NPR logo

20 Years Ago, 'Buffy' Welcomed Us All To The Hellmouth (aka High School)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/519465836/519593281" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
20 Years Ago, 'Buffy' Welcomed Us All To The Hellmouth (aka High School)

Television

20 Years Ago, 'Buffy' Welcomed Us All To The Hellmouth (aka High School)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/519465836/519593281" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Rachel, I'm taking us back to high school for a minute. Our big problems are not detention, not homework. Instead, they are demons, the undead and vampires that need to be slayed.

(SOUNDBITE OF NERF HERDER'S "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER THEME")

GREENE: Oh, love it.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Love it.

GREENE: The theme music for "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," which debuted 20 - 20 years ago today.

MARTIN: Don't tell me.

GREENE: Yeah.

MARTIN: It was on TV for seven seasons and has become a cult classic. The main character Buffy, of course, was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. In the show, she's this pint-sized blonde high schooler with lots of witty comebacks.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER")

SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR: (As Buffy Summers) Now, we can do this the hard way or, well, actually there's just the hard way.

JULIE BENZ: (As Darla) That's fine with me.

GELLAR: (As Buffy Summers) Are you sure? Now, this is not going to be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content.

MARTIN: That's Buffy holding her own against monsters, who often stand in as metaphors for high school problems. "Buffy" still has an audience, even though she hasn't slayed any new vampires since 2003.

JANE ESPENSON: I heard someone say recently it's not just that all TV now shows the impact of "Buffy," it's that all TV now is "Buffy." You see a lot more female protagonists on TV. I think you see a lot more genre stuff now.

GREENE: That is Jane Espenson, who was a writer and producer on the show. She says there's still plenty for viewers to take away from "Buffy."

ESPENSON: There are a lot of ways in which maybe "Buffy" shows its age, you know, the technology in the episodes. But I think there are so many ways in which it's really quite timeless. Every generation needs to hear that anyone can be a hero.

(SOUNDBITE OF NERF HERDER'S "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER THEME")

GREENE: Anyone can be a hero. Love the message. Writer Jane Espenson talking to us 20 years after Buffy Summers began slaying vampires at Sunnydale High.

(SOUNDBITE OF NERF HERDER'S "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER THEME")

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.