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September 06 2016

Why 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' was the best possible name for that show. This is an excerpt from Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz's new book "TV (THE BOOK): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time".

I came racing over to post this and Simon beat me again.
I don't know that I agree with the idea that the title told us that the "show ... shifted rapidly between horror, melodrama, action, and pure comedy. "
Because had I picked that up, I might have watched it from the beginning instead of picking it up half way through.
Although I definitely agree with
"And if it wanted to make you cry, it was pointless to try fighting it."
Well.. the man himself told us that each word in the title meant something:
Buffy - comedy
Vampire - horror
Slayer - action
And you can easily imply melodrama from that.

What it didn't tell us was that the show was going to be so good.
"Now, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran seven seasons, was never in danger of cancellation at any point (it jumped networks after season 5 only because UPN was looking to steal a hit from its rival the WB)..."

It's a little annoying that they start off with some factual errors. It jumped networks because The WB canceled it, and UPN saved it (thank goddess).

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2016-09-07 04:14 ]
20th Century Fox moved the show to UPN because that network was willing to pay more money for the show during contract negotiations. I think ultimately UPN lost out on the deal cause the show wasn't the ratings bonanza they had hoped for but acquiring the show did add prestige to the netlet.

Interestingly UPN would have acquired Angel had the WB got the hump and cancelled the spinoff show due to the Buffy move.
What it didn't tell us was that the show was going to be so good.
It kinda told us the show was going to be bad. Which was part of the message, but is still the reason so many people refused to watch it, and why it's still uncomfortable to say that it's your number 1 show, if you're among people who never saw it.
I avoided watching the movie because of the title. My brother had to convince me. I didn't end up liking the movie. Then I watched the show, pretty much by accident, and was surprised by the quality.

Still, I see the value in the name. It described the show pretty well. "Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog" described that mini-series amazingly well. "Firefly"... tells the viewer nothing. It makes sense once you see the show, and it's short enough that it's not hard to remember, but it wasn't an amazing name.
Ricardo L, exactly! From the mouth of Joss himself.

Buffy: Honey, we need to talk about the invitations. Now, do you want to be 'William the Bloody' or just 'Spike,' because either way it's gonna look majorly weird.
Spike: Whereas the name 'Buffy' gives it that touch of classic elegance.
Buffy: What's wrong with 'Buffy'?
Giles: Ah, such a good question.
~Something Blue
@Ricardo L: But it doesn't really tell you there's going to be drama or melodrama in it. It just seems like a name for an action horror comedy. It can draw you in if you like cheeky humor and camp, which is what I expected from the show in the beginning, but the drama and depth is something that comes and hits you unexpectedly.

Firefly, on the other hand, doesn't tell you anything, it doesn't draw but it doesn't put off either.

The best name of a Whedon show is probably Dollhouse.
"Now, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran seven seasons, was never in danger of cancellation at any point (it jumped networks after season 5 only because UPN was looking to steal a hit from its rival the WB)..."

Um... The WB cancelled it, there was a bidding war between the other networks for it (particularly for its viewers from the key "18 to 35" demo), and UPN won. Well, they didn't win. There were higher bids, but only UPN was willing to guarantee a second (i.e. seventh) season. Joss knew Marti had a two-season plan for new storylines and took the deal that ensured the show wouldn't get cancelled before she could complete it. There was also a clause where if The WB cancelled Angel while Buffy was on their network UPN had to pick Angel up for at least one season.

Basically, Joss made sure there was a kick ass deal in place that covered both Marti and David Greenwalt's butts and guaranteed them their series' closure. Because he's cool like that.

I've always really liked Sepinwall. He's one of the best TV critics in the business, so is it wrong if I just dump my blame for the error on the other writer? I know it's 50/50, but I'm okay with fully blaming the other guy.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2016-09-09 03:24 ]
But The WB didn't cancel Buffy. 20th Century Fox wanted more money that The WB didn't want to pay. And the network got really pissy when the show was picked up by UPN.

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