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BethR

What Would Buffy Do?

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Warning: shameless self-promotion ahead.

Buffy Goes Dark, the collection of essays on seasons 6 & 7 of Buffy that I co-edited with Lynne Edwards (Ursinus College) and James South (Marquette University) is now available for pre-order from the publisher, McFarland, and from Amazon.com

UPDATE: Due to various circumstances, the finally corrected proofs actually made it to the publisher last week, so the book should ship next month. In the end, I was only able to do a small part the proof-reading, and of course, we won't know until we see the book whether the publisher actually MADE the corrections we requested. There are some things I'm still not happy with, but it's too late to fix them now. So if you happen to see the book, try too look for the good stuff. Thanks!

Surprise early Christmas present for me: 3 authors' copies of Buffy Goes Dark were waiting when I got home this evening, about a month earlier than expected. According to the letter that came with them, the book is "on sale" as of yesterday, even though the official publication date is March 2009. Whatever!

So far, have found at least three fairly awful errors, including one--of course--in my chapter. But I'm sure there are more tongue.gif Still, I'm happy to have it.

TOC:

Foreword by David Lavery

Preface: At Sixes and Sevens in Sunnydale

Marti Noxon: Buffy's Other Genius, by David Perry

Understanding the Espensode, by David Kociemba

Evil, Skanky, and Kinda Gay: Lesbian Images and Issues, by Alissa Wilts

"It's complicated...because of Tara": History, Identity Politics, and the Straight Male Author, by Brandy Ryan

The Candide of Sunnydale: Andrew Wells as Satire of Pop Culture and Marketing Trends, by Ira Shull & Anne Shull

Buffy and the Death of Style, by Michael Adams

"Set on This Earth Like a Bubble": Word as Flesh in the Dark Seasons, by Rhonda V. Wilcox

Bodies and Narrative in Crisis: Figures of Rupture and Chaos in Seasons Six and Seven, by Gregory Erickson and Jennifer Lemberg

Reality Bites: Buffy in the UPN Years, by Lynne Y. Edwards

"Just a Family Legend": The Hidden Logic of Buffy's "Chosen Family", by Agnes B. Curry and Josef Velazquez

Yeats's Entropic Gyre and Season Six, by Elizabeth L. Rambo

Kiss, Kiss, Stake, Stake: Storytelling and the Philosophical Pleasures of Season Seven, by James B. South

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As a few of you know, I just started watching Buffy for the first time last week. I became a Whedon fan a few years ago with the Firefly 'verse, and I loved Dollhouse. So I thought, hey, why not actually watch Buffy now?

Hulu has the first three seasons, so I plowed through season one while following the AV Club commentary. I was very impressed, especially since so many people consider the first season the worst overall. I loved it, and now about a quarter of the way through season two, I can see why the show has so many fans.

And while I know it was really just a beefy Monster of the Week episode, "Puppet Show" had me in stitches. Especially the end. "I don't get it. Is it avant-garde?"

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And while I know it was really just a beefy Monster of the Week episode, "Puppet Show" had me in stitches. Especially the end. "I don't get it. Is it avant-garde?"

For this vignette alone, "The Puppet Show" deserves to be seen, and I say that as a person who, along with Buffy, generally finds that ventriloquist dummies in any context "give me the wig."

Glad you're discovering the foundation of Whedon greatness, Jason.

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For this vignette alone, "The Puppet Show" deserves to be seen, and I say that as a person who, along with Buffy, generally finds that ventriloquist dummies in any context "give me the wig."

"...and it gave me the wig. There really isn't a story here."

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Nikki Stafford of Nikatnite hosts the 2011 Great Buffy Rewatch every Tuesday starting tomorrow (Jan. 4). Complete schedule--usually three episodes per week. List of contributors/collaborators, including me, and my friends Dale (Koontz) Guffey, author of Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon, and Tanya Cochran, who recently wrote about being a Seventh Day Adventist & a Buffy fan, and other smart, funny people.

If you somehow neglected to watch Buffy (no matter why), this is a great opportunity).

Edited by BethR

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My wife and I are three episodes away from finishing the series. I started watching Buffy about a year and a half ago, and have worked my way through. My wife joined near the beginning of season 6, and is definitely a fan. (I also got her hooked on Firefly and Dollhouse, the latter her favorite Whedon show).

Anyway, I love this show. I love the characters, I love the stories, I love the writing. I didn't really think there was a bad season, though season 5 was my least-favorite by far. (I've noticed a lot of hate directed toward seasons 6 & 7, both of which we've really liked.)

My favorite period, though, is from the middle of season 2 to the end of season 3. I'm excited to watch it again, maybe soon?

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Whoa... Season five is one of my favorites. Six had it's highs and lows...but my least favorite season was four. I liked a lot of the ideas and events in four...but overall it felt lacking (with the exception of the excellent Hush). But five worked for me in the way it upped the stakes and how it approached things like Spike's crush (made chilling in season six, as the writers made it clear that Spike could play nice-but even his attempts at love would be false, evil and twisted).

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Update to the Buffy Rewatch contributors: Janet K. Halfyard will be commenting on music, and with special focus on particular episodes. If you click on the link to her professional profile, you'll see that she's not only an expert in classical music, but has also published on film & TV scores, incl. Danny Elfman's Batman score & Music, Sound and Silence in Buffy...and Angel. Very exciting.

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Whoa... Season five is one of my favorites. Six had it's highs and lows...but my least favorite season was four. I liked a lot of the ideas and events in four...but overall it felt lacking (with the exception of the excellent Hush). But five worked for me in the way it upped the stakes and how it approached things like Spike's crush (made chilling in season six, as the writers made it clear that Spike could play nice-but even his attempts at love would be false, evil and twisted).

Season four is my second least favorite, I think, but keep in mind that 'least favorite' in this case is still pretty dang good. I didn't dig season five overall because some of the episodes just drove me nuts (writing, specifically), Glory drove me nuts, etc. etc. Still, it had some incredible episodes: "The Body," "Fool for Love," "The Gift," and so on.

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Season four is my second least favorite, I think, but keep in mind that 'least favorite' in this case is still pretty dang good. I didn't dig season five overall because some of the episodes just drove me nuts (writing, specifically), Glory drove me nuts, etc. etc. Still, it had some incredible episodes: "The Body," "Fool for Love," "The Gift," and so on.

Season five definitely had some clunkers. In a lot of ways, think the first season was the overall weakest, because they were finding there footing. It had its standouts-such as the puppet show... but it was the season finale that really showed me what the show could be. When Buffy discovers the prophesy (that Giles and Angel kept from her) and wants to just quit...it paralelled so nicely with her mothers reaction to Buffy being the slayer. But the final episode of season one is the episode that I truly went from enjoying the show to being into the show.

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My wife and I finished season seven today, and I feel like a part of my life is missing. I loved the conclusion, and I do realize that Buffy Season Eight exists, so I might eventually go down that road. But for now, we still have to finish seasons four and five of Angel.

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I'm 3 episodes in to season three. I like the show a lot so far, though I wasn't a big fan of

the whole Buffy going to LA for an episode for no particular reason thing, unless there is a reason and I just haven't gotten to it yet.

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I'm 3 episodes in to season three. I like the show a lot so far, though I wasn't a big fan of

the whole Buffy going to LA for an episode for no particular reason thing, unless there is a reason and I just haven't gotten to it yet.

I had to sit for a minute thinking "What in the world...? Is he talking about an episode of Angel?" But then I realized you must mean B3.1 "Anne." There's a reason!

(spoilers for season 2 of Buffy, but I'm not blanking it out)

Remember the end of season 2? Buffy killed re-ensouled Angel & sent him to hell to save the world? But her mother had told her "If you leave this house, don't come back?" And Buffy also thinks she's wanted by the police for assault on Willow, and she's been expelled. Remember how "Whistler" told her she didn't know how much she had to lose? So she has saved the world and everyone she cares about, but she's also lost everyone and everything she cares about, so she gets on a bus that drives past the sign that reads "leaving Sunnydale. Come back soon." That final episode of B2 took place near the end of her junior year.

If you had been watching this back in the broadcast day (that is, 1998), you'd have spent the whole summer wondering, along with the Scoobies and Joyce, where Buffy was. Ohhhh---she's been in LA, living a life of drab despair as waitress "Anne." In episode 1 of season 3 she begins to reclaim her identity.

Unlike most shows, the first three seasons, and to some extent seasons 4 & 5, exist more or less in the "real time" of school years, which at the time roughly corresponded to the TV season. Nothing happens in the summer (except reruns). Those were the days ::tv_happy::

Edited by BethR

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Unlike most shows, the first three seasons, and to some extent seasons 4 & 5, exist more or less in the "real time" of school years, which at the time roughly corresponded to the TV season. Nothing happens in the summer (except reruns). Those were the days ::tv_happy::

I wondered about the real-time thing. I assumed it probably was structured like that, but when I've been watching them, I haven't noticed a lot of seasonal markers, and since SoCal doesn't get cold enough for real winter clothes, that isn't much help either.

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Watched the season 4 premiere today. I'm a little worried the move to college will do to Buffy what it did to Veronica Mars.

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Watched the season 4 premiere today. I'm a little worried the move to college will do to Buffy what it did to Veronica Mars.

Some seasons are better than others, but it's still basically about the metaphorically hellish challenges of college--feeling unprepared, losing touch with friends, annoying roomies, [more] bad boyfriends, evil profs, figuring out who you are, etc. And vampires. So still more coherent than Veronica Mars, plus several truly outstanding episodes.

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Season four is one of the weaker overall seasons...but it has some real standout episodes and great moments peppered throughout.

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Season four is one of the weaker overall seasons...but it has some real standout episodes and great moments peppered throughout.

Agreed. Some of the good episodes are among the best in series, though. I think season three might have been the show's best overall, but all of the seasons — even the incredibly frustrating season five — have so much to offer.

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Are any of you following the Great Buffy ReWatch? (link to non-spoilery posts so far) They'll be starting season 4 on May 24, and it may provide some new perspectives. Oh--it looks like I'll be contributing something about "The I in Team," "Goodbye Iowa," and "This Year's Girl."

We're having a blast.

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I'm most of the way through season 4, and I haven't planned on watching Angel (it stars the characters I didn't really like on Buffy), but it seems like there's enough crossover between the series that I'm missing some pieces. Is Angel worth watching?

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I'm most of the way through season 4, and I haven't planned on watching Angel (it stars the characters I didn't really like on Buffy), but it seems like there's enough crossover between the series that I'm missing some pieces. Is Angel worth watching?

For what it's worth, I like Angel better than Buffy. In some cases, much better. And the characters you don't like become character you will like, trust me.

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My first thought when I heard they were spinning off Angel and taking Cordelia with them? "I give it one season." I had no interest in the characters they were building it around. The first season turned out to be quite enjoyable when they were not relying on the whole Buffy angst. Angel became more the hero, the dark moments were often impressive high notes. I would say that seasons 2-5 of Angel were consistantly strong and they had a lot of fun with over the top story arcs. I whole heartedly recommend Angel as it truly developed characters I lost interest in into strong and heroic people...and surrounded them with a terrific supporting cast-including one character I despised when they were on Buffy-by the end of season 5? That character was a favorite.

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My first thought when I heard they were spinning off Angel and taking Cordelia with them? "I give it one season." I had no interest in the characters they were building it around. The first season turned out to be quite enjoyable when they were not relying on the whole Buffy angst. Angel became more the hero, the dark moments were often impressive high notes. I would say that seasons 2-5 of Angel were consistantly strong and they had a lot of fun with over the top story arcs. I whole heartedly recommend Angel as it truly developed characters I lost interest in into strong and heroic people...and surrounded them with a terrific supporting cast-including one character I despised when they were on Buffy-by the end of season 5? That character was a favorite.

Yup. I'd actually say that season 5 might be one of my favorite seasons of any show ever. Season 1 and 2 are quite strong, and season 3 is just fantastic. Season 4 is rocky in some ways (kind of like season 5 on Buffy, actually), but still quite good overall.

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I'm most of the way through season 4, and I haven't planned on watching Angel (it stars the characters I didn't really like on Buffy), but it seems like there's enough crossover between the series that I'm missing some pieces. Is Angel worth watching?

I agree that Angel becomes compelling viewing on its own, and not only do the characters you know from BtVS grow more interesting, but it introduces a few new characters that are just priceless--Winifred Burkle (!), Gunn, Lorne, the entire staff of Wolfram & Hart. Also, a couple characters I wish had never been born, but that's my problem.

The crossover episodes on Angel, especially in seasons 1-2, when BtVS & Angel aired Tuesday & Wednesday nights on the same network, are virtually "part 2" to their counterparts on Buffy, so you are missing something. In B4.8 "Pangs," Angel came back to Sunnydale secretly, not wanting to upset Buffy; Angel 1.8 "I Will Remember You" reveals the consequences, which no Buffy+Angel "shipper" wants to miss. Where does Faith go after B.4.15/16 "This Year's Girl"/"Who Are You?" That's right, straight to LA and 2 of the best episodes of Angel, "Five by Five"/"Sanctuary."

Edited by BethR

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