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May 28 2009

Gallery of Slayers. On the heels of this week's news from the Kuzuis, the LA Times has a gallery of all our favorite slayers. (Oh, and Kennedy is in there, too.) Nothing new here, but it's nice to see the continued exposure.

What? No Violet?
Wasn't Kendra from somewhere in the Carribean?
Yep, Archduke, I believe that weird accent was supposed to be Jamaican. Marti talked about it on a commentary.
Really? I thought she was actually African, too.
I'm hopeless with identifying accents, so I thought I'd just go with a generic "Carribean". Thanks for confirmation, cronopiogal.

I think Giles makes a comment on her Watcher, and the Watcher's nationality at one point.

[ edited by Archduke Sebassis on 2009-05-28 14:47 ]
Kendra's accent was traditional Jamaican-South African-Irish-Canadian. It's obvious when you listen for it.
I liked Kennedy *shrugs*
Yeah, what Bad Karma said (and, for the record, I *still* like Kennedy.)

Also, Marti Noxon said that Bianca Lawson's voice coach based Kendra's accent on a real dialect found in a very specific, obscure region in Jamaica. I'm pretty sure I remember someone else once saying that it was like that found on Montserrat.
I couldn't really say whether I liked Kennedy or not, mainly because Iyari Limon was so incredibly gorgeous that every time she was on screen my brain just turned to mush and I was incapable of any thought whatsoever.
The idea that Kendra's African probably comes from the fact that her dialogue has her referring to "my people," which makes it sound like she comes from a tribe in some kind of distant corner of The Dark Continent. The show was occasionally weirdly backwards about people who weren't American; Angel refers to the Irish the same way.
I thought there was something mroe explicit. Did they say her watcher was African or something?
At some point, I've got to write my Wesley Crusher/Jar-Jar/Kennedy fanfic.
I was expecting a picture of the Chinese Slayer that Spike killed to be included - anyone have a picture of her?
A 'real' Jamaican accent would have been unintelligible to
90%+ of the TV audience. That is not good TV.
Accents are actually consistently pretty terrible on Buffy. Kendra, Flashback Angel, early Spike, they're all just awful. There are a few exceptions I can think of--Alexis Denisof and Harris Yulin are both quite good.
It's a good list. Nice to see Fray & the First Slayer on the same list. :)
Septimus, seems I recall that Kendra's watcher was from Zaire? Or Zimbabwe?

And why can I remember these things and not my own license plate number?
Apparently, according to some brief web research, her watcher's name was Sam Zabuto. Though, I can't find any reference to his nationality.

He even has his own MySpace page (which says he's Jamaican, but seems a bit tongue-in-cheek to take seriously)!
Ah, that's it. No doubt I got confused by the Z :)
Where did that article get the First Slayer's name from ? I'm not sure that I've seen it mentioned before, I thought we only knew her as "The First Slayer"/"The Primitive" (dunno what the actor was credited as in her two or three appearances on the show).
No Vi or Rona. :(
Glad I didn't link this to friends that I've been trying to get to watch the show. I was really close to forwarding without looking at it.

In those 10 paragraphs (descriptions next to the pics) the author pretty much only lists spoilers...for the entire series. Don't know why they omitted the sentence, "

I know it's a little past the "spoiler window" since its already years and years past the fact but still, they could have said something like, Spoilers for the show if you haven't seen it." Otherwise, the whole article is only for people who have seen the show.
Nice gallery. It could have included the slayer from the Boxer Rebellion and Amanda, though.
Simon, thanks for the link, but that's a wiki page and, as with actual wikipedia, it looks like a whole lot of creative interpretation and assuming on the parts of the webpage writers informed that section. I was thinking more along the lines of something official from Joss and his writers, either in interviews or stuff they put into the show or comics. Maybe "Sineya" is in the script, but it wasn't in any of the end credits from what I remember.

There're more than a few inaccurate bits in that wiki profile too, and a lot of fan-wankery presented as canon (I can understand the massive fan-wanking that goes on among the Buffyverse fandom, Joss wasn't always generous with revealing mythology details and sometimes was maddeningly unclear about things).
In 'Primeval', inside the Initiative, while Buffy fights dead-Forrest, Willow lays out Tarot cards.

Willow: Spiritus... spirit
Xander: Animus... heart
Giles: Sophus... mind
Willow: And Manus... the hand. We enjoin that we may inhabit the vessel. The hand, daughter of Sineya, first of the ones.
We implore thee. Admit us. Bring us to the vessel.
I think Kendra's being African idea started anyplace and was perpetuated when the Watchers' Handbook picked it up. She *did* sound "Oirish" to me at first. I'll be nice enough to accept that it was intended to be non-standard Jamaican. "Zabuto" sounds Japanese to my totally uneducated ear, but then again a lot of African words sound that way to me.

JesterInaCast: The writers of Dusted made that point too. I udnerstand it, but the fact is, some folks do simply use "my people" to refer to their ancestral nationality or their home geographical area. Maybe some of Dr. Joss and His "Bunche" grew up using it that way.
And Harris Yulin is from the US. It's been too many decades since I've seen Doc *grin so I don't know if he used his regular speech patterns or a "character voice" as Quentin but that was definitely a North American accent.

Rowan Hawthorn; Heck, nothing against Kennedy myself. Now that Satsu's around, if Tara gets resurrected she wouldn't have to play The Other Woman, she could just hop on a JAL flight.
And Harris Yulin is from the US. It's been too many decades since I've seen Doc *grin so I don't know if he used his regular speech patterns or a "character voice" as Quentin but that was definitely a North American accent.


Right, he's from LA, but he was playing a Brit, and doing just about the most convincing English accent I've heard from an American.
As pretty as Iyari is and that was the best picture they could find?

And Vi would be near the top of my list too. (I get credit for falling in love with Felicia long before the rest of the world, right?) ;)
Regarding Kendra’s accent, in an interview in SFX magazine, Bianca Lawson said, “I really hated that accent! I got the part, and I didn’t originally have an accent. Then, literally the night before, they said, ‘What about a Jamaican accent?’ So it’s one of those things where, y’know, I just had to put it on tape, but I didn’t have a chance to get comfortable with it. And the thing is, certain things - if you say it properly [in Jamaican patois], people don’t really fully understand it, so they would change things. They’d say, ‘Well, say it like this’ and it’s like, ‘Would that be accurate in that accent though?’ ‘It doesn’t matter because no-one’s going to understand you!’ So different people were giving their interpretations of it. I was like ‘But everyone’s going to think that I’m doing it wrong!’ So personally, I wasn’t happy with the accent!” (Quoted from the Buffy Trivia website).
Liked Kennedy at the time, and have liked her ever since. I have never understood nor really paid any attention to the Kennedy hate.
JesterInaCast: Guess I'll have to watch "checkpoint" again this weekend. (I don't have S-3 or S-7.) Quentin never soudned British to me.

TamaraC: I think it's complicated. Haven't seen s-7 myself so no way toe valuate, really.
DCA, not really that complicated; Kennedy shared a lot of the same personality traits as Buffy, Faith, and Kendra, and she had the brass balls to hit on Willow even though she wasn't Tara. That's about it.
A guy was insisting to me that the First Slayer was called Shagarra Durral. I found some sites saying that but never could track the origin of this version, since, in the script she is Sineya.

Off Topic anyone has a link to confirm Joss first idea to bring Tara back for real and just creating Kennedy after he couldn't have Amber?
DaddyCatALSO, if you're in the US, you can watch "Helpless" on Hulu here.
Brasilian Chaos Man, I think you've mixed up the backstory behind Amber Benson not portraying The First in "Conversations With Dead People" and the genesis of Kennedy as a character. Unless there's a similar backstory there that I'm not familiar with.
I don't know if that's fair, Rowan. I wasn't offended that Willow got a new girlfriend; I just didn't think the actress was very interesting, and the character wasn't terribly well-written. It's actually a flaw I thought she shared with most of the other characters on the show, as the writing had really gone downhill by that point, but I had enough residual goodwill left over from previous seasons to forgive it in the case of Willow, say, or Xander. Coming in as a new character I wasn't already invested in, though, she was just annoying.
Yeah Sunfire, I'm talking about the Kennedy genesis as a consequence of Amber Benson's negative about portraing againg Tara.
So, has Faith's lastname been confirmed? It's Lehane? Or The First slayer's name, Sineya?
I think Joss was asked to come up with Faith's last name for a RPG or something like that. But I don't think it was ever associated with the show. Maybe it is now...
I agree that there is a wide range of reasons for Kennedy dislike. While I grew to like Kennedy well enough - I enjoy her by this point, in her season 8 appearances - she certainly had some off-putting moments early on, having nothing to do with Willow. In fact, I'd call her rather repugnant for most of "Get It Done".

And I do recall reading - probably in the BtVS and/or Angel magazine - that, while it wasn't actually used on television, Joss confirmed "Lehane" as Faith's official last name.
JesterInACast:
I don't know if that's fair, Rowan. I wasn't offended that Willow got a new girlfriend; I just didn't think the actress was very interesting, and the character wasn't terribly well-written.

Oh, I think it's fair enough. Understand, I don't mean to claim that it holds true for every.single.viewer, 'cause after all, no matter which character (or actor) you pick, there's somebody out there who doesn't like them: I've heard people say what you said there about Tara, Xander, Willow, and even Buffy. But, as a general rule, a few minutes trying to actually discuss the character of Kennedy makes it pretty clear that it wouldn't have mattered how she was written or who played her. Alyson even warned Iyari up front about the reaction she was going to face.
I think Joss was asked to come up with Faith's last name for a RPG or something like that


He says so himself here.

I'm talking about the Kennedy genesis as a consequence of Amber Benson's negative about portraing againg Tara.


I think Kennedy was always going to come on board so I don't think it has anything to do with Amber. There were at least two occassions where Tara could have come back in season 7 but for what ever reason they never happened.
I believe Faith's name is more "canon" now, after the No Future for You comics, since she used diferent version of Faith Lehane - Hope Lyonne

I tried to find a Joss quote about Kennedy X Tara coming back, but the most relevant thing google gives me was a whedonesque comment:

ATV, Joss didn't yield to pressure in bringing in Kennedy. His first choice was to bring back Tara as The First Evil, and then bring back Tara for real. When he couldn't do that, he decided to have Willow move on with someone completely different than Tara, what he called "The Anti-Tara", and that was Kennedy.

electricspacegirl | November 18, 09:37 CET

The Tara-comes-back-as-result-of-wish thing sounded kinda lame, the way people described it, IMO (not sure if Joss himself ever described it, or it was just other Mutant Enemy writers or cast members).

If you resurrect, it has to be earned in a big way (and giving someone mouth to mouth doesn't count, in the Buffy Season 1 case, as an actual resurrection, that's just run-of-the-mill saving someone's life, heroic all the same to give Xander some credit though...Season 6, Buffy comes back but it's a little wrong and she was pulled out of heaven for it. Darla comes back but a bunch of vamps died for that, plus she comes back different and it mattered to Angel's character arc, not to mention was a big deal for the entire Buffyverse and the fact that she was the first major character we were introduced to). The thing with Tara, a wish Buffy was able to make, and Buffy faking Willow out with "shoes"...it just sounded too stupidly saccharine and wrong.

I know wishes have been established in the Buffyverse as being nothing short of reality-altering ("The Wish") and that magic can do some incredible things (incuding the previously mentioned resurrections, Jonathan's reality manipulation in "Superstar", Dawn/The Key, etc), but bringing Tara back would had to have been handled better than the idea they've told us about. Otherwise there's no justification for bringing her back ("so Willow can be happy and with a character we like!" you say, but by that logic we would be hoping for Jenny, Joyce, Cordelia, Doyle, and Wesley to be alive again. Resurrections are often lame, the Buffyverse handled most of its resurrections fairly well--though Warren was a poor idea--but why push your luck?).

[ edited by Kris on 2009-05-30 02:46 ]
Kris Sunfire Brasilain Chaos Man : I recall reading an article where Joss said it, and when he said it he probably belived himself; it's very likely soemthing he actually thought of at one point. (He's probably thought for a while of almost any storyline at this point.) It doesn't sound like something that, once faced with the possibility of being able to do it, he would actually follow through on, though.
Putting his various accounts and Amber's various accounts, I think what it adds up to was that he approached only her to be FirstTara, not mentioning the second part, she turned him down, partly on Robia's advice, for the sake of some of her more impressionable fans, and by the time he was willing to mention the follow-on she had taken other work.
And from at least one acccount of his body langauge at the Paley Conference, he's still a bit miffed with her over it. "Maybe perhaps," as my father used to say.

And I still say Dr. Joss and His "Bunche" might decide to go with my own theory, that TPTB faked Cordelia's death so seh could go on an assignment for them undisturbed. It can easily fit with what was apparently shown on screen, it's suitbaly devious to appeal to Joss's personality, and the epsiode plot and season arc only required her being not there, no specific reason for death over just walking away or any third way.
Except David Fury has confirmed that that was Cordelia's body in the hospital in "You're Welcome", the one that Angel sees the leg of but astral-projection-Cordy shoos him away from/covers with the privacy curtain. So apparently, at least her physical body, is as dead as can be (we know Heaven or a heaven-like state exists in the Buffyverse, so at the very least Cordelia isn't gone--like Fred-with-soul-destroyed-gone--and if "After the Fall" matters to you this would definitely seem to be the case, but she's strictly spirit then).

Amber talked to Robia LaMorte ? Never heard about that. I guess I can see why Robia would warn Amber away from making a post-death return appearance that makes the last showing of her character--even if it's not really her character--out to be an evil thing (especially considering LaMorte's personal beliefs and later public regrets about the pagan aspects of Jenny).

If anything, if I were in Amber's shoes, I would've refused the return appearance in "Conversations with Dead People" because it's too soon after the character's death and felt cheap. Besides, using Cassie-First-as-witholding-Tara was more effective and torturing to Willow.

I wasn't real cool with Joyce appearing as the First in Season 7 either (aside from the pretty scary couch scene). In Season 6's "Normal Again", cool, but not in Season 7. Even though that's totally something The First Evil would do (although you'd think it would've used Joyce's visage more).

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