July 2002 posts

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Let's play: Spot the Buff-ite -- SingedCat, 16:15:34 07/19/02 Fri

Another game for the summer-ridden. Spot members of the cast doing other stuff. I saw Jonathan (Danny Strong) in a commercial last week where he was walking down a city street sipping from a big cup. Don't remember what the commercial was for-- anyone? I do remember I laughed.

[> Jonathan & Riley... -- MaeveRigan, 16:19:23 07/19/02 Fri

(Danny Strong & Marc Blucas) had small roles in Pleasantville, which was on TV recently. Only Danny had lines, IIRC.

[> [> Riley... -- Deeva, 17:39:07 07/19/02 Fri

saw Marc Blucas in the indy film "Sunshine State". He played Lorraine Bracco's (HBO's Soprano's) much younger lover. Half nekkidness!

[> [> [> Re: Riley... -- Cheryl, 17:44:15 07/19/02 Fri

Okay, tried to post this but it wouldn't let me for some reason. If at first you don't succeed . . .

Marc Blucas was also in Summer Catch with SMG's fiance, Freddie Prinze, Jr and he was in Jay and Bob Strike Back playing, ironically, Fred from Scoobie Doo (Freddie Prinze's part). And, Eliza Dushku was also in Jay & Bob.


[> [> [> [> Re: Riley... -- Nic, 21:25:07 07/19/02 Fri

Saw "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" on HBO. I think that was Joyce (Christine Sutherland) playing the mom of the two brothers.

[> Re: Let's play: Spot the Buff-ite -- Veronica, 20:59:24 07/19/02 Fri

I think the Danny Strong commercial was for Dunkin Donuts iced coffee...his iced coffee gets stuck in one of those newspaper boxes...

[> Alternative but similar game: "Make the Connection" -- A8, 23:04:14 07/19/02 Fri

a.k.a "3 Degrees or less of separation from BTVS." Here are the rules. Provide a title or a name that has direct connection with BTVS but no direct reference within the show and let the posters guess the connection.

For example: an easy one--"General Hospital." (Answer: EC, Vamp Sandy and Dawn's friend in ATW were all regulars on GH).

Another example: "Lynyrd Skynyrd" (Answer: the band that wrote the song "Freebird" which Giles sang in the ep "Yoko Factor".) Remember, "Freebird" itself would be an incorrect clue because the title itself is referenced directly in the lyric Giles sang in that ep.

The main catch is that the connection cannot be separated from BTVS by more than 3 degrees (that might be a little too daunting). Also, there can be more than one correct answer (for example, there may have been other BTVS actors who appeared on GH). Finally, the less obvious the connection the better. (For example--"Michelle's Flute" would be a better clue difficulty-wise than "American Pie." And for those of you who don't know the answer to that one "Michelle's flute" was the object AH's character in "American Pie" used to pleasure herself at band camp).

Okay, I'll start for real. Hope the rules make sense.


"The Beatles"

(please note, "The Yoko Factor" and Spike's reference to the Beatles in that ep are not good answers to this one since they are direct references in BTVS itself--you'll have to find another more tenuous connection between "The Beatles" and BTVS).

Any takers?

[> [> Re: Alternative but similar game: "Make the Connection" -- Arethusa, 05:45:00 07/20/02 Sat

Adam liked "Helter Skelter."

[> Mark Blucas (Riley) is in Sunshine State (NT) -- change, 06:26:24 07/20/02 Sat

An ethical Question -- Dochawk, 14:21:51 07/20/02 Sat

You all know my anitpathy towards Spuffy and my feelings that Spike still remains on the evil side of the ledger, so this is NOT meant to get into that discussion. I have an ethical question, which has probably been answered but I can't remember.

In the Gift, Giles justifies killing Ben by the fact that Glory could reemerge and endanger Buffy. How come then, when Spike first shows up at his door, Giles takes pity on Spike even though if he had the chip removed (just as likely as Glory reemerging) he would also endanger Buffy? How are these two situations different? Why does Giles come to a different conclusion in the two situations?

[> Ethical Question -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:27:40 07/20/02 Sat

Spike getting the chip out was and is a possibility, but by no means certain. Plus, at that moment, the Gang wasn't certain how long they were going to let Spike live.

However, no matter what they did, Ben would eventually turn back into Glory. It may not have been for a while, since Glory really got her ass kicked, but it would happen in time.

[> Re: An ethical Question -- zargon, 14:30:38 07/20/02 Sat

One point here might be that Spike did not endanger Buffy to the degree that Glory did, but this is the only one I can think of and it's probably minor.

In S5, every time Buffy fought Glory, except for in The Gift, Buffy lost. In fact, it took all the SG combined to even slow Glory down and try to delay the ritual. Glory was extremely determined to get back to her own dimension, to the extent that she would happily destory the Buffy one to do so. If Buffy prevented that return, and Glory remained in Ben's body with her powers intact, she would have pursued Buffy, and when she caught her, maybe killed Buffy...eventually..after she made her suffer. This is why I believe Giles killed Ben.

As to Spike, it makes no sense to me that Giles let him live other than even if the chip was removed, Buffy could take out Spike any time since he's a vampire and she's slain many of those. But to me, this is a very minor point and not one that Giles would have considered. It's not like Giles was inclined to be kind or merciful towards Spike. I think they let Spike unlive for plot development only.

[> Re: An ethical Question -- OnM, 14:41:58 07/20/02 Sat

I would have to say that while Giles' immediate concern might be over the possibility of Glory causing harm to Buffy, it also had to be in his mind that Glory, being a god, could do a great deal more damage to the world than Spike possibly could-- so it's a matter of degree.

Secondly, Buffy has made it very clear through her actions, if not words, that Spike is not to be killed as long as he has the chip and can't harm humans. Buffy may or may not be wise in making this decision, but that isn't the issue-- Giles has come to respect that Buffy's instincts are often right, even if it is not immediately apparent why in any logical sense. Buffy has made unwise decisions on occasion, but her track record over time, especially in the grander scheme of things, has pretty much been right on. Even in The Gift, Giles defers to her wishes, though strongly disagreeing with her about what to do with Dawn.

Since it is clear that Giles trusts her, he wouldn't harm Spike unless given inescapable need to (such as if the chip were deactivated and Spike started killing again).

[> IITS ... -- Earl Allison, 15:06:36 07/20/02 Sat

It's In The Script.

Honestly? While there MIGHT be some small value to plying information from Spike, the biggest reason is because the script called for it in order to keep Spike around (much the same way he tossed scientists around in his escape, which evolved into being unable to even hit anyone later).

Granted, Spike was a far lesser evil than Glory, in any case, but yes, the possibilities still existed, as they did with Glory, for a resurgence of evil. In some ways, it was as if nothing was learned from the Angelus issue, as both Giles and Xander gave Spike access to their homes.

Chipped or not, at that point in S4, Spike was still evil, and there really WASN'T a good reason to keep him from becoming Hoover-bait, as evidenced by his later betrayal of the group to Adam, and his willingness to send Faith their way should he see her.

Still, the error was a smaller one in scale, so even though I can't see a good reason for it (aside from IITS), I can let it go far more than I could had Giles let Ben go.

Take it and run.

[> Practical logic -- Ete, 15:24:25 07/20/02 Sat

I think that Giles is a pragmatism. He "swore to protect this sorry world", and he also wants to protect the people he loves, and his kind (humans).
Glory was consisting a threat. She could come back anytime, would surely be pissed at Buffy and was near impossible to conter. Hence, he killed her. It wasn't a justification, by the way, Giles never considered killing Ben/Glory was good, he just considered it a necessary evil.
Spike when he showed up on Giles' doorway wasn't consisting a threat. He could hardly get free of the chip, and even if he could, there were good enough chances Buffy could deal with him. And furthermore, they could gain adventage from helping Spike by gaining some informations on the unknown threat at the time of the Initiative.

[> Re: An ethical Question -- Rufus, 19:12:05 07/20/02 Sat

In the Gift, Giles justifies killing Ben by the fact that Glory could reemerge and endanger Buffy. How come then, when Spike first shows up at his door, Giles takes pity on Spike even though if he had the chip removed (just as likely as Glory reemerging) he would also endanger Buffy? How are these two situations different? Why does Giles come to a different conclusion in the two situations?

There is a big difference between Glory/Ben and Spike and that is the enormity of their threat to others. Spike as a neutered vampire was less capable of doing damage on the Earth destroying level of Ben/Glory. Then you get into the difference between the "hero" and Giles....Giles is the one that pointed out the difference between Buffy as a hero, and Ben and Giles as a Watcher. From The Gift.....

Ben lies there, gives a pained cough and smiles painfully but still doesn't move.

BEN: I guess we're stuck with each other, huh baby?

He breathes painfully. Giles comes over and kneels beside him.

GILES: Can you move?

BEN: Need a ... a minute. She could've killed me.

GILES: No she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge, and ... make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that... (reaches into his pocket, takes out his glasses) and still she couldn't take a human life.

Shot of Ben listening.

GILES: She's a hero, you see. (Giles puts his glasses on) She's not like us.

BEN: Us?

Giles suddenly reaches down and puts his hand over Ben's nose and mouth, holding them shut. Ben struggles weakly as Giles keeps him still. Giles keeps his calm expression throughout.

There is a difference between Giles as Watcher and Ben as the human container of Glory, and Buffy as a Slayer. Buffy is a "hero" she can't kill the helpless....Giles as a Watcher has a different standard...he is one who can kill a human to protect the world, and to protect Buffy from having to be any less than a hero. In relation to Spike, Giles took the attitude that there could be a hidden benefit to a vampire on their side of the battle between good and evil...that also accounted for his feeling of dissapointment in Tabula Rasa when he though Randy was a relative. Spike was helpless and Giles took Buffys side with the hopeful thought that maybe a higher purpose could be served by Spike working with them. With Ben, Giles knew that Ben didn't value anything beyond himself, and his prisoner, Glory could find a way to make legions of people suffer in a way that Spike is simply incapable of doing. Glory was never going to fight on their side and either was Ben, and Giles made a promise to protect the world and sometimes that leaves one with choices that are less than heroic.

[> [> Re: An ethical Question -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:42:18 07/20/02 Sat

Also, so far, Spike has been unable to get his chip out. In fact, he may never get it out. However, there was no doubt that Glory would make a return appearance. The level of threat they pose isn't the key factor; it's the risk of them becoming dangerous again.

[> [> Agree and while we're on the topic, how about Angel & HArm? -- shadowkat, 21:10:38 07/20/02 Sat

First regarding Spike:
Giles explains on several occassions why they shouldn't kill Spike, his reasoning is not all that different actually for not killing Angel, which I believe was a far harder decision for Giles to make. (Angel had tortured Giles for his own pleasure. Spike meanwhile saved Gile's life in Becoming, by stopping Angelus from using a chainsaw on Giles. Granted Spike had his own reasons for this.)

Giles determines in Pangs - that Spike has information that can help them fight the Initiative.

Later in Something Blue he tells Spike - "we have no intention of harming a harmless creature...once we determine you're truly impotent."

Angel on the other hand isn't impotent. HE can kill at any time. Nothing stops him but his soul which chooses not to.
But The soul has chosen to kill in the past, he says as much. It is a battle he fights all the time - as he mentions repeatedly in Ats. Angel w/ a soul is actually more dangerous than Spike w/ a chip. Nothing but his conscience keeps him from attacking a human. Spike is physically unable to do it.

But Let's finish with Spike. In The I in Team - Giles determines Spike may be useful to them. Maybe the Powers have a higher purpose. Spike disappoints him. But Giles does keep it in the back of his mind...sort of. Also Spike helps Giles in A NEW MAN. Spike has proven useful- helps free OZ. Provides infor on Adam. His informant status at first is to ensure his longevity, later when he realizes they won't kill him, he isn't even scary anymore...he barters for money. When Riley askes to kill Spike - Buffy reiterates what Giles told her - and basically states - we don't kill harmless creatures.

Next question, because as long as you're querying about Spike - what about Angel? He poses a much greater threat actually. We've seen what Angelus is capable of. Almost destroyed the world. Only thing keeping him back is a soul he got via a curse which does have a pesky escape clause.

So why kill Ben but not Angel?

Because Angel could do the world a lot of good? Or is it because he has a chance to redeem himself? Or all the times he did help them? We could argue that Ben saved lives as a doctor, he certainly saved Giles' life. And Ben like Angel has a soul which holds him back, right? And like Angel, Ben has a horrible Beast inside him who is intent on destroying life and the world. But Ben's beast is a greater threat than Angel's b/c even with a soul, Ben has zero control over his. Glory tends to break free and be dominant. There's no fifty- fifty chance that Ben won't let Glory destroy the world again. There is with Angel. If Glory gets out, we lose. No and's if's or but's. Ben is worse than Angel, he has a godlike monster inside him. Something he has 0 control over. It gets out, we're dead. Buffy barely defeated Glory. So works that Giles would kill Ben over Angel.

What about Warren? Well there already was a long thread on that one, so won't reiterate those points here.

If the Ben thing still bugs you - don't worry, I have a hunch we haven't heard the last of it. From what I've read we'll either see Giles deal with this act again next year or in Ripper. According to ASH and Joss Whedon, they have not forgotten about it. Everything in the story builds on itself. Just be patient.

Hmmm...another question - why didn't Buffy kill HArmony? Or Dru? When she had the chance? They seemed to get away pretty quickly. In fact the non-staking of Harmony seems very contrived. (No bashing Earl - I'm not arguing that HArmony should die... still being objective here.) Harmony had no chip or soul keeping her back. Why didn't Buffy stake her? Is it b/c she couldn't find her? Seems very odd. Pretty obvious Harmony was hanging out at Spike's. Or did Buffy just not consider Harmony much of a threat? Harmony eats all sorts of people, shopgirls, those minions she turned. Also why didn't Cordy stake her? Friendship?
(I know why the writer's didn't but am curious if we can find a better reason.)

Can you think of any other odd people the SG has allowed to live??

[> [> [> Re: Agree and while we're on the topic, how about Angel & HArm? -- Wizardman, 00:52:05 07/21/02 Sun

Well, in S2, Buffy allowed both that Sheila girl who got vamped (School Hard) to just leave, and she didn't do anything to that Cain guy even though he was a murderer and even though he would most likely go back to hunting werewolves, if far away from Sunnydale. In fact, as human bads go, he was easily on a level (in evil, not power) with Warren, possibly even Catherine Madison.

[> [> [> Good points -- Earl Allison, 03:27:11 07/21/02 Sun

I would have to say that Angel is less of a threat now than he was before finding out what his "escape clause" was. Hopefully, Angel will exert enough caution to NOT take that chance again (although he did, with Darla -- moron).

The only reason I could use to explain Buffy's hesitance to stake Harmony, and it's rather weak, is guilt. After all, Harmony got vamped indirectly because of her, trying to fight off vampires with the other students.

Now, I don't think Buffy did ANYTHING wrong in recruiting her, it was fight back or be demon kibble, but on the other hand, surely a few days of training would be woefully insufficient in trying to fight off vampires and a full- fledged demon. A lot of the victory comes from being able to take Olvocan out of the fight early, and Angel's rallying of other townies to hit the vamps from behind. Still, like I said, weak conjecture at best.

As for Drusilla, when did Buffy have clear opportunity and ignore it? "Crush"? She was certainly shaken up then, although she probably should have staked both Drusilla AND Spike then -- Harmony actually helped save Buffy's life, even if that wasn't her intent :)

Why didn't Cordy stake her? Cordy obviously has problems with learning that vampires are bad, even if she knew them pre vampirism, since we see her do the EXACT SAME THING with Darla -- letting her live and nearly paying for it with her life. I think it's her relationship and closeness to Angel, it colors her judgement -- no matter how much she claims to be able to stake Angelus should he emerge.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> Re: Good points -- shadowkat, 07:17:46 07/21/02 Sun


The Harmony moment I was thinking of was immediately after Dawn's kidnapping in The Real Me. Always seemed odd to me that Buffy didn't go after her. But I let it go, because ME clearly wanted the character alive and to be honest so did I.
Let's face it without our wonderful vamp villains Btvs wouldn't be half as enjoyable as it is. I still miss Darla and Dru.

In Crush - I think she didn't stake Spike b/c he technically saved her from Dru and she knew the worst thing she could do to him was shut him out. She planned on staking him in Intervention but discovered he had gone beyond anyone else in her life in protecting her and Dawn and that in a nutshell is why he is still alive.

I think Harmony survived CRUSH b/c like you say Buffy was still reeling from the emotional impact of what Spike did.

Have to admire Buffy - she really doesn't kill villains willy-nilly. Reminds me a great deal of the town sheriff in Gunsmoke (a classic Western series that dealt with similar issues) or in other Westerns. In Westerns you often have
these not so nice characters that you put up with b/c killing them outright would be wrong. Actually to be honest in every tv show that had these sort of characters - I often watched the show just to see the not-so-nice grey complex characters - found them more fun and interesting than the heros...;-)

[> Re: An ethical Question -- Sophist, 21:15:21 07/20/02 Sat

just as likely as Glory reemerging

I don't think this is true. Glory was much more likely to emerge than Spike ever was to get a chipectomy. I would add this to the reasons noted above by OnM.

Was Adam undead? -- eternal, 14:52:57 07/20/02 Sat

Adam runs on an "autonomic power source" (which means it's part of his involuntary nervous system). It is not biological, but atomic--a small resevoir of Uranium 235 (an element used in nuclear warheads) embedded in his chest near his spine. This makes me wonder if buffy hadn't kill him would he be essentially immortal too. He wasn't born alive but not like a reanimated corpse either.

[> Re: Was Adam undead? -- Wizardman, 17:04:37 07/20/02 Sat

Actually, I think that Adam was completely Something Else- not human, not demonic, not a hybrid but completely something else. I think that he was immortal- but not unkillable, as we saw. IMO, one of the ways S4 sucked was in its treatment of its 'Big Bad.' He wasn't introduced until about halfway into the season, and was underused afterwards. He could easily have been as big a threat as Glory was. Of course, with the Hellgoddess as the planned big bad for the next season, that's probably why they didn't do more with him. In fact, of all the characters that we've seen, I think that Adam was the only one that could have gone toe-to-toe with Glory without any help- ie. Olaf's hammer, mind- returning spells, etc.- and have a relatively good chance of winning.

[> Re: Was Adam undead? -- Caesar Augustus, 02:38:59 07/21/02 Sun

I think technically you'd have to call him undead, since he doesn't have a beating heart. That seems to be the main distinction in the Buffyverse. The uranium core would have a lifetime - we have no idea how long. What really bothers me is whether Adam had a soul, and if so, what soul? Demonic? Human? Mixture?

[> [> Re: Was Adam undead? -- skpe, 06:00:38 07/21/02 Sun

I would say no. There have been several people geven artificial harts and no one has sugested that they were not human. And amputees are no less human dispite there artificial limbs. So I would say that no matter how many deamon and machine parts Maggy Walsh grafted on him Adam was still a soled human at the core

[> [> [> Re: Was Adam undead? -- Finn Mac Cool, 06:58:27 07/21/02 Sun

I don't know about that. One could argue that Adam was still a soulless demon at the core no matter how many human and machineparts Maggie Walsh grafted onto him.

Adam seems pretty much guilt free about anything. He hasn't had time to develop sociopathy like some humans (*cough* Warren *cough*), so I'm betting he doesn't have a human soul. Whether he has a demonic one is uncertain.

[> [> [> [> Re: Was Adam undead? -- skpe, 09:19:22 07/21/02 Sun

I agree you could argue both ways. You could say that Frankinstine was a soulless monster even though he was made from all human parts. But my point was where do you draw the line. Is the exsistance of a sole indicated only by actions.then as you say what about Warren? Or is it inherent in a living human body? in which case what precent?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Was Adam undead? -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:33:40 07/21/02 Sun

In the Buffyverse, a soul is a force that draws people to do good. Adam seemed pretty content to wallow in evil.

Of course, there is the fact that he was less than a year old. At that age, human beings have not yet developed an understanding that other people are real, and thus uncaring of them. Perhaps Adam was the same way.

Or maybe Adam has no free will. We have been shown that his computer circuitry is linked to his brain (it's uncertain if this is a human brain, a demon brain, or some of each). If this is true, than he may be considered soulless because he is not a true person, only a machine programmed with responses to certain situations.

[> [> [> [> [> [> depends on 2 things -- anom, 20:52:43 07/21/02 Sun

1. Was the human part of Adam still alive when the other parts were grafted on? In that case, maybe the human soul is still there, same as w/transplant patients. But if Walsh & her team started w/a dead man in the 1st place, the soul is gone, & whether Adam is undead depends on...

2. How do you define "undead"? I think we can rule out demons and (obviously) rule in vampires. The status of other kinds of reanimated beings, like zombies, & Adam's original human if he was dead to start with, is less certain...OK, not certain at all, 'cause we just don't know the definition.

A few other things: I couldn't find a reference in Psyche's transcripts to Adam's uranium core as an "autonomic power source." I don't think it had to do specifically w/his autonomic nervous system--it was powering all of him. I guess you could say it was autonomous, but I didn't see that in the transcripts either.

Caesar Augustus said, "The uranium core would have a lifetime - we have no idea how long." Yeah, but we can get a rough idea. According to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research website, uranium used in reactors is a mix of U-235 & U-238, & they have half-lives of 700 million & 4.5 billion years, respectively (ain't the web great?). So a uranium power source wouldn't make him literally immortal, but he could come close to outlasting this planet. (Just saw Primeval again tonight, & when Willow talked about a uranium-extracting spell, I thought, what about one that would accelerate its conversion to lead?)

Oh, and as for Dr. Frankenstein's creature (never called a "monster" in the book), it was made from dead bodies & therefore had no soul. And Adam may be <1 year old in the form we saw him in, but he had some memories of his human life--he tells Spike "parts of me" were in the Boy Scouts. I'm not sure how much we can conclude about what role the computer parts & programming played in his decisions--we know he could use data from a computer disk, but beyond that, how much of his thinking was independent & how much was determined by his programming, his demon parts, & his human parts? Part of his head was human, part demon, & part computerized--who knows if his brain "circuitry" was equally mixed?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks anom. Then for all intents and purposes he is immortal. -- Caesar Augustus, 22:00:15 07/21/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Did Adam have a soul? -- KdS, 04:50:25 07/22/02 Mon

I think that the writers intended to suggest that Adam didn't have a human soul, and showed it in Riley's confrontation with Demon!Forrest.

FORREST: Really looking forward to trying out your girl again.

Riley: I'm sorry, Forrest.

FORREST: Don't be. This is the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm free of all my weaknesses, my doubts.

Demon!Forrest's behaviour suggests that he has no conscience in the human sense, and the way he speaks about himself is reminiscent of Spike and other vampires dismissing their human morality as weakness. I think this is enough to suggest that Forrest and Adam don't have human souls.

Is Drusilla responsible for her actions? -- Earl Allison, 15:16:17 07/20/02 Sat

Inspired by Dochawk's post on Spike, I wanted to get something out on my favorite vamp, the insane Drusilla.

Simply put, unlike other vampires, is Drusilla actually responsible for her actions in the same way Angelus, Darla, or other vampires we've seen (with the exception of Kralik from S3's "Helpless")?

We allow for insanity as a mitigating factor in crimes and behaviors in our society -- would Drusilla qualify for the same type of understanding? Is she evil like all others, or is she more affected by her madness?

She was driven mad by Angelus before she was turned, and that insanity (possibly an inevitability given her psychic gifts) crossed over into undeath with her. While I wouldn't suggest letting Drusilla run free -- is she so much a creature of evil as any other vampire, or something different? Something more deserving of pity than scorn or hatred?

I can't exactly advocate not staking Dru, but is she as "deserving" of it as other vampires, or is she a special case? If she were mentally stabilized -- what would we have (and yes, I realize I'm asking for total conjecture here)? Would she just be a SANE, but dangerous vampire, or would she be self-loathing (remember she was rather pious, and became a nun), or something else?

I look forward to replies from those more learned than I.

Take it and run.

[> Re: Is Drusilla responsible for her actions? -- Ete, 15:43:44 07/20/02 Sat

In my Opinion, vampires are not killed because they deserve death, but because they consist a threat to humans, it's a defence question. So, as long as Drusilla's killing people, it's legitimate to stake her as well as any vampires.
Is she responsible for her actions ? Well, are any vampires responsible for their actions ? Do they have the free will not to kill humans ? Since ME seems to be telling us that Spike could not have done it without a soul, then canon seems to be that vampires do not have a free will in that question, then they cannot be hold responsible of their actions of murder.
Which does not de-legitimate the act of Slaying them, since, as I said, this is done in a self-defance manner, so as to prevent death of humans.

[> Re: Is Drusilla responsible for her actions? -- Wizardman, 16:54:46 07/20/02 Sat

I get what you're saying. And as to where I stand... I'd stake her, but I really wouldn't like having to do it. Yes, I do pity her. Her mother thought that she was touched by evil because of her visions, Angelus made her life a living hell just for fun, and then just as she was about to get away from it all- and possibly into a position where she could do some good with her visions- she was turned into an undead creature of the night. She seems more insane than evil, and so she's a special case, but she still requires blood to survive, and kills humans to get it, so...

What do you think that Dru would be like if she were re- ensouled? Would she still be a psycho? And if so, would staking her be justified then?

[> Re: Is Drusilla responsible for her actions? -- Caesar Augustus, 02:44:26 07/21/02 Sun

Would Drusilla be evil if she were sane? I'd have to say yes. The legal distinction is whether one 'can tell right from wrong'. If someone is insane and because of it sees pigs flying, that wouldn't allow them to found innocent because of mental insanity. The insanity itself must be the cause of the murder, and in Drusilla's case her desire to end the world seems to come from her sane evil, not from her insanity. Hope that made some sense.

Remember that in some sense, we should feel sorry for just about every vampire since most were innocent humans that didn't want to become vampires.

What constitutes a person in the Buffyverse -- Etrangere, 15:51:07 07/20/02 Sat

I was in a discussion on the chat with zargon where I was trying to make a point that demons and vampires are people, and hence had a right to some respect (like, not being beaten when they're defenceless. I don't mean that Buffy has no right to slay them, because she does that for defence, see my post in the "is drusilla responsible for her action" thread) the same way that even criminals have human rights though they did some crimes. Zargon answered that demons and dead people had no rights because they weren't people, because they weren't alive (in the case of vampires). Now, I consider that anyone who demonstrates capicities for thoughs and emotions, like vampires and demons do, is a person. Obviously not everyone agrees. So what do you think should be the criterias for someone to be a person in the Buffyverse ?

[> Re: What constitutes a person in the Buffyverse -- Yellowork, 16:11:03 07/20/02 Sat

Perhaps 'person' is the wrong word. Put it this way: are non-human animals more akin to human beings than human beings are to evil supernatural beings, or not? Which group has the more likely claim for "rights"?

[> I find it helpful to approach all creatures on BtVS as 'individuals'... -- Aquitaine, 16:34:51 07/20/02 Sat

who are beings that exist in a fictional realm (I'm including the fictional humans here). While many viewers and posters like to discuss and debate the relative 'human-ity', people-ness and, let's face it, value, of characters depending on good deeds, soul-havingness etc., I find myself marvelling at how fluid and mutable any imposed categories become.

But to answer your question, I guess I'm saying I wouldn't want to quantify PERSON-ness (awareness, self-awareness, responsiveness etc.) at the risk of losing PERSON-ality.


[> [> I've got a theory -- it doesn't matter. -- Sophist, 16:50:04 07/20/02 Sat

If we agree to treat all creatures as they deserve -- slaying in self-defence or defence of others, leaving them alone otherwise -- is there a practical difference to Buffy? Doesn't she, in practice, apply this test anyway?

[> [> Then I guess we agree -- Ete, 10:34:06 07/21/02 Sun

[> Re: What constitutes a person in the Buffyverse -- Rufus, 19:01:24 07/20/02 Sat

Is the label of "person" the only way to determine a beings rights or the ability to feel compassion or even love for them?

[> [> Re: What constitutes a person in the Buffyverse -- Etrangere, 10:29:34 07/21/02 Sun

I consider "person" as a moral label, not as an emotionnal one. So, yes, I consider the label "person" is to be used to determines a being's natural rights.

Compassion and love are way another think. I mean, loo at us, we actually feel compassion for fictionnal characters when we watch BtVS :)
Same deal with love, lots of things we love are not necessary a "person". Those feelings are in the eyes of the beholder not on the subject of theese emotions.

[> Re: What constitutes a person in the Buffyverse -- Drizzt, 19:42:56 07/20/02 Sat

OT; here on our world aliens, superinteligent(no examples, but this is theoretical...assume they are sentient) animals, & of course demons if there are any all have the same civil rights.

Humans get human civil rights.
Nonhumans get nonhuman civil rights; nonhumans CAN legally be owned, do not have the legal right to choose their fate. Nonhumans cannot be tortured, with the exception of medical research. Medical research DOES include real torture of animals, not just causing pain as a side effect of an induced medical condition...the torture is for researching pain medications.

Ummm...this is actually about US law; I am not aware of the technicalities of civil rights in other countries except for international civil rights agreements.

[> Nazis and Monster Hunters -- Malandanza, 20:55:43 07/20/02 Sat

"I was in a discussion on the chat with zargon where I was trying to make a point that demons and vampires are people, and hence had a right to some respect (like, not being beaten when they're defenseless. I don't mean that Buffy has no right to slay them, because she does that for defense..."

This topic has come up before (usually as a prelude to a Buffy is a Nazi rant) but I think there is some value in discussing it. I think that focusing exclusively on Buffy, however, is a mistake -- we have an assortment of monster hunters to choose from.

First, there's Buffy. She is discriminatory in who (or what) she slays -- if she stakes or decapitates a creature, it is generally in self-defense or to prevent the creature from killing others. There have only been a few exceptions -- like her hunting during BvD or Bad Girls. She doesn't kill harmless creatures. Still, there is a double standard for humans and demons -- the usual response is that the human justice system can handle human offenders so humans get a break. On the other hand, a normal human justice system couldn't someone like Willow or Ethan Rayne, but I still can't see Buffy staking either one of them.

Next we have The Initiative. They're still fairly discriminatory. They follow police scanners and pick up monsters causing harm (as we heard from Riley in A New Man) but they didn't seem to actively hunt inoffensive monsters. If one stumbles into their path, they'll grab him, but we didn't see any organized monster hunts with Initiative men dragging helpless monsters from their lairs and executing them in the alleys. But the Initiative sees the demons as animals, or worse. They make no exceptions (for creatures like werewolves) and treat their captive "animals" in ways that would have PETA up in arms.

A little more extreme is Gunn's old gang or Holtz. They actively hunt even the most harmless of demons, but they do believe that all demons are evil -- it's ideological, not personal.

Finally, we get to people like Spike -- he thinks demons are people too. He has benefited from Buffy's discrimination, yet he hunts vampires and demons for sport. Cain, the werewolf hunter also fits into this category, although if you assume humans are "more equal than" demons, Cain is worse since he knows the werewolves are human on all but three days of the lunar month.

Of these differing views of slaying, I'd say Buffy's is the most ethical. The demons have it pretty good in Sunnydale - - Buffy keeps the predatory demon populations down and allows the innocuous demons to flourish.

[> [> Re: Nazis and Monster Hunters -- Ete, 10:26:19 07/21/02 Sun

"This topic has come up before (usually as a prelude to a Buffy is a Nazi rant) but I think there is some value in discussing it."

I wasn't about to treat Buffy a Nazi. :) I agree with you that she has the most ethical behaviour.
I used an exemple of Buffy vs Spike, but others exist. For exemple Riley staking Sandy in Shadow. If you consider vampires are not persons, there's nothing bad with what he did. If you do, then it's similar to inviting ennemies to talk under a white flag then use the occasion to slaughter them. You've also raised the point of the Initative torturous experiments on demons and vamps. etc.

My question is, don't demons have any rights, can they be treated any badly as if they were things, or with the kind of rights we give animals, or, without undermining the necessity of slaying, are they allowed to some kind of respect of their person ?

[> [> [> "She's not really your sister" -- Rahael, 11:42:32 07/21/02 Sun

I think this question was most thoughtfully tackled in Season 5, through the figure of Dawn.

The fact that people loved her and cared for her because of implanted memories tells us that what we consider human rests on perspective and perception. Dawn doubts her own humanity. It is the doubt over Dawn's humanity that allows Giles to suggest that the Scoobies can kill her. She's not really your sister, he tells Buffy. Yes, says Buffy. And then she's even more determined than ever, to protect her.

This is why those who argue that BUffy's determination to protect her is a kind of genetic selfishness are wrong. Buffy in fact, takes a hugely moral and thoughtful decision as to what her mission in life is. And this decision is echoed in Joyce's words. It is, again, specifically when Joyce says "she's not my daughter, is she?" that she asks that Buffy protect her as if she were precious.

This is the same decision that propels mothers of sons who died in wars, to lay wreaths as the graves of other women's sons. It is an acknowledgement of a larger humanity, a larger family, and it is pointed to in the imagery of blood. Blood ties. Blood kinship.

This is a thematic counterpoint to Season 4. Professor Walsh and the initiative feel they know where the boundary lies between human and demon. They are in the business of learning, of judging, of classifying and of drawing boundaries. And yet, the right that Professor Walsh takes upon herself to experiment on demons seeps into her attitude towards other human beings. She operates and experiments on her 'sons', and decides she has the right to kill off Buffy. And when we look at the superhuman she creates,....by their fruits, shall you know them. And Adam promptly kills her. Walsh preaches biological drives, and basicness of human wants and desires (sex, food, comfort). In Season 5, Buffy triumphantly shows that there is more to humanity than that.

There is the decision to look at another human being, a stranger, and call her sister. To defy your friends and your watcher, and say, this is worth protecting, because who would want to live in a world that demands this one person's death? Ironically, the other alternative, is to demand the death of Buffy, and this is why her 'death wish' is so complex. To call it selfish, and self destructive is to give those words a grandeur and magnificence. It is as if the world were no longer fit for Buffy to live in.

The crucial question is, not where the boundary is drawn, but why we draw those boundaries. And is it not appropriate that it is Dawn who questions them?

[> [> [> Re: Nazis and Monster Hunters -- Malandanza, 13:35:22 07/21/02 Sun

"I used an example of Buffy vs Spike, but others exist. For example Riley staking Sandy in Shadow. If you consider vampires are not persons, there's nothing bad with what he did. If you do, then it's similar to inviting enemies to talk under a white flag then use the occasion to slaughter them. You've also raised the point of the Initiative torturous experiments on demons and vamps. etc.

"My question is, don't demons have any rights, can they be treated any badly as if they were things, or with the kind of rights we give animals, or, without undermining the necessity of slaying, are they allowed to some kind of respect of their person ?"

Demons certainly don't have human rights on BtVS, and I'm not sure their rights even rise to the level that we allow domesticated animals -- if you beat a dog and someone reports you, for example, you can end up in jail. Not so with the demons. They are more like wild animals with Buffy as an Animal Control officer -- she will kill them if they threaten humans (even if the humans placed themselves at risk). And with the non-sentient demons, even their presence near humans is enough (like killing a rattlesnake before it's had a chance to be a threat).

Even if we treat demons like animals, Riley killing Sandy is still wrong. It's as if he befriended a wild animal (feeding it and taming it) only to club it over the head once it trusts him.

But as for giving them human rights, I would think that you Redemptionistas would be a little more cautious. Remember that your favorite vampire has been killing demons and other vampires for pleasure almost the entire time he's been chipped. If the hapless creatures he's killed have been people, he's still a serial killer and a present and ongoing threat that should be eliminated -- not just a potential threat that can be tolerated. At best, he's a trigger happy hoodlum killing pets and wild animals for sport, leaving their carcasses for the predators (since he doesn't seem to eat his kills).

[> [> [> [> Demon/Animal Rights -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:02:10 07/21/02 Sun

Not all animals have the same rights. Insects, arachnids, fish, and most reptiles and invertebrates are not really given any right to life. Suppose someone keeps a pet goldfish, then decides to flush it down the toilet. Is that such an evil behavior? And couldn't Riley's staking of Sandy be compared to luring a dangerous animal into an easy to kill position?

Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? -- Drizzt, 19:46:09 07/20/02 Sat

1. SMG
2. JM
3. I am not sure.


[> That's it for choices? -- Darby, 20:42:56 07/20/02 Sat

This year I've come to appreciate Emma Caulfield and, by his absence especially, ASH.

Won't fault JM and SMG, but they certainly are given more to do...

Can't decide on Alexis Denisof until I've obsessively rewatched this season's shows. Not sure he has a great handle on the comic stuff, though, he tries too hard. Odd, because he's the only one Joss repeatedly talks about who makes him laugh...

I can't sit here too long...Julie Benz...Juliet Landau...Keith Whatever-the-heck-his-last-name-is...not helpful, stopping now...

[> [> Clarification... -- Drizzt, 20:51:58 07/20/02 Sat

That was NOT it for choices; any actor/actress who has been on either show is a valid choice.

I merely posted my oppinions; SMG, then JM.

PS. Thanks for the ramling about who you think is the best; it was funy:)

[> [> [> My Favorite Actors -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:13:04 07/20/02 Sat

That's a tough decision. The hard part with judging a performance is that certain actors (such as James Marsters or Eliza Dushku) are given incredibly juicy roles, while others are given different characters, which may have less appeal to me. So it is hard to judge the actor without the part they're given taking a serious effect.

Still, I think JM and ED are my favorites. Nicholas Brendon and Sarah Gellar probably come after them (I have only watched a few episodes of Angel, so I can't really address most of its actors. From what I've seen of David Boreanz on BtVS, he's good, but certainly not among the best. Course, that may be because the character of Angel was poorly developed, in my opinion).

[> [> [> [> Valid Points -- Drizzt, 22:21:53 07/20/02 Sat

Part of Spikes apeal is he gets lots of good lines, so any halfway decent actor who got the same lines would be perceived in a better light than an awsome actor with horible lines.

This phenomenon is comman; good actors who are limited by a bad plot, or lame lines...

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Valid Points -- LeeAnn, 04:36:23 07/21/02 Sun

Part of Spikes apeal is he gets lots of good lines, so any halfway decent actor who got the same lines would be perceived in a better light than an awsome actor with horible lines.

I don't think Spike gets all the good lines. I think JM makes the lines he gets good. They certainly weren't trying to give him good lines in School Hard but I still remember most of them while I can barely remember the plot. He has a very crip delivery, emphasizing different words in a way that is almost Shakespearean, stage actor that he is. JM is very critical of his performance in that episode but it did catch most people's attention and he only got better from there as he learned to adapt his performance to TV instead of stage.\

Is he the only trained actor on Buffy? I know ASH has a lot of experience but I'm not familar with his formal training.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well JM Himself doesn't agree with you -- JM Lover, 16:30:19 07/21/02 Sun

From the interview with JM at Shore Leave:

And I can't forget my first episode. I went around...I had a pretty...I thought it was a prettyweak scene as a scene to be introduced to the audience with. Not writing wise, just my performance

Seems he wasn't as impressed with himself as you were. I think he has been much better in other episodes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well JM Himself doesn't agree with you -- LeeAnn, 22:34:44 07/21/02 Sun

I understand his point about that scene. He was playing it like a stage actor would rather than as a television actor should. Still, despite that I think his charisma was evident from the first, even with the vampire makeup and his inexperience with the medium. His phrasing made his lines more distinct and understandable than those of the other actors. I can't really remember anything Juliet Landru said and the other actors are an indistinct blur but Spike's lines about the crucifiction and Woodstock are clear in my mind.

Maybe they do give him the best lines because they know he can deliver them better than anyone else in the cast. I noticed that when watching JM in Andromeda. They gave him long, interesting dialogue. The best in that episode.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Good lines... -- Drizzt, 17:41:48 07/21/02 Sun

I stand by my original choice; JM is the second best actor of the two shows, to me anyway.

I can't think of any BAD lines on either show; the phenomenon of good actors with bad lines or plots is relivant to movies and other shows.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Bad lines -- tomfool, 09:52:34 07/22/02 Mon

I can't agree with you on the 'no bad lines' thing. It's funny how the really bad lines stick out, too, with all of the stellar dialogue that usually surrounds it. My vote for worst line ever in the Buffyverse:

Dawn (talking to Willow): Are you kidding? It was like a meat party in my mouth-(stops herself) Okay. I'm just a kid and I know that came out wrong. (Wrecked)

Ugh! I actually liked Wrecked a lot more than most people did, but that line lowered the whole episode a notch for me.

[> [> [> [> There have been quite a few brilliant performances from bad guys... -- KSJ, 10:15:36 07/22/02 Mon

This show consistently brings out the best in the actors who play their bad guys. Not always--the Master and Glory and Adam spring to immediately to mind as baddies whose acting issues made us cringe--but in general, the regular cast is consistently outshone by the villains.

Maybe it's because being evil gives the actors a chance to ham it up and really go for the gusto, whereas being good requires more moderation.

Example 1: Spike and Dru. These two hit the scene like they had been shot out of a cannon. JM may have issues with his early performance as Spike, but I certainly didn't. And Dru- -there aren't words to describe how wacky and wonderful JL's performance as Dru has always been.

Example 2: Angelus. Or, as I like to put it, Angel lost his soul and grew a personality. Never has DB been more charismatic in his portrayal of this character than when he was eeeevil. But ONLY in season two BtVS. Don't get me started on Historic!Angel and the faux-Irish accent that just Should. Not. Be.

Example 3: The Mayor and Faith. As bad as HG was in that cheesy episode of TNG, he certainly made up for it with this quirky, cheerfully malicious, prim and proper, oddball badguy. Faith's mouthiness and nonchalance played off his occasional prissiness perfectly.

Example 4: Spike again, on his journey from Bad!guy to MorallyAmbiguous!guy. From the comedy ("A bear! You made a bear! Undo it! Undo it!") to the drama (the facial acting when he sees Buffy on the stairs in "AfterLife") JM rarely hits a wrong note. Just take the crypt door scene in "Dead Things" as an example. Buffy's on one side of it with a blank, not very interested look on her face, and Spike's practically making love to the door.

Example 5: Dark!Willow. Wow. Just...wow. Aly hasn't been this much fun to watch in two or three seasons, at least. Probably not even since second season. She just SEETHED charisma during those last few hours of the season. She was kicking ass and taking names and I was cheering her on the entire way. You go girl.

Example 6: Ripper. Giles is wonderful. I love Giles. But in those moments when he goes Ripper on us, I am just utterly riveted.

The best thing they can do for the regulars on this show is take of the gloves and let them really cut loose the way the bad guys do. Because I think there's something wrong with a situation where one consistently cheers on the bad guys more than the good guys.


[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - LeeAnn, 04:21:53 07/21/02 Sun

JM of course. He can convey more in any scene than any of the other actors.

SMG seemed better to me in previous seasons than in Season 6 when she seemed merely nasty. I never saw the ambivalence the writers said Buffy felt about her relationship with Spike. In Entropy, when Dawn was supposed to be able to look at her face and tell she had had a thing with Spike, the reaction just wasn't there. In the scene outside the Magic Box when Xander was supposed to know that Spike was telling the truth just by looking at her face, well maybe Xander could tell from her face but I couldn't. The sad thing is, in earlier seasons, when I watch them in reruns, her acting seems much more affecting. I almost have a theory that her underacting last season was deliberate. That she was angry at the attention JM was getting on "her" show and was pulling a Susan Lucci and trying to undermine Spuffy. Instead she just made Buffy an unsympathetic character for many viewers.

They write Spike almost eating alley-girl or committing attempted rape and JM still makes Spike sympathetic. They write Buffy almost getting raped, SMG gives it her all and most people still find Buffy a bitch. Gotta be the acting.

Not to say that most of the other actors on Buffy aren't very good. But, for me, and many others, JM is the best.

[> [> Ummm... -- Arethusa, 07:39:52 07/21/02 Sun

"most people still find Buffy a bitch"

I very much disagree. If we bothered to take a poll, I'm sure I could prove it.

"I almost have a theory that her underacting last season was deliberate. That she was angry at the attention JM was getting on "her" show and was pulling a Susan Lucci and trying to undermine Spuffy. Instead she just made Buffy an unsympathetic character for many viewers. "

Do you have any evidence at all that SMG would ever do anything so immature, spiteful, selfish and self-defeating? I'm not talking about soap-opera rags or tabloid gossip-show me real evidence.

Buffy has been acting depressed, remote, and with lack of feeling-all, unfortunately, difficult to covey, since the lack of emotion demands the lack of emoting. Willow only becomes suspicious when she sees Buffy's face after Spanya- she seems hesitant to even mention it to Tara, and is suprised to hear the truth. Dawn, of course, knows Buffy best, and would be able to catch subtle changes in expression. Okay, *very* subtle changes in expression.

[> [> [> Re: Ummm... -- Miss Edith, 14:05:29 07/21/02 Sun

I doubt very much Sarah was acting bad deliberetely. I have dismissed the rumours of Freddie being jealous of B/S and asking Sarah to only act her heart out in the rape scene as utter crap.
Actually I don't think she did a bad job in season 6. The problem was she wasn't stretched and her mood was the same all season. She does have great comic timing and I loved watching the Buffybot and she shows the difference between the real buffy and the bot beautifully in Intervention.
She also did a nice job as Faith in WAY and you can see she worked really hard on her performance there.
The problem is she hasn't been on top form this season and in interviews recently she has suggessted she hasn't enjoyed playing Buffy this year and she misses quippy Buffy. She was amazing in Braganning but her performance of a depressed person was very one-note afterwards and there was no subtle hint as to what she might be feeling.
And actually I would have to agree with LeeAnn that many viewers do feel more for Spike than Buffy which ME have expressed concern over in interviews. On other boards there is plenty of Buffy bashing and she is not very popular at the moment. Many fans were cheering Willow on when she threatened to kick Buffy's ass.

[> [> SMG -- Drizzt, 17:47:28 07/21/02 Sun

SMG is my favorite actress; I admit that I could not be impartial and logical in judging her acting talent.

I have only seen about six eps of season six, so I have not seen the scenes you mentioned. Not to worry; you did not spoil me as I have allready read Masquerades ep summaries for the whole season;)

[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - minasrevenge, 08:51:32 07/21/02 Sun

1. Anthony Stewart Head
2. Alexis Denisof
3. James Marsters
4. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Top four....the others are all good with the exception of three on Angel who are still learning the craft.


[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - Wisewoman, 11:59:39 07/21/02 Sun

Emma Caulfield, hands down, is the winner.

SMG is a close second.

Marsters takes third place. What is most amazing about his performance is that he is so categorically NOT Spike in real life.


[> [> I would rank them thusly... -- Rob, 12:35:22 07/21/02 Sun

The top 10 thus far in the show's run, IMO, are...

1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
2. Juliet Landau
3. Emma Caulfield
4. James Marsters
5. Anthony Stewart Head
6. Amber Benson
7. Allyson Hannigan
8. Nick Brendon
9. Julie Benz
10. Kristine Sutherland


[> Harry Groener seems strangely absent from lists.... -- Rahael, 12:37:05 07/21/02 Sun

[> [> Yes! Mayor Wilkins! And also ... -- Jane's Addiction, 13:09:26 07/21/02 Sun

Unless I miss my guess, the series' only three-time Tony Award nominee! (Groener, not Mayor Wilkins.)

[> [> [> Hmmm . . . need to get the Mayor's secret Broadway career into the Fanged Fic -- d'Herblay, 13:59:16 07/21/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Maybe a couple of big production numbers? -- Jane's Addiction, 14:48:34 07/21/02 Sun

[> [> [> Re: Tony? Hey, I forgot Sweet! (Hinton Battle) -- dubdub, 14:53:31 07/21/02 Sun

Okay, so he didn't get much chance to act under that prosthetic make-up, but he sure did sing and dance.


[> [> [> [> Well, if award-winning is your requirement . . . -- d'Herblay, 15:06:15 07/21/02 Sun

. . . isn't Joel Grey the only Oscar winner?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, if award-winning is your requirement . . . -- Jane's Addiction, 15:43:28 07/21/02 Sun

Yep. And he won a Tony for the same role in Cabaret before he won an Oscar. And yet no special appearance in OMWF. Ah, the missed opportunities! :)

[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - Jane's Addiction, 13:05:09 07/21/02 Sun

A thread about the best actors on Btvs and only one person has even mentioned Alyson Hannigan? What with ASH's lack of being around, AH's "Corruption of Will" story arc and SMG's "Depression of Buffy" story arc were what made Season 6 worth tuning in to for me. I thought both actors brought complexity and subtlety to extremely demanding roles this season. While SMG had to show this person trying to look like she was ok whilst suffering through clinical depression, AH had to show this essentially good person slowly being corrupted and losing her grip on reality. Tough assignments for any actor.

Given that, I'd have to rank AH and SMG as just about tied for "Best Actor on Btvs" honors. Of course, ASH is great. It's too bad he was MIA most of this season. I'd love to see his considerable talents put to better use next season.

JM is quite good also, but there seem to be legions of fans already happy to rhapsodize about the wonders of him. (And in at least ten different languages!) I wouldn't even try to compete with such intense fandom.

[> [> Good choices -- Sophist, 13:49:11 07/21/02 Sun

I'd add JM to make a top 3. None of the rest of the regular cast comes close, though EC and ASH are very good. JL and HG were wonderful when they were on.

[> [> [> Re: Good choices -- Jane's Addiction, 14:57:44 07/21/02 Sun

JM is wonderful. And I'd like to see them bring back JL for some more ep's. (Would love to see more of HG too. Seemed such a shame he couldn't be around for OMWF, given his background in musical theatre. But I suppose that was impossible after the whole "Big Demon Snake Guy Goes Boom!" thing. Pity. He was great.)

[> [> Good choices -- Sophist, 13:50:27 07/21/02 Sun

I'd add JM to make a top 3. None of the rest of the regular cast comes close, though EC and ASH are very good. JL and HG were wonderful when they were on.

[> [> [> Re: Good choices -- Drew the De-Lurker, 14:18:53 07/21/02 Sun

Just to throw my .02cents in... SMG is a very good actress (whether she the actress or the buffy character itself are "likable" is another matter) I think Amber was given some good material this season and did very well with it.(The scene where she kids Spike about his sprain was well done).
I think that maybe both the Xander and Willow actors have kind of coasted acting wise this season. Xander has been trying to be less beta-male, but I don't think Nicholas really has managed to pull it off with the acting itself. Willow the character has gone mega evil this season which I'm sure the actress enjoyed, but still it seems to be more the writing than the acting, if you follow me.
Sorry for the kind of confused rambling post.

[> [> [> [> Re: Good choices -- Jane's Addiction, 15:54:58 07/21/02 Sun

I think that maybe both the Xander and Willow actors have kind of coasted acting wise this season.

Proof of just how subjective all this is, I guess. I thought AH, along with SMG, had perhaps the most challenging assignment this season. I thought she brought a lot of subtlety to the Willow character's long journey into night.

As for it being more great writing than great acting, I will say this much. A friend of mine forced me (Yes, forced me. There were handcuffs involved, but I won't get into that here.) to watch American Pie 2. OK, the movie was pretty much what you would expect. But Hannigan was very good in it - brought a great vulnerability and a lot of humanity to what could've been a cardboard cutout of a character. She, Eugene Levy and Jason Biggs were the best things in the movie and definitely transcended the material.

And I cannot believe I just publicly admitted to watching American Pie 2.

[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - Miss Edith, 14:17:36 07/21/02 Sun

It's kind of hard to rank best actors but IMO Anthony Stewert Head is the best. I also really admire James Marster's and Alexis (can't remember his surname). And the mayor was terrific and Sarah has produced some great performances and Alyson Hannigan is phenomenol of course. And agreed the mayour was good. It's just too hard to grade them from best to worst so I'm not even going to try.
Sorry if this comes across as bitchy but could be fun to talk about the worst actors. I would go with Ben the intern and Riley (to convey emotion all he ever seemed to do was clench his jaw. Subtle! And in SB he has no sense of comedic timing whatsoever). Michelle is capable of a good dramatic performance but she lacks Sarah and Jame's ability to make the character symapathetic when given material portraying her in a bad light (James in Crush is a good example).She could do with some voice lessons to stop her expressing Dawn with high-pitched shrieking.
David used to be really terrible in season 1 and I would wince when he was on-screen. I was impressed when he played Angelous but otherwise in Buffy he had no ability to act subtly. He just looked like a moody stone wall most of the time. He has improved in Angel though I would still not say he was the best actor in any poll.

[> [> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - yabyumpan, 14:52:04 07/21/02 Sun

I've got to say David Boreanez. I find him totally compelling. I agree that in S1 BtVS, he was pretty wooden but he's improved in leaps and bounds since then. His character calls for him to cover pretty much to whole spectrum of emotions and roles and I think he gets it right 99:99% of the time.

Fed up with DB not getting the recogition IMHO he deserves :- (

[> [> [> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - Miss Edith, 10:03:22 07/22/02 Mon

Fair enough. I didn't find him that remarkable in Buffy but he did have a pretty one-note role when he wasn't evil without much chance to stretch. He has definately improved in Angel and is very good now (although I think Alexis is the best actor on Angel). If you want to talk about bad acting what about Graham, Riley's friend. His delivery of lines was terrible, he actually made Riley look good.

[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - mundusmundi, 14:52:43 07/21/02 Sun

I think James Marsters is the best. Nothing shippy about my opinion, his acting just stands out the most to me. You know that when the writers (for some viewers) seem to get lazy and assume the actor will fill in the blanks, you're dealing with a highly capable and versatile actor.

Gellar is a wiz when it comes to angst, less successful at times when she tries to convey a lighter touch....Aly Hanigan is always on, always in character. Ditto Nick Brendon. The fact that so many people hate Xander must mean he's doing something right.

Trachtenberg has oodles of raw talent that went to waste this season; hopefully next year we'll see more of her promise. Emma Caulfield can be terrific, though I agree with a friend who said that she needs good dialogue, that she's not charismatic on her own the way some actors (like JM) can be.

As for guest stars, Joel Grey deserves an award for having the greatest impact in the fewest minutes; just thinking about Doc still gives me the wiggins. And there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Juliet Landau. Watching an actress put herself out there like she does, willing to risk embarrassment, makes her twice as successful in my book.

[> [> What an interesting comment, mundusmundi! -- redcat, 18:32:52 07/21/02 Sun

"And there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Juliet Landau. Watching an actress put herself out there like she does, willing to risk embarrassment, makes her twice as successful in my book."

This is a whole new take on JL's performances to me and I'm fascinated by the statement. Would you please elaborate? Has this been discussed sometime earlier on the board and I missed it? [If so, point me there, please - thanks!!] But I'd *really* love to hear your discussion of how/why/when you see her as having risked embarrassment as a performer. Like you, I deeply appreciate courage, even when the result is less than successful, and such performances often make me much more interested in someone's work. Just never applied it to Landau's and now am trying to imagine what in her portrayal of Drusilla would spark that interpretation....hmmm. Interesting!!

Dru's one of my favorite characters - personally, I think she's far more important in terms of Joss' ideas about and construction of the BuffyVerse than the specific eps she's been in have shown -- but I guess I always see the actress as being in absolute control of her performance. I would love to see her in a new way, through someone else's eyes.

And so, being glad to have been reminded why I love this board so much, I wait with bated breath for your response...

[> [> [> Re: Well.... -- mundusmundi, 19:51:40 07/21/02 Sun

The image that immediately springs to mind is her happy dance at the "Welcome Home, Judge!" party in "Surprise/Innocence" (I forget which one), but just about any example of her craziness will do. While I have often admired Gellar's acting, there's always something about her that seems a little studied. Perhaps that's a necessary attribute for a star of a show to possess, but I always feel my attention being drawn to her acting, rather than directly to the character. While Landau will never be mistaken for a lead actress (though a wacky sitcom called Dru! could have great potential), she has a spontaneous, unselfconscious quality that I really enjoy. Whether she's being terrifying, funny, tender, erotic, or just plain nuts, she has a way of giving everything she does full throttle (I think it was Rob who called her a demonic Eliza Doolittle), of working without a net that wins my appreciation and affection.

[> [> [> [> Have to agree with mundus' choices here, but especially about JL. -- OnM, 20:17:55 07/21/02 Sun

This is kinda embarassing to admit, but it does serve to illustrate what I think mundus is getting at.

When Dru's character first appeared, Landau's performance had such a perfect edge-of-insanity quality to it, I thought for a short while (until I found out who she was) that Joss had hired as an actor someone who had actually been in a mental institution for some period of time.

I generally never have any problem seperating the fantasy and reality aspects of Buffy or any other horror/SF stories, but JL's work as Dru is still one of the most genuinely scary things I've ever seen.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Have to agree with mundus' choices here, but especially about JL. -- Rendyl, 07:11:49 07/22/02 Mon

***I generally never have any problem seperating the fantasy and reality aspects of Buffy or any other horror/SF stories, but JL's work as Dru is still one of the most genuinely scary things I've ever seen.***

And for me one of the saddest. She is a cabable killer but she is also a very lost little girl. The look on her face and the confusion in her voice when Angel sets her on fire nearly made me cry. JL is amazing.

I am also surprised no one mentioned Christian Kane. I thought he did a wonderful job as Lindsey.


[> [> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - oceloty, 23:45:56 07/21/02 Sun

Just call me a one-cat awards committee. I'm only discussing the current seasons, since those are the ones I've actually seen.

Buffy season 6:

Gellar wins, mostly on the strength of Normal Again. I thought she was fantastic, teetering the line between insanity and emotional overload.

Runners up: ASH and EC. ASH was great in his few appearances, sorely missed the rest of the season. And I loved the way EC plummed the depths of Anya's hurt in Entropy.

Everyone else: I think NB, AH, JM, and MT all struggled with the way their characters were written (or sometimes just absent). Amber Benson made me fall in love with Tara but I don't think she really had the chance to show her stuff.

Angel season 3:

It's a tie. Alexis Denisoff and David Boreanaz. (Yes, really.) AD stole the show in Billy, Waiting in the Wings, Loyalty and Sleep Tight. DB blew the top off my head starting with Forgiving and straight through the rest of the season. I just started watching both series this year (fall 2001) and was surprised to find how far he's come since Buffy season 1. His delivery of the line in Forgiving about Cordelia coming back with presents for Connor breaks my heart just thinking about it. Every single time.

Runners up: Julie Benz (Darla) and Keith Sjar ... Szar ..., er, Keith S (Holtz). JB stole the show in Lullaby. KS was a bit uneven to my mind but incredible in Benediction. And the voice, yowza.

Everyone else: I think CC suffered from playing a character written without enough flaws (and also carried the burden of the hokiest season exit ever. ugh); her Cordelia seemed a bit flat. JAR and AA really didn't have much chance to make an impact. Andy Hallett and Mark Lutz were great with what they had. I liked Vincent Kartheiser, but he needed something more than angry teenage angst (however massively amplified).

JMO. What's yours?

[> [> Agree with all your choices -- shadowkat, 10:09:04 07/22/02 Mon

Only one you left out was ASH who we saw so little of this year. HE IMHO holds it together. Giles can do so much just by wiping his glasses or a slight look. When asked who is the least like their character everyone in the cast says Giles, that is saying something.

Also JM's accent? He has admitted he got it from ASH.

So agree on everything you said and exactly how it was stated, my only addition would be ASH and the guys who played Warren and Jonathan - very apt actors who managed
to convey difficult roles in short periods of time.

And finally Amber Benson - extraordinary young actress, who can get across maturity, insecurity, fear, and pain very well with very little dialogue.

[> That's a difficult one... -- JCC, 07:51:16 07/22/02 Mon

I think Amber Benson & James Marsters are 2 of the
greatest actors I've ever seen. I also have huge
respect for Michelle Trachtenberg and Juliet Landau.
I think they are all good actors including all the big bads,
although Clare Kramer(Glory) seemed a little fake and George Hertzberg(Adam) was a little stoic.
And Alexis Denisof is brilliant. Watch the scene where
he first meets Cordelia in Season 3. Priceless.
And who can't love the Harry Groener (Mayor). The guy
was a genius.

[> Re: Poll...who is the best actor on BTVS & Angel? - - Rattletrap, 19:00:38 07/22/02 Mon

Good topic choice, I'm impressed by the diversity of responses.

Mine are all within a hair's breadth of each other:

1) Sarah Michelle Gellar -- incredibly talented, and has a very understated style that shows a good deal of maturity in her craft.
2) James Marsters
3) Anthony Stuart Head

Honorable mention to Alexis Denisof, they are just now giving him a chance to show off his dramatic chops, and I've been quite impressed.

Also, I should add that if we curve for age Michelle Trachtenberg comes out comfortably on top. She is a much, much better actress at 16 than most of her co-stars were at 20 or 25. Look out for her in another 5 or 10 years, this one'll be off the charts.

As the villians go, I'll toss in my $.02 for Harry Groener, my all-time favorite.

Classic Movie of the Week - July 20th 2002 -- OnM, 21:18:15 07/20/02 Sat


There is a kind of deliciousness to the great movie villains. By setting out to do evil, they tempt our own
darker natures. By getting away with it, they alarm us: Is there nothing safe or sacred?

............ Roger Ebert


A movie so breathtakingly vile it has to seen twice to be savored fully.

............ Bruce Kirkland (Toronto Sun)


Sometimes there is a very strange route that gets traveled upon until I finally come up with the flick to
review each Friday/Saturday night, and this week turned out to be a very good example of that
twisty-turny path.

Sometimes I just have a title come to me, sort of out of the blue, spontaneous inspiration and all that.
Other times, I consciously look for a pattern or a link of some kind, typically thematic or character
associations, or of course a similarity to the subject of the current week’s Buffy or Angel. This week, I
started out by thinking about last week’s column, and how I came to recommend a film despite its having
more than a modicum of melodrama about it.

So, I thought (at approximately midweek’s point), what would be a good followup to a classic, albeit
admittedly melodramatic film like Legends of the Fall? How about a film that was classically good,
even though it often wandered in excessive sentimentality? OK, sounds like a plan-- so go for it.

Regular readers of this space know by now that I tend to be of a very forgiving nature as to the faults
evident in the end product that can appear during the process of artistic creativity. If I like most of a film, I
prefer to overlook its weaknesses, and keep the focus primarily on what it does well. I do this for the
elementary reason that I think it is very possible to hold yourself to such a high standard that you forget
how to simply enjoy things. So maybe it is only a really decent chicken salad sandwich on whole
wheat toast with nice crispy lettuce, it isn’t breaking any rules to fail to enjoy it if it’s served on a paper

Keeping this accepting spirit in mind, the idea to review Penny Marshall’s film A League of Their
popped into my head. This film contains an interesting story, based on true events, events that
prior to seeing the flick, I had never even been remotely aware of. Marshall chose to do her film as a
fictionalization rather than a documentary, and that’s all fine with me too. The acting is quite well done,
especially by leads Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, with fine supporting performances all around. The only
place where many viewers, myself included, felt let down was by the choice to frame the interesting part--
the story-- with a clunky, almost mawkish sentimental series of scenes that took place in the ‘present time’,
with the elderly ‘survivors’ of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Now, I have seen League probably about 5 or 6 times since it was first released. Even so, I nearly
always replay a film again before actually writing the column, just to get it refreshed in my mind. I know
every scene very well by now, so the ‘sentimental’ portions certainly didn’t come as a surprise, but what
did come as sort of a surprise was my reaction to them this time around.

That reaction, in a nutshell, was that I found myself really bothered by them, enough so that I began to
question whether I wanted to vote this film into my (admittedly oddball) collection of ‘Classics’. I didn’t
have to think that long-- the answer was no, I didn’t.

So, having already done the usual technical research that you always see posted at the end of the review
each week, I decided to abandon it and seek out another film which pushes the idealistic envelope, but
stops just short of total treacle. Hummm... I thought, lessee... baseball, summer, underdogs... Ah-ha! I’ll do
The Sandlot, directed by David M. Evans, a very good story about kids and baseball and summer
that... that.... does pretty much the same thing that League does-- gets so rosy-colored in it’s emotive
nostalgia that it unfairly undermines itself. Maybe not fatally, but like with Marshall’s film, leaves itself just
a smidge short of true ‘classic’ status.

By now I’m wondering, is it me? Have I suddenly turned into one of those people who become
increasingly picky with advancing age, until they just have to find something wrong with
everything? I mean, these are both decent films, plenty good‘nuf for an evening of lighthearted
summertime viewing while camped around your TV set, munching popcorn and huddling against the late
evening chill of the air conditioning. Why shouldn’t they be classics?

Or maybe it’s just that I’m not in the right mood right this moment. I’ve been busy again at work, and as a
result of the longer hours I’m often very tired and finding it harder to be creative. Maybe it’s resentment.
Maybe I don’t want to feel all happy and sentimental, perhaps I need a little evil in my life.

And sure enough, as soon as I grok this fact, the muse comes through. I go up to my disc library, and have
thumbed only a short way through a pile of new aquisitions when I come across a film that makes other
film noir titles sit up and take notice for its sure and pervasive perversity. A film that has, as its chief
exponent of dark intent, a femme fatale so amoral that the film was released into cable and video
distribution without ever first going into U.S. theaters, apparently because no distributor in Hollywood
knew what to do with it (read: How the hell do we market this thing??). Then, the film opened in
London, to large attendance, and substantial critical plaudits. It subsequently opened in American theaters,
but due to a quirk in the rulebook governing the Academy Awards, the film’s lead actor, Linda Fiorentino,
lost her chance at even a nomination because the film wasn’t released in U.S. theaters first. Remember this
when you think about BtVS getting repeatedly snubbed by the Emmy folks-- our Buffyverse isn’t the only
case where great achievement goes officially unrecognized because it ‘doesn’t fit the rulebook’.

I bring you a masterpiece of modern noir cynicism, this week’s Classic Movie (and it SO deserves
it, totally, madly, deeply), The Last Seduction, directed by John Dahl. Starring the
above-mentioned Linda Fiorentino as Bridget Gregory, the most lovely and heartless noir bitch you have
likely ever seen, or may ever see, in a performance that you will never forget. The screenwriting is crisp
and clever, memorably great lines leap out at you virtually every five minutes.

The film starts out with a drug deal pulled off by Bridget’s husband, Clay (Bill Pullman) that provides him
with a take of $700,000. We soon discover that Bridget put him up to this deal, claiming that they can use
the money to improve their lifestyle, get a new home, what have you. But Bridget is already several steps
ahead-- she grabs the money and takes off for the hinterlands, ending up in the tiny New York town of
Beston, where a bartender refuses to serve her the Manhattan she ordered because she didn’t say ‘please’.

Bridget originally has no intention of stayijng in Beston, but a sleazy lawer friend she consults with by
phone recommends that she avoid larger (and more ‘obvious’) destinations while he works out divorce
proceedings between her and Clay. Then, into her life-- and unwillingly on her part at first-- comes a
young man, Mike Swale (Peter Berg), a disillusioned Beston native who aims for ‘something bigger’ for
his life. He sees that opportunity arise in the very attractive vision of Bridget, and proceeds to try to seduce
her. To say that this is a mistake of the first order is the understatement of a lifetime, and Bridget, who at
first repeatedly dismisses him for anything other than pure animalistic sexual gratification, realizies that she
can make him a willing patsy in her own nefarious schemes.

This is a film that bears repeated viewings, not only so one can better follow the intricacies of Bridget’s
admittedly brilliant maneuverings, but also to appreciate the fact that Mike participates willingly in his own
downfall, even though he is unquestionably manipulated into doing so by Bridget. One of the discoveries I
made this time around while revisiting the movie was just how many times Bridget gives him the
opportunity to get out
, and escape the consequences of her evil intentions. Every single times that he
pulls back, he eventually gives in, even as the demands of his lover become more and more outrageous. It
is simultaneously appalling and amusing-- Mike is the perfect sap, lead on almost mindlessly by his lust,
while Bridget effortlessly seperates the action of her brain and her genitals, and comes out ahead every

I won’t give away any more of the plot, because one of the many wicked delights of this movie is that as
soon as you think you know what will happen next, you’ll probably be wrong, right up to the very end.
Most films like this, that involve a ‘femme fatale’, eventually give in to the moralistic urge to show that
there is a glimmer of decency and humanity buried deep within the soul of the anti-heroine. To quote one
of the many great lines of dialog directed at Bridget from The Last Seduction that could just as well
refer to any decently evil vamp from the Buffyverse:

"Anyone check you for a heartbeat lately?"

Rose-colored visions of summertime baseball, anyone? Nahh, didn’t think so.


E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technical pyschopathology:

The Last Seduction is available on DVD; the review copy was on laserdisc. The film was released
in 1994 and running time is 1 hour and 50 minutes. The original cinematic aspect ratio is 1.85:1, which was
preserved on the laserdisc and presumably also on the DVD.

Writing credits go to Steve Barancik. Cinematography was by Jeff Jur, with film editing by Eric L. Beason.
Production design was by Linda Pearl, with art direction by Dina Lipton and set decoration by Katherine
Lucas. Costume Design was by Terry Dresbach. Original music was by Joseph Vitarelli. The original
theatrical sound mix was in ‘Ultra Stereo’.

Cast overview:

Linda Fiorentino .... Bridget Gregory / Wendy Kroy
Peter Berg .... Mike Swale
Bill Pullman .... Clay Gregory
Michael Raysses .... Phone Sales Rep
Zack Phifer .... Gas Station Attendant
Bill Nunn .... Harlan
J.T. Walsh .... Frank Griffith
Brien Varady .... Chris
Dean Norris .... Shep
Donna Wilson .... Stacy
Mik Scriba .... Ray
Herb Mitchell .... Bob Trotter
Renee Rogers .... Receptionist


The Question of the Week:

Another easy one this week, in keeping with the general idea that it’s too hard to think in the heat:

Who (or what) is your all-time favorite movie villain, and why?

( Bridget gets my vote, by the way. I mean, let’s face it, Darth Vader could take lessons. Hell, The
Emperor could take a college course with her as the professor. Of course she’d have to kill him afterward
and collect the insurance, which somehow or other has her named as beneficiary. )

Post ‘em etc., and see you next week!


[> That's a hard one to narrow down. -- AurraSing, 22:36:25 07/20/02 Sat

Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet",Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" are certainly at the top of my list....

Some movies are defined by their villians.What would "Star Trek II-The Wrath of Khan" be without Khan?? Or "Bladerunner' without Roy Batty?? "The Shining" if Jack Nicholson had turned down the role?? Probably pretty crappy movies-three cheers for the bad guys of celluloid!!

[> [> Good choices, AurraSing (esp. Nurse Ratched). But my pick would be... -- Rob, 23:23:36 07/20/02 Sat

...Margaret Hamilton from, of course, The Wizard of Oz, in her role as the Wicked Witch of the West. In her 10 short minutes of actual screen time, Ms Hamilton managed to create what is still today one of the most terrifying villains in film history. Everything about her is pitch perfect. For starters, her lines are darkly funny, and yet they never make the mistake of being too jokey or campy; they are quite frightening, actually. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too" is still, IMO, one of the most terrifying lines in any movie. Secondly, her evil laugh, her entire demeanor, speak to some primal, childhood fear that never quite goes away. From her "Surrender, Dorothy" smoke sign to her bursting into the crystal ball image, taunting Dorothy over calling for her Auntie Em, the Witch is absolutely brutal. She is everything that so many villains that followed tried to live up to, but could never reach. She is in control, nasty, and has not a spark of humanity about her. And she is far more abusive and scary than most villains, because more so than any other, I truly believe, as an audience member, that she has every intention of carrying out her threats, unlike many who seem to go through the motions, knowing full-well that the hero will eventually outwit them. Bond, anyone? But the Witch...absolutely no remorse about setting the Scarecrow on fire, ordering Toto to be thrown into the river and drowned, killing a little girl, etc. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Even her human form at the beginning, Miss Gulch, is a true screen terror, with her threats to the Gales about "taking that dog to the sherriff and have him destroyed." I have seen The Wizard of Oz easily over 250 times in my life (from the ages of 1 to 8 or 9, I watched it at least twice a day, and after that, a few times a year, at least), and, yes, the Witch is still scary.

Never, in any other film, has the defeat of a villain been so satisfying, either. The audience has earned her melting by the end, after having been terrorized by her throughout the film. The Wicked Witch of the West isn't a throwaway villain by any means. She is evil personified.

And I still find it hard to believe, knowing how fully the Wtich's presence permeates the entire film, that she was only on-screen for 10 minutes.


[> [> [> Re: Grant -- Brian, 05:29:28 07/21/02 Sun

There's nothing like a good Bond villian, and Robert Shaw's
Grant in "From Russia with Love" was one of the best: Amoral, amusing, and arrogant.

[> [> [> [> Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger -- d'Herblay, 14:19:35 07/21/02 Sun

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

I love a movie with a charming villain. I think that the definitive villain of the blockbuster era has to be Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

Classically, I always got chills from Martin Landau in North by Northwest. And there will always be a dark place in my heart for the villains of the Disney version of Robin Hood: Peter Ustinov as Prince John, Pat Buttram as the Sheriff, and especially Terry-Thomas as Sir Hiss. This movie had such an effect on me! My mother relishes the story of taking me to DisneyWorld, where we ran into Robin Hood while walking through Cinderella's Castle. She and my father were so excited! Here I was, meeting my hero! But the Sheriff was with him, so I hid behind a trash can. The Sheriff was determined to be friends with me, so he came over to my hiding-spot in a friendly manner, but I, intent only on saving myself, made an L with my thumb and index finger and shot the Sheriff of Nottingham. It made sense to me at the time; I was only fourteen. (Ok, only four.)

Speaking of Robin Hood, Basil Rathbone makes a great villain. In fact, he may have the most villainous name of any actor ever.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger -- dubdub, 14:47:59 07/21/02 Sun

d'Herblay wrote:
I love a movie with a charming villain. I think that the definitive villain of the blockbuster era has to be Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

I love charming villains, and Alan Rickman, but I think Anthony Hopkins surpassed him in Silence of the Lambs.


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - July 20th 2002 -- Cactus Watcher, 08:57:34 07/21/02 Sun

Jack Elam of numerous John Wayne movies. Like many other stock villains of that era (Lee Van Cleef, James Colbrun, and Charles Bronson) he moved on to having more good-guy roles, although his looks prevented him from being a star. He had a 'wall-eye' and as a villain he always looked shiftier and more menacing than anyone else. As a good-guy he often portrayed someone half-crazy, as in the John Wayne pot-boiler "Rio Lobo."

[> How bout most villainous Voice Actor? -- neaux, 13:11:40 07/21/02 Sun

I'd say Jeremy Irons as the voice of Scar in Lion King. and with the help of the proper animators.. his villainous voice goes down in history.

[> [> Ben Kingsley as Logan in "Sexy Beast" (Spoilers for film) -- KdS, 09:45:10 07/22/02 Mon

Kingsley was nominated for an Oscar for this one, and deserved it. Forget camp, comic villains, this is probably the nastiest man ever seen in a movie. For the entire time he is on screen, he devotes himself to verbally and physically brutalising every individual he meets until they are reduced to cringing, broken shells. He makes Angelus at his absolute worst look like Mahatma Gandhi (and not when he was pissed off).

Want proof of his villainy? Towards the end of the film, he is murdered in a particularly clumsy and drawn out fashion. It's the type of scene which usually has any viewer with any empathy wincing. Yet I'm usually a pretty empathic person, and all the way through the scene I was thinking "Go on, hit the **** again!".

B/X (or Why Sophist Shouldn't Hate Xander) -- Malandanza, 22:05:22 07/20/02 Sat

GILES: Sometimes the most adult thing you can do is ask for help when you need it.

BUFFY: Now you tell me

The Grave

Buffy has a tendency to internalize everything. She shoulders the full burden herself, sparing her friends and family as best she can. Maybe it's a martyr's complex, but the pressure continues build until she finally snaps. Not just in Weight of the World when she shuts down mentally, but also in episodes like Consequences, where the pressure of keeping the accidental death a secret causes her to break down, and Tabula Rasa, where she is on the verge of a breakdown just before the amnesia spell hits, and shuts down almost entirely after it wears off.

So what's this have to do with Xander?

There have also been several instances where Buffy was following the same pattern as WotW, headed for an emotional meltdown but is saved by Xander. His intervention leads to either comfort or catharsis (or both).

Xander's best moment was in Season Four when he restores Buffy's faith in herself:

XANDER: Buffy, I've been through some fairly dark times in my life. Faced some scary things, among them the kitchen of the fabulous "Ladies Night" club. Let me tell you something. When it's dark and I'm all alone, and I'm scared or freaking out or whatever, I always think, "What would Buffy do?"
You're my hero.
The Freshman

Her burden, the fear of adulthood, evaporates. Almost instantly, she is restored, filled with purpose and resolution.

More common than the comforting speeches are Xander and Buffy's confrontations that end just short of Xander being pummeled. We see it in Dead Man's Party, in Revelations and, most recently, in Seeing Red and Villains. However you feel about the sanctimonious tone of Xander's lectures, it is clear that Buffy benefits, not so much from his words of wisdom, but from having a chance to say all those things that have been eating away at her, as is clear in this scene from Revelations after the big intervention:

BUFFY: But you know - it's weird. Now that my secret is out with Angel, I feel… better.

WILLOW: Well sure you do. You've just had this big burden lifted. Keeping secrets is a lot of work.
One could hypothetically imagine.

BUFFY: You have no idea.

WILLOW: None whatsoever! But, can I ask you something? When you were with Angel, and nobody knew about it, did that make things feel, you know… sexier, somehow?

BUFFY: Like, the forbidden fruit's sweeter kind of deal? Not really. Too much pressure. After awhile, it even makes the fun parts… not so fun.

And then there are some Xander speeches that are equal parts comfort and catharsis, like the stop Riley speech in Into the Woods.

So I do think that Xander has been good for Buffy -- he's helped keep her sane. Sure, it would be nice if she could just talk about her problems and share the burdens as they arise, but until she learns that, it's nice to have Xander as a pressure valve.

Does this mean that I want to see Buffy and Xander together? Not really. It would solve some problems to have Xander working to support Buffy and Dawn while Buffy saves the world at night, and this is probably the most propitious time for a X/B romance (with Willow off in England, Spike in Africa and Xander and Anya having achieved a little closure). There are other issues, though, like the Xander/Spike rivalry, the sibling affection and Willow's return. I wouldn't mind seeing a little unrequited love going on though.

One of the interesting things about BtVS is that major changes happen during the summer. In the Season Two opener, Buffy returns full of repressed feelings about her calling and channeling Joan Collins; in Season Three, the Scoobies have formed a vampire hunting unit in her absence and the X/C and W/O relationships got considerably closer; in Season Four, Buffy and Willow have switched places from Season One, Buffy is the insecure, babbling idiot ("I'm nice to meet") while Willow is the worldly, experienced friend dispensing bad advice, in Season Five Buffy has become obsessed with hunting in a scary Faithesque manner -- and, of course, in Season Six, Willow has become reckless almost beyond belief. This summer, Xander, Buffy and Dawn will be in Sunnydale alone, spending quality time together -- perhaps even patrolling together, if Buffy really is going to start training her sister. The bond between them should be stronger than ever -- leaving Willow feeling like the odd man out when she returns from England.

And, actually, I wouldn't mind seeing an almost-kiss, interrupted at the last moment by Willow's return (like the Xander/Willow ice cream moment that Buffy interrupted all those years ago).

I guess the point is that while we've talked about how Xander wouldn't be able to get along without Buffy, Buffy likewise needs Xander in her life.

[> Small Season 7 Spoilers Above -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:21:01 07/20/02 Sat

Like what you say about Xander.

Also, he usually seems to fully appreciate the situation. I mean, for Buffy and most of the gang it's like, "What did you do today?" "Bought milk. Saved someone's life. Did laundry. Nothing major."

Xander, while having a lot of supernatural experience, still seems to appreciate the fact of how much good the Scooby Gang is doing in their fights against evil. This isn't all the time, but some of the time I get that feeling from him.

[> Just delurking from this board to say that that was a fantastic post!!! -- Rachel, 03:37:56 07/21/02 Sun

I've thought similar myself, but never been able to put it into words like that.
I totally agree with what you said (bar the not wanting Buffy and Xander together, but i like how you wouldn't mind the unrequited love! hehe!). I agree that they need each other to get them through it all. Really, they all need each other. And I think it's great how they still need Xander, because he's the only one without anything mystical behind him.

Great post, thankyou!

[> Keeping this thread alive until I have time for a full response. -- Sophist, 10:01:36 07/21/02 Sun

And to explain that the main reason I don't like Xander is because he treats Buffy so badly.

[> [> He does? Huh? -- Majin Gojira, 11:05:13 07/21/02 Sun

[> The dilemma of Xander -- Sophist, 17:49:37 07/21/02 Sun

Xander’s character was deliberately created to be that of Everyman. His role in the show is to be the average guy whose life changes by his exposure to Buffy, the superhero. The writers thereby face a difficult, if not impossible task: they can’t have an “average” person whose behavior is much more admirable than average. The writers try to maintain a delicate balance by giving Xander enough flaws to keep from being too “good”, but letting him perform enough good deeds (inspired by Buffy) to balance out the flaws. IMHO, they succeeded the first year and a half or so, but have failed thereafter.

Some of this is a matter of judgment. For example, Xander’s behavior towards Cordy after Lover’s Walk was nothing short of atrocious. Willow and Buffy called him on it several times but he kept it up anyway. Then, in The Prom, he bought Cordy the prom dress. Did this make up for his months of insults? Hard to say.

In other cases, it would require very special pleading to say the behavior balanced out. His treatment of Anya over the last 2 years would be hard to justify right at this moment; perhaps that will change in S7. Many posters here have criticized his behavior towards Spike. I am not going there, but think back to his conduct towards Angel. Not much to admire there either. And can anyone give an example of a great Xander/Tara moment?

No, if Xander’s good deeds are going to balance his flaws, we’ll have to look at how he treats the object of his hero worship, Buffy. If he fails this test, then we can say that the writers have not done their job well with this character. I may not be able to quote as much as I’d like, because there are so many such cases and some of them are lengthy. I am not, at this time, going to talk about his behavior towards other characters, nor about the complaint, sometimes made on the Board, that Xander is never punished for his misdeeds (notably BBB and OMWF, in both of which he nearly got Buffy killed). I agree with those criticisms, but am putting them aside to focus on his treatment of Buffy.

I’m glad you brought up the example of The Freshman. That was indeed one of Xander’s finest moments (I’d put it right after resuscitating Buffy in PG). It was a very believable moment, perfectly in character.

The reason I’m glad you brought it up is this: what we credit Xander for in that scene is his words. They inspired Buffy. But if we’re going to give him credit for his words there (and perhaps elsewhere), then he has to bear the responsibility of his words when he’s harsh and judgmental towards Buffy without cause. The principal problem I have with the character rests in this. I’m going to give examples of these incidents below. All quotes are from Psyche.

From Prophecy Girl:

Xander: Nah. Forget it. (gets up) I'm not him. I mean, I guess a guy's gotta be undead to make time with you.

Buffy: That's really harsh.

Xander: Look, I'm sorry. I don't handle rejection well. Funny! Considering all the practice I've had, huh?

Buffy: Xander, I'm sorry, I don't know...

Xander: You know what? Let's just not.

I don’t think this requires much analysis. I take it no one would try to justify Xander’s comments to Buffy.

From WSWB:

Xander: I don't know. (angry) I don't know what your problem is, what your issues are. But as of now, I officially don't care. If you'd worked with us for five seconds, you coulda stopped this.

Buffy: (turns away) We, we just have to think. Where would they have taken them?

Xander: (vehemently) If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you.

Here is a case where Buffy is basically in the wrong (rare). Xander has a right to be upset, but his overreaction is offensive. “I don’t know what your problem is, what your issues are.” Huh? Giles had just told him a few minutes before this what Buffy’s “issues” were. He certainly did know. “I’ll kill you.” Seriously, can you imagine saying this to any friend of yours? Even “I’ll never speak to you again” might be understandable given the emotion of the moment. “I’ll kill you”?

From Passion:

Cordelia: So Giles is gonna try to kill Angel then?

Xander: Well, it's about time somebody did.

Willow: Xander!

Xander: I'm sorry, but let's not forget that I hated Angel long before you guys jumped on the bandwagon. So I think I deserve a little something for not saying 'I told you so' long before now. And if Giles wants to go after the, uh, (looks up at Buffy) fiend that murdered his girlfriend, I say, 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!' (looks back at Willow and Cordelia)

There are 2 things wrong here. First, Xander hated Angel out of jealousy at a time when he had no excuse whatsoever to hate him. That unreasoning hatred is hardly something he should be taking credit for. “Jumped on the bandwagon”? Please. Second, I find it hard to see where Xander is the one to tell Buffy to do her job. I believe there’s no doubt that Buffy felt horrible after Jenny’s death. I have no doubt that she lives with it today. I certainly can’t see that Xander helped matters by throwing it in her face. Really, the appropriate response would have been “Gee Xander, what stopped you from going after Angel?” Whatever credit Xander deserves for The Freshman is canceled by this scene.

From Becoming 1:

Xander: Hi! For those of you who have just tuned in, (gets up) everyone here is a crazy person. (walks to the end of the table) So this spell might restore Angel's humanity? Well, here's an interesting angle. (harshly) Who cares?

Buffy: I care.

Xander: (not surprised) Is that right.

Giles: Let's not lose our perspective here, Xander.

Willow looks at Xander, disbelieving what she's hearing from him.

Xander: (standing his ground) I'm Perspective Guy. Angel's a killer.

Willow: Xander...

Buffy: It's not that simple.

Xander: (disgusted) What? All is forgiven? I can't believe you people!

Giles: Curing Angel seems to have been Jenny's last wish.

Xander: Yeah? Well, Jenny's dead.

Giles: (approaches Xander angrily) Don't you *ever* speak of her in that tone again!

Xander: (yells back) Can't you hear what I'm saying?
They begin to argue heatedly. Buffy rushes over and gets between them.

Buffy: Stop it! Stop it! They all shut up and glare at each other for a moment.

Buffy turns away and goes over to Willow, very upset. Giles paces away, also very upset.

Willow: (quietly) What do you wanna do?

Buffy: (sighs) (quietly) I-I don't know. What happened to Angel wasn't his fault.

Xander: Yeah, but what happened to Ms. Calendar is.

Buffy and Willow stare at him in disbelief.

Xander: (very coldly) You can paint this any way you want. But the way I see it is that you wanna forget all about Ms. Calendar's murder so you can get your boyfriend back.

Buffy refuses to listen to any more of this, and walks out of the library. Willow and Giles just stare at Xander in surprise and shock.

Xander is, of course, wrong every which way possible here. He’s tactically wrong: re-souling Angel was the best, perhaps the only, available backup plan if Buffy failed to stop him first. He’s strategically wrong: where would Masq be today without AtS? He’s morally wrong: the SG had it within their power to give Angel a chance at redemption. To refuse him that chance would have been to refuse to throw a life vest to someone drowning. Many people have quoted on the Board Gandalf’s speech to Frodo about Gollum. If it ever applied there, it has much more force here. And his accusation about Buffy’s motives is as unworthy an accusation as anyone could make to a friend, one that we have seen was unjustified on many occasions and would see in the very next episode was utterly without foundation.

From Becoming 2:

Xander betrays Buffy by failing to tell her that Willow is going to try the re-souling spell again. We’ve re-hashed this scene many times here and I don’t want to go through it in detail again. Suffice it to say that this is no way to treat a hero. Or even a friend.

From Dead Man’s Party:

Buffy: What if he's mad?

Xander: Mad? Just because you ran away and abandoned your post and your friends and your mom and made him lay awake every night worrying about you?


Xander: (interrupts) And what'll we talk about at a gathering anyway? 'So, Buffy, did you meet any nice pimps on your travels? And oh, by the by, thanks for ruining our lives for the past three months.'


Buffy: [to Joyce] Punish you? I didn't do this to punish you!

Xander: Well, you did. You should've seen what you put her through.

Buffy: Great. Thanks. Anybody else want to weigh in here? (sees Jonathon) How about you by the dip? Jonathon freezes in the middle of bringing a chip laden with dip to his mouth and looks around nervously at everyone suddenly staring at him.

Jonathon: No, thanks. I'm good.

Xander: You know, maybe you don't want to hear it, Buffy, but taking off like you did was incredibly selfish and stupid.


Xander: Look. I'm sorry that your honey was a demon, but most girls don't hop a Greyhound over boy troubles.


Xander: Fine! You stop acting like an idiot, I'll stop annoying you!

I take it no one would even attempt to justify Xander’s statements (or the almost as bad ones by Willow, Joyce, or Cordy). Especially since he made no effort whatsoever to understand why she left like she did. And even more especially since his own betrayal of Buffy may very well have caused the tragedy of Becoming 2.

From Revelations:

Buffy: (looks up at Willow) It's not what you think.

Xander: Hope not. Because I think you're harboring a vicious killer.

Buffy can't believe Xander's callousness.


Buffy: (desperate and defensive) I was going to tell you, I was. I-it was just that I... I didn't know why he came back. I just wanted to wait.

Xander: For what? For Angel to go psycho again the next time you give him a happy?


Buffy: It was wrong, okay? I know that, and I know that it can't happen again. But you guys have to believe me. I would never put you in any danger. If I thought for a second that Angel was going to hurt anyone...

Xander: ...you would stop him. Like you did last time with Ms. Calendar.

Buffy is completely taken aback by Xander's totally insensitive and unfair attack, and can't utter a word in response.


Buffy: But he's better now. I swear. Look, you guys, he's the one that found the Glove of Myhnegon. H-he's keeping it safe for us in the mansion.

Xander: (spreads his arms) Right! Great plan. Leave tons of firepower with the Scary Guy, and leave us to clean up the mess. He makes tracks to leave the library, intent on doing something about this. Buffy takes him by the arm and spins him around to face her.

Buffy: You would just love an excuse to hurt him, wouldn't you?

Xander: I don't need an excuse. I think lots of dead people actually constitutes a reason.

Buffy: Right. This is all nobility. This has nothing to do with jealousy.

Xander gives her a haughty grin....

And then, of course, Xander incites Faith to kill Angel.

Clearly, Buffy had an obligation to tell Giles about Angel’s return. Whether she had such an obligation to the others is open to discussion. The real point here is the extreme overreaction by Xander, which the script itself points out. Jealousy was clearly a primary motive; again, his accusations about Buffy are inexcusable and uncalled for. Inciting Faith to kill Angel could not possibly be justified and was so far beyond hurtful to Buffy that words fail.

Ok, I’m getting tired and this is tedious, so I’ll stop with the long quotes. For those interested in at least one more example, re-watch TYF or the beginning of SR (Xander did apologize at the end of this episode). Depending on your view of Riley, you could also add ITW to this list of Xander’s unhelpful comments – if Riley was not “The One” for Buffy, Xander did her no favor by suggesting, even sincerely, that Riley was. Buffy, as usual, believed that Xander was telling her the truth and proceeded to blame herself for Riley’s departure even though it was hardly her fault.

In fairness, instances of Xander’s abrasive treatment of Buffy become rarer in S4-6. There appear to be 2 reasons for this: he transfers most of that behavior to Anya; and he interacts much less with Buffy than he did in S1-3.

It will come as no surprise to anyone to know that Buffy is a better person than I am. She forgives her friends their numerous flaws. And she does so repeatedly. If any friend of mine made to me even one of the comments Xander has made to Buffy, I would not be so quick to forgive. Maybe you could tell by reading this post. :)

But no, I don’t “hate” Xander. His character annoys me on several levels, as I mentioned above. But I liked him a lot in S1-2 (until Passion), and I’d do so again if he’d stop berating Buffy and start behaving again like a brave and loyal helper, which he hasn’t done in a very long time. But that means his actions have to grow naturally out of his character and not be forced down our throats as in Grave.

As for whether Buffy should now form a relationship with Xander? Well, hardly at this point. Wouldn’t that even further demean Xander’s relationship with Anya over the last 3 years? Besides, it’d be kinda like me dating Supergirl. Neat fantasy for me, but a pretty big ick factor for everyone else.

[> [> Re: The dilemma of Xander -- Majin Gojira, 18:25:09 07/21/02 Sun

Hmm...I also noticed that most of his mistreatment of Buffy stems from jealousy of Angel-infact almost all of the reasons you've cited stem from that guy. Not trying to shift the blame here, just putting things in perspective - another reason his bad-treatment of Buffy lessened, No Angel.

And I believe he was punished in BBB - nearly being torn appart by an anrgy mob can be considered Punishment.

Hmm...I need time to fully digest your post - you make some very good points in it. Nice post - yet again.

Although - I sense a deeper issue in here for some reason...Or, maybe I'm just seeing something that isn't there.

Anyway, Tommorrow, I'll fully digest it...if I feel like it :D

[> [> [> Finally Figured it out -- Majin Gojira, 08:10:20 07/25/02 Thu

Well, I figured out why this post, though elequent, bugs me a bit: it's one-sided.

Looking in around at this site, we see in both "The Good of" and "the bad of" parts, that where Xander is concerned, the good list in over twice as long as the bad list.

Not to be doing a checks and balances thing here, but Xander has been more consistently good than some give him credit. So, he does some stupid/evil things, that gives him depth. Depth good.

The entire debate has, once again, reminded me of my favorite movie: "Gamera 3: Incomplete Struggle" which I have referenced many times in the past - here, I compare Gamera's situation here to Xander's.

In the movie, Gamera had defended Japan against the Gyaos, and the mighty Legion. however, as the movie begins, Gamera attacks some re-emerging Gyaos, but destroys a large portion of a heavily populated area, durring it's besiets hour - the death toll was equal to the WTC attacks (and yes, the movie is good enough that I can actually make that comparison and not feel shitty).

Latter, people are discussing what to do about Gamera: Before the attack, everyone was 'Pro-Gamera', 'Gamera is our defender' and stuff. But after the attack, everyone see's all the bad that has been done: The area's where Gamera "saved the day", even 4 years later, have not yet recovered from the damage done.

And one newscaster commented, "Should we be making allouances for Gamera?"

the debate was never settled.

However, Asagi - a girl who had a former link to the workings of Gamera's mind - knew that Gamera did not want to fight in urban areas - but he really had no choice. Asagi tried desperately to explain this to Ayana - a girl who lost her parents in Gamera's first battle with the Gyaos 4 years ago, and her anger with Gamera was now being used by a mutated Gyaos she named Irys.

(And people wonder why I like this movie!)

At the end of the film, Irys is defeated, but Hundreds of Gyaos are decending on Japan, the Military decideds to switch their attack from Gamera to the Gyaos swarm.

At the end of the film, Gamera stands amidst the flames created by his struggle with Irys, awaiting the Gyaos' arrival.

So, what does this have to do with anything?

This: We can analyze Xander's past actions, good or bad, as much as we want.

But at the end of the day...it only matters WHAT they are WILLING to do, and WHY they are doing it.

My god, without looking at the capitalized words in that sentance, it might sound like a Spike Defence - too bad Spike does not have that long a tracklist on the side of good - and the "WILLING" and "WHY" quoatas are not 'properly filled out'

Majin Gojira
"Gamera 1999: the Absolute Guardian of the Universe"
"Hero's need to make mistakes - that's what makes them interesting"
"Do not Defy me! I am ZIM!"

[> [> Xander/Tara moment and other responses -- JBone, 19:21:57 07/21/02 Sun

A moment, as they all look at the blood slowly begin to swell and drip.

TARA: It hurts.

He looks up at her, knows she understands.

XANDER (smiling softly)

You asked the question, and I immediately thought of this scene from The Body. It's not huge, but I think both Xander and Tara were the better for it.

As for the rest of your examples, I think you're being way, way, way too hard on Xander. A lot of them I disagree with your (searching for the word) conclusions? In Prophecy Girl, Xander laid his heart out on the line for the first time (remember how scary that was?), and got squarely rejected (remember how awful that was?). He may have been a little harsh, but I think that Xander felt a lot worse about it than Buffy. WSWB, I guess everyone else can overreact, but with Xander it's just so typical. I always saw that scene in Passions as everyone else finally seeing Angel for the demon he was, I'm shocked the Xander is the real bad guy. And I truly believe that Xander did the right thing by Buffy, by not telling her about the re-attempt at the re-soul spell in Becoming Pt 2.

The rest of them I see Xander as an integral part of the story. If he's not the one arguing the opposite side, who will? Will it not be spoken? I think that would be the biggest disservice. The show can't introduce new character guy (let's call him Roy) to be opposite man in the big decision scenes of the given season. Cause Roy can spout off as much as he wants, but no one is going to listen to him, cause he only shows up to disagree with everyone. Giles actually had that role in The Gift, when he argued that Dawn probably needed to die. I can't think of a time when Willow did it, other than her turning to the dark side.

My point is, these arguments need to happen, or this wouldn't be half the show that it is.

[> [> [> That's a great Tara/Xander moment. But how about a Xander/Tara one? -- Sophist, 09:45:36 07/22/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> Xander/Tara moments -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:01:47 07/22/02 Mon

I admit I can't recall any good Xander/Tara moments. But I can't recall any bad ones either. To tell the truth, I can't remember them ever talking to each other.

[> [> [> [> I'm not sure what you're looking for... -- JBone, 14:06:07 07/22/02 Mon

but hows this from Bargaining, Part II.

XANDER: Tara. Nice axing.

TARA: My first.

I thought it was cute, or maybe this one from same episode.

TARA: I'll take Willow--

XANDER: No. I can carry her. (off her look, reassuring) I'll keep her safe, Tara.

TARA: (nods) We should meet up somewhere.

XANDER: The Magic Box. And whoever gets there first should call Dawn and Spike.

Tara nods and moves off.

I thought Xander was really trying to be helpful and reassuring to Tara in this one, but I'm probably wrong again.

[> [> [> [> [> Those are good ones. -- Sophist, 16:41:05 07/22/02 Mon

[> [> "I'll kill you" -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:36:32 07/21/02 Sun

Actually, I have said the words "I'm going to kill you" to my friends. It has become a simple expression of anger; nobody ever thinks I'm actually considering killing them. Therefore, I think that using that as evidence against Xander is a bad idea.

As for Becoming Part II:
If Buffy knew Willow was in the process of trying to resoul Angel, she might spare him. However, if the spell didn't work, this would probably mean the end of the world. Buffy's inablility to kill Angel has led to the deaths of many, including Jenny Calender. He didn't want that to happen again, especially when the stakes were so much higher.

Don't use character evidence from Dead Man's Party. Everyone there was uncharacteristically cruel and uncaring.

[> [> [> Re: "I'll kill you" -- Lyonors, 07:27:52 07/22/02 Mon

I've used the phrase myself quite a few times, most of the time, clearly not meaning it. But there have been the very rare few times when I actually meant it (You touch my boyfriend again....im sure you get the picture.) I think it all has to do with context and tone, and Im not so sure he didnt mean it.


[> [> Very thought-provoking. It brings to mind something that hadn't occurred to me before... -- OnM, 19:59:52 07/21/02 Sun

... which is that a lot of the behavior you just described in detail-- directed first at Buffy and later toward Anya-- seems very much like the behavior exhibited by Xander's father.

So, if your analysis is correct, then perhaps Xander was justified in calling off the marriage to Anya, for exactly the reasons that he feared?

I mention this because most fans seem to presume that Xander was very much in the wrong for ditching Anya at the altar, but perhaps Xander is more self-aware of his nasty tendiencies than we have given him credit for.

Taken in the context that you have laid out, doesn't this make Xander's fears of becoming like his father seem far more of a likelihood? And if he is aware of this to the degree that he would rather break Anya's heart (and his own) now than risk having harm come to her in future, couldn't that be seen as a turning point for him, like an alcoholic child of an alcoholic parent who suddenly realizes that he has to change?

Thanks, Sophist-- good post.

[> [> [> Re: Very thought-provoking. It brings to mind something that hadn't occurred to me before... -- Rufus, 21:08:06 07/21/02 Sun

I remember talking about Xander when Hells Bells aired and Masq used it in her episode description....

...Xander ignored his heart and listened to his fears about his capacity to become his father. Now we will get to see if in this year of growing up, if both Xander and Anya can overcome their fears and reunite. ...[Xander] has had many cards stacked against him. He lived in a home where he found he had to spend Christmas outdoors to get away from the constant fighting. He has been looking to escape a life situation that he feels has made him a victim unable to get away from the family legacy of abuse. We didn't get to see much of Xanders home life but got enough to know that it wasn't a home that could have been a happy place to be. When the "future Xander" showed him that image of attacking Anya with a frypan, he was horrified because he honestly believed himself capable of that type of violence.

Just because Xander seems visibly unscarred, doesn't mean that he doesn't carry plenty of anger and helplessness around with him wherever he goes. It was what he faced in The Replacement, his two selves, the one he can be and wants to be, and the results of years of emotional battering, a Xander afraid to trust himself. ...[In Restless,] Xander spends the time in his dream trying to get out of his parents basement only to find himself in a dead end, with his heart torn out of his chest by his father. ...To grow up, Xander is going to have to face that fear of returning to his roots and reject the worst of his upbringing, to become the type of person he already is but is too insecure to let emerge from the basement of his childhood (Rufus, 3/06/02 00:52).

Xander is an everyman, someone who is without magical powers anything to make him more than he already is. I see that many people can only find fault with the guy but I can relate to his situation because in some small way I'm him. With all the talk of choice, sometimes we forget that many feel that they are helpless with no choice but to follow the only norm they were exposed to their whole lives. How many times have we all found ourselves sounding and acting like our parents? Xander had a man who is a bully, self centered, mean..as a role model. Xander comes from a home where there is plenty of parental "Smackdown" and little love and caring. With his background Xander could have become the worst bully in the school and preyed upon people like Willow, instead his life has been one of reaching for something more than the life that deep down he knows is one not for him. Xander didn't dump Anya at the alter because she was lacking, but because he could only see that "he" was lacking in anything that would make for a happy life. Xander hasn't always done the right thing, but considering the life he has led he has come farther than any basement prison could contain.....now if he could only see that.

[> [> [> Re: Very thought-provoking. It brings to mind something that hadn't occurred to me before... -- dream of the consortium, 09:58:39 07/22/02 Mon

Personally, I never thought Xander was wrong to call off the wedding. No one should go through with wedding vows in the throes of doubt. What was wrong of him - absolutely, undeniably wrong - was the way he did it. He did not take Anya's hand, explain that he didn't want his wedding to be like this, take on the duty of announcing to the guests that, in light of certain strange events, the wedding had to be unavoidably postponed, and then leave with Anya to explain to her exactly what had happened. Instead, he walked out and left Anya with the entire mess, the embarassment, the guests. That's unexcusable.

Overall, I tend to be on Sophist's side. I don't care for Xander very much. His faults tend to be those that bother me the most - arrogance, jealousy, some sort of Buffy-verse version of prejudice, and a tendency toward petty nastiness and simplistic moralistic judgments. I would not say that his faults are greater than, say, Willow's, just that I have more sympathy for Willow's desperately self-centered need to be loved and respected than for the faults Xander exhibits. I do think that Buffy is a better person than both, if we're playing some sort of morality-meter game, and Giles as well, for that matter. But liking is very rarely logical - I like Willow better than Buffy on a basic level. She's more someone I would hang out with. And her love for Xander (and vice-versa) has always given him points in my mind - just as in real life, people I would otherwise dislike can gain a sort of grudging fondness if they show genuine affection for those I love. That's part of why I didn't mind Xander having the hero role - because it was based on a truly loveable characteristic, his long and deep friendship with Willow.

I can't really remember Xander ever being nasty to Willow in the way he can be to Anya or Buffy (or of course, Spike and Angel, though that's somewhat different.) Anyone have an example?

[> [> [> [> Years of rejection? -- Rahael, 10:08:48 07/22/02 Mon

Xander spent his time pursuing any woman but Willow. And it wasn't even as if he could never have felt an attraction to Willow. The minute both of them were in a stable relationship, he fell in love with her. Perhaps he preferred to chase the unattainable than really work at committing to a relationship (the same fears that drove him to jilt Anya).

Willow definitely remembered it - it came up in the Gift.

(Smart women are hot, etc)

[> [> [> [> [> Not the same thing -- dream of the consortium, 10:17:56 07/22/02 Mon

Friendships/relationships are terribly complicated. The various levels of attraction, desire, love, affection are difficult enough for adults to work out - for teenagers, they're miserable. Whether Xander should have tried to pursue that sort of relationship with Willow or not is very much a matter of opinion.(Personally, I am a hard-liner against friendships turning into relationships, because my personal experience has always been that they turn out ugly, but other people have different experiences). I think that's something very, very different from the sort of nasty remarks that Xander has tossed off to Anya, for example.

[> [> [> [> Xander and Willow -- Sophist, 10:56:44 07/22/02 Mon

In response to your question, I can think of 3 instances in which Xander was insensitive to Willow: Consequences (gratuitously letting everyone know he had sex with Faith); Gone (accusing her of magic use); and OAFA (encouraging her to use magic to get out of the house).

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander and Willow -- Vickie, 11:02:12 07/22/02 Mon

In The Pack, he mentions not having to "look at your pasty face." (Arguably under demonic influence.)

In Prophecy Girl, he uses Willow to practice asking Buffy out.

For someone who can intuit what's up with Buffy at the end of WSWB, he's not particularly sensitive in general.

[> [> [> [> [> [> All good examples -- dream of the consortium, 11:23:20 07/22/02 Mon

although in the case of Consequences, I do think he feels that his "history" with Faith might allow him to help. In that case, he needs to bring it up, whether it hurts Willow's feelings or not. Of course, he could have done it more smoothly..

I would say that the example from the Pack doesn't count, because he is definitely not himself (though, as always in the Buffyverse, the ugly traits shown under demonic possession are related to the faults of the possessed).

Using Willow to practice asking Buffy out is pretty inexcusable, though I did assume that at that stage, Xander is not supposed to be very clued-in to Willow's feelings. Maybe his sensitivity comes with age - certainly most high- school sophomores are not nearly are emotionally sophisticated as they can become five or six years on. Anyway, if he doesn't know - dopey teenaged boy, yes. Nasty, no. If he did know, of course, that's insensitivity on a massive scale. I haven't seen a lot of the first season, so I'm not sure how much we're supposed to think Xander knows.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> IIRC -- Sophist, 13:05:55 07/22/02 Mon

Buffy indicated to Xander on at least 2 occasions in S1 that Willow had a crush on him. I can't remember the episodes, so it may take me awhile to find the cites.

As for Consequences, my view was that he could either (a) have gone to Faith on his own (which he eventually did anyway), or (b) talked to Giles privately about it. I can't think of any reason he had to tell Willow.

I agree with you about The Pack. I wouldn't blame Xander for that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Okay found one.. -- shadowkat, 07:04:19 07/23/02 Tue

Okay found a few, not perfect but close:

First one from I Robot You Jane:

Buffy: Check out the jealous man!
Xander: What are you talking about?
Buffy: You're jealous
Xander: Of what?
Buffy: Willow's got a thang, and Xander's left hanging.
Xander: Oh, that's meaningless drivel. I'm not interested in Willow like that.
Buffy: Yeah, but you got used to being the Belle of the Ball.

(Xander and Buffy both appear to recognize Willow's previous crush on Xander. And Xander can't deal with her moving on.)

Here are two of my favorite scenes from Witch:

Xander: This is the invisible man syndrome. A blessing in Cordelia's
case. A curse in Buffy's.

Willow: (closes her locker) You're not invisible to Buffy.

She chews on her pen some more as they start to walk down the hall.

Xander: It's worse! I'm just like a part of the scenery, like an old
shoe. Or a rug that you walk on every day but don't even really see it.

Willow: (takes her pen out of her mouth) Like a pen that's all chewed
up, and you know you should throw it away, but you don't, not 'cause you
like it so much, more 'cause you're just used to...

(Willow is talking about herself in this scene, but all Xander can think about is himself and Buffy. It's very ironic and clever.)


Xander: So I'm just a figure of fun. (exhales) I should ask her out,

Willow: You won't know till you ask.

Xander: That's why you're so cool! You're like a guy! You're my guy
friend that knows about girl stuff!

Willow: Oh, great. I'm a guy.

(This actually occurred before the other scene. But was followed by my all time favorite scene -

Buffy: Hmm, I know you don't, that's 'cause you're my friend. You're my
Xander-shaped friend! (leans her head on his shoulder) Do you have any
idea why I love you so, Xander?

Willow: We gotta to get her to a...

Xander: (stops Willow with a gesture) Let her speak!

Buffy: I'll tell you! You're not like other boys at all.

Xander: Well...

Buffy: You are totally, and completely one of the girls! (to Willow)
I'm that comfy with him.

(I applauded here. You have to give ME credit - they truly give their characters exactly what they deserve. Xander refuses to acknowledge Willow's crush, Buffy ignores his.
Bravo Buffy!!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I love that last scene! -- Rahael, 07:25:04 07/23/02 Tue

and the best part is that when Buffy tells Xander he's just one of the girls to her, Willow gives this really cute, delighted smile.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I love that last scene! -- JBone, 08:33:08 07/23/02 Tue

I'm not sure what point is suppose to be made here, but my favorite scene of the B/X/W triangle is from Some Assembly Required. If I remember right, Xander is trying to make Buffy understand something about her and Angel, while Willow is behind him, wanting to make the exact same point to Xander about Buffy.

Cut to the balcony. Buffy comes up to Willow and Xander sitting on the railing.

Xander: Any sign of our suspects?

Buffy: Not yet. I don't get it. Why would anybody wanna make a girl?

Xander: You mean when there's so many pre-made ones just laying around? The things we do for love.

Buffy: Love has nothing to do with this.

Xander: Maybe not, but I'll tell you this: people don't fall in love with what's right in front of them.

Willow gives Buffy a sad, knowing look.

Xander: People want the dream. What they can't have.

Willow looks over at Xander longingly. Buffy understands only too well.

Xander: The more unattainable, the more attractive.

Willow hops down from her perch.

Willow: And for Eric the unattainable would include everyone. That's alive.

She walks around Xander to head down the stairs. Buffy joins her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! You figured it out -- shadowkat, 10:06:19 07/23/02 Tue

Perfect example of Buffy seeing Willow's attraction and desire for Xander and knowing Xander is completely clueless.
The irony alone is priceless.

Xander often accuses someone else of his greatest fault.

There's another scene in Some Assembly Required where
Xander asks Willow why everyone else has a date and they don't, this occurs just after Cordy tried to thank him for rescueing her and he rudely blows her off. LOL!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Pack -- Sophist, 13:42:20 07/22/02 Mon

From the attempted rape scene:

Xander: Until Willow... stops kidding herself... that I could settle with anyone but you?

So Xander did know. I'm also sure Buffy told him once, but I can't find that yet.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- dream of the consortium, 14:04:29 07/22/02 Mon

I did watch the whole of season one on my roommate's DVD player once, but I was recovering from the removal of my wisdom teeth at the time, and my memory of those episodes is pretty hazy.

So, Xander certainly was capable of astonishing acts of insensitivity towards his life-long friend. There is something in that cruelty that is depressingly realistic. I can even imagine his self-justification (if she's going to be my friend, I can't hide things from her - it's better that she knows where she stands - she would feel worse if I acted like I knew). Bleah.

[> [> Revelations -- Malandanza, 21:08:59 07/21/02 Sun

"The reason I’m glad you brought it up is this: what we credit Xander for in that scene is his words. They inspired Buffy. But if we’re going to give him credit for his words there (and perhaps elsewhere), then he has to bear the responsibility of his words when he’s harsh and judgmental towards Buffy without cause. The principal problem I have with the character rests in this. I’m going to give examples of these incidents below. All quotes are from Psyche."

Certainly Xander has been 'harsh and judgmental towards Buffy without cause." But at the same time these attacks have provided Buffy with an opportunity to vent feelings that would otherwise has festered inside of her. Ultimately, even Xander's harshest attacks have been beneficial to Buffy. His words are frequently just an echo of her own concerns -- and that is why she takes them to heart. Xander had a problem with Angel in Revelations, but so did Buffy -- the secret was taking its toll on her and she was relieved to be free of the burden.

This was an instance not without cause -- what Giles said to Buffy hurt her far worse than anything Xander said -- and Giles was aware that Angel had been re-ensouled, that Buffy had set him to hell in his re-ensouled state and the extent to which doing so hurt her. If Giles was justified in questioning the wisdom of Buffy sneaking off to romantic encounters with Angel, then surely Xander was similarly justified. It doesn't make Xander a good guy to say that Buffy benefited from his angry diatribes, but my point was not that Xander is a good guy, just that as long as Buffy continues to internalize all her problems, she needs him. And I'll take Xander's sermons over Spike's "Buffy is a bitch" speeches any day.

"And then, of course, Xander incites Faith to kill Angel."

Clearly, you are using the word "incites" in a sense with which I am unfamiliar. Earlier, Gwendolyn Post had dropped hints to Faith that the Scoobies were holding secret meetings behind her back -- she sought out Xander for information:

Crack! A rack of pool balls scatter. Xander's shooting.

FAITH: You look pissed.

Xander looks up to see Faith, holding a pool cue.

XANDER: Rough day.

FAITH: Tell me about it.

XANDER: Rather just shoot.

FAITH: Don't think I don't know what you and your pals were talking about behind my
back today.

XANDER: Yeah? And what was that?

FAITH: More about this glove deal than you're saying.

XANDER: The Glove of Myhnegon? Right. How'd you like a hit of some real news:
Angel's still alive.

Okay, he coughs up the information pretty easily, but Faith was the one looking for information. In the library, Xander even defends Angel:

XANDER: Giles - can you hear me? What happened?

FAITH: Gee, let me guess.

XANDER (dialing 911) Hold it - stop - think a minute.

FAITH: Yeah, I'm thinking. Thinking Buffy's ex-meat did this.

XANDER: This isn't Angel's style.

FAITH: The guy's a demon! How much more proof do you need?

XANDER Bite marks would be nice…
(into phone)
I have a medical emergency. Sunnydale High.

FAITH: Screw this waiting crap.

XANDER: Faith - we don't help, Giles could die!

FAITH: Yeah - and he's gonna have a whole lot of company, unless I do something permanent.

Faith storms out of the library.


FAITH: For what? You to grow a pair? You handle the baby- sit. I'm going to kill Angel.

Boom - she's out the doors, loaded with weapons. Xander wants to stop her, but has to stay with Giles.

I think that part of Xander's hatred of Angel stems from a hatred of vampires. You know, the ones that killed his best friend, Jesse, back in Season One. This is particularly true when you look at the earlier episodes but continues with his hatred of Spike. Furthermore, all the characters have changed since Season One. Xander as a teen-aged boy is not the same person he is in Season Six.

"But no, I don’t “hate” Xander. His character annoys me on several levels, as I mentioned above. But I liked him a lot in S1-2 (until Passion), and I’d do so again if he’d stop berating Buffy and start behaving again like a brave and loyal helper, which he hasn’t done in a very long time. But that means his actions have to grow naturally out of his character and not be forced down our throats as in Grave."

I agree with you about Grave, but I cannot recall a single instance where Xander has not been willing to drop everything when Buffy needed him. (Wasn't part of the problem between him and Anya?) Right or wrong, Xander is willing to stand by Buffy without any of the baggage carried by the other characters.

[> [> [> Re: Revelations -- Sophist, 09:37:42 07/22/02 Mon

If Giles was justified in questioning the wisdom of Buffy sneaking off to romantic encounters with Angel, then surely Xander was similarly justified.

I don't think this follows. Giles was Buffy's watcher, and had been personally harmed by Angel (both the torture and Jenny's death), while Xander had no position of authority and had suffered no such harm. Even if Xander had been justified in making some comments, he was not justified in the comments he did make (the script itself says so).

Clearly, you are using the word "incites" in a sense with which I am unfamiliar.

Here's the passage I had in mind:

Xander: The Glove of Myhnegon? Right. (aims his cue stick) How'd you like a hit of some real news: Angel's still alive.

He takes his shot and starts walking around the table again, looking for his next shot. Faith looks at him in wide-eyed surprise.

Faith: The vampire.

Xander: Back in town. Saw him myself. Toting the popular and famous glove.

He bends down again to take aim for his shot.

Faith: Angel.

Xander makes this shot and watches the balls ricochet.

Faith: Guy like that, with that kind of glove, could kill a whole mess of people.

Xander: Said the same thing to Buffy myself. Weird how she didn't seem to care. (aims for his next shot)

Faith: Buffy knew he was alive.

Xander takes his shot.

Faith: I can't believe her.

Xander: (walks around the table) She says he's clean.

Faith: Yeah, well, I say we can't afford to find out. (has Xander's full attention) I say I deal with this problem right now. I say I slay.

Xander: Can I come?

I think my use of the term is appropriate.

But at the same time these attacks have provided Buffy with an opportunity to vent feelings that would otherwise has festered inside of her. Ultimately, even Xander's harshest attacks have been beneficial to Buffy. His words are frequently just an echo of her own concerns -- and that is why she takes them to heart.

I don't see this as true for any of the passages I quoted. For example, I find it hard to believe (in Dead Man's Party) that Buffy was secretly harboring the concern that she had run away because of boyfriend problems (which is what Xander cruelly said). Even if it were true, I have to think that there are ways to raise issues that don't involve brutal attacks on the character and integrity of your friend.

[> [> [> [> With Sophist on this one -- Rahael, 09:51:47 07/22/02 Mon

Thus ending my record breaking run of agreeing with everything Mal has been saying of late!

Sophist's post reminded me exactly why I had moments of dislike/hostility to Xander. On the other hand, apart from the brief Riley supporting moment (I mean, since when did Xander turn into the clued in person about relationships?!) Xander has become considerably more sympathetic over the years. His earlier incarnation might have been funnier and wittier, but it was also the Angel-hating, Willow ignoring, Dead Man's party version. He actually went out with Cordelia only to be unfaithful to her!

But his relationship with the delightful Anya (she never irritated me) actually humanised him (isn't it ironic?) considerably for me. Season 4 and 5 saw my strongest Xander sympathies - he went out into the world of work when I did, the graceful way he put up with Willow and Buffy getting preoccupied in new relationships and studies, and all those basement, bad parent moments. That scene where the Scoobies watch television in Xander's basement was so terribly poignant! I can remember cruel Xander and sweet Xander, and hope that he will grow to his full potential. I think Anya is too good for him (I'm a G/A shipper!) but perhaps she might see to helping him along. They clearly had a identical journey toward a greater humanity together. Xander has his own needs, and I don't think, despite his and Buffy's connection, and their camaraderie, that each are quite right for each other.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: With Sophist on this one -- Malandanza, 22:35:14 07/23/02 Tue

I'm actually less thrilled with Xander after this debate, as well. The defenses have been sounding a little too much like the Spike defenses for my taste -- and I have begun to wonder if I have a double standard. The biggest problem I see in the Xander/Buffy confrontations is that there are no Xander apologies afterwards, when he discovers he's overreacted. Even in the final episodes, Xander doesn't really apologize -- he says he was stupid, but that's not quite the same thing.

Another problem is that I had assumed that Buffy thought as Xander did, he was just making her face her repressed feelings -- but these arguments are also used with Spike, that he is a "truth teller" and that somehow makes the way in which he tells the truth acceptable. With Spike, I have not felt as though he tells Buffy the truth; instead, he tells her what he wishes to be true and she overidentifies and begins to believe it is so. Applying similar reasoning to Xander and his attacks lose what little good came out of them. I had thought that Buffy really did love Riley and Xander made her realize it, but I suppose it is just as possible that Buffy decided that she loved Riley because of Xander's speech. Xander has made some good speeches to Buffy -- GD2 and The Freshman most notably, but so did Spike in the beginning of Season Six -- a couple of nice speeches shouldn't, as Sophist says, make up for dozens of vicious ones. Where Xander is superior to Spike is that he does not make his angry speeches in an effort to hurt Buffy -- the hurt is a side-effect, not the purpose.

I do agree that Xander has become more sympathetic in the last three seasons (if we follow Xander's example and ignore Anya), which is why Sophist has to delve back into Season Two and Three to bring out the really incriminating stuff. I find it hard single out Xander in DMP and Revelations since everyone acted badly -- he was just louder and more obnoxious. He's not a great friend, but he's not too bad if we grade on a curve (Willow & Spike are not much competition).

"Xander has his own needs, and I don't think, despite his and Buffy's connection, and their camaraderie, that each are quite right for each other."

True, but I still believe with practically everyone Buffy knows out of town, that next season will start with Xander, Buffy and Dawn hanging out together, possibly slaying together, and, in general, looking very much like a family.

[> [> [> [> [> [> What a gracious post! -- Rahael, 16:12:47 07/24/02 Wed

Just read this

Personally I can see both Xander's more delightful moments, and his acting like jerk moments too. A whole lot gets redeemed for me in a character if they can make me laugh with and feel compassion with them all at the same time, and Xander does this to me many times. The moment in Tabula Rasa where he does his multicultural homage to the Gods is a particular favourite from this season.

As Just George pointed out, ME can do a whole lot with a character. They made me want Spuffy all the way until it actually happened! And I'm not convinced that Marti, or anyone else in ME meant Riley to be the perfect boyfriend - there was so much in the commentaries for DVD Season 4 which talked explicitly about how there relationship was doomed. I'm betting they can bring Xander round next season. If they wanted to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Gracious? Is that your sarcastic voice? -- Malandanza, 07:46:17 07/25/02 Thu

...because the tone I was trying to express was a sort of sullen agreement. Like Spike in one of his "Out. For. A. Walk..." moments, giving in with bad grace. I'd normally assume that a remark like yours is sarcastic (And the exclamation point? An ellipsis would be better), considering how far from my true intent it is, but I can't recall a truly sarcastic post from you -- in fact, it's not a part of your national character. Sarcasm is an American province -- the rest of you can do irony or light satire.

Then again, maybe d'H is rubbing off on you.

Or maybe you're channeling Jane Bennet after that JA debate.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's truly rare to see someone change their mind -- Rahael, 07:56:49 07/25/02 Thu

As a result of discussion. Tactical concessions, yes. Taking one someone else's quite different point of view, however sullenly is always gracious!!

Not sarcastic at all. Ummmm, I occasionally do a couple of sarcastic lines in a post, but dH assures me that they aren't half as obvious or cutting as I think they are, lol!

In my fond imagination, I channel Lizzy - in my better moments, I channel Jane Bennett and perhaps in my worst moments I channel one of the Bingley sisters!!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Huh? I'm supposed to be making her meaner? -- d'Herblay, 08:09:37 07/25/02 Thu

Sweet widdle ol' me?

[> [> Hold up buddy -- Caesar Augustus, 22:15:26 07/21/02 Sun

You're criticisng Xander for one of the things I admire in him. His forthrightness with Buffy is critical. It's not quite forthrightness in the sense of Anya's, but the fact that he speaks his true feelings to Buffy, and has no problem criticising her, more so than any other character is prepared to do, is EXACTLY what allows his praise of Buffy to mean so much. If Willow said to Buffy 'you're my hero' it wouldn't mean anywhere near as much as Xander because Willow, good friend 'n all, is pretty sycophantic wrt Buffy.

The other thing is that I disagree with you calling Xander wrong in Passion/B2/Revelations. Firstly it's a big simplification - no-one is wrong. They have altering opinions, and the rightness/wrongness can only be proved by the future. If Angel was turned again in the future, Xander becomes right. If he's not, Buffy's right. All they can deal with are possibilities and dangers, and in that light it's not unreasonable for Xander to have the opinion that a creature that has the potential to kill hundreds of people should be killed rather than given a lifeline until he might turn bad again. Xander's reasons are partly based on jealousy, and that much is fair criticism, but saying he's wrong is certainly oversimplifying.

[> [> Xander's perspective v. Omniscient observer -- Farstrider, 13:37:27 07/22/02 Mon

I don't think your response is very empathic to Xander. You don't give him credit for (1) his limited knowledge of the events you describe and (2) the fact that these are his actual viewpoints. Many of his reactions were certainly normal human reactions, in light of the limited information in his possession at the time, and more often, given the emotional context of the events that caused his reactions. I won't go so far as to say his statements are "right" in a moral sense, but how often do ordinary people say hurtful things to people they care for in a moment of heat? All the time. That doesn't make them "harsh and judgmental without cause" - just quick to anger and react.

As someone pointed out a while ago in a really good post, Xander is heart - he is the emotion of the group, and as such, it is his role to express loyalty, love, faith in his friends just as it is his role to express frustration, jealousy and anger. He must fulfill this role by expressing his emotions honestly, which is what he always does.

All the examples you provided were not deliberately cruel to Buffy; I think each point he made was what he actually felt. So he shared those actual feelings.

In Prophecy Girl, X had just been rejected by a romantic interest. His response was not "harsh and judgmental without cause." The cause was obvious.

IN WSWB, his best friend had been put in danger by the inexplicable conduct of another friend. Also, keep in mind that at the time X said this, he was still under the influence of a Willow-intensive summer (which culminated in the ice-cream-almost-kiss) and under the influence of the dance. Is it so unreasonable for him to be frustrated by this? And no, his threat was not serious. None of the characters in the show actually thought that X would try to kill Buffy, including Buffy.

In Passion and Becoming, X was again speaking from the heart, reacting to the events as he saw them: an individual he had never really liked, but had tolerated for Buffy's sake ("Angel's our friend. We just don't like him.") had betrayed him and his friends (and Buffy) by killing the love of another friend (Giles). [Xander doesn't tolerate betrayal; maybe he has some sort of insecurities that cause this, but he clearly reacts strongly to what he perceives as betrayal. This is because he is the heart.] Now, the solution being put forth by his friends to solve this problem involves risking another friend's life to save the betrayer. So, the options were (1) kill Angel [100% chance of success] or (2) attempt to re-soul Angel [with some large chance that it would fail AND Willow would die AND the world would be destroyed]. Was his viewpoint so far-fetched then? Were his words so wrong?

Remember, X does not watch the show from his couch; he does not 100% believe in the good of Angel; he has not seen all the tender Buffy/Angel moments; he does not know, like we do, that Willow won't die using the spell because she is a major character in the show.

I don't want to go through the rest of your examples, especially S3, because I am not as familar with that season. I think an argument could be easily made that Buffy was way wrong in Revelations, and that Xander's statements were his way of sharing that.

Suffice to say that:
(1) X almost always speaks what he really feels
(2) His words are not designed to hurt others
(3) Sometimes the truth hurts but needs to be said
(4) Sometimes X is not aware of all the facts that we are aware of, so his understanding of events differs from ours

I probably haven't expressed this as well as I should have, but I was troubled by your non-empathic view of X's actions.

[> [> [> Re: Xander's perspective v. Omniscient observer -- Sophist, 14:15:39 07/22/02 Mon

The main problem I have with your post is that it's not much of a defense. In fact, it's the kind of response which, when attempts are made to justify some of Spike's more unattractive moments, is frequently met by claims of "double standard". As I said, if it's fair to praise Xander when his words are fair (The Freshman), it's fair to blame him when they are foul.

Xander doesn't tolerate betrayal; maybe he has some sort of insecurities that cause this, but he clearly reacts strongly to what he perceives as betrayal.

I don't want to be too harsh here, but I think Cordy and Anya may have a different perspective on this. We all tend to judge other peoples' betrayals as worse than our own, but don't we (and doesn't Xander), nevertheless have to try to judge Xander's trespasses the same as the trespasses against him?

All the examples you provided were not deliberately cruel to Buffy; I think each point he made was what he actually felt. So he shared those actual feelings.

JMHO, but the practice of "sharing" his emotions without reservation seems pretty cruel. Don't most of us try to find more diplomatic ways of getting a point across when we try to point out a serious weakness to a friend? We never say "You're fat." We try to encourage the benefits of exercise.

And no, his threat was not serious

I'm not suggesting Xander had any ability actually to kill Buffy. His tone, however, was that of deep anger. I think that only someone with pretty serious "issues" would use such words, in such a tone, to a friend.

Now, the solution being put forth by his friends to solve this problem involves risking another friend's life to save the betrayer. So, the options were (1) kill Angel [100% chance of success] or (2) attempt to re-soul Angel [with some large chance that it would fail AND Willow would die AND the world would be destroyed]. Was his viewpoint so far- fetched then? Were his words so wrong?

To answer the last question first, yes his words were so wrong. They were wrong because he attributed to Buffy motives and character that were utterly unfair ("you just want to forget about Miss Calendar's murder so you can get your boyfriend back"). That is absurd and unworthy.

If he did have the views you suggest, he never expressed them. His concern was not Willow's safety (which Buffy expressed), but with revenge on Angel. There was no 100% certainty that Buffy would kill Angel; the re- souling spell was the next best choice. No one suggested that the spell would kill Willow, and Xander didn't try very hard to prevent her in the hospital room (which I assume he would have done if he thought Willow's life was in danger). Moreover, given the stakes, risking Willow's life may well have been worth it. That was for Willow and Buffy to judge, not Xander.

Sometimes the truth hurts but needs to be said

I agree with this within limits. There are many ways of speaking the truth. In some cases, Xander was flat out wrong. In other cases, it was the way he said it that was wrong. In no case did Buffy deserve the treatment he gave her.

[> [> [> [> Re: Xander's perspective v. Omniscient observer -- Farstrider, 16:29:56 07/22/02 Mon

I don't see how seeing things from Spike's perspective excuses Spike's behavior, so I don't see the similarity you draw.

As I said, if it's fair to praise Xander when his words are fair (The Freshman), it's fair to blame him when they are foul.

Well, I suppose this would be true, but only if done with an eye to what he knew at the time. It is unfair to judge someone by reference to information they did possess. And I don't think of it as a double standard; this is the same standard that everyone should be held to.

Don't most of us try to find more diplomatic ways of getting a point across when we try to point out a serious weakness to a friend?

No. Not when that serious weakness causes or risks injury to someone else we care about. Should parent 1 speak diplomatically to parent 2, when parent 2, while drunk, wants to take their child out for a drive? Maybe. Is it reasonable for us criticize parent 1 for saying something harsh? No way.

You are holding X up to a standard appropriate for calm discussion, not heated and emotional debate, which is the context that most of your examples come up in (the exception being his rejection in PG).

They were wrong because he attributed to Buffy motives and character that were utterly unfair ("you just want to forget about Miss Calendar's murder so you can get your boyfriend back"). That is absurd and unworthy.

I guess I don't share your high regard of Buffy. She, too, is human, and I don't think it was completely inaccurate (and therefore, not absurd or unworthy) to say that her feelings for Angel clouded her judgment when dealing with Angelus. That is why it took her 11 episodes to kill him.

And, I thought that was one of the duty v. desire tensions prevalent throughout S2, and beyond. Is there no one out there who will agree with me on this one?

I think that only someone with pretty serious "issues" would use such words, in such a tone, to a friend.

Only if the person saying them really meant them, which you agree, was not the case here.

I don't want to be too harsh here, but I think Cordy and Anya may have a different perspective on this. We all tend to judge other peoples' betrayals as worse than our own, but don't we (and doesn't Xander), nevertheless have to try to judge Xander's trespasses the same as the trespasses against him?

Sure, you've identified a fundamental tenet of human nature: we view our own acts with more charity than others' acts. I don't see how that makes Xander a worse or better person. And, I think that when it comes to using the same standards, Xander's conduct re in the S2&S3 Angel situation pales in comparison to Angelus's conduct, which is what prompted his statements.

In any event, are there any post-S3 Xander moments to support your conclusion?


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander's perspective v. Omniscient observer -- Sophist, 17:11:33 07/22/02 Mon

I don't see how seeing things from Spike's perspective excuses Spike's behavior, so I don't see the similarity you draw.

Sorry for not being clear. All I meant was that when we look at the characters, we have to be careful not to use a double standard. I wasn't making any direct connection to Spike; merely using him as an example of someone for whom double standards are common (on both sides of the debate, I might add).

Well, I suppose this would be true, but only if done with an eye to what he knew at the time

I believe that in every case, Xander actually knew that his statements were wrong, or made no effort to find out. Briefly:

PG: This was merely insulting. There was no right or wrong about it.

WSWB: Again, there is no factual content to "I'll kill you."

Passion: "I hated him before." Sure; but for no reason. And "I told you so" hardly seems appropriate under the circumstances of Jenny's death.

Becoming: Xander's access to information was the same as everyone else's. My original post gave the reasons why he was wrong. He was just as capable as seeing those reasons as anyone else. He just failed to do, perhaps blinded by jealousy.

DMP: He made no effort to discover the truth. His reaction was selfish (as was Willow's and Joyce's).

Revelations: Again, there was no factual content to his statements. He just made unjustified accusations about Buffy. The script itself even says he was wrong (and he himself apologized at the end of the episode).

Not when that serious weakness causes or risks injury to someone else we care about.

Even granting your point, this was not the case in PG, Passion, or DMP. In Becoming it was doubtful. He had justification to be angry in both WSWB and Revelations, but in both cases his overreaction was wholly inappropriate.

which you agree, was not the case here

I don't agree. He said it like he meant it. I do agree he had no capacity to actually do it.

Xander's conduct re in the S2&S3 Angel situation pales in comparison to Angelus's conduct, which is what prompted his statements.

I don't see that as a relevant comparison. Of course Xander's conduct paled compared to that of Angelus. Xander has never done anything remotely similar to Angelus, and is a far better "person" than Angelus. That doesn't justify his conduct in the cases I mentioned, though.

are there any post-S3 Xander moments to support your conclusion?

I mentioned some examples in my original post: TYF; ITW (depending on your view of Riley); SR at the beginning. There are also a couple directed at Willow (Gone, OAFA). I'm leaving Spike out of this. Most of his bad behavior over the last 2 seasons was directed towards Anya, which was not the focus of my post. His behavior towards Anya would be hard to justify at this point. Of course, he may rectify that in S7.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander's perspective v. Omniscient observer -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:29:16 07/22/02 Mon

What is this poor treatment of Anya people keep talking about? Aside from "Hell's Bells", of course?

I also suggest you read the posts by cjl and Just George just below this post before responding.

As for when people bring up him being so insulting to Cordelia after the breakup, you must remember that X and C have always argued and insulted each other. Before, after, and during the relationship they hurled insults almost constantly. I mean, if the bickering can't stop WHILE they're dating, why should it after they stop seeing each other?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander's perspective v. Omniscient observer -- Alvin, 23:20:13 07/22/02 Mon

If I could add one point here about the line from Passions, "I hated him before." At this point in s2 Angel/Angelus had 1) Offered Xander's neck to Spike in School Hard, 2) Pulled him out of a 2nd floor window, threw him to the ground, and tried to kill him in BBB, 3) Threated to kill him in Killed by Death, 4) Tried to kill Willow in Innocence, 5) Killed a classmate (Theresa) in Pangs to send a message to Buffy, 6) Been acting as a stalker to Buffy in the early part of Passions. What I'm trying to get at, is that Xander does not hate Angel for "no reason". I think people tend to blame Xander for being jealous of Angel, but Angel also has a jealousy of Xander. He shares a part of Buffy's life that Angel cannot enter.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Angel or Angelus -- Sophist, 08:51:02 07/23/02 Tue

All but one of the instances you cite occurred after Innocence. Those don't seem to be relevant to what Xander is saying.

As for School Hard, well it really wasn't my intent in this thread to talk about X/Angel. However, two points seem relevant. First, in S1 Angel never did anything to Xander that would give Xander cause to hate him. Second, here is the scene from PG:

Xander: How can I say this clearly?

He holds up a cross. Angel growls. Xander advances toward him, and he backs off until he falls onto the couch.

Xander: I don't like you. At the end of the day, I pretty much think you're a vampire.

Where Xander is concerned, Angel is a man more sinned against than sinning.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel or Angelus -- J, 09:23:08 07/23/02 Tue

Where Xander is concerned, Angel is a man more sinned against than sinning.

However, it seems to me that Xander's statement ("at the end of the day") is undoubtedly accurate, and probably one that Angel himself would agree with. Remember Angel's warning to Gunn:

Gunn: "No matter what else, I think I proved that you can trust me when I could have killed you and I didn't."

Angel: "No. - You'll prove that I can trust you when day comes that you *have* to kill me - and you do."

[> My Own Personal Reaction to Xander -- cjl, 11:00:10 07/22/02 Mon

I agree with most of the posters here that liking or disliking a character is a very personal reaction. It also depends on how the character has (or hasn't grown) during the course of the series. For instance, I heavily identified with Xander during Seasons 1-2, when he was both pursuing Buffy and pined for by Willow. Since I could only dream of having a wonderful Willow of my own in high school, I thought he was an idiot not to go for it, but the pursuit of the unattainable woman in HS is something a lot of guys can understand. What made me root for Xander in those early seasons was that no matter how badly he felt about Buffy rejecting him, he never wavered from the mission and his support. Yes, he could be an opinionated jackass motivated by jealousy, but every time you were tempted to write him off, he'd do something unbelievably brave/stupid when most normal guys his age would run away and hide. And when it looked like his emotions would boil over and completely unhinge him, common sense would eventually win out. Prophecy Girl. Killed by Death. And probably a dozen others. His sin of omission in Becoming 2? Morally questionable, strategically sound. Could never really hold that against him, and just as I could never convince anti- Xanderites otherwise, they're not going to sway me either. Just a matter of opinion.

As we progressed into later seasons, and the extent of his abusive childhood became clear, the identification wore off. (My family is about as kind and loving as they come.) But I still empathized with Xander, his extreme difficulty in growing to adulthood in a hellhole like Sunnydale, and balancing a relationship with Anya with his previous friendships/attachments. Contrary to a lot of posters, I never saw Xander's treatment of Anya as abusive or even particularly condescending. Anya had been a demon for the last thousand years, and she was DEPENDING on Xander a great deal for lessons in socialization. This seemed to be an unspoken, but mutually-agreed upon plan. When Halfrek brought up Xander's "slights" in Doublemeat Palace, it appeared to me as a malicious distortion of their relationship designed to bust them up. (And I wouldn't put it past Hallie and D'Hoffryn to have conveniently masterminded Stewart Burns' party crashing...)

Do I seriously believe Xander has been Mr. Perfect? Noooooo. In that very same episode, Xander comments on Halfrek's demonic visage, and he wonders if Anya looked that ugly when she was a demon. Gee, Xander, d'ya THINK? (For the first time in a while, I wanted to slap him upside the head.) Two years in a relationship with a woman, and this is the FIRST TIME you're asking about her past as a vengeance demon? Xander was Denial Boy all through Season 6, pushing away all the important questions and confrontations, sidestepping the emotionally volatile issues, never seeing Spuffy or his own self-doubts until it was too late. His slipping out the back door in "Hell's Bells" was abominable. You don't think you're ready to get married? Fine. But don't make Anya talk to the guests alone. Take it like a man, Harris!

But I'm still rooting for him. I want him to overcome his problems and grow to be the man he could be. His friendship with Willow is a magnificent creation, and I want them to be as close as they were in the beginning. (Yes, it makes me feel good.) But he's got to resolve his feelings for Buffy one way or the other. If he's going to lead with his heart, he's got to learn to shut his mouth until the rational part of his brain can catch up. And he has to realize he doesn't have to end up like his Dad.

[B/X? W/X? X/A? Probably not, probably not, and looks like a dead end.]

In short, things are complicated in the Buffyverse, so let me boil it down to something I can understand:

Xander loyal, funny guy. Me like Xander.

[> [> Xander and Anya -- Just George, 17:38:01 07/22/02 Mon

cjl: "Contrary to a lot of posters, I never saw Xander's treatment of Anya as abusive or even particularly condescending. Anya had been a demon for the last thousand years, and she was DEPENDING on Xander a great deal for lessons in socialization. This seemed to be an unspoken, but mutually-agreed upon plan. When Halfrek brought up Xander's "slights" in Doublemeat Palace, it appeared to me as a malicious distortion of their relationship designed to bust them up. (And I wouldn't put it past Hallie and D'Hoffryn to have conveniently masterminded Stewart Burns' party crashing...)"

I think this is an important interpretation of Xander and Anya's relationship from S4 - S5. I see Anya as a childlike visitor from another place, trying to fit into a new culture. She depends on Xander to help teach her to fit in.

Like dealing with some children, one can see Anya's lack of artifice and attempts to fit in at endearing, clownish, and/or exasperating. I think Xander's view evolved over time, in that order. In many ways, he met her half way, often way more than half way. I think allowing half a lodge full of demons at their wedding (including allowing some to stay at his house) was VERY big of Xander.

In Flooded, Xander tells Anya she is wrong about Spiderman getting paid and that "action is his reward." This isn't a put down, it is speaking the truth about the comic. I thought that Xander's tone of voice showed that he wished he could agree with Anya but couldn't because she was wrong. He loves to agree with her, for example his happy grin to Anya after her "some demons are very evil, others have been known to be useful members of society" speech in Family and his "smart girls are so hot" line in The Gift. Over time, Xander's corrections became subtler, less direct contradictions and more conversational. I believe that Xander is the person most responsible for whatever human growth we have seen in Anya's character.

And Anya is not blameless in requiring correction. It is made very clear in Triangle that she is only willing to go so far to fit in.

Willow: "You’re so rude! I mean, sure, at first, ex-demon, doesn’t know the rules. Well, you been here forever. Learn the rules."
Anya: "Rules are stupid."

So Anya must take responsibility for saying things that embarrass both her and Xander. If visitors are unwilling to learn the customs and language of the place they are living, they must expect the people there to find what they say odd and off-putting.

Also, everyone changes to fit in with their partners. Negotiation and compromise is a part of making a relationship work. So, the fact that Anya's sees a problem in Entropy about "...pretty soon I'm changing to please him..." emphasizes her selfish side. In many ways, she still doesn't understand human relationships.

BTW, it is my contention that Anya will have to give up her demon powers and choose to be human to move on in growing as a character. Becoming a Vengeance Demon again was regression. Becoming human the first time was an accident. Becoming fully human the second time will require a sacrifice.

[> [> [> Anya (veering slightly O/T) -- celticross, 23:39:14 07/22/02 Mon

Dear, dear Anya...where do I begin?

Well, first of all, I never liked Anya. Not at first, anyway. When she and Xander went to the prom together, I prayed it'd be a one time funny and we wouldn't have to deal with it again. Her sleep with him til it's a relationship tactic during Season 4 didn't win me over either. Nor did the brutal honesty, the sex life details divulging, the money fetish, or the "everything has to be perfect for our special day" bride-to-beism. I really did not get what Xander saw in her. Not until Hell's Bells. When Xander walked away, I could finally identify with Anya. I've never been left at the altar, but I do know the gut wretching feeling of thinking everything was fine in your relationship and having it suddenly blow up in your face. Suddenly, she became the saving grace of the last half of Season 6. Funny how our attachment to characters can shift, isn't it?

[> [> [> [> Re: OT: Turning the audience view of a character FAST -- Just George, 12:07:15 07/23/02 Tue

The evolution of the audience reaction to Anya is a testament to how ME can change the status of a character in a short period of time. Anya in Season 6 went from a clown most of the audience enjoyed/tolerated to a character many identified with/enjoyed. How did they do this?

1) Early Season 6: Anya is reasonably annoyed that Xander hasn't announced their engagement. This is not enough to change a lot of audience opinions, but it is enough to get the audience to agree that Xander was wrong not to tell everyone. One point in her favor.

2) Tabular Rasa: Anya gets some good scenes with Giles. Maybe 5-10 minutes of air time, but her scenes are funny and poignant. She is still the clown (summoning bunnies and her last scene cleaning with Giles) but shows she can have relationships with someone other than Xander. Points for Anya, though she is still acting as a clown.

3) Middle Season 6: Anya and Xander are in "one scene a week of wedding prep" hell for much of the middle of the season. No points here.

4) Hells Bells: Anya's first big episode this season. Her childlike enthusiasm for the wedding and her "I get to be with my best friend forever. Yeah!" and "I finally get love" lines help pull the audience to her side. Her tragic solo walk down the isle is worth lodes of audience identification. Mountains of points for Anya. She is no longer the clown, now she is the wronged/tragic heroine.

5) Entropy: Anya's second big episode. She plays the clown when she ties to get the female Scoobies to curse Xander. But, her big turn around comes when she gets to commiserate with Spike, who is also an audience favorite. She also gets Spike's seal of approval "You're the only one of the lot of them that I wouldn't bite." The tender scenes between them and her unwillingness to curse Xander in the end reinforce her status as the underdog.

6) Villains - Grave: Anya gets to be useful (teleporting messenger) heroic (staying to keep up the spell) vulnerable ("I'm blond") strong ("You don't get to play the martyr here") and gets good scenes with Giles (also an audience favorite.) This cements her status as a "good" character that the audience likes and pulls for. Suddenly there are G/A shippers all over the boards.

Interestingly, because nothing bad has yet come from it, the audience seems willing to ignore two facts. Anya has turned into a vengeance demon. Also, Anya tried to get her supposed "friends" (the female Scoobies) to maim or kill their other "friend" (Xander.)

Realistically, in the space of 5 episodes (Hells Bells, Entropy, and Villains - Grave) ME has changed Anya from a clown who's heart was in the right place to an audience favorite that people can relate to. . They did it with Cordelia in Season 3 between Lovers Walk and The Prom. I'm betting they can do that with almost any character they put their mind to in Season 7 (Buffy? Dawn? Xander?)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: OT: Turning the audience view of a character FAST -- Akita, 13:01:59 07/23/02 Tue

"The evolution of the audience reaction to Anya is a testament to how ME can change the status of a character in a short period of time. Anya in Season 6 went from a clown most of the audience enjoyed/tolerated to a character many identified with/enjoyed."

Er, some of us were there with Anya long before Season 6. I've liked and sympathized with her since she got stuck being human ("Do you have any idea how boring twelfth- graders are?!"). Maybe because I've had upclose-and-personal experience with refugees from other cultures trying to acclimate to American culture. It's a hard and draining and frustrating and sometimes infuriating process -- and it's the small things over which you stumble the most and which make you feel the most ill-adapted. Anya is funny, smart, proud, and assertive. To me, many of her flaws, including her devotion to capitalism, relate directly to her fear of mortality. (Is it surprising that someone newly human would look around and decide that the rules of the human game in American culture dictate that the "one with the most toys at the end wins"?)

I've always been annoyed with the Scoobies' failure to understand or sympathize with the difficulty of her transition into humanity; mostly they seemed to think that simply tolerating her was enough. And I thought Willow's comment to her in "Triangle," quoted upthread, was fairly outrageous: after 1100 years as a demon, two years as a human is clearly not "forever."

And surely, even for those who didn't like her initially, her transition from "clownhood" began in Season 5, with her "I don't understand" speech in "The Body," her post-coital epiphany in "Forever" (which is really the 2nd part of "The Body" speech), and her conduct in "The Gift", inter alia.

For me, Anya has had one of the more beautiful story arcs in the series, but I often think that maybe her changing and growing role has come about because ME figured out what a talent Emma Caulfield is. Not only is she an excellent physical actress, but she has a deft touch with tricky lines
(e.g., "Here to help, want to live" and "Give it to me when the world doesn't end")and can move easily between comedy, romance, and angst. Rather remarkable for a young woman with as little experience as she had prior to joining BtVS.

Anya is one of the three reasons I'll be back for Season 7.
(The other two are named Spike and Giles.)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: OT: Turning the audience view of a character FAST -- Just George, 16:45:34 07/23/02 Tue

I could have been (all right, probably was) generalizing from my own feelings about Anya. I've always liked her character, but I liked her more after the last half of Season 7.

Anya has sometimes had important things to say (ie The Body, Forever, and The Gift.) But before Season 6 most of them were said in a childlike or clownish way. The exception to this being her "post-coital epiphany in Forever," possibly the best lines Anya has ever had.

I also agree with you assessment of Emma Caulfield's talent. She is amazingly versatile and seems to excell at everything ME throws at her. I've never seen her do an action scene where her character was supposed to be competent, but given her other demonstrated physical skills (comedy and dancing) I'll bet she could do that well too.

I think you are right on about Anya being a cultural immigrant. Some of Anya's statements reflect this (the "blood larva and burlap" line comes to mind.) However sometimes she is written in a childlike way ("Joyce is never going to have fruit punch...") In either case, I think she deserves a lot of slack for the transition she is going through.

However, the Scoobies have no visceral conception what it must be been like to have been alive for 1000 years (neither do I actually) so I'm not surprised they don't cut Anya extra slack for it. Given their lifespans, 2 years is "forever."

The genesis of my post came from taking note of the sudden upsurge in "board love" for Anya after Hells Bells, Entropy, and Villains - Grave. I think ME purposely wrote her juicy stuff to improve her fan image. I also think that ME could do the same thing for other characters if they wanted to and it served the story. I hope they do so for several characters in Season 7.

[> [> [> [> [> The real question for me is: Willow? -- Caesar Augustus, 05:21:07 07/25/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Anya and jumans -- skeeve, 07:33:14 07/25/02 Thu

Anya hasn't been forgiven for trying to maime or kill Xander, it's just that the Scoobies haven't noticed yet. Also, they have been too distracted by Willow to contemplate the consequences of Anya becoming a vengeance demon again. Season 7 might start out with a major meeting to decide what to do about Willow and Anya.

Two years might not be "forever", but 11 centuries is a bit closer. Anya might not have been human during most of those centuries, but she could still observe. As Xander noted, she didn't observe very well.

[> [> [> [> [> [> oops, should have been Re: Anya and humans -- skeeve, 08:50:50 07/26/02 Fri

[> Xander's Place -- Wizardman, 15:21:21 07/22/02 Mon

As others too numerous to name have already pointed out, Xander is the "Heart" of the Scoobies. He is pure emotion. This fact is the cause of both his greatest and lowest moments. Sure, he has a jealousy problem, and a tendency to focus a little bit too much on himself, but he is also incredibly loyal where no one else would be. He was terrible to Angel and Spike- with various degrees of justification- and he had some 'jerklike' moments with almost everyone else on the show- but does anyone doubt that he would willingly give his life for any one of his friends? Not only that, does anyone doubt that he would consider it a good trade? Xander is part insightful wise man, part insensitive moron, and in that he is no different from anyone else. Oh, he can be infuriating- he's been bad to Buffy, Willow, and Angel, he treated Cordelia terribly in S3 from 'The Wish' to 'The Prom' AFTER he cheated on her, and that doesn't touch what he did to Anya. As for 'Becoming pt.2,' while he did the right thing with not telling Buffy about Willow and the curse, he did so for the wrong reasons. And as for the times in which he's bitched out Buffy, in each occasion he said the things that needed to be said. If he hadn't, festering resentment would have bubbled up. He is the only fully human character on either show that has no practical knowledge of or direct involvement with the supernatural. He is meant to be the average person, the Everyman, and while this trait has led him to feeling a little worthless now and then, it has saved the Scoobies, and the world, more times than even his closest friends are aware of. Xander is vital to the Scoobies.

But he's SO wrong for Buffy.

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