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5 Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Cliques and Covens

Ciara Ruane itcher‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ made household names of its stars and its showrunner (some guy named… Josh Sweden?) and became a cultural phenomenon. Series like ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Firefly’ have a similar approach, with a witty script and high stakes (geddit?) plots, here are some TV shows like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ to keep you going until it inevitably gets a movie reboot. ~ Ciara Ruane

Welcome to the Hellmouth

Series similar to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ have been springing up a lot recently, no doubt thanks to a small movie franchise that rhymes with ‘highlight’. In this article I will endeavour to not include shows that will come up if you search ‘vampire’ on netflix, which no doubt you can do yourself. Here are some TV shows like Buffy but not exactly like Buffy (insert pun about ‘shows with bite’ etc. etc.,…).

Shows Similar to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’…

‘Firefly’ (Fox, 2002)

Here I am bleating about giving you non-obvious alternatives to a Joss Whedon project and recommending… a Joss Whedon project. However Firefly only ran for one series (reboot rumours abound) and it is unrecognised enough to deserve some new fans.

This sci-fi western set aboard a ship on the run from a government group called ‘The Alliance’, the show features a family-like crew on the run with all the verbal sparks you would expect from its showrunner. It has kick ass women, action scenes, bar room brawls and Nathan Filion, what’s not to love? The lack of episodes, yes, but what’s there is good.

Similarity Match: 90%
In the same spirit as Buffy, alas, without the longevity. It did the impossible, and that makes it mighty…

‘Sleepy Hollow’ (Fox, 2013)

A retelling of the classic headless horseman tale, this time with Ichabod not-johnny-depp Crane transported into the 21st century to fight the forces of supernatural evil with a plucky police officer by his side. The two discover a destiny far greater than they ever expected, bicker and become BFFs.

If you DO want ghosts, goblins and demons in your action series, check out this under recognised gem. Once again there’s a badass central female role and a focus on human relationships. It’s Gothic, it’s modern and there’s plenty to get invested in. Give it a go!

Similarity Match: 85%
Ordinary people fighting literal and metaphorical demons, check, humour, check, Buffy-esqeblossoming friendships, check! Added spice of time travel, check! So, check it out.

‘Heroes’ (NBC, 2006-2010)

People across the country begin discovering they have superpowers and must learn to control their abilities whilst fighting a man who wants to absorb them all and become THE superhuman. Nietzsche would flip…

It’s got pretty people fighting and exploring their newfound abilities, humour and people teaming up against greater evils. The superhero genre is perhaps the only one bigger than its vampire counterpart, and the Slayer is a superhero of some kind. So get your dose of characters with super strength and team-ups, without the garlic and crucifixes. And Giles. Gosh, I love Giles…

Similarity Match: 80%
If you want cheerleaders who can take, and distribute, a beating just as well as buffy but with superpowers instead of stakes, take a look at ‘Heroes’.


If You Like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, You Will Like…

Perhaps you want your shows a bit darker, a bit more bloody, a bit sexier than Buffy. The TV series like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ below have a moodier sensibility but are just as gripping.

‘Daredevil’ (Netflix, 2015)

This Netflix/Marvel collaboration about a blind superhero/lawyer (and here I was feeling good about my achievements) is definitely more violent than Buffy but it has effective core relationships and plenty of wit, mostly courtesy of Matt Murdock’s bromantic partner Foggy.

The fight scenes are off the kick-ass variety (the concept, not the movie) and there’s plenty to get emotionally invested in. An ordinary person discovers and hones their unique abilities against the forces of evil, only this time it’s Russian gangsters and a terrifying bald enigma whose name can’t be said voldemort-stylee. You should check it out if you like sass and brawlin’

‘Daredevil’ has plenty in the way of action, friendship and secret identities, only with a vigilante and not a Slayer.

‘Misfits’ (E4, 2009-2013)

Yes, it’s ANOTHER superhero show. You try to avoid one thing, you get a whole lot of something else. Also I’m a sucker for the genre. A group of young criminals paying their societal debts with community service get struck by lightning and are Fantastic Four-ed into a world of superpowers.

It’s bolder, bloodier and features more bad language and less wholesome teens. Think of it as Buffy where everyone is Faith. It’s original, funny and not afraid to pull serious punches, both literally and metaphorically. It’s also not afraid to have its cast in orange jumpsuits rather than cute cheerleader outfits.

Characters without a whole lot of responsibility get a whole lot of power. They’re meaner than the Scooby gang but just as loveable.


Note to Self, Religion Freaky

If you came here looking for vampires, I am sorry. But really, they aren’t hard to find. Instead I’ve given you a list of TV series like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, with superheroes, you’re welcome!
Are there any supernatural thrillers you think should have made it onto this list?
Let us know in the comments!
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