Buffy the Vampire Slayer left our TV screens over a decade and a half ago, yet remains as beloved as ever. Still, the lack of new episodes has left a void in long-term fans' hearts.
While bingeing Buffy’s seven seasons over and over is a viable choice, our options are wide open at the moment. A plethora of new series have emerged from the darkness since our beloved slayer went off the air, and they're sure to speak to Buffy fans. For people who miss Buffy, these series are worth checking out.
Riverdale is based on the characters from Archie Comics, but the series is a lot less wholesome than its comic book counterpart. The show's teen characters are constantly caught up in the town of Riverdale’s latest drama, whether that’s a cult with a growing influence or a mysterious killer terrorizing its citizens.
Somehow, these teens are more determined to find the truth behind the town’s seedy goings-on than the adults who are supposedly in charge. They’re better at it, too. Like the Scooby Gang on Buffy, Riverdale's characters are determined to take on any threat that pops up in their town, while also making time to attend the next dance and participate in the school play.
If you loved Buffy as a superhero, Supergirl is a worthy alternative. Kara Danvers also wields great powers that set her apart from the world. Nonetheless, as a superhero, she attempts to do the right thing no matter how big the challenge she faces. Also like Buffy, Supergirl has struggled to come to terms with her basic duality. On the one hand, she’s a normal girl, but on the other she’s anything but normal.
Supergirl is often less subtle with its metaphors than Buffy. It’s recently delved into alien rights, with space aliens serving as a not-so-veiled stand-in for the real-Earth issues we face today. Nevertheless, Buffy and Kara share a similar commitment to their cause that’s often inspiring to watch.
8 Penny Dreadful
In many ways, Penny Dreadful goes a lot darker than Buffy. Yet, just like Buffy, it’s populated by all sorts of monsters — and some of them aren’t completely evil.
As its name suggests, Penny Dreadful remixes the characters from Gothic fiction, including Frankenstein’s monster, Dorian Grey, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, coming up with a completely new story. Set in 19th century London, the story centers on Vanessa Ives, whose strange abilities give her access to the supernatural.
Over three seasons, she and her companions work to eradicate dark forces. Buffy lovers may be especially fascinated with the third season, in which Dracula becomes a regular character.
7 The Magicians
If you adored Buffy’s college years and were especially invested in Willow and her magical abilities, The Magicians is the show for you. The series starts when Quentin Coldwater enrolls in Brakebills University to start his training as a magician. He meets a group of fellow magically-inclined students there and they end up becoming his friends and allies. This becomes especially important when they learn that Fillory and Further, the fantasy book series Quentin was obsessed with as a child, is real — and isn’t as innocuous as it seems.
The Magicians includes a complex mythology and a deep bench of characters that are a lot of fun to spend time with. The series has a lot of humor and, despite some missteps, does its best to maintain a feminist perspective. Plus, it's actually name-checked Buffy and has featured several musical episodes.
6 The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
The basic outline of Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina echoes Buffy’s premise: a high school girl endowed with extraordinary powers must embrace her destiny. The characters Sabrina and Buffy share more than their calling: they both have an outspoken independence that makes them great role models, especially for young women.
Sabrina, however, isn’t exactly fighting monsters. It’s more like she’s attempting not to become one. Sabrina enjoys her witchy powers. However, her family has long worshipped the Dark Lord (or the Devil, as he’s more commonly known) and her powers are part of her connection to him. As a result, she has to decide if she wants to carry on her family's legacy or forge her own path.
For a unique spin on zombie mythology, watch iZombie. The show is produced by the same people who brought Veronica Mars to life, and like that show, it features a fantastic female character who helps solve crimes. Of course, on iZombie, that character happens to be a member of the walking dead.
The ironically-named Liv Moore gets turned into a zombie at a party, but soon discovers she can keep her humanity if she periodically devours human brains. To deal with her new circumstances, she takes a job at the morgue to make sure she has a consistent supply of sustenance. She also learns that when she eats someone's brain, she takes on the individual’s characteristics and even experiences their memories.
Not only is this a source of comedy, it makes Liv a valuable source of insight into the crimes the police are investigating. Like Buffy, Liv would like to be a normal human again. However, being a zombie has given her the power to fight for justice, which she’s successfully done in a number of ways throughout the show.
4 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend didn’t include any supernatural creatures, attractive teenagers, or butt-kicking superheroes in any of its four seasons. What it did do was use music to express emotions, insecurities, and deeper truths that couldn’t be expressed in other ways, just like the Buffy characters in the series' iconic musical episode “Once More with Feeling.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend focuses on Rebecca Bunch, an unhappy New York City lawyer who moves to West Covina, California on a whim (to pursue her ex-boyfriend from camp when she was a teenager). Like Buffy in her show's sixth season, Rebecca must confront some serious emotional turmoil. Fortunately, the songs that help her cope also keep the show from getting too heavy, while also leaving room for a deep exploration of a unique character and her loyal friends.
Legacies may focus on vampires instead of slayers, but it does a good job of mining the high school experience for drama, just like Buffy in its early years. The third series in The Vampire Diaries franchise, Legacies is set at a school for supernatural kids, including witches, werewolves, and vampires. Its star pupil is Hope Mikaelson, a blend of all three entities.
The series explores the relationships between the students, as they learn to accept and appreciate each others’ strengths and weaknesses. It also has its share of dramatic teen romance and even the obligatory high school mean girl.
2 Wynonna Earp
Wynonna Earp is a supernatural Western whose title character is the great great granddaughter of the legendary Wyatt Earp. Wynonna is a foul-mouthed borderline alcoholic, imbued with the power to battle the revenants that haunt her family and her hometown.
Like Buffy, Wynonna is a rebel and a fighter who’s completely committed to her mission. Even better, she surrounds herself with a group of quirky allies. Their unique relationships give the show its heart and soul. Perhaps the most touching relationship is the one between Wynonna and her little sister, Waverly — like Buffy and Dawn, the pair would do anything for each other. Yay sisterhood!
At just six episodes, this raunchy, playful Netflix horror dramedy is way too short. For Buffy fans, it’s also too good to be missed.
Crazyhead follows Amy and Raquel as they forge a friendship based on their common ability to see demons. They decide to fight evil together. In the process, they enter a world of wicked conspiracies, dark revelations, and, of course, the potential apocalypse.
Through it all, the relationship between Amy and Raquel shines through. In one another, the pair find the understanding and support that’s been denied them most of their lives. Their friendship --and the strength it gives them in the face of evil-- is what makes this series a worthy successor to Buffy.