Not Just Another Buffy

6756 words, 28 pages

Intro Sample...

“Not just another Buffy paper’:
Towards an Aesthetics of Television’
The author wishes to thank Katy Stevens for generous support and advice during the writing of this paper--not to mention her technological wizardry and profound Buffy scholarship. ST
Teaser: Why I sometimes wish I was studying orthodonture
(1) There’s only one place to buy coffee on my University campus and it’s called Caffeine. Once in a health crisis, I asked for decaffeinated. They pretended not to hear me, it’s that kind of a joint. It is, therefore, the only place on campus to meet anyone who has time these days to step out of their office, and it’s where two months ago I ran into a distinguished colleague who asked me ‘what I was up... View More »

Body Sample...

’ ‘For credit?’ asks Buffy incredulously. It would seem that even she cannot imagine how popular culture might be taken seriously.
(4) Having decided to take the class, she turns up, only to discover that the lecturer in charge is a complete ass-hole who takes delight in public humiliation. He expels Buffy for asking a question of her neighbour while he is pompously making his opening pronouncements. As an image of popular culture, he’s not a good look. Crestfallen, Buffy heads off to join Willow in Psych conducted by the ‘renowned’ Professor Walsh who oozes academic credibility as she outlines her expectations of her students:
Make no mistake. I run a hard class. I assign a lot of work, I talk fast, and I expect you to keep up.
Walsh means business, although her real business is extremely dodgy and will constitute the major story arc of Season 4., which all goes to show that one should never trust anyone in academia, but I digress.
(5) Back to the Images of Pop Culture moment. Is Joss Whedon, who wrote this episode, really suggesting that the study of popular culture shouldn’t be taken seriously? Or is he simply rehearsing the general prejudice in order to make fun of it? Or is Whedon (as usual) having it both ways, mischievously mocking the notion of an academy which would dare to take popular culture (and therefore his creation Buffy) seriously, while having a dig at those who don’t? In any case, by Season Four of Buffy he must already have been aware of the ways in which the series had already been picked up and picked over by academia.
(6) In her account of ...

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