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Joss Whedon

"Psychology of Joss Whedon : Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, & Firefly" Book - Dwscifi.com Review

Friday 4 January 2008, by Webmaster

Analysis of the work of the writer/producer/director…

The title of The Psychology of Joss Whedon may give one pause. Who, besides Whedon himself or his therapist is qualified to discuss his psychology?

Relax. The essays in this book (apart from one that doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know) don’t attempt to analyse the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, but rather the psychology of his creations, both as overall narratives and the individual characters within them. The twist is that the essays are all written by mental health professionals – psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists – who display obvious glee at applying the skills of their day jobs to fannish passion.

There are discussions of Angel’s mother issues regarding Darla, a comparison of the similar-yet-different pathologies of Mal Reynolds and Jayne Cobb, Buffy’s attitude toward death and so on.

The most entertaining pieces here are those that cheerfully acknowledge that the situations are fictional – and then proceed to dive into analysis as if the characters are actually flesh-and-blood. Abbie Bernstein


There are a few clunkers, but overall, this is a treat for fans who like their arguments substantial, backed with facts and love for the subject matter.