been released on portable and home consoles. The most recent, Chaos Bleeds, was released in 2003 for GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 2. This was the first game that allowed players to take control of characters other than Buffy Summers.

Undeveloped spinoffs

The popularity of Buffy and Angel has led to attempts to develop more on-screen ventures in the fictional 'Buffyverse'. These projects remain undeveloped and may never be greenlighted. In 2002, two potential spinoffs were in discussion: Buffy the Animated Series and Ripper. Buffy the Animated Series was a proposed animated TV show based on Buffy. Whedon and Jeph Loeb were to be Executive Producers for the show and most of the cast from Buffy were to return to voice their characters. 20th Century Fox showed an interest in developing and selling the show to another network. A three minute pilot was completed in 2004 but never picked up. Whedon revealed to The Hollywood Reporter: "We just couldn't find a home for [it]. We had six or seven hilarious scripts from our own staff — and nobody wanted it."[57] Neither the pilot nor the scripts have been seen outside of the entertainment industry, though writer Jane Espenson has teasingly revealed small extracts from some of her scripts for the show.[58]

Ripper was originally a proposed television show based upon the character of Rupert Giles. More recent information has suggested that if Ripper were ever made it would be a TV-movie or a DVD-movie.[59] As of 2006, there are still no concrete plans.

In 2003, a year after the first public discussions on Buffy the Animated Series and Ripper, Buffy was nearing its end. Espenson has said that during this time spin-offs were discussed, "I think Marti talked with Joss about Slayer School and Tim Minear talked with him about Faith on a motorcycle. I assume there was some back-and-forth pitching."[60] Espenson has revealed that Slayer School might have used new slayers and potentially included Willow Rosenberg, but Whedon did not think that such a spinoff felt right.[61]

Dushku declined the pitch for a Buffyverse TV series based on Faith and instead agreed to a deal to produce Tru Calling. Dushku explained to IGN: "It would have been a really hard thing to do, and not that I wouldn't have been up for a challenge, but with it coming on immediately following [Buffy], I think that those would have been really big boots to fill."[62] Tim Minear explained some of the ideas behind the aborted series: "The show was basically going to be Faith meets Kung Fu. It would have been Faith, probably on a motorcycle, crossing the earth, trying to find her place in the world."[63]

Finally, during the summer of 2004 after the end of Angel, a movie about Spike was proposed.[64] The movie would have been directed by Tim Minear and starred Marsters and Amy Acker and featured Alyson Hannigan.[65] Outside the 2006 Saturn Awards, Whedon announced that he had pitched the concept to various bodies but had yet to receive any feedback.[66]

Cultural impact

Buffy has had a cultural impact on a number of mediums. It has impacted television studies, fan-made films, it has been parodied and referenced, and has even influenced other television series.


Main article: Buffy studies

BtVS is notable for attracting the interest of scholars of popular culture as a subset of popular culture studies. Academic settings increasingly include the show as a topic of literary study and analysis.[67][68] National Public Radio describes Buffy as having a "special following among academics, some of whom have staked a claim in what they call "Buffy Studies."[69] Though not widely recognised as a distinct discipline, the term "Buffy studies" is commonly used amongst the peer-reviewed academic Buffy-related writings.[70] The response to this attention has had its critics, for example Jes Battis who authored Blood Relations in Buffy and Angel admits that study of the Buffyverse "invokes an uneasy combination of enthusiasm and ire", and meets "a certain amount of disdain from within the halls of the academy".[71] Nonetheless the debut of Buffy (1997-2003) has eventually led to the publication of around twenty books and hundreds of articles examining the themes of the show from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including sociology, psychology, philosophy, and women's studies.[72]

Fandom and fan films

See also: Buffyverse (Fan made productions)

The popularity of Buffy has led to websites, online discussion forums, works of Buffy fan fiction and several unofficial fan-made productions. Buffy fan films have been created for distribution on the internet. In 2001 "Fluffy the English Vampire Slayer" was released and became "one of the first widely watched Whedonverse fan films".[73] The computer-animated series Consanguinity, following the non-canonical vampires Damien and James, was released from 2004 onwards. Most recently Cherub, a parody of Angel, has completed its second and final season. The upcoming Forgotten Memories will provide a direct continuation of Buffy (with all roles recast), set 2–3 months after "Chosen".


Main article: Buffyverse parodies

The show has been spoofed by several comedy sketch shows. For example MADtv featured a "Buffy the Umpire Slayer" sketch, in which Buffy slew umpires in high school baseball games.[74] Sometimes Buffy cast members have been involved in spoofs. Sarah Michelle Gellar has participated in several sketches parodying Buffy, including a Saturday Night Live sketch in which the Slayer is relocated to the Seinfeld universe,[75] and adding her voice to an episode of Robot Chicken that parodied a would-be eighth season of Buffy (Seth Green, who played Oz on Buffy, is a co-creator of this series).[76]

The Simpsons 2005 episode, "Treehouse of Horror XVI" contained four segments, the last of which was entitled, "I've Grown a Costume on Your Face" and parodied the Buffy episode "Halloween" (which had aired eight years earlier).

There are several Buffy adult parodies, web comic parodies include Muffin the Vampire Baker on the Sluggy Freelance webcomic, and several musical spoofs including: Once More With Hobbits, which rewrites the lyrics of Buffy's musical episode Once More, with Feeling and the filk song "Angel's Lament".[77]

Cultural references

The series, which employed pop-culture references as a frequent humorous device, has itself become a frequent pop-culture reference in video games, comics and television shows.[78][79][80] For example, in the Friends episode entitled "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry", Phoebe's sister Ursula stars in a movie entitled Buffay the Vampire Layer.[81] Similarly, in the Supernatural episode "Hell House", two amateur ghost hunters ask themselves "What would Buffy do?"[82]

In 2005, a Trans-Neptunian object [[2004 XR190|Template:Mp]] was unofficially named "Buffy", after the main character of the series.[83]

Impact on television

Commentators of the entertainment industry including All Movie Guide, Hollywood Reporter and the Washington Post have cited Buffy as "influential".[84] Autumn 2003 saw several new shows going into production in the U.S. that featured strong females forced to come to terms with supernatural power or destiny while trying to maintain a normal life.[85] These post-Buffy shows include Dead Like Me and Joan of Arcadia. Bryan Fuller, the creator of Dead Like Me said that "[Buffy] showed that young women could be in situations that were both fantastic and relatable, and instead of shunting women off to the side, it put them at the center."[86] Buffy, while itself taking certain elements from the classic series of Doctor Who (1963-1989) (even referencing it in one episode), became a blueprint for the revived series (2005-),[87] and executive producer Russell T. Davies has said


In addition, Buffy alumni have gone on to write for or create other shows, some of which bear a notable resemblance to the style and concepts of Buffy. Such endeavors include Tru Calling (Douglas Petrie, Jane Espenson and even lead actress Eliza Dushku), Wonderfalls (Tim Minear), Point Pleasant (Marti Noxon), Jake 2.0 (David Greenwalt), The Inside (Tim Minear) and Smallville (Steven S. DeKnight).

The Parents Television Council was not impressed with the series, for its efforts to "deluge their young viewing audiences with adult themes".[88] Some Christian groups also worried about the series positive portrayal of witchcraft.[89]

Series information

The first season was introduced as a mid-season replacement, and therefore was made up of only 12 episodes. Each subsequent season was built up of 22 episodes. Discounting the Unaired Buffy pilot, the seven seasons make up a total of 144 Buffy episodes aired between 1997 and 2003.

Awards and nominations

Buffy has gathered a number of awards and nominations which include an Emmy Award nomination for the 2000 episode "Hush", which featured an extended sequence with no character dialogue.[90] The 2001 episode "The Body" revolved around the death of Buffy's mother. It was filmed with no musical score, only diegetic music; it was nominated for a Nebula Award in 2002.[90] The fall 2001 musical episode "Once More, with Feeling", received plaudits, but was omitted from Emmy nomination ballots by accident. It has since featured on Channel 4's "100 Greatest Musicals".[91]

DVD releases

DVD Release Date
U.S. UK Australia
The Complete First Season 15 January 2002 27 November 2000 20 Nov 2000
The Complete Second Season 11 June 2002 21 May 2001 15 Jun 2001
The Complete Third Season 7 January 2003 29 October 2001 22 Nov 2001
The Complete Fourth Season 10 June 2003 13 May 2002 20 May 2002
The Complete Fifth Season 9 December 2003 28 October 2002 29 Nov 2002
The Complete Sixth Season 25 May 2004 12 May 2003 20 Apr 2003
The Complete Seventh Season 16 November 2004 5 April 2004 15 May 2004
The Chosen Collection (Seasons 1–7) 15 November 2005
The Complete DVD Collection (Seasons 1–7) 31 October 2005 23 November 2005

Footnotes and references

All links retrieved and checked as of September 15, 2006 or after.
  1. Wahoske, Matthew J., "Nielsen Ratings For Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, And Firefly", (2004).
  2. "The Dual Network Rule.", Federal Communications Commission (May 15, 2001): "the four major broadcast networks are unique among the media in their ability to reach a wide audience"
  3. Kaiser Family Foundation "Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8–18 Year Olds", (March 9, 2005). The article says that "Mr. Levin was a key player in establishing The WB’s distinct brand and youth appeal through programming such as “Dawson's Creek,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “7th Heaven,” “Charmed,” “Felicity,” “Smallville,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Everwood” and “One Tree Hill.”". Also see Littleton, Cynthia "A tale of two networks", (January 11, 2005). Article associates Buffy with the success of WB.
  4. For example: Various DVD reviewers, Buffy: "First season reviews", "Third season reviews", "Fourth season reviews", "Fifth season reviews", "Sixth season reviews", "Seventh season reviews", Rotten Tomatoes (updated 2006). The series has overwhelmingly positive reviews from numerous reviewers,
  5. Schneider, Michael & Adalian, Josef, "WB revisits glory days", (June 30, 2006).
  6. For example: Dillard, Brian J., "Buffy the Vampire Slayer [TV Series]"], All Movie Guide (2003 or after): "wildly influential cult hit". Harrington, Richard, "Joss Whedon's New Frontier", Hollywood Reporter (September 30, 2005): "One of the best, most influential, genre-defining television series in decades". Kit, Borys, "Whedon lassos 'Wonder' helm for Warners", The Sunday Times (March 17, 2005): "the influential WB Network/UPN drama series".
  7. 7.0 7.1 Billson, Anne, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (BFI TV Classics S.). British Film Institute (December 5, 2005), pp24–25.
  8. Havens, Candace, Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy Benbella Books (May 1, 2003), p51. Fran Kuzui also discussed Buffy in Golden, Christopher, & Holder, Nancy, Watcher's Guide Vol. 1. Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1998), pp247–248.
  9. Havens, Candace, Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy Benbella Books (May 1, 2003), p23.
  10. Brundage, James, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" film review. (1999). An example of the praise given to the script and dialogue behind the Buffy movie.
  11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer at
  12. Golden, Christopher, and Holder, Nancy, Watcher's Guide Vol. 1. Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1998), pp249–250
  13. 'Said, SF', "Interview with Joss Whedon by SF Said", (2005).
  14. Wilcox, Rhonda, and Lavery, David, Fighting The Forces Rowman & Littlefield (April 2002), "In the world of Buffy the problems that teenagers face become literal monsters…", page xix
  15. Topping, Keith "Slayer". Virgin Publishing, (December 1, 2004), p7
  16. "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Forgotten Premiere Trailer" (July 16, 2003).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Various authors, "Joss Whedon", Internet Movie Database (updated 2006).
  18. Various authors, "Fran Kuzui" and "Kaz Kuzui", Internet Movie Database (updated 2006).
  19. Morgan, David, "Wide Angel Closeup: Director, Producer and Film Distributor Fran Rubel Kuzui" (June 10, 1992); "Buffy was a film that I owned, this was the first time I owned a film". Also see Golden, Christopher, and Holder, Nancy, Watcher's Guide Vol. 1. Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1998), "Gail Berman and Fran Kuzui came to [Whedon] to ask if he wanted to do the TV series" (p241). Also see Watcher's Guide Vol. 1, pp246–249.
  20. Various authors, Internet Movie Database entries: "Steven S. DeKnight", "Jane Espenson", "David Fury", "Drew Goddard", "Rebecca Rand Kirshner", "Marti Noxon", "Doug Petrie". Internet Movie Database Internet Movie Database (2006).
  21. Espenson, Jane, "The Writing Process", (2003).
  22. Various authors, "Sarah Michelle Gellar" Internet Movie Database (updated 2006).
  23. Various authors, "Awards for Sarah Michelle Gellar" Internet Movie Database (updated 2006)
  24. Havens, Candace, Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy Benbella Books (May 1, 2003), p35–36.
  25. Various authors, "Anthony Head" Internet Movie Database (updated 2006).
  26. Golden, Christopher, & Holder, Nancy Watcher's Guide Vol. 1. Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1998), "His long-lasting fame as the romantic and intriguing coffee guy is gradually being replaced by his new image as librarian in Buffy, p210 (October 1, 1998).
  27. Various authors, "Nicholas Brendon" Internet Movie Database (updated 2006).
  28. Anonymous, "; biography" (updated 2006).
  29. Kappes, Serena, "Xander Slays His Demon",, originally from, (May 2001).
  30. Golden, Christopher, and Holder, Nancy, Watcher's Guide Vol. 1. Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1998), Brendon said "Four days. That's fast.", p199.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Various authors, "Alyson Hannigan" Internet Movie Database (updated 2006).
  32. Golden, Christopher, and Holder, Nancy, Watcher's Guide Vol. 1. Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1998), p202.
  33. See: Kaiser Family Foundation "Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8–18 Year Olds", (March 9, 2005), Littleton, Cynthia "A tale of two networks", (January 11, 2005), Schneider, Michael & Adalian, Josef, "WB revisits glory days", (June 30, 2006).
  34. Burr, Vivien, "Buffy vs the BBC: Moral Questions and How to Avoid Them" (March 2003), p1.
  35. "Angel Creator Joss Whedon Sees Evolution of TV Shows on DVD" Video Store Mag (August 28, 2003).
  36. "Stake Out", Entertainment Weekly (26 February, 2003).</span> </li>
  37. Haberman, Lia, "A Buffy-less "Buffy"? Have Faith", E! Online (Feb 11, 2003).</span> </li>
  38. "Before Nerf Herder, the original Buffy theme: "Codo" by 1980s Austrian band, Döf." (October 2006). </li>
  39. Buffy the Vampire Slayer first season DVD set. 20th Century Fox (region 2, 2000), disc one. </li>
  40. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named halfyard</li>
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 "Buffy: Inside the Music" from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Complete Fourth Season DVD set 20th Century Fox (13 May 2002), disc three </li>
  42. Various authors, "Sets and Locations", The Ultimate Buffy and Angel Trivia Guide (updated 2006). </li>
  43. Yovanovich, Linda, "Young Blood",, originally from OnSat (July 14, 1997), Whedon said: "[High school as hell] was always the basis of the show. When they said, 'Do you want to turn it into a show?' The character was not enough alone to sustain it. But you know when I thought of the idea of the horror movies as a metaphor for high school, [I said] okay this is something that will work week to week." </li>
  44. 44.0 44.1 Various authors, "Titles with locations including Torrance High School", Internet Movie Database (updated 2006). </li>
  45. "Joss Whedon: Executive Producer of Angel", (2006). Also see Flowers, Phoebe, "Sixth season was last great one for Buffy - Dvd Review", (16 June 2004). Executive Producer Marti Noxon stated: "I'm basically trying to write My So-Called Life with vampires". </li>
  46. P., Ken, "An Interview with Joss Whedon", (June 23, 2003), web-page 6. </li>
  47. Whedon, Joss "Kitty Pryde influenced Buffy" (February 27, 2004). </li>
  48. Miles, Lawrence, Dusted, Mad Norwegian Press (November 2003). </li>
  49. Nevitt, Lucy, & Smith, Andy William, "Family Blood is always the Sweetest: The Gothic Transgressions of Angel/Angelusby", Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media Vol. II (March, 2003): Nevitt and Smith bring attention to Buffy's use of pastiche: "Multiple pastiche without enabling commentary is doubtless self-cancelling, yet, at the same time, each element of pastiche calls into temporary being what and why it imitates" </li>
  50. Shuttleworth, Ian, "Bite me, professor" Financial Times, citing interview from New York Times (September 11, 2003). </li>
  51. "Bye-Bye Buffy", (May 20, 2003). </li>
  52. "Clare Kramer; TV Episode Filmography By Series" Internet Movie Database (updated 2006). </li>
  53. Walton, Andy, "Slang-age in the Buffyverse", CNN (February 18, 2004 ).</span> </li>
  54. Wahoske, Matthew J., "Nielsen Ratings For Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, And Firefly", (2004). </li>
  55. Anonymous, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1" Dark Horse Comics ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1" released September 23, 1998). </li>
  56. See Brown, Scott, "First Look: The new 'Buffy' comic", Entertainment Weekly (July 18, 2006), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Update" Comics Continuum (September 18, 2006). </li>
  57. Hockensmith, Steve, "Dialogue with 'Buffy' creator Joss Whedon", (May 16, 2003) </li>
  58. Espenson, Jane, "Reading what's been written to sound written as it's spoken", (May 9, 2006) & "Sorry, JVC, but it's simply true", (May 11, 2006) </li>
  59. UK Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Magazine. Titan Magazines, Issue 80, (December 2005), p19. </li>
  60. "Dear Jane" (spoilers!), (July 3, 2003). </li>
  61. 'Hercules', "Way Interesting Buffy Bits (Courtesy Jane E & Others)", (March 21, 2003). Also see "Spin-offs stop spinning", (March 24, 2003) </li>
  62. Kuhn, Sarah, "An Interview with Eliza Dushku", (May 28, 2003), web-page 2. </li>
  63. Femme Fatale, (May–June 2003). Details archived online: Matt (transcriber), "Eliza Talks Faith Spinoff", (April 11, 2003). Also see "Kung Fu Faith", (April 14, 2003) and </li>
  64. Spike TV movie on the cards?, (May 9, 2004). Marsters is indirectly quoted about the possibility of a Spike movie, May 2004. </li>
  65. Saney, Daniel, "Whedon eyes Willow for Spike movie", (September 28, 2005). Originally reported by] </li>
  66. "Video interview with Joss from the Saturn Awards", (February 15 2006). Originally reported by Also see video download: Whedon, Joss, Discussion on Spike movie at Saturn awards, (February 2006). </li>
  67. Scholars lecture on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', (May 29, 2004). </li>
  68. "Study Buffy at university", (May 16, 2006) MA course at Brunel University, West London. </li>
  69. Ulaby, Neda, "- 'Buffy Studies'", National Public Radio (May 13, 2003) </li>
  70. Lavery, David, & Wilcox, Rhonda V., (2001-). The term is in use from the full title of Slayage: Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies, and thus has become used in essays by those who contribute to scholarship relating to Buffy. </li>
  71. Battis, Jes, Blood Relations, McFarland & Company (June 2005), page 9. </li>
  72. See: Hornick, Alysa, "Buffyology an Academic Buffy Studies and Whedonesque Bibliography", (updated 2006). See Buffy studies published books. </li>
  73. Newitz, Annalee, "Fan Films Reclaim the Whedonverse", (June 8, 2006). </li>
  74. "Buffy the Umpire Slayer" on MADtv, Season 3, episode 8 (aired November 1997). entry, entry. </li>
  75. SNL Season 24, episode 19, (aired May 15 1999) see: IMDb entry. Also see 'doggans' (transcriber) SNL Transcripts: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", (1997). </li>
  76. "Buffy Season 8" from Robot Chicken Season 1, episode 4 (aired 13 March 2005). See: IMDb entry, </li>
  77. "Angel's Lament" by "Brobdingnagian Bards". See the song and the lyrics </li>
  78. Examples: Anarchy Online (June 27, 2001) features a decorative statue called the "Marble Statue of the Goddess Buffy Summers". The X-Files: Resist or Serve (March 14, 2004), see "Memorable Quotes from Resist or Serve", Internet Movie Database. Max Payne (July 25, 2001) a secret room contains a staked corpse with "Buffy" smeared on the wall in blood. </li>
  79. Examples: Archie Comics the character Betty Cooper dresses up as Bunny the Vampire Slayer for a Halloween costume party. The Wotch - web comic frequently references Buffy. </li>
  80. Examples: Charmed episode "The Power Of Two"; Alyssa Milano's character asks "Where's Buffy when you need her?". Also House of Mouse episode "Gone Goofy", when Donald Duck is watching TV, there is a show on called "Goofy the Vampire Slayer". </li>
  81. Various authors, Friends: "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry"; allusions (episode aired February 10, 2000). </li>
  82. Various authors, "Supernatural: "Hell House"; trivia" (episode aired March 30, 2006). </li>
  83. "Strange new object found at edge of Solar System" New Scientist (13 December 2005). </li>
  84. For example: Dillard, Brian J., "Buffy the Vampire Slayer [TV Series]", All Movie Guide (2003 or after): "wildly influential cult hit". Harrington, Richard, "Joss Whedon's New Frontier", Washington Post (September 30, 2005): "One of the best, most influential, genre-defining television series in decades". Kit, Borys, "Whedon lassos 'Wonder' helm for Warners", Hollywood Reporter (March 17, 2005): "the influential WB Network/UPN drama series". </li>
  85. Salem, Rob, " The season to talk to dead people",, transcribed to (August 25, 2003). </li>
  86. Salem, Rob, "The season to talk to dead people",, transcribed to (August 25, 2003). </li>
  87. B, KJ, "Doctor Who Report: New Theme Music?; Buffy a Template for New Doctor Who?", (March 11, 2005): "Producer Steve Moffat admits that the blueprint for the new series was Buffy the Vampire Slayer." </li>
  88. "The 2001-2002 Top 10 Best and Worst Shows on Network TV" & "TV Bloodbath: Violence on Prime Time Broadcast TV" (2002 & 2003 respectively).</span> </li>
  89. Hadley, Phil, "Are Buffy and Sabrina Angels?", (October 2000).</span> </li>
  90. 90.0 90.1 Various authors, "Awards for Buffy the Vampire Slayer", Internet Movie Database (updated 2005). </li>
  91. "100 Greatest Musicals: The Results", (Autumn 2003). </li></ol>

Wikipedia Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Wikipedia

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.