On today’s episode of the Movie Lovers Podcast, Randall Unger from TheMovieNetwork.com, Katherine, and Chris review What We Do In The Shadows and discuss everything about the vampire comedy genre. Topics include thoughts on watching trailers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Fright Night. Put us in your ear, and enjoy! And don’t forget to Watch More Film! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to us on iTunes under the Movie Lovers Podcast. Reviews and comments are much appreciated.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy Season Ten #16 is a successful start to what will probably be the climactic storyline of the Season Ten Buffyverse with its character driven storytelling in both art and writing with splashes of action. Gage uses the pre-existing emotional connections between important characters like Buffy, Angel, and Spike to correspond with the raised stakes in their fight against the Big Bad, Archaeus. Archaeus uses Angel and Spike’s pasts to tempt them to become soulless killers once again, and they must also confront their pasts with Buffy and each other in order to become effective allies to the Slayer and Scoobies. Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs effectively use both internal and external conflict along with one of the greatest fictional love triangles to kick off this mini-crossover in a way that will make fans smile and squee.
Last weekend during the Fox executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour, Fox chairman and CEO Dana Waldron talked at length about their plans for the spring, which included thoughts on the direction of Sleepy Hollow. Waldron held off on announcing a season three renewal (even after handing them out to Empire, Gotham, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine), but said they were “hopeful” and there were ongoing conversations with the creative team. Citing a “high level of difficulty” in balancing the show’s characterization and mythology, she said that the show was “a little overly serialized” and promised that there would be a shift to “something that feels a bit more episodic in nature… it’s all about calibrating the show, not making dramatic changes.”
It may be more true in horror than in any other genre that certain subgenres ebb and flow in popularity over time. Vampires were hot in the mid-’90s when you had Interview with the Vampire, From Dusk Till Dawn, Blade and the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then, vampires sat out of popular discourse for the next ten years or so, until the double whammy of Twilight and True Blood hitting in 2008, causing a tidal wave of vampiric fiction from the arty (Only Lovers Left Alive, Byzantium) to the schlocky (Dracula Untold, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) that hasn’t slowed down since.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #7 shows that Spike and Xander together as roommates is both comedic and dramatic gold. Christos Gage and Nicholas Brendon land joke after joke starting with the first page where Spike asks Xander to move over his “dolls” so he can have room for his hundreds (possibly thousands) of Soap Digests. (Vampires watching soap operas makes weird, yet logical sense. You have to do something to pass the time while the sun is up, and not everyone can read Jean-Paul Sartre in the original French like Angel.) Artist Rebekah Isaacs adds some more humor with her spot-on reaction shots of the other characters’ faces to Spike and Xander’s odd couple antics. An issue of Spike and Xander trading banter would be an entertaining read in and of itself, but Gage and Brendon do what Buffy did and still does best by mixing its comedy with a heavy helping of interpersonal drama and a focus on character relationships. Beyond the hilarious banter, hijinks, and strange, yet fitting baddie, Spike and Xander have a lot in common.
Spending two hours in the world of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing inspires envy in his seemingly palatial abode, as well as delight at his effortless, carefree adaptation of an equally effortless and carefree Shakespearean comedy. There’s mistaken identity, slapstick, swooning romance, and giddy farce, as you would expect from any revival, modern or otherwise.