I imagine Joss Whedon is going to have a hard time picking up his comics at the local shop because of all the unsolicited hugs he’ll receive from the geek community. He pulled it off. He made a full-blown, unapologetic superhero movie. And he had the top opening weekend of any film, ever.
That means he’ll probably just send one of his Fembot Bodyguards to collect his comics while he stays home and counts his garbage bags full of money (and woe unto you if you try an unsolicited hug on one of those, fanboys). But still. He’s earned it.
There are many, many geeks out there giving their thoughts on the movie. I figured I’d join in. If you’re one of the last dozen people in the world who has not seen it, well, go to the multiplex. Everyone else, spoilers ahead.
My friend Rick has some news that would ordinarily be welcomed by geeks everywhere:
The good news is, the executive producers of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” are considering making a movie that would relaunch the franchise.
Except for one thing:
The catch: Whedon, who created the character for a 1992 movie and re-imagined it for what would become one of the more fanatically loved TV series of the past couple of decades, isn’t involved at all, at least not yet. The HR says the Kuzuis and Vertigo principals Roy Lee and Doug Davison are talking with writers and “do not rule out” Whedon’s involvement, but they’ve not yet “reached out” to him.
Not like anyone needs me to tell them, but this is a colossally bad idea. Without the TV show, the “Buffy” movie would be a quaint, occasional feature on late-night TV. The only reason a franchise exists is because of what Whedon — who’s always been diplomatic, but clear about his disappointment in the movie — managed to do with the TV series. The quickest way possible to kill any goodwill among fans for all time would be to try doing it without Whedon.
Whedon, of course, will be just fine either way. He’s demonstrated his talent and ability over and over since the first Buffy movie. He could watch the whole debacle from the deck of his house made of bricks of hundred-dollar bills, drinking his martini made of finely blended hundred-dollar bills.
But the movie would be terrible, and an ugly, shambling mockery of the original idea. And that would be a pretty sorry stake in the heart of a show that reinvented the horror genre, and unleashed armies of ass-kicking blondes on the world.
Every couple of months, I hear how “vampires are so over,” from various folks. Every vampire movie or TV show is supposed to be the last one, and audiences won’t tolerate another one. And then something like Twilight comes around and makes roughly a kajillion dollars.
It should be obvious, but vampires don’t stay dead. Sure, a bad story or weak production will eventually kill any movie or TV series, but there is a huge, dedicated fan base who will at least check out a new vampire concept.
Case in point: the CW has just picked up “The Vampire Diaries,” a new series about a teenage girl and the two brothers competing for her affections — both of whom happen to be vampires.
And while I was unforgivably away from the Internet all weekend, Fox also renewed “Dollhouse,” the TV show I recapped for HitFix, created by Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” This despite the anemic ratings and sometimes harsh reviews. (Um, yeah, that might have included me.)
Which goes to show: you do not bet against vampires, or their assorted friends and well-wishers.
(Of course, I may be biased.)
UPDATE: And more proof of the theory: Former “Moonlight” star Alex O’Loughlin’s new series has been picked up for fall as well.
Believe it or not, “Dollhouse” got good last night. Joss Whedon, you magnificent bastard.
Some thoughts, however, that didn’t make it into the recap due to time/space issues:
- Is it a bad sign for the show that this was the most absorbing episode yet, and its lead actress was barely involved? Eliza Dushku was onscreen maybe 10 percent of the whole show, and she wasn’t an active player. More than ever, having a protagonist who’s essentially a mindless victim looks like a mistake.
- Patton Oswalt wasn’t just funny, he was the best actor in the whole show. He managed to make a thoroughly unpleasant character sympathetic and accessible. That’s no small trick. My admiration for the guy grows.
- Those man-on-the-street interviews — the conceit behind the title of the episode — weren’t just awful and unnecessary. They demonstrated an almost total lack of reality of how folklore develops and spreads. If you asked 10 people on the street about Bigfoot, you’d get wildly different, entertaining answers. Same deal with 9/11 conspiracy theories. All of these “people on the street” were working off the exact same script. Whedon has invented more folklore than most people know, so I’m sure he knows this isn’t how it works. But for the sake of the conceit of the script, he stuck with it. It appeared he was hammering a square peg into an orange.
- I’d read spoilers that said we were going to see Alpha revealed last night. We didn’t, but I was so caught up, I didn’t even mind.
- Agent Ballard has been shot, beaten, Tazed, and slashed — and he still beats the crap out of everyone who crosses his path. That’s not a complaint. I find that awesome. I’m looking forward to his showdown not with Echo, but with the show’s other violence master, Boyd.
- About that fight with Echo, however: I’m losing my ability to suspend disbelief that stick-thin waifs can hold their own in fights with 200-pound musclebound guys. I know a little about martial arts. At a certain point, unless you are someone like Morihei Ueshiba or Bruce Lee, it doesn’t matter how good you are. The bigger, stronger opponent wins.
Still. Pretty smart for a show about mindless sexbots. I thought I was out after this, but I’m sticking around.
My recap of this week’s episode of “Dollhouse” is up at HitFix.com. In this episode, Echo becomes a safecracker. Until she loses all memory during the job. Hijinks ensue.