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Reboot thoughts with Stacey Abrams

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  • Reboot thoughts with Stacey Abrams

    I was looking up Stacey Abrams and Buffy, as Ms. Abrams has pulled off a big political win this week and I remembered she’s a Buffy fan.

    I found this interview from last year:

    https://nowthisnews.com/videos/polit...vampire-slayer

    I think she makes a good distinction between remaking a finite story like a movie and remaking the long-form storytelling like a TV show.

    I’ve seen problems with some full-scale comic book reboots where they use the reboot to retell old story arcs — often with a twist to make it shockingly different, but still feels like leftovers.

    She’s probably right that it’s better to follow one of the new slayers — with maybe guest appearances from the original characters.

  • #2
    I've always really liked that idea, to follow a new slayer. It gives both freedom from the original and opportunities to use it as well. I think it would be a great way of creating a new set of stories for a new generation. I got the impression that was possibly what the discussed reboot was considering.

    Comment


    • #3
      Lovely interview. Thanks for sharing that!

      I agree with her about the difference between a movie and its re-make and a series and its re-make.

      I believe the writers brought the Potentials into season 7 to reserve themselves the option of a continuation of the series - in whatever form - within the old verse but with new characters. However, not only did no one like the Potentials, most people outright hated them. So, there went that idea.

      I like the Buffy comic series 8-12 continuation. It's not the show but they are the closest you can get to the show. Probably partly because they used our beloved and well-known characters. The problem is - there is only so much a character can go through. When you have been the only one and then shared the power and then took it back and then shared it again and then took it back again and then ... it gets boring. There are only so many babies you can have. It was kinda cute to see the Dander baby but more nappy-changing would have been a no go. There are only so many break-offs you can go through. Xander and Dawn were settled. If you break them up again, it's simply because you don't know what else to do with them. I would have loved for Willow to find someone, but well. Pairing Angel with Illyria was pathetic. It felt like they just couldn't come up with anyone or anything. So, it was okay that the original series ended with season 12. It had run its course and it was time to end it before it turned into a soap opera where people marry and divorce the same guy eight times over the course of fourty years.

      The Boom!comics had to come up with something new. They knew the original series was at a dead end. They knew the Potentials hadn't worked. What else were they to do? They could have started with Kendra, The Vampire Slayer, but honestly - who would have bought that? They tried to go down a different road. They started with Buffy in Sunnydale High School but changed some plot twists that would have been repetitive. The whole Buffy and Angel and Buffy and Spike romances, for example. From a storytelling point of view that was a smart move. It left them with a re-invented Buffy. Also, the multi-verse concept not a bad idea. You can basically tell a new story with old material because it is set in a different universe.

      Yet, it didn't work. I don't really know why. I don't know the sales figures. But all I ever hear is that no one is excited when it comes to Boom!comics. I wonder what went wrong or maybe what they could have done better to make the comic re-boot a success.

      The fact that the Boom!comics are at least not a huge success if not an outright failure has probably put a damper on the planned series re-boot as well. Does anyone know what has become of that? Anyway, I don't know what a tv-producer would have to do to turn a Buffy remake into a success. It seems we have walked down every possible road already. Old characters, new characters, new universes ... what's next?

      flow
      ................................ Banner by buffylover

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      • #4
        Season 8 was pretty damn solid although it got loose plot wise by the way Twilight unfolded. I don't think "vampires in public" was a worthwhile pursuit. And I think the continuation seasons just got progressively worse - I can barely remember even the rough plot of Seasons 10 and 11 at this point, something something D'Hoffryn, some book BS, a weird FDR internment camp for the supernatural, but nothing specific.

        Boom has been... I mean, I couldn't get through Issue 5, I'm not sure I read it. Felt like they half-asses their first major arc and I just bailed.

        The template show for a "Buffy" continuation didn't exist when this first started being talked about, but I think I know what it is - "Cobra Kai". Way better than it has any business being, it enriches and modernizes a story that pretty neatly divides its attention between the past and present. I think SMG as the quasi-Giles to a new Slayer would be gold. My elevator pitch would be sort of Cobra Kai but Logan, or at least Days of Future Past. Reset the Slayer mythology, you can reduce it back to a single Slayer without tragedy-masking the spell. Maybe the new hook has to be one of actualization, of agency, of literal self-empowerment, Slayers can give up their powers by abandoning them or they can maintain them by using them or maybe regain them by using them. So most decided they'd rather give in to Buffy's longest temptation and be normal, but [PLOT ELEMENTS] the world is in need, one of these new-generation of 'optional Slayers' comes to Buffy (who as an OG still is a Slayer but maybe just in retirement) and wants... needs... to be taught. Can establish 'futures' for all the core BtVS characters even if they don't all appear or appear often.

        Core influences to basic design - Cobra Kai, Force Awakens, The Dark Knight Rises, Logan or Days of Future Past.

        If they haven't done any casting, give me Sofia Bryant (Dina from from I Am Not Okay With This) as her new protege.
        sigpic
        Banner by LRae12

        Comment


        • #5
          The problem with ‘rebooting’ the series is not enough distance. Star Trek is a prime example of how to continue a brand - first continue the main characters, then a next-generation series, then stories set in the past and future that feature new Captains and crew before going over the original material again.

          The Boom! Comics didn’t work for me because they made little sense. It’s one thing to plot different storylines - but to fundamentally change the characters to the point that they are unrecognizable was a bad move. We still want Captain Kirk to be Kirk, if you know what I mean.

          Also, the starting point was misbegotten - packing all that we learned about a character from seven seasons into the first few seconds of introduction. Instead of Willow slowly growing into a confident young woman, she’s Season Seven Willow from the start, confident in her sexuality and lacking the qualities that made her so compelling throughout her journey. You can’t remove the tent poles from the characters and expect to get the same results. Removing the original Buffy/Willow/Xander/Giles dynamic really hurt the franchise - I never felt that fission. Instead, the Boom! Comics were depressingly pedestrian. It was telling to me that they immediately made a big deal out of Drusilla being “The Mistress” instead of The Master and how Spike would walk in her shadow this time as if Spike didn’t grovel at Dru’s feet anyway in the original Season Two. It’s almost as if they had to pretend that the original show was so problematic that every move they made was improving the ‘mistakes’ of the original - which is off putting. Creating more diversity in terms of race and sexuality is fantastic - but it felt so perfunctory and badly thought-out that it felt like bad corporate CYA diversity rather than an original take on the material.

          I would have much preferred a ‘next generation’ type thing with young slayers trained by the original cast who then go on to have their own adventures in the comics. I believe the reboot of the show will eventually go this way - especially with the kind of modern technology that can debate the vampires like Angel, Spike and Dru so that they don’t look that much older in their cameos/special guest star shots. We need to bring back the cast members who would be happy to star in the show again as Watchers. We need some new vampires and demons who can take up the main storyline, instead of retreading the same ground over and over again.

          I like the idea of retconning the Potential power as something that can be - well - Chosen.

          Comment


          • #6
            .The problem with ‘rebooting’ the series is not enough distance. Star Trek is a prime example of how to continue a brand - first continue the main characters, then a next-generation series, then stories set in the past and future that feature new Captains and crew before going over the original material again.

            The Boom! Comics didn’t work for me because they made little sense. It’s one thing to plot different storylines - but to fundamentally change the characters to the point that they are unrecognizable was a bad move. We still want Captain Kirk to be Kirk, if you know what I mean.

            Also, the starting point was misbegotten - packing all that we learned about a character from seven seasons into the first few seconds of introduction. Instead of Willow slowly growing into a confident young woman, she’s Season Seven Willow from the start, confident in her sexuality and lacking the qualities that made her so compelling throughout her journey. You can’t remove the tent poles from the characters and expect to get the same results.
            Thats my problems with the Boom comics exactly. They felt written by people who had no real understanding of the TV series and didn't want to try. They just wanted to overlay their own ideas over the bare bones of the original cast, and not really do it in a convincing way either. Nothing felt 'natural', it just felt rushed. And by doing it this way they mangled to make some of the most interesting characters in the verse in to dull stereotypes.

            Comment


            • redtent
              redtent commented
              Editing a comment
              I feel they changed the characterization for the sake of changing. Or to "fix" the things they don't like.

          • #7
            Originally posted by American Aurora View Post
            The problem with ‘rebooting’ the series is not enough distance. Star Trek is a prime example of how to continue a brand - first continue the main characters, then a next-generation series, then stories set in the past and future that feature new Captains and crew before going over the original material again.

            The Boom! Comics didn’t work for me because they made little sense. It’s one thing to plot different storylines - but to fundamentally change the characters to the point that they are unrecognizable was a bad move. We still want Captain Kirk to be Kirk, if you know what I mean.

            Also, the starting point was misbegotten - packing all that we learned about a character from seven seasons into the first few seconds of introduction. Instead of Willow slowly growing into a confident young woman, she’s Season Seven Willow from the start, confident in her sexuality and lacking the qualities that made her so compelling throughout her journey. You can’t remove the tent poles from the characters and expect to get the same results. Removing the original Buffy/Willow/Xander/Giles dynamic really hurt the franchise - I never felt that fission. Instead, the Boom! Comics were depressingly pedestrian. It was telling to me that they immediately made a big deal out of Drusilla being “The Mistress” instead of The Master and how Spike would walk in her shadow this time as if Spike didn’t grovel at Dru’s feet anyway in the original Season Two. It’s almost as if they had to pretend that the original show was so problematic that every move they made was improving the ‘mistakes’ of the original - which is off putting. Creating more diversity in terms of race and sexuality is fantastic - but it felt so perfunctory and badly thought-out that it felt like bad corporate CYA diversity rather than an original take on the material.

            I would have much preferred a ‘next generation’ type thing with young slayers trained by the original cast who then go on to have their own adventures in the comics. I believe the reboot of the show will eventually go this way - especially with the kind of modern technology that can debate the vampires like Angel, Spike and Dru so that they don’t look that much older in their cameos/special guest star shots. We need to bring back the cast members who would be happy to star in the show again as Watchers. We need some new vampires and demons who can take up the main storyline, instead of retreading the same ground over and over again.

            I like the idea of retconning the Potential power as something that can be - well - Chosen.
            Speaking as somone who thought DS9 was the best of the Trek series I agree.
            For Boom Id tried the very first issue and couldn't be bothered getting the 2nd. The Artwork was fine but the plot so boring.

            Side note Joss on Twitter says he agrees with Stacey Abrams view on Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike That Angel was the right boyfriend coming into her power and that Spike was the right man as she became the power.

            Though if that's so why did he have Spike immediately have sex with Harmony on Ats
            Last edited by BtVS fan; 10-11-20, 10:19 AM.

            Comment


            • #8
              I'll have to look up that tweet. People make mistakes and Spike had been through a very traumatic experience and was feeling low. Using Harmony to make himself feel better because she doesn't matter to him is character consistent. That he'd behave like that souled is disappointing to find out, but characters let themselves down sometimes, it's part of why they are relatable.

              I enjoyed the comic continuation for a rough overview of where the characters stories went, I think the throughlines worked fine. I didn't like all the choices, but that has always been the case and part of what enriches the story experience for me. Having to realign my expectations and character understanding. I don't think it was executed fantastically well often, but I could still feel the connections from the show. I liked that the reboot when it was first being discussed with Monica was going to be set a decade or two from where the show finished because it would allow those who enjoyed the comic continuation to keep them as canon and those uninterested could still just ignore them. And of course it brought the actors ages back in line for those much wanted cameos.

              I really like the idea of a next generation and there are definitely other tv series that have managed to very successfully create new shows in the same verse without disrupting those that come before. The BOOM comics to me seemed to be about generating product as quickly and easily as possible and taking AU versions of the existing characters is a very simple way of doing that. But I agree with American Aurora that some of what they were clearly toting as 'different' actually wasn't, which makes it look like a very surface level understanding of the original. They were relying very heavily on existing character knowledge even though they were setting it back to the beginning and yet the changes they did put made some characters became unrecognisable and lost. I do have several trades to read and I will give it a chance, I've found some ideas sound interesting, but it did steadily start to sound like they are heading towards creating a multiverse so they can just keep tweaking characters rather than creating them or developing them.

              EDIT: Found the tweet, very amused by the squee.
              Spoiler:

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