UPN should consider slapping a TV-MA rating on ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and quickly. First, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) got a not-so-subtle rise out of her lesbian lover, Tara (Amber Benson), in the musical episode, and a recent sex scene between Spike (James Marsters) and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was so hot, the net was forced to insert computerized images over the nudity. What’s with the explicitness?
”Maybe there’s some small psychological factor, like ‘let’s see what the new dad will say,”’ says exec producer Marti Noxon of UPN. ”Truthfully, the characters are getting a little older and we’re now doing things that were not as permissible when they were teens. The whole premise is that many of us in our 20s had relationships where we couldn’t figure out what we liked about them except that the sex was so amazing.”
Although the show is surprising the hellmouth out of fans with lurid sex scenes, ratings have yet to surge. After a ratings spike upon the show’s UPN debut, ”Buffy” settled back into its WB averages (an anemic 9 share in viewers 12?34). ”We could do an all-naked ‘Buffy’ and still get a 7 share,” admits Noxon. ”It’s so elaborate in its mythology, I just don’t know how easy it would be for new viewers to catch up.” Well, partially nude shots of Gellar and Marsters won’t hurt.
Additional reporting by William Keck