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Episode 62 - Dirty Girls / Empty Places (feat. Dale Guffey)

September 18th, 2020

“I got dangerous for a while.”

 

DALE! You guys, it’s Dale! Dale Guffey, author of Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon (among other things) is finally here! And she makes an enthusiastic addition to the graveyard chorus. She brings her wit, charm, and scary brain to the discussion of, well, Faith coming back to Sunnydale, and the various choices of Caleb the Minister of Murder. Episodes 718, “Dirty Girls” and 719, “Empty Places” bring some genuine horror, real world horrors that were uncomfortable to watch in 2003 but are even more gut wrenching in today’s climate. We certainly get some humor and heart, such as Spike continuing to insist he’s nothing like Angel, and Clem sweetly suggesting maybe Buffy should get out of town. But it’s the misogyny and eye-gouging that really stands out.

 

NEXT: Late-comer but already a fan favorite, Dale sticks around to discuss two more episodes with me, 720 “Touched” and the penultimate episode of the entire series, 721 “End of Days.”

 

 

BREAKDOWN

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:07:52  -  Main Topic

01:46:25  -  Outro / Next

 

 

LIBRARY

Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon, by K. Dale Koontz

Reading Joss Whedon, edited by Rhonda V. Wilcox, Tanya R. Cochran, Cynthea Masson, and David Lavery

A Dream Given Form: The Unofficial Guide to the Universe of Babylon 5, by Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz

Wanna Cook?: The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad, by Ensley F. Guffey and K. Dale Koontz

 

 

MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Preacherman” by Melody Gardot, Currency of Man (2015)

Episode 61 - Get It Done / Storyteller / Lies My Parents Told Me (feat. Elizabeth Rambo)

September 11th, 2020

My friends, I’m not 100% sure, but I think it’s possible that this set of episodes, and the discussion with fan favorite repeat guest Elizabeth Rambo about them, may have performed a damned Buffy the Vampire Slayer miracle on your oh-so-humble host…

 

Next: We’ve ALL been chanting and praying and calling upon the dark forces to get her here, and at long last we’ve summoned the inimitable Dale Guffey, author, scholar, artist, and my dear friend, to the CWDP cemetery! She crawls from her podcastless grave to help me examine episodes 718, “Dirty Girls” and 719, “Empty Places.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:03:40  -  Main Topic

01:53:58  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LIBRARY

Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television, edited by Lynne Y. Edwards, Elizabeth Rambo, and James B. South

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Early One Morning” by Kellianna, Traditions (2013)

 

 

THE SCHOLARS

Whedon Studies Association is a non-profit academic organization devoted to the study of the works of Joss Whedon and his associates. They put out Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, and Watcher Junior​: The Undergraduate Journal of Whedon Studies, both blind peer-reviewed twice-yearly online publications. They also host the biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, which brings all these incredible scholars together to present papers, discuss ways of incorporating Whedon Studies in education, and basically just geek out together. 

http://www.whedonstudies.tv/

Episode 60 - Potential / The Killer in Me / First Date (feat. James Rocha)

August 28th, 2020

“It’s almost like this sort of metaphor for womanhood, isn’t it? This sort of flowering that happens when a girl realizes that she’s part of a fertile heritage stretching back to Eve…”

 

Author and philosophy professor James Rocha is back in the graveyard with me again to discuss three more episodes of this, the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In “Potential,” Buffy (the character and maybe the show?) get the details of Slayer ascension wrong yet again, and Xander shows us how Speechifying(™) is supposed to work. “The Killer in Me” gives us a sadly truncated version of what, in my not-so-humble opinion, the entire season should have been about, and hey, I don’t hate Kennedy like the rest of y’all do. Who’s surprised? Lastly, “First Date” asks cutting edge questions like, “Why the hell doesn’t Principal Wood know who Spike is?” and “How does Wood stare at Spike in the rearview mirror of his car and not notice he’s a vampire?”

 

As a bonus, James schools me on the difference between Existentialism and Essentialism.

 

Next: You know her, you love her, Elizabeth Rambo is back again, this time to hold my hand as we try to make it through episodes 715, “Get It Done,” 716, “Storyteller,” and 717, “Lies My Parents Told Me.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:59:30

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:07:13  -  Main Topic

01:54:50  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LIBRARY

Joss Whedon, Anarchist? A Unified Theory of the Films and Television Series, by James Rocha and Mona Rocha

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Killer” by Phoebe Bridgers, Stranger in the Alps (2017)

Episode 59 - Bring On the Night / Showtime (feat. Vickie Navarra)

August 17th, 2020

‘Verse-y author/editor Vickie Willis Navarra returns at long last (my bad, sorry) to try and help me over my growing Season 7 apathy as we begin our slow, tortured crawl to the finish line. Episode 710, “Bring On the Night” is the first appearance of Kennedy and the final appearance of Joyce. So yeah. It’s also the beginning of the interminable Buffy Speechifying(™). Sooo...yeeeeeeeah. And in 711, “Showtime,” Buffy welcomes Potential Slayer Rona to the Hellmouth, we get some charmingly awful rubber monster practical effects, and I defend the cool (and previously established) Willow-telepathically-links-the-Scoobies trick.

 

BONUS: I begin in earnest to dunk on The First as the most ridiculously inconsistent and ineffectual Big Bad of the entire series. Good times.

 

Next: author and Philosophy Professor James Rocha returns to help me make sense of episodes 712, “Potential,” 713, “The Killer In Me,” and 714, “First Date.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:44:09

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:10:04  -  Main Topic

01:38:45  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LIBRARY

Reading Joss Whedon (Television and Popular Culture), edited by Rhonda V. Wilcox, Tanya R. Cochran, Cynthea Masson, and David Lavery

At Home in the Whedonverse: Essays on Domestic Place, Space and Life, edited by Juliette C. Kitchens

Geek Rock: An Exploration of Music and Subculture, edited by Alex DiBlasi and Victoria Willis

Routledge Companion to Popular Music and Humor, edited by Thomas M. Kitts and Nick Baxter-Moore

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Bring On the Night” by The Police, The Police (1979)

Episode 58 - Sleeper / Never Leave Me (feat. Tami Anderson)

July 28th, 2020

I have no idea what Anya is talking about. For me, Souled Spike IS Happyland! But whatever. This week I’m joined by fan and amateur Buffyologist Tami Anderson to discuss the Pavlov’s Bell-ness of episode 708, “Sleeper,” and how I will never forgive episode 709, “Never Leave Me” for turning the death of my beloved Jonathan into nothing more than a lame (and medically specious) punchline.

 

Next: Author Vickie Navarra returns to the cemetery to converse on episodes 710, “Bring On The Night” and 711, “Showtime.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:21:30

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:09:22  -  Main Topic

01:16:30  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Pavlov’s Bell” by Aimee Man, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale - Music from the TV Series (2003)

Episode 57 - Conversations with Dead People (feat. Eric Sipple)

July 23rd, 2020

“Do the words ‘superiority complex’ mean anything to you?”

 

This week I’m joined by Broken Magic author and my very frequent collaborator Eric Sipple, here to discuss arguably the most important episode of the series (being the namesake of this clearly revolutionary podcast) episode 707, “Conversations with Dead People.” We break down the four (five?) titular conversations; wax rhapsodic about Jonathan Woodward; condemn the pointless death of Jonathan Levinson; lament the horribly wasted potential of the First Evil; and ask whether the episode is better in isolation or if the shocks and twists of this episode actually pay off in a satisfying way through the rest of the season.

 

Is it just a coincidence that this podcast takes its name from the only episode in the entire run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with absolutely ZERO Xander Harris? You be the judge. 

 

Next: Tami Anderson, fan and amateur Buffyologist, joins me to discuss episode 708, “Sleeper” and 709, “Never Leave Me.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:21:44

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:05:50  -  Main Topic

01:18:30  -  Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Broken Magic, by Eric Sipple

The Deli Counter of Justice, by Paul Smith, Eric Sipple, Arlo Wiley

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Blue” by Angie Hart, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale - Music from the TV Series (2003)

Episode 56 - Help / Selfless / Him (feat. Michael Adams)

July 6th, 2020

Michael Adams, author of Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon, joins me as I continue my march to the end here in Season 7 with the next three episodes. “Help” introduces us, for a tragically brief time, to the delightful Azura Skye as Cassie, doomed teenage poet and seer. “Selfless” features a fun flashback and a “lost” musical number from “Once More, With Feeling.” (It is also the point at which my uncharacteristic love for Buffy Summers I’ve been feeling for the first part of this season finally wears off.) And “Him” provides a mildly troubling Buffy-channeling-Darla seduction scene, and a waka-chicka-waka-chicka Charlie’s Angels-esque split screen montage.

 

Next: Broken Magic author, and my co-author/co-editor on The Deli Counter of Justice, Eric Sipple joins me for what is arguably the most important episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ever (being the namesake for this very important podcast), 707, “Conversations with Dead People.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:46:35

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:04:16  -  Main Topic

01:41:00  -  Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon, by Michael Adams

Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television, edited by Lynne Y. Edwards, Elizabeth Rambo, and James B. South

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Theme from ‘A Summer Place’” by Percey Sledge and his Orchestra, A Summer Place (1959)

Episode 55 - Lessons / Beneath You / Same Time, Same Place (feat. Theresa Fortier)

June 29th, 2020

“Can we rest now? Buffy...can we rest?”

 

The seventh and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts much stronger out of the gate than I had remembered. 701, “Lessons” takes us back to the beginning (not the Bang, not the Word, but the true beginning) as a beautiful little parade of every Big Bad from seasons past welcomes us to the brand new Sunnydale High. In 702, “Beneath You,” James Marsters gives what is arguably his greatest single scene performance of the entire series, getting all smoldering and confessional with Buffy about what he did over Summer vacation. And 703, “Same Time, Same Place” gives us another chillingly creepy fairy tale villain eager to welcome Willow back to the Hellmouth. Theresa Fortier, Spike superfan and Nicholas Brendon travelling companion, joins me to discuss all these tasty morsels and more (particularly Spike!) as I make my uncomfortable peace with actually LIKING Buffy Summers for several episodes in a row.

 

Next: I’m joined by Michael Adams, author of Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon, to get all linguistic about episodes 704, “Help,” 705, “Selfless,” and 706, “Him.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:35:11

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:06:03  -  Main Topic

01:30:58  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LINKS

Support Spike (Facebook)

nickybrendon.com

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants, Flood (1990)

 

 

THE SCHOLARS

Whedon Studies Association is a non-profit academic organization devoted to the study of the works of Joss Whedon and his associates. They put out Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, and Watcher Junior​: The Undergraduate Journal of Whedon Studies, both blind peer-reviewed twice-yearly online publications. They also host the biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, which brings all these incredible scholars together to present papers, discuss ways of incorporating Whedon Studies in education, and basically just geek out together. 

http://www.whedonstudies.tv/

Episode 54 - Two to Go / Grave (feat. Elizabeth Rambo)

May 27th, 2020

“She's a truck-driving Magic Mama! And we've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa-burgers, and not one of you bunch has the midichlorians to stop her.”   - Andrew Wells

 

Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee, Season Six. We’ve come to the yellow crayon end of the darkest Buffy the Vampire Slayer timeline, and Mistress of the Dark herself, Elizabeth Rambo is back again to help us all get through it. In 621, “Two to Go,” we talk about the Dark Phoenix of it all, Doritos taste tests with prosthetic teeth, and the coolest scene transition effect in the entire series! And in 622, “Grave,” Giles is a Trojan Horse; Dawn gets to swing a sword; the Zeppo saves the day; and how the hell was the crawling out of the grave circular storytelling NOT part of the initial draft of this finale?!

 

Bonus: AITA for thinking things would have gone differently if Jonathan had ever been given a real shot at joining the Scooby Gang? (Possibly, since I literally almost die on mic during the recording session.)

 

Next: we’re in the endgame now as we begin our approach to that controversial opinion I’ve teased having about the series finale. But First, Evil in 701, “Lessons,” 702, “Beneath You,” and 703, “Same Time, Same Place.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:48:36

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:05:42  -  Main Topic

01:44:54  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LIBRARY

Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television, edited by Lynne Y. Edwards, Elizabeth Rambo, and James B. South

Television Finales: From Howdy Doody to Girls, edited by Douglas L. Howard and David Bianculli

Bite Me!: The Chosen Edition The Unofficial Guide to Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Seven Seasons One Book), by Nikki Stafford

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Prayer of St. Francis” by Sarah McLachlan, Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff, Vol. 2 (2008)

 

 

THE SCHOLARS

Whedon Studies Association is a non-profit academic organization devoted to the study of the works of Joss Whedon and his associates. They put out Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, and Watcher Junior​: The Undergraduate Journal of Whedon Studies, both blind peer-reviewed twice-yearly online publications. They also host the biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, which brings all these incredible scholars together to present papers, discuss ways of incorporating Whedon Studies in education, and basically just geek out together. 

http://www.whedonstudies.tv/

Episode 53 - Seeing Red / Villains (feat. Elizabeth Rambo)

May 5th, 2020

“What have I done? Why didn’t I do it?”

 

Fan-favorite Elizabeth Rambo sticks with me for another light-hearted discussion about Season Six. This time around we get misogyny and magic balls and whether the [CW: sexual assault] scene was really a necessary part of Spike’s journey or if it was a metaphor too far in episode 619, “Seeing Red,” also known as “The One That Broke the Fandom.” And leaving all that darkness behind us, we talk about 620, “Villains,” and Joss Whedon’s pathological inability to portray lasting happiness in his shows. Also, was Amber Benson finally making it to the opening titles for the first (and last!) a cruel mind@$#&, or a sweet farewell to the actress?

 

(Elizabeth is, as always, a treat! But I personally am really uncomfortable talking about at least one of these episodes, so it’s awkward and you’ll probably hate me. But hey, podcasting is dangerous, I’ve always said so.)

 

Next: it’s all been leading to this, kids! The payoff for all the pain and suffering the Scoobies (and us fans) have endured for the past season. A guest (or guests?) will join me to discuss episodes 621, “Two to Go” and 622, “Grave.” Get your party hats at the door.

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 02:03:25

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:03:49  -  Main Topic

01:59:33  -  Outro / Next

 

 

THE LIBRARY

Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television, edited by Lynne Y. Edwards, Elizabeth Rambo, and James B. South

Television Finales: From Howdy Doody to Girls, edited by Douglas L. Howard and David Bianculli

Dusted: The Unauthorized Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by Lawrence Mile, Lars Pearson, and Christa Dickson

 

 

THE LINKS

Spike Is Forgiven: The Sympathetic Vampire’s Resonance with Rape Culture (pdf) by Wendy Fall, Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, 16.2 [48], Summer/Fall 2018

Girl on Girl Politics: Willow / Tara and New Approaches to Media Fandom by Judith L. Tabron, Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, 4.1-2 [13-14], Fall 2004

 

 

THE MUSIC

“Conversations (feat. Wesley Mead)” by Azura (2017)

“Displaced” by Azure Ray, Azure Ray (2001)

 

 

THE SCHOLARS

Whedon Studies Association is a non-profit academic organization devoted to the study of the works of Joss Whedon and his associates. They put out Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, and Watcher Junior​: The Undergraduate Journal of Whedon Studies, both blind peer-reviewed twice-yearly online publications. They also host the biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, which brings all these incredible scholars together to present papers, discuss ways of incorporating Whedon Studies in education, and basically just geek out together. 

http://www.whedonstudies.tv/

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