by Caitlin Marceau
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1996-2003)
The WB Television Network
Buffy The Vampire Slayer has always been a fan-favourite show. Created by Joss Whedon, and based off the film he wrote in the early ‘90s, this program was a hit with audiences when it first debuted and it’s only increased in popularity since its epic finale.
Similar to the movie, the show follows the life of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) as she fights demons, vampires, and the forces of evil in the town of Sunnydale as the Chosen One/Slayer, while trying to balance high school and a social life. Unlike the film, Buffy’s Watcher is a kind librarian named Rupert Giles (Anthony Head), and her two best friends—Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicholas Brendon)—help kick ass. The program also gave birth to beloved, and controversial, characters including Spike (James Marsters), Drusilla (Juliet Landau), Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), Anya (Emma Caulfield Ford), and Angel (David Boreanaz). In addition to inspiring generations of feminists, this series would cause the spinoff program Angel, and a host of comic book storylines.
And we know, we know. We said this list was going to be our 31-favourite movies to get us in the spirit of Halloween, so why would an episode of Buffy be included? Because “Hush” is easily one of the scariest episodes in television history, and has the potential to be its own made-for-tv movie.
The show features a group of fairytale creatures known as the Gentlemen. In the dead of night they come to a town, steal everyone’s voice so no one can scream, and then collect people’s hearts. The only thing that can stop them is the voice of a princess, or in this case Buffy. Following their visit to Sunnydale, the town is left unable to speak, and most of the episode is spent in silence as things descend into chaos. Of it’s 44-minute runtime, only 17 of them contain any dialogue, and this is widely considered to be the strongest episode in the entire series.
Despite including a major twist for that season, this episode doesn’t require too much backstory to understand, as it functions as primarily as a self-contained narrative. It’s also the episode that launches Willow and Tara’s (Amber Benson) relationship, which was an iconic LGBTQ romance and one of the few to make it to primetime television.
If you’re new to the Buffyverse—or a returning fan—be sure to watch “Hush” this Halloween season, and don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for another instalment of Sanitarium’s 31 Pics Of Halloween.