Monthly Archives: November 2011

Xander Harris

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 “Whoa! Giles has a TV! Everybody… Giles has a TV, he’s shallow like us!” – Xander Harris

There is so much to say about the marvelous Xander Harris. He’s such an important part of BTVS. Not only does he provided much needed comic relief through out the series, but he is the heart of the Scoobie Gang. He, (along with Dawn & Principal Wood) are the only members of the gang that do not ever develop any kind of special or supernatural talent. Yet, Xander proves to always be an important member to the gang.

Xander never really goes through a huge dramatic plot. Nothing nearly as intense as Willow, Buffy or even Spike, but he is always involved with every thing. In my mind Xander is the glue that holds everyone and their sanity together. He is the guy who is always there for his friends, no matter what the situation. He has a unique insite to the group because he is often on the outside even though he is on the inside also.

Xander: They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn’t chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary.

Dawn: Maybe that’s your power.

Xander: What?

Dawn: Seeing, knowing.

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

Xander’s relationships are also key points to his plot in the show. Beginning with his relationship with Cordelia Chase. The significance of their relationship was that it broke down some social boundaries, making it remotely acceptable for a social nerd (Xander) to date a queen bee (Cordelia). Their relationship also began to soffen up Cordy, which is more promptly shown in later episodes, but mostly in the spin-off series Angel.

 This relationship didn’t really alter Xander’s personality, the only thing that could be argued is that he developed a little more confidence and jumped slightly in social ranking. Compared to Xander’s next relationship with Anya, his short time with Cordy is really unimportant. 

   Xander and Anya are the longest lasting couple on BTVS. With their first date (Prom) in season 3, lasting all the way until the very end of the series, only truly ending because Anya died. Yes, although one may argue that their relationship ended when their wedding was called off in Hell’s Bells towards the end of season 6. But they do get back together towards the middle-end of season 7.  Without question, Anya and Xander’s relationship is very abnormal, mainly on Anya’s part. Neither of Xander’s relationships truly changed his character. That is not to say that Xander has not changed, but rather that he did it on his own, by helping others and observing their reactions. 

Xander’s costume choices in various Halloween episodes show the audience his desire for macho credence: he comes, variously, as a cowboy, a soldier and as James Bond. As a soldier, he was in fact magically turned into his costume, and got to retain his macho status along with the useful military knowledge. Following this incident, his choice of costume represents explicitly whom he would like to actually become. Various episodes highlight Xander’s intense bravery; for example, he faces down evil Angelus at Buffy’s hospital door in the episode “Killed By Death”, and he offers his life in place of Willow’s in “Inca Mummy Girl”. When Buffy prepares to face Angelus in the season two finale, he arrives with a rock in hand saying “Cavalry’s here. Cavalry’s a frightened guy with a rock, but it’s here.” Stephens argues that this makes up the essence of Xander’s character; though powerless, he is always both loyal and brave. As his relationship with Dawn in “Potential” and his support of Buffy show, Xander finds that his real calling seems to be in his role as the “eternal supporter”. One journalist describes the character as a modern-day Greek Chorus, always an outsider looking in, and a version of Joss Whedon himself. One author writes that the focus of Xander’s character development has always been his quest for maturity. Joss Whedon has often commented that many aspects of Xander were based upon himself. Nicholas Brendon (who plays Xander) often jokes that that is why Xander ‘always got the best lines’.

With Buffy and Willow i have mentioned how important casting was. As fantastic as Nicholas Brendon was, i don’t believe casting was as important. Believe it or not, Ryan Reynolds was originally offered the job, but later turned it down for another project. Danny Strong (Jonathan) also had auditioned for the role. Joss Whedon loved his enthusiasm, and when he was casting for Jonathan, he called Danny for the role.

In the DVD commentary for the episode “Dirty Girls”, writer Goddard mentions there was talk of killing off Xander towards the end of Season Seven and having the First assume Xander’s appearance when conversing with Buffy for the remainder of the season. This was ultimately rejected since Xander was thought to be too important to the series, and his death occurring so late in the season would leave little time to deal with it correctly, and that throughout the series’ run, Xander was the one character who never wavered, and to punish that characteristic with death would send a message the staff wasn’t trying to convey. Instead of killing Xander, he was blinded in one eye.

Which one is Nicholas Brendon? 😉

For the episode ‘The Replacement’ Nicholas’ identical twin brother, Kelly Donovan (Brendon and Donovan are the twins’ middle names, Schultz is their real last name.) played the other half of Xander. Donovan played the clean-cut Xander, while Brendon played the sloppy, ill-mannered Xander. Donovan is also his brothers stunt double, whenever needed. (Not that Xander gets involved with many fights.)

Xander Harris; Funny, observational; (kinda hot 😉 )

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10&gt;.

Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.

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Willow Rosenberg

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“You’re the Slayer, and we’re, like, the Slayerettes!” – Willow Rosenberg

For me, Willow Rosenberg is probably my favorite character (With Anya a close second).  Although the show is primarily based on Buffy Summers and her conquest of they with sharp teeth and pale skin, Willow is the most diverse. She goes from dorky high-school student, to innovative cool lesbian Wicca college student, to black-haired crazy ‘i want to end the worlds sufferings by ending the world’ evil villain. Not even the infamous Buffy Summers can top that.

I mentioned with Buffy/Sarah Michelle Gellar, that casting was really key to her character being so wonderful, and i truly believe that. It blows my mind that for one unaired pilot episode the lovely Alyson Hannigan did not portray our loveably dorky Willow. I have never seen this episode, and most of me never wants to. I cannot immagine Willow being anyone else. Alyson Hannigan, Unlike SMG was compared to Willow more because of how remotely realistic the character could have been (minus destroying the world.) Alyson quickly broke from the character by singing onto the American Pie series, where she was a little dorky, she was definitely far from Willow. Now we can see her on How I Met Your Mother, just as hilarious as ever. (Who else thinks it’s awesome that she found her husband via. Buffy? 🙂 )

Any blog about Willow Rosenburg would be incomplete without answering a few major questions and addressing many key points in the characters development. And i most definitely will be addressing them! Why don’t we start from the beginning. Willow is first shown to us when Cordelia Chase is attempting to show Buffy the popular ropes of Sunnydale High. At first, it looks like Willow is just a background extra drinking from a fountain, until Cordelia makes fun of her and we are given an idea of how weak and polite Miss.Rosenburg is, even to her bully. Still, as a first-viewer your unsure of where her character stands. Bu the end of the first episode its completely clear that Willow is probably going to be around for a while.

Willow, although she does evolve a lot, she stays surprisingly the same. Willow has always and will always be the super smart one in the group. This is important not only because it helps save the day in just about every episode, but also because it glorifies knowledge. Willow’s character encourages the young girls and women watching that smart can be sexy, and fun. Something that Buffy never really displays that message, and it’s a super important one!

  I personally believe that Willow is a part of two of the BEST BTVS relationships to date. Yes, i love Buffy and all of her men just as much as the next person, and Anya and Xander are the longest going couple, but for me its Willow and Oz vs. Willow and Tara for best couple..

Willow was a shy nerdy girl who had a crush on her best friend when we first met her. I firmly believe that the Willow that we know at the end of Season 7 would not have been possible if it was not for Oz. Although she will never be as care-free as Oz was, she really opened up and in, my opinion, found her self when she was with Oz. They were such a cute couple to boot! Minus his whole werwolf/Verucca thing, he was the perfect boyfriend, and he was funny!!

Willow and Tara are ironically a totally different story. Although Tara really does help Willow continue to grow, when Willow and Tara meet its Tara that is the shy insecure one. Willow and Tara’s relationship was very risky and monumental. Willow and Tara were the first long-term lesbian couple television has ever seen. Although they didn’t produce the first lesbian kiss on T.V they were the first series to not do it in a sleazy way, looking to increase viewership. Willow and Tara’s first televised kiss was in the episode ‘The Body’. Its not done in a ‘i want you’ kinda way, Tara is comforting her girlfriend in a time of loss and sorrow. Marti Noxon, Co-producer and writer for BTVS was told that it wouldn’t work if she did a long-term lesbian relationship because, “If they kiss more then once, that means they liked it”. I personally am glad they went for it, later producing the first lesbian sex scene in T.V. history. This is simply just another way Buffy paved the road for years to come.

You cannot talk about Willow without bringing up her Wiccan ‘roots’.

Dark Willow v. White Willow. Both situations, White Willow wins. White Willow is not only more powerful, but she’s good.

To properly discuss her two wiccan sides, we have to go to the beginning.

Willow got interested in Wicca because she was around all this mystical stuff, all the time, and she wanted to help out. Her first major spell was restoring Angel’s soul at the end of Becoming part 2. We were shown a glimpse of how dangerous this was here because Willow almost couldn’t complete the spell, in fact she failed completely the first time she tried it.  Her Wiccan abilities prove very useful both for the Scoobies’ and for the plot of the show. We see her start to spin out of control after she brings Buffy back from the dead in the beginning of season  6. Season 6 is mainly focused on Willow’s magic (and The Trio, haha 🙂 <3). We see Tara get bothered with the amount of magic she uses, and we see the consequences of her magic, and how she has spiraled so far down this path that she thinks its smart to solve the problems she created with magic with even more magic, which we see backfire in the season 6 episode ‘Tabula Rasa. (Which is foreshadowing of Dollhouse, believe it or not!)

We know what caused Dark Willow, Warren came to Buffy’s house and shot her, with hopes of killing her. He didn’t even realize that he fired another bullet that flew into Willow and Tara’s bedroom killing Tara instantly. Willow tries calling upon the God Osiris, but he is of no help because this was not a mystical death. Willow decides to take matters into her own hands no matter what. We are all very aware of what happens next, and now we’ll get into the short-lived White Willow.

When Buffy asks Willow to use the essence of the Scythe or battleaxe to break the rules of slayer-hood and make every potential slayer ever a slayer right now, Will was clearly scared. She was worried she was gonna go dark again, i don’t think she realized that when she used good magic, she might go white. It’s arguable that one could say Willow and Spike are the ones who saved the world from The First, and honestly that’s sorta how i see it sometimes. But in the end, i always realize that it’s a group effort, it’s always a group effort.

Willow Rosenburg; Brilliant, beautiful, powerful.

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10&gt;.

Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.

Buffy Anne Summers

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“I’m not just some crazy person. I’m the Slayer” – Buffy Summers

 Buffy Anne Summer is probably the most infamous and iconic female character T.V has ever seen. Joss Whedon provided the perfect character description, Pretty, a tad snobby, not book smart, but she makes up for it with slayer skills and street smarts (it evens out right! 🙂 ) Buffy is far from perfect. She’s emotional, and secretive and she has the fate of the world on her shoulders every day of her life. She’s a dynamic and innovative character. That said, Buffy Summers would be nothing if they had cast her wrong.

Sarah Michelle Gellar was the perfect choice. She IS Buffy Summers.  The interesting thing about SMG is that, yes she will always carry around her Buffy fame, but people see her as the actress not the character. Part of this is because it’s (not been proven) impossible for her character to be real. Society ‘knows’ that vampires aren’t real, therefore they don’t judge her based on Buffy’s personality.

Buffy Summers is strung through various detrimental situations. She cracked at points, and threatened to give up but she never did. Somehow she always managed to persevere, her friends and family were definitely always a strong key to keeping her strong. Because that’s exactly what she is Strong. She holds an idealistic vibe to her that everyone strives to have.  Of course, nobody is perfect and Buffy Summers is definitely not, but she never gives up. When she was told she would die if she fought The Master durring his harvest, she got scared, but then went for it. She died for a few seconds, sure, but good ol’ Xander was there to bring her back, then she dusted The Master, stopping the apocalypse. Almost every episode she faces a moral challenge, she may not always do the right thing or figure it out on her own, but she never backs down, even when every single sign points to her failure.

Buffy is most definitely a dynamic character, we get the privilege to watch her grow and evolve through out the 7 year reign that she was on television. For those of us who have seen the movie from the 80’s, or for all of us who have watched Season 2 episode 21 (Becoming Part One) we have gotten a glimpse at how Buffy Summers acted when she attended Hemery High back in Los Angles before she moved to Sunnydale at the beginning of season 1. We know that in L.A she was arguably worse then Cordelia ever was, shes genuinely hate-able. The first episode of Season 1, she clearly has already changed, and we know this because of the way she treats Willow, Xander and Jesse (Well, until he was turned into a vamp, then she was pretty set on staking him). Buffy only evolves more and more until she is the person we see towards the end of season 7, a strong confident determined woman.

 It would be impossible to talk about Buffy Summers without discussing her relationships. Buffy and Angel are one of T.V.’s most infamous and tragic love stories. In the beginning of the series you want Buffy and Angel to work, you want them to be happy and together with no limitations and no boundaries. We also, however, know that this is impossible and that there will probably be something that tears them apart.

   {Okay, just to clarify. I don’t think Angel and Buffy can really ever be together. If they have sex, he turns evil. And im sorry, but what’s the point of being in a relationship if the moment you get a little frisky, your significant other literally turns evil and tries to drain your blood?} With that said… i still want them together. I know they never will be, but i still want it. Its bad and i shouldn’t, but i just do.

Angel is a really sweet guy, he loves Buffy so much that it makes the viewers heart hurt. Their a tragic forbidden love, who look AWESOME together, and really know how to kick some ass.

The thing i love about Buffy and Riley Finn is that she really thought that he was going to be her nice normal guy, so she was worried that he would be freaked out if/when he found out she was the slayer. Riley thought Buffy was a normal girl, so he was then scared that she would react poorly when she found out about his work with The Initiative. Buffy and Riley are nice, relatively normal (as normal as two people like them can be)  and they are cute. So, we know that something bad is going to happen.

Spike begins to slowly climb abord the ‘Im obsessed with Buffy express’ causing an issue with Ruffy (Yes, im giving them a combo name, and Biley sounds like a bisexual Miley Cyrus.. doesn’t it?) Then Spike starts interfering more and more, showing Buffy the place where Riley has been sneaking off to to get his blood sucked, to feel ‘alive’. Bull shit. So everyone expects Buffy to be the one with the right to be angry because well, Riley shouldn’t have done that, right? Wrong, Good ol’ Xander once again swoops in with some great advice.  So it’s extra depressing when Buffy is trying to run to get to Riley in time, and she doesn’t make it.  But that’s a good thing according to some people (like me) who really like Spike and Buffy.

 Everyone knows that once Riley is out of the picture, Spike is going to try and make a move. And we all knew (or thought we did) that Buffy would shoot him down. She did, for a mass majority of season 5 only letting him close a few times. There is two emotional scenes with Buffy and Spike in season 6 episode 3, After Life. When Spike sees that Buffy is back, he consuls her, and helps her heal her wounded hands, knowing the wounds well, as he too has dug his way out of a coffin once. Then when Buffy confides in Spike that she believes she was in Heaven, and that she was torn out of there by her friends. This is important because it is the first time Buffy lets Spike in. Their relationship builds in secret, as Buffy is afraid that she will be judged for being with Spike. Something that Spike knows and is offended by. When Buffy decides she wants to end her fling with Spike, he can’t handle it, and in the episode ‘Seeing Red’ he attempts to rape her. Not following through with it, he storms out. In the episode Villains he leaves for Africa in hopes of redeeming his soul through a series of trials. Although he got his soul back, Buffy and Spike don’t ever get back together until the end of Season 7, and only for an episode or 3.

Buffy Summers; Slayer, The. She who hangs out in graveyards.

Buffy Summers; strong independent woman. Amazing friend, sister and person. Difficult? Yes. Scared, tired, confused, of course. But she’s always there when it counts.

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10&gt;.

Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.

Welcome to the Hellmouth

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buffy, giles, willow, xander

WELCOME TO THE HELLMOUTH

This is  the first official episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The original pilot was never aired, and featured Riff Regan as Willow Rosenburg. All of us Buffy fans know this episode, and that the main plot of it did a few things…

1. Introduced the main charecters that we have all grown to love and admire. (Buffy, Willow, Angel, Giles, Cordelia and Xander… just to name a few ;))

2. Introduces our ‘Big Bad’ for the rest of the season. The Master. And our ‘minor Bad’s’ His minions.

3. Told us about the Hellmouth and its ‘magnetic’ force for evil.

4. We also get a vague idea of Buffy’s past life in Los Angles.  (And those of us who are REAL Buffy fans have watched the horrific 80’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie with Kristy Swanson and was written by Buffy god {Joss Whedon} and we know all about Buffy’s LA life.)

In the 90’s Buffy was so technically advanced that people were amazed. Watching it in present day it almost funny the terrible graphics and vampire faces and dustings are. But we just cannot seem to get enough of this. Buffy isn’t just a phenomenon, its a revelation. Throughout the show one of the main themes is very clearly being strong. Not physically of course, but emotionally and mentally. What one of us haven’t asked ourselves “What would Buffy do?” once or twice? Buffy has changed the lives of millions. There is no was Joss Whedon could have known what he created when he decided to create a story where the blonde girl in a dark ally finally kicks some ass. Nothing like Buffy the Vampire Slayer has ever existed before, and honestly i don’t think anything will ever exist. It is, what, nearly 10 years after the very last Buffy episode was aired, and we are still talking about this. I was one year old when Buffy came out, now im 16 sitting at my desk on my macbook spewing my so-called Buffy knowledge out to the interweb. That is a cultural phenomena, and i am ecstatic to be a part of it.

Buffyverse

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Okay, so don’t even try to deny it, we all have our nerdy obsession or intrest. Everyone has something they cannot live without. Mine, T.V shows. Specifically; anything that comes out of the mind of Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a show that came out in 1997, and my mother, my older sister and I began watching Buffy when i was 6. I don’t remember most of seasons 1-4 but have a remote memory of season 5-7. Recently i stumbled upon Buffy again on Netflix, and fell back in love with it all, and actually remembered more then i thought i did!

So im not sure where this will go, all i know now is that i plan on analyzing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but not tearing it down. 🙂 I will also add personal stories and experiences, in how i have reacted to lessons and moments in Buffy history.

Now im assuming that nobody is really gonna read this, but i have my hopes! 🙂

So, if anybody out there wants to add to my Buffyverse or if you have something you want me to talk about or answer or explain, my email is your classroom.  — karligrant5@gmail.com