Whedon's iconic teen drama starring Sarah Michelle Gellar premiered on The WB on March 10, 1997. A quarter-century later, it's hard to think about Buffy without considering Whedon's misconduct scandals. "Can one truly draw that distinction when Buffy was Whedon’s creation?" says Leila Latif. "It’s a conundrum many Harry Potter fans have faced in attempting to detach the books from JK Rowling. Following the transphobic comments that alienated large swathes of her fandom, many sought to disavow Rowling without abandoning Harry Potter, something that always felt to me like wishful thinking. After all, as Rowling pointed out, Harry existed, fully formed, for years within her mind before becoming a bestseller. But perhaps this is the key to continuing to love Buffy? The film version of Buffy that Whedon created was not the character I adored, and the first season of the show had sparks of brilliance but none of the depth that would resonate decades on. Buffy needed Gellar’s evolution as an actor; it needed writers like Marti Noxon, Drew Goddard and Jane Espenson to make the dialogue sing. The nuanced approaches of supporting cast members like (Charisma) Carpenter and (James) Marsters created hilarious, complicated anti-heroes despite an antagonistic creator." ALSO: In retrospect, it shouldn’t be surprising that Buffy has lasted the distance for 25 years – it’s a show all about resilience.
TOPICS: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The WB, Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Retro TV