Why Fox’s Dream “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Revival is a Terrible Idea

Matthew Loffhagen
Entertainment Weekly
(Photo: Entertainment Weekly)

There’s good news and bad news for fans of cult classic horror comedy “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” today.

Fox executives definitely want to do an “X-Files” or “Twin Peaks” style revival.

They won’t do it until Joss Whedon is ready.

Depending on your opinion on things, you might need to decide for yourself which of those points is the good news, and which is the bad.

According to Fox TV Group Chairman Gary Newman:

I think if you look in our library, ‘Buffy’ is probably the most ripe show we have for bringing back.  It’s something we talk about frequently, and Joss Whedon is really one of the greatest creators we ever worked with. When Joss decides it’s time, we’ll do it. And until Joss decides it’s time, it won’t happen. […] Most times when we brought things back, it started with the creator coming into us and saying I’ve got another story I want to tell. It seems to me that if there isn’t a real sense of nostalgia, a passionate fan base demonstrating they still want it then I don’t really buy bringing these shows back.

At present, though, it’s hard to imagine a “Buffy” revival that would actually go well.

After all, there are very few modern revivals of classic ‘90s television shows that have actually gone well. You can never go back home to your childhood, and thus far it seems impossible to find the formula for rebuilding a show that’s taking place two decades after it initially ran its course.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has already ended, twice – first when Buffy dies at the end of season five, and then again when Sunnydale implodes at the end of season seven.

Both are pretty definitive endings, and the hoops that the narrative needed to jump through to bring Buffy back from the dead in season six are embarrassing at best.

Buffy
Source: Fox

Unlike, say, “Firefly”, “Buffy” is a show that ran its course, used up all the best ideas, and then got to wrap up in a relatively satisfying manner. The show’s conclusion works just fine, and it’s hard to imagine a new series that would do the premise justice.

Besides, the various stars of “Buffy” have all moved on to new things. Sarah Michelle Gellar was noticeably done with the show long before the final episode aired, and it’s hard to imagine that Fox could drag her out of acting retirement for a job that she didn’t want to do even back before she decided to focus on raising a family.

Then there’s the fact that there’s some kind of beef between at least one of the show’s big stars and Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander, to the point that Brendon wasn’t invited to a reuinion photoshoot with Entertainment Weekly a few years ago. Instead, he was photoshopped into the picture, because at least one person from the show’s cast cannot stand being in the same room with him.

(It’s probably David Boreanaz, right? That feels logical.)

Buffy Original Series
Source: Fox

Then, of course, there’s the elephant in the room – the accusations from showrunner Joss Whedon’s ex-wife that he basically slept his way through the entire supporting cast of the show when “Buffy” was new, forcing himself on young actresses who were desperate for roles on the series.

Suddenly the prospect of putting Whedon’s prime method of adultery back together feels very unappealing.

Let’s not ever have a “Buffy” revival. Let’s appreciate the show for what it is: a charming, enjoyable show with a lot of behind-the-scenes secrets that nobody wants to think about too much.

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