Sarah Michelle Gellar
has struggled to find a new niche since her revered breakout Buffy the Vampire Slayer had its bittersweet finale in 2003. She kept up her horror starlet routine (the Grudge films, The Return) to mixed success,
and then tried her hand at some high-profile indies (The Air I Breathe, Southland Tales) that ultimately fizzled. Gellar, who remains a cult icon for a certain Whedonite subspecies among us, now has a return to television in her sights with a new half-hour comedy for HBO. She will lead an ensemble cast in The Wonderful Maladys, from screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Interpreter), which will pivot around three adult siblings whose parents died when they were young.
Randolph told Varietythat Gellar will play a character with “a kind of zealous immaturity—like a drug addict with a to-do list,” which is oddly (and a little dishearteningly) in line with the non-horror roles she’s taken on in the years since Buffy, like the cosmic porn star she played in Southland Tales or the perennially embattled pop idol in The Air I Breathe.
One would think the consummate female sci-fi idol of the past decade warrants better treatment than the crazed-sexpot routine, but what’re you going to do? HBO aims to have a pilot shot by early next year, and the producers have said the show will be fast-tracked to fill a spot on the network’s struggling original line-up.
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