A Cultural Comeback: The Return of the Cultural Catchup Project

The Return of the Cultural Catchup Project

May 16th, 2011

On April 9th, 2010, I began an undertaking.

Fifty-seven reviews and over six months later, I had to put that undertaking on hold indefinitely.

There was some part of me who was naive enough to believe that I would be able to continue the Cultural Catchup Project while beginning my PhD, continuing to dig into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but the truth was that it was never going to happen. While my dedication to the project never wavered, my free time during the year was going to go towards covering television as it airs, engaging in the post-air analysis that continues to draw me to writing criticism. Although I found some time to pull together the final reviews to finish out the series’ fifth and second seasons, respectively, the project went dormant for the better part of six months on November 25th.

Since that point, there have been a number of mostly well-meaning prods in my direction regarding the project, but for the most part the Whedon fans have been patient. It helps, of course, that Noel Murray has been continuing his reviews of the series at The A.V. Club, and that the Whedon fan community remains vibrant and active regardless of my contributions. While I hated to be absent from the discussion, and I very much enjoyed the engagement made possible through those reviews, I ultimately had to decide how I wanted to watch these shows, and the idea of trying to squeeze them into an already hectic schedule just wasn’t an option if I actually wanted to enjoy the experience.

But as the year comes to a close, and as the summer approaches, the season of Cultural Catchup approaches. There are no plans for serious overhauls: I remain vigilant in my efforts to avoid spoilers (although a few have sneaked in here or there, but nothing that I would consider major), I remain committed to doing both shows simultaneously (if only to add a bit of variety to my viewing, now that the crossovers seem to be slowing down), and I remain excited to continue the dialogue we began last year.

While I have no idea how many followers of the CCP last time around are still hanging out around these parts, and I have no way of knowing how many stragglers might return, I’m giving us all a few days to gather ourselves. The Cultural Catchup Project returns on the morning of Wednesday, May 18th with a review of both parts of “Bargaining,” the sixth season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and continues later that very same day with a review of the third season premiere of Angel, “Heartthrob.”

Edit: Both reviews are now live via the links below!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Bargaining”

Angel – “Heartthrob”

From there, things might slow down a bit until the weekend, but after that the adventure picks up where it left off: a summer-long journey as far into the Whedonverse as three and a half months will take us.

I am hopeful that some of you will still be along for the ride, and that there might be some who are joining us for the first time: either way, the Cultural Catchup Project page offers the complete archives for those who want to relive it all again.

The Cultural Catchup Project Archives

In the meantime, spread the word – on Wednesday, the undertaking begins again.

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23 Comments

Filed under Cultural Catchup Project

23 responses to “A Cultural Comeback: The Return of the Cultural Catchup Project

  1. Anna

    Yay! Happy to hear you’re back! Whedonesque was kind enough to link this so I’m sure enough people will come back.

  2. Gill

    Excellent news! I am very intrigued to see your response to the last two seasons, which have been known to arouse a certain degree of discussion…

  3. Nicole

    Excited to see you’re back to the Buffyverse, and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts!

  4. Aeryl

    Woohoo! Hope you enjoy the ride Myles. These next two seasons are the most controversial in all of fandom, with scores of haters and lovers. It’ll be interesting to see which side you come down on.

  5. Erunion

    This is why I never delete my RSS feeds. =D

  6. thedothatgirl

    Great news, I’ve missed your insightful reviews.

  7. Thanks to the wonders of RSS, I’ve kept up-to-date on your status, so I’ll be back as well. :)

  8. Yay! Much as I enjoy reading Noel Murray’s thoughts too, I’m way too scared of the AV Club commenters to actually try talking to people there like I did here. :)

    • (Oops – I was ‘skittledog’ when last I was here. Indeed, I still am skittledog. I just got a wordpress blog in the meantime and now it thinks I have a real name…)

  9. lyvanna

    Yay! Can’t wait!

  10. *rubs hands in anticipation*

  11. morda898

    Yay! Can’t wait. Hope your comments are as interesting and insightful as ever (even when I vehemently disagree, *ahem* Restless *cough cough*).

    You made a teensy weensy error though. You said the previous season of Buffy was season six when it was in fact season five. Just to give you a grammatical headsup! ;)

  12. Karen

    This is good news. I absolutely had faith, Myles, that you wouldn’t let the CCP wither away!

    I, however, have middle schoolers to teach until June 10th so I am not quite in a hurry. Take your time….stretch it out….a couple episodes a week until summer hits…lol

  13. I’m still here!

    I’m stoked you’re back. Wooooooooooot!

  14. Christopher

    This is great! I’m looking forward to the return of your reviews, Myles. They are always insightful and usually shed new light on an episode or theme.

    And you weren’t going to get by me if/when you started this up again because I get your updates on all your other reviews…but I was starting to wonder if you had decided not to finish. ;-)

    (There are those that think the show should have ended at the end of Season 5 when it left the WB. They don’t like to acknowledge Seasons 6 and 7. I am not one of those.)

  15. diane

    Welcome back, Myles! I’ve missed you.

    I’ve kept busy with Doctor Who, Terriers, and Torchwood. And that pesky business of working for aliving.

    I do recommend Terriers for anyone who likes Tim Minear’s work on Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and The Inside.

  16. Jimi

    *dusts off, and wakes from slumber* yay for the return! see you tomorrow! lol (and thanks to Whedonesque for posting that you were starting back up…) I had been pulling up the page every couple of months to see if there was any activity.. ready for the party to begin again! :)

  17. AO

    Congrats on your return to the Project Myles!

    On a personal level, I wish that you had waited just a bit longer, as it seems like there is so much going on in the world of TV right now, with so much talk on GOT, some big finales still being discussed and others to come, and all of the Networks’ new shows and schedules to be analyzed. Of course that’s just me.

    Obviously I’ll keep up with the new write-ups as best I can, and I wish you the best of luck with your resumption of the CCP. =)

  18. Wendy

    I’m glad you’re back! I’ll be along for the ride :)

  19. Celia

    Yay! Just a couple of days ago I clicked on my bookmark to this site and grumbled to myself, “isn’t he ever going to get back to this??” I am SO GLAD you’re back.

    Count me as one who really likes Season Six. Season Seven isn’t on the top of my list, but even “not as good” Buffy is still GREAT television! I look forward to your thoughtful analysis. Also…Season Three of Angel? YIPPPEEEE!

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