Word broke last week that there will be a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, with Joss Whedon producing and longtime TV writer/producer Monica Owusu-Breen showrunning. The initial reports were that it was a reboot, specifically an ‘inclusive’ reboot, which made it sound like a remake but with Buffy herself being non-white.
This was disappointing to me. Not the non-white stuff, but the reboot stuff. I think that the universe of Buffy/Angel is strong and big enough to sustain a Buffy: The Next Generation; there’s no need to go back to the drawing board. Just make a sequel.
Today Osuwu-Breen made a Twitter statement about this:
It’s not 100% clear, but it sounds to me like she’s saying this will be a sequel, not a reboot/remake. Dear God, please let it be so.
Some people have questioned how you can do a Buffy sequel when the series ended with all potential Slayers being activated. The idea of one Slayer out there on the front lines is over, so what’s the TV show?
THAT’S THE TV SHOW! Buffy, in its brilliant original incarnation, was a Chosen One story that, by the end, exploded the Chosen One structure. So keep exploding it! Let’s move away from stories about special lone wolves taking the weight of the world on their shoulders, and let’s tell more stories about groups of people working together in support and love to make a change. That’s already baked into the DNA of the Buffy Scooby Gang, but in a world where there is a network of other Slayers this can be even more prominent as a theme.
It’s unity that brings power in 2018, and that should be reflected in the new Buffy (or whatever it’s called. I do fear that it will still be a reboot because the name is what is most valuable to the company, but we shall see). Rather than present a fantasy world where one girl is alone and fighting evil, the new show can present a fantasy world where a huge group of girls comes together to fight evil. This reflects the way we understand the world in the Internet age anyway; when Buffy was created in the 90s we lived in a world that was disconnected, and you had to find your people in traditional, meatspace ways. Today people are connected across the globe, often feeling like part of something bigger.
And there’s good drama in that, for if there’s one thing the Internet has taught us it’s that being connected has its downsides as well as its perks. I think there’s a lot of material to be mined in a world where a Slayer is trying to do her own thing while supporting others, where a Slayer is trying to find her place in a world where she’s less unique but no less special, and a Slayer trying to reconcile her values with the values of other people who agree with her on 99% of things… but it’s that 1% that becomes a stickler. That feels really of the moment.
I’m hopeful. The world that was created in Buffy/Angel is so interesting, so wide, so full of possibilities, that I hope it isn’t all thrown away or started from zero. I want it to be expanded, explored and made up to date.