November 23, 2010

Oh no... a Buffy reboot

Joss Whedon, seen here with studio execs.
I totally missed Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it first aired. I caught bits and pieces of episodes here and there but, for whatever reason, I never really watched it. I didn’t fall under the Whedon spell until Serenity and Firefly (in that order), but that crazy sci-fi western got me hooked. My partner and I have been catching up on the adventures of Buffy over the past few months (she was already a big fan of the Slayer) and we’ve just finished Season 5. Now I know what I missed.

The Buffy series is damned fine television, whichever way you slice (or stab) it. Whedon and his ace team of writers quickly ditched the “monster of the week” staple in favour of longer story-arcs and stronger character development. The series regulars are some of the best characters, and one of the best ensembles, to ever grace the small screen. They change and grow; they occasionally make mistakes and fuck up but come through for each other in the end. Everything they do makes sense for them. In addition to these great characters the creative team wove a rich, detailed mythology to the world. It was frequently hilarious, but wasn’t afraid to go very, very dark. They also use, respect and subvert genre with deft skill and it paved the way for a lot of the really great shows currently on our screens.

Sure, there were a few poorer episodes and I wasn’t a big fan of Season 4 overall (though it did have some of the best single episodes), but I am currently loving catching up with the adventures of the Slayer and her Scooby gang. What I do NOT love is the recent announcement from Warner Bros. of a cinematic reboot, with zero involvement from Joss Whedon and co. UGGH. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a great, original TV show; this is nothing more than a cash-in on the current vampire craze and the recognition value of the name. I know it’s rather pointless to rail against the creative bankruptcy of the Hollywood studio system… but gorram. Surely the people who know Buffy, who are Buffy fans, aren’t going to be interested in a Whedonless Slayer. The real slap to the face though is the mention of Fran and Kaz Kuzui as the “creators”. Anyone who knows anything about Buffy can call bullshit on this. They hold the rights, sure, but they damn well aren’t the creators.

Thankfully, I’ve still got Seasons 6 and 7 to look forward to, and then the “expanded universe” of the comics. And maybe then I’ll go back and watch the original 1992 movie. I certainly won’t be watching this one.


  1. I'm game, personally. Whedon should focus on The Avengers, and nothing else. Imagine how great that series could be. Ten times greater than a Buffy movie (this, even as a fan of Whedon, the series, and the Luke Perry film)

  2. You caught Whedon's response, right? Classic.

  3. Oh gosh. The 1992 movie is laughably bad. Joss was so fed up with the Kuzuis, he left the project. I'm interested to see what they do with the new film, but a lot of Whedon fans will not be happy.

    Season 5 was great, huh? "The Body" just blows so many TV episodes out of the water.

  4. My favourite part from Mr. Whedon's response:
    "This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths-just because they can't think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself."

    Personally, I think he should give them the old one-finger salute with a totally amazing Avengers film.

    Season 5 has been amazing, it's been a really great arc to see Buffy grow up and Sarah Michelle Gellar gives some really incredible performances. Re: "The Body", I did think when watching it "Man, Joss Whedon. What a dick." 'Cos, when it first aired fans would've had to have waited a whole WEEK to find out what the hell was going on! Not like me and my instant DVD access!

  5. Yeah, I thought that too, when you see her at the end of the previous episode. The geek forums must have gone NUTS.