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''Buffy'' brightens up for season 7

”Buffy” brightens up for season 7 — Creator Joss Whedon has happier days in store for the Sunnydale gang, with new directions for Dawn, Buffy, and Willow

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James Marsters, Alyson Hannigan, ...
Buffy: Mitchell Haaseth

No more downer days in Sunnydale. Look for ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon to inject a little Prozac into the UPN drama when it returns for season 7 this fall. ”Last season was about getting everyone so depressed they wanted to kill themselves, and next season’s about bringing [the show] back to life,” says Whedon. ”I want to get back to where we started and to the theme, which is girl power.”

The action resumes at Sunnydale High with Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) becoming a freshman and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) starting…a new job! (Whedon won’t divulge her profession, but wouldn’t it be fitting if she replaced Anthony Stewart Head’s Giles as the librarian?) Whedon says a new villain, ”everybody’s worst nightmare,” will wreak havoc in town while witchy Willow (Alyson Hannigan) will be off for a spell with Giles in England. ”I’m shooting scenes with Alyson and Tony in his [real-life English estate] for the ‘Buffy’ premiere that involve Willow trying to deal with the magic in her that she can’t get rid of.” Oh, that old black magic.

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