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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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September 07 2008

Vampires Stake a Claim on Audiences' Hearts. Washington Post article about how vampires continue to fascinate. Includes references to the Buffy movie, "an otherwise middling teen vampire comedy that unexpectedly led to a fantastic TV show."

About the movie, like Joss said, "It was funny when I wrote it."

It was. Then other people meddled, and thus made it middling.
Lots of people talking about True Blood are giving Buffy huge credits for furthering the Vampire myth. I love it :D I'm looking forward to True Blood tonight. I'm a fan of the books and Charlaine Harris. Sadly, the first book is not my favorite of the series and that is what the first series of the HBO show is dealing with.
I guess I'll tune into this tonight. As a die hard Buffy and Angel fan, how can I not check it out? But I've often found when I wander to vampire lore outside the Buffyverse, I am bored or disappointed. Its why I avoid Twilight like a plague, other than I keep hearing its terrible. Although I did like "Interview with A Vampire", the book and the movie. But I couldn't stand the sequels in both regards. I think its just His MaJossty's touch that makes vampires awesome.

And also, I forget, as a fandom, do we forget the movie? Canonically and mentally? I like to think of it as pre-mature fanfiction, when I think of it at all. Personally, Buffy's story starts season 1, episode 1. At least some of Joss's humour got through; I crack up every time I hear
"We are immortal, Buffy. We can do anything."
"Oh yeah? Clap."
I'm fairly certain that the Buffy film doesn't fit into the canon of the show. In Welcome to the Hellmouth it is mentioned that Buffy burnt down the school gym in LA before she left, which never happened in the film. It's also unlikely that she would have set the gym on fire after the events of the film since the vampires had already been defeated. When we see the flashbacks of Angel watching Buffy in LA before she'd met him, we see Buffy being called and staking her vampire, very differently to how those events occurred in the film. If I remember correctly, Buffy's mother in the film was completely different to Joyce.

I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are a few other small details which wouldn't match with the film. I think that when Joss started the series he decided to disregard the film, instead changing Buffy's backstory slightly to better suit his original intentions.

I do have an affection for the film, but it is nowhere near the quality of the series and I don't think of it as being part of the canon at all. It's value is really in that it is quite funny (both deliberately and often unintentionally).
The best things about the Buffy movie are the soundtrack and the vague references to the original script.

That said, I think the movie at least SOMEWHAT did it's job. I'm sure it's a big part of why I've never thought of the concept of a female hero as weird, wrong, stupid or unbelievable.

[ edited by Dan Corson on 2008-09-07 20:51 ]
Those vampires, never seem to go out of style, do they?

I was so hoping that Joss would've snagged this deal with HBO, but still, this show has promise. We shall see.

Excellent find, chris!
The Buffy movie wasn't middling. It was horrible, and I almost didn't watch the show because of it. (Nice programming, FX.)

The original script definitely rocks, but even though Joss had to endure some serious hardships, I'm glad it was massacred, because it opened the door for the show. And without the show, I doubt we'd have anything that's come after.
I wouldn't think Joss would want to do another vampire show (that wasn't in the Buffyverse) for a very long while.

But if he is thinking about it, maybe those made-for-tv movies: Faith, Spike and/or Ripper would be nice...

Also, a live action movie or series of movies featuring the casts from both shows would be a new kind of awesome. :)
Carpenoctem- Twilight isn't terrible - it's just a book that is directed to a teenage female audience.
"Middling" is maybe the kindest thing I could say about that film. I own it. I've watched it. More than once, even. (I memory gets foggy where that film is concerned.) But it's definitely a love-hate relationship, and the only moments I really like prefigure moments of considerably greater resonance in the series (in particular the Watcher-Slayer dynamic).

CarpeNoctem, if you're really looking for a live-action movie, may I suggest you tide yourself over until that "never" by reading some of the longer fanfics written by Yahtzee. Her Buffy fic and Angel fic both come highly recommended. You'll undoubtedly find your own favorites, but may I suggest "Acid Test" and "Phoenix Burning" as good places to start for BtVS, and "Splinter," "As Time Goes By," "The Uninvited Guest," and "A Stitch in Time" as good ATS fics. "Phoenix" in particular reads like an original novel, something Joss might have come up with if Season 5 were the end of the show and he still wanted to tell one more story.

missmuffet, Twilight may be directed to a younger female audience, but it's still pretty bad.
I know they weren't directly intended for me, but thanks for the recommendations Baffler. I'm reading Phoenix Burning right now, and am enjoying it.

I also agree that Twilight is quite bad. How can you mess with the mythology of vampires and still claim to be writing about them? When a vampire can withstand the light of the sun, it's no longer a vampire in my mind. It also annoys me that the books are specifically directed at young female teens. There's nothing more to them but a longing for a perfectly handsome and sensitive man.
Everyone has a different "mythology of vampires" though so I guess it's an arbitrary line as to which properties cross your personal point of non-vampirism (daylight's a pretty big one I agree but what about e.g. shape-shifting, sleeping in a coffin of their native soil, sensitivity to crucifixes, silver, garlic or crossing running water that quite a few fictional vampires have dropped - and some of which only arose with 'Dracula' anyway).

Vampirism is more of a "cloud" of properties IMO rather than a hard and fast, clearly defined set you're either in or not in (vampires going *poof* when staked isn't exactly universal for instance ;).

Not a fan of the Buffy movie though it has its moments, guess i'll have to watch the finished 'True Blood' pilot to see if it got better or worse - it's maybe good enough to watch a couple more, dunno, depends on free-time.
The thing that will keep me coming back to True Blood is the acting. I'm very impressed by it. Plus HBO just rules for TV, so no matter what it's going to be a good show. lol.

I understand what you're saying about the differing views on vampire mythology Saje. It's just I thought and will always think that vampires are specifically creatures of the night. Night meaning no sun. Meaning the creatures in shows like Moonlight and books like Twilight aren't Vampires.
The acting was fine on 'True Blood' I thought, from "just OK" to really good, what puts me off is that it basically seems to be a "blood and bodices" style melodrama (albeit with a new - to me - setting) which isn't really my thing. If they play the clichés less straight than they seemed to be in the (pre-air) pilot then it'll maybe hold my interest, if they're genuinely not setting them up to be subverted then I doubt i'll watch more than a couple.
The thing that will keep me coming back to True Blood is the acting.

EX | September 08, 09:54 CET

I agree, EX. I don't know any of the actors (and so far, I like them all).
Except Anna Paquin & I've always liked her.She has an eccentricity that seems a perfect fit for the off-center tone and setting of this show.
As I said in my review on .org .... I know nothing about the books, so I was expecting the setting to be something more along the lines of urban New Orleans. The little backwater Southern town brings something really fresh to the equation, IMO.

I was surprised at how much I liked this, especially the humor. I actually watch very little TV (mainly sample and discard, I'm too picky to spend my time on anything just "mildly entertaining"). But Alan Ball has a distinct sensibility and I saw it shining through in this first ep.

I can see how anyone looking for anything vaguely comparable to or derivative of Joss's work, would be disappointed. But the lack of any kind of connection is a plus, for me.
There is after all, only one Joss. And only one Alan Ball. And the world would be a far too confusing place, otherwise. :_)

I'll definitely be coming back for more.
Thanks BAFfler; I'll definitely check those out (on a week I'm not starting school haha). I haven't read any *new* fanfiction in a very long time because I'm too lazy to sift through the crap to find good authors, but recently I've been checking out a few of my old fav's. So I may be in a fanfiction-y mood soon :)

Last night was...different. I liked the first season of Six Feet Under, but last nights pilot was similar in tone to the second season, which is where I lost interest. Give me my vampires, demons and forces of darkness, but DAMN that episode was explicit, and I'm no prude (I love Season 6 of Buffy; Spuffy ftw). Also, the metaphor of vampires as homosexuals may wear out pretty soon.
But the things that will keep me tuned in next week; good acting all around, Sookie's boss is hot, Sookie's brother is hot, Sookie's friend is funny, Vampires are allergic to silver??, and "God Hates Fangs" in the opening credits. That last thing may mean there's some humour to be drawn from this yet.
I expected True Blood to be horrible and in parts it was (I can't get over the itty bitty fangs), but yeah the acting was good and everybody was really pretty. I don't mind explicit, but here I found it a lot more, I dunno, exploitative, than in Six Feet Under.
and "God Hates Fangs" in the opening credits. That last thing may mean there's some humour to be drawn from this yet.

CarpeNoctem | September 08, 11:52 CET

I detected a lot of humor. A "Vampire Rights" activist being interviewed by Bill Maher? :)Alan Ball's distinctive style of humor may not be everyone's cuppa, but love it, I was a fan of Six Feet Under, start to finish.
One of my favorite opening sequences in the history of TV shows was the SFU intro with the truck full of blow-up sex dolls coming loose from the transport truck, floating above the street. And the Fundamentalist Christian lady stopping her car because she thinks the rapture had begun, walking out into the street and getting run over in traffic, and killed.
If Alan Ball is a "love him or hate him" kind of guy, I'm definitely in the "love him" camp.

And this is Ball and HBO, of course it's going to be explicit (a plus in my book, I thought the videotape thing was perfect) :) But then I haven't read the books, so can't judge whether or not he's taking this aspect over the top.
But my guess would be not, considering that so much of the "True Bloodlines" commentary was devoted to vampires = sex, and how that metaphor has evolved from Bram Stoker's day to the present.
I was a huge fan of SFU start to finish, but the pre-air True Blood (pilot and reshot pilot) didn't do anything for me. Seemed exploitative and lazy and the acting wasn't really impressing me. I'm told that eps two and three at least are head and shoulders above one, but I may never know.
Twilight isn't terrible - it's just a book that is directed to a teenage female audience.

Yeah -- but that's exactly why it ought to be better. Teenage females need much better role models, I think. I could name a few...

Then again, I really need to stop criticizing those books before I've read them.

EDIT: on the movie-canon thing: the movie isn't canon, and the comic about the same patch of Buffy's life is better but still isn't perfectly canon, at least according to the Purple One.

[ edited by ManEnoughToAdmitIt on 2008-09-08 17:20 ]
"As I said in my review on .org .... I know nothing about the books, so I was expecting the setting to be something more along the lines of urban New Orleans."

Shey, where is your review to be found? I looked at the ToC of Whedonesque for a True Blood topic, and didn't see one.
EX, happy to help. :) Only thing you might want to consider is, according to your vampire criterion of "shouldn't be able to withstand sunlight," there is one biggie that would not make the cut -- namely, Dracula, as envisioned by Bram Stoker.
You need to be logged in and go to TV- Various for the True Blood topic. Though it looks like something happened to the earlier thread about it. Odd...
Quite a few threads have died a death (e.g. the 'Dexter', 'Torchwood', 'Doctor Who', 'Deadwood', 'Literature' threads plus 'TV various' which houses 'True Blood') with only the first page's topics being preserved (so numerous ramblings about various shows have disappeared but worse than that, barest's wonderful rant against 'True Blood' has gone the way of the Dodo. Except we have reconstructed Dodos and pictures of Dodos and even a description of what Dodo tasted like - not good apparently - so it's actually not much like that ;). Just assumed TPTB all knew or else i'dve emailed someone.

Watched the aired pilot and scenes 29 and 31 were indeed absolute corkers BTW ;).

They didn't really change much - her mate is a bit less sympathetic or maybe just slightly better acted than before - apart from that the clichés are still clichéd but maybe a bit less obvious, possibly just because i've had time to get used to them so, as before, i'm still waiting to see the next couple before deciding.
Yeah, I'm digging in the database right now. Good news is they aren't really gone, bad news is I haven't fixed it... (yet?) ;).
The threads shall rise again ! Possibly !

Like the '?' BTW, next time my boss asks me if we have backups of critical data I might just email back "Maybe ?" ;).
;) I was teasing, and I actually went back to add the '?' to be silly. If you want to access the original TB thread, here it is. I'm in the process of forcing resynch of the topic table. Wish me awesomeness.
Looks like that worked. Go team, rah rah rah, etc. Carry on.
Thank you, zeitgeist.
Yay. I'm eons behind on Dr. Who & Torchwood, and I like to go back & see what everyone said after I watch the episodes. Not quite like having a conversation, but...
What's the topic? Oh, yeah. I like vampires OK.

And, thank you, z!

[ edited by jcs on 2008-09-09 02:21 ]
Cheers, people :).
I can't get over how British Stephen Moyer is in interviews and oh so, Kurt Russell-like in looks and gravelly vocal quality as Bill. What an actor - I think he may be not only the best-cast but the most subtle in acting skills. I'm definitely giving it a chance beyond Episode 1 (I must see Fangtasia!).
Big zed in the hizzouse ! Err, yo. Well done that man ;).
I'm in the process of forcing resynch of the topic table. Wish me awesomeness.
zeitgeist | September 08, 23:11 CET

Wow, awesomeness has definitely prevailed. Kudos to you and Caroline and anyone else who has put so much obvious work into revamping .org.

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