In a continuation of my chat with Alaina Urquhart & Ash Kelley, hosts of the new Wondery Podcast The Rewatcher: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we discuss the long-lasting popularity of the series & what makes it so iconic. Each week on Rewatcher, listeners will follow along as Alaina (a longtime Buffy fan) introduces Ash (a Buffy newbie) to the world of slaying – soaking in the cult-favorite '90s series, episode by episode, re-watching, and watching for the very first time. The two also host the popular Morbid: A True Crime Podcast, among other projects.
Bleeding Cool: You come from unique backgrounds talking about haunted topics and true crime on "Morbid." I'm wondering how that has impacted how you go into recording "The Rewatcher" podcast.
Alaina: Honestly, I would say we went into this the complete opposite way. With Morbid, as we've grown and gone through more cases and dealt with more and more families, we've come to take it more and more down to that level of reality and make sure that it's taken with the seriousness and that heaviness that it deserves. We come at this as just like, this is fun. We can just go all out with this. We've had a blast recording this because we're just laughing hysterically with each other, and it allows that. So I think this one, we've been able to take so much lighter, and it comes with this cool nostalgia.
Different perspectives and experiences are often brought into "Morbid" from both of you, but do you also bring that into watching "Buffy"?
Ash: I think the biggest way we do that is obviously we're watching it for the first time. So all of my reactions are so raw the moment I watch it all.
Alaina: Ash brings a really cool perspective to it. She loves fashion, and she comes from a stylist background, so she can go more into that than I can. I come at it from a place of nostalgia for it all. And I'm like, Oh my God. I remember quoting this line with my friends a billion times over. I remember talking about this in AOL chat rooms and it being a big deal. For me, it's a big piece of nostalgia, and for Ash, it's completely new.
"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" can often go through difficult themes or subjects. Is there anything you liked seeing a show like this deal with?
Alaina: That's one of the things I really like about Buffy, it was kind of ahead of its time in that way, and it touches upon a lot of difficult things. Right off the bat, it touches upon just how hard it really is growing up and being in high school and having to navigate anything outside of just being in high school. We haven't gotten to it yet, but I know there's future seasons where they touch upon bullying in school and school shootings, and it was way ahead of its time in that sense. And it made it more digestible, especially when you were watching it at that age. I think death is also a huge theme throughout the series, that you lose people you care about and that you come to care about in the series especially like losing friends or parents.
I know you both come from the New England area, and it feels like that has such a nice tie into Buffy. Is there a favorite spooky activity that you like to do in the area?
Ash: We absolutely love going to haunted houses together. For the past few years, we obviously haven't been able to, we took a little hiatus just to make sure with everything that we were staying safe. But we would go to a haunted house every single weekend. The ones in our area, we just consume them all.
Alaina: Oh yeah, like a haunted hayride, a haunted house, a haunted trail-
Ash: -give us a haunted anything.
Alaina: We found our person in that sense. And when it comes to my kids, where I have twins who are six and a three-year-old, we try to take them to different harvest festivals around Massachusetts every weekend during this time of the year. It's become a tradition that we get them to as many places filled with pumpkins and apple cider as possible.
With the recent news of TV adaptation plans for Alaina's book "The Butcher and The Wren," what went through your minds hearing that?
Alaina: Honestly, that has been something that I still can't even wrap my head around still. I'm still in the space of holding the book in my hands and being like, "Wait…this really happened. Like it's an actual book now, and people can read it." The TV stuff is beyond my wildest imagination. To be able to work with Sister, Radio Silence, and Jennifer Yale, I could not have crafted a better team in my wildest dreams. They're all so amazing, and they're all so ready to make this the coolest TV show ever. It's been making me look at TV shows differently and absorb it a little differently than I did. In combination with working on this show and how much fun it is for both of us, it's just like I've been floating.
Ash: I like to think of myself as Alaina's personal hype man, so I am in awe of everything that she does. I mean, you have to remember we grew up together, and so I've known Alaina since I came out of the womb, and I've seen her accomplish a lot. But to see her accomplish all of this in such as small period of time is truly one of the most amazing things I've ever seen another person do.
Do you have a dream cast for "The Butcher and The Wren" TV series?
Alaina: I don't know exactly who, but I have ideas in mind. I will say one person that was always in my mind when creating Jeremy was Alexander Skarsgård. I just had his face in my head when writing it.
Ash: Oh, I don't know, this is Alaina's project, so I'm just happy to sit alongside her and tell her if she wants to lay out a group of people and ask for my opinion. But I don't come up with too many because I want to see her just go through this whole process. But I do love the Skarsgård idea.
Is there a character from the series that you would dress up as for Halloween?
Ash: Hands down, Buffy. I love her style so much. Her style is honestly so much like my own style that I could take anything out of my closet and go as Buffy.
Alaina: I'm thinking I would say Drusilla because I love Drusilla, but there's also a character that comes later. Her name is Sun, and she's a vampire, I don't know if anyone remembers her, but I thought she was awesome. She just had a really cool look about her.
What do you hope listeners get from "The Rewatcher" podcast and essentially re-watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" alongside you both?
Ash: For me, I think it's going to be more and more fun as the podcast ramps up, and we start having discussions with people who are listening to the podcast and maybe watching for the first time along with me.
Alaina: I think it's getting the old school gang back together, and everyone can step in for the nostalgia of it all. But also, I think Sarah Michelle Gellar is such a badass in this show, and it's cool to see this strong female character who is flawed like all of us, but she fights through it and goes through so much in this series. And I think it's going to be really cool to see people kind of engage with and be able to look up to that as a role model because I think she's an awesome character.