What is your first memory of the show?
The first two episodes, Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest, aired as a mini movie 30th December 1997. As we only had one TV and my father wouldn’t have allowed me to watch it, despite it being my birthday, I recorded it and watched The Three Musketeers instead.
It wasn’t until the day that the third episode was about to air that I’d remembered about the show. Everyone was in work as I sat down at 4pm, pitch black outside, to watch something that would have an impact upon who I was. From that point onward, I think I only ever missed one episode as they aired Thursday evenings, 6.45 on BBC2.
Seeing the advert and yelling to my parents that I wanted to watch it. My parents told me that it looked shit and that I wasn’t watching it because Vampires were stupid. However, I pestered and pestered them until they let me watch it. I loved every episode and always looked forward to the next. My dad always said he wouldn’t watch it again, so I was either allowed to watch it while he was out or I was made to record it and watch it later.
What caused you to watch it?
H: I think I was looking for something, a fandom, that was my own. It was being played in the slot that belonged to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I also recognised Anthony Stewart Head from the Gold Blend adverts.
G: The advert! It looked exciting and unlike anything I’d ever seen before and I was already in love with vampires from watching the Lost Boys. Me and my bestfriend from school, Sarah Jayne, were *obsessed* with Lost Boys!
Who was your favourite characters throughout the 7 season run?
H: Giles was my ultimate favourite character. I had been crushing on Alexander Siddig’s Doctor Julian Bashir for 4 years at this point and I think Giles was a natural progression for that affection. Both were, as Jenny aptly puts, sexy fuddy duddies. There was an air of intelligence about Giles that I found attractive. I wear this crush with pride now, but 12 year old me was a little shy in admitting this. Just as I would 4 years later when I realised I watched Harry Potter in the cinema so many times was for Alan Rickman.
Seth Green in all of his ginger greatness appeared as a regular in season 2. Add in a little werewolf problem and Oz was cemented as another automatic favourite for me. Won’t deny that I didn’t like how the character finally evolved when it came time for the Seth Green to leave the show, but there were some amazing moments.
While initially, Allyson Hannigan’s Willow was my favourite female character, but I never really got over her betrayal of Oz and therefore my favourite female would have to be Faith. She was a badass anti-hero with a rocking bod that I envied.
G: Buffy because she’s kickass. Enough said!
Xander because he is the most lovely man and protector. He never fails to support everyone despite not being full of super human powers.
Spike because his character develops the most over the series. I really rooted for him and Buffy. And he was hot! Duh! He is funny, sexy and downright evil at times, yet also massively grows and supports Buffy.
Do you have a favourite episode?
H: Band Candy
G: The Musical episode: Once More with Feeling
Which season has the best episodes?
H: Season 3 I feel is the strongest. Not only does it have Seth Green as a series regular, Giles loosens up a little (arguably too lose when it comes to Band Candy) and shows his softer, fatherly side but this is the series that has the best and longest run of excellent episodes (Anne, Dead Man’s Party, Band Candy, Bad Eggs)
G: Season 6. Mainly because of Dark Willow. While I don’t like the trigger for Willow’s decent to the dark side, I love the development of her addiction to magic that leads to her big bad persona. I also really enjoy the relationship between Spike and Buffy and how it progresses and they are my favourite couple on the show. Finally Dawn is less Dawnlike; that is all I will say on the matter.
If you could recommend one episode to someone who has never watched it before, what would you go with?
H: Band Candy or Halloween.
G: Innocence. It has all my favourite characters in it, including Spike, Drucilla and Angelus. It also includes Buffy having to be strong despite her feelings. (Gemma laughed when I asked if people new to the show would be lost. Yes, yes they would… but they should watch them in order.
Which episode was your least favourite?
H: Where the Wild Things Are. It’s just a non episode for me. I’ve seen it about four times over the years, but I couldn’t tell you what happened past Buffy and Riley getting it on during a party. (Gem – I also hate this episode.)
G: Beer Bad. The acting is so cringe. Xander is the only one I like in that episode.
Were you happy with the final season/episode?
H: At the time, no. I felt like it had ‘jumped the shark’ for want of a better phrase. I had abandoned the show not long after season 6 started when it was doing its original airing and I struggled through the episodes I’d left unwatched when I did a rewatch in uni.
However, I recently went to a 20th Anniversary celebration of Buffy and alongside Once More with Feeling, they played the finally episode. I was a little bit miffed. Why that episode?
Then it played, in a room of fans. I saw it in a new light and I was very happy with where all the characters ended up.
G: Absolutely. Except for the fact that Dawn had the last line. I liked the fact that they mentioned a Hellmouth in Cleveland, which gave hope for a spinoff. I was devastated about Anya, as she had become one of my favourite characters. I loved the fact that Spike had such a victorious ending, he had become my favourite character and I truly sobbed my eyes out.
How has Buffy influenced your viewing habits?
H: It helped me get into Canadian sci-fi show Lost Girl. It did almost replicate the first series and there are cross overs of themes.
G: It’s made me feel like any other show is inferior. It takes a lot to excite me and I often find myself re-watching Buffy than getting into a new show. It set a canon for what I expect from vampire shows. It actually stopped me watching things like True Blood. I do love Vampire Diaries, but in my mind nothing is going to compare. Buffy is a phenomenal character. No-one else can compare.
What are your favourite Buffy quotes?
H: Oz: We should figure out what kinda deal this is. I mean, is it a-a gathering, a shindig or a hootenanny?
Cordelia: What’s the difference?
Oz: Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig, dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it’s chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny.
2.“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live.”
3.“You just come to pump me for information?
What else would I want to pump you for? I really just said that, didn’t I?”
Who is your least favourite character?
H: Helfreck. Because I’d seen her in Grey’s Anatomy first and she was so uber happy that she pissed me off, and it was through association of Grey’s that she just irritated me and the uber happy seeped through. The ultimate type casting.
G: In my first watch, Riley. I despised him. I felt he was weak, and too controlled by Maggie Walsh. It’s taken about 7 rewatches for me to not hate him, now I realise how much he strives to support Buffy but I still root for Buffy to be with Spike. Therefore my least favourite character would probably be Kendra. I hate her voice, her attitude, her whole persona. In all honesty, I’m so glad Dru despatched her and we got Faith. (The actress however, is a legend. I love her in TVD and PLL and Witches of East End; I swear she is an actual vampire as she never seems to age!)
Who is your favourite big bad?
H: The Mayor. Mainly because it wasn’t about Buffy as such, he had his own agenda. He had his own set of morals. They were just a little out of whack. And hell, anyone that could be a dad to Faith is good in my books.
G: Angelus. He tested the whole Scooby Gang. Buffy had to literally give up her love to save humanity. I don’t think she ever recovered from that. As much as I am totally team Buffy and Spike, I know that first loves are everlasting.
Who is your favourite regular character?
H: Ethan Rayne. First of all, he was the man from The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Second, he gave us an insight to Giles. Finally, he gave us two of the funniest episodes of the entire series: Halloween and Band Candy.
G: Drucilla. She’s a total nut job, I love her style and her devotion to both Spike and Angelus. She’s also way more hard core than whiney Darla.