Why We Don’t Need a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Reboot
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was one of the few shows that freaked me out as a kid (“Hush” is an intense episode when you’re younger) ,and as an adult, it was one of my favorite shows to binge-watch, along with Gilmore Girls. However, despite my massive love for Buffy, it’s probably the last show we need to reboot right now.
According to Comicbook, one of the heads of Fox, Gary Newman, is in talks about bringing back our favorite chosen vampire slayer. Newman said that Buffy the Vampire Slayer “is probably the most ripe show we have for bringing back. It’s something we talk about frequently. Joss Whedon is one of the greatest creators we’ve ever worked for. When Joss decides it’s time, we’ll do it.”
However, he went on to say that reboots are not a priority for them:
“Reboots aren’t actually a focus for us,” Newman continued. “Most of the time it starts with a creator coming in. Admittedly, we chased The X-Files for a while. But when we first brought it back it was Chris and David and Gillian. The 24 franchise… we’ll always want it.”
Sure … either way, while I get why the series is still big enough to be considered a worthwhile investment, I would argue that we don’t need a reboot of Buffy—not now, anyway.
1. The premise is no longer fresh:
The reason why Joss Whedon created Buffy the Vampire Slayer was in order to play with traditional horror tropes and turn someone who’d normally be a damsel in distress into the heroine. Buffy Summers: cheerleader, blonde, valley girl turned savior of the universe. For many growing up, Buffy was an example of how you could combine femininity and strength. Buffy had no problem wearing heels or cute dresses to battle. Stopping the end of the world in a prom dress is goals.
That being said, we have a ton of heroines like that now, who have played with these dualities of femininity and power. It’s not new, and many of the ways that Buffy Summers was written, that were progressive then, are not always progressive now. For example, while I do still ship Bangel (Buffy/Angel), there are stalking and power dynamics regarding age that exist within that couple. Same with Spuffy, which … yeah, that was a mess regardless of whether you ship it or not.
Buffy is iconic, and its influence remains important, but I feel the same about a Buffy reboot as I felt about the Gilmore Girls reboot: sometimes, good things from the past should stay in the past.
2. We already have Buffy reboots:
Lost Girl, Wynonna Earp, Being Human, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Misfits, Killjoys, The Magicians, and many others have all taken from the Buffy mold. “Buffy Speak” has been adopted by multiple shows, and having complex but flawed female heroines, with a touch of glam, is more the norm. Are they all as consistent and well written as Buffy? No, but most, if not all of them, try to use some elements of the Buffy model.
Wynonna Earp probably is the best Buffy reboot we could ever get, and it kicks a lot of ass while being even gayer and having more diversity than the original Scooby Gang. Buffy broke new ground so that other shows could build on it. The best tribute to the original series is to take what it accomplished and work to do it even better, go places the original series couldn’t and make the goal of future shows, not to try to take something that people love and most likely not do it justice.
3. Has Buffy Even Really Ended?:
The show may have ended in 2003, but since then, it has continued on in comic book form. The fanbase for Buffy exists as strongly as ever in terms of participating in discourse. There are several Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcasts like “Buffering” or “Buffy Talk.” The fandom is creating more Buffy all the time, and that’s great! That’s what fandom is for. It’s for growing communities of people who love something so that new fans can always come in and talk about who is their favorite character, couple, and season (Cordelia, Oz/Willow, 5). It’s not so that executives can take a product that ended on its own terms and try to make it new again.
(via CBR, image: 20th Century Fox)
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