The Atlantic

How Buffy the Vampire Slayer Redefined TV Storytelling

Creator Joss Whedon’s narrative risk-taking—seamlessly blending episodes-of-the-week with heavy serialization—set the tone for the Golden Age of television.
Source: The WB

Ask any casual fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to name their favorite episode and you’d get a veritable cornucopia of options. Perhaps they’d pick the near-wordless grim fairytale of “Hush,” the wrenching grief of “The Body,” the Broadway-quality musical that is “Once More With Feeling,” or the twisty dream logic of “Restless.” Twenty years since the show premiered on The WB, individual episodes stand out and are treated with the reverence afforded cult films, their relative virtues endlessly debated online, their details picked over by scholars.

But the same casual fan could also tell you their favorite season of the show—be it the epic romantic drama of its second (with Angel’s turn to evil), the graduation angst of the third (with the vampire slayer rival Faith), or the celestial battles of the fifth (pitting Buffy against the

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