- Nov 13, 2018
No offence I'm not having a go, but this is exactly why I fear a remake of Buffy (or Blade for that matter.)I've been listening to the podcasts Still Pretty and Still Dead recently and they've made me realise just how flawed Buffy and Angel were when it came to the depiction of feminism, masculinity, race, queerness and basically anything else you can think of.
Within the context of when it was made it was ground breaking, yes. However 20 years later looking at it with a modern lens there are a lot of moments that just haven't aged well so that's why I think a reboot, if handled well, is much needed. We will always have the Buffy we grew up with, the Buffy that shaped and inspired us, but the people growing up today need a different Buffy. The show was ahead of its time 20 years ago but now it's behind the times, we need a Buffy who is ahead of our current time.
I want to see Buffy through the lens of a female show runner, better yet a woman of colour or a queer woman or even someone who is both. I want to see a diverse cast, I want to see them tackle the demons of today's society. It's something I can see the BOOM! Comics reboot trying so hard to do but the writer just isn't experienced enough to tell a large story in the compacted format of a comic book. There has definitely been growth, they're doing a lot better getting those character moments in recently but it still isn't great. In saying that though the foundation is there for a talented showrunner to take the skeleton of the comics and turn that into something really amazing in my opinion.
I don't want divisive identity politics being brought into the franchise.
Yes Buffy was always a show about female empowerment, but there is a world of difference between that and identity politics. One is a good thing, the other is needlessly dividing and atomising us by superficial characteristics whilst ironically claiming to do the opposite. (which coupled with it's intimidating cancel culture is why it pulls so many people in.)
I absolutely do not want a showrunner for the new Buffy to be be black, woman or an LGBT person simply because they are black, a woman or an LGBT person. I want a good writer to run Buffy. If they happen to be black, LGBT or a woman, great! If not, don't fire them because they are a white man. Talent needs to always come first. If we'd ran the original show that way K Todd Freeman would have been cast as Spike over James Marsters. (I like Freeman, but obviously James was the best choice there.)
Similarly a good story, and good characters must always come first.
No casting people for their skin colour, either way, no writing LGBT characters as nothing but LGBT, no little digs at men, no caring about the ham fisted political message above the story and the monsters being effective, and no constant lecturing on the part of the writers about current events that will date it in ten years time.
You say Buffy and Angel have dated I don't think they have at all.
I actually think that modern genre series could learn a lot on how to write women and minorities from Buffy. Look at these clips from that ghastly CW Supergirl series.
Most people I know can't even make it past the first clip montage.
Supergirl Superfeminist Supercut 2
Supergirl Superfeminist Supercut 3
See the difference between that and Buffy? Buffy had black characters like Wood who didn't complain about being black, had other characteristics beside that and were fully rounded. Supergirl almost uses its black characters as trophies to show how great the writers are for casting them and revels in divisive crap about white vs black people.
Compare this dialogue from Robin Wood to a bit of dialogue from a black character from Class a notoriously awful, SJW spin off from DW.
TANYA: White people.
APRIL: White people what?
TANYA: Always so optimistic. Always so certain things are going to work out for you. Oh, well, because they usually do.
APRIL: My dad tried to kill me when I was eight.
TANYA: But you got your mum up walking again. Typical white-person happy ending.
ROBIN Well, I told you. It's my, um, sanctuary. It's the hell mouth, Spike. You can never be too careful. Just, um, stay away from the walls, and you'll be all right.
SPIKE It's a bit much, isn't it? What's your story, Wood?
ROBIN No story, really. Just trying to do what's right. Make a difference. How 'bout you? What kind of man are you, Spike?
SPIKE Sorry. Not much for self reflection.
ROBIN Yeah, makes sense. See, you strike me as the kind of guy who just careens through life, completely oblivious to the damage he's doing to everyone around him.
SPIKE That right?
ROBIN Oh, I know more about you than you think, Spike. See, I've been searching for you for a very, very long time. Ever since you killed my mother.
SPIKE I've killed a lot of people's mothers.
ROBIN Yeah. You'd remember mine. She was a slayer.
SPIKE So, that's it, innit? Brought me here to kill me?
ROBIN (turns to face Spike) No, I don't wanna kill you, Spike. I wanna kill the monster who took my mother away from me. (clicks the mouse on the computer; a song starts playing; the screen reads "Early One Morning.")
ROBIN There he is.
See what I mean? Buffy had much better black characters because it treated them as characters (okay Kendra's dodgy accent aside LOL.)
As for how an SJW show writes its female characters ironically that bit with Calista Flockheart in Supergirl going on about how brilliant women are because of their deeper feelings reminds me of Andrew's speech about womanhood after they think Dawn is the potential. 😆
In regards to representation we need more shows like the original Buffy and Angel, that have gay, black and female characters and just get on with telling a good story with them, rather than using them as a political statement, or as a way for the writer to stroke their ego and make out that they are the new Gene Roddenberry.
Buffy doesn't need remade because it wasn't progressive enough. It doesn't need remade at all, but I do think a remake could work if someone wants to tell a new and interesting story with the character. I think there is enough in Buffy for there to be other interpretations like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula.
However if all anyone is going to care about is the skin colour or sexuality of the main characters then it's best left in the past, as Doctor Who should have been.