Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of <em>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</em> on Television


Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television



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.

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 of English at Campbell University. James B. South is associate professor and chair of the philosophy department at Marquette University.



Publication Date



McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers


Jefferson, NC




Table of Contents

Foreword by David Lavery

Preface: At Sixes and Sevens in Sunnydale

Section 1. Auteurs (Writers, Directors, Producers)

Marti Noxon: Buffy's Other Genius / David Perry

Understanding the Espensode / David Kociemba

Section 2. Characters (Lovers, Fans and Heroes)

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

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

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

Section 3. Story (Flesh, Style and Purpose)

Buffy and the Death of Style / Michael Adams

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

Bodies and Narrative in Crisis: Figures of Rupture and

Chaos in Seasons Six and Seven / Gregory Erickson and Jennifer Lemberg

Reality Bites: Buffy in the UPN Years / Lynne Y. Edwards and Carly Haines

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

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

Season Six and the Supreme Ordeal / Paul Hawkins

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

Appendix: Episode Guides for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel

About the Contributors