30 Days of Buffy Day 7: Least Favorite Male Character

Riley.  Riley.  And did I mention Riley?  Because I’m pretty sure it’s Riley.

Why so hesitant, you ask.

Well, because I just don’t like Riley.  He was supposed to be the normal guy for Buffy, but he turned out to be Mr. Initiative.  And when he finally realized Buffy had commitment issues, he tried giving her an ultimatum.  But that was AFTER he got all friendly with a couple of vamps letting them suck his blood for money.

He wasn’t all that accepting when Joyce was sick.  Sure, he said he wanted to be there for Buffy, and he freaked when she wouldn’t let him in.  It’s like he didn’t understand her Slayerhood.

And then he came back married and throwing it in Buffy’s face… sort of.

Also, he was dry.

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1×01 Welcome to the Hellmouth

After being kicked out of her previous school for burning down the gym, Buffy Summers arrives in Sunnydale, only to discover that the high school is built on a hellmouth and she must resume her duties as a Vampire Slayer.

Original air date: March 10, 1997
Written/directed by: Joss Whedon
Guest Stars: Brian Thompson, Eric Balfour, Julie Benz, J. Patrick Lawlor, Natalie Stauss

Standout Character: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Cordelia… we meet them all.

Quotes: You mean there’s actually someone in this town who doesn’t know already? Whew, that’s a relief, I’m telling you! Having a secret identity in this town is a job of work.  (Buffy)

Theme: Buffy wants to be a normal girl.

Foreshadowy Goodness: Luke says, “blood of man will flow as wine” at the harvest, which actually happens when the Master takes over Sunnydale in “The Wish.”

Buffy denying her Slayerness:

This is a constant battle throughout the entire series – watching Buffy deny her Slayerhood over and over.  In the pilot, she has just moved to Sunnydale in an attempt to start fresh.  She thought she left her old life behind her, until a dead body shows up in the locker room.  What I love about the constant denial of her calling is that when it all comes down to it, she still fights the good fight.  She still does what she needs to do.  She still saves the world.

She is constantly trying to be normal, which is a common theme throughout the series, but what I think she doesn’t see is that when she does accept her calling she has a better chance of being normal.  At least then she doesn’t become clumsy and lazy with keeping her identity a secret and she can save the world AND have a normal life.  Maybe.

30 Days of Buffy Day 6: Favorite Male Character

GilesXander.  Spike.  Angel.  On a show where there are so many strong female characters it’s sometimes difficult to find really strong, worthy male characters.  Each one has their own special thing about them that makes them great.

Although I love the Spike/Angel banter and each individual relationship they have with Buffy, I am going to have to eliminate both vampires.  Vampires with souls are hilarious, and they both have some great lines on both Angel and Buffy when it comes to Buffy.

That leaves Giles and Xander.

Both have amazing lines.  Both have been huge influences in Buffy’s life and have helped her in the Scooby gang since the beginning.

Giles is the father figure of the group, and for Buffy.  And he was The Ripper.  He has counseled all the Scoobies at one time or another and really was an influential part of the gang.

However, I’m going to go with Xander.

Xander is like the boy next door and brother and personal hero all rolled into one.  He’s a civilian, and the speech he makes to Dawn in “Potential” nails down why exactly he is my favorite character:

Xander: Seven years, Dawn. Working with the slayer. Seeing my friends get more and more powerful. A witch. A demon. Hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit, but come a full moon, he had a wolfy mojo not to be messed with. Powerful. All of them. And I’m the guy who fixes the windows…. They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn’t chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary.

Dawn: Maybe that’s your power.

Xander: What?

Dawn: Seeing.  Knowing.

Xander: Maybe it is.  Maybe I should get a cape.

Also, he stopped Willow from destroying the world.  And that way pretty cool.

30 Days of Buffy Day 5: Least Favorite Female Character

I’m trying very hard not to say Kennedy, as I really found her unlikable, as does most of the Buffy-loving world, in my opinion.  I think I loved Tara so much for Willow, and Oz before that, that Kennedy seems like just another girl, not really the kind to involve yourself with forever.

Dawn was always a character I didn’t care for in season 5.  She was whiny and new, and that made her the outsider.  But then again, most new characters that come in have to go through some sort of hazing period before they became okay and acceptable.

There was Riley‘s new wife that showed up in “As You Were.”  She was the type that wanted to be accepted, felt like she knew everyone from Riley talking so much about them, but Buffy was almost obligated to dislike her.  No one knew where she came from just because Riley had been MIA for at least a year by then.

And then… there’s Kendra.  The first Slayer that was called after Buffy died the first time.  She was very by the books, and genuinely annoyed Buffy because she was very much a classic Slayer and much less a renegade.  Also, she had a horrible accent of unknown origin.

So, out of the four women I disliked, unfortunately, I’m going to have to go with my original instinct and choose Kennedy.  Not only was she not Tara, which was the reason for her character, but she was just very forward and obnoxious and bratty.

I don’t know if it was the character or the way the actor played the character, but I just could not stand her.  Even after I’ve seen the series several times through, I just can’t bring myself to like her.

I think Kennedy takes Willow to new, open places, which, I’ll admit, is good for Willow.  Life does go on, and there are people out there who are open and ready to take you to new places.

But I still don’t like Kennedy.

Sorry Kennedy.

30 Days of Buffy Day 4: Favorite Female Character

With a show like Buffy that is centered around strong female characters, it’s hard to pick just one as my favorite.  Buffy is the center.  Willow, Anya, Cordelia.  All amazing women.  Even Joyce, Tara and Dawn have some pretty amazing moments.

However, I will say that my favorite female character is Faith.  She’s the anti-Slayer and Buffy’s polar opposite.  They never got along and were never going to, and Faith knew it.

There’s only supposed to be one.  Maybe that’s why you and I can never get along.  We’re not supposed to exist together.

Her dance between good and evil is one for the books.  She constantly struggles to find her identity and her place in the world, but does she ever really find it?  She goes from Buffy to Angel and her journey is never ending.

And she has some pretty great lines.

You’re the bad slayer now?  I’m the good slayer now?

You need to brush up on your Buffy and Faith history.

So, Faith is definitely my favorite female character.  However, some others deserve honorable mentions:

  • Willow, for being so witty and smart and the girl next door.
  • Anya for not having a filter and just saying whatever she thinks.
  • Joyce for being the overall mother figure and being so strong in the face of such interesting circumstances
  • Cordelia for being about saying what she’s thinking and eventually becoming a more amazing hero than anyone thought.

30 Days of Buffy Day 3: Favorite Song Used in an Episode

I really only think of the music that was used in the first three seasons, sometimes the fourth and whenever the Scoobies end up back at the Bronze in the later year when I think of episodic music.  So much great music and so many great artists would not have been heard if it weren’t for the Bronze being the local scene.

Cibo Matto has some great music in the second season episode When She Was Bad.  But my all-time favorite song is by Dingoes at My Baby, otherwise known as Four Star Mary, called Pain.

The first time it’s heard is in Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (?), when Willow is so excited that she gets to have a Valentine’s Day with her new boyfriend, Oz.  And she brags about how he wrote that song just for her.

It’s a little funny, when you think of the lyrics:

Feeling I’ve been lost for years,
You can never understand me,
Unless you’ve seen those tears,
But you never get to sleep when I’m away,
I don’t mind the deeper that you lay,
Out of time,
Pain. I can’t sleep.,
Pain. I can’t sleep.,
Running, running from those days,
There’s another one inside me,
Guess I’ve gone insane,
But you always run away when I come around,
I don’t mind the day I’ll track you down,
Pain. I can’t sleep.,
Pain. I can’t sleep.,
Don’t stop. Don’t talk. Do not f**k with me.,
Don’t stop. Don’t talk. Do not f**k with me.,
Loaded, loaded up this gun,
There’s a killer in me,
Hoping, hope that you’re the one,
But you always run away when I come around,
I don’t mind the day I’ll track you down,
Terrify,
Pain. I can’t sleep.,
Pain. I can’t sleep.,
Pain. I can’t sleep.

But maybe it’s appropriate, given that he’s a werewolf and she’s a budding witch.

30 Days of Buffy Day 2: Favorite Episode

A note: I think this will take less than 30 days to get through, just because I love Buffy and I’m very excited to go through and figure out all my answers to these prompts.

Now, without further hesitation…

30 Days of Buffy Day 2: Favorite Episode

There are so many great episodes.  Out of 7 seasons and 144 episodes there’s very few not to love.  There are so many great lines and stories, the writing, the characters… it’s more difficult than I thought to pick just one out of 144.

There’s a lot of things that determine if an episode is good.  Does it make you laugh?  Does it make you cry?  How memorable is it?  The question then becomes which criteria do you base you favorite episode on?

Typically, as much as I love the episodes that make me laugh hysterically and the lines that make me giggle, I find that it’s more important to me to really be touched by an episode.  To really be affected by it.  To have it tear you apart from the inside out.

For me, that episode is The Body.  I had never cried to much while watching TV in my entire life.  The idea that Joyce died of a brain aneurism rather than by a vampire or demon is more than heartbreaking.  Seeing Buffy break down and be human rather than being a Vampire Slayer… it was if I was going through exactly what she was going through at that very moment.

But the whole series is an emotional roller coaster… so there’s that.