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Willow and Tara finally reunited on Buffy the Vampire Slayer anniversary shoot

Nick Duffy March 29, 2017
Tara (left) and Willow were the first lesbian couple to share a kiss on TV in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (20th Century Fox)

Tara (left) and Willow were the first lesbian couple to share a kiss on TV in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (20th Century Fox)

More than 15 years after they were tragically parted on-screen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s most beloved lesbian couple are back together one last time.

The entire cast of Joss Whedon’s cult TV show got together this week for an anniversary shoot and interview special for Entertainment Weekly.

Among those to attend were Alysson Hannigan and Amber Benson, who played fan-favourite lesbian witches Willow Rosenburg and Tara Maclay.

The characters were one of the first same-sex couples to ever appear in a TV show aimed at teenagers in the US.

The pair first appeared on-screen together in 1999. It was more than two years until they were shown kissing for the first time in 2001.

As part of the EW documentary special, the now grown-up actresses, 43 and 40, reflected on the groundbreaking plot.

The shoot will be extra-therapeutic for Buffy fans, given the famously tragic ending to Willow and Tara’s pioneering relationship, which (decade-old spoilers!) saw Tara shot by a stray bullet, dying in her girlfriend’s arms.

The death has often been cited as one of the original examples of ‘Dead Lesbian Syndrome’ – the awkward writing trend that often sees lesbian characters in mainstream TV shows meet a grizzly demise.

Coming back together for the event, Benson and Hanningan reflected on the storyline.

Hannigan said: “There definitely hadn’t been a gay character that had been on a show from the beginning [before Buffy]. This was a character that you got to see the journey, that was very groundbreaking.

“The fact that it was such a non-issue was so great, and that’s how it should be.”

Benson said: “It was a beautiful relationship, and it wasn’t gratuitous, it wasn’t about two girls making out, it was about two people who both happen to identify as female who fall in love.

“They were good to eachother, they treated eachother way. It was a normal relationship. You normalise it, and make it okay, because it is okay.

“We got a lot of young letters… there were a lot of young people who felt very isolated, and to see two characters on a television show be accepted by a group of peers changed the game.

“It’s saying, if you find somebody to love, you’re just lucky – it doesn’t matter the gender, the sex or whatever – if you find somebody who gets you and you get them, you’re so lucky.”

Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson pose with Seth Green, who played Willow’s ex-boyfriend Oz (Credit: EW)

Showrunner Joss Whedon added: “Tara came into the narrative because I was like, how do you follow Seth Green?

“Well, Willow’s in college, so maybe she finds a girlfriend. That was an important thing for people to see, but really I wasn’t thinking about that! As much as I wanted to make a feminist show, I really missed a lot of what was going to be important abut the show. I thought that was just what you’d do.”

More: buffy, buffy the vampire slayer, Gay, lesbian, LGBT, Television, US

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