Created by Joss Whedon, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (abbreviated as Bt VS) was arguably the defining TV SF show of the late nineties and early noughties. Its original conceit was simple: 'High school is hell'. The show took all the staple traumas of adolesence and growing up and recast them in a post-modern metaphorical style.
This worked brilliantly for the first three years of the show; unfortunately, Buffy then had to graduate and leave high school and the show has arguably been in a slow decline (albeit still with occasional flashes of brilliance) ever since. In total, the show ran for seven seasons. The final episode aired on 20th May 2003.
Using vampires as a metaphor for the issues that teens go through can work. The reason for the demise was losing that as Buffy grew up, and they tried to make it into a real character driven series.
<em>Because it wasn't character-driven originally, after all...</em>
Oh, and the fact that they went for really long, depressing plot arcs rather than the Monster of the Week strategy with a coupld of recuring plot elements that they had used previously.
<em>Ah. So you thought the show went downhill after Angel went bad, then.</em>
At the end of the third season, the character of Angel was spun off to be the focus of Angel The Series.
As a random note, another notable TVSF vampire venture was Ultra Violet, which deserves a mention.
This study of vampire population ecology is amusing:
Looking likely that Bt VS will be cancelled Real Soon Now.
Citations (ie URLs) on this would be useful for those who are interested but ignorant.
How many would you like?
http://www.comingsoon.net/cgi-bin/archive/fullnews.cgi?newsid1046380176,81402, http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30500-12257592,00.html http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/0300entertainment/page.cfm?objectid=12686299&method=full&siteid=50081
It's not so much 'cancelled' as 'not renewed because SMG didn't want to do any more.' All the contracts were always planned to expire at the end of this year.
There's plenty of talk about spin-offs, though...
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