by Lainey Coughlin
It’s in the second episode we learn that the world is in danger and how every adult in Buffy’s life makes it impossible to save it. We are reminded several times how she is still just a teenager who is expected to go to school, be social, but not too social, and save the world unbeknownst to the adult figures in her life. In the episode The Harvest we see the “Scooby Gang” forming their bond and what roles each character plays.
After Buffy’s new friends learn to accept that there are demons and monsters in the world they find their only way to deal is to help in whatever capacity they can. Buffy leads the gang with her killer karate skills and her wit. Giles is the king of research and has a sweet British accent. Xander so desperately wants to help/save Buffy so he can be her knight in shining armor, well, that, and he doesn’t want her to be killed. Willow, the smartest next to Giles, has the ability to hack computer grids and research better than any of the others while scoring straight A's. But don’t be misled by this; she is probably the most transformable of all the characters. Most people think this show is 100% about Buffy, and much of the show is centered around the growth of her character - as a Slayer and as a young woman - but the people she is surrounded with make for most of the show's twists and are refreshingly developed to layer the story arc.
While a majority of the show offers a timeless insight into the life and times of a teenage girl, tasked to save the world, there is one other key character that makes this show so 90s. The love interest of Buffy, Angel. Turns out a certain series of books wasn’t as original as everyone thought. Angel cryptically shows up with warnings for Buffy in their first few meetings, then is just as quickly removed from the situation. We are not really sure what side he is on, but it becomes evident at the end of this episode he is rooting for Buff. As Cordelia would say, “I exhibit no surprise”. Always pay attention to the sassy Cordelia and Buffy quotes. They’re so great I wish they were still used today. I’ll work on bringing them back…
The Bronze, the ultimate hang out club with live bands, all types of beverages, couches, and muffins. The evolution of music - the proliferation of grunge, punk, metal and rap as threats to the mainstream pop new wave retreads lingering from the 80s - was a huge influence in the 90s and a lot of bands make appearances throughout the first few seasons at the Bronze. The bands actually had a decent amount of airtime and their music was allowed to be appreciated by the show. The Bronze is always full of fresh blood which vampires are eager to feed on.
So, the world is ending. It’s up to the gang to save it. A very powerful vamp know as The Master tried to take over the world in the late 1930s. He was swallowed by an earthquake and trapped under Sunnydale at the Hellmouth, the city's monster magnet, attempting to be freed by his minions. This is where we see our first threat of vampires take over and attempt to kill all the clueless teenagers of Sunnydale. Buffy ends up defeating this group and killing the strongest vampire of all of them not with her strength, but with the help of her new friends and a clever little trick.
Buffy = Not Impressed
As a bonus, for all you sitcom lovers of the early and mid-2000s, you may recognize Xander's buddy who has the hots for Cordelia who gets turned into a vamp - Eddie from The O.C.
So after Buffy, her friends and Giles save the world and all of Sunnydale high, it is expected that everything would change now that the secret of vampires is out. Wrong. Much like our “real life” society, situations are ignored or excuses are made for the crazy they saw and they move on to the next drama of the day.