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"Strangely fitting in a grotesque fashion."
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September 08 2011

For the Love of Riley. Buffy's much hated boyfriend given some long over due love.

I'm guessing that it's this one:

Ironically, I've been reading that author's fantasy works and even had a short conversation with her an hour ago on her site on a completely unrelated topic (small online world). I highly encourage people to check out her work. Brilliant characterization, especially in her 'House War' series.
There's we go, all take care of.
Yay, Riley love! *hides from the wrath of most everyone*
Eh. The way I figure it, with the unabashed love his character got on the show, the fan hate just balances it out :)
I liked Riley, but I would love to read an analysis that doesn't trash another character/actor to justify this viewpoint. It's just as unpleasant as all the Riley hate.
I think syd just hit the number one reason why I don't like Riley: the show loves him way too much. In S4 it was merely just annoying, in S5 it became enraging, the way it's All.Buffy's.Fault they break up and all. I wouldn't have any problem with Riley otherwise, besides finding him maybe a bit boring, as I usually do with that character type.
Agreed with Tonya J.
Riley wasn't a bad guy, and I never hated him. But he just goes to prove that relationships aren't allowed to be happy in the Whedonverse. I think she's very right in that this was a show about the outsiders - the geeks, the freaks and the losers + Cordelia who eventually chose to hang out with them (and becomes one of the freaks on Angel). Throwing in someone who was so extremely archetypal really didn't work at all.

He was also the antithesis of the outsider as he belonged to a military unit. I have dated people in the military, and guys like Riley, first relationship will always be with the military. Not you, not some whore vampires (which made no sense, btw, that plot line). Dunno, I think Riley could have been special, but the way they ended it made very little sense and the way they brought the military in and out of his life made no sense either... basically, Riley made no sense.
I also agree with Tonya J. Character/actor bashing in an essay like this is really unpleasant. One should be able to defent the character they like without bashing another. The DB comments were really out of place.

I liked Riley but I don't think the relationship would have worked out. I do agree with the writer that Buffy wasn't allowed to mature to the point where choosing Riley as a 'forever' kind of guy would have made sense, but she's still young, not finding the guy you spend the rest of your life with at 19/20 is not a crime. Riley was nice, but they just weren't right for each other. And that's okay.

[ edited by Nocticola on 2011-09-09 12:03 ]
I like Riley and the Biley relationship a lot but ironically this writer is shortchanging the character by romanticizing him. Riley had his very own dark traits.
By the end of the series, I found myself disliking all of the relationships that Buffy was in, while still appreciating the characters within them, if that makes sense. While each relationship all helped the characters involved grow as people, there were also enough serious flaws within them that I was glad that they ended.

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2011-09-09 13:22 ]
I liked Riley and while he may not have been perfect - who is? - I thought he was a good guy and good for Buffy. A lot of people say that he had a problem with Buffy being so strong, not needing to be protected, but I didn't really see that. I saw him trying very hard to make it work. Buffy did take him for granted, but she had a lot going on in season 5 and maybe she just wasn't ready for this relationship. Maybe Buffy made a mistake - that's okay, it happens.

Riley obviously made mistakes. It does seem that in season 5 he has nothing left except Buffy. What did he do all day when he wasn't with Buffy and the Scoobies? So he needed to be needed by Buffy, and she was determined not to need anyone. Leaving Riley with pretty much nothing.

Plus, this is tv land where relationships are very rarely allowed to have a happy ending, and not just in Joss's worlds (a pet peeve of mine). So pretty much the odds were stacked against them.
By the end of the series, I found myself disliking all of the relationships that Buffy was in, while still appreciating the characters within them, if that makes sense. While each relationship all helped the characters involved grow as people, there were also enough serious flaws within them that I was glad that they ended.

THIS. It's one of the biggest peeves I have with the comics, where they don't seem to be willing to move Buffy forward in that regard.

As for the essay it had some good points but the character bashing was annoying. The whole "Scoobies were misfits and Riley didn't fit in" reminded me of a Spike essay I read once looooong ago, basically saying the same thing. Although the unnecessary bashing is unfortunate I kinda agree with what was said.

[ edited by Kaan on 2011-09-09 16:34 ]
*sighs* I really dislike it when good essays are marred by character bashing. Doing so diminishes everything the author intended to convey.
I've never had the Riley hate that so many other fans seem to have. Of course he wasn't perfect, but he wasn't a bad guy either. I think he was good for Buffy in the time that they had together.
I'm not in the mood to read that essay right now, but I will say that I've always liked Riley. It was very nice seeing their two worlds interact. She was more of a "real" super hero, he was more of a self made hero like Batman. I like the conflict that created with his inferiority complex. Some of which was clearly due to him being male and her female. Gotta love the feminism there with her being stronger and better than him. I think there was an episode where he wondered why only females were "chosen". I thought that was funny and I think Buffy had some comment about them being better.

I also liked the team versus solo conflict they had. Aside from her friends, Buffy was a solo act like a vigilante(again I have to mention Batman)and Riley was part of an organization. Again, nice conflict

I also liked the buddy buddy relationship between Riley and Xander. Xander hasn't had that since he lost his friend in season 1 in like the first or second episode. I liked seeing a little male comraderie there as every male on the show always came into conflict with him(Spike, Angel and Giles always seemed annoyed by Xander)

The other thing I liked about Riley was that he clearly thought the world of Buffy and we always saw that in his post season 4 appearances. He saw her at her worst in season 6 and still tried very hard to motivate and encourage her by telling her how awesome she is. Riley was a nice guy, both Buffy and Xander would vouch for that. I can't see how anyone could have ever hated him, but I do often go against the grain when it comes to majority opinions about Buffy related things. I DO think Buffy was the reason for that relationship ending as she just wasn't making him feel like he mattered. Though, it could be said that his inferiority complex to both her as well as her ex might have always been a problem. I'll have to re-watch that season some time and re-analyze that relationship, but sometimes I really think he was the best boyfriend she had and she simply let that relationship fall away from her until it was too late. Yeah, I said it, I think he was better for her than both Spike and Angel
This is really old news--this essay is from a book originally published in 2003. The publisher seems to be releasing individual essays online to revive attention. Not saying it's not a good book or anything--I own it.

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