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Date d'inscription : 07/01/2009
|Sujet: SLAYERS & VAMPIRES - The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel Sam 9 Déc - 0:23|| |
Nouveau livre sur la série ! :
- Citation :
SLAYERS & VAMPIRES
The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel
By Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman
524 pp. Tor/Tom Doherty Associates. $27.99
Ask any die-hard devotee of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” when the current New Golden Age of Television began and you’ll probably get an earful about how the first nuggets in today’s gold rush rolled onto the scene in 1997, when that show made its broadcast debut. (You may also hear babbling about tiny fear demons or cursed band candy, but your results may vary.) “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” largely about a teenage girl called upon by mystical tradition to protect the world by dusting those evil fanged bloodsuckers, cheekily treated the high school experience like the horror movie it was for many people. Buoyed by lively acting, the show continually found new ways to tell its stories, which were sprinkled with snappy dialogue, punchy girl-power action scenes and very real emotions.
“Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel,” by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, arrives just in time to help fans celebrate and marinate in 20 years of “Buffy” memories, as well as those of its broody 1999 spinoff “Angel,” which followed Buffy’s former flame to Los Angeles for five seasons of undead detective work. At more than 500 printed pages, the book is a hefty collection of interviews from actors (including the stars, Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz), writers, producers and academics.
Readers can get the inside scoop on a wide range of topics — for instance, what it was like to film “Hush,” a fourth-season “Buffy” episode that contained only 17 minutes of spoken dialogue in a 44-minute broadcast, or the main reason the “Angel” cast had a major change-up late in its run. The social issues the shows tackled (or not) at the time are also discussed, particularly in regards to WB network concerns: A staff member reveals that the part of Cordelia, Buffy’s acerbic rich pal, was originally meant for a black actress, but spine-free executive worries about interracial relationships thwarted the casting intention. Queer characters eventually fared better
For the obsessive viewer, “Slayers & Vampires” is a new primary text to pore over, with plenty of behind-the-scenes tidbits about who hated whom and how TV shows are made. The authors even devote about 10 pages to the “Buffy” cast and crew recalling the creation of “Once More, With Feeling,” the popular sixth-season musical episode that proved to be a bright spot in the grim American fall of 2001.
That musical episode, like many of the early “Buffy” scripts, was written and directed by Joss Whedon, the show’s creator and a frequent voice in “Slayers & Vampires.” Dissatisfied with the way his film screenplays were produced by others, he vowed: “The next person who ruins one of my scripts is going to be me.”
At the time, Whedon was hailed for the feminist perspective reflected in his work. Some of his quotes in the book support that view, but readers may feel doubts creep in if they’ve read the blistering online essay published last summer by his ex-wife, Kai Cole, alleging infidelity and less-than-feminist behavior during their 16-year marriage; a reference in the book to Whedon giving “pony rides” to his actresses feels retro-squicky. Aside from claiming “inaccuracies and misrepresentations,” he has declined to comment on his ex-wife’s accusations.
That’s not the only place he declined to comment. At the very end of “Slayers & Vampires,” the authors note that Whedon’s numerous responses were taken from conversations he’d had elsewhere with the co-author Edward Gross. In their acknowledgments, the authors also state that “in almost all cases, material is taken from original interviews” but admit to scraping public comments from news conferences and conventions into the manuscript.
The revelation that “Slayers & Vampires” is something of a cut-and-paste job is not much of a surprise, given the sometimes-disjointed flow of the commentary, with writers and actors directly contradicting one another as if they weren’t in the same room. Nearly identical comments from the same person appearing a page or two apart also distract. Key actors like Alyson Hannigan and Nicholas Brendon (who played two of Buffy’s closest buddies, Willow and Xander) are barely in the book, which is also devoid of photos.
“Slayers & Vampires” is clearly intended for “Buffy” and “Angel” aficionados, but these dedicated fans are also going to notice skewed representation and authorial slips. For example, in the synopsis describing the excellent second season of “Buffy,” the authors write that events forced “Buffy to turn Mr. Pointy on the former object of her affections.”
While it sounds like a hip reference, Mr. Pointy was actually the favorite stake of Kendra, the Jamaican slayer who came forth as a plot point in the first season — and Buffy skewered her beloved with a sword blessed by a virtuous knight who had defeated the demon Acathla centuries before. Seriously, guys, Buffyverse fans notice these details and we get cranky about our fictional realities.
For those who haven’t seen either “Buffy” or “Angel,” hold off on reading “Slayers & Vampires” unless you want plot spoilers popping up like invading zombies on nearly every page. Better yet, watch the original shows first. All the “Buffy” episodes can be streamed on the Hulu subscription service or purchased as video downloads from the major online video emporiums; “Angel” is less widely available, but Hulu and the Google Play store have all five seasons. With no nostalgia-driven revival in sight, the “Buffy” legacy remains, frozen in time as a glorious pop-culture milestone and perhaps prophesied by one of the Slayer’s lines from the series: “I may be dead, but I’m still pretty.”