Buffy Breaks Through
After years of being bitten
by Emmy voters, WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer scared up its first
major nomination this year for Drama Series Writing. Ironically, the episode
singled out, "Hush," written (and directed) by series creator Joss Whedon,
featured very little dialogue; the story centered around the residents
of Sunnydale being robbed of their ability to speak.
"I was a little surprised
that it got the writing nod because there was so little talking in it,"
Whedon tells TV Guide Online. "As a script, it was really scary and difficult
to write. And actually to direct - because I had such a great crew - that
was easier. Doing the concept, being alone in my house going, 'This will
never work, I'm going to fail,' that was harder. In a way I'm more proud
of the script even in the finished product."
Realizing that "Hush"
deserved special attention, 20th Century Fox put considerable promotional
muscle behind the installment. "They sent [the tape] out in a very slick
box," says TV Guide critic Matt Roush. "It was a teriffic
campaign." Despite Whedon's nomination (and two other tenhnical mentions),
Buffy's underappreciated cast, led by demon chaser Sarah Michelle
Gellar, once again was ignored. Still, the writing nod marks a significant
breakthrough, Roush believes. "The X-Files came on slow, too," points
out Roush. "[Creator] Chris Carter's writing was acknowledged [before
the show was], so I think Buffy could inherit the mantle of The X-Files
as far as being the one really teriffic genre show that the Emmys finally
are paying attention to."
"It does give you a sort
of legitimacy that you never had before," Whedon admits of the nomination.
"It is the standard to take you a little more seriously, and if that ends
up helping the actors get the kind of recognition that I think they deserve,
then it's totally great. On the other hand, it might never come again.
But, hopefully it is a foot in the door of legitimacy - not that we all
sit around praying for that."