Buffy the Vampire Slayer

An Ode to Buffy: 20 Years Later

I recently rewatched “Once More with Feeling,” the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode, with my family. And once more, I was filled with the feels. Upon reflection, I don’t know if I have ever experienced as much sustained happiness in my life than the hour I spent watching this episode the first time around.

I’m serious.

Every scene was a new discovery, a new joy. Each song had the full weight of seven seasons of fantastic character and plot development behind it, and they hit me like an emotional sledgehammer.

Buffy turned 20 this year. Besides making me feel old, it also made me reflect a bit on the legacy the show left behind.

Joss Whedon famously created Buffy specifically to subvert the “bubble-headed blonde girl as a victim” trope that pervaded horror movies at the time.

“The first thing I ever thought of when I thought of Buffy, the movie, was the little…blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed, in every horror movie,” Whedon said. “The idea of Buffy was to subvert that idea, that image, and create someone who was a hero where she had always been a victim.”

But the show was more than that. It was unabashedly feminist. Much like William Marston Mouton intentionally created Wonder Woman as a pop-culture icon to show the world the type of woman he thought should lead it, Whedon created Buffy as a means to show teenage boys that girls and women were not just damsels in distress that need saving. As he told Time shortly after the series premiered:

“”If I can make teenage boys comfortable with a girl who takes charge of a situation without their knowing that’s what’s happening, it’s better than sitting down and selling them on feminism.”

But perhaps Buffy’s greatest contribution to pop-culture feminism was the way that it erased the artificial line between being a girl and being a hero. She was a cheerleader. She experimented with boys. She fought with her mother. She was impeccably fashionable; quick with a snarky comment loaded with pop-culture references; and she was a hero.

Because you don’t have to choose between being feminine and being heroic.. Buffy’s competency was never built up by devaluing the things that made her a teenage girl. Becoming more of a hero never meant becoming less feminine in the Buffyverse. They never made her choose one or the other because there is no reason you can’t be both.

There have been criticisms of Whedon’s brand of pop feminism, over the years. And I do think it is important to think critically about established narratives. But I also think it is important to remember what a show like Buffy did for the concept of female heroes; the kind of role model it provided for both girls and boys; the way that it makes you feel, even after two decades have passed.

In my case, it makes my heart sing, “Once More with Feeling.”

Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors

Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors Head to Television on Freeform

Freeform television has added a second show to it’s growing superhero lineup. New Warriors, Marvel’s first live action, scripted comedy, has been ordered straight-to-series, and it joins the previously announced Cloak & Dagger on the Disney-owned network.

The Freeform version of the New Warriors follows the precedent set by the cartoon Ultimate Spider-Man, and will add fan-favorite Squirrel Girl to the team — a airing that never happened in the comics.

“Marvel’s New Warriors have always been fan favorites and now particularly with the addition of Squirrel Girl, they are Marvel Television favorites as well,” Marvel Television President Jeff Loeb said. “After the amazing experience we’ve had with Freeform on Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger we can’t think of a better place for our young heroes.”

The Hollywood Reporter asked Karey Burke, executive vice-president of programming and development at Freeform, whether there had been any discussion about casting actors Anna Kendrick or Shannon Purser — both of whom have expressed interest in the role — as Squirrel Girl. “Those names have come up!,” Burke confirmed. “This network has made a lot of stars and we’re in a unique position with Squirrel Girl and Marvel. The character is such a calling card. I’m interested to see if name actresses feel right for it.”

Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town) is near a deal to pen the script and serve as showrunner. The network has ordered 10 episodes for the half-hour comedy, which is set to debut in 2018.

Supergirl Flies to the Flash for a Special Musical Episode

The Music Meister is set to make his live-action debut in a crossover episode of The Flash.

Glee alum Darren Criss will fill the dancing shoes of the fan favorite villain the Music Meister on the March 21st episode of The Flash. It will be the first even live-action depiction of the character, which previously appeared as a villain on the kitschy Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon voiced by Neal Patrick Harris.

After getting zapped by the Music Meister, The Flash and Supergirl are trapped in a alternate reality where everyday life is like a movie musical. The only way to get home is to make it to the end of the Meister’s twisted movie.

The Flash and Supergirl casts actually have deep musical roots. Jessie L. Martin was in Rent. Victor Garber was Jesus in Godspell and Grant Gustin (The Flash) and Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) are themselves both former Glee cast members.

Entertainment Weekly posted photos from the episode, titled “Duet,” in this week’s issue, and The CW  posted a teaser trailer to the web.


Supergirl Joins the CW Superhero Fight Club

The Girl of Steel joins the other CW heroes in a revamped version of the classic fight club promo from last year.

CW added Supergirl to its ever-expanding stable of DC superhero television shows. And what better way to induct the Maid of Might into the family than to give us an updated version of the much beloved Superhero Fight Club promo from last year.

The new fight club pits Supergirl, the Flash, Arrow, Firestorm, White Canary and the Atom against what appears to be a GLaDOS-inspired robot of doom controlled by tech whizzes Ramone Cisco and Felicity Smoak — with a surprise villain waiting in the wings.

And just because we love is so much, we’re going to include the original CW Superhero Fight Club.

The Flash premieres on Tuesday, October 4.

Arrow premieres Wednesday, October 5.

Supergirl premieres Monday, October 10.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow stars premieres on Thursday, October 13.

Supergirl meets Miss Martian, Superman and more this fall

If you’ve been keeping up with television news recently, chances are you’ve been hearing about all of the buzz surrounding Supergirl. The series, which returns for its second season on Monday, Oct. 10, continues to make headlines as it settles into its new home at The CW.

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in the promotional poster for The CW.

With many anticipated guest appearances like Superman, played by Teen Wolf star Tyler Hoechlin, and a crossover musical with the Flash, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of Kara Danvers.

According to ComicBook.com, the summer press tour for the Television Critics Association’s CW panel announced that Miss Martian, played by Sharon Leal, will join Martian Manhunter in the series’ sophomore season. There have been no statements made about whether or not she will be a series regular.

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg also spoke at the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Supergirl panel and revealed that the mysterious pod that crash-landed on earth belonged to Mon-El, who will be played by Containment’s Chris Wood.

Supergirl joins The CW’s impressive lineup of DC shows, including Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash. For those that didn’t keep up with the series in its first season on CBS, don’t fret. Netflix is set to stream the season starting Saturday, Sept. 10.

The CW is also airing two episodes of the show’s first season every Monday night from 8 to 10 p.m. The reruns started on Aug. 1 and will end on Oct. 3, according to an article on International Business Times.

Dust off that red cape, Supergirl fans. With a lineup like this ahead of her, Kara is in for an exciting, entertaining debut season on her new network.

Marvel Reportedly Developing New Warriors Television Show Featuring Squirrel Girl

The rumored half-hour comedy would put the fan-favorite heroine front and center as a member of a teenage superhero team.

After months of (completely baseless) speculation on who might play Squirrel Girl in movie that doesn’t actually exist, Marvel shocked everyone with the rumored development of a New Warriors television series featuring Squirrel Girl.

The New Warriors
The New Warriors

The New Warriors were a teenage superhero team that brought together existing heroes Nova, Firestar, Speedball, Marvel Boy and Namorita under the leadership of newly created hero Night Thrasher. In its most recent incarnation, the team was also the focus of a reality television show as they fought crime.

The roster rotated and changed over the years with a variety of young heroes — with  one notable exception: Squirrel Girl was never a member.

But according to TV Line, Marvel and ABC Studios are creating a comedy about the New Warriors featuring Squirrel Girl as the main character. The half-hour series is reportedly being shopped to cable networks and streaming outlets.

Squirrel Girl has been the name on everyone’s lips as of late, with Anna Kendrick mentioning that she was down to play the unbeatable mutant, followed by Stranger Things Shannon Purser also expressing interest in the role.

If the rumor is true, the show is very early in pre-production and casting decisions are a while off. It’s unlikely that Kendrick could be lured to the small screen, but Purser would be a real possibility. Or maybe we’ll get a new name we haven’t even thought of.