What is the best television series of all time? Some argue the merits of how "The Wire" exposed the hypocrisy of the Baltimore drug war in Baltimore; others point to the villainous evolution of Walter White in "Breaking Bad." Choose to debate this topic endlessly, and there will still only be one, true answer: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," for all its faults and unsavory associations, is the best TV series ever made. Running seven seasons (and five more in comic book form), "Buffy" had it all: vampires, slayers, spells, werewolves, a hellmouth, high school trials and tribulations, college jocks that were secretly androids, evil Mayors, and Giles!
"Buffy" also boasted one of the best casts in all of network television, featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Marsters, Anthony Head — and last but not least, Nicholas Brendon. In the age of "Friends," there was no other group of Generation X-ers worth hanging out with except them. If an alternate, Bizarro Land timeline occurred to create a Wishverse ("Buffy" fans will know), maybe Matthew Perry's Chandler Bing could have switched places with Nicholas Brendan's Xander Harris and no one would've been the wiser.
It turns out, the man who was born to play Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds, could have actually been in the Buffyverse in a major role. At the time, however, Reynolds was coming off early career roles in shows like "The X-Files" (see the above image) and wasn't quite ready to go to fictional TV high school so soon after finishing real-life high school. As such, he chose to star in "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place" instead.
Who Wants To Go Back To High School?
Speaking to the Toronto Star in 2008 (long before "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon's fall from grace), Ryan Reynolds didn't seem to have any regrets about his decision. "I love ['Buffy'] and I loved Joss Whedon … but my biggest concern was that I didn't want to play a guy in high school," he revealed. "I had just come out of high school and it was f****** awful."
(On a side-note: Even though it's not explicitly stated in the article, many online outlets have used that Toronto Sun interview to claim that Reynolds was actually offered the part of Xander Harris, the beloved character played by Nicholas Brendan. That being said, in the theoretical scenario where Reynolds was, in fact, cast as Xander, it might've sent him down a remarkably different path.)
In the real world, Reynolds graduated from Vancouver's Kitsilano Secondary School in 1994, and was supposedly "tormented by bullies" in his youth. He also failed out of his high school drama class, an acting low point that his friend/colleague Hugh Jackman was quick to point out on Instagram in 2016, right before Reynolds received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:
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Reynolds would go on to star in "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place" which started production in 1997. Coincidentally, fan-favorite cult actor Nathan Fillion also appeared on the ABC sitcom before playing the evil preacher Caleb on the seventh season of "Buffy."
Funnily enough, Reynolds eventually went back to school in 2002, playing a 25-year-old college senior in "National Lampoon's Van Wilder." Maybe if the Buffyverse had begun during Buffy's college years at UC Sunnydale, Reynolds might have signed on. Still, seeing how his career has blossomed, it's hard to imagine him wishing for anything else.
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