Friday, July 14, 2006

Seven Seasons of Buffy

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Show
Various Authors

Nonfiction, TV

This book is a collection of various articles relating to the seven-year television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you haven't seen Buffy, a good thing to note is that the writers of the show spent a lot of time developing internally consistent characters, and that such writing enables such things as psychological evaluations of a particular character, speculations as to a character's possible future path, and debates as to the moral levels of various characters.

Essays in this book run from the silly (a demon's test answer as to the greatest force for good in Sunnydale) to the extremely thoughtful (a comparison of the rites of Initiation (formally defined) for Buffy and for Willow, and how the lack of such rites for the latter leads to her breakdown in the sixth season.) Some of the authors are unhappy at the turn of the seventh season (which is virtually unwatchable as individual episodes, but far better when seen as a whole), and some make comments about their favorite characters. Most of the essays have a sense of humor to them ("The Search For Spike's Balls") and all of them have the sense that when a show is well-written, such exegesis is not only possible, but fun.

If you're a Buffy fan, or if you go in for literary criticism, this is worth a read. If you think that vampires, werewolves, and demons are silly, give it a pass.


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