Warning: the big photo at the very top of the article I'm about to point to contains a casting spoiler for the final couple of episodes of Buffy. If you've seen the penultimate episode ("End of Days," the one broadcast this past week) then this won't be a surprise, but if you haven't, and you're trying hard to avoid any information at all about it, don't follow the following link.
(But this here journal entry doesn't contain any spoilers for anything.)
Will points to a cool quasi-interview with Joss Whedon, which (except for the abovementioned photo) doesn't contain any specific info about the upcoming finale. A couple of cute quotes follow.
Regarding academics analyzing the series:
I think "Buffy" should be analyzed, broken down, and possibly banned.
Regarding the show's portrayal of souls:
[Having a soul] has consistently marked the real difference between somebody with a complex moral structure and someone who may be affable and even likable, but ultimately eats kittens.
Regarding mistakes and guilt:
[T]he mistakes I've made in my own life have plagued me, but they're pretty boring mistakes: I committed a series of grisly murders in the eighties and I think I once owned a Wilson-Phillips Album. Apart from that I'm pretty much an average guy, yet I have an enormous burden of guilt.
The most interesting bit to me is his discussion of how the actors have influenced the development of the characters, but it's not amenable to brief quoting, so I'll just recommend going and reading it.
In unrelated Buffy news, there's an article at Salon titled "Why Spike ruined 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'," which claims that the show used to be all about the uncool kids, but now focuses on the obnoxious cool people.
Me, I'm in favor of any show that focuses on James Marsters, especially with his shirt off; and I think a fair bit of the article is just "I don't like the direction the show's taking" grumbling. But I think there are some interesting points mixed in. (Though I haven't seen most of the early seasons of the show, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the article's comments on same.)
The article contains spoilers up through "Conversations with Dead People," and the final paragraph of it contains a rumor about which characters will be continuing past the end of the series.
Oh, and to read the full article you have to either be a Salon member or get a "day pass" by viewing an ad for a new reality TV series.
The letters-page responses are kinda interesting, too, but I haven't checked to find out whether the author of that first letter is the Kelly Link.