Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Character: Buffy Summers
Played By: Sarah Michelle Gellar
In a Nutshell: Lord, I’m taking a gargantuan task on here but I realized recently that a lot of our Character Spotlights feature the fun supporting players of our favorite shows. Unfortunately, I forgot that by picking the title character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was going to have to summarize an entire Whedon-mythology here (there’s a whole section in Wikipedia called “Cultural Impact” for God’s sake). Ok, nerd glasses off. I’m going to make this as basic as humanly possible.
Buffy Summers moves with her single mother to Sunnydale. She’s a former cheerleader, her parents are recently divorced and, um, she kind of burned down her old high school so right off the bat, her new principal thinks she’s trouble. Coupled with the fact that she’s inherited the title of Vampire Slayer (which she’ll hold until she dies and another girl takes her place) and that Sunnydale, CA is actually known as the Hellmouth aka Where Evil Things Live, she’s kind of got a lot on her plate. Luckily, she has her loyal friends (Xander, Willow, Oz and Cordelia), a hot vampire boyfriend (Angel- if Buffy aired now, during the Twilight hubbub, it would be massively more popular than it was when it premiered on the WB in 1997), a wise British watcher/guardian (Giles) and lots of baddies to play with. The show provides us with insight into Buffy’s high school and college years over the course of which she dies (not once but twice), kills her boyfriend, runs away and becomes a waitress named Anne, goes to hell (several times I think), goes to college, starts dating a military vampire slayer and then another vampire, loses her mother and does battle with vamps, monsters, mad scientists, demons, giant snakes and lots of other gross things that pop up.
Why We Love Buffy: She’s funny, she’s tough, loyal and vulnerable- she basically struggles with what every teenager struggles with- how do you stay true to yourself and find happiness, when the world, your friends and your family are trying to tell you who you are. We get to watch her turn into a hero (noble, self-sacrificing, brave), which is pretty cool and not bad for a story based on a movie starring Luke Perry.