On Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A Buffy Confession

By Justine Larbalestier

I am a Buffy tragic. I have been an avid follower and, of late, scholar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since the first season. It’s the first television show I’ve ever been obsessed with, the first time I’ve found myself in the role of a fan. A particularly strange shift for me because I’ve spent a large part of my scholarly career writing about fans without actually being one. Now I am. I watch the show. A lot. I read and write about it online, in magazines, fanzines, journals, books. I’ve lectured about it. I’ve been interviewed about it for Australian TV, radio, and print media.

There’s a long list of reasons why so many people love Buffy. Reasons that have been given by fans and scholars and reviewers and others consuming vast tracks of the Internet and print in the form of articles and reviews, poems and stories. Buffy the Vampire Slayer captured me in the first place because it was a genre TV show that took the rules of the genre seriously, understood them, was metaphorically resonate, cared about continuity and consistency, engaged in fabulous world-building, was intelligently written and acted, and had a sassy self-awareness that was not sly or annoying. It is both funny and sad, often at the same time.

My obsession involves watching the show repeatedly, devouring DVD and other commentary by the writers, particularly Joss Whedon, and thinking long and hard about the show. This intense engagement with a set of interlocked texts  …

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