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May 03 2009

Jane After Dark: Top five Buffy hookups! Miss B is back for another Buffy-centric offering of her TV Squad column. This time we get some of her favorite couplings of the series.

I'm tempted to use the word "disappointed"... just to see what happens.

I agree with this list except for the Buffy/Riley. I couldn't watch them. Gag reflex. I think I would replace it with Willow/OZ. Everything about their relationship was so well done, the gradual getting together, the ending, they were sweet together. Except for, you know, the whole time Willow was a lesbian. ;)
Haven't even read it yet. Still laughing over the "disappointed" comment....
Xander leaving Anya at the alter made me hate him for just about the rest of S6 for the lame reasons he/the writers had for not going through with the wedding.

It's so cliche for something horrible to happen on the day of the wedding to make the characters not get married and I hoped BtVS was above it, so that disappointed me. I agree with the column writer that Xander's reasons were, once again, lame. Some guy says he's from the future, shows visions of misery, and Xander just accepts it? I know the whole "but Xander thought that still could have been their future and he was scared" etc but I didn't buy it. He became too much of a whiny douche for the rest of S6 for my taste, but at least he got better for the crayon speech and S7.
I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that the list didn't contain everyone's favorite: Willow and Kennedy.

*kidding*
I also hated Xander a lot for that, but it wasn't "Some guy says he's from the future, shows visions of misery, and Xander just accepts it." They had been showing for a while that Xander wasn't ready for the commitment, if I'm remembering correctly...
Hello Giles/Jenny. Best thing ever. Also Mary Sue and any Buffy character going.
Jane Boursaw said...

I have to say, though, I was disappointed when they broke up during Willow's "dark and veiny" period. I like to think that Tara could have stood by her girl, but I guess that's not how addiction works -- and Willow was addicted to her spells and potions.


I couldn't disagree more. Tara stood by Willow even after she realized that Willow had altered her mind. She gave her another chance, and Willow did it yet again! Yes, Willow was addicted to her magic, but that is no excuse for abusing the one person she loved the most. Should an alcoholic get any sympathy when he beats his wife and kids? Tara did the right thing by leaving. That "stand by your girl" crap doesn't have any weight here whatsoever - especially not when your girl has power over your mind.

Phew...sorry for the rant people, but I'm extremely protective of Tara. As for Xander/Anya... Yes, Xander was a douche. "I don't wanna get married but I still want to date?" Worst cop out ever.
Worst cop out ever.


But good drama though. Which lies at the heart of most fandom battles. Can a show be interesting with happiness for the characters? Or are they two separate concepts?
I don't agree with Buffy/Riley either. I hated Captain Cardboard. Buffy's mother was in hospital and still he was all 'me, me me' and letting vampires feed off of him! I'd have liked Willow/Oz or Giles/Jenny on the list. And Spike/Dru - they were awesome!
Yeah, but Simon, I would have liked to see at least ONE functional(ish) NORMAL relationship. The show had PLENTY of drama in season 6. No one could find it lacking. I was never very attached to Xander and Anya (I found Anya amusing enough but hard to really care about as a character). But even I felt it was very contrived the way they split them up, and also not good drama-- the uninteresting and unnecessary kind of drama. But that's me!

Well based on her last column I totally called #1. Here's mine:

#1: Buffy and Angel. Talk about the GOOD kind of drama!
#2: Willow and Oz. How sweet it is.
#3: Buffy and Spike. It was like watching a train wreck, but there's a reason people do that.
#4: Xander and Cordelia! Can't believe there's no love for these two or their crazy little romance. I still gasp in shock every time they start making out in the basement.
#5: Giles and Jenny. Loved their interactions, and the Dru-as-Jenny payoff was that much more gut wrenching.
I disliked Xander for leaving Anya at the altar and Willow for mindwiping Tara. It gave us some good stories, but I don't bother rewatching the wedding or some of the magic addiction stories. After those stories, I just felt that I couldn't relate to Xander or Willow any more, even though they were probably my favorites when I watched season 1 the first time.

Oddly, I adore Adelle even though she mindwipes people on a weekly basis.
Fans of BtVS, raise your hand if you liked Riley and/or Buffy/Riley. *looks around metaphorical room* No-one? Wait, you, in the back. You like Riley? Yes? Okay, we're going to have to ask you to leave. kkthnxbuhbye.
Yeah, but Simon, I would have liked to see at least ONE functional(ish) NORMAL relationship.


There was Riley and Sam. Though that probably was about it.

Fans of BtVS, raise your hand if you liked Riley and/or Buffy/Riley.


Back in the day I was a huge fan of Buffy and Riley. I liked him, he was the everyman. More so than Xander.
I definitely agree with Willow/Oz over Buffy/Riley. I think possibly the single most adorable moment in television history is when Oz just stops in the middle of their conversation and says "You have the sweetest smile I've ever seen."
1: Buffy and Angel
2. Willow and Oz
3. Xander and Cordelia
4. Spike and Dru
5. Giles and Jenny
@ Simon --> Rephrase: FEMALE FANS of BtVS....
And I'm talking about by the time he left Buffy, not just at the beginning when he was all cutesy with the "She's...peculiar."
She's off her rocker if she thinks that every other hook-up imaginable isn't better than Buffy/Riley. It was cute at first, but in the end of that relationship Riley's character turned into something no woman should have to put up with, least of all a fictional one.

As for the Willow thing, I feel that Kennedy has as much place in Willow's life as Riley did in Buffy's. Willow and Tara were good, but then Kennedy came along and it seemed like the gay subject was being sold more than the couple. After seeing S7 and reading half of S8, I have yet to be convinced that Willow's relationship with Kennedy is much more than convenience. Willow might feel for Kennedy, but I can't bring myself to view Kennedy as anything more than a rebound girl. I'm not anti-gay, but I get the feeling that Tara might have been the only female character right for Willow, and if it had turned out that way, the relationship between those two characters would have seemed more special.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Willow went 'dark and veiny' after Tara was killed, not after Tara broke up with her, didn't she? Willow did go on a magick 'binge' with Amy after Tara broke up with her, but she hadn't gone dark and veiny yet.
I'm removing my comments on this thread in acknowledgment of the rules.

[ edited by xMadxScientistx on 2009-05-03 23:06 ]
I wonder why no one said Buffy-Faith?!

Yea, they didn't do "the sex" (yet) but there was certainly something between them. And remember the body-switch ... think about it metaphorical! :-D

But serious: These two had a strong connection.
Weird thing about Buffy/Riley -- when I first saw Buffy I watched it casually; I was in my early teens and I missed a big chunk of the Angel arc, and so when I saw some of the Buffy/Riley episodes, I remember being quite touched. Once I saw Buffy properly, from beginning to end, I just can't seem to take them as seriously anymore. The Angel relationship was so epic, after all...

[ edited by MattK on 2009-05-03 22:56 ]
Rephrase: FEMALE FANS of BtVS....


There was a Girls Who Love Riley fan following on one of the biggest Buffy boards back when season 4 and 5 aired. I must actually get round to writing about my time in the fandom before I forget it all.
I'm removing my comments on this thread in acknowledgment of the rules.

[ edited by xMadxScientistx on 2009-05-03 23:06 ]
Exactly what I meant, sarahi. No female could possibly be a fan of Riley by the end of that relationship, and most guy BtVS fans (the few I know in real life) don't like Riley either. The fact that she's stronger than him bruises his precious man ego? Biggest. Turnoff. Ever. Whereas Angel was completely cool with her Slayer status, and that relationship's interesting points couldn't have really functioned without it; and Spike was totally IN to the fact that she was a Slayer...it bothered Riley. Boo friggin' hoo. Whenever I watch Into the Woods, I cheer as Riley's helicopter leaves and he doesn't see Buffy. Not that I don't think Xander was right; Riley suffered from being the rebound after Angel...but Riley's attitude (about Angel), actions (fake staking of Spike) and just general not-being-a-vampire-ness makes him by far the least appealing Buffy partner.

Edit: No one counts Parker, so don't even go there. :P

[ edited by CarpeNoctem on 2009-05-03 23:02 ]
I'm removing my comments on this thread in acknowledgment of the rules.

[ edited by xMadxScientistx on 2009-05-03 23:06 ]
Wait. This whole thread is a trick, right? You're trying to thin the herd after the glut of new signups. I say "Spike was the one Buffy really loved. And Angel had stupid hair." Then a whole bunch of others shout "Rapist lover!" Then *poof!* we're all banned.

Well you're not fooling me. No siree.
I know that Buffy/Angel was a great, epic story, but I've always found older guys who date high school girls a bit icky.
1.Spike/Buffy
2.Spike/Angel
3.Spike/Xander
4.Spike/Riley
5.Spike/Spike (those crypts get lonely)
Wait. This whole thread is a trick, right? You're trying to thin the herd after the glut of new signups. I say "Spike was the one Buffy really loved. And Angel had stupid hair." Then a whole bunch of others shout "Rapist lover!" Then *poof!* we're all banned.

Well you're not fooling me. No siree.


I fell for it! I was totally going on about my secret almost canonical otp.

Sad thing is, I should be doing homework.
Sad thing is, I should be doing homework.


Whereas I am trying to work out if that really is Eliza Dushku following Whedonesque on Twitter. Clearly I have nothing else to do.
I'm trying to figure that out too. Weirdly I was following her (him?, it?) and changed my mind and clicked "Unfollow" but I'm still getting her (his?, its?) tweets. *shrug*
*waves to hypothetical Eliza*
The fact that she's stronger than him bruises his precious man ego

Wasnít it that Buffy never let Riley in emotionally that bruised him much more, though?

Not saying Riley didnít have any faults, but rather that it was mutual incompatibility that did them in. I think their relationship was sweet, heartbreaking and, in its portrayal, honest.
List.
1. Spike/Buffy
2. Spike/Dru
3. Willow/OZ
4. Buffy/Angel=Xander/Anya=Willow/Tara=Xander/Cordy
The number fours are all about equal because I enjoyed them while they were going on, but I wasn't particularly passionate about them.

I'm not including Giles/Jenny because the bad outweighed the good. Besides, I wanted Joyce and Giles to get together. Sue me.
I agree with hence. It's not that I ever particularly liked Riley, but I also never really DISliked him. And the relationship died because they BOTH had faults, it wasn't solely because Riley was a chode.
Oh, I love them all! Apart from Angel/Cordy - I appreciated their friendship phase more. Wait, this is Btvs only, scrap that.

Simon - I am unsure also, but Kevin Smith seems to be convinced, so maybe I should be?!
That's just a really lousy column. Just, bad.
@Haunt...What's a chode?
Sorry...eh yeah I'm gonna use it...no one stop me...I AM DISAPPOINTED!!! There now it's out there so use it at will...

[ edited by BlueSkies on 2009-05-03 23:49 ]
1. Willow/Tara



What? There's others?

:-)
Isn't anybody a fan of Buffy/Satsu?lol

My list

1)Buffy/Angel
2)Willow/Tara
3)Willow/Oz
4)Xander/Anya
5)Giles/Jenny
Spike/Anya. That scene was great! It was emotionally compelling, moved the plot forward multiple ways, was hot, and very well written and acted out.

"I have no dance."
Isn't anybody a fan of Buffy/Satsu?

Yes. Also a fan of Willow/Tara and Willow/Kennedy.
No one's shipping Xander/Cordelia? That was epic. Forget all that Buffy/Angel nonsense. Xander/Cordelia got the really epic theme music.
@Haunt...What's a chode?

LOL Um... slang for the male reproductive organ.
Giles/Jenny is my all time favourite ship :( They never get any love!
I loved Xander/Cordy -- Xander/Cordy and Xander/Anya were both great entertainment. I would probably be the only one, but I don't think any of Buffy's three major relationships would have been in the series 5 best so far. I find it hard to get into Buffy/Satsu because they have all the substance of Buffy/Scott Hope, just with having sex.

I don't fault Xander for walking out, ultimately, because it's better to walk out before you get married than after. But I was annoyed that they didn't just go ahead and let them get married.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-04 04:06 ]
I think more of my bitter feelings towards Riley have to do with "As You Were" than anything before he left. Yeah, I think it was really horrible of him to whine about how he didn't have Buffy's attention when her Mom was dying and her sister was being chased by a hellgod but I did harbor some sympathy for him because of the speech at the end of "The Replacement" and the whole bit about Buffy not loving him.

But I really ended up disliking him when he comes back and there's an entire episode about completely humiliating my two favorite characters (that's Buffy and Spike, in case you're keeping track) for the benefit of someone I've never really cared about. (Besides, I'm still convinced his "wife" was a robot ;) Talk about Mary Sues. Although that might have been the point and I was just too indignant to acknowledge it.)

Also, I agree with a lot of people that Xander walking out on Anya was cliche and boring "drama." That always happens on TV shows, and I would have thought the show would have had more courage than that. That's what I loved so much about Wash and Zoe (and Coach and Mrs. Coach on Friday Night Lights): it takes so much more skill and courage to tell the story of a happy couple and keep it interesting. That could have been done with Anya and Xander, I think, and I would have loved it.

Since we never get to ship on here, I might as well take this opportunity to throw out my list.

1. Buffy/Spike because their relationship in Season 7 is my crack. I can never get enough of it. How deeply they trust and take comfort in one another after the horrible things they've both done...that's the definition of forgiveness and redemption right there.
2. Willow/Oz because it was by far the sweetest thing in the world. Actually, Willow's relationships have the highest sweetness quota, because her and Tara? Also wonderfully sweet for most of their run. But because of what happened between them in S6 (all on Willow's side, actually), I can't list it on my favorites.
3. Xander/Cordy because of the snark level. I loved him with Anya, too, but he and Cordy were the first couple on the show I really, really adored. Besides. I love Cordy.
4. Giles/Jenny because I loved watching her chase him and him being all ruffled and "British" about it.
5. Spike/Dru because of the evil hotness! Too. Much. Fun.

Though I have to give Buffy/Angel credit for producing the best plot-revolving-around-a-romantic-relationship. S2 was epic. S3...not so much. Besides, the fact that she was so young kind of squicks me.
She totally left out Spike&Dru... That would easily get the second place after Willow&Tara. The following three, plenty to pick, not really inclined to.
If we just swap Buffy/Riley for Oz/Willow, or Giles/Joyce, or Giles/Jenny, or Xander/Cordy, OR Spike/and uh, anyone, then I'm happy. Just as long as Spike and Buffy are chilling up there as numero uno.

Ship? Me? Never!!
Wow, Riley dissing? Again. After all this time. This frustrates me to the living end, I swear.

Lirazel-At the time Riley left, he was under the assumption that Joyce had come through surgery okay. He had no way of knowing what would happen and neither did anyone else. Also, when he left, he had no idea that Dawn was being 'chased by a hellgod'. The only people who knew at that time were Buffy, Giles and Joyce.

CarpeNoctem-I liked Riley. I liked Buffy/Riley. I liked the pairing when it aired and I still like it now.
I don't think he's a bad person. I just don't think he was right for Buffy. She's never going to be forthcoming about her feelings or play the typical role. That's not in her personality, and he always blamed her for that. Buffy was never, ever going to get that "normal" life she told herself she wanted--she wouldn't have worked that way. I always got the feeling that he wanted her to need him, and that was never going to happen, either. Instead of either accepting that or walking away, he started in with the whole vamp-biting thing. And like I said, I could forgive him for all that--it's "As You Were" that really leaves the bad taste in my mouth, because I felt like that was Riley-worship at Buffy's expense. Since she's my favorite character, that will never be okay with me.

But those are just my feelings. I don't insist that everyone feel that way. And hey, I know how you feel. Spike dissing still drives me crazy. Labeling Buffy as a bitch (which I see a lot of) upsets me even more. And I love the heck out of Dawn, so I often get annoyed with hearing people bash her. We've all got our characters we're overprotective of. I respect your Riley like. It's cool. ;)
Ok, my two cents.
-Riley had no problems with Buffy being stronger than him what so ever, its just a silly fallback for anyone who cant see the real problem. His problem was that Buffy did'nt want or need him. She used him because he was convinient, nothing more, and that grows bitterness.

-A question for all who hates Xander for leaving Anya at the alter. You actually prefer a man who dosnt belive the marriage gonna work/dont whant to get married, but lies about it and still marries?!? In my world leaving her like that was horrible, but considering the option it was the lesser of two evils. But what do I know?
It's kind of ironic that the episode "As You Were" that essentially worshipped Riley, tried to make Buffy and Spike look like idiots by comparison, was the episode that made a lot of people hate Riley.

And I have to say that yeah, if you're at the point where you're in the church, you go through with it. You can always split up later, but if you really want to hurt someone badly, leave them at the altar.

[ edited by Xane on 2009-05-04 07:48 ]

[ edited by Xane on 2009-05-04 07:49 ]
It's kind of ironic that the episode "As You Were" that essentially worshipped Riley, tried to make Buffy and Spike look like idiots by comparison, was the episode that made a lot of people hate Riley.

This is my favorite sentence of the day. So. True.

You actually prefer a man who dosnt belive the marriage gonna work/dont whant to get married, but lies about it and still marries?!? No. I'd prefer for him to have sat down with her before that episode and talked about why he was feeling this way, had doubts, etc. That would be the mature decision and far, far less cruel. Also, I'd prefer the show not to have taken the cliched/totally-saw-it-coming route.
You know, believe it or not, I actually didn't mind Riley so much. In fact, I often times liked his relationship with Buffy better than any kind of relationship she had with Spike. I certainly don't think that Buffy was in love with Riley like she was Angel or Spike, but for what their relationship was, I found it at least somewhat endearing at times.

I loved Giles and Jenny though. I'm surprised more people didn't mention that pairing.
Why is there never any love for Buffy/Clem? You just know there was some serious action going on between those two when the cameras weren't around! ;-)

I'm not a B/R fan, but I feel sorry for Riley as a character (and Marc as an actor). Coming in after the star crossed saga of Buffy and Angel and playing the 'normal guy' can't have been easy.

But I really think 'As You Were' gets a bad rap. Apart from the punny title, anyone who has ever had an ex reappear in their life, especially when they're all hunky dory and you're at a crossroads, can empathise with Buffy. There are so many themes (trust, self hatred) bubbling underneath the surface of this episode that it's well worth a rewatch.
Though Marc Blucas did get to do one of the best ever performances on Buffy with his "But she doesn't love me" line. That's in my top ten greatest Buffy moments list.
And I have to say that yeah, if you're at the point where you're in the church, you go through with it. You can always split up later, ...


Ok, but if marriage is taken that lightly, why bother to marry at all?

And Hell yea, the mature thing to do is to sit down and talk it through before the wedding, but now Xander didnt so his option was to either lie or break her heart. And I'd choose an honest heartbreaker over a lying s********* who actually dosnt care about marriage any day.

Im absolutely not a B/R fan but in Rileys defence I might add that a "normal, boring, cornfed (exotic expression by the way)" guy that was, by comparison, nice to her was actually quite good for Buffy at the time. The everydayness of Riley grounded her in the ordinary I think. Buffy probably could have gone down a quite different road if it hadnt been for Riley.
Two words...
Buffy/Angel
I didn't like Riley until right before the end, when he seemed more human. Than he came back in As You Were, morphed into Riley Sue.

I always thought Riley had far more chemistry with Willow than with Buffy. And quite a bit with Spike during the drinking scene.
Not a B/R fan myself although I thought the character got more interesting in season 5.I can't also help but have my feelings influenced a bit by some of the developments in the season 8 comics even though we don't know much yet on that aspect.It is effecting/coloring how I look at Riley and B/R now though.
Awesome posts, glad Jane took up the top 5 breakdown. I'm with many of the other fans. Loved Giles and Jenny. Spike and Dru (shame they got Jossed), Cordelia and Xander (shamed they got Jossed)and i will always be a Buffy and Angel over Buffy and Spike or Riley. But my top spot has to be OZ and Willow (shame they got Jossed). God only knows how bad the writter's high school breakups had to be to inspire that one. Personally when my high school beau had his breakdown, he did not show up to my prom. Always a bit miffed Angel did. But then i never stabbed my beau with a sword either.
Ya know Evil Xander and Evil Willow were sooooooo good too.
I did prefer the B/R relationship more than the B/S one, even though I really didn't like Riley...but he actually seemed to care about Buffy initially...unlike Spike who just appeared selfish until she dumped him and he tried to rape her...say what you want, but that rape scene ended any feelings towards Spike's redemption for me...as bad as Angelus was he never did that and he totally could have in 'Innocence'!
@Haunt...eh thanks...never heard it called that before...nice one!
as bad as Angelus was he never did that and he totally could have in 'Innocence'!

I kinda think murdering Jenny and laying her body out for Giles to find is worse than attempted rape - which of course justifies neither
Agreed Letdown.
My problem with Xander leaving Anya at the alter was not that I wanted him to go through with it even though he had too many doubts to really make it a successfully marriage, it was the cliched way the whole thing played out. He only had doubts and left her at the alter because it was engineered that way so it's no like there was no other option on how they could have handled the wedding storyline.

They just as easily could have broken up pre-wedding or post-wedding (or gone somewhere still kind of original and stayed married) but the fact that it was a lame leave-her-at-the-alter storyline is what makes me not like it. It's just so overdone and there was nothing original about it at all.

Then, to make Xander more of a douche, he has a hissy fit when Anya and Spike have sex like she did anything wrong? Xander was just way too much like a whiny, self-centered teenager (way more than Dawn) in that period and it gets on my nerves.
Amen to everything you said, Dhoffryn. Well said.
@Letdown, yeah and Spike tried to kill all her friends, he was just less good at it! There's no difference between success and attepmt as long as the intention is there, and Angelus never showed any intention of raping her...just torturing and killing her and all her loved ones...which is totally different! :P
Jane's #1 choice made my day .... maybe my entire year. (It's been a really tough year).;)

Otherwise, there are some tough choices, if you only have five. I'd probably add Spike and Dru, but it would be a tough one to make my final choice between Willow/Oz and Buffy/Riley. Because Riley's character was so integral to Buffy's understanding of who she really was .... or more to the point, who she could never be .... because season4 is pretty near to perfection, and because Marc Blucas just doesn't get the respect he deserves for how beautifully he acted the role.

Though Marc Blucas did get to do one of the best ever performances on Buffy with his "But she doesn't love me" line. That's in my top ten greatest Buffy moments list.
Simon | May 04, 08:53 CET


Yes! ... so glad I'm not the only one to think so, Simon. And I think there were many more great acting moments for Marc Blucas, as well.

I may be a distinct minority, but with all the great relationships on the show, Buffy and Angel don't even make my list, if it has to be kept to five. A perfect plot device to be sure, but on any other level, it just didn't work for me.

[ edited by Shey on 2009-05-05 11:47 ]
The onyl 'ship in the whole B'verse I hated was Condelia; I think I'm allowed to say that. and I didn't like the way Spike was abusive to Harmony.

I liked Riley as Riley, I just never thought he was right for Buffy.
But I have to defend him against the worst charges. What he did with the vamps wasn't good, yes. But he was attempting to reach out to Buffy, trying to be there for her regarding both Joyce's ilness and Glory. And her reaction (as it so, so, so often is with people who care about her) was tyo push him away and basically say "I'll handle it." To me, being really needed for something is part of a relationship; the first person has every right to expect the other person to get something out of being with the first. Relationships require both contributions and the feeling of having contributed.
As for "As You Were," Buffy and Spike were both in certain places; this just revealed it. Not Riley's fault. (To be honest, one could say the same about "Lovers' Walk;" Spike only revealed the problems in the 3 Sunnydale couples. Didn't stop my hating him as he drove off singing with Gary Oldman.)

And as I've said,to me Willow and Tara were the most perfectly matched couple (in the sense of one being strong exactly where the other was weak) I've ever seen on screen. I miss Tara; heck, I'd even almost* love Joss again if he brought her back and paired her with Satsu. *almost; he's hurt me too many times for me to be a truly obsessed fan again.

Honestly, I thought Olivia was good for Giles, if she could've gotten used to the whole magic-and-monsters thing. (I only resurrected Jennie in my fics because I already had to resurrect half my cast anyway.)

Spike pre-soul, well, his 'ship with Buffy lost me at the handcuffs. Post-soul, I can see her liking him again. Different people, at bottom. But he and Drusilla had a terrifying sweetness I liked; without him, she's off-putting to me.

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