ARC Review: Into Every Generation a Slayer is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Heats by Evan Ross Katz. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Into Every Generation a Slayer is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts by Evan Ross Katz

5 out of 5 stars

The oral history and exploration of the cultural impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the classic, ground-breaking television show still adored by fans old and new, from pop culture critic and lifelong devotee of the show Evan Ross Katz, social media’s foremost Sarah Michelle Gellar historian.


Over the course of its seven-year run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer cultivated a loyal fandom and featured a strong, complex female lead, at a time when such a character was a rarity. In Into Every Generation, pop culture critic Evan Ross Katz, social media’s Sarah Michelle Gellar expert, will explore the show’s history and cultural relevance through a book that is part oral history, part celebration, and part memoir of a very personal fandom that has universal resonance.


Katz—with the help of the show’s cast, creators, and crew—will reveal that although the show contributed to important conversations about gender, sexuality, and race, it was not free of internal strife and controversy. Men—both on screen and off—would taint its reputation as a feminist masterpiece, and changing networks would drastically impact the show’s tone and the lives of its cast. How those disruptions impact the show’s production, the lives of its cast members, and, more broadly, pop culture will be examined.


Katz will address these issues and more, including interviews with stars such as Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter, as well as conversations with celebrity Buffy fanatics including Tavi Gevinson, Pedro Pascal, Selma Blair, and Retta. Furthermore, Into Every Generation will explore the very notion of fandom, and the ways a show like Buffy can influence not only how we see the world but how we exist within it.

Makes me want to binge Buffy again!

I requested this book for a few reasons:
1. I love Buffy, she is tough and snarky and very cool!
2. I love Angel, he is handsome, brooding and a good vampire (Mostly).
3. I love Spike, he is hilarious and crazy!
4. It was listed in the category of “Arts and Photography”. So I thought there would be a lot of reminiscing about the show and photos to boot.

Alas there wasn’t any photos, but there are a ton online so it wasn’t hard to find a bunch for my review. Though there was certainly a lot of reminiscing but also much more. The book has interviews of cast, crew and fans and delves into things like how Buffy the Vampire Slayer, (which will have premiered 25 years ago by the time the book is released) was not only a cultural phenomenon but ahead of its time for focusing on female empowerment.

Evan Katz doesn’t shy away from the disparity between highlighting the show as a feminist touchpoint and the fact that many years later allegations were made against its’ creator Joss Whedon for creating a toxic work environment. I hadn’t known about those allegations prior to reading this since I have had my head in books since 2017 and haven’t watched much entertainment news. However, it certainly needed to be addressed and Katz did that early on in the book.

Katz readily admits just how much he loves both the show and Sarah Michelle Gellar herself and is not afraid of putting his feelings out there in a witty and self depreciating manner. I not only enjoyed this, but totally understood his feelings since I loved the show nearly as much as Katz.

“When Tom Cruise tells Renée Zellweger “You complete me” in Jerry Maguire? It’s very that steez for Buffy and me, but objectively less reciprocal.”

“It became my “thing,” intrinsic to my being years before my homosexuality or Judaism came to dominate my cultural identity. Before I was an American, I was a Buffy fan, I would joke. But I wasn’t joking. I loved this show. I loved to love this show. And I loved how much people seemed to love my love for this show (“seemed to” being the operative words).”

Katz also mentions the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry and host of others. As all of us Buffy fans know, the movie that the TV show was based on was very different than the show in a multitude of ways. Though I like the quote in the book which tells how the film-makers took Joss Whedon’s admittedly dark humor and turned it into schlocky horror.

“Schlocky Horror” is exactly what comes to mind when I think of the Buffy movie. Not that the show didn’t have some of that at times, but the show had so much more as well. It had wit, fun, romance, awesome characters, camaraderie and the dark humor to top it all off. Like Zander, I think many of the fans had some “what wold Buffy do” moments, especially us girls when confronted with monsters in our lives.

The book was overall an enlightening and enjoyable nostalgic look at the iconic TV show.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.


View all my reviews

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