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Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Rhonda Wilcox is the world's foremost authority on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its characters, and its themes. Wilcox argues that Buffy is enduring as art by exploring its excellence in both long-term story arc construction and in producing individual episodes that are powerful on their own. She examines the larger patterns that extend through all seven seasons: the hero myt Rhonda Wilcox is the world's foremost authority on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its characters, and its themes. Wilcox argues that Buffy is enduring as art by exploring its excellence in both long-term story arc construction and in producing individual episodes that are powerful on their own. She examines the larger patterns that extend through all seven seasons: the hero myth, imagery of light, naming symbolism, Buffy's relationship with Spike, sex, and redemption. Wilcox also focuses on acclaimed and noteworthy episodes, including the musical "Once More, with Feeling," the largely silent and wordless "Hush," and the dream episode "Restless." She examines Buffy's literary narrative, symbolism, visual imagery, and sound. Combining great intelligence and wit, written for fans, this is the worthy companion to the show that has claimed and kept the minds and hearts of watchers worldwide.


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Rhonda Wilcox is the world's foremost authority on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its characters, and its themes. Wilcox argues that Buffy is enduring as art by exploring its excellence in both long-term story arc construction and in producing individual episodes that are powerful on their own. She examines the larger patterns that extend through all seven seasons: the hero myt Rhonda Wilcox is the world's foremost authority on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its characters, and its themes. Wilcox argues that Buffy is enduring as art by exploring its excellence in both long-term story arc construction and in producing individual episodes that are powerful on their own. She examines the larger patterns that extend through all seven seasons: the hero myth, imagery of light, naming symbolism, Buffy's relationship with Spike, sex, and redemption. Wilcox also focuses on acclaimed and noteworthy episodes, including the musical "Once More, with Feeling," the largely silent and wordless "Hush," and the dream episode "Restless." She examines Buffy's literary narrative, symbolism, visual imagery, and sound. Combining great intelligence and wit, written for fans, this is the worthy companion to the show that has claimed and kept the minds and hearts of watchers worldwide.

30 review for Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    You shouldn't read this book unless you've watched all 7 seasons of Buffy -- too many spoilers! However, there are no spoilers in this review. Buffy studies seems to be my intellectual hobby, and this book is my favorite. In the first half, Wilcox analyzes five or six themes in the show, including the link between sexuality and redemption, naming, and globalization. One of the most interesting essays discussed the metaphor of light as harsh and painful for Buffy in later seasons as well as (obvio You shouldn't read this book unless you've watched all 7 seasons of Buffy -- too many spoilers! However, there are no spoilers in this review. Buffy studies seems to be my intellectual hobby, and this book is my favorite. In the first half, Wilcox analyzes five or six themes in the show, including the link between sexuality and redemption, naming, and globalization. One of the most interesting essays discussed the metaphor of light as harsh and painful for Buffy in later seasons as well as (obviously) for vampire characters, in opposition to the more common light=good, dark=evil metaphor that also persists throughout the show. There's also an essay comparing Buffy to Harry Potter, which surprisingly increased my respect for the latter. In the second half of the book, each essay analyzes a specific episode, mostly the really outstanding episodes like "The Body" and "Once More, With Feeling" as well as "Surprise/Innocence" and "The Zeppo". I really liked this part because Wilcox analyzed all my favorite episodes in more or less ascending order. Unlike a lot of Buffy studies books I've read, Wilcox doesn't focus on explicit analysis of gender, race, class, or sexuality in Buffy, though she does discuss the above themes in these terms to some degree. I have to admit that I liked that because I've grown weary of the "is or isn't Buffy a feminist show?" essays, most of which tend toward binary/overly simplistic arguments and don't teach me anything I didn't notice for myself just by watching the show.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nana

    “Bored now.” I first thought that I would only leave this quote as a review, but I do think that this book deserves a bit more consideration than that. First of all, I’d like to acknowledge that it is obvious that the author of “Why Buffy matters” loves Buffy, and the whole Buffyverse. After all, she dedicated a lot of time and work to produce many studies about it. Produce. Not write. And that’s perhaps what I enjoyed the less during my reading. As she herself explains in her long introduction, “Bored now.” I first thought that I would only leave this quote as a review, but I do think that this book deserves a bit more consideration than that. First of all, I’d like to acknowledge that it is obvious that the author of “Why Buffy matters” loves Buffy, and the whole Buffyverse. After all, she dedicated a lot of time and work to produce many studies about it. Produce. Not write. And that’s perhaps what I enjoyed the less during my reading. As she herself explains in her long introduction, these studies were supposed to be read aloud. And I often felt while reading her book that I was indeed in a classroom, sometimes intrigued, rarely captivated, and I’m sad to say, often bored by the incessant name-dropping and references to other Buffy and other television studies. I did enjoy her references to Dickens and Harry Potter, though, and found some of her Freudian/Jungian analyses of the characters quite interesting, but she never allowed herself to dig a little deeper on these topics, only quoting her and other’s studies about it all over again. Perhaps I was expecting too much, but I was so excited to read an enlightening book about a show I’m passionate about that I somehow ended up frustrated. As I already mentioned, her writing is often repetitive (and so is mine now ;-) ), and quite poor, even for a foreign reader; and I rarely felt this urge to read the next page. On the contrary, I was sometimes forcing myself to finish a chapter before allowing myself to sleep (and I’m a night person). Unlike most of the readers though, I’ve enjoyed the second part of the book way more than the first, with a special mention to the chapter about “Hush”. Rhonda Wilcox indeed starts to dig a little deeper there, to express thoughts of her own as well as good and finally truly topic related references, and some of those chapters are actually quite enlightening, and deserve to be read again right before rewatching the studied episodes. So, why three stars, then? Well, it’s Buffy we’re talking about. And I like this show, and the hidden messages behind it, a lot, and these are finally researched on the second part of the book. Still, this brings me to my second point. In her introduction, Wilcox explains that this book was mostly written to convince people whom have never seen the show that Buffy matters. And I don’t understand at all how she expects to accomplish that while constantly referring to its episodes without explaining anything about their plot - especially in the first part of the book - and still spoiling everything. I kept reading because I was already convinced about what I consider as a tangible fact (Buffy matters). But what if I had never seen it, or didn’t remember much about it? I’d probably drop the book and the show at the same time. Because it is quite a tedious reading to discover a show, because it is never okay to be spoiled before watching one, and because most of the Buffy’s watchers (hello Gileses ;-) ) first enjoyed what seemed to be a fun teen vampire show, before they fell in love with its hidden depths. Too tedious to be read as a novel, too obscure and full of spoilers for the newbies to the Buffyverse, overall too shallow to really teach anything new to the fans... “Why Buffy Matters” remains a fun book to feed your inner slayer, but I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. So... once more, with feeling?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    The cover doesn't lie, this book is for any Buffy fan who likes to get into the deeper allusions and mythology within the show. Wilcox's compilation contains essays that she presented as convention lectures around the world. The first half of the book has a "broad focus" on continuing themes in the series, and how particular parts of the story follow literary patterns or match other real world phenomena (such as a great chapter comparing Buffy and Harry P!). The second half contains a "tight focu The cover doesn't lie, this book is for any Buffy fan who likes to get into the deeper allusions and mythology within the show. Wilcox's compilation contains essays that she presented as convention lectures around the world. The first half of the book has a "broad focus" on continuing themes in the series, and how particular parts of the story follow literary patterns or match other real world phenomena (such as a great chapter comparing Buffy and Harry P!). The second half contains a "tight focus" on a number of the series' most memorable episodes, and particularly how these episodes were influenced or use particular narrative devices. I can't say enough great things about this book! Wilcox clearly has a firm grasp on the allusions and literary conventions that Joss Whedon uses in the show. Yet the depth of her cultural knowledge is emmense, and she draws many comparisons between Buffy and other television shows, great works of literature, philosophical ideas, music, film, and pop culture references. I have never seen a more extensive and complete picture of how Buffy fits into the world of art. The argument that its form, style, and mastery of visual conventions and techniques makes Buffy art is a very convincing one in this body of work. I have nothing negative to add, other than these are definitely academic pieces, so there may be ideas that readers without a literature background could find difficult to follow. Wilcox does such a great job of explaining the literary devices however, that it wasn't hard to follow anything I wasn't familiar with myself. This is THE Buffy book for people into the academic aspects of the Buffyverse, and if you're one of those who constantly gets confused by the dream sequences (and I am definitely among you) there's a whole chapter for you. Happy Buffying!

  4. 4 out of 5

    kory.

    Take a shot every time Dickens is mentioned, Whedon is praised as The Greatest Ever, and something is described as phallic symbolism. Just kidding. You'd get alcohol poisoning. While I like the chapter on Buffy and Harry Potter, the chapter on Xander and comedy, the commentary on Buffy's heroism and the importance of friendship, as well as the analysis of Spike....I'm not really feeling this book. This might sound weird, considering it's a book of essays on Buffy, but I wish it had been more focuse Take a shot every time Dickens is mentioned, Whedon is praised as The Greatest Ever, and something is described as phallic symbolism. Just kidding. You'd get alcohol poisoning. While I like the chapter on Buffy and Harry Potter, the chapter on Xander and comedy, the commentary on Buffy's heroism and the importance of friendship, as well as the analysis of Spike....I'm not really feeling this book. This might sound weird, considering it's a book of essays on Buffy, but I wish it had been more focused on the show. The author couldn't get through one chapter without spending the majority of it citing, quoting, and explaining other works/texts to make their point. It made the book hard to get through, especially the second half of it. And because each chapter can be read as basically standalone essays, as you get further along in the book, you're getting a lot of information that has already been presented in previous chapters. Also, Faith deserves more than just being mentioned as Buffy's shadow figure and for that time she slept with Xander. Respect my girl.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    First of all, I LOVE Buffy, so I'm biased, and this is the first book I've ever read about the show. While I enjoyed this book overall and did gain some new insights (especially regarding Buffy's relationships with Spike and Riley), it wasn't as comprehensive as I hoped it might be and it didn't reach the depths I could've gone when it comes to analysis of this show. For reference, I'd be happy to read a book discussing every single Buffy episode. 1 star off because it just felt lacking in some First of all, I LOVE Buffy, so I'm biased, and this is the first book I've ever read about the show. While I enjoyed this book overall and did gain some new insights (especially regarding Buffy's relationships with Spike and Riley), it wasn't as comprehensive as I hoped it might be and it didn't reach the depths I could've gone when it comes to analysis of this show. For reference, I'd be happy to read a book discussing every single Buffy episode. 1 star off because it just felt lacking in some way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda French

    I didn't really love this book, and here's why: 1) she says she's writing to persuade people that "Buffy matters," but I of course (like most of the people who would read this book, surely) am already convinced of that, and 2) her "argument" that Buffy matters seems to me to be mostly enacted rather than argued -- in other words, the book seems to think that the best way to argue that Buffy matters is to legitimize it by writing stuffy academic essays about it. Don't get me wrong: I like a good I didn't really love this book, and here's why: 1) she says she's writing to persuade people that "Buffy matters," but I of course (like most of the people who would read this book, surely) am already convinced of that, and 2) her "argument" that Buffy matters seems to me to be mostly enacted rather than argued -- in other words, the book seems to think that the best way to argue that Buffy matters is to legitimize it by writing stuffy academic essays about it. Don't get me wrong: I like a good stuffy academic essay as well as the next person. But the book is divided in half, with the first part being general essays and the second part being essays on individual episodes, and the second half is particularly unreadable. I'd have given her close readings of individual episodes a B at best if she'd turned them in in the literature classes I've taught, because they amount to appreciative summary rather than true interpretation. I will say that I liked the general essays better, and those are worth a glance.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Utmost Cookie

    All in all very interesting and thought-provoking essays. Focuses unfortunately way too much on Spike and then men in the series in general when there are so many women and female relationships to explore.

  8. 5 out of 5

    mullemit

    I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I now feel addicted to books that make me love it more. This book is basically a declaration of love for the show and its creators. It touches on many interesting subjects and I kind of want a book about each chapter (my favorite was the one about names and the analysis of 'Restless' even though it felt far from done). It's easy to get into and full of admiration and sharp thinking. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I now feel addicted to books that make me love it more. This book is basically a declaration of love for the show and its creators. It touches on many interesting subjects and I kind of want a book about each chapter (my favorite was the one about names and the analysis of 'Restless' even though it felt far from done). It's easy to get into and full of admiration and sharp thinking.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessie (Zombie_likes_cake)

    It is about "Buffy", so yes, I enjoyed this, I found it interesting. I also found it a lot drier than I expected it to be. I thought with a title that says "why Buffy matters" to see not just an analysis of the show as how it constitutes as a piece of art and a look at the subtext and symbolism but more of a look at the culture impact and there was almost none of that. Wrong expectations or missed opportunity? The essays are divided into broader look at the show and tight focus where Wilcox analy It is about "Buffy", so yes, I enjoyed this, I found it interesting. I also found it a lot drier than I expected it to be. I thought with a title that says "why Buffy matters" to see not just an analysis of the show as how it constitutes as a piece of art and a look at the subtext and symbolism but more of a look at the culture impact and there was almost none of that. Wrong expectations or missed opportunity? The essays are divided into broader look at the show and tight focus where Wilcox analyzes 6 episodes. I enjoyed the different essays to highly varying degrees, I really had to force myself through some and soaked others up. That is of course due to my personal interest and how that correlates with the subject matter but I also think that some were just written better, a more coherent flow and less repetition made some a lot more enjoyable than others. Film analyses (similar to literature) can be a bit tedious to me. Looking at symbolism can be like getting a joke explained: if you get the joke in the first place, you'll likely love it and laugh. But do you really enjoy reading a chapter analyzing it afterwards? Hm. If someone has to explain it to you, you can maybe appreciate it but do you really think it funny? I doubt you'll laugh heartily. And chances are that you are even a bit annoyed. That's how reading this book felt to me. Some things I had gotten out of the show and reading it again here was at first interesting but that wore off quickly. I gained some interesting new insights that truly fascinated me. But there was a lot that i thought was forced and fell into the category where I wanted the "joke explaining" to stop. That feeling had a lot to do with some of recurring themes Wilcox chose to focus on when deep diving into showing the value of "Buffy". She loved to compare it to literature, especially Dickens. So much Dickens. Also, Greek mythology and T. S. Elliot. I wanted to see more where "Buffy" in herself could prove her worth and not just for taking inspiration from male dominated world literature. Then everything is a phallic symbol, ugh. We all know how feminist the subtext in "Buffy" but pointing at the everything that is pointy as a phallic symbol is somehow a very cheap shot... My favorite essays were the chapter that highlighted the meaning and connections between the character names, that proved really fascinating and was something I had not heard or read much about prior to reading this book. I also really loved the chapter on the episode "The Zeppo", to me it had the best flow in the whole book. My biggest disappointment was the one on "Restless", one of my absolute favorite episodes and one with the most to unpack and work through, an analyzers and symbolism junkie's dream, and in my eyes Wilcox wasted it by comparing it to, wait for it, literature written by a man.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia H.

    ---> Note: you should read this book after watching season 1-7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, since the book contains A LOT OF spoilers. My review will also contain parts of the book. If you haven't watched BTVS I recommend you strongly to do so, because it's the best show ever. <3 -- REVIEW -- Wow... this was a journey. I learned new things, discovered new books to read, got a new perspective on the series etc. If you're a Buffy-lover like me, you should really read this one! Rhonda Wilcox discusse ---> Note: you should read this book after watching season 1-7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, since the book contains A LOT OF spoilers. My review will also contain parts of the book. If you haven't watched BTVS I recommend you strongly to do so, because it's the best show ever. <3 -- REVIEW -- Wow... this was a journey. I learned new things, discovered new books to read, got a new perspective on the series etc. If you're a Buffy-lover like me, you should really read this one! Rhonda Wilcox discusses the show in general and in the last part she analyzes some of the episodes, including "The Body", "Hush", "Once More With Feeling" and a few others. You might wonder how this book made me cry (see shelf). Well, Anyas speech in the episode "The Body" of course. - *teary eyes* But how and why can a TV-show be analyzed, some might think. Wilcox draws parallels to Achilles & Odysseus/Angel & Spike - different types of heroes, analyzes the colors of the character's clothes in "OMWF", she draws parallels to Harry Potter and discusses whether Buffy is a feminist icon. And Wilcox doesn't do this in a boring or tiresome way. I read it in English, and as you may see, English isn't my mother tongue. I didn't read it fast or anything - I had lots of pauses but I read when I felt for it. This is a good thing when reading this type of book - you put your own personal goal to achieve. ---> Sidebar: another thing I love about Wilcox is that she doesn't like Riley and is clearly not a Briley shipper. So we have something in common. <3 When it comes to Buffy as a series, it's a global series. And I think everyone can watch it and learn from it. And by reading Wilcox's book, you can deepen your lessons (I know, season 7 reference right?!!) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Stay strong. Be brave. And read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Robbins

    I greatly enjoyed this book and found it helpful for both my fandom interest and also for my academic interests. It helped me have a greater appreciation for Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a television show. Some of my friends know that I have complicated feelings about Season 6, but this book helped me better see how that season reflected Buffy's Hero's Journey and how her relationship with Spike was necessary for tapping into her dark side. A fair warning, though: Don't read it until you've watch I greatly enjoyed this book and found it helpful for both my fandom interest and also for my academic interests. It helped me have a greater appreciation for Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a television show. Some of my friends know that I have complicated feelings about Season 6, but this book helped me better see how that season reflected Buffy's Hero's Journey and how her relationship with Spike was necessary for tapping into her dark side. A fair warning, though: Don't read it until you've watched at least through most of Season 7 because there are a lot of spoilers! If you're a BtVS fan and also a literary fan, you'll love this book as much as I did. :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lida

    A really comprehensive intro to the incredibly geeky "cult discipline" known as Buffy Studies. Rhonda V. Wilcox is the founder of Slayage, the Buffy/Joss Whedon-focused academic journal. Overall, Wilcox drew my attention to interesting parallels and questions I hadn't contemplated. Her overall approach is heavily Freudian/psychoanalytic, but the symbolism in Buffy IS really Freudian, so I'm not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing. A really comprehensive intro to the incredibly geeky "cult discipline" known as Buffy Studies. Rhonda V. Wilcox is the founder of Slayage, the Buffy/Joss Whedon-focused academic journal. Overall, Wilcox drew my attention to interesting parallels and questions I hadn't contemplated. Her overall approach is heavily Freudian/psychoanalytic, but the symbolism in Buffy IS really Freudian, so I'm not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Readable, entertaining, thought-provoking, and well-researched, this book provides 12 essays on Buffy. The first half of the book deals with larger themes while the second half focuses in on specific episodes. Although each essay is adapted from an earlier presentation or paper, there is still a strong continuity to the essays. I think perhaps a final conclusionary note tying things together would have made it a bit more cohesive, but a thoroughly enjoyable read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alaa

    One of the best essays I have ever read about TV shows! I'm just being lazy picking up adjectives to describe the book instead of writing a whole review.I wish if Wilcox focused more about Willow and Tara, though. I felt like I was scratching the pages searching for little hints about them. Chapter 10 and 12 are my favorites, of course because they give account to Willow and Tara(>.<) One of the best essays I have ever read about TV shows! I'm just being lazy picking up adjectives to describe the book instead of writing a whole review.I wish if Wilcox focused more about Willow and Tara, though. I felt like I was scratching the pages searching for little hints about them. Chapter 10 and 12 are my favorites, of course because they give account to Willow and Tara(>.<)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Wonderful analysis of the series. Wilcox greatly argues the validity of "Buffy" as art. The first half takes a look at concepts on the show. The second half explores 5 episodes in detail: Surprise/Innocence, The Zeppo, Hush, Restless, and the Body. Wonderful analysis of the series. Wilcox greatly argues the validity of "Buffy" as art. The first half takes a look at concepts on the show. The second half explores 5 episodes in detail: Surprise/Innocence, The Zeppo, Hush, Restless, and the Body.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    There are good ideas in this book but they are taken too far. Too much is read into the different episodes of Buffy, to the point that the episode is no longer enjoyable as a whole.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kim Berkey

    So fun! My husband and I are officially swearing off television because nothing will ever again be as good as Buffy. This book made a nice companion to our slavish fandom.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Kay

    I love Buffy. This is not it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Сисилота А.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. " the integrity of moral actions does not require an audience for approval" chapter 8, this quote really stuck with me. review to follow " the integrity of moral actions does not require an audience for approval" chapter 8, this quote really stuck with me. review to follow

  20. 4 out of 5

    Soňa

    Finally! I was so so looking forward to read this that I ended so so struggle to finish it :( All 12 chapters are former and updated lectures from conventions, meet ups and lectures themselves. Which is nothing bad as long as you like to read scriptures for univerities or you are already born as a scholar. I should took it in account, after introduction which spreads over 14 pages and looks more like robbery of English dictionary than anything else.... Well, I love Buffy and I will still do so. How Finally! I was so so looking forward to read this that I ended so so struggle to finish it :( All 12 chapters are former and updated lectures from conventions, meet ups and lectures themselves. Which is nothing bad as long as you like to read scriptures for univerities or you are already born as a scholar. I should took it in account, after introduction which spreads over 14 pages and looks more like robbery of English dictionary than anything else.... Well, I love Buffy and I will still do so. However, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who isn't into texts with lots of inter- and intra- textual ideas, comparisons to Dickens, T.S. Eliot and old greek Aeneid or similar. Don't get me wrong, I've learnt lots of new things, but I think it could be writen in more enjoyable style without need od checking dictionary every few minutes for explanation of words. And in case you wonder why was all this written, per author: I see films comparable to short stories and television as comparable to novels: both are art. But novels and television provide more opportunity for the growth of character. First sentence: It's wonderful to get list in a story, isn't it? Last sentence: But by the end of the series we can see that it is “all connected - the singing, and dancing, and burning, and dying.”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This was a re-read of a particularly awesome Christmas present from a couple of years ago. This is the perfect book for a particular type of Buffy fan, the kind that watch it over and over and over and read significance into every tiny detail. Like me. I loved it. As an academic work, it is a good study of how a television show done right can be an intricate work of literature, there are some fascinating examples of symbolism and comparisons with other work. One of the quotes on the back cover say This was a re-read of a particularly awesome Christmas present from a couple of years ago. This is the perfect book for a particular type of Buffy fan, the kind that watch it over and over and over and read significance into every tiny detail. Like me. I loved it. As an academic work, it is a good study of how a television show done right can be an intricate work of literature, there are some fascinating examples of symbolism and comparisons with other work. One of the quotes on the back cover says it acts as a rebuttal of the description of Buffy as "Just a TV show" -I concur. If a non-Buffyphile would have the inclination to pick it up and give it a try. I hope so.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    The essays on Hush and The Body are the only two that I actually found interesting or worth the time to actually read. There were some interesting topics but the writing was pretty boring. If you want to read a Buffy book there are so many more options that are worth your time. 3 stars because I love Buffy but it was more of a 2 star for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Corissa Gay

    Read this at the height of my Buffy obsession, and it really informed my critical reading of the show. It's accessible, sharp, and a must-read for any and all English-major types who want to dig in deeper to the symbolism rich throughout the text of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Read this at the height of my Buffy obsession, and it really informed my critical reading of the show. It's accessible, sharp, and a must-read for any and all English-major types who want to dig in deeper to the symbolism rich throughout the text of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jim Manis

    My daughter pushed me to watch the TV show, which I quickly came to love. The TV show ranks with The Sopranos and South Park as ground breaking pop culture phenomena introduced in 1997. Wilcox's book sheds light on why this is true. My daughter pushed me to watch the TV show, which I quickly came to love. The TV show ranks with The Sopranos and South Park as ground breaking pop culture phenomena introduced in 1997. Wilcox's book sheds light on why this is true.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Painter

    This book is for people already fans of Buffy. Definitely not for newbies to the show. It was a delightful in-depth exploration of some of the allusions and literary influences of the show. The only thing I wished was that she had spent a little more time with the episodes she chose to highlight. There's a lot more specific things to deconstruct about Restless, for example, and Once More With Feeling. The chapters about the episodes left me frustrated as it felt like she spent a lot of time allu This book is for people already fans of Buffy. Definitely not for newbies to the show. It was a delightful in-depth exploration of some of the allusions and literary influences of the show. The only thing I wished was that she had spent a little more time with the episodes she chose to highlight. There's a lot more specific things to deconstruct about Restless, for example, and Once More With Feeling. The chapters about the episodes left me frustrated as it felt like she spent a lot of time alluding to other extra-Buffy texts and not enough time diving deeper into the episode itself. I just finished each chapter thinking... that's all we get? I want more!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Davis strader

    If you are a Buffy fan, you will love this book. The essays were enjoyable to relive my favorite episodes in new light. It was a quick read and entertaining throughout.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shiloh

    One of the foundational texts for Buffy studies and the one that inspired me to pursue Buffy studies myself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lyddie

    Very satisfying and academically sound read. A great companion for analytical Buffy fans.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Handler

    An excellent read. Very informative and exceptionally well written. This is the best book about Buffy I've read. If you love the show, you should read this book. An excellent read. Very informative and exceptionally well written. This is the best book about Buffy I've read. If you love the show, you should read this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Corey Herlevsen

    An absolute gem. In depth criticism and reflection on a great work of art.

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