Tuesday, July 24, 2018


From The Hollywood Reporter:

Monica Owusu-Breen has been hired by producers 20th Century Fox Television to pen the script for the new take on Joss Whedon's cult favorite "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". A network is not yet attached.

20th Century Fox Television, who produced the original Joss Whedon drama, have put a new take on the beloved Sarah Michelle Gellar drama in development. Writer Monica Owusu-Breen, who worked with Whedon on ABC's "Agents of SHIELD", has been hired to pen the adaptation.

Whedon will be an exec producer on the series and has been working with Breen on the script, which features a black actress stepping into the role of Buffy made famous by Gellar.

Here's my O'Bservation: I'm all for a continuation of the story on television.  I support a more inclusive cast, and there's no reason why the lead character shouldn't be a black slayer.  They had a black slayer in the old series; her name is Kendra.  So it's already established and won't bring about the end of the world.
But the slayer in the new show shouldn't be Buffy.

They should be working on a continuation, not a reboot.  The problem with reboots is two-fold - if the original was good enough to merit interest in bringing it back, a remake with new actors is going to clash with the viewers' memories and the original fans will probably stay away.  Another reason they would probably stay away would be that a remake would have to start over again from the beginning.  And why would fans of the original want to come back for that?  

This problem doesn't always happen.  I think 'Battlestar Galactica' was the best recent example of a complete reboot being successful and even surpassing the original in popularity.  (Still, it's the original that's in the main Toobworld, not the remake.)

CBS' has 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'MacGyver' chugging along, but I don't think it's because they're that successful at being so pupular.  They just happen to hold a reasonable audience on Friday nights, one of two network elephant graveyards.

But I don't think their upcoming reboot of 'Magnum PI' will be accepted.  That was a property which had Selleck's imprint imbedded too deeply to cast aside for a newer model.

In this case, I think the new lead character should be a new slayer, in a new location, with perhaps a female Watcher.  This would leave the door open for Sarah Michelle Gellar or any of the other surviving cast members to make return guest appearances.

If they're worried about the audience shying away because of the original show's massive backstory, Russell T. Davies was faced with the same thing when he brought back 'Doctor Who'.  His decision was to jettison a lot of it by getting rid of Gallifrey and the other Time Lords. 

I think the producers could find their own twist to make it easy for new viewers to join in.  Everything about being a slayer will have to be hashed over again anyway, so why does it have to be Buffy?

Oh well.  When it finally gets on the air, I suppose it will have to be relegated to an alternate TV dimension.  Perhaps into Black Toobworld but definitely into Toobworld2, the Land O' Remakes.

We shall see what we shall view.....


1 comment:

Gary R. Peterson said...

Another good post. Recasting Buffy with a black actress is another symptom of a pandering Hollywood trend; see e.g. James West (WILD WILD WEST), the failed Kojak reboot, and Nick Fury to name but a few that spring to mind. It'd be fun to see the trend reversed with a remake of SHAFT or GOOD TIMES with white actors.

And I guess pandering isn't limited to Hollywood, considering the BBC's boneheaded casting call on DOCTOR WHO. I found especially interesting your comments on that series. I never liked the reboot, though am a huge fan of the original. I did not know the reboot producers jettisoned the original continuity. That's what gave the show a context. I liked the Colin Baker megaserial "Trial of a Time Lord," which I guess has been retconned away to the place where all those wonderful pre-Crisis DC comics stories ended up. A shame, but this explains why the WHO reboot has a rootlessness feel about it.