Buffy Goes Dark

Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television

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About the Book

Buffy the Vampire Slayer earned critical acclaim for its use of metaphor to explore the conflicts of growth, power, and transgression. Its groundbreaking stylistic and thematic devices, boldness and wit earned it an intensely devoted fan base—and as it approached its zenith, attention from media watchdog groups and the Federal Communications Commission. The grim and provocative evolution of the show over its final two seasons polarized its audience, while also breaking new ground for critical and philosophical analysis. The thirteen essays in this collection, divided into the perspectives of feminist, cultural, auteur and fan studies, explore the popular series’ conclusion, providing a multifaceted examination of Buffy’s most controversial two seasons.

About the Author(s)

Lynne Y. Edwards is associate professor of media and communication studies at Ursinus College.

Elizabeth L. Rambo is associate professor of English at Campbell University.

James B. South is associate professor and chair of the philosophy department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lynne Y. Edwards, Elizabeth L. Rambo and James B. South

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3676-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5249-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Lavery      1
Preface: At Sixes and Sevens in Sunnydale      5

Section 1. Auteurs (Writers, Directors, Producers)
Marti Noxon: Buffy’s Other Genius
DAVID PERRY      13
Understanding the Espensode
DAVID KOCIEMBA      23

Section 2. Characters (Lovers, Fans and Heroes)
Evil, Skanky, and Kinda Gay: Lesbian Images and Issues
ALISSA WILTS      41
“It’s complicated … because of Tara”: History, Identity Politics, and the Straight White Male Author
BRANDY RYAN      57
The Candide of Sunnydale: Andrew Wells as Satire of Pop Culture and Marketing Trends
IRA SHULL AND ANNE SHULL      75

Section 3. Story (Flesh, Style and Purpose)
Buffy and the Death of Style
MICHAEL ADAMS      83
“Set on This Earth Like a Bubble”: Word as Flesh in the Dark Seasons
RHONDA V. WILCOX      95
Bodies and Narrative in Crisis: Figures of Rupture and Chaos in Seasons Six and Seven
GREGORY ERICKSON AND JENNIFER LEMBERG      114
Reality Bites: Buffy in the UPN Years
LYNNE Y. EDWARDS AND CARLY HAINES      130

Section 4: Seasons (At Sixes and Sevens)
“Just a Family Legend”: The Hidden Logic of Buffy’s “Chosen Family”
AGNES B. CURRY AND JOSEF VELAZQUEZ      143
Yeats’s Entropic Gyre and Season Six
ELIZABETH L. RAMBO      167
Season Six and the Supreme Ordeal
PAUL HAWKINS      183
Kiss Kiss, Stake Stake: Storytelling and the Philosophical Pleasures of Season Seven
JAMES B. SOUTH      198

Appendix: Episode Guides for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel      211
About the Contributors 219
Index      223