Why Joss Whedon Should Be Kept Away From the “Buffy” Reboot

Matthew Loffhagen
Fox
(Photo: Fox)

So it’s finally happening. We’re finally getting a reboot of Joss Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

I can’t say I’m surprised. The original “Buffy” was one of the most popular shows of its time, and in the modern climate, it seems that any series that once enjoyed some notoriety must eventually get brought back.

There’s been rumblings of some kind of “Buffy” revival for years, if not decades, by this point. It was only a matter of time before these bore fruit.

Apparently, the new show will feature the original “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon as an executive producer, while Monica Owusu-Breen will serve as showrunner and head writer. Owusu-Breen is known for her work on various shows including “Alias”, “Fringe”, and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. She also created “Midnight, Texas”.

The new Buffy will be played by an African-American, and the new show will have a clear focus on bringing more diversity to the story. This sounds like a wonderful idea, considering the fact that the original “Buffy” is so painfully, incredibly white.

You can get away with a few pale characters when you’re dealing with vampires, but even so, “Buffy” took this too far.

I’m excited for this new show. I loved the original “Buffy” when it was new, and I’m a fan of this world and of the various characters that gave it life.

I only hope that Joss Whedon is kept as far away from “Buffy” 2.0 as possible.

The Return to Sunnydale

First off, there’s the big concern with letting Whedon anywhere near the project: his track record with adultery.

Kai Cole, Whedon’s ex-wife, has come out publicly with tales of infidelity. Allegedly, Whedon used his position of power on “Buffy” to engage in illicit affairs with a series of young actresses. Nobody wants this kind of thing going on behind the scenes again.

I get the feeling that Whedon probably won’t be given this kind of freedom on the show again, especially considering how much bad press this could generate in the modern era. One would hope that history wouldn’t be allowed to repeat in our #MeToo inspired world.

Spike
Source: Fox

As such, I’m more concerned about the influence that Whedon’s storytelling might have over the show as a piece of entertainment.

For all that I’m really dubious about Whedon’s claims of supporting feminism, I can’t deny that I enjoy much of his body of work.

Whedon writes fun dialogue, creates interesting characters, and builds engaging action setpieces. These talents are a part of what makes the first “Buffy” stand the test of time (even if some of the dialogue has aged poorly).

I don’t want Whedon to do any of this stuff with the new “Buffy”.

A New Showrunner For a New Generation

We’ve already seen this world through the eyes of its original creator. In order to make the new “Buffy” something special, I want Monica Owusu-Breen to have primary control over the show’s direction.

I want to see Owusu-Breen create a series of engaging characters of her own design. I want her to take the story to new places based on her own preferences as a writer and creator.

If this show merely becomes a rehash of the original “Buffy”, there’s no point in making it. The first incarnation of the show is on Netflix, so it’s not like we need to see it all again with new actors.

Buffy and Kendra
Source: Fox

I want the new “Buffy” to be a unique, distinct work. Thus, Joss Whedon can be tangentially connected, but I’d much rather he take a backseat while Owusu-Breen makes all of the big decisions.

Oh, and also, Whedon absolutely should not be left unsupervised on the set of the show. That’s just asking for trouble.