I’m starting to wonder if the 2005 and later revival of Doctor Who, and its associated spin-offs, is something like the British version of Buffy. It has season-long arcs mixed in with freak of the week style episodes. It also has surprising amounts of emotional and character depth that one can take or leave.
Being British it has more wry, dry, absurdist humor than Buffy. Also less obsession with brooding. (I’d claim less obsession with teen sex appeal, but the actress playing the main companion went on to star in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. So I’d obviously be wrong.) It is certainly less of an ensemble piece, since the cast rotates much more and there’s no fixed setting. This means the group dynamics have much less depth, and a bit less room for character development.
But there are some parallels. It must not be the same, though, since the combination of more sci-fi/fantasy, wry humor, less youth obsession, and less forced drama makes me like watching it much more.