The first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired in 1997. This was the year Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear and when OJ Simpson was found guilty in a civil trial related to murder. This was a long time ago. 17 years ago Buffy the Vampire Slayer made it’s debut on the WB. It all begins with two Sunnydale teenagers breaking into the local high school. The girl turns out to be a vampire and kills the boy who brought her there. How could this not peak your interest? A boy who thinks he’s going to get lucky after breaking and entering and ends up getting all of his blood sucked dry by the meager little girl he dragged along.
Next? Let’s meet Buffy. She has some disturbing dreams and is awoken to start her first day of school. On her first day we also learn she burned down the gymnasium of her last school killing a bunch of vampires…um awesome?! Her principal decides to give her a fair and equal chance to fit in at her new school. That day Buffy meets Giles, the new librarian. She quickly learns he is not there primarily to be a librarian, although he has a passion for books and research, which will be beneficial to all the adventures that are yet to come.
Giles is Buffy’s watcher. A Watcher is a person who prepares the Slayer to fight demonic forces by training, educating and testing the Slayer’s abilities. Buffy is reluctant to be the Slayer in her new town and Giles reminds her of her duty and that something dark lingers in this town.
We also meet two other characters that become key in the entire series. First we have Xander who is head over heals for Buffy the instant he sees her (duh, who could blame him…). And then we have Willow; a meek, smart and sweet girl. These two friends provide Buffy help on the battlefield and with research needs. These four comprise the “Scooby Gang” that will be key in saving the world and defeating all sorts of demons .
Then there’s Cordelia. At first, she seems helpful and friendly, but as it turns out she is kind of a turd of a person. She is fond of judging, being rude, conceded and outspoken. At some point though, we accept this and she starts to grow on you. Two of my all time favorite quotes are from this episode, and Cordelia is the person who utters them both. Buffy is searching for a Vamp and accidentally grabs Cordelia. Cordelia responds with, “What is your childhood trauma?” and “Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.” She has a cell phone!!! This indicates she may come from money since NO ONE in this show owns a cell phone. We don’t even see another cell phone until the very later seasons, which would have been super beneficial in most situations throughout the show, but alas they must resort to payphones and landlines…so rough.
This wouldn’t be an awesome 90s show without a love interest. Angel. Seems a little weird at first, but there is a clear connection between him and Buffy. He shows up with a warning to Buffy and gives her a cross necklace to protect her…aw. Angel has a sweet little secret we find out in a later episode that changes EVERYTHING.
Buffy learns in this episode that even though she is not fond of her duties as a Slayer, there is no fighting it. She feels the need to protect her friends, family and the rest of the world. Talk about a lot to carry with you at only 16. This is just the beginning though. She and her gang have no idea what lies ahead and at first, you think this is just some cute little show, but buckle up because it is a ride you won’t forget. As Buffy says, “seize the moment because tomorrow you might be dead.” Heed this advice and watch Buffy before you regret it.