Five Reasons Why The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reboot Might Not Succeed

by Benjamin Hall

[*Note: Underlined items are links to relevant outside articles.]

Buffy The Vampire Slayer debuted in 1992 as a movie character played by Kristen Noel Swanson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer [1992]). Later Buffy’s creator Joss Whedon would retool the movie as a television series (Buffy The Vampire Slayer [1997-2003]) with two spin-offs, Angel (2000-2005) and the comic series Fray (2001-2003), as well as the comics published by Dark Horse. It has been recently announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 that the character will see another retooling in the form of a full-on reboot. Said reboot might not succeed due to the following reasons: bigotry, the Seasons 8-12 comics published by Dark Horse, aspects of the fandom, Whedon’s alleged affairs, and the outcome of Pilot Season.

In the case of the foremost, there is a current rise in outspoken bigotry that could cause unfortunate backlash for the reboot. This is due to Buffy being remade from a white blonde valley girl to a female person of color with an unknown personality type. While racism is a horrible thing, the online presence of bigots, and negative people in general, is often loud enough that companies take notice. An example of this is Marvel’s David Gabriel‘s (Senior Vice President of Print, Sales, and Marketing) speech at a 2017 Marvel summit.

As for the seasonal comic continuations of the TV show, Buffy, the last Season (12) has two issues left to see release, which will conclude the comic run. Since these comics are official continuations of the show, fans who have followed them (myself included) might feel that moving on to a new show is way too soon. This is primarily due to how the comics come across as saying “Here’s the definitive end, now go watch the new version!” It is essentially causing a weird announcement-induced case of whiplash. (Though this does explain why Season 12 looks and feels so rushed, at least to me.)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6 (Feb. 2012) Cover by Phil Noto

The Buffyverse fandom has also produced and continues to produce tons of fan works. In some cases, fan fictions (fan-made stories) have expounded on narrative plot-holes and other problematic elements that were in the official show. (Unfortunately most of the examples I can think of are kind of graphic in various ways so no specific links for this, but archiveofourown.org and fanfiction.net should give plenty of examples.) Therefore, fans could be less receptive to the same problems, such as stories lacking in repercussions for lack of communication, cropping up in this new series.

There is also the matter of fans who might have become disenchanted with projects created by Joss Whedon due to his ex-wife’s (Kai Cole) allegations of affairs. Said affairs supposedly started on the set of the first Buffy The Vampire Slayer television series. And may, or may not, have involved improper use of power (seeing as he was in charge of the show). Whether or not the affairs happened, the allegations have hurt his reputation.

However, Pilot Season, the time when shows get picked up by networks, could be what ultimately does this proposed series in. This is simply because of how many shows get announced and fail to move past the pilot stage. An example of this is the television continuation of Cruel Intentions (1999) announced in 2015.

In conclusion, this new version is still a “wait and see” situation. Thus we can only hope that, if it does succeed, the show’s crew learns from the mistakes of the past.

Benjamin Hall

Among Benjamin Hall's many credits he is the creator and writer of the comic Time Trio; a writer/editor of various works for Sequart Organization; Blogger for Rippersspot.blogspot.com; a columnist for Comicon. He holds a Bachelor's in film studies and a Master's Degree in Media Communications. He is also an Aspie.

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