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How Buffy Created the Modern Vampire

buffy the vampire slayer

How One Scene Changed Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Over the last few years, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has seen a resurgence among its fan base with fresh eyes binging the show for the first time. Fans love the dramedy style, the genuinely unexpected twists, and of course, Buffy’s take on the modern vampire. Let’s take a look at the scene that changed Buffy the Vampire Slayer forever and brought about the reign of the modern vampire.

The Antiquated Vampire in Buffy’s First Season

In season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show introduces the audience to some seriously antiquated vampires. Led by the Master (Mark Metcalf), these vampires use language reminiscent of Elizabethan England and are sticklers for tradition. The Master may dress in a leather jacket, but somehow, it never makes his appearance more youthful or fresh. He stands up straight and never makes any sudden movements. Overall, he’s a pretty static guy, and, while that first season of Buffy was still spectacular, this villain can sometimes fall flat because of his lack of a fresh personality and because he’s the same vampire the audience has seen time and time again in other media. The Master focuses on regaining his strength and access to the world through old books of prophecies. It sounds cool, but the way he talks about them never quite hit home. Even when he brings forth “the Anointed One” (Andrew J. Ferchland), this kid is stoic, showing no emotion and creating little excitement after he finds his way down to the Master. 

In season two, after Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) slays the Master, the audience meets another group of vampires who rely heavily on ceremony and prophecies and who still speak in antiquated language. The Anointed One promises to be the main villain of this season. Granted, the audience can’t help but feel some excitement at this prospect because they’ve yet to see what this kid can do, and the Master talked up his purpose so much in season one. But the audience also can’t help but feel a little bored at the prospect of more vampires who rely so heavily on the old ways.

buffy the vampire slayer

The Scene That Changed Buffy the Vampire Slayer Forever

In season two, episode three, “School Hard,” two vampires walk in and turn everything around. Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) enter and immediately set a different tone. While the other vampires in the room talk about the crucifixion, Spike struts in and talks about Woodstock, how he bit a flower person, then spent hours watching his hand move. Spike and Drusilla are the sexy vampires we’ve been waiting for. They bring a youthful energy between Drusilla’s creepy and eventually terrifying madness and Spike’s impulsive behavior. When they initially arrive, the Anointed One is trying to find a way to kill the slayer, and Spike, who has killed two in his time, takes the challenge. When Spike fails to kill Buffy, the Anointed One chides him. Spike falls on his knee for about a second, but when all of the other vampires think that he should die as punishment, Spike turns the tables on the whole Buffy plot. In a moment of mixed joyful rage, he grabs the Anointed One, tosses him in a cage, and hoists the cage up into the air where it’s in view of the sun, all the while, Spike says the one line that changes the show forever and becomes the new rule of thumb when it comes to Buff’s villains: “A little less ceremony, a little more fun.” Spike kills the Anointed One, and together, he and Drusilla bring about the reign of the sexy, fun, and cool vampire and villain.

Buffy Brought Some of Television’s Best Villains

Even after season two, the subsequent villains on Buffy continue to keep the fun and amp up the steaks. The Mayor (Harry Groener) keeps things light and funny with his germaphobic tendencies and bright attitude while simultaneously planning to bring hell on earth and kill everyone in Sunnydale. Glory (Clare Kramer) is a god who loves the finer things in life, delivers constant high levels of sass, and has some serious anger problems. Even when Willow (Alyson Hannigan) takes the reins as the villain in season 6, it’s because she’s ambitiously consuming magic and ignoring what is safe and traditional in the study. As a result, she becomes the terrifying but extremely entertaining version of herself who skins people alive. Spike continues to be one of the audience’s favorite characters throughout the show, and, eventually, he becomes a good guy. But, his introduction to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in season two took the show in a whole new direction and helped define the path through which the show’s other awesome villains were made.

buffy the vampire slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Official Season 1 Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Syd Sukalski
Syd Sukalski attends Sarah Lawrence College and studies television writing and production and fiction writing. Syd aspires to write novels that she will adapt into a television series. She recently finished a draft of her first novel and is hard at work on her second.