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Books

The Sexual, the Female, and the Forbidden Beckoned: 'The Oxford History of Witchcraft & Magic'

It is hoped this solid anthology of level-headed observation will supplant spurious New Age-tinged assertions as well as lurid "exposés".

Recent
Television

Five Is Enough: The Inevitable Decline of 'Mad Men'

I am as excited as a person could possibly be for the beginning of the fifth season of Mad Men, but I worry that the season won’t be as good as we want it to be.

Film

Zealot Zombies vs. Apolitical Vampires: Bruce LaBruce's Political Enlivenment of the Undead

Bruce LaBruce's pornographic zombie films are politically and artistically engaged in ways in which too few contemporary horror narratives are.

Justin Linds
Culture

Beyond Jodie Dallas: TV's 10 Most Important LGBT Characters

Several "best" or "favorite" LGBT TV character lists have popped up in recent years, but they don't always include the most important LGBT characters. So, we pay tribute to the ten(ish) most significant LGBT characters in US television history.

Books

Trickster-Heroes in 'Buffy' and 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.

Television

Your Virtual Fall TV Preview: Tuesdays

Part two of a primetime look at what the major networks will be offering us, with predictions on what will stick and what will flop.

Reviews

Where Have All the Snarky Girls Gone?: Batgirl #22

It's a fond farewell to one of DC's most consistently well-written titles in recent years. Good night sweet Stephanie "Dork Knight" Brown. You will be missed.

Michael D. Stewart
Television

“I’d Very Still”: Anthropology of a Lapsed Fan

Joss Whedon has not only created great shows; he caused fans to reach out to other fans to share their mutual enthusiasm for shows and for specific characters within shows. Here Lily Rothman writes of her involvement with others who came together thanks to Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Lily Rothman
Film

Whedon and Company: Worlds Await

The formal creation of Buffy Studies -- and therefore Whedon Studies -- was born with the creation of the online journal Slayage 10 years ago. Here the coeditor of Slayage, Rhonda V. Wilcox, offers some reflections on our obsessions with the output of a certain TV creator.

Rhonda V. Wilcox
Television

Joss Whedon: Pioneer of the Body Count

Among Joss Whedon's greatest contributions to television has been the continual use of the Body Count, the willingness to kill off recurring characters in order to ratchet up the narrative tension and create a sense of danger.

Film

The Power of Fandom in the Whedonverse

While viewers watch television and film for entertainment, it's easy to forget that these media are industries. In this essay the changing relationships between creators, studios, distributors, and an increasingly active fandom are examined.

Jack Milson
Television

The Big Bad Universe: Good and Evil According to Joss Whedon

Most of Joss Whedon's work has been characterized by Big Bads. But the lines separating Good and Evil are more complex than one might expect.

Television

'Buffy' and 'Dollhouse': Visions of Female Empowerment and Disempowerment

While Buffy has been universally acclaimed as a great work of TV feminism, Dollhouse has been denounced as anti-feminist. But have the critics of Dollhouse been too quick to dismiss its feminist credentials?

Angela Zhang
Film

TV's Grim Reaper: Why Joss Whedon Continually Kills the Characters We Love

Among Joss Whedon's greatest contributions to television has been the invention of the Body Count, the willingness to kill off recurring characters in order to ratchet up the narrative tension and create a sense of danger. This is the first of two essays examining Joss Whedon as a televisual mass murderer.

Kristin M. Barton
Television

Love Hurts, or, Why Buffy Couldn't Find Love

Unlike most teen shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn't constructed around romances. And while viewers followed her epic romances with vampires Angel and Spike, whether or not she would ever find true love was never really the point of the show.

Maria Vlahos
Television

Zombies, Reavers, Butchers, and Actuals in Joss Whedon's Work

Zombies have been one of the more popular monster types in films and television in recent decades following the popularity of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Joss Whedon's somewhat different take on the Zombie in his various projects is here examined in detail.

Gerry Canavan
Television

Nathan Fillion Misbehaves All Across the Whedonverse

Both because of his several roles in Joss Whedon series and because of his extensive interaction with fans, Nathan Fillion has emerged as one of the best-loved actors in the Whedonverse.

Television

Personal Identity in Joss Whedon's Shows

All of Joss Whedon's shows raise questions about personal identity. Here several major characters from the Whedonverse are subjected to a philosophical analysis.

Mike Bailey
Television

Consequence and Change in the Works of Joss Whedon, and Why It Matters

In many television series, the actions of characters neither have long-term consequences nor cause long-term change. For Joss Whedon actions always have consequences and often change the show's narrative.

Glenn Brown
Television

'Doctor Horrible': Lessons from the Musical-Tragi-Comedy-Internet Sensation

Dr. Horrible repeats many of the themes found in Joss Whedon's television series. Here we are reminded of three "lessons" found in other creations.

Matthew Grace
Games

"What a Crazy Random Happenstance": Destiny and Free Will in 'Dr. Horrible'

Among other things, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog provides a meditation on good and evil and the role that choice plays in embracing one or the other.

Cynthea Masson
Television

In the Buff: Sexual Conservatism in the Works of Whedon

Although Joss Whedon is widely regarded as espousing a variety of liberal positions, here the author argues that this does not extend to his views concerning casual sex.

Kyle Garret
Comics

Joss Whedon 101: Runaways

Joss Whedon and comic writer Brian K. Vaughan have enjoyed an interesting relationship, shown in part by Vaughan's writing the "No Future for You" arc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 and Joss continuing Vaughan's great series "Runaways" for Marvel.

Kevin Chiat
Television

Heroic Humanism and Humanistic Heroism in Shows of Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon is famous for the many heroes in his shows, especially female heroes, but the humanistic nature of this heroism hasn't been appreciated.

Candace E. West
Television

Joss Whedon 101: Firefly

There are few if any prematurely cancelled shows whose demise is more lamented than Firefly.

Television

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: Joss Whedon’s True Tragic Hero

From his debut on Buffy as a stiff, silly-ass buffoon to his eventual emergence as one of the most ruthless and competent demon hunters on Angel, few if any characters in the Whedonverse have had such a fascinating or varied history

Nick Bridwell
Television

Joss Whedon 101: Angel

After three seasons as Buffy's love interest and sometime enemy, Angel, the vampire with a soul, departed in 1999 for Los Angeles and his own series. Acclaimed Angel scholar Stacey Abbott sums up what makes the series so special.

Stacey Abbott
Television

The Three Faces of Anne: Identity Formation in 'Buffy' and 'Angel'

One of the more interesting minor characters on Buffy and Angel is Anne, also known as Chanterelle and Lily, who matures over the course of five episodes and several seasons from clueless vampire wannabe to someone helping teen runaways.

Don Tresca
Comics

Joss Whedon 101: Fray

Although Buffy and Faith may be the most famous Slayers created in the Buffy verse, the Slayer from the future Fray is just as compelling.

Patrick Shand
Television

Pedagogy of the Possessed: Teaching and Learning in 'Buffy'

The implied pedagogical theories undergirding both Buffy and Giles's guidance of her evince a particularly American pragmatic understanding of the learning process.

Michael Curtis Nelson
Television

Returning to the Basement: Excavating the Unconscious in 'Buffy's' “Restless"

Although dreams permeate Buffy the Season Four finalé "Restless" consists of a series of dreams in which the characters confront their unconscious dreams.

Laura Berger and Keri Ferencz
Television

The Darkness of "Passion": Visuals and Voiceovers, Sound and Shadow

In this essay, Rhonda V. Wilcox provides a penetrating commentary on one of the greatest Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes that Joss Whedon neither wrote nor directed.

Rhonda V. Wilcox
Television

Coming Out of the Broom Closet: Willow's Sexuality and Empowerment in 'Buffy'

Over the course of seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow Rosenberg goes from a nerdy computer geek filled with heterosexual longing to powerful witch and lesbian.

Jessica Ford
Television

Women Who Hate Women: Female Competition in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

Although Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer is rightly celebrated as a landmark in the depiction of strong female characters, relations between women are often complicated by their viewing one another as sexual competitors.

Faye Murray & Holly Golding
Television

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' in the Fantasy Canon

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Joss Whedon intentionally set out to blur the boundaries between genres, creating a show that was part drama, part comedy, part horror, part SF, and very definitely part fantasy. Here "Buffy" is analyzed in terms of nature as fantasy.

Television

You're Strong. I'm Stronger: Vampires, Masculinity & Language in 'Buffy'

Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been praised for its use of language. Most investigations have focused on the use of language by Buffy and the Scoobies. Here the vampires get their due.

Malgorzata Drewniok

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