Thursday , October 29 2020
Get upset about marketing unhealthy food to children through toys. Not about a new Buffy movie you might not like.

Give Buffy the Vampire Slayer Reboot a Chance

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot (because now and then I’ve just got to stop thinking about Republicans and Democrats) and I just can’t seem to get upset about it like so many of the Slayer Faithful.

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a movie in development with no participation by Joss Whedon, the creator of the character. Like just about all the commenters at this report, my initial thought was: Buffy without Joss? Why bother? (Click here for Whedon’s own, hilarious response to the news.)

But Buffy doesn’t belong to Joss Whedon, and I don’t mean in the legal sense. She belongs to all of us who loved watching the show. Buffy belongs to us just like Robin Hood does, or King Arthur, or Batman, or Superman, or Kirk and Spock. Characters created in the age of copyright may, technically, be the intellectual property of some person or corporation, but in a broader sense, as published works of the imagination, they belong to us all. What we like about them doesn’t change when a new iteration proves disappointing.

The company (in this case Warner Bros.) that now owns the rights to a character can and should do with it what it thinks best. I’ll give the new movie a chance. If it sucks (no pun intended), so what? That doesn’t take anything away from the greatness of the TV show or my memories of it. (And I can always go back and watch my DVDs again.) I didn’t much care for the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot—it was a decent adventure movie but hardly my conception of what Star Trek has been all about all these years. So what? I enjoyed it far as I could for what it was, and promptly completely forgot about it until I starting thinking about the topic now. It took nothing whatsoever away from the great TV shows and films of the Trek franchise.

Franchise. There’s a word for you. It’s all about commerce, remember—making money. After all, a “franchise” is also what you call your local McDonald’s. Where, perhaps sometime in 2012, kids will be begging for “Buffy” Happy Meals. Marketing unhealthy food to children through toys—that’s something to get in high dudgeon about. Not a new Buffy movie you might not love. As William Shatner said in the famous Star Trek convention skit on Saturday Night Live: “Get a life.”

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

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