Friday, March 21, 2008

Disclaimer: I took several pictures last night but for some reason my camera is messing up and though I can see them on the camera I can't copy them to the computer. Even though my pics are still out of commission (including one Seth Green took of the two of us, Grr Arrg!) I have some from the Paley Center itself, so thanks to Kevin Parry/The Paley Center For Media for all photos.

The cast as they were 10 years ago

Last night was The Paley Center for Media's Buffy the Vampire Slayer Reunion Panel, and it was a blast. The event began with a clip from the Paley Archive that was related to Buffy, a scene from 'All My Children' between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Susan Lucci. The clip was met with much applause and, as it played out, laughter at the ridiculousness of it all. Afterwards, Moderator Matt Roush (TvGuide) was introduced and he admitted that he was a "Buffy-holic" as soon as he took the podium. He then remembered characterizing the show as Beverly Hills 90210 with a "666 suffix" when writing for USA Today. Roush also pointed out that since the show began on the WB and moved to the UPN it was the "1st CW Show."

Roush then introduced Marti Noxon, ex-producer/writer for Buffy who introduced the episode we would be watching. Noxon spoke about sneaking into a screening of the Buffy Sing-A-Long with Joss Whedon and the strangeness of watching people throw underwear at her on the screen (It's because of a lyric in the song she sings "I'm not wearing underwear") She then introduced that same episode, the classic Musical episode of Buffy "Once More With Feeling." The screening was met with excited shouts of joy, lots of clapping, and even some singing from the audience. (I'd be lying if I said I didn't sing along) The episode, which I haven't seen in years, looked amazing on the big screen at the Arclight, and was even better than I remembered, possibly because of the huge crowd, everyone of which was a fan.

Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon

After the episode Roush introduced the panel: Ex-Producer David Greenwalt, Amber Benson (Tara), Seth Green (Oz), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Marti Noxon, Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), James Marsters (Spike), Nicholas Brendon (Xander), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), and Creator/genius Joss Whedon.

The panel began with talk of the musical episode, which James called "A terror" to film. Sara admitted to hoping for a return of Buffy the Rat, (a reference to an episode where Buffy was turned into a rat, so Sarah could prepare to host SNL) but thought that "Hush" (the silent episode) was surprisingly the hardest. And Michelle said she gave herself psychosomatic bronchitis in the hopes that she wouldn't have to sing.

Joss was asked if he'd take Buffy to Broadway, and he said he'd love to take A Buffy Musical to Broadway, but it wouldn't be this one, as it was clearly a television episode, but admitted he's spent time thinking about it, but would want to write it himself. Roush then asked who'd come along to Broadway, to which everyone but Sarah seemed game.

The talk then turned to the very dark 6th season and how difficult it was for Sarah, who said it was so rough because she, like Buffy, was trying to find the character. Sarah also said it was so tough because she looked up to Buffy and wished she had had a hero like her to look up to as she grew up, to which Nicholas said "It wasn't Susan Lucci?" which got a huge laugh from the crowd.

A wonderful tidbit from the panel was the fact that Joss and David called Sarah "Jimmy Stewart" because he was the greatest American in pain, something Sarah was really good at displaying. (and not because of her bone structure as Nicholas pondered) Apparently this nickname was a surprise to Sarah herself who never knew this fact.

Roush then asked the great question that always causes debate among fans "Angel or Spike?" Which was immediately met with the response that because of the comic maybe it was Willow! (In the most recent issue of the Buffy Season 8 comic, Buffy spends one night with another girl) Sarah said she had only heard about this development about 5 min before the panel started.
When talked turned to potential spin-offs Nicholas quickly offered up a "Xander the one-eyed monster" idea, to which Seth interjecting that was the monster that we all struggled with in High School. Joss said he'd love to do a spin-off or something with all the cast back together and that he'd gladly shoot down the comics continuity in order to do it.

It was Intersting to discover that the only time Joss threatened to pack up his desk had to do with Willow and Tara's kiss. Apparently the WB contacted him saying that they had "a lot of gay this year" and they were kind of "gayed out" after Dawson's Creek and asked him if they had to do the kiss. But once he threatened to leave they backed off. And in fact they didn't lose any advertisers over the kiss, the only time that happened was, strangely, when Buffy worked at a Fast food Restaurant.

Apparently there was a recurring cruel joke that Joss and David used to play involved pulling someone aside and telling them they were fired, then saying "just kidding" Charisma said they did it to her before offering her the Angel job, Marti said they did it for her after receiving her first script, telling her she just didn't cut it and Seth said they did it to him, "but it took."

Someone asked the panel their favorite movies, a question I loved:
Joss - The Matrix
Sarah - South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
Nick - Marney
James - Apocalypse Now (the original, the redux is "too long")
Emma - Silence of the Lambs/Pulp Fiction
Michelle - Labyrinth/Rainman (and anything with Seth Green)
Marti - Poltergeist/Goodfellas
Charisma - Anchorman
Seth - Raising Arizona (He also loved There Will Be Blood)
Amber - Sullivan's Travels
David - Godfather/Serenity

Some more Tid-bits:
Oz will be making an appearance in the Season 8 comic.
Sarah said "Fans were better than any Awards" in response to not winning many awards.
Sarah most misses the family including all the cast and crew.
Seth misses arriving to his trailer every morning to find David Boreanaz had left him "a gift" in his toilet.
And Joss said the thing he misses the most is the writers room, because there will never be a group of writers like that again.

And finally the night ended with everyone saying what they wereup to now.
Joss just wrapped his Independent Musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (in fact he drove straight from finishing it up) and said we'd be seeing it sometime, somewhere maybe on a computer, but they were still figuring that out.
Sarah had just got back from Africa where she had traveled with CARE and would be starring in an adaptation of Veronika Decides to Die.
Nick said he was currently "writing, acting, and finding peace" what he didn't mention was he'd be returning to Criminal Minds.
James had flown in straight from Mexico City where he had just wrapped Dragonball where he was getting his "ass kicked" as Piccolo as well as doing Smallville and Torchwood.
Emma had also just returned from Africa working with a different charity, and planned to return next year. She also has 2 movies coming out this year and has recently gotten married.
Michelle just wrapped up 17 Again with Zac Efron, Mathew Perry, and Leslie Mann, and also has Kids in America with topher Grace coming out soon. She also mentioned she had been cast as an "evil bitch" on Gossip Girl.
Marti will be seen in Joss' Dr. Horrible project, and is working on Private Practise, and preparing to direct a movie.
Seth joked that he and Charisma were working on the untitled "Seth and Charisma Fitness Video" which was will be a combo of Tae-bo and aerobic stripping, which will be the sexist fighting ever.
Amber just sold a series of Fantasy Chick lit to penguin and would be working on those.
David said he is now retired from the biz after a series of well timed mental breakdowns. But he'd rush back if he got a call from Joss.

Overall it was an amazing night, and one I'm glad I was able to attend. There's so much more that happened, but I can't remember it all. Hopefully the Paley Center will be releasing a DVD of it so I can relive it and you can all watch it for yourselves.
l-r: Michelle Trachtenberg, Emma Caufielf, Amber Benson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charisma Carpenter


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