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Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
For every television series, the original vision grows within a press of forces-both social and artistic expectations, conventions of the business, as well as conventions of the art. Bad television--predictable, commercial, exploitative--simply yields to the forces. Good television, like the character of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fights them. Fighting the Forces explores t ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published February 18th 2002 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published January 1st 2002)
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Philly Aesthete Brown

In this volume academics and theorists write about the deeper levels of meaning, symbolism and narrative structures at work in the popular UPN television series. There's some great stuff here: there's a reading of Kendra, the West Indian Slayer, as a tragic mulatta figure; there's a discussion of why the Buffy/Willow relationship resists a queer reading; there's a provocative id/superego dyad posited for Faith and Buffy and, of course, some thoughtful discussion of Christianity in the face of r
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I cannot say that any of the ideas or criticisms were new to me, but it did make me think more about how all the things I learned in the Liberal Arts relate to Buffy and TV in general. I've started requesting and buying more tv critiques on buffy, x-files, and others. Most of us spend more time than we care to admit watching tv, and it is good to read something that encourages you to think about it critically. Since I've started reading more about TV, I've found myself changing ...more
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for my enthusiasm while reading this, slowly, over like two weeks on the commute. I started to feel self-conscious or something about being seen with the same book for so long, lol, and my excuse is that I spend all my time at home watching Buffy, then in between chapters of this book, I space out too much thinking about Buffy, their relationships, the blur of good and evil, Willow and Tara highlights, etc, which reading this adds to all I have to think about, I guess, and super. I fe ...more
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fighting the Forces is an example of the quickly-growing academic sub-discipline of television studies. In fact, there’s even such a thing within in that narrow category known as “Buffy studies.” There are probably a dozen books of collected essays on Buffy; this one is the best in both variety and quality. Included are essays such as “’I’m Buffy and You’re History’: The Postmodern Politics of Buffy,” “’Digging the Undead’: Death and Desire in Buffy,” and “’My Boyfriend’s in the Band!’: Buffy an ...more
Katherine Clark
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
As far as I can tell, this was the first book of academic essays published on the television show Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. It was mostly delightful reading, though at times I got bogged down in arguments I was opposed to, but I learned a great deal, and this info will come in handy as I design my podcast. Onto the next Buffy book...
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book for any true fan of the series. These academic essays go into many fun topics of the show from differing perspectives. Some of the connections were new to me and some were not but all of them were interesting. This book is packed - small font and lots of pages. It's not one that can be read in one sitting. Nice compilation of authors and ideas. Highly recommended.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is sort of the grandfather of all the let's talk about BtVS at a bit deeper level than 'omg Spike is so awesome'. Because very often the discussion about BtVS does not progress beyond that level. (that sounds a bit snarky). However, this book does live in my library due my devotion of all things Buff.
Mar 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: jbb-book
Entire review (too long for Goodreads!) is over at:
Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer edited by Rhonda V. Wilcox and David Lavery
Jan 14, 2009 rated it liked it
I thought, having watched Buffy and Angel an embarassing number of times, that I knew all there was to know about the show, but this book is proving me wrong! I've learned several new things, including the fantastic concept of 'feminist camp'.
Ian Mathers
Dec 09, 2009 rated it liked it
It's, you know, a book of academic essays. Some are really good, some are right, some are both; many of the others are maddening in large and small ways. An interesting coda to my long-overdue viewing of the whole series, but not a book I'm likely to look at again.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
A fascinating collection of theory-rich essays that don't shy away from some of the more problematic aspects of the series... but still accessible enough to make for comprehensible bedtime reading.
Jan 22, 2008 rated it liked it
some essays are good, some are so-so.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Fun book of literary criticism centered on the hit 90's TV show. Not all of it is as interesting as it could be, but it's fun to read and if you're a die hard fan you'll love it.
Nov 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
Yes, I know reading Buffy is just uber-geeky, but I just couldn't help myself... As if. ;)
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Dr. Rhonda V. Wilcox is a Professor of English at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia.
More about Rhonda V. Wilcox

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