Buffy the Vampire Slayer profoundly influenced my childhood, a fact that might raise a few eyebrows considering its mature rating of 15 and above. But there was something undeniably captivating about watching a 16-year-old perky blonde like Buffy Summers wielding stakes and sass while juggling the complexities of adolescence and destiny.

In addition to Buffy herself, the show’s roster of demons and supernatural creatures added layers of depth and intrigue to its plots. These ranged from the hungry ‘she-mantis’, an enormous female praying mantis who seduces young virgin men to reproduce and kill them, to ‘Sweet’, a red demon with horns who can literally make victims dance themselves to death while singing out their darkest secrets.

My journey with Buffy began in the aisles of a local DVD shop, where my dad and I would venture every Saturday. Armed with rented episodes or entire seasons, I embarked on an adventure that would span seven unforgettable seasons. I was so dedicated to my Buffy binges that the store owner affectionately dubbed me ‘Buffy’ herself – a title I wore with pride.

In a time where TV in the 90s would depict a sub-genre known as the ‘lesbian-kiss episode’, Slayer revolutionised lesbian relationships on TV. It refrained from the trope where lesbians were used both for comic relief and a ratings boost.

Then there’s the genre-bending brilliance of Buffy, which set itself apart from other shows with its fearless exploration. With elements of supernatural, horror, coming-of-age, teen drama, comedy, action and philosophy seamlessly woven together, it’s no wonder the series left award committees at a loss for how to categorise it.

Beyond its accolades and acclaim, Buffy remains a beacon of empowerment – a multilayered heroine saving the world one stake at a time. The show not only shaped a generation but continues to influence a new one through its popularity on streaming services.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a supernatural journey filled with charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent and everything in between, dive into the Slayer universe! And until then, I’ll be eagerly rewatching it with the next friend I manage to persuade to join me.