If you're wondering why you can suddenly spot members of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's film crew in the Sunnydale High library, blame Fox. According to Vox, the reason Buffy reruns suck right now is because 20th Century Fox decided to remaster the famed '90s TV series into a widescreen format. And in doing so, it introduced a number of errors that creator Joss Whedon never would have allowed the first time around.
Buffy was shot 4x3 cuz TVs were shaped that way. Widescreen Buffy is nonsense. (Firefly was shot wide - Fox cropped it.) #apsectratiowoes— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) December 13, 2014
I prefer my '90s fuzzy if it also means that they're error free
In this shot, for example, you can clearly see a love-sick Angel sleeping on Buffy's floor with sunlight streaming down his face. Now, from a storyline standpoint, this doesn't make any sense. Buffy and Angel only hang out at night – because he's a vampire. That means that he tends to get smoky whenever he steps into sunlight. And if vampires stay there long enough, they burst into flames. Buffy's blinds might be enough to protect him from the sun for a short while, but certainly not for an extended period of time. In the simplest of terms, the dude should be covered in smoke by now.
Of course, the original Buffy series never contained this error. When Fox remastered Buffy for high definition TVs, the filter that made the scene look like it was shot at night was removed.
And here, you can clearly spot a film crew member in the Scoobies' main hangout, the library. Tell me, Fox, what purpose does that serve? Sure, the image is clearer in high-definition. But quite frankly, I prefer my '90s fuzzy if it also means that I can watch them error free. And most of all, I like to see all the action — not just the tiny bit that Fox decides to zoom into to accommodate a world full of wide screens.
Fox isn't the only media company that's been having problems with the SD to HD transition. HBO has also been working on a widescreen version of its hit The Wire, and has had to make decisions about what to cut out of the frame. But at least HBO got the show's creator to act as a consultant during the transition. Fox didn't, as evidenced by creator Joss Whedon's only tweet on the matter.
Given how little regard Fox is showing for Buffy, I can't imagine myself watching the HD format. Luckily, a number of video streaming platforms, including Netflix, still carry the original. And if that's not enough, faithful Scoobies can always check out the latest Buffy storylines in the Whedon-approved Buffy comics. After all, Buffy is still with us.