Joss Whedon reunited with the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, to reflect on the groundbreaking series’ 20-year legacy. It was an event the showrunner likened to a high school reunion but worse because “they all still look really great!” You can see the reunion in its entirety on People’s PEN network, HERE.
They discussed the show’s ability to tackle many of the 1990’s most controversial issues, like gun violence and LBGTQ relationships. But out of all the envelope-pushing, boundary-obliterating episode that ran during the show’s 7 seasons, there is one series star Sarah Michelle Gellar just can’t watch.
The Body (Season 5, Episode 16) stands alone as one of the series’ most shocking—and not because of gore, violence, or controversy. It takes place in the immediate aftermath of Buffy (Gellar) discovering her mother Joyce (Kristine Sutherland) dead on her living room sofa. The episode didn’t include any of the show’s hallmark supernatural trappings and didn’t even include a soundtrack. All these years later, The Body is widely regarded as one of greatest episodes of television ever broadcast.
Whedon discussed his motivations for the lauded episode.
Per Entertainment Weekly:
Whedon: “I lost my mother when I was 27 in a car accident, and the intent was to capture just that first day, the sort of trapped-in-amber, almost boring essence of grief.”
For Gellar, participating in the episode was emotionally draining—and an experience she’s not willing to revisit. Again, per EW:
Gellar: “I tried so hard to talk him out of it,” she admits. “I was not happy about it. The Body was exhausting, and I’m so proud of it, but I can’t watch it. It’s too hard for me. I’m an only child. It’s just me and my mom. That was just a hard concept to grasp.”
You can check out a few of The Body’s most emotional clips below—just keep those tissues handy.
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Were you a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day? Have you seen The Body and did it have an impact on you? Let’s reminisce in the Comments section!