The television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the embodiment of a surprise hit. Based on the movie of the same name, the somewhat silly title and the film’s lack of success did not bode well for a series. Yet Buffy ran for seven successful seasons, received strong ratings, lead to the spin-off Angel, and continued the story for years after the show ended in comic book form. Even though it has been off the air for over a decade, Buffy’s fans remain loyal and the show continues to be remembered for its strong feminism, complete and complex characters, and strong storylines.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer told the story of high school student Buffy Summers, who worked to balance having a normal teenage life with constantly saving the world. Often, the creatures she fought were metaphors for the struggles teenagers cope with, leading the show to cover a vast array of topics such as popularity, loosing virginity, parental expectations, feeling ignored, etc. Buffy was aided by her best friends Willow and Xander, their various significant others, and her watcher Giles, who was sent to train her and ended up being a father figure to Buffy. As Buffy aged and went to college, the stories got more adult as well, as she dealt with the death of a parent, raising a child, rape, coming out, and job hunting.
With so many shows receiving revivals or continuations that both showcase where the original main characters are now that they are older, as well as their children representing the next generation, a beloved show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer seems likely to get a similar treatment. But series star Sarah Michelle Gellar is not so sure, as she told THR:
“I have always believed that what was so unique about the show was the use of horrors of those formative years. With high school and college as a backdrop, we were able to address racism, identity, bullying, guilt, death, first love and heartbreak using the demons as metaphors for the demons we all experience. I am not sure how that translates into adulthood, although I am sure it could. The burden of saving the world a lot always weighed heavily on her, so for her sake, I hope she is somewhere on a beautiful beach located far away from any Hellmouth.”
The ages and maturity of the characters may not be the only factor. If a revival did occur, would the comic books be part of the continuity? They are considered canon and cover years of adventures, but many fans of the show are not comic readers and would not be familiar with the vast expansion of the mythology. There is also the fact that the actors have aged. It’s not a big deal in terms of the human characters, but David Boreanaz and James Marsters, who played vampires Angel and Spike respectively, no longer look like the immortal creatures they played before. Vampires do not age, but the actors who play them certainly do.
However, with the devoted fan base that Buffy the Vampire Slayer boasts, it seems unlikely that discussion of a revival will disappear any time soon. Perhaps there’s a way to make it work. Only time will tell.
We’ll keep you updated on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as more information becomes available.