Happy birthday, Buffy!
Yes, it's time to feel really old, because today Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show, as the movie obviously doesn't count) turns 20-years-old.
Though still not old enough to drink in the United States, it's nonetheless surprising to find that Buffy first aired two decades ago.
The outfits may have aged hilariously, but the rest of the series holds up as well as ever, and remains a major part of pop-culture lexicon and an inspiration for generations of shows since.
It remains the best work any of the cast have done, and despite Firefly, Angel, and The Avengers all coming after, it still stands as Joss Whedon's magnum opus.
Given the milestone, it feels an appropriate time to go back in time and look over each of the seven seasons the show offered between 1997-2003. During that time the show became a TV phenomenon, a landmark high school series, a high entry point into the vampire genre, and simply put one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
Now, there isn't an outright bad season of Buffy, but not all seasons are created equally. Instead, they go from good, but with a lot of issues, to utterly incredible.
7. Season 7
Why It Was Great
The final season hit a few nice character beats, in particular with Spike wrestling with his soul and wracked with apparent madness while trying to be good, and James Masters kills it here. Caleb gives Nathan Fillion the chance to play a truly menacing villain and become the de facto face the First Evil had been lacking, although he arrives a bit too late in the season. Meanwhile Andrew becomes a surprisingly great supporting character.
Ultimately, the biggest strength of this season is the way it ties everything up, delivering a satisfying finale that saves the world again and, crucially, brings an end to the Slayer lineage.
Why It Wasn't
By the time of its seventh and final season, there was a feeling that many of the cast just wanted it all to be over - something unfortunately reflected in the performances.
There's an overall lack of cohesion to the season, the First Evil lurking in the shadows but too often being a vague threat. Way too much time is spent lounging around the Summers' residence, meaning episodes can become boring, and with the increasing stakes and weariness of the actors the spark and humour that helped make the show so great had largely faded out.
Best Episode: Chosen (S7 E22)