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August 01 2012

Top ten Joss Whedon characters. There's two criteria for making the list - they have to be original Whedonverse characters and be included in the opening credits of their respective shows.

Yeah, no. I clicked because I liked the criteria, but the ranking of the characters here is a fail.
Huh.
Not sure about the list. While I adore Captain Mal, I just. . . No.
Yeah, agree, like list, not order. Buffy is #1 in my book. How can she not be? She led a movie, 7 seasons of a TV series, and two seasons of a successful comic book series. I think this list is designed to ignite debate and I just fell for it.
No. Nuh-uh. When Hell freezes over and Niflheim becomes a tropical paradise...
Had a feeling Mal would be numero uno, but Willow at number two I couldn't buy. I was expecting and hoping to see Mr. Wesley Wyndham Price in that spot. Good list though. I enjoyed
Well different strokes for different folks. When I saw Buffy at number 7 I knew this wouldn't be MY kinda list.

Firefly fanatics will love it.
I would have liked to see Wesley and Topher on that list.
"Firefly" fanatics have most of the best toys, so yes (although I think Wash is a reach, Jayne and Mal are on this list or don't bother with the list). I call party foul on having the two entirely different characters that Amy Acker played on "Angel" listed together as though they are one. Spike and Angel work, but Fred/Illyria doesn't. If you don't think either of Amy's characters merit the list, don't put them on.
I enjoyed reading this list. Though I don't think I'd have ranked the characters in the same order--honestly, my ranking would probably change daily--I always like recaps of some of my favorite characters, and there aren't a lot of characters that meet the criteria that I'd not consider favorites. For those who disagree with the order, it isn't a difficult list to pretend that it's just the top ten, not in any particular ranking.
Dollhouse hater.
I've got no big argument with the ones listed, or their order... but I would never have been able to stop there! I loved so many characters/actors from so many of Joss' shows (many of whom didn't even make it to the opening credits). Luckily I don't need to limit my love to no stinkin' top ten.
I stopped reading the character recaps, when it said that Angel was never in the opening credits of Buffy, and when I noticed that they had Fred and Illyria as one character which... makes no sense.

Still looked at the order and... Buffy at 7? And how can Topher not be on there... Any character that can go from most hated to most loved over the course of two seasons is clearly a 'best' candidate... I'll assume they meant 'top ten favorite' and not 'top ten best'.
Fred/Illyria makes sense. They were the same actor. Illyria pretended to be Fred at times. It works. List sucks though. Needs more Topher.
Yeah, Buffy a #7 is ridonk. In the end, she will be Joss Whedon's character that transcends time. We'll be hearing about Buffy for generations.
What? No Wesley?

How can this list even exist without Wesley?
No one from Dollhouse? Topher? Anyone? There should at least be a representative from each show. There are just too many great characters for a top ten list. Maybe they should have done top twenty.

Also, I like Dandelion. I'm not saying she is a better character than Billy, Willow, or Mal, but, personally, I like her at least as much. She has a special (silly) place in my heart.
Willow is #1 in my book.
I think the only Dollhouse character in the opening credits was Echo?
I'm a little bummed how far down Buffy is on the list. I'm not surprised or disappointed that Dollhouse went unrepresented. I just wish Wesley had made the cut. Watching his development (even from Buffy S3 to Angel S1) is extraordinary, but when you see where he goes through the rest of Angel... Wesley, Willow, and Spike are the characters whose development was the most fascinating and significant to me.
Yeah I gotta say, Wash is adorable but he's ranked ABOVE Buffy? What freakin bizarro world did I wake up in!?
"Malcom Reynolds : Originally written for Nicholas ‘Xander’ Brendon, but his Buffy schedule prevented it."

Is this true ? If so I'm surprised I've never heard it before.
Buffy should be number one, Topher should be on the list, Illyria shouldn't be connected with Fred, and characters who aren't in the opening credits are some of the best...

I think I summed this list up. :/
This list seems... dubious at best, in many a way, but you can't deny they found some darn pretty pictures of their choices, and picked some great quotes. (Especially Spike's.) List like this, I stop reading the commentary and just read the dialogue excerpts and grin at the pics.
Buffy's number one, I'm sorry.... And Spike and Angel should be much higher on that list. Any top 10 list that has Willow that high up and no Topher or Wesley is just.... Not okay.
The Nick Brendan as Mal thing goes back to a panel in Australia, but I know of no media or no transcript of exactly what was said in what context. I certainly think he could have pulled it off admirably, but of course its hard to see around Nathan Fillion's performance.

Not getting why Topher should be on this list, to be honest. Fran was great, but for, dare I say, two thirds of the series it was a pretty one-note character. I think by the time we get to "Belonging" it really starts with Topher, but by then, I don't personally get a top 10 character of all Whedon regulars out of it.
It's so hard to make a Whedonverse top ten list. I'd probably need to have twenty spots to feel like I wasn't leaving out someone deserving.
And it just doesn't feel right to combine Fred and Illyria. Or to leave out Topher. And Kaylee. And Wes, who has what may be the most dynamic, well-executed story-arc in the 'verse.
Top 10 Characters
1. Buffy Summers
2. Angel
3. Spike
4. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
5. Willow Rosenberg
6. Mal Reynolds
7. Billy/Dr. Horrible
8. Rupert Giles
9. Kaylee Frye
10. Winifred Burkle

People who are equally worthy but can't make the list: Faith, Xander, Lorne, Cordelia, Tara, Gunn, Wash, River, Topher, Echo

Top 10 Villains
1. Angelus
2. Dark Willow
3. Darla
4. The Mayor
5. Jubal Early
6. Holtz
7. Jasmine
8. The Master
9. The First
10. Glory

Holtz is one of my favorites, but he's more of an antagonist than a villain. Holland Manners is notably villainous for a not-quite-villain. And of course, Lindsay and Lilah are wonderfully grey-area. Warren Mears is the toughest call. WHO he is is nonthreatening, just loathsome and despicable, yet what he does is awful enough that he does pose as much a threat to the Scoobies as any villain that came before him.

[ edited by WhatsAStevedore on 2012-08-01 18:06 ]
I can't believe Wesley, Echo or Cordi didn't made the list! They all have such amazing arcs. As much as Wash is my favorite character; I wouldn't put him on the top 10 best.

On a side note I made my own list before I read the article:

Buffy
Angel
Mal
Dr.Horrible
Wesley
Echo
Willow
Faith (if she could be included since she had her own title comic book)
Cordi
Fred (not Illyria)
Topher
Without Wesley this list is invalidated.
I agree with everyone who says this list has no merit without Wesley. I skimmed it quickly to see if he was present, and when I didn't see him, I clicked off the page.
When they say "appeared in the opening credits", do they mean having the actor/character's picture in the credits, or just the actor's name (playing a main character) listed there? Because defining it one way or the other could make a big difference as to who is available for consideration for this list - especially for Dollhouse, but also including the other shows.

edited to add - I also agree that having no Wesley makes this list spurious. I think he had the best character arc of all of Joss' creations - and Alexis played him wonderfully.

[ edited by steverogers on 2012-08-01 18:29 ]
Interesting that in strong female character heavy Whedon-land, only three out of 10 characters are considered worthy of mention - and Buffy, Joss's most signature character, only grudgingly, and dismissively - "well we had to put her in but we don't really like her." So Kaylee is not included because her character doesn't grow and develop - the way Jayne and Wash do? And how about River? That's right, she never changes or develops at any point over the course of Firefly/Serenity. Nor is she in any way a remotely interesting character. Nor is stereotype defying warrior goddess Zoe. Favorite quote: "You know that sex we were going to have ever again . . ."

It's a list. Of the characters this person happens particularly to like more than others. Except for Buffy whom he feels obligated to mention because she's so freaking important to the entire Whedonverse, even if he would prefer to ignore her. That's all it is.
So, lemme see, it's a good list if we agree with it and a bad list (even spurious) if we don't? It's just a list, one of a million such lists we have all seen. It's the authors's list and, well, you can agree with it or not, or argue points on it. I personally would always rank Buffy below Willow, but hey, that's just my list...
No Wesley? He's one of the best Whedon characters, and definitely in the top 2 of most dramatic character arcs.
No Wesley? He started out as Watcher, Jr., and by the end, could've taken out Ripper without blinking an eye. List is invalid.

[ edited by Znachki on 2012-08-01 21:12 ]
Here's my list:

(1) Buffy Summers
(2) Buffy The Vampire Slayer
(3) Buffy Anne Summers
(4) The Buffster
(5) Buffy
(6) Willow, Spike, and Giles (3-way tie)
(7) see (6) above
(8) see (6) above
(9) Angel
(10) Dr. Horrible
I like your list @Squishy.
Hah! Great list Squishy!

"When they say "appeared in the opening credits", do they mean having the actor/character's picture in the credits, or just the actor's name (playing a main character) listed there"

I'm pretty sure it's that the actor's name appears in the credits. Otherwise the author wouldn't have to say "Sorry Faith" considering her image is in some opening credits
Buffy at #7... ridiculous!!!
Squishy, you forgot B.
I can believe that no one has commenting on the worst oversight of this list, which is: Wash instead of Kaylee? WASH instead of KAYLEE? No no no no.

Unlike most here, I actually agree with Buffy at seven. Well, to be honest, she's not even on my list. Buffy was a character that was created for a movie, and then had to be included in the show 'cause... well... it's sort of about her. Silly to have a 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' without a Buffy. But in a LOT of ways she's the weakest character in the show, with the least amount of development, and the other characters in the show, who are all incredible, drown her out most of the time. Plus, she whines/pouts. A lot. Again, I realize this is my opinion, which given this is obviously a fairly Buffy-friendly thread, will not be appreciated, but I felt like someone should stand up for the list-author's probable thought processes here.

Except whatever she was thinking by choosing Wash and Jayne over Kaylee and River, 'cause honey, that's just crazy-talk. JAYNE?!? Jayne is freaking comic relief!!!
"included in the opening credits of their respective shows."

So... no Cheese Man then. Total. Bullcrap.
satehna99, Spike, Cordelia, and Wesley were comic relief for a while too. I think with a few more seasons Jayne would've had a great character arc and expanded on whether he could be trusted and how loyal he would be to the crew on that ship. He is definitely the Cordelia of Firefly.
No Wesley? That's just not right.
Where's Agent Brand...
Close, but... I think Wesley and Anya just have to be on a list like this, because their arcs were so incredible. So here's mine:
10. River Tam
9. Rupert Giles
8. Anya
7. Winifred Burkle/Illyria
6. Spike
5. Angel ---Who, (I'm not sure why the other took space to falsely point out the contrary) DID appear in Buffy's opening credits.
4. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
3. Malcom Reynolds
2. Willow Rosenberg
1. Buffy
Squishy, nailed it, and also Lady of Buffdom/Duchess of Buffonia.
A list without Cordelia Chase is completely irrelevant :D
She Who Hangs Out A lot in Cemeteries?

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