I started watching Buffy about 9 years after it ended (thanks, Netflix), and I finished watching the show in less than 3 months. All it took for me to get hooked was the pilot, Welcome to the Hellmouth.
While the ever-adorable Willow Rosenberg is far and away my favorite character, I think I like this show so much because I see a lot of myself in the title character, Buffy Summers.
No, I'm not skinny or pretty or blonde or, well, a vampire slayer, but I am a little lonely, a little closed-off. Like Buffy, I have a small, but close, circle of friends. Also like Buffy, I sometimes run when things get tough. I'm a little snarky, I'm reasonably smart, but I don't try at school (Buffy did get a higher math+verbal SAT score than I did, but I like to think I would've beaten her in writing if she'd taken that portion). I was drawn to this show because I'm just like Buffy.
Except I'm not. There are little nuances that separate us. She had a good relationship with her mother. She's been in love. She's a wholly and completely good person, even if she does make mistakes sometimes.
I like that we have those differences, though, because it gives me someone to look up to. No, Buffy's not a real person, but she's real enough for me.
She may not be Captain America, but that will never stop Buffy Summers from being my hero.