Buffy The Vampire Slayer celebrated its 20th anniversary two years ago. After seven seasons and a spin-off series, the show wrapped up in 2003. It will be receiving the reboot treatment in the near future but twenty years on, the original series is still poignantly relevant. Here are some important life lessons we learned on the show.
High School Sucks… But That’s OK
Buffy’s high school experience may have been unique but that is not to say that she is the only student to feel like her high school has been built on an actual hell mouth. What’s great about the show is that if you strip away all the demons, what you have left is something even more terrifying… adolescence.
The show demonstrates time and time again that everybody is battling with their own struggles. Even the “popular kids” will be going through something and no one is ever truly alone. If that fails to provide comfort, then there is always the season 4 reminder that eventually, high school will come to an end.
There is Love After Heartbreak
When Buffy’s first love turns into a soulless bloodsucking demon, she skips town and is convinced that her heart will never heal. Her relationship may have ended in the most heartbreaking way possible but slowly but surely, she recovers. Over the course of the show, Buffy has three serious relationships and several short romantic encounters. Each one brings its own painful challenges but Buffy stays strong and allows herself to love again.
Don’t Waste Your Time On Existential Dread
Have you ever woken up and just though… what’s the darn point? Sometimes it feels like we are all alone in this world and that nothing really matters. Buffy reminds us that even if the worst is true, we have to keep fighting.
Midway through the controversial season five, Buffy’s younger sister, Dawn, is introduced to the Buffyverse to mask a cosmic key. When Dawn discovers she is not real, she falls apart. When those around her reassure her they don’t care about where she came from and love her anyway, she is eventually able to focus on what matters the most – looking out for her friends and saving the world.
Everyone Has Weaknesses
Above all, Buffy reminds us that everybody has their weaknesses. Willow, a genius and extremely powerful witch, struggles with addiction. Spike, a powerful vampire finds himself at odds with the man he is and the man he wants to be. Buffy, on the other hand, is a super-strong slayer often tasked with saving the world. Time and time again she rises to the challenge, defeating the bad guys and proving that good will eventually triumph. But does it?
Even though Buffy always rises to the challenge, she has days where she resents her calling and wishes that she could quit. She has been known to have the odd tantrum and has bailed on her slayer duties once or twice. In season six, she experiences depression and finds herself making reckless mistakes and feeling detached from everyone around her. And that’s OK. Having these “moments of weakness” doesn’t make her any less strong and it certainly doesn’t make her any less of a slayer. In the face of struggle, Buffy faces her weaknesses, accepts them, and harnesses their power over her to transform them into strength. And in a nutshell, this is why we will continue to talk about Buffy The Vampire Slayer years after its initial release.