In June 2014, Funk announced that the toy company would release a line of Pop! Vinyl figures for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in September and October 2014:
If the apocalypse comes, beep me.
We have more exciting news for Joss Whedon fans today – A “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” Pop! Series!
The Chosen One and her crew are ready to navigate the treacheries of Sunnydale. Are you Team Buffy and Angel or Team Buffy and Spike? You decide! Luckily, we made both Angel and Spike Pop!s so you can have it your way.
Willow, one of The Gentlemen, and Oz are also here to help you relive the magic of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Some of the figures have already been released, and others will be released in October. So, here are our links to where to buy them!
The U.S. cable channel Pivot will begin showing “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in high-definition starting at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 26. The show will be broadcast beginning with the first episode in five-episode blocks that will air at different times each day during a given week. The schedule is here, and fans can find their local Pivot channels here. Not every place in the United States has the channel.
Aspect ratio could be a deciding factor, but is more of a simple judgment call at this point. Currently, Buffy can be viewed in Widescreen via both iTunes and the Netflix streaming video service, Watch Instantly. Not to mention, the Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs (Europe and Australia, respectively) are presented this way. One could argue for any of those options to be used as source material, but it would be a big mistake. With the exception of the famous musical episode “Once More with Feeling”, Buffy was shot for broadcast television during the late nineties and early two-thousands, the traditional framing format at the time being a more squared, 4 by 3. This is not simply a matter of purity.
When the complete series was re-released and re-packaged on DVD as The Chosen Collection, show creator Joss Whedon included a special note to consumers, explaining that Buffy was framed for the “full frame” TV format, and was always meant to be viewed accordingly, meaning you were never intended to see beyond the borders of this industry standard.
Before you go crying “foul” and feeling ripped-off, I’d like you to take a look at something. Though Buffy was produced using normal, wide picture film cameras, these devices have preset borders within the viewfinders and display monitors. They’re used to keep the director of photography from “coloring outside the lines”, making for a more centered and TV-friendly picture.
In 2007, Comedy Central developed a pilot for a TV series entitled “Not Another High School Show” that would be a parody along the lines of “Not Another Teen Movie (2005).” In the show, Alison Brie — known now for her role in “Community” — would have poked fun at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” by portraying “Muffy Rabinowitz,” a new student who must fight teenage werewolves.
A excerpt of the pilot has now surfaced on YouTube (note: some adult humor):
Obviously, the show was never picked up. Bonus: Jennifer Lawrence of “The Hunger Games” fame appears at the end.
TEL AVIV, Israel — “Being a teenager sucks wherever you are.”
So replied 16-year-old Mayaan Shir, one of the volunteers at BuffyFest — the annual convention in Tel Aviv that occurred last Thursday evening — in response to a question on why an Israeli high-school student would like the American cult-television program “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Shir had been helping with the ticket table at the convention, which is sponsored by The Joss Whedon Community of Israel (website/Facebook page). The group organizes and holds events such as BuffyFest, Hallowedon (lectures followed by a costume party with music by a Tel Aviv DJ), and a screening of the Israeli premier of Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Roughly fifty people of all ages attended this year’s BuffyFest:
My personal impression, which I was pleased to see, was that older “Buffy” fans were imparting their love of the 1997-2003 show to a “new generation” of fans. Shir, for example, said that people her age are already active in other fandoms such as “Doctor Who” or “Star Trek,” and then people tell them that they should also check out “Buffy,” “Firefly,” and more. And it goes from there.
“Last year, BuffyFest was just a project, an idea — we made it happen,” co-organizer Vardit Gresler said in an interview before the conference began. “We established the Whedon Israel community. We reached all the people who love Buffy. Now, our goal is to target new people to make them watch ‘Buffy’ and all of Whedon’s work and talk about it and give lectures about it.”
The Joss Whedon Community of Israel is always looking for volunteers in publicity, website management, event organizing and more, she added. The current staff includes Shuvalh Hadad and Vardit Gresler (co-managers); Pnina Moldovano (content manager and lecture production); Shaked Hyman (website design); Kesem Berkovith (graphic design); Klil Lifshitz (publicity); Assaf Razon and Nadav Razon (general production); Nitzan Pincu (consultant); Dan Ofer (cameraman); and Maayan Shir and Ruthie Penn (volunteers).
After the doors opened at 4 p.m. at the Zionist House of America, a conference and event hall in central Tel Aviv, Klil Lifshitz, a self-described “Buffy” enthusiast for eight years, began the conference by speaking on why “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has become a borderline addiction for so many fans in a way that has made BtVS much more than a television show (and now a comic-book series). She summarized:
It combines horror, humor, and drama in a way that imprints on peoples’ memories in multiple ways
A mix of episode arcs, season arcs, and the show’s arc as a whole leaves a “breadcrumb trail” for people to remember everything about the show easily
“It’s because of the infrastructure of ‘Buffy’ as a TV show,” she said in an interview. “It has so many elements that make people go bonkers.”
After a break, Iris Mazor, who has a B.A. in English literature and history and also loves “Star Trek,” discussed the absence of father-figures in much of Whedon’s work from his writing on “Roseanne” in 1988 to directing “The Avengers” in 2012. Most of the talk focused on the portrayal of fatherhood in “Buffy” and “Angel,” and Mazor described three reasons for Whedon’s downplaying of fatherhood:
As a third-generation writer, he is aware of many motifs in fiction
Whedon’s raising by a single mother
The rise of the “absent father” motif in fiction in general as more people are being raised without fathers in recent decades. This motif replaced the “orphan hero” one, and “Star Wars,” she argued, was the inflection point between the two
Then, Jen Shuka, who has a degree in psychology and sociology and is a part-time feminist/queer comedian, discussed the gender and other aspects of the Ben/Glory dichotomy while using a whiteboard and clips from Season 5. There are two entities within one body, Shuka said, and she explored masculinity and femininity, performance and identity, madness and normality, and how these ideas are reflected in Ben and Glory. Later, she said in an interview that Ben and Glory started out as polar opposites, but Ben had become just as evil as Glory by the end of Season 5. (My thought: This perhaps partly justifies and excuses Giles’ killing of Ben in the season finale.)
Next, Pnina Moldovano, a well-known speaker and activist, examined the death of Buffy’s mother and how “The Body” and the following episode looked at the grieving process and how it is experienced by people who have lost someone as well as their friends and loved ones.
“Grieving is a universal process, and there are certain stages… but at the same time, it’s an individual process, and it is expressed personally and individually,” she said in an interview.
Last, Shiri Yeshua gave a presentation on Wesley’s character arc in “Buffy” and “Angel” — including what she described later as his failed attempt to obtain redemption before he died. “I discussed how deeply depressing Wesley’s journey is,” she said in an interview. “My opinion is that he’s very tragic, and he didn’t get the redemption he was looking for. I hate that he died.”
A few days before the event, Lifshitz discussed Buffyfest in a segment entitled “The Hellmouth Opens in Tel Aviv” (start at 16:00) on TLV 1, an English-language radio station:
“At first we thought not many people would show up, but eventually there was a full house,” she said. “It was fun to get all those people together because sometimes “Buffy” fans can feel a but isolated… the show has probably one of the silliest titles of any show that ever aired on television. So, when you watch “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and realize that it’s the most amazing show ever, it can be hard to explain why.”
“I think the show deals with subjects that are not bound by time; it deals with so many personal issues,” Lipschitz continued. “It’s really easy to go into the show and see things that you can relate to even after 2003 [when the program ended]. There’s been a resurgence of interest in all of [Joss Whedon’s] works [after “The Avengers”]. People are rediscovering “Buffy” — [even] eighteen-year-old kids who were barely alive when the show first aired!”
On why “Buffy” interests its Israeli fans specifically:
“I don’t think it’s related specifically to Israel. Well, it does. It’s a country that has a lot of conflict in different areas of life. [But] I think people relate to “Buffy” here just as people in any country relate to “Buffy.” And that’s why it’s amazing. You hear the universal subjects that are dealt with on the show.”
Gresler added similar thoughts in the earlier interview. Since I was born and raised in the United States, I was exposed to a lot of Christian symbols and themes despite being Jewish. I asked Gresler how Israelis react to the Christian elements that Whedon inserted into the show (despite being an atheist) such as Buffy being perceived as a “messiah” figure who dies to save the world.
Vardit, a chemist in her day job, replied by saying that non-Christians or secular people can relate to some of the “scientific” ideas in “Buffy” such as Willow’s discussion of magic later in the show on how something cannot be created from nothing and that energy is neither created nor destroyed.
“We had a couple of jokes about what ‘Buffy’ would do with a Jewish vampire,” she then added. “I think a cross would work on a Jewish vampire if the slayer is a Christian — you have something that protects you if you believe in it. We understand the [Christian] references. It doesn’t matter what religion you follow; the overall themes are universal.”
For those who have not already stormed their local comic-book stores, Dark Horse has released the first issue of “Buffy” Season 10! Amazon is scheduled to release the first trade paperback in November.
Maloker, the Old One that sired the first vampire, and Illyria, a character from “Angel,” were killed during an explosion in the final battle.
Magic was restored to the world, and Willow used that fact to save Dawn — who had been dying since her existence was caused by magic.
A newly-sired vampire is seen as still maintaining her human level of intelligence (in Season Nine, vampires had become half-zombie “zompires”) as well as able to withstand sunlight and change form. Buffy’s “Vampyr” book is now blank.
In the concurrent “Angel & Faith” comic book series, Giles was restored to life after his death in Season 8 — but as a 12-year-old boy with his memories intact. Faith decides to go back to the United States and work with Kennedy’s slayer-bodyguard corporation. Giles wants to reunite with Buffy.
In the beginning of Season Ten:
The Scoobies try to find out what the new form of vampire means
[“Buffy” creator] Joss [Whedon] did reiterate [at a summit meeting] what he said prior to Season 9, which was that in Season 8, they had really leaned into the freedom of the comic book format and scaled things super-big, and in Season 9 we’d brought the focus more back to the characters. He wanted to continue that focus, even increase it. There was a general agreement that we didn’t want another looming apocalypse — we were kind of apocalypsed out for a bit… Through the magic of comic book timing, the characters aren’t the same ages as the actors, they are mostly in their early to mid-twenties. They have left college, or the immediate post-high school phase of their lives, and are entering adulthood. Season 9 examined that to a point, and I plan to keep doing so.
For more information on the season (again, spoilers!), you can also read a Q&A with Gage here and another with “Buffy” artist Rebekah Isaacs here. (They were “promoted” from “Angel & Faith” to “Buffy”!)
In other news, Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander in the television series, will be writing one arc of Season Ten. James Marsters, who played Spike, is also writing a graphic novel that features the character.
If you are looking for discounts on “Buffy”-related merchandise for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday season for you or a gift for a loved one, we’ve compiled a list of resources. This is a growing list, so we’ll add more resources as we find them! Just click on the images or links below for more information. This is the perfect time to introduce a friend of family member to the best TV show of all time!
Our apologies! We only ask once a year at the holiday season, but it takes a lot of time to host and run this website and its associated social-media outlets. If you like our work, could you consider a donation to help to stake our costs? At this secure PayPal link, you can help (even without a PayPal account). No amount is too small — thanks SO much! Unfortunately, donations are not tax-deductible.
If you’re also interested in a “Buffy” for the new generation, CafePress also has “Hunger Games” merchandise!
Things from Another World (TFAW)
TFAW has specials on “Buffy” and “Angel” comics and more:
Graphic novels are 60% off, selected comics and “nick and dent” ones are 80% off, and the store is offering “doorbusters” at deep discounts. New “doorbusters” will be added on Cyber Monday. This promotion runs from November 29 to December 2. Click here!
$5 off international shipping on orders of $75 or more until November 30. Click here!
$5 off any order totalling $75 or more until November 30. Click here!
TEL AVIV — “Israelis have to fight all the time. Life is hard, and that’s what Joss is saying.”
So replied Vardit Gresler, co-organizer of BuffyFest this past Thursday, in response to a question from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Online on what aspects of the television show appeal specifically to the small but passionate number of Whedonites (fans of “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon) in Israel.
“That’s gloomy, but that’s life,” Gresler continued, using a line of dialogue in the “Buffy” musical episode in season six. “By the age of fourteen, I knew six people who had died [in wars and terrorist attacks].”
Of course, most of BuffyFest 2013 — which was funded by the Israeli Society for Science-Fiction — was not focused on such serious matters. After the doors opened at 6:30 p.m., Israelis from across the country slowly began to fill the media classroom of a central Tel Aviv high school while scooping up free “Buffy” bumper stickers (above), soda, and the popular Israeli snack Bamba while chatting and posing for pictures in “Buffy” T-shirts:
An estimated 250 to 300 people filled the classroom before the NIS 45 (roughly $11) event began shortly after 7 p.m. Vardit, 26 and a chemist by day and “Buffy” organizer by night, opened BuffyFest Tel Aviv by showing each song from the musical episode and then discussing the inspirations from music history for the pieces:
A panel of four speakers — Israeli academics Pnina Moldovano, Asasf Razon, Hadas Sloin, and Nurit Horak along with BuffyFest’s other co-organizer, Shaked Hyman (an 18-year-old music student at the high school in the red T-shirt in the first picture above and the one below) — pulled pieces of paper with words submitted by the event’s attendees out of a pirate hat. Each person then spoke for two minutes on the randomly-selected topic to the crowd on topics such as “growing up,” “feminism,” “sex,” “good Spike,” and “religion” in relation to “Buffy” and its spin-off “Angel”:
Some thoughts from the presenters:
Spike is very popular in part because his character was an entirely-new type of vampire whereas Angel was the stereotypical one: tall, dark, handsome, dominant, and seductive.
Joyce Summers could be considered a “masorti” type of mother — one who is not always aware of what her daughter is doing, not extremely overbearing, and one who always opens her home to friends and strangers — but one who is fiercely protective when warranted. (“Masorti” refers to Israelis that have so-called “traditional” backgrounds and “Mizrachi” familial roots in other Middle Eastern countries — compared to those “Ashkenazim” with backgrounds from Europe and who are stereotypically associated with having overbearing mothers.)
Nitzan Pincu, an Israeli feminist radio host of Riot Grrrl and Culture Shock with a degree in women and gender in American literature from Tel Aviv University, closed BuffyFest with a discussion of magic and lesbianism in the context that many historical and cultural texts have used magic as a metaphor for sexual “deviancy.” The lecture focused on Willow “cutting down the existing social order” through her relationship with Tara:
BuffyFest last week was not the first major “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” event in Israel. In 2003, the year that the seventh and last season ended, many fans put on a live Tel Aviv performance of “Once More With Feeling” (the video is the first part, and the remaining videos can be seen on this channel, although some have been deleted):
The episode played live on a projector screen while the actors lip-synced the lyrics and acted the parts below.
Until five years ago, according to Gresler, many “Buffy” conventions, parties, and special events had occurred in Israel. But the number had declined until Pincu and Gresler held an event at Tel Aviv University with Moldovano and Nitzan last month, and Moldovano organized a “Buffy” evening at an Israeli feminist-themed bar at which Gresler spoke.
“This was the first time I fully managed a ‘Buffy’ convention, aside from previous smaller events,” Gresler told Buffy the Vampire Slayer Online. “Surely there will be many more to come. I have many ideas, and I envision a great future for the Israeli ‘Buffy’ community.”
Although many Israelis, according to Gresler, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because they empathize with Joss Whedon’s fictional world of Sunnydale, California, other attendees did not agree with any Israeli association with the program’s complicated moralities, constant violence, and ever-present conflict.
“Of course, there are shades of gray in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but [the complicated portrayal of good and evil in “Buffy”] is not a good depiction of our conflict,” Tal, a 22-year-old man from Jerusalem who is currently performing the mandatory three-year (or two-year for women) military service after high school, told Buffy the Vampire Slayer Online.
Another person said that Israeli fans love the show simply for the same reasons as people in other countries.
“I think it speaks to high-school students [wherever they are in the world],” Alexandra, 25, from the southern Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, said. Asked why she is still a fan long after high school, she replied with a shrug, “Why shouldn’t I be?”
Still, Smadar, a 21-year-old woman from outside Jerusalem who is also performing her military service, compared the calling of slayers to Israelis receiving their draft notices after high school. In essence, she said, young people are suddenly plucked out of their normal, everyday lives and then put into dangerous, tough situations.
“You get drafted, you get a job, and from the first day there is all of this responsibility on you — like, all of a sudden, you have become a slayer,” she told Buffy the Vampire Slayer Online.
Although the plans to remake the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 1992 film had been placed on hold after writer Whit Anderson’s script had been rejected, the movie, like the Slayer twice herself, has come back to life with a planned release during the holidays late this year. “Glee” actress Heather Morris will play the lead role.
In an exclusive joint-interview with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Online, Anderson and Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. (the owner of the movie rights), explained their plans.
“We had private meetings with Anderson, and we agreed on certain changes to the initial script that we all believe “Buffy” fans will appreciate,” Meyer said in the telephone interview. “We would never want to produce a ‘Buffy’ film that would not be perfect.”
In the same telephone conversation, Anderson said, “We will remain faithful to the original script, but we will also include some of the themes that were addressed later in the television series. It will be a prequel, of course — and we are sure it will satisfy ‘Buffy’ fans just as the ‘Star Wars’ prequels were well-received by fans of that franchise. The successes of remakes including the new ‘Red Dawn’ and ‘Footloose’ show that it can be done well.”
Some of the described changes include:
Changing Luke Perry’s character (Buffy’s love interest) into a mysterious, brooding, older man who harbors a dark secret
Having a blond, British, sarcastic, foreign-exchange student come to the school
Buffy’s first watcher will not meet the same fate as in the original — instead, he will leave to train potential slayers (some of whom will be revealed to be Buffy’s fellow students)
Two of Buffy’s cheerleader friends will, respectively, experiment with her sexuality and start to explore witchcraft
In an effort both to attract “Twilight” fans and satisfy “Buffy” fans, Robert Pattinson will play one of the evil vampires — and he will be staked by Buffy at an undetermined point in the film
The indie, 1990s music of the television series will be replaced by pop hits from Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and other artists favored by the target demographic (teenage girls today)
It will be hinted that one of Buffy’s teachers will be an incarnation of The First, the originator of evil who was the “Big Bad” of the seventh and final season of “Buffy.” The First will be seen to observe the new slayer for future planning
Anderson and Meyer also revealed in the interview that Morris, also a singer and dancer, will play the famous vampire slayer. The rest of the cast is still undetermined. Through a spokesperson, Morris told Buffy the Vampire Slayer Online: “Buffy in the remake will also be a member of the high-school chorus. I’m looking forward to having her sing and dance in a way that will foreshadow the famous musical episode.”
In a one-sentence statement released through a spokesperson, Joss Whedon, the initial creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” said, “This is a crazier plan than to attack the mayor with hummus.”