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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/

Episode 46 - After Life / Flooded (feat. Faith Currant)

October 11th, 2019

“Every night I save you.”

 

Clearly I’ve set my listener expectations in terms of my Season 6 feelings. So to keep myself honest, it seems I have decided to frontload those discussions of Depression: The Series with avowed superfans of said season. Following on the heels of last week’s talk with Season 6 expert Elizabeth Rambo, this week I’m joined by possibly the most passionate Sixer I’ve ever met, former Hollywood script doctor and Buffy scholar Faith Currant. After I get over the shock of her methods for introducing new fans to the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Faith and I go on to discuss Jungian psychology, the Buddhist idea of the bardo state, the disambiguation of “Normal Again,” and why, despite my troubled history with this era of the Slayer saga, “After Life” has always been and will always be one of my favorite episodes in the Whedonverse. (Hint: I like Spike. Surprise!)

 

Next: PhD student, author, and Mr. Pointy Award-winner Stephanie Graves returns to discuss episodes 605, “Life Serial,” and 606, “All the Way.”

 

THE CROSSOVER

Angel 305, “Fredless.” This episode ends with Buffy going to meet Angel. “Fredless” opens with Angel coming back from that meeting. At this point in production, direct crossovers, with actors appearing on both shows is forbidden by the competing networks.

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:38:45

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:10:42 - Main Topic

01:36:44 - Outro / Next

 

THE LINKS

Faith’s website

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Hell” by Squirrel Nut Zippers, Hot (1996)

 

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 45 - Bargaining, Part1 / Bargaining, Part 2 (feat. Elizabeth Rambo)

October 1st, 2019

“Is this hell?”

 

We begin our 22 Stages of Season 6 Grief with the two-part season premiere “Bargaining.” Professor, author, and undeniable Season 6 expert Elizabeth Rambo makes her triumphant return to the Conversations graveyard to help us all get through these difficult times. We talk about the new Giles-less title credits, the amazing performance (again!) of Sarah Michelle Gellar, the clear difference in broadcast standards and practices between the WB and UPN, and how 9/11 may have played a role in the response some fans have had to this season.

 

Also, I wave the flag and light the fireworks to officially declare this and everything going forward Spike’s Time(™) at last!

 

Next: first time guest Faith Currant joins me to discuss episodes 603, “After Life” and 604, “Flooded.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:21:15

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:05:30 - Main Topic

01:18:10 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

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

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)

“Work Song” by Hozier, Hozier (2014)

 

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 44 - The Gift (feat. Michael Holland)

September 23rd, 2019

“But...you’re just a girl.”

“That’s what I keep saying.”

 

We’ve come at last to the end. Well, *AN* end. We’ve reached what could have (and maybe should have?) been the end of all things Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the Season 5 finale “The Gift.” Michael Holland returns, with a shiny new job title, to help me wish a fond farewell to the WB era as our beloved hero takes the plunge (literally) into a darker, more confusing adulthood. We talk about a lot of things, as you might expect, including Giles’ angry push back, Xander’s big ball, Spike’s sobs, and Olaf’s totally unnecessary retcon into godhood. And in the end I try, with mixed success, to broach the potentially uncomfortable topic of Buffy’s final heroic act vs. her growing deathwish. [CW: suicide]

 

Next: back at last after literally ages, professor and author Elizabeth Rambo joins me to kick off the cheeriest season in the entire run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We’ll be discussing 601, “Bargaining (Part 1)” and 602, “Bargaining (Part 2).”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:21:57

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:04:48 - Main Topic

01:17:55 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever (1989)

 

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 43 - Spiral / The Weight of the World (feat. Margaret Ann Robbins)

September 10th, 2019

“Do we suspect that there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?”

 

Great question, Giles. First time guest Margaret Ann Robbins joins me to answer that and other ponderables. For example, in “Spiral,” is Buffy the Vampire Slayer really just a retelling of Milton’s Paradise Lost? Are the ren faire reject Knights of Byzantium a tonal bridge too far? If killing humans is a no-no, but killing Knights of Byzantium goes unmentioned from now to the end of time, does that kind of answer my previous question? And in “The Weight of the World,” why is it okay for Glory to whine, “Get out, get out, get out!” without catching grief from the fans? Does the Gollum / Sméagol scene between Glory and Ben work? And what if the Key were a velvet Elvis painting?

 

Next: we’re in the endgame now. Buffy’s world comes tumbling down, literally, in the Season 5 finale. Join me and returning guest Michael Holland as we discuss episode 522, “The Gift.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:28:13

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:04:47 - Main Topic

01:24:47 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

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)

“Knight Rider Main Theme” by Stu Phillips, Knight Rider (Original TV Soundtrack) (2005)

 

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 42 - Forever / Intervention / Tough Love (feat. Melanie Scala)

August 30th, 2019

Stage and screen legend Joel Grey joins the series, and so from this point on Conversations with Dead People is a Joel Grey fan podcast. Sorry Buffy fans.

 

Okay, seriously, we’re into the darkness of the near-end of Season 5 now, which of course is also a LOT of foreshadowing of the darkness awaiting us in Season 6. To help me get through the pain of these episodes Melane Scala is back, bringing with her a refreshing appreciation for the character of Dawn. In 517, “Forever,” the Summers girls, with Spike’s help, just barely manage to stay out of full-blown zombie mom territory. Episode 518, “Intervention” gives us a Buffy and Giles wearing turtleneck sweaters and jackets in the desert, Spike’s post-coital hair, and a Scooby Gang that inexplicably can’t recognize a Buffybot just weeks after instantly spotting the Aprilbot. And 519, “Tough Love” struggles with writing/pacing issues, but still gives us our first glimpse of Dark Willow. And my questions about the way the show treats issues of mental health, raised way back at the beginning of the season, are brought back for further consideration.

 

Next: things get seriously dire in the next couple of episodes, so what better time to welcome a shiny new guest to the podcast? Margaret Ann Robbins joins me for her debut Conversation as we discuss episodes 520, “Spiral,” and 521, “The Weight of the World.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:35:25

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:03:35 - Main Topic

01:31:35 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Tales of Brave Ulysses” by Cream, Disraeli Tears (1967)

 

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 41 - The Body (feat. Arlo Wiley)

August 17th, 2019

“But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I knew her, and then she's—there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead ... anymore! It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And ... and Xander's crying and not talking, and ... and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why!”

 

Next: someone (TBD) will join me to discuss episodes 517, “Forever,” 518, “Intervention,” and 519, “Tough Love.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:44:16

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:06:27 - Main Topic

01:40:56 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Now Only” by Mount Eerie, Now Only (2018)

 

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 40 - Crush / I Was Made to Love You (feat. Jessica Hautsch)

August 9th, 2019

Jessica Hautsch is back in the cemetery to discuss two more episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Being massive Spike fans, episode 514, “Crush” gives us both a lot to talk about. Episode 515, “I Was Made to Love You” gives us...less. We have plenty to say about the performative nature of Spike, the arc of his moral continuum, and how wisely (or not) vampires are able to love. We go on and on about how problematic he can be, how much we love him in spite of all that, and how intensely, annoyingly metatextual and condescending Quasimodo comparisons are. 

 

“Doesn’t seem to me it matters very much how you start out.” 

 

When it comes to long, compelling conversations about misogynistic geeks and sex robots...we do all right.

 

Next: My hetero life mate Arlo Wiley returns to help me tackle the heartbreaking 516, “The Body.” Have the Kleenex ready.

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:42:05

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:02:28 - Main Topic

01:38:30 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

THE MUSIC

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

“I Was Made For Lovin’ You” by Kiss, Dynasty (1979)

 

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 39 - Checkpoint / Blood Ties (feat. Johny Ho)

July 26th, 2019

Wait, Ben is Glory?!

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:11:53

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest / R.I.P. Rutger Hauer

00:06:24 - Main Topic

01:06:33 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Library Closed For Filing - Please Come Back Tomorrow

 

THE MUSIC

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

“What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” by R.E.M., Monster (1994)

 

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 38 - Into the Woods / Triangle (feat. Jessica Hautsch)

July 12th, 2019

Jessica Hautsch is back and prepared to face off with me about the Buffy / Riley breakup. In 510, “Into the Woods,” I finally come to the presumed end of my Quixotic mission to defend Riley Finn...because the writers FINALLY dump him unceremoniously. Did Captain Cornfed get a fair shake, from the writers or the audience? Was Xander unfair to Buffy? Was Buffy’s slaying of the Junkie Vampire Girl problematic? There might not be any easy answers. In 511, “Triangle” however, there ARE some easy answers. Is Anya’s talk with Xander about wanting a ticking bomb clock for any future breakup heartbreaking? Yes it is. Is Buffy’s sobbing a little too cartoonish? Affirmative. Is Spike’s continued fetish for greasy bar food adorable? Abso-bloomin-lutely.

 

Next: I and a mystery guest TBD will be discussing episodes 512, “Checkpoint” and 513, “Blood Ties.”

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Run Time: 01:41:35

00:00:55 - Intro / Guest

00:04:55 - Main Topic

01:35:22 - Outro / Next

 

THE LIBRARY

Fan Phenomena: Harry Potter, edited by Valerie Frankel

 

THE MUSIC

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

“Don’t Turn Around” by Bonnie Tyler, Hide Your Heart (1988)

 

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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