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buffy summers

So I say we change the rule. I say my power… should be our power.
―Buffy when she chooses to share her power with the Potentials.

Buffy Summers affected the lives of an entire generation who watched her journey from reluctant teenager to one of the greatest fictional heroines of modern time.  In the 90’s to early 2000’s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer captivated audiences with the tale of a girl given a charge that wouldn’t ordinarily go to a female figure let alone a pretty blonde. Created in response to the idea that girls had monsters to worry about in the alley, Joss Whedon flipped that notion on it’s head by making the pretty blonde what the monsters were afraid of. The title said it all, that this girl with the peculiar name would function as a teen Van Helsing entrusted to protect humanity from the supernatural.

baf

Over the course of seven T.V. seasons, Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed the slayer as she took on the end of the world while tackling high school with her ragtag group of friends. They’d later venture into adulthood while still taking on the apocalypse in various forms from vampires to little sisters. Initially, there was studio doubt that a show could be carried on the name of just one character but so many factors made Buffy accessible to viewers.

What made Buffy so relatable was that she wasn’t just a girl but a teenager dealing with very real teen problems. She’s not the smartest girl or the most popular but she found herself having to take on the responsibility of standing against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. With the guidance of a Watcher, Buffy would be trained to kick ass and still have to deal with growing up like all those around her. Buffy would save the day by standing up for the marginalized youth who’d become lured by the evils of the world they lived in. Her classmates would often feel invisible or have boy problems and because of the Hell Mouth underneath the high school these experiences would become incarnated through various horror tropes in monster of the week style of the series.  More often than not, it’d involve dusting some vampires all while learning some pretty important life lessons.

One of Buffy’s struggles was how the burden of her charge would clash with her personal life. The love story between her and the vampire Angel would also go down as one of the greatest in television history (Spuffy be damned). A strength played between them was that she was never dependent on him. Even when she lost him multiple times, she didn’t just curl up into a ball and stop fighting. She’d bounce back and recover no matter how hard it was for her. It often would get super tough, like the time she kinda had to kill him when he went all evil.

As the show evolved and the characters grew up, Buffy would go on to become a role model for the modern working woman. One of the ways she’d cope with tragedy would by losing herself in getting the work of the chosen one done and becoming ruthless–more slayer than woman. She showed how the hero’s journey was hard and not only full of glory.  Buffy faced many loses and sacrifices while saving the world a lot.  However with the help and love of her friends, she’d get reeled back into the world of the living.

Buffy broke a lot of archaic notions about women and taught us many invaluable lessons. We learned to never lose hope and keep fighting to maintain a balance between duty and family.

And most importantly we learned that everyone has the potential in them to be a hero.

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Sabina Ibarra

14 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I love this show and this character. She is one of the best female characters ever. She has deep pain, turmoil in her life all of the time, and showed that all women can triumph obstacle in their way. I miss Buffy on TV, and when they adapt Wonder Woman the screen that used some of her qualities or any female superhero or non superhero character.

    • Sabina (writer): Agreed. We do need more female characters like Buffy on T.V. . I have faith that we can bring to the screen a wonderful and dynamic Wonder Woman serial adaptation. We have to make it happen!

      • I have faith that Ben Affleck’s bff now, Chris Terrio, wrote Wonder Woman to be a stronger character, because I certainly don’t trust David Goyer to do it. Whom ever writes a Wonder Woman script can use characteristics from Ripley, Buffy, and a few other characters to make a character such as Wonder Woman come to life. Buffy was always my small Wonder Woman to me. I grew up watching her and still deeply in love with that show.

    • Sabina (writer): Ah, a jest I swear! I actually find Spike more attractive and loved their arc as well. He does also describe Buffy perfectly when he says, “I love what you are, what you do, how you try… I’ve seen your kindness, and your strength, I’ve seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the one, Buffy.”

  • Beautiful post. I don’t think there has been another series (outside of anthologies) with the range of BtVS. Drama, comedy, tragedy, farce — sometimes within the same episode. In depth of writing, I’ve never seen its equal. Watching the episodes now, a decade and a half later, I still find myself catching dialogue and plot nuances that I hadn’t picked up on the first five or six viewings! And above all, it had actors with the skill to pull it off: most notably the vastly underrated SMG.

  • I loved this article and thank you for acknowledging the great love story of Buffy and Angel, their love pulls on the heart strings even now. What I loved the most is that her love for him made her stronger and vice versa, he always admired and respected her decisions, he never pushed or pressured her to change, loved and accepted her the way she was. Spiffy be damned is exactly right, he could never be what Angel meant to her. I loved her strength even though she was heartbroken, she kept fighting as Angel would often her, that they might not win but it’s fight that matters, Buffy and Angel were equals, gosh I need the Buffy/Angel movie ASAP!

  • Great post! Buffy is the hero in all of us. (And yes, Buffy and Angel’s love story is undeniably the greatest of them all. Sorry, spuffies :P)

    • So true and well said. I’m new to the fandom but the Angel/Buffy love story has totally hooked me, I just can’t get enough of them especially Angel, he’s such a sweetheart and sexy.

    • I agree with you also! Angel/Buffy are a powerful couple made more tragic by fates dealt to them but in the end they always choose each other, always willing to die for one and other.

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