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It's officially been 20 years since Buffy The Vampire Slayer first came to the small screen. Thanks to outlets like Netflix, the series has maintained its dedicated fanbase and even gained new fans in the years since its airing, despite being 20 years old now. In an age where every show that maintains that type popularity seems to be getting a reboot, Joss Whedon isn't so sure about bringing back any of his shows. The creator of Buffy and Firefly had the following to say about reboots and why he's wary of them:
I see a little bit of what I call monkey's paw in these reboots. You bring something back, and even if it's exactly as good as it was, the experience can't be. You've already experienced it, and part of what was great was going through it for the first time. You have to meet expectations and adjust it for the climate, which is not easily. Luckily most of my actors still look wonderful, but I'm not worried about them being creaky. I'm more worried about me being creaky as a storyteller. You don't want that feeling that you should have left before the encore. I don't rule it out, but I fear that.
Joss Whedon makes a good point. Shows, people, and genres change rather quickly in television. Sure, we all love the nostalgia of Firefly and Buffy, but it could only take one poorly thought-out reboot plot to sour that once-cherished experience we had. Like the Star Wars prequels, you can ignore an uneven return, but it'll always be there in the back of your mind no matter how hard you fight it. We already have such fond memories of Buffy and Firefly, so why would Whedon want to risk soiling them?
That said, even Joss Whedon is guilty of the reboot. By his own admission, Whedon tells THR that he makes that statement knowing he's created a comic book or film for just about every project he's created. Dollhouse, Buffy, and Firefly/Serenity have all experienced new life via comic books, so is television really that much farther of a jump? Going back to his argument, those aren't necessarily rebooted properties, but rather continuations or one-off's with the same story. For Whedon, it seems like a happy middle ground to provide for rabid fans who are desperate for more content something to enjoy as well as protect his properties from changing too much from their original state.
An interesting question posed to Joss Whedon was whether Buffy The Vampire Slayer would be as popular if it were released today. Whedon sort of balked at the question, saying he used to claim Buffy would have been popular even if it was bad, but noted that similar shows (no specific names) have done that and failed since then. That's a good question for fans to mull over, too, as so much of what makes Buffy still great to watch is how perfectly it captured being a teen in the 90s. It's about as important to the show as demons and vampires, and I'm sure Whedon wonders how you could pull the same concept off in a modern era. Can you imagine how many traps the team would have avoided had anyone had a cell phone to alert the doomed person in advance? #Scoobies
If one person can pull it off, though, it's certainly Joss Whedon. While he still seems far off from revamping any of our classic shows, it's good to know he hasn't completely shut the door on the possibility. In the meantime, we can enjoy a bulk of Whedon's past shows on Netflix, or perhaps break our obsession with nostalgia and try something new on the midseason premiere guide?