20 years ago, Joss Whedon turned the just-okay movie he wrote — but wasn’t happy with — into an exemplary, game-changing TV show that would influence dozens of sci-fi and fantasy projects to come while also elevating genre TV as a whole. Debuting on the WB network on March 10th, 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed the world that triumphant television could be made from stories featuring a teenage girl battling vampires, demons, and other assorted things that go bump in the night.
Buffy would make TV history as an unexpectedly moving, thrilling, funny, and socially aware series that was a perfect mixture of comedy, drama, and heart. Oh, and monster slaying. It was an ensemble that would help redefined the notion of a ragtag team while giving us teen, and eventually college-age, angst and anxiety among the backdrop of a perpetually nye apocalypse.