For 20 Years Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been beloved by the Buffyverse Fandom - from all those who started with Season One and watched the entire series through Season Seven there was such an emotional connection with all the great characters in Sunnydale. Pick your favorites characters or the season that had the most personal connection to you and how the Buffyverse reflected back into life in your own life - No Matter Your Choices the Buffyverse impacted on millions of TV viewers, pop culture and the field of academic studies in a way that few other TV series have.
Here's to Buffy and all the Scoobs the Two Souled Vampires and her Watcher Giles and to Joss Whedon and all his great staff of writers and creative team and to all the awesome actors who brought Buffy and all of Sunnydale into our lives every week.
From all the original viewers and devoted fans and from all the new Buffyverse fans who found their way to Sunnydale after the series aired - THANK YOU Joss Whedon for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
From Sarah Michelle Gellar on the 20th Year Anniversary
"20 years ago today, I had the greatest privilege to bring Buffy to your tv screens for the first time. It was a long and challenging road to get there. First the movie, then a passed over pilot presentation, and eventually a mid season time slot on a little known network. That first season, we liked to think of ourselves as the little show that could. While we knew the potential, I don’t think any of us saw the lasting impact our show would have. As an actor, you wish for that one role where you can leave your mark and forever be remembered, with Buffy I got so much more. She’s a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy. Buffy may have been the Chosen One, but I was the lucky one. Thank you to Gail Berman for always believing there was a show in that movie. Thank you to Joss Whedon, for trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created. Thank you to David, for always being my Angel. Thank you to James for understanding that while Buffy and Spike may have been love/hate, I have nothing but love for you. Alyson, as any woman knows, you are nothing without the love and support of great female friends, so thank you for being that. Michelle, you will always hold a key to my heart. Thank you to all the incredible actors for seven seasons of amazing performances. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible crew that worked tirelessly (and also really tired) to bring this show to life. And lastly, but most importantly thank you to all of you, the fans. We made this show for you, and your unwavering support has kept this show going long past our seven years. You are everything. And always remember..."if the apocalypse comes, beep me"
Time to do some looking back, as well as current Buffyverse information. Even after being off air for 20 years Buffy still has the attention of many in the print news and a very big online presence with digital print news and huge amount of fans.
The New York Times features Buffy in the following article of July 11, 2017 - head over and read the article.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK NYT By JAMES PONIEWOZIK JULY 11, 2017
Of course there was a great deal of attention from major print media and online for the 20 Years of Buffy Anniversary which was covered extensively. From the exquisite photography in major magazine to newspapers and NPR - it was an outstanding event for the series and all the creative staff and the cast.
But the Buffyverse, Angelverse, Firefly and The Doll House have all been of great interest in the Academic Field as well as books that explore all aspects of the works of Joss Whedon.
Let's look back at one from The Atlantic back in 2015.
The Rise of Buffy Studies Katharine Schwab October 1, 2015
Scholarly interest in Joss Whedon’s cult classic points to the growing belief that TV shows deserve to be studied as literature.
When Joss Whedon’s classic show Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air in 2003, its cult status was still very much nascent. Cue the novels, comics, video games, and spinoffs, not to mention fan sites, fan fiction, conventions, and inclusion on scores of “Best TV Shows of All Time” lists. But while it remains good fun to watch a seemingly ditzy teenager and her friends fight the forces of darkness with super-strength, magic, and witty banter, the show’s seven seasons have also become the subject of critical inquiry from a more intellectually rigorous fanbase: academics.
Buffy, along with critically acclaimed series like The X-Files and Twin Peaks, came before The Sopranos and the beginning of the Golden Age of Television, but helped pave the way for scholars to treat television shows like The Wire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad as sprawling works of art to be dissected and analyzed alongside the greatest works of literature. Academics have found Whedon’s cult classic to be particularly multi-dimensional—trading heavily on allegory, myth, and cultural references—while combining an inventive narrative structure with dynamic characters and social commentary.
As a result, hundreds of scholarly books and articles have been written about Buffy’s deeper themes, and an entire academic journal and conference series—appropriately called Slayage—is devoted to using the show and other Whedon works to discuss subjects such as philosophy and cultural theory. Buffy as an allegorical spectacle of postmodern life? Check. Buffy as a progressive, feminist challenge to gender hierarchy? Check. Buffy as a philosophical examination of subjectivity and truth? Why not?
Douglas Kellner, a professor at UCLA, has written that popular television does a particularly good job of expressing the subconscious fears and fantasies of a society, and that Buffy is an especially useful example. The show’s fantastical elements, he said, provide “access to social problems and issues and hopes and anxieties that are often not articulated in more ‘realist’ cultural forms,” like cop shows or sitcoms. But even popular dramas with similar surface-level conceits like Teen Wolf and Vampire Diaries, which focus mostly on soap-opera romance and teen issues, lack Buffy’s allegorical elements, which elevate the show and make it fascinating for scholars to study.
In Buffy, monsters act as physical stand-ins for societal differences and threats: Vampires symbolize sexual predators, werewolves represent bodily forces out of control, and witches tap into tropes about how female power and sexuality is seen as threatening. By fighting the “Big Bad,” Buffy and her friends fight the monsters everyone faces—oppressive authority figures, meaningless rules, confining social norms, sexual awakening, loneliness, redemption—in other words, the terrors of growing up and finding one’s way in the world.
Buffy scholars have taken dozens of different approaches to understanding the television show or using it to further work in other disciplines. In the decade since it went off the air, a Stanford University population ecologist used mathematical formulas to determine potential vampire demographics in Sunnydale, the fictional California town where the show is set. A strategist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the prominent Washington, D.C. think tank, compared Buffy’s war against the forces of evil to the U.S.’s war on terror and named a new paradigm in biological warfare after the fictional vampire slayer. An English-language historian and linguist published a lexicon of ‘Buffyspeak,’ the insider name for the particular slang and expressions used in the show (Examples include: “Love makes you do the wacky,” “What’s with the grim?” and “She’s the Do-That Girl”)
“Whedon seems to be an almost inexhaustible source,” said David Lavery, an English professor at Middle Tennessee State University who teaches courses on Mad Men, Doctor Who, and Lost as well as Buffy, and co-founded the Whedon Studies Association, an academic organization devoted to analyzing the works of the eponymous writer, producer, and director. “There’s the complexity, intertextuality, authenticity of his stories that makes them so rich for study. If he keeps making stuff for the next 10 years, I think Whedon studies will be going on for quite a long time.”
By fighting the “Big Bad,” Buffy and her friends fight the monsters everyone faces.
Even though it helped set the stage for prestige shows like Mad Men to be studied in an academic context, Buffy lacks some of the same gravitas those series do. The New Yorker critic Emily Nussbaum has lamented that Buffy doesn’t look the way “worthy” television should look, which has made it difficult for her to convince friends and peers of its quality. (In early seasons, she noted, “the werewolf costume looked like it was my great-aunt Ida’s coat.”) Still, Buffy’s sometimes Dr. Who-esque campiness itself has merited critical essays. Meanwhile, other scholars have unpacked the complex relationship Joss Whedon has to his universes, examining him as an auteur on par with show creators such as Vince Gilligan, Matthew Weiner, and Shonda Rhimes.
Beyond Buffy, the field of popular-culture studies is rising in universities across the country. Students are critiquing Madonna, Jay-Z, and Harry Potter, as well as The Sopranos, The Wire, and Lost. These scholars—many of whom are fans of the works they study—sometimes brush up against an academic culture that looks down upon their texts of choice, despite television’s formal and thematic similarities to other well-established areas of study.
But throughout history, yesterday’s lowbrow is often tomorrow’s cultural classic. Rhonda Wilcox, who also co-founded the Whedon Studies Association, frequently compares the episodic format of television to 19th century serialization of novels, like those of Charles Dickens. Dickens, as well as Shakespeare, was considered “pop culture” and thus unworthy of study by close-minded academics who maintained that epic poetry was the most legitimate text. Literary studies and film studies as they’re known today both underwent similar battles for legitimacy that television studies is currently facing. “I think that we’re slowly getting people to recognize that television studies needs to be taken seriously. It’s a general prejudice because it’s fun,” Wilcox says.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Whedon himself supports the rise of the discipline. In an interview with The New York Times in 2003, he said, “I think it’s always important for academics to study popular culture, even if the thing they are studying is idiotic. If it’s successful or made a dent in culture, then it is worthy of study to find out why.”