Today ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is 20 and you are very old.

Forgive me Internet, I have committed a television sin

I am here to confess that after watching the pilot 20 years ago, I fired Buffy the Vampire Slayer and did not give it another chance until halfway through season two. I KNOW, I WAS WRONG, I GET IT. But to be fair to me, I had a weird sentimental connection to the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie because it was my cousin’s first production job after moving to Los Angeles (and it’s really not as bad as you remember), and, frankly, the first season isn’t that great. In fact, the first season isn’t great because Joss Whedon was reportedly trying to fix the problems of the movie, and kinda overcompensated.

But after a number of people whose opinions I trust insisted that I HAD TO WATCH OMG IT’S SO GOOD, I relented and quickly became a fan myself. In fact, because it aired back in the dark ages when bingeing was not an option, I had no choice but to skip the rougher episodes and began watching just as the series was really coming into its own.

Smart, funny, unapologetically feminist, and heartbreaking, Buffy cut to the core of not just what it meant to be an angsty teenager, misunderstood and underestimated by everyone around her, but what it means to be anyone who struggles against the weight of the world. As James Marsden said in a recent interview:

What lessons can Buffy still teach us in 2017?

JM: Oh, my god, it’s so relevant. The world is hard. The world is not perfect, but we can’t give up. If I could condense the theme of Buffy into three words, it’s those: “Don’t give up.” It began just as the story of an adolescent who’s going through a period in her life where she realizes that the world is messed up, her parents don’t always know what they’re talking about, her teachers don’t always know the subject matter they’re teaching, and we’re going to watch to see if she gives up. If she’s going to continue to try to find answers and engage with the world or just going to cocoon and give up. I think it’s well done enough that someone who’s older or younger than that can still identify with that and say, “Oh, I know what that feels like.” It’s hard to wake up every morning and not give up and [instead] say, “I’m going to try to help out today.” I think that’s very important right now.

So if the show is still relevant in 2017, the obvious question is: “Reboot?” Joss Whedon is here to save you from your well-intentioned interest:

Is the nostalgia bank so goddamn secure that we can just keep withdrawing from it? And this is coming from a man who’s made a movie or a comic book out of every show he’s done. Somebody has to move on. We have to create new things for people to try to reboot. It’s something we all dreamed about. But then what happened? The sudden ending of My So-Called Life is only slightly less painful than the sudden ending of Firefly for me. I understand that feeling of, “We love this, and we can have it.” I was pitching a fan-funded Firefly to my agent before that was a concept. I see a little bit of what I call monkey’s paw in these reboots. You bring something back, and even if it’s exactly as good as it was, the experience can’t be. You’ve already experienced it, and part of what was great was going through it for the first time.

And the cast aren’t down for a reboot either, if you were wondering. Eliza Dushku sums it up perfectly: Let’s leave it alone. This show still plays and works for people. In the finale the power was turned over to every girl in the world, to become slayers. That’s the revival we need and we’re already seeing today.”

As for the enduring legacy of the show, Joss Whedon has the final word:

What we were hoping for was a show that made people feel stronger — something that made people understand the idea of female leadership and internalize it as normal. That’s something that people have spoken to me about more than anything in the last few years.  … I wanted people to take teenagers seriously. There was a certain disregard for what people go through in that time. Speaking to that particular well of pain was important to me. And to make a feminist show that didn’t make people feel like they were being lectured to. There were shows that came before. I don’t want to be a drop of water pretending I’m the whole wave, but where that wave crashes, that’s our beachhead — empowering women and young people, and making everybody matter.

Happy birthday, Buffy, and thanks for saving the world.

buffy apocalypse.gif

In other TV News

Winter is coming on July 16th.

Hilariously, the reveal of the Game of Thrones premiere date took place on a Facebook Live video, the date hidden in a block of ice melted by torches, and fans were encouraged to type “FIRE” to make the ice melt faster. HBO said the revelation would happen at 11, but the first video ended without a date, the second video ended without a date, and after a long wait, July 16th was finally revealed on the third try. You’ll be shocked to hear this, but fans were not cool about the fuck-ups or the idea of watching ice melt in general. As one put it, “Next year, HBO, a press release will do.”

Samantha Bee and Full Frontal apologized to a cancer survivor after including him in a segment that accused him of having a “Nazi haircut.” Meanwhile, the subject is not having it. It was an unfortunate mistake, but can we talk about the fact that we live in a time when there are “Nazi haircuts”?

Hey, here’s a trailer for Better Call Saul, plus Gus!

Did you catch the Walking Dead easter egg in last night’s Supernatural?

HBO isn’t the only one who came up with escape rooms for SXSW, Prison Break is going to have one, too.

Megyn Kelly “wants to be NBC’s Oprah.” LOL, OK, KEEP TELLING KIDS THAT SANTA IS WHITE AND SEE HOW THAT GOES.

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Biggie Smalls’ death and these Atlanta newscasters gave props:

What working from home be like:

In Development

Renewals

Schitt’s Creek was just renewed for a third season by Pop.

Casting News

WATCH THIS

FRIDAY

The Vampire Diaries: Elena is back for the series finale.  7 p.m. The CW

Hand of God: The second and final season. Amazon

Love: Judd Apatow’s romantic comedy is back for a second season. Netflix

SATURDAY

Neighbors 2: Like Neighbors, but with 100% more sorority girls. 7:25 p.m., HBO

Saturday Night Live: Scarlett Johansson & Lorde. 10:30 p.m., NBC

This is Spinal Tap: This one goes to 11. 7 p.m., Viceland

SUNDAY

American Crime: This season focuses on the struggles of undocumented workers. Good timing. Season premiere. 9 p.m., ABC

The Walking Dead: Uh-oh, things are about to go south between the Kingdom and the Saviors. (That Ben kid is totally going to be killed.) 8 p.m., AMC

Homeland: I’m including this because the title of the episode is “alt.truth” and everything is just so weird these days. 8 p.m., Showtime

Late Night: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: (Friday): Felicity Huffman, Jurnee Smollett-Bell Watch What Happens Live (Sunday): Cynthia Bailey

FRI. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Last Man Standing
(new)
Dr. Ken
(new)
Shark Tank
(repeat)
20/20
(new)
CBS MacGyver
(new)
Hawaii Five-0
(new)
Blue Bloods
(new)
CW The Vampire Diaries
(new)
Local
FOX Rosewood
(repeat)
Sleepy Hollow
(new)
Local
NBC Grimm
(new)
Dateline NBC
(new)


SAT. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30
ABC NBA: Warriors at Spurs News/Local
CBS Ransom
(new)
NCIS: Los Angeles
(repeat)
48 Hours
(new)
News/Local
FOX 24: Legacy
(repeat)
APB
(repeat)
News/Local
NBC The Voice
(repeat)
Taken
(repeat)
Saturday Night Live
(repeat)
News/Local Saturday Night Live
(Scarlett Johansson & Lorde)


SUN. 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos
(new)
Once Upon a Time
(new)
Time After Time
(new)
American Crime
(new)
CBS 60 Minutes
(new)
NCIS: Los Angeles
(new)
Madam Secretary
(new)
Elementary
(new)
FOX Bob’s Burgers
(repeat)
Bob’s Burgers
(new)
The Simpsons
(new)
Making History
(new)
Family Guy
(new)
Last Man on Earth
(new)
NBC Little Big Shots
(repeat)
Little Big Shots
(new)
Chicago Justice
(new)
Shades of Blue
(new)
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