Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Right That a Buffy Revival Would Be a Bad Idea, But Not For the Reason She Thinks
Sarah Michelle Gellar, the actress who made Buffy Summers an icon (sorry, Kristy Swanson!), doesn’t think that a Buffy revival a la Gilmore Girls or Twin Peaks is a good idea. She’s not wrong. However, I’m not convinced it’s because of the reason she gives.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gellar was asked about where she thinks Buffy would be today, as well as whether or not Gellar would be up for a Buffy revival. Here’s what she had to say:
“I have always believed that what was so unique about the show was the use of horrors of those formative years. With high school and college as a backdrop, we were able to address racism, identity, bullying, guilt, death, first love and heartbreak using the demons as metaphors for the demons we all experience. I am not sure how that translates into adulthood, although I am sure it could. The burden of saving the world a lot always weighed heavily on her, so for her sake, I hope she is somewhere on a beautiful beach located far away from any Hellmouth.”
Personally, I think it’s totally possible to translate all of those things into adulthood. After all, “high school” doesn’t stop in high school, it’s just that the cafeteria becomes the world, and there are infinite tables at which to sit. Cliques and bullying? Adulthood’s got ’em. Rich vs middle class vs poor, parents vs non-parents, Republicans vs Democrats, we never outgrow our need to find our tribe and there are few adult work environments that don’t, in some way, operate like high school. And that’s the thing, high school and college train kids for the real world, not just with the education they provide, but the socialization and ideally the ability to cope with and navigate around cliques and bullies the rest of our lives. One would hope.
Obviously things like racism and issues of identity exist long after high school. What’s interesting is that, while the original show dealt with things like gender and sexuality, it didn’t really deal a whole lot with other aspects of one’s identity. Like race and ethnicity, for instance. How could it when the vast majority of the people on that show were white?
As for the “firsts” of high school, that assumes, of course, that one has even had certain firsts during that time in their lives. If I’ve learned anything being the old lady I am, it’s that not all kids are getting up to what you might think they’re getting up to in high school. For every kid that’s dating in high school, there are probably five or six that aren’t. Some people don’t hit their stride until adulthood. And let’s face it. There can be a huge difference between your “first love” and The First Time You Really Fall In Love as an adult. Both are firsts, and both are worth exploring.
I think the only thing that matters when it comes to a revival is, as was the case for Gilmore Girls and is the case for Twin Peaks, that the creator be the one spearheading the project. In this case, that would be Joss Whedon. Obviously, he’s been asked about this before. Back in 2015, Whedon seemed conflicted about the idea of a revival, saying:
I mean, I look at my shows, and part of me is like, wouldn’t it be great if… We always worked in the universe where people could age, so it’s never a worry that, ‘wait a minute. She’s still in high school?!’ And then there’s a part of me that’s like, ‘you are going to do something else at some point, right? You do have a new idea, ever?’ And there’s stuff I’m working on besides Twist as well that I actually can’t talk about, but that is actually very different.
[…] My biggest fear about bringing stuff back is the monkey’s paw. Like, what if it’s not as good? Or what if it’s just as good but it’s not new? So it doesn’t give you that feeling you need. That would be the billion dollar pressure of something like that. But I have a knack for assembling sane and wonderful casts, so I think about it. But only I can do it.
So…not entirely out of the question, but also not first on his priorities list. However, I agree that it has to be him that does it. No Joss, no Buffy. I’ll get that tattooed on my body if it would help.
In the meantime, we have plenty of adult Buffy in the official and cannon Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics at Dark Horse where you can see just how possible it is to translate those high school demons into the demons of adulthood.
(via The Daily Dot, image via screencap)
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