The One Where I Hop on My Soapbox About Racial Diversity… Sort of

In doing tonite’s Buffy Rewatch, this really got to me.  Not the lack of racial diversity in the episode (Inca Mummy Girl), but the idea that so many people cared so much.  Did I notice it before?  Of course.  Did I care?  Not really.  It doesn’t affect the show as it is or was.  It doesn’t affect how brilliant the writing is, nor does it affect how awful season four was.  But it is an idea that is present.

I do believe, however, that if we’re going to discuss the lack of racial diversity, we ought to be looking at the series as a whole, and not just individual episodes.

The idea of Sunnydale, California, allegedly, is that it is supposed to be a very diverse town, as California is a very diverse state.  (Here’s where I play devil’s advocate) Think about Sunnydale for a minute.  As the fictional town it is.  It’s on a hellmouth.  People have been moving out of Sunnydale at increasing rates.  Property values are going down.  Are you REALLY surprised more people don’t want to live there.  People die in Sunnydale.  And most people can’t explain why.  Would YOU want to move there just to prove that Sunnydale was diverse?

But other than that… the series as a whole has had a limited number of “colorful” characters.  Most of them played less than significant roles in one-off episodes and end up dead.  Does anyone remember the locker room in Welcome to the Hellmouth?  That isn’t a white girls screaming about the EXTREME DEAD GUY that just fell out of her locker.

Granted, she only had one episode.  Well, one scene in one episode.  And there’s a lot of characters like that.  One’s that try to be important or influential, or diverse, and they end up getting killed.

Then of course there’s our Islander Slayer, Kendra.  And don’t forget baddies Mr. Trick and Sweet.  And even more importantly, Robin Wood, the new principal of the NEW Sunnydale High, who probably had the most episodes.

But this was the 90’s.  I think if Buffy were done today, it would be a very different show.  I give the show quite a bit of credit for being as awesome as it was.  And to me, the lack of racial diversity, as it were, is not going to affect me either way.  Except maybe to get me to talk about it.

But I’m a purist.  I like my Buffy as it was, is and ever shall be.  I love the writing, and the characters and can’t imagine it being a different show with different people or different ideas.

Plus, it gives us all something to talk about.

30 Days of Buffy Day 9: Favorite Romance

As if there wasn’t a harder question to ask.  And what criteria do you use?  Actually, this was a really simple question to answer, and I’m going to go with the first answer that popped into my head: Spike and Buffy (Spuffy).

When I look for a romance or love story, I want something that will make me laugh and cry in the same moment.  One that gives me goosebumps and butterflies because it’s just. that. good.  And Joss Whedon is certainly one to make all those things happen.  But for me, it happened with Spuffy.

And it’s not because of the hot sex or the fact that I love James Marsters.  It’s so much more than that.

I love that Buffy and Spike hated each other when they met.  I love that they tried to kill each other.  I love that out of that hatred, Spike found a soft spot for Buffy in that he couldn’t get her out of his head.

“We have something, Buffy. It’s not pretty, but it’s real, and there’s nothing either one of us can do about it. Like it or not, I’m in your life, you can’t just shut me out.”   Spike, Crush

And from there, it progressed.  Sure, Buffy eventually gave in to Spike, claiming she never really loved him.  But by the end of season 7, when Buffy realized she had no other ally in the biggest fight of her life, Spike was there to prove how much he loved her.  Not for him, and not for any other reason than she was who she was.

“You listen to me. I’ve been alive a bit longer than you and dead a lot longer than that. I’ve seen things you couldn’t imagine and done things I’d prefer you didn’t. I don’t exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood which doesn’t exactly rush in the direction of my brain so I make a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there?s only one thing I’ve ever been sure of. You. Hey, look at me. I’m not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it’s not because I want you, or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You are a hell of a woman. You’re the one, Buffy.”  Spike, Touched

It was pure and it was real.  Soul or no soul, Spike didn’t need it to love Buffy.

And there you have it.  My long-winded answer about my favorite romance.

30 Days of Buffy Day 8: Favorite Friendship

I have a three-way response to this answer.  Originally, I was thinking it was a 3-way tie between Xander/Willow, Xander/Buffy and Willow/Buffy, but in thinking about all the ways I love each friendship individually, I love the friendships they share in their little trio.

Xander is the civilian of the group, with no special powers, but he’ll do anything for his friends.  Before Buffy came along, it was Xander and Willow, and they were so close.  That of course was in the days before Xander realized his usefulness.

Perhaps it’s because Xander is one of my favorite characters anyway, but I love the interactions between the original Scooby Gang.  They just go through so much.  They saved the world.  I don’t know what type of friendship would be better than that.