BUFFYVERSE

Buffy the next Star Trek? Never happened.

POSTED BY: OPPYH
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 08:14
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/i8MroV
VIEWED: 1673
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Monday, April 18, 2011 8:16 AM

OPPYH


Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's quirky,funny, and serious all in the title alone. The promising series that most fans and critics vowed would be "the next Star Trek" in terms of fandom, and legacy has all but vanished from syndicated television (now relegated to the LOGO channel) and from the memories of the public in general.

The Buffy conventions, and merchandise have dried up, and the rumored spin offs/character mini series/animated series are now just sad trivia. Fandom of this shining example of great tv is at an all time low.

So what the hell happened?

Here are my guesses:
-The season 8 comic book. I'm going to say something bold. The comic book medium has never complimented tv/film well.
I remember reading the X-File comics from Topps thinking that this just does not work. Add to that the wild departure of great storytelling Buffy was known for(we're basically talking shock factor only when it came to season 8) and you have a jumbled mess of epic proportions.

-Willow. I love Willow, and her relationship with Tara was amazing. But can the mainstream tv viewing audience handle(or accept) a strong lesbian role model? No. I know people that absolutely love the show, and watch it with their children(mostly pre-teens) through season 3 on dvd labeling the later seasons "adults only". It's true.

-Joss Whedon. He said he will further the show in one way or another on tv(Ripper/Faith, or Spike tv movies/the animated series).Heck, even a direct to dvd of any of these ideas would have sold through the roof, and more than covered production costs. All we get is a crappy comic book series. Shame on you Joss.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a perfect series. Overall it is 7 season of pure, delightful entertainment. IT sold crazy numbers on dvd, and that alone made it one of Fox's big three titles(Aliens, Planet of the Apes, Buffy). It deserves more than the memory status it is in now. Sure we can break out the dvd's and watch again, but with a show this great the Buffy universe needs to be expanded...in a big way. We need new shows, new ideas. Buffy is not dead.

Have any other ideas why this well has gone dry? Let's hear it.

-

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Monday, April 18, 2011 9:32 AM

DREAMTROVE


Star Trek was canceled in '68. Five years passed, and there was an animated spin off. Eleven years in there was a movie. Star Trek was revived almost 20 years after it went off the air.

Buffy went off the air in '03. It spawned on spinoff during season three which went off the air in '04, then it prompted a series of novels and comics, and now there is a movie.

By 2014 will be a movie? Sure. Will there be a new series by 2022? If there's still TV.

Buffy's biggest liability is Season Seven. It ended on a decidedly weak note, with Joss' time split on many projects, a situation not dissimilar to X-Files, which sank like a stone.


That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Monday, April 18, 2011 10:19 AM

STORYMARK


I think it wasn't the next Trek because there has NEVER been another genre property that connected on the level Trek has, with that degree of longevity.

I think Buffy did about as well as it ever was going to. I don't think things like comics undermined anything - they're entirely irrelevant to 99% of the population.

And blaming Joss is rather silly. Yes he said he would continue the story. But he does not have final say. The suits said "NO" to the DVDs and spin-offs, and that's that. And, it's worth pointing out - the comics DO continue the story, in a medium he could get the money for.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Monday, April 18, 2011 1:42 PM

DREAMTROVE


Another issue: TV execs hated sci-fi, so sci-fi fans had only one show. To recreate that, you'd have to be the only show in a genre that the execs hated. Of course, TV will go extinct I suspect, so we'll never know.

That's what a ship is, you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:58 AM

SIMONWHO


I think the better idea would have been if Joss had said after the end of Angel "That's it." It's hard to walk away from your calling card but he's so brimming with talent and ideas, that should have been the way to go.

I certainly don't blame him for what has happened since - he got severely messed around with the Wonder Woman movie and the failure of Serenity would have dented his Hollywood rep but Buffy/Angel had great runs and can be laid to rest, perhaps to have a fallow season, perhaps never to return.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 2:18 AM

GWEK


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
I think it wasn't the next Trek because there has NEVER been another genre property that connected on the level Trek has, with that degree of longevity.



I agree if you qualify that to "genre TV property," because as phrased, it excludes Star Wars. Which brings me to another point. The OP said:

Quote:

The comic book medium has never complimented tv/film well.


I respectfully disagree on the scope of this statement. In the case of something like Star Wars, comics are a perfect medium in which to expand the universe. Overall, the Star Wars comics are of far higher caliber than the Star Wars novels. I would also argue that with a few minor hiccups, the Firefly/Serenity comics successfully capture the tone of the series (honestly, I think TLB and Better Days feel closer to the series than the movie does).

I think there IS a comic book issue with BUFFY (and ANGEL) and it's one of tone or "reality level." Since the comic book page essentially offers an unlimited budget, the comic book medium does not offer the same constraints and limitations that the medium of TV does. I believe this led to the BUFFY (and especially ANGEL) "feeling wrong." Not that I didn't enjoy them, but they definitely feel a bit disconnected. (I will admit that the same problem hits the Serenity comics, although on a lesser scale. Some of the comic action sequences are "bigger" than the TV show would have presented/been able to afford).

Quote:

I think Buffy did about as well as it ever was going to. I don't think things like comics undermined anything - they're entirely irrelevant to 99% of the population.


Agreed. In my experience, even among Buffy fans, the comics were hit or miss (in that most of my friends who watched BUFFY didn't even know about them). TV (and BUFFY) has a much bigger audience than comics, so to blame the comics for, well, anything, seems a bit odd.

Except...

Quote:

And blaming Joss is rather silly. Yes he said he would continue the story. But he does not have final say. The suits said "NO" to the DVDs and spin-offs, and that's that. And, it's worth pointing out - the comics DO continue the story, in a medium he could get the money for.


If you're going to "blame" Joss for the lack of more Buffy TV (or a movie that he's involved in), the most legitimate angle I can see is to blame him based on his project decisions. He said that one of the lessons he learned while doing FIREFLY at the same time as BUFFY and ANGEL was that he had limits and could only work on so many projects at a single time. Heck, that's why the SERENITY comics are often pushed back (and why SHEPHERD'S TALE was eventually handed over to another writer).

So, yes, we can "blame" Joss for the lack of more BUFFY because he was working on FIREFLY and DOLLHOUSE and THE AVENGERS and a half dozen things instead. But, as SM points out, the networks weren't exactly clamoring for more BTVS.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that in a genre this tight, the actors play a major role. Yes, there are multiple ways to do BTVS or a spin-off without Sarah Michelle Gellar, but right now I think we're a little too close to things for people to accept major re-casting.



www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 2:59 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Well in a way we kind of did get more Buffy. Remember it was meant to end with Season 5 with The GIft. The two seasons that followed could be considered as having carried on...

These things do have a limit and it's only proper to let some things go.

I must admit though the idea of the Ripper series sounded promising.




Cartoons - http://cirqusartsandmusic.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 4:30 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

I would also argue that with a few minor hiccups, the Firefly/Serenity comics successfully capture the tone of the series (honestly, I think TLB and Better Days feel closer to the series than the movie does).


Yeah. :) And the comics for Star Wars are a very popular commodity. Can't say I ever got into them, though I've enjoyed a lot of the expanded universe storytelling, particularly the X-wing series and some of the OLD old Republic stuff. Expanded Universe definitely works for sci-fi and I don't think any franchises on film have ever been hurt by a transition to printed media, so long as the first published stuff isn't out-and-out boring and loses momentum.

The Serenity comics may have some pacing and other issues (TLB had a lot of off-model art), but I wouldn't call them boring for people who are familiar with the characters. And so long as they aren't boring they're a success as far as I'm concerned.

Not really able to comment on the rest of it.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 7:41 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by GWEK:

So, yes, we can "blame" Joss for the lack of more BUFFY because he was working on FIREFLY and DOLLHOUSE and THE AVENGERS and a half dozen things instead. But, as SM points out, the networks weren't exactly clamoring for more BTVS.




No, he wasn't, not at the time the Buffy DVD spin-offs were in development. Firefly and Angel were over. Serenity hadn't been greenlit. This was long before Dollhouse or Avengers.

The studio wasn't convinced that the business model for the DVDs would work. Simple as that.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:14 AM

OPPYH


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
I don't think things like comics undermined anything - they're entirely irrelevant to 99% of the population.



Also irrelevant to the people that bought the comic hated it, and stopped buying it. To people like us, season 8 isn't accepted as canon anyway.
I don't blame Joss. He is very talented, and I feel The Avengers will probably open up new opportunities for him as a creative force in Hollywood. We will just have to wait and see what he decides to do next.

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