‘Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one.’ So begin the early episodes of 90s cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Created by TV icon Joss Whedon, Buffy is a show so ingrained in pop culture, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the vampire slayer and her merry band of Scoobies.
The show lasted for 7 seasons (144 episodes!) and followed the journey of 16-year-old Buffy Summers as she goes from reluctant ‘chosen one’ to iconic hero. Despite the low-budget campness of the first season, the show achieved its cult status for a reason. Between staking vampires and throwing out witty one-liners, it tackles depression, bereavement, sexuality and assault. Though not perfect (it’s very white-centric and, despite its self-proclaimed feminist status, often includes gendered insults and male characters sometimes being generally gross towards women) for a show to emerge in 1997, it was very progressive and gave many women (particularly queer women) the representation and smart entertainment they had been looking for.
Whilst, of course, some seasons fall a little flat (many shows seem to be plagued by a terrible fourth season. The ‘gas-leak year’ in Community, anyone?) it produced some of the best episodes of TV out there, including ‘The Body,’ an episode completely void of non-diegetic sound, ‘Hush,’ 30 minutes of which doesn’t have a single word of dialogue, and ‘Once More With Feeling,’ the godfather of the musical episode trope.
So, for anyone who has yet to experience the joy of Buffy, I readily suggest rectifying that. And for those missing our sharp-tongued heroine, I strongly recommend Canadian sci-fi series Wynonna Earp. Think Buffy meets Lost Girl: full to the brim with demons, one-liners, and women kicking ass. What more could you want?