Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, April 03, 2017

Celebrating 20 years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer bouts

One of the pop culture highlights of this year is the fact that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is celebrating it's 20th anniversary.

When it first began in 1997, this series about a young woman learning to live with her destiny to destroy vampires(and other evil creatures) gave inspiration along with entertainment not only to the teen audience it was supposed to target but to many of us "grown-ups" as well.

It was a show that flipped genre norms while addressing many social issues relevant to more than one age group,along with some romance, action and tons of good humor. As a way of reliving that small screen magic, I've selected a few of my favorite Buffy throwdowns, those one-on-one battles that showcased the Slayer at her best. So, in no particular order, here are five of my personal picks for "Buffy Vs..."

BUFFY VS. DRACULA: It was smart of the show's writers to wait until Season Five for our Slayer to face off against the most iconic vampire of all time.

 Not only was Buffy's mode of attack well established by that time, she had enough perspective to figure out how best to deal with Dracula, whose method of enthralling his prey threw her off her game at first.

 Once she got a real taste of Drac's power, that jump started her inner warrior goddess skill set into hyper drive. And of course, she was savvy enough to remember that he was fond of repeat appearances:

BUFFY VS. SPIKE,DAYTIME EDITION: Out of all the vampires that Buffy has gone up against, Spike has remained one of her best sparring partners, so to speak.

 From their first encounter in "School Hard" onward, William the Bloody was tops in landing those instinctive blows, verbal and otherwise, that made any fight between him and Buffy worth watching. This particular one from Season Four has the distinction of being their only daylight battle due to Spike finding a certain magic ring that made him invulnerable to sunshine, among other things.

If that wasn't bad enough, he used his most vicious weapon during the fight, that sharp tongue of his as he mocked Buffy's current romance troubles. That wound up backfiring on him, as Buffy was pushed to the breaking point and willing to risk getting a bit burnt in order to take Spike down:

BUFFY VS. ADAM: Personally, I've always thought that Adam from that same season was one of the underrated Big Bads of the Buffyverse(the other being Glory in the following season).

Sure, he didn't fully mesh into the overall scheme of things in that first year of college for Buffy and the gang but then again, in a way he did. The focus of that season was keeping true to family, even if your paths in life were diverging and a mutual threat like a demon human robot hybrid was as good a reason as any to get the band back together.

To ultimately defeat him, Buffy and her friends performed a bonding spell that combined all of their best abilities into one, giving her nearly god like powers. True, a price was paid in order to work that magic but it was well worth it just to see Buffy in Matrix mode:

BUFFY VS. DARK WILLOW: I know that Season Six didn't always go over well with fans, as it's take on Buffy trying to deal with the dullness of the real world after returning from a blissful afterlife had it's ups and downs.

However, once Willow lost control of her magic, due to the death of her beloved Tara, everyone was on board for that wild ride. Upon taking out Warren, the leader of the nerd herd that been trying to be the local Big Bads in town, she went full on Kill Bill to wipe out the remaining members of that sad trio,regardless of their innocence in Tara's demise.

Attempting to save her friend as well as the hapless henchmen, Buffy had no choice but to get into a full on fight with Dark Willow, which was a big deal in more ways than one. In the end, that showdown only managed to stall the wrath of Willow until she found a more suitable target to take down:

Of course, the all-time champion of Buffy fights is Buffy Vs. Angelus in the Season Two finale, where even when his soul was restored, she had no other alternative to delivering that final blow in order to literally prevent hell on earth.

That mix of intensity with heartbreak became the trademark of any Buffy season and what made that show stand out from the crowd of other supernaturally themed TV series that followed in it's wake. There's talk of a revival and/or a reboot yet I truly don't know if that's really necessary.

Granted, that never stops anyone from doing so but in this case, we really don't need to wrap things up anymore than they have been(with the comic book series filling in nicely there). With Buffy proving that she stands the test of time, maybe just this once we could let her legacy rest in peace:

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