Buffy the Vampire Slayer
BTVS is the holy grail of film to TV adaptations, Buffy was first introduced to us in the form of Kristy Swanson’s back-flipping valley girl in Whedon’s 1992 tongue in cheek comedy. The film exists somewhere between Clueless and Fright Night without quite managing the charm of either. Without the astounding success of the TV series it is a film that would have been relegated to the forgotten annals of early 90s misfires.
Whedon resurrected Buffy in 1997 and the rest, as they say, is history. Gellar’s Buffy packs more of a punch, both emotionally and physically, than Swanson’s incarnation. As well as recasting the Slayer Whedon also changed a few vital plot points, Buffy was no longer warned of a vampire’s presence by getting period cramps (yes, that really happens in the film), her parents are no longer a self-involved warring, married couple, instead we have Joyce Summers, a single working mom and the vampires are given an image overhaul making them scary rather than cartoonish.
Buffy ran for seven seasons, spawned the spin-off Angel as well as boasting a thriving existence in the comic world. Over its seven-year run Buffy tackled heartache, parental loss, finding your place in the world and LGBTQ representation, not bad for a little show based on a cheesy 90s Vampire flick.
I was incredibly sceptical about this adaptation, I’ve read all of the books, seen all of the films. I was “Kubrick filmed the Moon Landings” sceptical. However, when I discovered the show was being helmed by Bryan Fuller, I gave it a chance and now, I can make the bold claim that for me, Mikkelson is Hannibal (Sorry, Anthony…).
Hannibal is set up like a pretty typical murder of the week crime drama, but anyone that knows Fuller’s work knows there’s nothing typical about it. This is an incredibly beautiful show; every single shot is perfect in composition. The murders are grisly but each is framed almost as a classical painting. Food is fetishized heavily in Hannibal; the most gruesome and stomach churning moments of the show are when guests savour the tasty morsels Hannibal serves at his dinner parties.
Hannibal boasts an all-star cast with the likes of Mads Mikkelson as the titular Hannibal, Hugh Dancy as the anxiety crippled Will Graham, Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford and Gillian Anderson as the intriguing Bedelia. It’s not one to miss.
It’s almost too inoffensive and bland to be bad. I’ll admit I only got through the first episode, at great pains, I might add but I got the idea. It’s a combination of phone-it-in acting, generic melodrama and a complete lack of suspense. Darabont’s depiction of small town hysteria combined with the threat of whatever was hiding in the mist was a masterclass in horror filmmaking, not to mention the incredibly powerful ending. This TV “Coke Zero” version is not worth your time.
Catfish isn’t the greatest documentary of all time but it’s an intimate and endearing account of a man on a journey to discover whether his online love is really the woman in the photos. The TV show, however, is a formulaic reality show typical of MTV, repetitive and it appears fairly staged. Having said that, it is a guilty pleasure, but the kind that you watch with the door locked and the volume down low.