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January 29 2008

Psych 101 of the Whedonverse. An indepth City of Angel review of the recently released book "The Psychology of Joss Whedon".

I loved this book, but as usual my own personal enjoyment of the Whedonverse as a whole is just ever so slightly hampered by the lack of love Angel gets. No matter how powerfully I adore the Buffy and Firefly 'verses, Angel and his cohorts remain my favorites, and sadly that series continues to get the red-headed stepchild treatment, a few notable exceptions aside. Perhaps someday the Fang Gang will stand toe to toe with it's sibling series' in terms of critical and fan attention... but in the meantime I'll take what I can get I suppose. And in any case this is a really fascinating collection of essays.
I can relate Haunt but in a totally different way. I have this book, spoke to the editor even, and I am always frustrated at the amount of attention that seasons 1-3 of Buffy seem to get. There is an entire article called "Buffy the Vampire Dater" that ONLY discusses her relationship with Angel.

The one article on the Buffy and Spike relationship I found SERIOUSLY lacking and while it made some good points, it seemed to have left out some important factors or made some assumptions that are not necessarily accurate.

This is just one aspect of my point, but it feels like the popular media seems to want to only look at the first 3 seasons (and remember, season 1 is only half a season) of Buffy, and that annoys me because there is so much development in Angel the series and seasons 4-7 are conviently ignored.

[ edited by AthenaMuze on 2008-01-29 17:17 ]
Agreed, Haunt. There's so many social, philosophical, and psychological issues to explore in Angel, and yet no one really seems interested in them. I love Buffy, but at some point, I have to move on from the whole "teenage psych" thing, which gets done to death in so many shows.

One thing I wish would get looked at a lot more is the theme of masculinity that is examined in Angel. I've seen maybe two essays deal with the subject, and they were both in the same book.
And of course my own contention that Joss prefers to put "real women" like Jennie, Joyce, Tara, Anya, and Fred into the ground, Faith into exile, and Dawn into various grotesque shifts, while "fake men" like Buffy, Willow, and Kennedy are safe. But then I'm no trained critic or therapist.

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