This year has been quite a ride, and we are only halfway through. But if there is one thing that decades of watching genre television and reading genre fiction have prepared us for, it is the dumpster fire that is 2020. One show in particular, however, prepared us for exactly this situation. Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we learned everything we could possibly need to know to survive an apocalypse – or three. Before the Worst-Case Scenario guides and Zombieland, we had Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Xander (Nicholas Brendon), and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) just trying to survive high school. As we attempt to survive everything 2020 has in store for us, let's look back at 10 ways Buffy the Vampire Slayer prepared us for 2020.
10. Things Can Always Get Crazier
As Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) learned in Season 5 episode "Spiral," things can always, always, get crazier. As this year has gone from forest fires to pandemics, to police killings, so murder hornets, we too recognize that things can always get worse. 2020 isn't done with us yet.
9. Joss Whedon Was Always Kind Of Terrible
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel. But, when allegations of abusive behavior started coming out about Joss Whedon, first from his ex-wife, then from others who have worked with him, I saw certain Buffy plot points in a different light. While the show is admittedly an allegory for the pitfalls of growing up, the way female characters seem to be judged and summarily punished for each "negative" action gets a bit – gratuitous. What we are hearing now really makes sense with what we were watching onscreen then.
8. Birthday Parties Are Generally A Bad Idea Anyway
Every year, Buffy's birthdays ended up in some sort of apocalyptic disaster. The worst being in Season 2's "Surprise" when she loses her virginity to Angel (David Boreanaz), only to have him lose his soul and attempt to torture her and kill her friends for a season and a half. Happy Birthday? While we aren't facing external demons, birthday parties right now still have the same potential for a body count.
7. Fast Food Isn't Really Worth It
The meat in Season 6's "Double Meat Palace" was never worth the danger of working at the restaurant. Customers and employees had a habit of ending up dead. Unfortunately, the same can be said for restaurant visits in 2020. However, one demon hunter isn't going to be able to save us from the danger.
6. Calling In The Military Doesn't Solve Everything
There are just some problems that the Military can't solve, no matter how advanced. For example, a demon infestation, or a global pandemic, or institutional racism.
5. The End Of The World Involves Lots Of Sitting Around Talking
Nothing says the apocalypse like snacks and sitting in someone's basement; or library; or living room; or magic shop. We should have learned from Buffy that the end of the world would involve a lot of sitting around and talking.
4. Be Careful What You Wish For
In Season 6, Buffy has yet another disastrous birthday. In "Older and Far Away," Dawn makes a wish that people would stop leaving her, and a vengeance demon traps Buffy and her friends in their home. Similarly, many of us probably started 2020 wishing to spend more time at home, only to be cursed with what we wished for.
3. The Worst Evil Always Came From Humans
Humans have always been our own greatest enemy. It's true in film, in books, in television, and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Vampires, demons, hurricanes, viruses, those are things that cannot help their nature. People, every day, even in 2020, continue to decide to be horrible.
2. In Order To Live, We Have To Work Together
At the end of Season 3, Sunnydale High School's senior class bonded together to defeat a greater evil, their demon mayor. In order to survive 2020, humans are going to have to work together to fight all of the crazy shit headed our way. If they can do it, we can to it.
1. The Plural Of Apocalypse
The most 2020 of questions, twenty years too early.