There are a lot of times when I say things that make me sound incredibly hypocritical. I’m usually very quick to criticize Hollywood for not having any original ideas and for constantly falling into the trap of rehashing all the things that have come before.
I complained when MacGyver made a comeback. I roll my eyes every time I see a commercial for the updated Magnum P.I. that’s premiering this fall. And those are just a couple examples of the TV shows with unnecessary remakes. Shall we discuss the plethora of movies that have gotten the remake treatment in recent years? Beauty and the Beast, Overboard, and how many actors have played Spider-Man in the last decade?
At the same time, I also wrote a post clamoring for a Quantum Leap reboot. But I feel the need to qualify that a bit… My idea for that reboot wasn’t so much a reboot as it was a continuation of the story. Different characters living through experiences and stories set in the same world created by the original series so many years ago.
And I feel like I’m much more likely to get on board with that kind of a reboot. I didn’t closely follow The X-Files back when it was in its original run, but the idea that they were able to bring it back all these years later with a sort of continuation of the story fascinated me. The fact that Roseanne was able to come back to continue to story of the Connors was a pretty great idea… up until we remembered that Roseanne liked to say horrible things about people on social media.
Over the weekend, a friend of mine posted a link to a news article about how a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot has been given the go ahead at Fox. And who’s behind it? The original creator, Joss Whedon, of course. And the article that she gave me the link to seemed excited by the prospect that, this time around, Buffy would be portrayed by a black actress.
Look, I don’t care about Buffy’s skin color. Not in the slightest. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a problem with the whole idea of a Buffy reboot.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an incredibly powerful television series in the time that it was on TV. The show’s influence can still be felt in the television landscape today, 21 years later. And, in spite of the fact that a lot of the show’s special effects are horribly dated, it still holds up today. I should know, I’m rewatching it on a weekly basis.
If the powers that be want to give the world Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it already exists. Get a Hulu subscription and you can watch every single episode.
You want to know how you can get me on board with a Buffy-esque reboot? Don’t make it about Buffy Summers.
Cast an African-American actress. Diversify the crap out of that cast. But make them new characters. The world that Joss Whedon built when he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer totally lends itself to a continuation of the story 21 years (or more) later. In fact, it was in the opening lines of every episode for the first two seasons…
“Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.”
Into every generation… How many Slayers could have come and gone since the original series ended in 2003? Right… I know that the spell in the finale made every potential Slayer a full-fledged Slayer. But the story continued in comic book form and I think that got taken away somehow. I’m not sure, I didn’t really pay attention beyond the comics’ Season 8. I think they’re in a Season 12 at this point.
The point is, they’ve continued the story. Why not continue to continue the story? Bring in a new girl. A new chosen one. One whose only connection to Buffy Summers is the fact that they’re part of the same lineage of Slayers.
Don’t retell Buffy’s story. It’s been told. And it was told very well the first time around. If you want to revisit that world, do it. But do it with a new set of circumstances and a new set of characters who are equipped to face their demons in a world where social media exists. I would be much more interested in seeing an African-American Slayer who is forced to wield her powers and the weight of her responsibilities in a world where racism is still such a rampant disease that infects so much of our culture than to see a rehash of an old character who is diverse, seemingly, only for diversity’s sake.