“There’s Not a One Who Can Say This Ended Well”: The Buffy Re-Watch, “Once More with Feeling,” S6.E7

There are great Buffy episodes: “Prophecy Girl,” “Surprise/Innocence,” “Passions,” “Bad Girls/Consequences,” “Fool for Love,” “Conversations with Dead People,” “Lies My Parents Told Me” … And I’m just going to leave those there, knowing full well some will be apoplectic I’ve left out other gems. Then there’s the trifecta, the Holy Trinity: “Hush,” “The Body,” and … More “There’s Not a One Who Can Say This Ended Well”: The Buffy Re-Watch, “Once More with Feeling,” S6.E7

“That’s a Flawed Design”: Buffy Re-Watch, “Life Serial,” S6.E5

I’ve cited Elizabeth Rambo’s essay previously, though perhaps I haven’t made explicit that ever since I read it, it has colored the way I experience the entire season. Playing off the line from Tara in “Entropy,” (“Things fall apart, they fall so hard … You can’t ever put them back the way they were”), Rambo … More “That’s a Flawed Design”: Buffy Re-Watch, “Life Serial,” S6.E5

“She Saved My Life a Bunch of Times. Plus, She’s Hot.”: “Flooded,” S6.E4

I had originally planned on spending most of the 4th writing my thoughts on this episode. Then the spirit of the holiday overtook me and I found myself creating ear-splitting explosions and–my recent struggles with going full-blown pescatarian be damned–eating the chargrilled flesh of dead animals. I also think I might have been procrastinating a … More “She Saved My Life a Bunch of Times. Plus, She’s Hot.”: “Flooded,” S6.E4

“Did You Think the Blood Wouldn’t Reach You?”: “After Life,” S6.E3

The new millennium brought with it a downward spiral of quality for the recently revived genre of horror. Scream (1996) breathed new life, sure, but aside from being blatantly self-aware, it also had some genuine creep factor. 2000 gave us Cherry Falls, a great flick in the tradition of Scream, but it wasn’t scary at … More “Did You Think the Blood Wouldn’t Reach You?”: “After Life,” S6.E3

“The Tower Was Built by Crazy People, and I Don’t Think It’s Holding Up Very Well”: “Bargaining,” parts 1 & 2

[Again, note that spoilers will be present. In this case, they start in the first paragraph.] When Buffy takes what I called, when viewed through the lens of Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus, “a leap of faith” at the end of Season 5, showrunners and fans alike already knew she’d be back. Different network, sure, but … More “The Tower Was Built by Crazy People, and I Don’t Think It’s Holding Up Very Well”: “Bargaining,” parts 1 & 2

British Foxes, American Joes & Russian Bears: The Birth of a Storyteller

My older cousins called my grandfather “Granddaddy.” My younger ones referred to him as “Bapaw.” Me, I called him “Ernie” or more familiarly “Ern.” Somewhere in my childhood, I had articulated to him that I was Bert, so it only stood to reason he’d be my tangerine-faced counterpart. Once, when far too old to continue … More British Foxes, American Joes & Russian Bears: The Birth of a Storyteller

“Kill Your Darlings”: Is Purple Prose Putridly Perfidious or Permissibly Playful?

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that … More “Kill Your Darlings”: Is Purple Prose Putridly Perfidious or Permissibly Playful?

Blue Blood, Bad Books, Boogeymen, and Bummers

Alexander Pope once quipped that the ninth Beatitude was “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Thomas Hardy outlined his formula for a happy life in a poem titled “He Never Expected Much.” It had such an impact that it’s inscribed on his tombstone. To my credit, I’ve internalized these … More Blue Blood, Bad Books, Boogeymen, and Bummers

Reviews Blues: How to Deal with Negative Feedback

On command, authors should be able to rattle off their strengths and weaknesses in the discipline. Me? I excel at characterization, and my dialogue’s not too shabby. On the other side, plot and pacing are consistent struggles. Knowing this is invaluable. When I create a story, I build it around the characters. I feature more dialogue … More Reviews Blues: How to Deal with Negative Feedback