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September 29 2011

Supernatural Vs. The Vampire Diaries: Battle of the Buffy Successors. Empire Online's Small Screen tries to find out which show is the successor to Buffy's throne.

Other shows that been seen as a Buffy successor by various elements of the media at one time or another:

Hex, Demons, new Who, The Fades, Veronica Mars, Joan of Arcadia, Teen Wolf, True Blood, Reaper, Dead Like Me, Lost and Heroes.

Just started Vampire Diaries a short time ago on the strong recommendation of the AV Club. Only seven episodes in, and so far it's... good. Not great. Not groundbreaking, not outstanding. But good. It's solidly-written television that moves really quickly and continues to pile on interesting story twists. But they don't quite have the "emotional impact" thing down yet.

Supernatural ain't Buffy, but it is really good, and does a great job of that pathos/comedy combination Buffy managed to nail so well. But they, too, have always failed to grab me when it came to the boys' emotions, with a few key exceptions. Still, if it has to be one of the two, I'd give it this one.

But really my answer is that there won't ever be another Buffy. Not necessarily that a show can't be as good, but the spirit of Buffy is in part, I think, attributable to the time in which it was made, the people who were making it, and the people who were watching. I don't know that I phrased that well, but if I didn't, I hope you enjoyed wasting your time reading this. :p
At this point, "Supernatural" wins for me on the basis of having hired many "Buffy" alumni.
There is no perfect successor to Buffy because it remains unique and irreplaceable. But of the list of pretenders to throne, I've loved me some Veronica Mars and Joan of Arcadia... though both shows had the same distressing pattern: stellar first seasons, then losing creative impetus.
Honestly, I'd say Supernatural is way more like Angel, not Buffy. For one thing, it has the important secret weapon of Smile Time's, Ben Edlund. As for Vampire Diaries, I guess it's like Buffy on a superficial, surface level, just like many of the other shows on that list. Those folks seem to miss what made Buffy so unique and special. Bringing in a demonic or vampiric element with an occasional witty joke isn't going to cut it. Not even close.
I have never watched Vampire Diaries nor is it likely that i will start doing it.

To me personally Supernatural have filled the void that Buffy and Angel left in my TV week. And yes as it was pointed out it has included quite a few people with ties to Mr Whedon so that really doesn't hurt either.
A lot of the comments about Supernatural are saying the first season is pretty slow - maybe I'll finally get past it.

For me, Veronica Mars filled the Buffy snark void, but I found a lot more similarities as the show went on. (Wrote a post about them here.) Even my sister, who has only watched a dozen Buffy episodes, pegged Logan as being Spike-like.

Does anyone else watch Merlin? That show seems very early Buffy, plus it has Anthony Stewart Head!
For any series to be "another Buffy" it has to do something... completely different from Buffy. After all, the reason BtvS is so iconic is because it really changed things and was, in many ways, the first of its kind. It's easy to forget how unique and groundbreaking BtVS was because the TV landscape is so different now (in large part thanks to BtVS) but things were very different back in '97. So for another series to carry on that legacy it has to do something completely new.

Personally, I just can't stomach VD. So many BtVS fans I know love the series and I've really tried to enjoy it (watched all of S1) but I just find the characters either incredibly annoying (Damon) or dull (Elena). It relies a lot on cool twists and its fast pace but that's really only satisfying the first time around. I don't think the writing is rich enough to sustain a loyal fanbase once the series will have finished. And when people compare the two shows I just have to ask, has VD had a single episode that even compares to something like Restless? SN is a lot more complex and I can understand why so many fans adore it and appreciate the writing, but unfortunately I've become so bored with the Angel mytharc that I've lost pretty much all interest.

i think Jobo said it well. There are many other television shows that are just as good, if not better, than BtVS. However, there will never be "another BtVS" because you just can't recapture that magic. Not even Joss will create another show that will be as iconic or influential, IMO. The show was a once in a lifetime thing.
I don't know. I probably prefer Supernatural, but Vampire Diaries is still great. Though I have lost a lot of interest in supernatural. Neither is quite up to Buffy standards, but are both good shows.
Kind of seems like they're competing for different thrones. I mean, they're not exactly similar shows. They of course have similarities, but that's it. Although, I didn't watch much of VD, just a season, more or less.

I mean, what's the throne? Best fantasy TV show?
If the throne is best fantasy TV show then Game of Thrones wins. No contest.
For me, new Who is the Buffy successor.
There can be only one.
I enjoy several of the shows listed, partiality,"Supernatural".

However, none of them has yet reached the tier of BtVS. It's just on an entirely different level as far as story.

Haven't had the pleasure to give the new,"Dr Who" a watch yet, looking forward to it.
Watch it, it's amazing, the things Steven Moffat has done with that show are just brilliant.

Doctor who does come very close to Buffy.
No Buffy successor for me (certainly not the two mentioned.) In my heart, Who was a Buffy precursor. :) But I can certainly see the influence on RTD.
I am sure I have watched my SPN DVDs as much as I have Buffy and love the show, it has my favorite brothers and Angel in it. I have enjoyed Misha Collins characters, Cas, Jimmy, God and now the monster is going to be so much fun. They have many laugh out loud moments in this series.

But saying all that, TVD has such a fast pace and I have said many times that it packs more into one ep that most series do all season, was glad to see someone else using those words. Nina Dobrev is excellent as both the school girl Elena and the 500 year old vampire Katerine that I forget it is the same actor in the role. And of course Ian, hair, eyes and all just melts me. Matt Davis as Alaric is my favorite human on the show.

So pick a favorite I just can not do it, they are very different shows and I hope they both stick around many more years. Jensen said once that he might be telling Jared to grab his walker. I could live with that.
I like Vampire Diaries but I wouldn't compare it to Buffy; if anything, at the start Vampire Diaries reminded me of Roswell. Love Supernatural, but it's very different from Buffy.

When I first started watching Chuck it actually reminded me a bit of Buffy, but Buffy with spies instead of vampire slayers & witches. I think because of the cast of characters, the humor, the secret identity similarities. But it is still a very different show.

New Who is awesome though I would never have compared it to Buffy.

The best shows - like Buffy - are probably shows that stand out because they are unique. They manage to combine all the right elements so that they come to life. You're not going to say "Oh, it's another vampire show", "another teen drama", "another detective show" because they manage to be so much more than that. So while other shows might come along that manage to get the formula right, to combine all those necessary elements that make a show stand out and come to life, those shows won't be 'a successor to Buffy', they will be...whatever it is that they uniquely are. If that makes sense.
The only show that has ever put me in mind of Buffy is one that is kinda out of left field, and that is the UK show Skins. At least the 1st Gen, as everything after that went to crap.

Right now NuWho fills the huge hole Buffy left when it ended.
OH! Misfits! I forgot about that show.
I agree with Simon, if Buffy has a successor it's the new Doctor Who. Both have an incredible and rich universe, classic episodes, a great mix of comedy and drama, and both have explored a lot of different genres.
I can't think of another show more similar to what Buffy was.
Criminal Minds is my new BtVS.

Grim and gory as it is, they are a group that uses their diverse skills to bring down the MOW, talented actors, and they all love each other like family. Granted, there's no supernatural element, and most procedurals leave me cold, but this one is different (it rarely buys in to the old tropes), trust me. Its got its hooks in me, and I never miss it.
Supernatural is exactly like BTVS in that I wish they had both ended on a high note with season five!

I tried to get into Vampire Diaries, but just never grabbed me. And I've watched the first two episodes of Secret Circle - oh man is that show insufferably lame! I wanted to like it because I like Thomas Dekker and Gale Herold a lot, but the Buffy looking lead actress is so annoying and nowhere near as talented as SMG.
Supernatural is a Buffy successor to me because Buffy was one of my favorite shows and now Supernatural is my favorite show.

It has all those familiar Whedon guest stars and of course the two Whedon writers. Supernatural is more my kind of show then Buffy is as far as being bloodier and scarier. And as much as I liked the writing in Buffy it is nice to watch fight scenes that are bearable in Supernatural.
There is only one "Buffy" and that is "Buffy." Other wonderful things will come along and they are or will be wonderful because they are themselves, not "the new" something else.
You know what the Vampire Diaries reminds me of? Seasons 1 and 2 of Buffy, with focus on Buffy & Angel's love arc. TVD took that storyline and have extended it, what, 3 seasons now?

That's not necessarily bad because I always wanted to see a more gradual darkening with Angel like we did on ATS (I know, curse lifted overnight and all). I just wished he stayed bad longer I guess. TVD seems to be really stretching that out, to the point of repeating the same notes and dialogue over and over. They may kill off main characters Willy nilly, but they haven't tried another route to explain the love triangle. At least Joss put humor with the Buffspangel relationship.

I watch TVD, but it mostly makes me cranky. They come so close to an interesting plot and let soapy love pee all over the carpet.
If you have difficulty getting through the first season of Supernatural (I stopped watching after the first disc and didn't pick it up again until like 3.5 years later) you could try the recently released anime series which is an adaptation of the first two seasons of Supernatural. It hits all the important bullet points of the first two seasons and then you could potentially jump straight from it to season 3 when season-long arcs become more prominent.
I can't compare anything to Buffy because of the whole Buffy-watching package. Buffy brought me to Whedonesque. Because of Buffy, things happen like the other day when during a discussion about a relationship I said, "It's like Spike's speech to Buffy and Angel--" and my daughter immediately launched into "You're not friends. You'll never be friends..."

I love (too) many TV shows, including some of the ones mentioned, but Buffy and Firefly have a place of their own. If forced to vote, I might go along with New Who, or I might write in Community.
I enjoy both shows,(SN and VD), I think comparing one show to another is an exercise in futility. Buffy is my all time favorite show followed by Angel, Carnivale is third. Today, I enjoy Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Bones. Both Secret Circle and Ringer appear promising. Blood Ties was too good to be cancelled so soon. Over the years, my taste has always leaned toward SciFy and Fantasy with the likes of Firefly, Xena, Forever Knight, Charmed and The Highlander holding spots on my favorites list. There are common threads which run through all those but I enjoyed them due to their individual strengths rather than how they might compare to one another.
Nicely said, Calledon. I couldn't agree more.
I am going to put my vote with the nu Whovians. What show better carries on the spirit of the Buffyverse then one that produces a "Rory the Roman" version of a character and IT WORKS?

[ edited by hann23 on 2011-10-01 00:10 ]
I'm at a complete loss here with this puzzle.

My vote: Supernatural. Let the vampires be damned!
I've watched Supernatural from the first (and apparently hated) season & used to call it, "the boy Buffy show". And it did follow in some of Buffy's footsteps with the premise & the show creating believable heroes even when they look like idiots, (usually Dean, BTW.) And these characters had to grow, and they did. However, while Buffy was about a girl coming to understand that she had power, (not just Slayer power), Supernatural's main creedo seems to be: "if you have or gain power you are no longer righteous". So, its more cynical than Buffy. But the season with the prophet Chuck is some of the funniest TV I've seen in a very long time. That doesn't really happen unless I truly love the characters. In that Supernatural is very much like Buffy.

Nu Who too. If you haven't seen it, please do. Netflix has most seasons on instant.
Neither really appeals to me; Supernatural, which I can at least follow, seems nihilistic and Vampire Dairies, which admittedly basically leaves me confused, too amoral.

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