Buffy, gotta slay ’em all

This one is an icon: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many women loved this show, especially my nana, during its run from 1997 to 2003. I know I have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer before but I don’t really remember much about it (I was more of an Angel fan). The basic premise of the show is that it follows a girl named Buffy whose lineage has fought evil forces and she must continue on the tradition using her magic powers. During the show she is accompanied by friends and love interests while fighting evil. Sadly this show has the same problems as Saved by the Bell in regards to easy, free availability as it is available on Hulu. After not finding a quality video online I have decided to just use the pilot available on Hulu. For those reading who do not have Hulu there is an unaired version of the pilot available here though there are some differences.
The show starts off similarly to any other teen drama: gossip, cool girls, and dead bodies falling out of lockers. We’re told Buffy had to move schools due to her burning down the gym of her previous school in L.A. so she starts off as a strong character. We also see Xander literally falling for Buffy as he skateboards past her. Other girls in the show take on typical tv tropes: the cool girl Cordelia and the nerd Willow. I mostly used this episode as a jumping point because when originally looking at my topic I saw a lot of scholarly articles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
One such article is Staking Her Claim: Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Transgressive Woman Warrior by Frances H. Early. The reading follows the trend of increasing media about men at war and shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena pushing back against that narrative. The article features a quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Josh Whedon in which he says, “If I can make teenage boys comfortable with a girl who takes charge of a situation without their knowing that’s what’s happening it’s better than sitting down and selling them on feminism.” I think this quote really encompasses what I am aiming to research in the course of this project: how media has impacted culture specifically in relationship to women. Here Josh Whedon talks about his aim to make strong women common in American media and culture through the use of his television show. This is why studying television and media is important, especially when looking at older generations, to see if the media has impacted society and if it had the impact that was intended.
When looking at Buffy I think the show did fulfill what Josh Whedon aimed to do by making Buffy a household name and inspiring many young girls while also paving the way for other shows to feature strong female leads and moving away from the male centric television show.