Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans

Jowett, L. (2013) Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans. In: Stuller, J. K. (ed.) Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bristol: Intellect. pp. 91-100.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: While Buffy the Vampire Slayer displays many genre influences, given creator Joss Whedon’s insistence that its premise was an exercise in gender role reversal, it is now easy to see Buffy as a key influence on the contemporary Dark Romance publishing and media boom. Just as Buffy itself draws on previous female action heroes from comic books, movies, fiction, and TV, Dark Romances from Twilight to True Blood offer variations on Buffy’s complex representation of romance, sexuality and gender. Now that VILF (Vampire I’d Like to Fuck) has entered the lexicon we can say that the Dark Romance (in which a female protagonist falls in love with a dark hero, usually a vampire or werewolf) has truly arrived. The popularity of the Twilight books and films, as well as the appearance of vampire and werewolf romance in a wide range of diverse popular fictions proves its success with audiences. This paper briefly examines how subsequent Dark Romances pick up, adapt and develop the ways forerunners like Buffy or the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels negotiate conventions of gender and romance for the twenty-first century. While Buffy may have surprised in its ability to attract a wider audience than the usual network TV target for an action/ horror/ fantasy show (teenage boys), much Dark Romance is specifically aimed at a female audience, and thus its representation of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality is carefully constructed to appeal to women. Therefore this chapter also explores how Buffy and its legacy of Dark Romance offers serialised stories that are consistently “about how hard it is to be a woman” for a largely female audience
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fans, television, popular culture, vampires, dark romance, gender, Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, Twilight, The Vampire Diaries
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1992 Television broadcasts
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN3427 Special kinds of fiction. Fiction genres > PN3435 Horror
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ19 Sexual behavior and attitudes. Sexuality
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ1075 Sex role
Creators: Jowett, Lorna
Editors: Stuller, Jennifer K
Publisher: Intellect
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Date: July 2013
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 91-100
Title of Book: Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Series Name: Fan Phenomena
Place of Publication: Bristol
Number of Pages: 164
Language: English
ISBN: 9781783200191
Media of Output: Print
Status: Published / Disseminated
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