Without context, it can be difficult to understand exactly how groundbreaking Buffy truly was. In 2017, lesbian relationships portrayed on television barely get an eyebrow raise, but when Willow and Tara started dating in 2000, the TV landscape was quite different. It wasn’t even explicitly stated that the two were dating at first.
The actors had to deal with a fanbase that was divided on Willow’s sexuality – some of whom were incredibly cruel, especially to Amber Benson. Aside from that, the WB adamantly refused to let Willow and Tara show much affection at all, let alone kiss. This led to Joss Whedon’s creative use of witchcraft as a metaphor for their relationship.
Despite their romance beginning mid-season 4, the pair didn’t have their first onscreen kiss until about a year later. Whedon shot the scene for “The Body” and threatened to quit if it wound up on the cutting room floor.