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The Watcher's Guide, Volume 3 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Paperback – July 6, 2004
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About the Author
Paul Ruditis has written more than thirty books based on some of the most popular shows on television, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, The West Wing, and Alias. He is also the author of an original fiction series for teens, DRAMA!, and the novel, Love, Hollywood Style. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, fans of the first two volumes of "The Watcher's Guide" are probably going to be disappointed by what else is in this volume. In comparison to what we have seen before, the information about "BtVS" is considerably less. There are neither character guides nor cast profiles, or sections by the writers or crew (and the spine is blue rather than black, as long as we are talking about differences). The rest is that by the standard established by the previous volumes of "The Watcher's Guide" this third one will suffer in comparison and long time fans are going to be disappointed. However, that does not stop "The Watcher's Guide, Volume 3" from being a necessary part of our "BtVS" library.
Volume 3 is put together by Paul Ruditis, who previously put together a "Star Trek: Voyager Companion" and has written novels for the television shows "Enterprise," "Charmed," and "Sabrina." Ruditis does the duty alone, which may explain why the second half of the book comes off in a new direction. The second half of the book consists of a series of essays devoted to the series as whole and not just on the final trio of seasons: Ginger Buchanan's "The Journey of Joanathan Levenson: From Scenery to Sacrifice" covers the interesting transformation of a recurring minor character into a "Superstar" and much more. Hank Wagner's The Family Hour" talks about how he shared watching "BtVS" with his children and finds deep thoughts in the series with regards to parenting.
Rob Francis' "London Calling: 'Buffy' from a British Perspective" explains the show's popularity in the U.K. despite having some American actors playing some of the Brits. Maryelizabeth Hart, who helped out on Volume 2, contributes "Slaying the Big Lies: Love Conquers All and Other Monstrous Myths," which looks at how love never seems to work out in the Buffyverse. Allie Costa's "A Part of Something: Or, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer': My First Long-Term Relationship," is a fan's recollection of being a fan. Scott and Denise Ciencin, "I Know You Are, But Who Am I?" provides an analysis of how Dawn fit into the show over this period. In "Why I Like 'Buffy'" Charles de Lint provides a justification for liking a show with such a weird title, which is certainly something those of us in academia can relate to in terms of trying to foist the show off on students and colleagues. James Moore's "Monsters Made to Order" briefly looks at the similar themes behind key monsters in the show's history.
The chief attraction in the back of the book is "'Restless': A Path to Premonitions," which has Joss Whedon's teleplay for the finale episode of the fourth season with commentary by Ruditis focusing on how Whedon set the stage for some key developments in what followed. For those of us who have figured out most of the connections, Ruditis does a nice job of filling in the gaps in our deconstruction of the episode. The final offering is Micol Ostow's "'Chosen': A Postmodern Postmortem of 'Buffy' as Contemporary Icon" looks at how well Whedon fulfilled his purpose of establishing a pop culture icon by flipping the horror movie standard of the blonde girl being slain by the monster in the dark alley.
Given all the academic collections being published about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" these essays are relatively light reading. Buchanan's essay connects all the dots with regards to Jonathan as do the Ciencins with Dawn, and Francis uses interviews with cast members to provide more of what we expect to find in the back of a "Watcher's Guide." So overall the essays occupy a sort of dead zone in between the musings of doctors of philosophy that are out there and the behind the scenes information we were used to in the previous pair of volumes. Again, the only complain here is that there is less here than what we expected. This is probably our payback for suggesting maybe there was too much in Volume 2. That would teach us except that the series and these guides are obviously both over.