Unless you’ve been living under (or on) the Hellmouth, you’re probably aware that this week marks the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This little TV show that could, born from an ill-received flop of a movie, reemerged as an expected to fail mid-season replacement. What followed, though, was seven seasons of some of the best storytelling that ever graced the small screen. And although not every season was equally beloved, each one still had more than a handful of standout episodes that, like Buffy herself, were destined to become legend.
Read on to find out what I think were the single best episodes from every season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
1. Season One, Episode Six – “The Pack”
Season one suffered a bit from “monster of the week” format, but the show was trying to find its identity. “The Pack”, the sixth episode in season one, went a long way towards achieving that goal. Containing both a unique story, loads of metaphors, and a wicked sense of humor, this chapter, about what happens to a group of teenagers when they literally become possessed by a pack mentality, was the first indication for me that Buffy was going to use genre to not only tell us a kick-ass story but to artfully address some of the most important issues we all face in adolescence.