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Reasons Why Buffy The Vampire Slayer Is Iconic And Played A Large Role In Poplular Culture

1516 words - 7 pages

Buffy the Vampire the television series first aired in 1997, based on its 1992 movie staring Kristy Swanson written by Joss Whedon. The Television series aired its first episode titled “Welcome to the Hellmouth” and we are introduced to a scene of misdirection, a young woman wondering the new high school with a young man who clearly has some intentions he is wanting to express. We immediately make the assumption that he is the vampire looking for blood, very quickly it is revealed that it was she, Darla, who was the danger and with this curve ball the idea of strong women and female empowerment begins. With a new high school, and new characters particularly Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris, Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenburg and Anthony Head as Rupert Giles. We are delivered the foundations for characters and story very smoothly and packed with information within the first fifteen minutes. We know at this point we are seeing a collection of themes that will become very important to popular culture and spawn an ever growing collection of fan fiction and spin-offs, cosplay, discussion and social commentary as topics for study.

"In every generation, there is a chosen one. She alone shall stand against the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. She is the Slayer." Is first quoted by Giles and continues to establish the topic of female empowerment, an attractive, young, 16 year old woman with two lives. One as a normal teenager struggling with life through high school and social aspects, the other a secret life as a super hero, the Slayer. This introduced the fantasy ideas that where usually reserved for young boys and their comic books to teenage girls. One of the most iconic scenes to reinforce this occurs in the first episode and serves as a medium for introducing the character of Angel, soon to be built up as the romantic interest, he is shown essentially stalking Buffy down a dark alleyway at night. Buffy plays along as the helpless victim to draw him closer, then next moment we are witness to Buffy swinging in from a vertical, upside-down position on a water pipe to kick Angel to the ground from behind. This is a prevalent moment as it shows very clearly that Buffy is a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself. As opposed to another iconic story, Twilight, where the character of Bella is so depending and never really does anything for herself. However in contrast to Buffy, Bella is essentially a blank slate designed to tap into women’s fantasies about having all their troubles taken away by a handsome male, but ideally remain troubled enough so he will continue to look after her, she is just a metaphorical skin for female readers to put on. Whether or not Stephanie Myers was actually aware of this as she wrote twilight, it was still an incredibly successful formula.
"You know me, not much with the damseling." - Buffy. I feel this quote is the best way to summarise the contrast between...

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