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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
American television series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American television show that combined elements of comedy, drama, and horror and developed a cult following in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Buffy the Vampire Slayer initially aired on the Warner Bros. (WB) network for five seasons (1997–2001), before moving to the United Paramount Network (UPN) for the last two years (2001–03) of its run on prime-time television.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The series revolved around the adventures of the title character, Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), a teenage girl who, as the chosen slayer of her generation, has to battle vampires, demons, and other assorted supernatural forces of evil. She is aided by a group of loyal friends (the “Scooby Gang”), including Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), an initially shy, intelligent nerd who becomes a formidable lesbian witch, and Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendan), who has no supernatural talents and provides the audience with an identifiable “human” perspective, as well as Buffy’s watcher, Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head, later known for his role as the prime minister in the British television series Little Britain, 2003–06), who is charged with informing, training, and guiding Buffy throughout her battles with demonic forces.
Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, imagined Buffy as a program that would offer what he called “an alternative feminist icon,” and this he managed through an emphasis on girl power and the feminist undercurrents of the plotlines. The series is set in the fictional town of Sunnydale, California. Contrary to its name, however, Sunnydale is a dark and dangerous place. Whedon built the show around the central metaphor of high school as a horror movie. Sunnydale High happens to be situated over the Hellmouth. Many of the show’s characters are routinely portrayed as not just mean but evil. Buffy faces not only the usual daily pressures of teenage life—including falling in love with someone inappropriate (in Buffy’s case, a vampire)—but also the nightly pressure of keeping evil creatures from taking over the world. Somehow, the show’s various elements—witty writing, female empowerment, teenage angst—gave a patently ridiculous notion a surprising emotional heft and poignancy.
Buffy was nominated for 14 Emmy awards (in categories as varied as music direction, writing, and hair styling) and won two. In the memorable “Hush” episode (season four), which was nominated for writing, there is no dialogue for a full 25 minutes after a group of demons steal the voices of Sunnydale’s inhabitants. Although Buffy was never a hit in the Nielsen ratings, it maintained a devoted fan base and was honoured as one of the top 50 programs in television history by TV Guide and Empire magazines, as well as one of the 100 best shows of all time by Time magazine. It has also spawned creative works in other media, including video games, graphic novels, and a spin-off television show called Angel (1999–2004) that aired on the WB.
Carrie Underwood, in full Carrie Marie Underwood, (born March 10, 1983, Muskogee, Oklahoma, U.S.), American country music performer who parlayed her victory in the television singing competition American Idol into a successful recording career.
Underwood grew up in Oklahoma, on her family’s farm in Checotah. She started singing at a young age, initially at church and later in school plays and talent shows. In 2002 she entered Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with intentions to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. Two years later she interrupted her studies to audition for the fourth season of American Idol. Underwood made the cut and ultimately won the competition in 2005 after being chosen as the favourite by viewers. She received the top prize of a recording contract with 19 Recordings/Arista Records, and the resulting album, Some Hearts (2005), was a massive commercial hit, eventually selling more than seven million copies and cementing Underwood’s status as one of American Idol’s most successful alumni. She supported the album with a 150-show tour in 2006, sharing bills with Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley in addition to headlining her own dates. Underwood made time to return to school, however, and that same year she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in mass communications from Northeastern State University. In 2007 she won Grammy Awards for best new artist and best female country vocal performance.
Underwood returned to American Idol in 2007, performing a cover of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You.” Made available as a single on Apple’s iTunes service, the song was downloaded more than 300,000 times and became the first digital-only release to crack the top 10 of the Billboard singles chart. At the 2007 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, Underwood claimed single-of-the-year honours for the feisty revenge song “Before He Cheats.” Her second album, Carnival Ride (2007), sold more than half a million copies in its first week of release, and in early 2008 she was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, joining the ranks of top country music artists such as Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Martina McBride. Later that year Underwood won her third consecutive CMA Award for female vocalist of the year and cohosted the awards show (with Paisley) for the first of several times. In 2009 she collected her fourth Grammy Award, taking home the trophy for best female country vocal performance—her third straight win in that category.
With the album Play On (2009), Underwood continued to demonstrate her wide appeal. In 2010 she won the Grammy Award for best country collaboration for “I Told You So,” a cover version of a Randy Travis song that had originally appeared on Carnival Ride and that she rerecorded as a duet with Travis. Also that year Underwood was named entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music for the second year in a row. She returned in 2012 with Blown Away, a polished collection of songs that showcased her vocal versatility. It was her third release to top the Billboard album chart, and in 2013 its title track earned her another Grammy Award.
The following year Underwood released a greatest-hits compilation that was a huge seller. Her success continued with Storyteller (2015). It was her fifth studio album and her sixth consecutive release to debut at number one on the country album chart. With Cry Pretty (2018), Underwood became the first woman to have four country music albums top the Billboard chart. She subsequently released the Christmas album My Gift (2020) and the gospel-themed My Savior (2021), both of which debuted at number one on the country album chart.
In 2014 Underwood debuted Calia, a line of fitness apparel. She later released the self-help book Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life (2020).