Fandom favorite Amber Benson answers that never-ending question for Hypable – under what circumstances would she consider a return to Buffy?

Amber Benson became a fandom darling for her role of Tara in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she has a lot more up her sleeve these days. In addition to acting, she is also a director, producer, novelist and playwright.

Hypable sat down with Benson during San Diego Comic-Con to hear about her upcoming book series, her role on Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires web series adaptation, and of course – Buffy.

A return to ‘Buffy’?

There is no doubt that to many fans, Amber Benson will always be Buffy’s Tara Maclay.

Tara quickly became a fan favorite character, but it was the portrayal of the relationship between Tara and Willow (played by Alyson Hannigan) that has been the lasting legacy of Buffy.

Benson is well aware that the frank and open portrayal of the lesbian couple was an inspiration to both future filmmakers, and to many teenagers worldwide.

Hypable: Let’s get the inevitable question out of the way. Obviously returning to ‘Buffy’ as Tara presents certain problems. But if Joss decided to return to the show, would you consider going back?

Amber Benson: Definitely, if it could be done the right way. I know that they have been hinting at her in the comics, and I think that has been really lovely actually.

I just think bringing her back and making her a bad guy was not quite right for me, but I know there’s a way to do it that would be beneficial to the fans. Yeah, definitely. I would love to do anything.

Is there a particular way that you would like to see Tara come back?

I don’t know. I would have to leave that up to Joss. He’s a maestro, he knows what he’s doing. I’ll let him figure all that out, I’ll show up.

From your role in ‘Buffy’, you became a role model for many young people exploring their sexuality. How does it feel to be seen that way?

I’m honoured that I get to help in the battle to bring things to an equal position. We live in 2013, and in a Western society. We need equality for everybody. If one group of people can’t be treated equally, then no one is being treated equally in my mind.

I very much feel like Alyson and I really got to knock on the glass ceiling, and say “Screw you glass ceiling, we are going to knock you down.”

Just in the last 10 years, there has been such a leap forward. And I feel like we were helpful, we weren’t just making television, we were doing social commentary.

‘Buffy’ was really the first. Now we have ‘Glee’, ‘Modern Family’, and ‘Husbands’, but it started with ‘Buffy’.

It opened the door. It brought it into the mainstream and said it’s okay to be who you are. It doesn’t matter who you fall in love with. If you find someone to fall in love with, you are just lucky.

The pressures of being a role model

And you’re very prominent in the sci-fi/fantasy/comic world, you must be a role model to so many young women who want to break into the industry.

I just do stuff that moves me. I feel like that is how this world has to work. You have to do the things that you’re passionate about. Yes, there’s always that balance between art and commerce, and how do I pay my bills. Which is why I do lots of things, I diversify so that I can pay my bills.

If I was just an actor, I would be going around with a hat. So I do a lot of different things to pay my bills, but I do what moves me, and it doesn’t matter that I have a vagina. I’m just me, and anybody else can do what they want.

I grew up in Alabama, I never in a million years thought I was going to come to Los Angeles and be so lucky that I was able to do what I love. So if I can do it, anybody can do it.

I didn’t know anybody. I was just lucky, and I persevered. If you can do that, and put yourself out there, you can achieve anything.

You say it in a way that makes it sound so obvious.

[Laughs] It’s not obvious, and that’s why I keep saying it. You just have to go and do it.

And especially in this community, it is important for women to see that you can succeed in the way that you have.

You have to help other women. It’s changing, and I have so many female friends in the industry now and we are helping each other. It’s changing. I paid my dues for 20-something years as an actor, and I took it and I applied it.

I feel like for me, I am a maker of things. I just want to make stuff. It’s not about being famous, it’s not about making money, it’s about doing things you are passionate about and pleasing yourself.


On page 2, Amber Benson talks about her new book series, balancing multiple projects, and Rachel Caine’s ‘Morganville Vampires’ web series adaptation

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Cassandra Clare keeps expanding the Shadowhunters’ universe, with the first adult books of the chronicles just announced!

Clare announced via press release this morning that she’ll publish a trilogy about Magnus Bane, the fan-favorite warlock who’s appeared in every single one of her books and already received a collection of eleven spin-off novellas all about him (The Bane Chronicles). There is no word yet on whether the new books will tie in with the stories told in The Bane Chronicles.

Interestingly, this trilogy will be Clare’s first foray into adult literature, after writing extensively in the YA realm. She always pushed the boundaries of YA, though, with the inclusion of “Dirty Sexy Balcony Scenes” and the like. The first Shadowhunter book, City of Bones, was published in 2007, and the teens who picked it up back then will feel right at home in the adult section of a bookstore today.

Also of note, the series will be co-written with Wesley Chu (author of The Lives of Tao). Clare seems to like having co-writers when dealing with Magnus Bane; The Bane Chronicles are the only other Shadowhunter books that have other authors attached.

The first Magnus Bane book is expected to be published in November 2017. This means that Cassandra Clare will have three Shadowhunters series being published concurrently… The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours, and this Magnus Bane series.

If various sources are to be believed, all three will have an installment published in 2017. The second Dark Artifices book, Lord of Shadows, is expected in April. The Magnus Bane book, as mentioned above, is due in November. And the official site of the Shadowhunter Chronicles still says that the first Last Hours book, Chain of Thorns, is expected in 2017. Clare has a sixth series planned after getting some of these finished, The Wicked Powers, so there’ll be more Shadowhunters coming to a bookstore near you at least through the early 2020s.

Perhaps the decision to publish the Magnus Bane trilogy was based on the character’s success on the Shadowhunters TV show, where the fan favorite is portrayed by Harry Shum Jr. Shadowhunters was renewed for a second season by ABC Family, and it looks like they may have many seasons ahead of them.

Clare said, “Over the years writing the Shadowhunter books, Magnus Bane has emerged as one of the most fun and fascinating characters for me to bring to life… There are so many things we don’t know about Magnus, from the story of his first love to the secrets of his parentage, to the beginning of his relationship with Alec. All those are things I was able to touch on in The Bane Chronicles, but I’m excited to dig in even more deeply in these three volumes devoted to Magnus, his past, his future, and his present.”

Are you excited for three books all about Magnus Bane, or is this Shadowhunter overkill?

The Boxcar Children are heading to the big screen for a new movie series.

Many of us grew up with the wonderful Boxcar Children book series when we were kids. The stories by Gertrude Chandler Warner follow Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, who live in a train boxcar as they search for a home. As kids we all wanted to live in that boxcar (or at least I did — I thought it was so cool to live in a train car with friends!).

According to a press release from Shout! Factory Studios and Legacy Classics, work on a new Boxcar Children animated movie series is well underway, with the first movie aiming for a release in 2017 (which marks the 75th anniversary of Boxcar Children #1). Two more Boxcar Children stories are also in development.

If the animation quality is at the Sunday-morning-cartoon level I probably won’t be very excited about it, but if it’s a more mature animation style (like a Pixar or a Coraline) I can imagine myself loving it.


The Boxcar Children movie series is poised to do well thanks to the overall success of the books they’re based on. The novels have collectively sold over 70 million copies worldwide, with over 160 books (?!) in its arsenal. The two most recent books are titled The Legend of the Irish Castle and The Celebrity Cat Caper, which were both published this year. Looking through the history of the series, roughly four Boxcar Children books have been published annually. The original author, Gertrude Chandler Warner, only wrote the first 19.

A low-budget animated Boxcar Children film debuted two years ago, but today’s announcement marks a reboot with a new studio at the helm.

Arrested Development‘s fourth season aired three years ago today. To celebrate its legacy (and to try to forget how much we’re missing it right now), let’s rank the best recurring Arrested Development jokes!

It’s really no secret that Arrested Development has some of the best recurring jokes and gags of all time. Even people who don’t watch the show are familiar with things like “There’s always money in the banana stand” and “I’ve made a huge mistake.” The jokes in this show are just so understated and catchy that it would’ve been crazy had they not have caught on. Thanks to Arrested Development‘s recurring jokes, pop culture has never been quite the same.

To celebrate our undying love for Arrested Development, we decided to forgo the banner (sorry, everyone) and instead put together a list of all of the gags and jokes that we think are the best ones the show’s ever done. Not only that, but we’re leaving it up to you to rank them!

How to play: Love a certain joke and think that it should be at the top of the list? Upvote it. Really hate another joke and don’t understand how it got on the list in the first place? Hit that little downward-facing arrow. Don’t care either way for some of these gags? Then you can just leave them untouched. It’s all good! We just want to know what YOU think! With everyone participating we’ll be able to build a definitive list of the best Arrested Development jokes!

So, grab your denim cut-offs and hot ham water, and maybe even do a little chicken dance to get yourself pumped up (but not with the hot ham water in your hand, please). If you’re an Arrested Development fan, you’re sure to love ranking these jokes.

(Just be careful about which arrow you hit. You don’t want to hit the wrong one and find yourself saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”)

Are there any ‘Arrested Development’ jokes missing from the list? Add them below!

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