‘Buffy’ will rise from graveness
PASADENA, Calif. – UPN promises a return to a lighter and funnier Buffy the Vampire Slayer this fall, which begins with the reopening of Sunnydale High, blown up three years ago by Buffy and her graduating friends.
This more positive take follows a season widely criticized for being too grim for too long. While creator Joss Whedon is looking forward to taking the show back to its writer roots, he also believes Buffy accomplished what it set out to do last year: make a more solitary heroine face the inner demons that accompany maturity.
“Evert year has its criticism,” says Whedon, who will be more actively involved this season. “I do think we hit a few of the same notes too many times. But I’m proud of many of the things we did.”
The return of a lighter tone also means a return, Whedon says, of many fan favourites. Look for appearances by Eliza Dushku as Faith; Clare Kramer, who played Glory; and Amber Benson, who played Willow’s murdered girlfriend Tara – though Whedon isn’t saying how Benson returns.
You can also expect to see a spunkier, “whine-less” Dawn and the welcome return (for at least 10 episodes) of Anthony Stewart Head as Giles. “I had underestimated his presence and what he brings to the show. The authority figure was lacking,” Whedon says.
Buffy‘s future is uncertain after next season, the expiration of a high-priced two-year deal that brought the cult drama to UPN from WB. Leslie Moonves, president of UPN parent CBS, says she is hopeful the show will contine, but hasn’t yet begun negotiations with producer Whedon or actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, whose contract is up in May. “It was a high price tag, but it increased the overall image for UPN,” Moonves says, and losing it would be like “NBC losing Friends.”
Whedon says he too, would lie for the show to continue – and thinks it could go on even if Gellar doesn’t return. “I think it could. I don’t know if it would.”
Broadway Joss: There are no all-singing/all-dancing episodes in Buffy‘s future like the acclaimed episode that was last year’s highlight, but Whedon would like to write another musical. “I’m hooked. It’s like a drug. Why would anyone make anything but musicals? It’s the greatest art form we have.”
Original article at USA Today.