Makin’ Me Crazy: The Madness of Drusilla, Sierra, and River

Joss Whedon’s frequent return to themes about mental illness is one I’ve remarked on, as has my colleague Anna. His explorations of mental illness have not always been terribly nuanced or complex, and it’s notable that he keeps coming back to some core themes. Charitable readings might suggest that he’s exploring social justice issues and […]

Mad Mysticism, Vampirism, and Drusilla

Drusilla is one of the most interesting characters on Buffy and Angel. She flits in and out of storylines, often playing a very critical role, and she’s also one of Whedon’s Brunettes, the characters who recur over and over again in various forms in Whedon’s work. Fragile, but dangerous. Eerie, but in need of protection […]

Feminism and Joss Whedon: The Contagion of Misogyny

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Angel episode ‘Billy’ and the embedded messages therein. This third season episode was kind of a one-off, but it raised some interesting questions. For those not familiar with the plot (or those who can’t remember back that far), the basic storyline is that Angel is forced to […]

Disability on Angel: Winifred Burkle and the Hot Mess

Fred Burkle is simultaneously one of the characters I love and hate most about Angel. She’s a science nerd. She’s a walking trope. She’s funny in unexpected ways. She’s dependent on dudes for everything. She’s innovative and creative in stressful situations. And she doesn’t pursue a career until her memory gets altered by a spell. […]

Feminism and Joss Whedon: The Silencing of Cordelia Chase (One)

Content note: Before reading this post, please read ‘Feminism and Joss Whedon: Setting Some Boundaries‘ if you have not done so already. Cordelia Chase is one of the most fascinating characters in the Buffyverse, a world which is already quite full of very interesting characters. However, the way that Cordelia is handled makes her kind […]

Whedon’s Brunettes

Can we discuss, for a moment, Joss Whedon’s obsession with disturbed brunettes who wander around barefoot? I’m not actually asking for permission here, that’s a rhetorical question which is designed to establish the theme of this post, which is, as you may have guessed, Whedon’s obsession with disturbed brunettes who wander around barefoot. It really […]