I didn’t put up Buffy on my post recently about female heroines written by men. Apart from the fact that it was about women characters in literature, not television and that she is written by committee, it wasn’t actually the intent of my post. And she dies, which for me, sorry, is a narrative cop-out. Of course I know that Whedon wrote key episodes and created the character arc but still there is quite a lot of inconsistency there, and dozens and dozens of different writers throughout the series, both male and female contributed. Some episodes only attracted 1.8m American viewers; 2.5m on average.
If you Google Buffy you get 30m results. I’ve roamed around the internet for a bit this afternoon and nothing else from that era even comes close; Frazier has 7m. It is one of those things that in retrospect seems to have been something everyone loved but honestly, look at Series two for example with its monster-masks, the whole production tied to the sound-stage, endless variations on teenage crushes. Clunk, clunk. Except for Sarah. Joss Whedon rightly gets all the credit for Buffy and probably deserves all the credit for choosing Sarah too but has there ever been an actress, ever that carried a show so single-handedly. That amazing ability to flit from light to dark and back again, and as Lucy Mangan [the great Lucy Mangan in my view] observes, she is teenage alienation personified. Her pitch and timing are immaculate.
Some of the later episodes were truly brilliant. Once it was up and running, pulling in decent viewing figures [8-million in Series 5], money became available and you could see it in the special effects; more and more interesting plot lines, some platonic, were developed; new characters were brought in and then, I became a fan. And yet and yet, take Sarah out of it . . .