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September 09, 2003
by Daniel Erenberg

Remember that rumor that arose back around January? As it became clearer and clearer that Buffy The Vampire Slayer would come to its inevitable end at the close of season seven, it became clearer and clearer that fans were clamoring for an additional spin-off post-Buffy. One hour of the Buffyverse a week isn’t enough for the hardest-core fans. And the rumor that came out of this was Dawn.

You remember when you first heard it. Michelle Trachtenberg would front her own series as Dawn, the Slayer-sibling that she originated at the end of season five’s premiere episode “Buffy Vs. Dracula”. She would be studying to become a Slayer. And you believed it, didn’t you? Certainly the first episode of season seven, Joss Whedon’s “Lessons”, seemed to point to this eventuality.

How did you feel about it? I remember feeling blood-vessel popping anger. Thoughts collided in my mind like a train wreck (fun with similes!). Either this series would completely betray Buffy by separating Dawn from her protectors or Buffy was going to die in the final episode of her eponymous television show. For me, this rumor ranked up there with that supposed Britney Spears guest appearance (scuttled by Sarah Michelle Gellar) and that thankfully false one about Spike returning on Angel as a reincarnated Slayer completely raping in the ear every feminist message that Buffy has had to offer.

Then we had that rumor about the Faith series that turned out to be at least partially true. This was shaken when Eliza Dushku signed on to her now-postponed-to-mid-season drama Tru Calling (does anyone else not like the trend of misspellings in TV, movies, and music? Stuff like “Hot In Herre” doesn’t inspire confidence—Buffy The Vampire Slayr anyone?)

Then the speculation began. One person told me that Willow and Xander were going to get a team-up series! The next person told me that Giles’s long-delayed BBC miniseries/TV movie was getting a full-season order! Then I was told that Seth Green was coming back for a mystical drama about Oz (and wouldn’t that be great)! And I told myself that Riley was returning for his very own military drama (just something to piss off all you Riley-haters out there).

For some reason the idea of another spin-off never really appealed to me. For one thing, I’m really happy with Angel. I think it’s an excellent show and it will do really well this year as a Buffy replacement for me. Well, I guess nothing could really replace Buffy, but Angel is the next best thing. Another reason is that I want to see Joss’s new ideas. I think that if given time, Firefly could have eclipsed every show on television including Buffy. It was that good. I want to see Joss expand. I’m a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan. The guy has written seven excellent books (Diary: A Novel came out last Tuesday). Fight Club was by far the most commercially successful. If Palahniuk’s output over eight years of writing consisted of three Fight Club tales and a side project, I’d be furious.

I did an “FAQ” column a few months ago (the sequel to the successful article was reviled for its misinformation) and in it someone asked me whether I’d like to see a Buffy spin-off. My immediate response was “Yes, but only if its true to the existing shows”. Now, I know. I would watch it. I would watch anything that Joss Whedon is even remotely involved in (I sat through Waterworld and Alien: Resurrection for his name in the credits on video).

OKAY THEN: You can look at this article almost as a vignette, a calm before the storm type thing. Next week I NEED YOU, THE READER!!!! I love me some audience participation. It’s going to be an article called “Listmania!” It’s just going to be a massive series of Joss Whedon-related top five lists. It’s sure to cause a load of controversy. So here’s why I need you. I need you to e-mail me a couple of prospective lists. You can expect me to use at least one. Thanks for the help if it comes. Bye bye!

Daniel Erenberg lives in a gothic-looking house in a suburb of Long Island shrouded by trees and darkness. His backyard is so overrun with shrubbery that he can't plant flowers in the soil. He's penned articles for numerous magazines (and a couple of websites for free). Currently, he's writing his first novel, entitled People That I've Long Since Forgotten. He's also written two plays, Little Room and Dystopia and a screenplay called Youth Or Consequence. He lives a fairly happy life alone except for the mind-numbing loneliness he feels on occasion. If you’re a beautiful woman that’s fallen in love with Daniel, or you just want to talk Buffy with him, you can contact Daniel at
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