Thursday, October 04, 2007

Where are they now: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

The inspiration for this post actually comes from welcome news about a veteran of a different Joss Whedon project, Jewel Staite, a k a Firefly ship's mechanic Kaylee.

Though this isn't normally exactly my cup of tea, I'll probably give "The Tribe" a chance with her in it. The flick, set to come out next summer, is described at the IMDB as being thusly: "After a devastating boat crash, a group of friends is stranded on an uncharted island, where they encounter an ancient tribe of humanoid creatures." Sounds pretty meh to me, but like I said, I'll at least give it a shot.

That news got my mind, which does tend to move quicker than my body when I write these things fairly early in the morning, on the idea that it would be fun to check in with the cast of Whedon's masterwork, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Knock it if you must, but it was the smartest and funniest show of its day, and any fans of serials like "Lost" and "Heroes" should recognize its import.

This might be a bit long, because I put together a list of 20 bit to not-so-bit players from the Buffyverse. And I hope at least a few people enjoy reading this even slightly as much as I did researching it. Here goes:

Buffy: Where else would you start than at the top? Given its apocalyptic storyline and extremely long rollout, I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the savaging of Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales." In the flick, which may never even make it out to my little corner of the world, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a porn star/reality TV star (and really, what's the difference between the two?) She has two future credits listed at the IMDB, neither of which look too promising. The first, "Possession," indeed sounds like a parody of most of her post-"Buffy" film work: A woman's life is thrown into chaos after a freak car accident sends her husband and brother-in-law into comas. Thrills arrive after the brother-in-law wakes up, thinking he's his brother. Wow does that sound bad. The next is truly odd. Called "Alice," it springs from a video game called "American McGee's Alice" which in turn was inspired by the Lewis Carroll novel. One of these days SMG will get to star in a good movie, but it's not on the horizon yet, I fear.

Willow: I've been watching season two of Alyson Hannigan's new series, "How I Met Your Mother," on DVD, and I can confirm it's just as funny as I remember. Sadly, I couldn't find upcoming film credits that would offer the chance to redeem herself after the disaster that was "Date Movie," so here's hoping CBS gives "Mother" a solid five-year run or so.

Xander: I guess it shouldn't be surprising that "Buffy" vets get tied down to fantasy/horror work pretty fast. After a thankfully short run on the TV show "Kitchen Confidential," Nicholas Brendon has two current IMDB credits. I can't imagine any movie that really stars Rowdy Roddy Piper will be any good, but 2008's "The Portal" is described thusly: Investigators pursuing a bizarre hemorrhagic illness are lead to a strange black painting that they discover is a portal to another dimension. Sounds more than a little like your standard SMG movie. Next comes "Blood on the Highway," a horror/comedy with this rather ominous tagline: "There's a sucker born every minute!" I can only hope they're not talking about us.

Rupert Giles: The always-welcome Anthony Stewart Head is, as far as I can tell, the only "Buffy" vet who's still actively in the Whedon mob. Although I can't find a firm credit anywhere, I'm fairly certain they're developing a "Ripper" spinoff movie or miniseries for the BBC. In more certain credits, you can see the great Mr. Head as a ghost in Tim Burton's take on "Sweeney Todd" and then with, yes, Paris Hilton in "Repo! The Genetic Opera!" I guess a man's gotta eat.

Spike: "Buffy" and "Angel" player James Marsters had a nifty little run on "Smallville" and can be seen soon as the third lead behind Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler in the December chicky flick "P.S. I Love You." Much more interesting could be his next role, as serial killer Ted Bundy in a miniseries called "Chasing the Devil," scheduled to hit your TV sets somewhere in mid-March.

Anya: Except for some work (along with many of her fellow "Buffy" vets) on Seth Green's "Robot Chicken," Emma Caulfield amazingly has no work listed after a TV movie called "A Valentine Carol" that apparently ran on USA last February. Somehow I managed to miss that one. How in the world can a woman both this beautiful and witty be un- (or at least way under-) employed?

Dawn: Though she was great in "Mysterious Skin," I somehow managed to resist Michelle Trachtenberg's two other big flicks, "The Ice Princess" (which I probably wouldn't admit to seeing even if I had) and the rather unfortunate "Black Christmas." She currently has two other flicks listed as completed, "Kids in America," a coming-of-age comedy headlined by Topher Grace and Anna Faris, and "The Possibility of Fireflies," which promises to be exactly the type of flick I will never see.

Cordelia: Charisma Carpenter left "Buffy" to have just as good a run on the "Angel" spinoff, and also had a great turn as Kendall Casablancas on the late and much-missed "Veronica Mars." Amazingly, that's her last listed acting credit. About the only way I could have gotten excited about a "Wonder Woman" flick would be with her as our heroine and Whedon at the helm, but that's clearly not gonna happen.

Angel: I tuned in for one episode of David Boreanaz's still-running series "Bones" and rather quickly dismissed it as the standard police procedural fare that's saturated our airwaves. If I'm wrong and it's somehow better than that, please let me know. Along with that, he's just wrapped "Our Lady of Victory," a flick in which he plays the hubby of Carla Gugino (triple and resounding huzzah!), who plays the coach of the women's basketball team at a tiny Catholic college who leads her charges to a national title. After that he'll voice The Green Lantern in the animated "Justice League: The New Frontier."

Tara: Clearly the coolest thing Amber Benson has done post-"Buffy" was the "Ghosts of Albion" animated series with Chris Golden for the BBC online. You can still watch it here. She has four current (and most likely straight-to-DVD) credits listed at the IMDB: "Kiss the Bride," starring Tori Spelling (always a promising sign); "Strictly Sexual," of which she's the headliner and actually has this plotline: Two successful women, sick and tired of dating and relationships, decide to keep two young men in their pool house for strictly sexual purposes.; a horror/comedy called "The One-Eyed Monster," of which she's also listed as the principal star, and then a werewolf flick called "Shifter" toplined by Rachel Miner (remember her? I think she was once MacCaulay Culkin's wife.)

Oz: With his own creation, the stellar "Robot Chicken," and as the voice of Chris Griffin, Seth Green has had steady and very entertaining work on TV post-"Buffy." Unfortunately, his upcoming movie credits are a "rumored" role in the John Travolta/Tim Allen "comedy" "Old Dogs" and then what I can only assume is a sequel to the remake of "The Italian Job," to be called, creatively enough, "The Brazilian Job."

Riley: Buffy's college paramour, Marc Blucas, actually has a role in a flick hitting the multiplexes in my little burg this week, "The Jane Austen Book Club," in which he plays the hubby of Emily Blunt. He'll next topline the recently wrapped "Animals," some kind of horror/fantasy with a plot too odd to describe in brief, but did you know he was a starting guard on the Wake Forest basketball team back in the day? Bizarre.

Johnathan: Surprisingly, Nerd of Doom Danny Strong has probably had the most successful career of the "Buffy" ensemble. After a long stint as Doyle, Paris' man, on "Gilmore Girls," he managed to pen the movie "Recount." About the rather screwed-up 2000 presidential election, it's being made by HBO to be trotted out just in time for the 2008 edition. If you really wanted to, you can apparently currently see him in the Amanda Bynes flick "Sydney White." His future credits include "Bad Guys," which, since it wrapped in April, I can only assume is headed straight to DVD, and the comedy "Robbin' in da Hood," which is apparently directed by someone who simply goes by the name Quake. Yes, just Quake.

Andrew: The funniest of the nerds, Tom Lenk, actually had a part in this summer's "Transformers" as "Analyst No. 2," but it doesn't look too promising after that. His only credit: The I suppose inevitable "Boogeyman 2." Sheesh.

Warren: Along with a lot of TV work, head nerd Adam Busch has also managed to have a part in easily one of the worst movies I've had the displeasure of seeing in the last five years or so, "American Dreamz (zzzzz)." After that he only has "Geohunt," which I rather fear will be yet another flick about humans hunting humans.

Faith: Granted, Eliza Dushku should have gotten a much more prominent position on this list, but I figured a trio of very beautiful women was necessary here after the nerds. Her three current credits are "The Alphabet Killer," apparently based on the "double initial" killer of Rochester, NY, "Sex and Breakfast," a romantic comedy toplined by Rachel Miner's former husband, and easily the most promising one, "Bottle Shock," a flick about the birth of the Napa wine industry which will also star Freddy Rodriguez (huzzah again!) and Alan Rickman.

Drusilla: Juliet Landau's seriously insane vamp was always my favorite of the "Buffy"/"Angel" characters. Her upcoming credits include "The Yellow Wallpaper," described (rather optomisticly, I fear) as a dark, Gothic thriller, "Land of Canaan," yet another psychological thriller starring, somehow, Tara Reid, and another thriller called "Darkness Visible" (I couldn't make this stuff up!)

Darla: Along with her steady work on TV's uneven but mostly entertaining "Dexter," the alluring Julie Benz has a big part in next summer's "John Rambo." Yes, that Rambo. Please, dear Lord, don't make us have to watch her make out with Sylvester Stallone.

Wesley: The last place I remember seeing Alexis Denisof was in a very funny run on season one of wifey Alyson's sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." Since, he has nothing else listed, but I did find out that, like the great Linda Hamilton and the late Frank Perdue, he is apparently a native of Salisbury, Md., the little burg where I happened to grow up. Cool.

Caleb: Why not wrap things up with the agent of Buffy's final foe? Nathan Fillion went on to play Captain Mal, of course, in Whedon's "Firefly" and "Serenity" (when in the world is the Sci-Fi Channel gonna come to its senses and revive "Firefly" already?), and also starred with Keri Russell in easily one of my favorite movies of this year so far, "Waitress." His next flick will be something called "Trucker," with Michelle Monaghan which doesn't look too promising, but I like Mr. Fillion enough that I'll watch him in just about anything.

Whew! That certainly went on a long time, so I apologize to anyone who thought it was more than a bit of overkill. As Buffy herself once said, to me it was "just enough kill," and a perfectly enjoyable accompaniment to my morning coffee. Peace out.


Eric said...

Thanks man That left me with the warm fuzzies to read and remember my old pals from my favorite show.
As For Alice, I got American McGees Alice when it came out and this excites me. the game was meh but the art was dark and insane. And SMG is the perfect casting choice. If they do it even half as disturbing as the game art then it will be fantastic.
Ice Princess - Having a 13 year old daugher (The child if Here's the Thing) I watch more tweenie movies that any 49 year old should and this one was actually pretty good. Formulaic but consider the market. And I do enjoy watching figure skating so it is pretty cool.

Anya - I have a feeling that her problem is Hollywoods aversion to casting Political conservatives and the actress is pretty outspoken. And too unknown to get a Tom Sellek Pass. More's the pity cause I really like her comic timing. Bunnies ***shiver*** and the business should be a bit more forgiving on politics

Bob said...

That update kind of made me sad. So many of them in so many things that sound...really bad. They're great actors though, so I'm sure they'll get something good again one of these days.
As for "Bones," I'm not a fan of procedural shows either but I kind of like that one. It's not a spectacular show by any stretch but I watch it every once in awhile and enjoy it.
I really hope "Ripper" happens!

Reel Fanatic said...

I hope you're right about Alice, Eric ... I don't play as many video games as I used to, so I'm always a little wary when I hear about the movie adaptations... And I had read some stuff where Emma Caulfield spoke her mind a little louder than perhaps she should (though not in my opinion) have, so maybe that does indeed explain her absence, unfortunately

Neel Mehta said...

Nathan Fillion is on Desperate Housewives this season, reuniting with his Pasadena co-star Dana Delany.

Oh, and unrelated: if you can get 100 people to sign up by November 2 here, you can bring an advance screening of The Kite Runner to your town.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm gonna check out that link, Neel, 'cause I'd certainly like to get The Kite Runner to Macon .. thanks for the link!

Divinity said...

Tony Head's role of The Prime Minister on Little Britain has me in tears everytime. But he'll always be the coffee man to me.
The news about The Yellow Wallpaper is amazing! I've seen it performed twice live and have never failed to be impressed at the performance of the female lead.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've never seen "Little Britain," Divinity, but with your recommendation that's one series that's getting added to my Netflix queue very soon

Mercurie said...

Thanks for the rundown on what the Buffy cast is doing now. Some of them hadn't dropped off my radar--I've watched How I Met Your Mother with Alyson Hannigan from the beginning. And I am still mourning the demise of Veronica Mars. But as for most of the rest, they just seemed to drop out of my sight.

As to myself, I really wish they would get the Ripper spinoff (whether TV movie, miniseries, or series of TV movies) off the ground. It seems as if I have been waiting for it forever.

Chalupa said...

I've been wanting to check out Little Britain too. I first heard about it listening to Alice Cooper's radio show. He's a big fan of it.

Sacred Suzie said...

That was awesome, thank you for that. I've been listening to "Once More With Feeling" a lot lately, really missing the show.

It's also nice to know I'm not the only one who misses Veronica Mars. I do look forward to seeing her on Heroes this season but it's not the same.

Reel Fanatic said...

I definitely can't wait to see what she's gonna do on Heroes either, Suzie ... After a rather lackluster premiere, I thought things really picked up in episode 2, and am confident the new year will be nothing short of amazing

kat said...

Bones is fairly enjoyable. It's definitely more than your standard police procedural. David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel play a pair that are kind of the poor man's Mulder and Scully. They have some genuine chemistry together but don't quite sizzle. There are some interesting story lines, though, and every once in a while a really great guest star.
I was never a "Buffy" fan, though. If I made the effort to sit down and watch, I'd probably enjoy based on what alot of people whose opinions I respect say but I'm daunted by the task of watching over 100 hours of television just to catch up.

Reel Fanatic said...

If I can make a recommendation, Kat, I'd suggest starting with season two, if you do want to give Buffy a try ... Season one was only a half-season, and you don't really learn anything crucial in it

Anonymous said...