Undead TV

Undead TV : Essays on <I>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</I>

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When the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired in 2003, fans mourned the death of the hit television series. Yet the show has lived on through syndication, global distribution, DVD release, and merchandising, as well as in the memories of its devoted viewers. Buffy stands out from much entertainment television by offering sharp, provocative commentaries on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and youth. Yet it has also been central to changing trends in television production and reception. As a flagship show for two U.S. "netlets"-the WB and UPN-Buffy helped usher in the "post-network" era, and as the inspiration for an active fan base, it helped drive the proliferation of Web-based fan engagement.In Undead TV, media studies scholars tackle the Buffy phenomenon and its many afterlives in popular culture, the television industry, the Internet, and academic criticism. Contributors engage with critical issues such as stardom, gender identity, spectatorship, fandom, and intertextuality. Collectively, they reveal how a vampire television series set in a sunny California suburb managed to provide some of the most biting social commentaries on the air while exposing the darker side of American life. By offering detailed engagements with Sarah Michelle Gellar's celebrity image, science-fiction fanzines, international and "youth" audiences, Buffy tie-in books, and Angel's body, Undead TV shows how this prime-time drama became a prominent marker of industrial, social, and cultural change.

Contributors. Ian Calcutt, Cynthia Fuchs, Amelie Hastie, Annette Hill, Mary Celeste Kearney, Elana Levine, Allison McCracken, Jason Middleton, Susan Murray, Lisa Parks
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 157.48 x 238.76 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
  • North Carolina, United States
  • English
  • 40 b&w illustrations
  • 0822340658
  • 9780822340652

Back cover copy

"Aiming its Mr. Pointy at preconceived ideas about the show, this collection tackles "Buffy" from cultural, economic, and aesthetic angles. Cancellation has clearly done nothing to blunt the show's cutting edge. Read it along with Joss Whedon's new eighth-season comic book and you'll agree: Buffy is dead--long live Buffy!"--Heather Hendershot, author of "Saturday Morning Censors: Television Regulation before the V-Chip"
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction / Elana Levine and Lisa Parks 1

1. The Changing Face of Teen Television, or Why We All Love Buffy / Mary Celeste Kearney 17

2. I Know What You Did Last Summer: Sarah Michelle Gellar and Crossover Teen Stardom / Susan Murray 43

3. Vampire Hunters: The Scheduling and Reception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel in the United Kingdom / Annette Hill and Ian Calcutt 56

4. The Epistemological Stakes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Television Criticism and Marketing Demands / Amelie Hastie 74

5. "Did Anyone Ever Explain to You What `Secret Identity' Means?" Race and Displacement in Buffy and Dark Angel / Cynthia Fuchs 96

6. At Stake: Angel's Body, Fantasy Masculinity, and Queer Desire in Teen Television / Allison McCracken 116

7. Buffy as Femme Fatale: The Cult Heroine and the Male Spectator / Jason Middleton 145

8. Buffy and the "New Girl Order": Defining Feminism and Femininity / Elana Levine 168

Bibliography 191

Contributors 197

Index 199
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Review quote

"This intelligent collection of essays offers a critical commentary on both the ongoing cultural significance of the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and on media and television industries in general. Undead TV makes a great resource for anyone interested in television theory as well as offering fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer an insightful look into the program's continuingly relevant themes and messages." -- Maryanne Mangano * M/C Reviews * "I was incredibly excited to have the chance to read Undead TV: Essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and feel like I was doing `academic' work while still obsessing over my favorite show. . . . [T]he articles about media and marketing aspects of TV shows that use Buffy as an example are interesting, and deserve a reading by any Buffy scholar. As Undead TV proves to its readers, a successful TV show becomes great only after it is already dead. But like any Buffy fan knows, when things die, they're never really dead, and it is in this undead experience that things really start to get interesting." -- Chelsey Clammer * Feminist Review blog * "Keenly attentive to gender, age, race, and institutional politics, the essays in this collection reverberate with the clarity, cogency, and force of high-quality television studies scholarship. Undead TV is indispensable reading not only for those interested in one of the most important American television series but also for anyone who wants to be informed about the current practices, investments, and prospects of television and other associated media."-Diane Negra, coeditor of Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture "Aiming its Mr. Pointy at preconceived ideas about the show, this collection tackles Buffy from cultural, economic, and aesthetic angles. Cancellation has clearly done nothing to blunt the show's cutting edge. Read it along with Joss Whedon's new eighth-season comic book and you'll agree: Buffy is dead-long live Buffy!"-Heather Hendershot, author of Saturday Morning Censors: Television Regulation before the V-Chip
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About Elana Levine

Elana Levine is Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is the author of Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television, also published by Duke University Press.

Lisa Parks is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual, also published by Duke University Press.
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Rating details

122 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 39% (47)
4 30% (37)
3 25% (30)
2 4% (5)
1 2% (3)
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