I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer during its third season, when I was in junior high. I didn't know much about the show other than what I was introduced to from a random episode I happened to come across. I saw that it had vampires, demons, witches, and other paranormal elements and a kickass female lead and I was like, this is my jam. Little did I know how much this show would become hugely influential during those formative years of my life and would contribute much to who I am today. In fact, BTVS was perhaps the first fandom I actively participated in with the online community, and was definitely part of the reason why I ended up creating this journal, hence my username.
As for the show itself, it certainly wasn't perfect, but there is a reason why it's considered a cult classic even after all these years. It resonated with so many people because it transcended its own genre; this wasn't just a mere fluffy "supernatural teen show", this was a coming-of-age story which featured so many emotional and powerful moments, particularly empowering moments with women and their stories. As the characters transitioned from teenagers to young adults, we were right there along with them, going through their struggles and personal journeys, possibly identifying along with them. There were honestly so many memorable episodes that just pushed the boundaries of what television could do at that time with its messages and performances, especially for a show like this on the network it was on. Even now when I revisit the show it continues to blow my mind on how outstanding it is still, and how well it holds up with its relevance. It's important to recognize that BTVS wasn't just a show, it was, and still is, a cultural influence which paved the way for many other things that would come after it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons, and I sincerely consider it to be one of my top five favorite television series of all time. ♥
(And of course, with the 20th anniversary there will be a resurgence of new merchandise released in celebration and honestly I am completely down for this, mostly because my collection of BTVS merch is severely lacking to a pathetic degree and I need more things.)