Today marks the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! In celebration, here’s a look back on some of the craziest stuff the series had to offer.
During its seven-season run (1997-2004), Buffy the Vampire Slayer was constantly pushing the envelope. Network politics be damned, creator Joss Whedon was not above shaking things up: “Censors. Don’t love ’em.” Seasons one through five originally ran on the WB, during which time there were a lot of restrictions by which to abide. However, a show that worked primarily on the level of metaphor was able to get around a lot of things and have fun doing it. Those first seasons still got to deal with issues related to dating, parents, and abuse. Things became a little touch and go in 2000 when the series began to develop a lesbian relationship. Whedon admits some things had to be cut and kissing was not allowed, but he was dead-set on moving forward with the story-arc anyways. For seasons six and seven the series moved to UPN, where Whedon was essentially given carte-blanche. It comes as no surprise then that these seasons dealt with a even darker subject matter. Not to mention a number of heated sex scenes; even Willow and Tara got to spice things up.
Ultimately, Whedon’s desire not to shy away from controversy made for seven years’ worth of compelling TV. Buffy the Vampire Slayer entertained, enthralled, and taught us a lot about life. Today, network TV is littered with sex, drugs, and violence and viewers gobble it up. But it’s important to reflect on the history of TV censorship and progression and to pay tribute to the predecessors, like Buffy, that set the stage for anything to happen next.
Also check out, 15 Reasons to Re-Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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