I'm a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan from back in the day. I admit that I didn't jump on the bandwagon from the beginning, but I was watching when the show was originally airing and fell in love with creator Joss Whedon's seminal series. In fact, I fell in love with Joss, too. Well, his work. (No offense, Joss, you're just not my type. I go for more of the Jon Hamm look. Cliche, I know.)
So it's no surprise that my initial reaction to hearing that there was going to be a Buffy movie that would reboot "the brand," a movie that would have no involvement from Whedon was not pleasant. Not only did Whedon shepherd one of the best TV series in the medium's history, but he also was responsible for the screenplay to the original movie that started it all. Buffy isn't just some corporate intellectual. Buffy is Joss! How could you remake Buffy without Joss! It's an outrage!
But it's Thanksgiving. This isn't a time for negativity or cursing the darkness. Instead I've decided to light a candle and point out the reasons to be thankful for a Joss Whedon-less Buffy
1. Keeps our image of Joss's brilliance intact.
As wonderful a writer and flat-out creative person he is, Whedon has had his share of clunkers (Alien: Resurrection
, Titan A.E.
) along with his masterpieces (Firefly
, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
). Imagine how disappointing it would be if Whedon wrote and directed a Buffy
movie that sucked. Could Whedonites stand that kind of pain? Especially after Dollhouse
? Probably not.
2. Introduces a new generation of fans to the TV show.
The one upside to franchise reboots is that they bring attention to the versions that preceded it. A fine example is the Doctor Who franchise. When the series returned in 2005--after an almost decade absence--many fans who became hooked on the Christopher Eccleston version inevitably hunted down early iterations of the show, familiarizing themselves with the earlier adventures of the Doctor. The new show didn't destroy the memory of the old episodes. In fact, it brought them back to the public consciousness.
3. Gives work to a lot of out-of-work showbiz people.
Hey, it's still a rough job market out there, no matter what economists say. If a new Buffy
movie is going to mean more work for film crews and caterers, then I'm for it. So is original Buffy Kristy Swanson, who's already angling for a job on the movie
4. Put another nail in the coffin of Hollywood's recycling trend.
A bad Buffy movie might mean good things for the Hollywood system. The reason studios continue to churn out retreads of old intellectual properties is because they continue to make money, even if they are critically panned. But if this Buffy reboot flops at the box office, it will send a message that reboots aren't surefire cash cows. And maybe that will give a studio executive pause before he greenlights a big screen version of Homeboys in Space.
C'mon, every geek blogger out there is waiting to jump on this thing the minute it comes out. A Buffy reboot is like sugar-coated meth. Hell, Nikki Finke probably has her slam pieces already written.