Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a Chosen One. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer.
In 1992, Joss Whedon
wrote a largely forgotten (yet still pretty entertaining) film
with a hip concept and postmodern
take on the horror genre: the fragile (and doomed) Southern Californian cheerleader attacked by a monster in a dark alley; in contrast, Buffy scared monsters into becoming afraid of meeting her
in dark alleys. Buffy Summers is the "Slayer
," the most recent in a long line of girls — one chosen every generation — given mystical strength and other powers to confront the monsters that stalk the night. Since Whedon, a mere writer, lacked creative control
over his work, he viewed the actual film a disappointment. Not wanting the character and overall concept go to waste, and given the opportunity to re-visit it as a television series, Joss wasted no time in saying "yes".
In 1997, the fledgling WB
network took Buffy The Vampire Slayer
and raised it from the dead
with an abbreviated first season. The pilot treated the motion picture as originally scripted
(not the film that resulted
) as canon: Buffy, hoping to elude her Slayer responsibilities (and the authorities after burning down the school gym), transfers to Sunnydale, a sleepy town
in Southern California.
As it so happens, Sunnydale sits on top of a Hellmouth
. Bring the kids!
The Watchers Council, an ancient order
responsible for training Slayers for the past few millennia, sends Buffy a mentor (Giles) to prepare her for the fights to come. Giles, posing as the school librarian, sets up shop in preparation for the day the Hellmouth reopens. Forming a tight-knit group of friends, Buffy continues to battle evil, all while maintaining her double life as a carefree schoolgirl. That last part is easier than it sounds, as Sunnydale's adults are too wrapped up in lawn care (and denial) to acknowledge the evil brewing right under their feet.
Joss and his team of writers at Mutant Enemy
took many standard teenage issues
- "My teacher is Satan", "Why is my boyfriend acting evil now that I've slept with him?", "What does the invisible girl hiding in the ceiling want?" - and explored them with a supernatural, always self-knowing eye. While the show didn't exactly light the world on fire during its first season, it garnered enough critical acclaim to earn a devoted fanbase by year two. The show pioneered the Half-Arc Season
, with a singular villain behind that year's events, and even foreshadowed
a few major plot developments several years
in advance. Since everyone on the show had at least partial Genre Savvy
, characters would often subvert a wide variety of tropes. Perhaps most surprisingly, the central cast grew like kudzu, with even walk-ons
being given a dose of clear, deliberate Character Development
later on. (Just in time for Joss to kill them off, alas.)
In 1999, Joss and co-producer David Greenwalt conceived a Spin-Off
starring Buffy's vampiric Love Interest
; the He-Man
to Buffy's She-Ra
, if you will. While Buffy
dealt with the troubles of adolescent life and growing up, Angel
focused on adults trying to hold onto their youthful ideals. This culminated with the cast of Angel
selling out and becoming Corporate Sponsored Superheroes
, much to the disgust of Buffy and her allies, who disavowed them
. Crossovers and cross-references between the two shows persisted even after Buffy
ended in 2003.
In 2007, Buffy
started up again — in comic form — as "Season Eight
" began; produced by Joss Whedon, the comic series has become recognized as official series canon
. The first issues of "Season Nine", split between two series — Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and Angel and Faith
— began in the fall of 2011; this was followed by "Season Ten", which commenced in the spring of 2014.
Nobody can deny or ignore the influence of Buffy
on the TV shows that followed it, both within and outside the genre. Russell T. Davies
had at least one eye on this show when he revived Doctor Who
This series has become one of the most Trope Overdosed
shows in existence — thousands of references to Buffy
exist across this entire wiki — partially because TV Tropes
began with a specific focus on Buffy
(based on a 2004 thread on the fan site Buffistas.org
) before branching out to all of TV and eventually all of everything.
The producers of the original film (the Kuzui couple listed in the credits) retained the rights
throughout the show's run despite having no creative involvement past the film. Plans have been proposed to revive/remake the film without Joss Whedon's input. No one involved with the series had anything pleasant to say about it
We no longer consider this show as Trope Overdosed — we now officially classify it as kiloWick
and one of The Truly Awesome. In fact, it sits over 4000 marks higher than the minimum for kiloWick. The show's entire run lasts 6,056 minutes (144 episodes with a runtime of 42 minutes apiece, though the musical was extended to 50), making this a literal case of (roughly) one trope per minute.
You can find certain episode-specific tropes on the recap page
and character-specific tropes on its character pages
. Has an episode crowner
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been indexed to avoid one day breaking the site: