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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/

Episode 52 - Normal Again / Entropy (feat. Elizabeth Rambo)

April 27th, 2020

I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes, but you’ve got people who love you.”

 

We live in interesting times, my friends. So returning guest Elizabeth Rambo and I first talk about how we’re both surviving the latest apocalypse, before diving into the uplifting palate cleanser that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Six. To lighten the mood we discuss the divisive and possibly controversial(?) episodes 617, “Normal Again” and 618, “Entropy.” In the former, there’s discussion of Didgeridoo Demons,  metacommentary, and how literally to interpret the “Asylumverse.” And in the latter, scary, re-Vengeance Demonized Anya provides some much-needed humor; my Buffy-rage returns with a, well, a vengeance; and gyres widen.

 

Next: Elizabeth is back for more good fun times as we take on episodes 619, “Seeing Red” [Note: I am NOT looking forward to this one] and 620, “Villains.”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:32:05

00:00:55  -  Intro / Guest

00:09:20  -  Main Topic

01:28:20  -  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

 

 

THE LINKS

“‘They told me Sunnydale was gonna be interesting’: Metaphorical Schizophrenia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer” by Vicki Japha, Watcher Junior 10.2 (Fall 2017)

“‘Those whom the powers wish to destroy, they first make mad’: the classical roots of madness in Buffy the Vampire Slayer” by Naomi Alderman (presented at Slayage 2004)

 

 

THE MUSIC

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

“That Kind of Love” by Alison Krauss, Forget About It (

“I’m Going Slightly Mad” by Queen, Innuendo (1991)

 

 

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 51 - Older and Far Away / As You Were / Hell’s Bells (feat. Jessica Hautsch)

April 8th, 2020

Look, my ability to establish and maintain a reliable podcasting schedule has degraded, to say the least, as this process has gone on. I know it. YOU know it. I’m sorry. But this past year of March and April has seriously thrown me off my groove, and not in the fun Disney way with llama faces and maniacal kitten laughter. It’s difficult I think for any of us to bring the fun in at the moment. But I will persevere! WE will persevere! We will get through this thing called Season Six if it’s the last thing we do. (Which it won’t be, because the threat of Season Seven looms menacingly in our future.)

 

Anyways, Jessica Hautsch is back with me again to share in the joy of James Marsters’ eyebrow acting in 614, “Older and Far Away.” She is also positively GIDDY that 615, “As You Were” is the very last time she’ll ever have to deal with Riley Finn. And how weird is it that Xander’s family cheers for him straight-up murdering a “circus folk” at his almost-but-not-quite wedding?

 

Next (Week? Month? Year?): Elizabeth Rambo returns to take on the uber-divisive episode 617, “Normal Again” and the 0h-yeah-that-was-an-episode 618, “Entropy.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:53:25

00:00:55  - Intro / Guest

00:09:37  - Main Topic

01:50:00  - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Hells Bells” by AC/DC, Back in Black (1980)

 

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 50 - Gone / Doublemeat Palace / Dead Things (feat. Eric Sipple)

February 13th, 2020

For my 50th birthday (ugh), my gift to you is the 50th episode (egads) of this podcast, which will focus on the 50th worst episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I made that last part up...it’s probably higher on most “Worst Of” lists. It’s a meat process.) Joining me this time is my good friend and frequent collaborator, first-time guest Eric Sipple. Together we share the DoubleMeat Medley that is the forgettable patty of 611, “Gone” above the mid-bun, and the processed trauma of 613, “Dead Things” below the mid-bun. But it’s really that bland, stale mid-bun of 612, “Doublemeat Palace” that gives us indigestion.

 

Am I straining the metaphor here? Well, it IS Season Six, so when in Rome...

 

Next: Jessica Hautsch is back with us to take a look at 614, “Older and Far Away,” 615, “As You Were,” and 616, “Hell’s Bells.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:23:05

00:00:55  - Intro / Guest

00:08:30  - Main Topic

01:18:48  - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Broken Magic, by Eric Sipple

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

 

THE LINKS

Gobbledygeek Podcast  - website - iTunes

The Avatar Returns Podcast  - website - iTunes

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Out of this World” by Bush, Golden State (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/

Episode 49 - Tabula Rasa / Smashed / Wrecked (feat. James Rocha)

January 21st, 2020

James Rocha, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Fresno State and co-author, along with his wife Dr. Mona Rocha, of Joss Whedon, Anarchist? A Unified Theory of the Films and Television Series, returns to help ease us into the poor decision making of the Scooby Gang, and the heavy-handed “metaphor” application of the writers headed into the darker half of the darkest season. In episode 608, “Tabula Rasa,” James does his best to get into the philosophy of it all, while I just question if Buffy has jumped the shark. In 609, “Smashed,” we talk about Willow’s reasons for finally de-ratting Amy; the debate over Spike’s reasons for trying to bite the blonde in the alley is rehashed; and Buffy (the “good” Slayer) has now slept with twice as many named characters as Faith (the “bad” Slayer). And 610, “Wrecked” reminds us how important Merrie Melodies cartoons are; the so-called subtext becomes painful, bludgeoning text hammered directly into our innocent, trusting faces; and my oft-referenced issues with one particular writer are made just a little more clear. For better or worse.

 

Next: co-host of The Avatar Returns podcast, co-author of The Deli Counter of Justice, my friend Eric Sipple joins the conversation for the first time to discuss episodes 611, “Gone,” 612, “Doublemeat Palace,” and 613, “Dead Things.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:54:55

00:00:55  - Intro / Guest

00:03:26  - Main Topic

01:51:15  - 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)

“Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch, The Spirit Room (2002)

 

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 48 - Once More, With Feeling (feat. Arlo Wiley)

January 12th, 2020

So you know how time flows differently from one dimension to the next? Yeah, I was sucked into a hell dimension where it felt like only a week went by, but here in the real world you guys have suffered through three Conversations with Dead People-free months! Or maybe I was in Heaven...I think I was in Heaven. YOU guys were stuck here in THIS hell dimension without me. But anyways, I apologize for the unsolicited hiatus. The good news is I’m back! The better news is I’m back with Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode 607, “Once More, With Feeling.” The only so-so news is that guest Arlo Wiley is back too. And we may, we just may sing every word of our discussion. I mean you take the good, you take the bad, right?

 

The BEST news? Because you demanded it, as of 10:08 into the podcast the naughty words moratorium is officially ended. Bring on that EXPLICIT CONTENT warning!

 

Next: I’m joined by Assistant Philosophy professor and Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies contributor James Rocha, back to discuss episodes 608, “Tabula Rasa,” 609, “Smashed,” and 610, “Wrecked.” It’s about to start getting rough, folks.

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:40:05

00:01:00  - Intro / Guest

00:05:07  - Main Topic

00:10:08  - Someone has a potty mouth

01:35:40  - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Music, Sound, and Silence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, edited by Paul Attinello, Janet K. Half yard, and Vaness Knights

 

THE MUSIC

“Going Through The Motions” by Sarah Michelle Gellar & Orchestra, Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, With Feeling (Soundtrack from the TV Show) (2002)

“Where Do We Go From Here?” by Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast, Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, With Feeling (Soundtrack from the TV Show) (2002)

 

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 47 - Life Serial / All the Way (feat. Stephanie Graves)

October 18th, 2019

“Mist...cemetery...Halloween. Should end well.”

 

Stephanie Graves is back with me to discuss two more episodes of the Happy Funtime Show, otherwise known as Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6. In episode 605, “Life Serial,” we get some genuine laughs as the show finds the humor in young adults struggling to find their way in the grown up world. There’s ANOTHER damn numbered shirt; Jonathan has a magic bone; and the second most important character in the entire series (after Spike) finally shows up: CLEM! And then, in 606, “All the Way,” Tara’s not much into timber; Giles cleans his glasses; and Dawn goes parking.

 

Next: it’s gonna be an all-singing, all-dancing podcast extravaganza as we finally get to the Big Show...episode 607, “Once More, With Feeling.” (Note: I will not actually be singing or dancing.)

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:21:20

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:04:06 - Main Topic

01:17:00 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Joss Whedon vs. the Horror Tradition: The Production of Genre in Buffy and Beyond, edited by K. K. Woofter and Lorna Jowett

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Around My Smile” by Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, Bavarian Fruit Bread (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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