Much of the writing on fan communities within fan studies has focussed on an exploration of the mode and conventions of discourse and interaction within these communities. This discourse involves the articulation of ‘fan knowledge’, the specialised knowledge and information that fans hold in relation to their object of fandom, similar to what John Fiske terms “fan cultural capital” (1992: 32). This privileged fan knowledge is derived both from viewing and the extra-textual elements that surround the show. It is an element often invoked in discussions of fan communities, and is evinced in relation to actors, creators, textual references/intent, future of the text or characters, among others.
While such studies, particularly in Buffy-studies, have explored these knowledges, and modes of community ‘politics’ and interaction, this is rarely done in a way that suggests the intensity of the fan’s relation to the viewed show. Many of these writings suggest what Zweerink and Gaston say explicitly, namely that the fan involvement with the community itself becomes more important than their discussion of the show (2002: 243). While this may be the case in some communities, the emphasis on this aspect obfuscates the importance of the fan’s attachment to the show, and how this is perpetuated in these communities.
The emphasis on knowledge appears to be a manifestation of the academic tendency to assert the ‘value’ of the fans, of fandom, making it an intellectual and thus acceptable ‘occupation’. Of making fans into what Matt Hills terms “miniaturised academics” (2002: 10), a tendency that Michael notes is an implicit “compliment” within a “value-system” that privileges academic knowledge (Hills 2002: 11), and thus a way of attributing “value” to one’s focus of study. Further, as Valerie Walkerdine explains, the “typically academic emphasis on rationality and intellectualisation can overlook. the specific conditions of the formation of pleasures for particular groups.” (1999: 192) This is precisely what often occurs in relation to fan knowledge.
What is of interest here, yet generally less discussed, is how fan ‘activity’ around knowledge and the extra textual informs the fan reading of the textual, and how this is invoked and/or rejected as ‘intense knowledge’, which forms part of the viewing experience of fans in Buffy: the Vampire Slayer (BtVS) online fan communities. This is particularly important in relation to BtVS, as the show itself is intensely passionate; it is about intensity of emotion, about wrenching one into the depths of feeling, then spiralling back up again with a witticism, only to return to the dilemma at hand, rejecting, as Breton and McMaster point out, rationality without passion, “personal response”, or the subjective (2001).
This fan-knowledge and discussion of the extra-textual is manifested in discussion about the actors, writers and creators of BtVS. Such discussions may be seen on the forum at the Australian BtVS site, buffy.com.au. I have been observing this community for the past ten months, in a non-participatory manner, as a ‘lurker’. One of the most passionate topics toward the end of the series was what was largely seen as Buffy Summers’ ‘demise’ as a strong, interesting character throughout season seven.
Buffy Summers or Sarah Michelle Gellar? “Regret THIS, Gellar, you silly ho!”
This was particularly focussed around Buffy’s ‘speeches’ to her allies (The ‘Scooby Gang’ and the ‘Potential Slayers’). In the early seasons, Buffy’s speeches allow her to gain power, as they are an outpouring of restrained, developed emotion. However in Season Seven the speeches are heard almost every episode, with the same tone, and virtually identical content. Little is ‘learnt’ from the speeches, they (narratively) seem intended as Buffy’s form of diversion from the helplessness of ‘her side’ against this season’s enemy (The First Evil). Unlike her earlier speeches, there is no basis for cathartic release of pent-up emotion, just own opinion. Thus the control, which Buffy articulates through these, is lost. As the passion is misdirected, indeed is barely extant, they are meaningless. Fans on buffy.com.au constantly ridiculed and mimicked these:
“blah blah blah…yada yad yada…been there dine that…reguritated hack….the world is doomed we’ll save it with love….barf barf barf..[.]
Get the writer’s to do something else with Buffy after the beaten teariness. The tony robbins has ben done to death.” (TEIJA)
What is of interest here however, is that fans did not simply reject Buffy the character, but instead cited a ‘conspiracy-theory’ of sorts as a reason for the less-likeable Buffy. The end of the series was attributed in part to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s decision to leave the show at this point; fans suggested that the writers, consciously or not, ‘made’ Buffy Summers reflect the negative characteristics of Sarah Michelle Gellar, “almost as if the writers are punishing SMG for deserting the show” (RICHIE) .
That the extra-textual is brought in to explain the very overt fan discontent with season seven  shows the conflation of textual and extra-textual in the fan world. However, the text does remain dominant as the extra textual is moulded to fit perceptions and opinions of it. This can be seen as the evidence for the ‘theory’ is not overwhelming and indeed requires inside knowledge and construction. There is little evidence of the creators’ dislike of SMG, and while it may well exist it is also likely that this dislike has been projected onto them by fans, angry with SMG’s contravening of fan mores. These fans say SMG is wrapped up in her own superiority and cannot see herself as ‘one of the gang’, qualities synonymous with those cited as reasons for dislike of Buffy in these later seasons: “was anyone else listening to buffy’s ‘holier than thou’ speech thinking ‘SMG in real life’? i know i was – somebody needs to slap the pair of them down…” (SCROTE)
Further, when SMG “strides snootily off into the world of B grade teen movies,” quitting BtVS for what THE FIRST WEEVIL terms “her non-existent movie career”, fans attack this by denigrating her acting style. Richie asserts that SMG-as-Buffy seems to think, “arms folded in two different ways express the full range of human emotions”. So passion for the show is manifested in, and is central to, the way in which the extra-textual is discussed. Privileged fan knowledge around the extra-textual allows the extra-textual to be taken up and ‘claimed’ by the fans, placed in relation to their love for the show. When SMG displays behaviour that transgresses this attachment through lack of regard (deserting BtVS) for the diegetic world, she is repudiated, and the extra textual morphs into the existing perspective on the textual.
The importance of this is seen in another aspect of fan-knowledge and fan-talk, that of auteurism. David Lavery articulates the importance of Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, as auteur (2002a, 2002b, 2003), and indeed Whedon is venerated by fans in neo-religious terms:  “So we somewhat religiously devote ourselves to the man with the scary brain…” (ANNETA) [own italics]. Even as Season Seven was seen by many fans as going downhill, the discourse around questions of authorship rarely if ever implicated Whedon. Excuses were made: the time he spent on Angel or family commitments, such as the birth of his first child. More often confusion was evinced, or the hope that things would turn out all right in the end, that they had missed something.
This invokes a sense of loyalty to Whedon, which is intrinsically attached to fan conflation of him and his creation. This loyalty is in keeping with Tom Lalli’s observations about Star Trek fans’ loyalties to that show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, noting, “it seems almost a betrayal to level strong criticisms at him or his creations.” (Tulloch and Jenkins 1995: 190) [my emphasis]. This addendum is central to how fan relation to authorship operates, with an embroilment of creator and creation.
Further, fan-awareness of authorship is not confined to Whedon. The significance of specificities of different authorships and their interplay is also manifested. While this is an element rarely engaged with in these studies, as John Tulloch observes one cannot provide an effective analysis of either the “text” or fandom of any “long running television series” with multiple writers/directors without acknowledging specificities of these writings/productions. (1995: 48)
Buffy.com.au fans are certainly aware of these authorships, and embroil them in their discourse about individual episodes and seasons: “Something I realised today: If you skip any episodes written by Marti Noxon  in season 4, it’s strangely (*cough*) more enjoyable.” (THE FIRST WEEVIL) Statements such as these display the values which fans in this community privilege: for example Noxon’s writing has less humour, and can at times not reach the ‘right’ balance, in terms of the Buffy canon, with over “use of cliché and incredibly hammy dialogue.” (THE FIRST WEEVIL) Further, Season Four is generally perceived to be one of the ‘worst’ seasons of BtVS  By attributing much of this to a particular writing style, observing the elements Noxon draws out/represses in the show, the fans are able to be more specific in their articulations, and thus personal understanding, of what it is about this season that they dislike, and thus what constitutes ‘good Buffy‘.
So fandom for individual writers of the show displays what is ‘acceptable’ and desired. Indeed, Jane Espenson has her own ‘cult’ following within Buffy fandom. Espenson’s quirky plots and writing are distinctive. Many of the ‘stand alone’ episodes in particular seasons may be attributed to her. One thread on buffy.com.au focuses solely on Espenson’s episodes, with Lord Boffin listing them. The buffy.com.au community refer to these as ‘Espensodes’, the collapsing of the terms denoting the way in which they view the figure of Espenson-the-writer, and her episodes as inextricable from each other.
A large part of the fan adulation for Espensodes is related to the intense referencing of other BtVS episodes within them. This is passed off with whimsy and is part of the fast-paced action, literally playing and laughing with the fan. This self-referentiality and play is a significant part of the show for fans: “its always been everyone swapin puns and great one liners. thats what made the show feel.” (JOSIE)  The importance of this ‘play’ is observed by Justine Larbalestier (2002), who suggests that BtVS’s reflexiveness “invites a specialised reading,” particularly in the way it acknowledges the fans. Indeed Larbaleister’s main example (“Superstar” 4.17) is the best-known ‘Espensode’. “Superstar” focusses on a minor character, Jonathan, an unpopular class-mate of the Scoobies who in this episode makes himself the most important, talented, and loved person in the Buffyverse through a spell. This, Larbaleister argues, was an acting out (through Jonathan) of fan desires to “interpolate into the text”, to be important, to be the hero of the world of the fan-object (2002: 233).
Espenson provides a continuation and variation on this addressing of the fans in Season Seven’s “Storyteller” (7.16), with Andrew, another ‘nerdy’ minor character giving us a view of the world from his perspective. Instead of a spell, here Andrew wields a camera in order to make a documentary of life in Buffy’s house with the ‘Potentials’, pre-apocalypse. Andrew has been in the Scooby house for most of the season yet has not been a main player, watching and making inappropriate comments, much as the viewer themselves may. His comments within this episode, as he attempts to film “Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres”, display a perspective on the Buffyverse very similar to that being articulated within fan communities around Season Seven. These comments display Espenson not only invoking self-referentiality in the show, but doing so in a way which echoes (and so is complicit with) dominant fan responses.
In one scene, Andrew provides ‘comment’ on those much repudiated speeches of Buffy’s. With his hand-held camera draws the viewer away from one of Buffy’s many ‘inspirational’ speeches to the potentials. He backs out of the kitchen where Buffy is speaking and turns the camera on himself. He stands in the corridor just outside the room and says, sotto-voce: “Honestly, gentle viewers, these motivating speeches of hers tend to get a little long. I’ll take you back in there in a little while.”
His ensuing narration of exaggerated (and unwittingly farcical) tales of his past heroism as a “super-villain” takes place with an obviously impassioned and ostensibly ‘rousing’ rant by Buffy in the background. The irrelevance of her speeches is emphasised as Andrew turns the camera back to the kitchen momentarily:
Andrew: “Well, shall we see if Buffy’s still talking?” [turns the camera around]
Buffy: “.I mean mentally. And from what I’ve seen so far, there’s no way you girls are ready.”
Andrew: “She’s not done. Even Willow looks bored and she usually (voice over) can take a lot of that stuff. Look at her.”
Our attention is directed to Willow rather than Buffy, and Andrew begins telling us tales of Willow, tacitly reiterating the irrelevance of Buffy’s ‘focus’. This appears to be a response to the fan resistance to Buffy of Season Seven, in particular the dislike of her self-righteous speeches which preach activity and ‘fighting evil’, without allowing it to be practised. This sublime moment, where the ‘show’ asserts of its awareness of the problems which the fans have been exhorting, allows the fan to regain some of the ‘faith’ they may have lost in the show, reasserting it as ‘in control’ of itself, a show that, as Steve Wilson notes, we can have faith in (2001: 82).
This episode also shows the way Espenson ‘plays’ with the show and provides impetus for the fan’s own play. There are numerous plays here, for example the ‘established’ characterisations of the Scoobies are juxtaposed with the cinematic style Andrew adopts. When we ‘see through’ his camera, the lighting is soft, music flowing, reminiscent of grand musicals. Early in the episode, Andrew provides a back history of each of the main characters, filmed in this flamboyant, dramatised style. We ‘meet’ Buffy through a slow motion tracking shot, hair blonde and flowing, tossing her head smoothly to flash a white smile at the camera, with unlikely musical accompaniment, cut abruptly as Andrew’s camera is pulled away and we are returned to (what we know as) reality through the usual (‘absent’) camera: an irritated Buffy tells Andrew to stop narrating in the kitchen, and to put the camera away.
Buffy.com.au fans also praised “Storyteller” for hearkening back to the ‘real’ BtVS (back before the ‘bad’ days of season 7) through its speed, wit, action and emphasis on characters and community. So fan knowledge, and sharing of that knowledge, is often both part of the passion for the show, and adds to the passion for the show. That these ‘references’ (among many others) are not only made, but made without explanation and further played with, is an acknowledgement of the fans’ own knowledge and awareness: Espenson plays with them. The success of all this implies both the fan play with the show, and the fans’ love of writers’ own plays with the show. This is an extension of what Jim Collins identifies, in relation to contemporary ‘post-modern’ television, as the importance of a “natural awareness of the ‘already said’, a mutual delight in manipulating it for one’s own purposes.” (1997: 195)
However even while ‘playing’ in this way Espenson does not lose sight of the overall show, conversely, her episodes’ referencing and sublime pertinence to the points of BtVS into which they fit display the same dedication to continuity and cohesiveness that the fans so valorise. Espenson herself, in an interview, articulates the importance of viewing the Buffyverse as a cohesive, vibrant world: “I want people to look back on it [the show] like it was a world and not a series. If they look back on it like a series, I get more acclaim [laughs]. But if they look back on it like a world, that means I did a better job.” (2003)
So it appears that BtVS fans display a positive response when the show ‘winks’ to a greater fan-knowledge, to a more intimate awareness of the nuances of the show, creating a ‘world’ with and for the fans. This is similar to Reeves, Rodgers and Epstein’s observations about Star Trek’s relation to its fan following. They note that shows engender cult fandom by emphasising the “meanings and pleasures [within the show, which are] not normally associated with watching television.” Further, these elements “reward a level of audience engagement and identification that transcend[s] casual viewing” (1996: 27), and the knowledge of the extra-textual, the actors and the writers, form a significant part of that.
The above suggests the importance of fan knowledge to communities. However the way in which knowledge is negotiated shows that it is not indiscriminately embraced, and that its negotiation is both highly individual and related to textual relations. This is evinced in one of the most contentious topics in online communities, that of ‘spoilers’. A ‘spoiler’ is a piece of information from an episode which has either not been aired to the general demographic of the online community, or which (in an alternative definition) has not yet been seen by an individual participant in that community. In buffy.com.au, the former definition holds.
The way spoilers are handled within fan communities has been examined elsewhere. However, what is less discussed, and I would argue is most important, is how the fan discourse around spoilers articulates and asserts the inextricability of fan knowledge from the experience of viewing. Nancy Baym is one of the few who emphasises this connection (2000: 87-88). While I argue this is so in relation to all extra-textual elements, it is particularly clear in relation to spoilers as the fans themselves persistently articulate spoiler effects on their viewing experience.
Henry Jenkins asserts that the fan communities are about the exchange of knowledge and information (1992: 117). The way spoilers are approached both reflects this approach and rejects it. The internet is used by fans as a means of gaining access to spoilers, be it through online fan communities, web sites, or ‘wild-feed’ of episodes screened in the United States. There are sites dedicated to spoilers as well as ‘spoilage’ sections on most fan communities, including buffy.com.au. Participants in these (spoilage) sections form tight communities-within-communities, and may reference their pre-knowledge in signatures. For example oncemore-withfeeling’s signature includes a banner entitled “proud member of Spoiler Whores ‘R Us”.
However this exchange of information is not limitless. To the contrary, the very communities that are comprised, to an extent, of those who wish to seek and share knowledge, deliberately limit the proliferation of this information. As Hill and Calcutt note in their study of UK BtVS fan communities, spoilers are one of the main reasons for the proliferation of country-specific fan communities, as posters wish to avoid information about episodes unaired in their country (2001). As Nancy Baym observes, spoilers are carefully ‘patrolled’ and labelled “so that they can be avoided” (2000: 87-88). In buffy.com.au the “Spoilage” room is not intended solely as a space where people may easily find spoiler information, but is intended to ‘protect’ the general buffy.com.au community from spoilers. This room is designated and clearly marked as “the only place for spoilage”. Spoilers in other sections are moved ASAP by the moderators, with a warning posted and sent to the offending poster. However if (a relatively rare occurrence) the spoiler is read by the un-spoilt before it is moved, the response is intense:
*cries* OMWF you should have checked it over for spoilers!
*cries* My whole season is ruined now *cries*
Can you put a spoiler warning in there please? (KATIFACE)
This interaction with the show forms part of an online fan-identity, where those who seek spoilers, those who ‘can’t resist spoilers’ and those who sanctimoniously avoid them assert this clearly. Converse to the assertion of spoiler-status in signature, is the assertion in posts that one is adverse to spoilers. This was seen particularly toward the end of the series, when discussion of the ending was more difficult to avoid while browsing general BtVS web sites. This is seen in the thread “A.S.S. [Addicts of Spoiler Section] association: we can help”. A spoiler-prone poster who wanted to stay ‘spoiler free’ for the remainder of the last season started this thread. This thread proved popular. Here the spoiler-prone suggest that they access spoilers to be privy to ‘forbidden’ knowledge, so to be more involved with the show .The spoiler-avoiders resit in order to again engage more with the show while viewing, but in this case favouring immediacy over knowledge, what Kaisersoze terms the “raw thrill”.
The mode of discussion indicates the ‘taboo’ associations of spoilers. This sense of ‘guilty pleasure’ is suggested by the aforementioned example of omwf’s signature, the term “spoiler whore”. The articulations of one’s relation to spoilers also suggest this ‘transgression’. For example SCORP, says that she/he wants to change but “can’t help [him/herself]”, then regrets “ruining” her/his season by voluntarily reading spoilers. This articulation of the ‘taboo’ associations of spoilers suggests that an immediacy of experience is generally valued in this community as favourable.
These conflicting responses show that fan responses and how they are formed may not be easily separated into sterile categories, the ‘layered intensity’ of fandom. This practice of ‘distancing’ to enhance intense experience is reflected in the show itself. BtVS often draws back from being fully embroiled in passion, and in doing so allows this passion to occur The similarity of response of the spoilt, non-spoilt, and semi-spoilt, the belief that there is something (deliciously) ‘taboo’ about spoilers displays the centrality of the viewing experience within communities. So knowledge is not, as is so often implied, indiscriminately sought out and consumed by fan communities. Instead there is an awareness of how knowledge of the extra-textual fits into the viewing experience, and these knowledges are disseminated and articulated in a way that intrinsically relates them to the textual, to the viewing experience itself.
“A Stake Through the Hearts of Buffy Fans”. 20th Century Fox press release. 27 February 2003. Los Angeles. 16 October 2003. <http://romanticmovies. about.com/library/weekly/aabuffyfinalenews.html>.
Baym, Nancy. Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community. California: Sage Publications, 2000.
Breton, Rob and Lindsey McMaster. “Dissing the Age of Moo: Initiatives, Alternatives, and Rationality in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 1 (Jan. 2001). 25 Nov 2002. <http://www. slayage.tv/ essays/slayage1 /bretonmcmaster.html>.
Brower, Sue. “Fans as Tastemakers: Viewers for Quality Television.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. Ed. Lewis, Lisa A. London: Routledge, 1992. ch 8.
Collins, Jim. “Television and Postmodernism.” Postmodern After-Images: A Reader in Film, Television and Radio. Eds. Peter Brooker and Will Brooker. London: Arnold, 1997. Ch 17.
DuVal Smith, Anna. “Problems of Conflict Management in Virtual Communities.” Communities in Cyberspace. Ed. Marc A. Smith, and Peter Kollock. London: Routledge, 1999. ch 6.
Espenson, Jane. ” ‘That Was Excellent’: A Conversation With Jane Espenson.” Interview with Tara DiLullo. @N Zone Magazine 11 March 2003. 29 October 2003. <http://www. atnzone.com/ tvzone/features/ buffywriter.shtml>.
Fiske, John. “The Cultural Economy of Fandom.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. Ed. Lisa Lewis. New York: Routledge, 1992. 30-49.
Hill, Annette and Ian Calcutt. “Vampire Hunters: the Scheduling and Reception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel in the UK.” Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media 1 (2001). 22 April 2003 <http://cult- media.com/issue1/ Ahill.html>.
Hills, Matt. Fan Cultures. London: Routledge, 2002.
Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge, 1992.
Larbalestier, Justine. “Buffy’s Mary Sue is Jonathan: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Acknowledges the Fans.” Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eds. Rhonda V. Wilcox, and David Lavery. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002. Ch. 19.
Lavery, David. ” A Religion in Narrative: Joss Whedon and Television Creativity.” Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 7 (2002). <http://www.slayage.tv/essays/slayage7/Lavery.html>.
Lavery, David. “Afterword: The Genius of Joss Whedon.” Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eds. Rhonda V. Wilcox, and David Lavery. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
Lavery, David. “Emotional Resonance and Rocket Launchers: Joss Whedon’s Commentaries on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.” Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 6 (2002). 10 September 2003. <http://www.slayage.tv/essays/slayage6/Lavery.html>.
Mele, Christopher. “Cyberspace and Disadvantaged Communities: the Internet as a Tool for Collective Action.” Communities in Cyberspace. Eds. Marc A. Smith, and Peter Kollock. London: Routledge, 1999. ch 12.
Reeves, Jimmie L, Marc C. Rodgers, and Michael Epstein. “Rewriting Popularity: The Cult Files.” Deny All Knowledge: Reading the X-files. Eds. David Lavery, Angela Hague and Marla Cartwright. London: Faber and Faber, 1996. 22-35.
Sabal, Robert. “Television Executive Speak about Fan Letters to the Networks.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. Ed. Lisa A. Lewis. London: Routledge, 1992. Ch 9.
Spoiled Rotten: Buffy, Angel the Series and Tru Calling Spoilers . 22 September 2003. 29 October 2003. <http://spoiledrotten.tvheaven.com/>.
Spoiler Slayer: Spoiler and News for Angel, Buffy, Dead Like Me and Tru Calling 17 October 2003. Accessed 29 October 2003. <http://www.spoilerslayer.com>.
Stengel, Wendy A. F. G. “Synergy and Smut: The Brand in Official and Unofficial Buffy the Vampire Slayer Communities of Interest.” Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 4 (Dec 2001). 28 April 2003. <http://www.slayage.tv/essays/slayage4/ stengel.html>.
Tulloch, John and Henry Jenkins. Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. London: Routledge, 1995.
Walkerdine, Valerie. “Video Replay: Families, Films and Fantasy.” Feminist Film Theory: A Reader Ed. Sue Thornham. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999. 180-195.
Wilson, Steve. “Laugh, Spawn of Hell, Laugh.” Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel Ed. Roz Kaveney. New York: Tauris Park, 2001. Ch. 4.
Zweerink, Amanda, and Sarah N. Gatson. “www.buffy.com: Cliques, Boundaries, and Hierarchies in an Internet Community.” Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eds. Rhonda V. Wilcox, and David Lavery. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002. Ch. 20.
Buffy: the Vampire Slayer Episodes
 See for example: Brower (1992), DuVal Smith (1996), Mele (1999), Stengl (2001) or Sabal (1992)
 This is not to deny that there are studies that relate the knowledge within communities to the fan/show experience. Most notably Henry Jenkins in his extensive critique of fan knowledge observes that fan knowledge enhances the fan experience upon re-viewing by varying this experience, viewing the same material within a different context. (1992: 67)
 This is ironic as the studies of fan knowledge and communities, in engaging in the minutiae of empirical studies of individual communities, appear to be exploring these very “specific conditions”. Yet they rarely do so in order to explore the viewing “pleasures”, the ‘layered intensities’ of the fan relation with BtVS.
 The final line of a particularly scintillating extended and articulate diatribe by KAISERSOZE, which encapsulates the attitudes of buffy.com.au fans. Posted – 24 April 2003 : 18:03:43 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/ topic.asp?ARCHIVE= true&TOPIC_ID=2956&whichpage=7>
 Posted – 03 May 2003 : 23:29:35 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/ topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3075>
 See Whedon’s comments in “A Stake Through the Hearts of Buffy Fans” (2003).
 Posted – 28 May 2003 : 00:47:57 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ ID=3346& whichpage=2>
 Many threads cover this. See particularly the wider topic-group of Season Seven threads: <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/ forum.asp?FORUM_ID=102>
 For discussion about SMG not getting on with the cast and crew see Ezekiel , teija and once-more-with-feeling’s posts in: <http://www.buffy.com.au /forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE= true&TOPIC_ID=2956&whichpage=6>
 Posted – 27 May 2003 : 13:28:07 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3346>
 Ripper . Posted – 24 July 2003 : 17:24:10 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum /topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4034&whichpage=2>
 Posted – 03 August 2003 : 21:23:19 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/ topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4172&whichpage=2>
 Posted – 16 July 2003 : 01:27:48
 While the examples here are from buffy.com.au, the academic-fan also ‘practices Whedonism’; Lavery alone has written three articles lauding Whedon as auteur (“DVD Commentaries”, “The Genius of Joss Whedon” and “Television Creativity”).
 <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/ topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=5267> Posted – 09 October 2003 : 16:49:09.
 See “Joss answers the questions re Joyce & Dawn.” <http://www. buffy.com.au/ forum/ topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4460>
 Noxon is also co-producer of BtVS with Joss Whedon.
 Posted – 29 August 2003 : 21:27:00 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=4529&whichpage=1>
 Posted – 30 August 2003 : 09:57:15 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/ topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=4529&whichpage=2>
 In spite of being also seen as having some of the best ‘stand-alone’ episodes of the series; See wahiiba and slaya’s posts in <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=4402&whichpage=4>
 “7 x 16 – Episode Synopsis” <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/ topic.asp?TOPIC_ ID=3420&whichpage=3>.
 Term coined by Stevivor . Posted – 04 June 2003 : 21:57:42 <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=3420& whichpage=3> Interestingly, a few weeks later this term was used on ATP <http://www.atpobtvs.com/ existentialscoobies/ archives/jul03_p08.html> . However it was only used once there, and these are the only two forums on the Internet which use this term.
 “7 x 16 – Episode Synopsis” <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=3420 &whichpage=5>.
 (Xander) Posted – 23 July 2003 : 21:41:39 <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=4034>
 And, prior to murdering him, Jonathan’s closest friend.
 Potential slayers, who in season seven are being ’rounded up’ from around the world and sent to Buffy’s house for protection from The First Evil who is trying to kill them off. Those that survive (over 20) live in Buffy’s house for most of the season.
 See particularly “Buffy’s speeches give me the shivers” <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3075>
 “7 x 16 – Episode Synopsis” <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/ topic.asp? TOPIC_ID=3420&whichpage=3>.
 “Season 6 – ‘After Life’.” <http://www.buffy.com.au/ forum/ topic.asp?TOPIC _ID=1591>. Dagonsphere here comments that “there’s more to Jane than just jokes”. Posted – 02 October 2003 : 10:11:40
 I read Espenson’s use of the term ‘series’ here to denote an ‘artificial construct’ which exists ‘only’ on television, in isolation to its viewers, as opposed to a ‘world’ which is more ‘real’ for the viewer. I state this, as I am not using this quote to suggest that the serialisation of BtVS is of no importance.
 For an account of spoilers in BtVS communities, see Annette Hill and Ian Calcutt (2001).
 Such as Spoiled Rotten or Spoiler Slayer.
 Posted – 23 April 2003 : 17:24:29 <http://www.buffy. com.au/ forum/ topic.asp? ARCHIVE= true&TOPIC_ID=2956&whichpage=5>
 See oncemore-withfeeling (Buffy) and angeleyes’ (buffy) posts <http://www.buffy.com.au/forum/topic. asp? ARCHIVE = true & TOPIC_ID= 2462& whichpage=3>
Marianne Cantwell recently completed Honours in Film Studies at the University of Newcastle NSW. She will be pursuing postgraduate study in the area of television audience research with particular emphasis on the relations between programming, programme content and auseince groups. She can be contacted on quirky
thing@ hotmail.com .