New Moon Rising S4 E19 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – New Moon Rising (Season 4 Episode 19 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Oz returns and Willow must make a choice. This podcast episode looks at: (1) a multifaceted main plot that includes action and intense emotion; (2) nesting doll subplots that weave into the main story; (3) a climax after the action plot resolves; and (4) layers of meaning in dialogue and gestures that emphasize emotion. Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning)....
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Where the Wild Things Are S4 E18 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

This time on Buffy and the Art of Story, Where the Wild Things Are (Season 4 Episode 18 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where a frat house once again becomes a dangerous place for everyone and Buffy and Riley can't get out of bed. This podcast episode looks at: (1) Striking scenes, fantastic dialogue, and series foreshadowing; (2) is the Scooby Gang the protagonist? (3) an antagonist without a clear goal; (4) illogical magic; and (5) is there any theme? Spoiler-free, except at the end (with ...
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Superstar (Buffy and the Art of Story S4 E17)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Superstar (Season 4 Episode 17 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Jonathan changes everything. This podcast episode looks at: (1) beginning in media res; (2) small moments that build a character or a world; (3) who is protagonist: Buffy or Jonathan? (4) why themes and plots resonate differently with different viewers; and (5) unintentional messages in fiction. Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning). Last Episode: Sanctuary (S1...
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Sanctuary – Angel S1 E19 (Buffy and the Art of Story S4)

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This time on Buffy and the Art of Story, Buffy crosses over and Faith's story continues on Sanctuary (Season 1 Episode 19 of Angel), where Angel tries to save Faith and turns his back on Buffy. This podcast episode looks at: (1) making things as hard as possible for the protagonist (Angel); (2) conflict-filled dialogue that keeps scenes tense; (3) when to leave out the backstory; and (4) the world, or society, as antagonist. Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning). Last...
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Five by Five Angel Ep S1 E18 (Buffy and the Art of Story S4)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story, Faith's story continues on Five by Five (Season 1 Episode 18 of Angel), a Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel crossover where an evil law firm hires Faith to kill Angel. This podcast episode looks at: (1) Creating a sympathetic villain; (2) Flashbacks that might not be necessary but convey theme; (3) Using conflict to reveal backstory; and (4) An organization – Wolfram & Hart – as antagonist. Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning)....
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Who Are You? S4 E16 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Who Are You? (Season 4 Episode 16 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Faith and Buffy literally walk in one another's shoes. This podcast episode looks at: (1) Faith as both protagonist and antagonist; (2) the way the Adam season arc weaves into and turns the main plot; (3) external obstacles that show Faith's inner conflict; and (4) how two three beats convey theme, show characters evolving, and move the story. Spoiler-free, except at the end (wit...
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This Year’s Girl S4 E15 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – This Year's Girl (Season 4 Episode 15 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Faith awakens from her coma. This podcast episode looks at: (1) telling the story and building character through setting and objects; (2) the opposite of Show Don't Tell - powerful scenes and moments we don't see; (3) strong conflict that conveys exposition without slowing the pace; and (4) who is the protagonist? Faith or Buffy? Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty o...
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Goodbye Iowa S4 E14 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Goodbye Iowa (Season 4 Episode 14 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Adam steps out into the world and Riley fears Buffy is the enemy. This podcast episode looks at: (1) themes that may matter more than the plot; (2) repetition and exposition that slows the pace; (3) the role of dramatic irony; and (4) whether the Initiative is meant to be a less-than-powerful foe. Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning). Next Up: This Year's G...
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The I in Team S4 E13 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – The I in Team (Season 4 Episode 13 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy briefly joins the Initiative with disastrous results. This podcast episode looks at: (1) fluid plot turns; (2) no clear inciting incident; (3) point of view and protagonist questions; (4) advancing season subplots; and (5) a special guest who talks about Frankenstein, feminism, and the phenomenon of corpse porn.  Spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning). ...
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A New Man S4 E12 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

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This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – A New Man (Season 4 Episode 12 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Ethan Rayne returns to Sunnydale and Giles undergoes a transformation. This podcast episode looks at: (1) Props that influence the story, set tone, and show the characters' emotions; (2) seeing scenes from varying perspectives and at different times of life; and (3) character questions for Giles, including: Has he spent too much time with the kids?  Spoiler-free, except at the end (...
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