The word iconic tends to jump out whenever this show is mentioned, and with good reason. Joss Whedon brought vampires, werewolves etc, back to the masses and made it cool. Combining mild horror with Joss's unique humour was a masterstroke, geniuinely affecting peoples lives. It started off innocently enough, with the typical freak of the week episodes, but quickly changed into something completely different. Heavily scripted with smart, fresh, quirky dialogue and storylines. The show also has truly amazing characters, from the main cast to the secondary cast, who were just perfect in every way.
Buffy literally opened the flood gates for other vamp shows, but they will never (even though some of them are pretty darn good themselves) reach the pinnacle that Buffy did.
I write this review confident in the knowledge that I have watched every episode numerous times, not just the odd one, which some people find is sufficient to review a show as a whole, well it isn't. The later seasons are every bit as good as the earlier ones, in fact the show probably peaked season 4-6, with season 6 widely considered the best. My personal faves are 4 and 5, but the rest are still brilliant. Heck, the show deserves 10/10 for the musical episode alone. Bottom line, this show is a top 10 most iconic show of the last 20 years...Fact!