It’s difficult to believe that Buffy the Vampire Slayer (aka the greatest television show of all time) premiered 18 years ago. To help you get in the Halloween spirit, I thought I would take a look back at Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s very first Halloween episode! Since it was a mid-season replacement, Buffy didn’t have a Halloween episode in its first season, so we had to settle for the sixth episode of the show’s second season. Not that that’s a bad thing, as it is a fantastic episode and represents the point where the show starting coming into its own.
If you’ve never seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this episode is still safe viewing for you. It is a standalone episode for the most part, with the central conflict being that a magic spell causes all of the characters become whatever costume they are dressed up as. This allowed all of the actors to play against type, with Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy playing the damsel in distress (she wore a 17th century maiden’s costume to satisfy her vampire boyfriend Angel) and Nicholas Brendon’s Xander, who dresses as an army soldier, gets to be the tough guy for once. The best part comes from Willow (Alyson Hannigan) who initially dresses up as a scantily clad girl, only to back out at the last minute and dress as a ghost, causing her to die when the spell takes effect and come back as the a ghost wearing revealing clothes.
It all plays out rather humorously, but it is a seminal episode for being Buffy’s very first (and certainly not the last) Halloween episode. “Halloween” also showed the series at its most playful, switching up character roles (Willow gets to be the leader for the first time) and allowing Gellar to be more vulnerable than she ever had been (and that’s saying something since she had to face death in the season one finale).
Basically, I’m writing this post to reminisce about one of my favorite shows with all of you, and hopefully convince some of you who have never seen it to give it a show (the first season hasn’t aged well, but it really picks up around this point of the second season). It’s a great watch during the Halloween season and has become one of my October viewing staples every year.
So take some time this month to revisit (or visit for the first time) Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s very first Halloween episode. While you’re at it, go watch some of your favorite shows’ Halloween episodes! What are some of your favorites (be they from Buffy or any other show)? I’m partial to Community’s “Horror Fiction in 7 Spooky Steps” myself, but let me know in the comments below or shoot me a Tweet!