Having left her previous address (after burning down the school gym), Buffy Summers hopes to escape her Slayer responsibilities when she moves to Sunnydale—but soon learns that the local high school is built on a “Hellmouth,” a portal to a supernatural realm filled with all kinds of demons and monsters.
POINTS OF INTEREST: The Summers home, Sunnydale High School, The Bronze, and any one of the town’s 12 cemeteries and 43 churches (“It’s the extra evil vibe from the Hellmouth,” explains Buffy’s pal Willow, “Makes people pray harder.”)
LIVABILITY: On the one hand, Sunnydale has everything you’d expect in an affluent suburban community; on the other hand, there’s that unpleasant demonic infestation thing. Following a mass evacuation in an episode of the show’s seventh season, Sunnydale is destroyed, collapsing into a giant pit that closes the Hellmouth forever.
INSPIRATION: Series creator (and Avengers writer-director) Joss Whedon envisioned Buffy as “My So-Called Life meets The X-Files”—he saw Sunnydale as a generic southern California community.
SHOOTING LOCATION(S): Town exteriors were filmed on a lot in Santa Monica, California. Scenes set at school were shot at Torrance High School—its distinctive Mediterranean Revival facade was also used in such films and TV shows as Bring it On, She’s All That, and Beverly Hills, 90210.