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June 21 2014

The top 15 Joss Whedon characters. This time round, Digital Spy try their hand at producing a list that will please everyone in terms of characters and rankings.

Yay for Wesley at #2!

Boo for Buffy at #1! Seriously... titular character or not, maximum screen time or not, she just wasn't better than all the others. She was certainly good... but not head and shoulders above the regular cast.

Boo for Willow all the way down at #7. Or maybe they got her and Buffy mixed up? One can hope.


A fine list. I personally would have made room for Lorne in there.
Spike will always be #1 for me but I was also pleased to see Wes getting a top slot and I agree Willow shouldn't be #7. I find it so irritating when Angelus gets listed as a separate character because it strips a mass of the character depth away to pretend he is two people and makes his overall story of redemption simply nonsensical. Anyway, as the complete character that he is, Angel deserves to be a heck of a lot higher than #10.

After Spike, my other top 5 would probably be Wes, Angel, Buffy and Willow, varying in order depending upon my mood of the day. Connor would certainly make an appearance in a top 15 list for me too.
I thought that this was a decent list. I agree that Willow should have been closer to the top, but I'm content with Buffy being #1. She's earned it.
I'm glad the Mayor made it in there but can't agree with Faith being that high up. And while Season 6 wasn't perfect, I iked it a lot more than Ms. Dibden did.

I think she got Angel/Angelus right though- For years Angelus was the much more interesting/compelling/believable character to me.
Where's Whiskey?
My number one is either Mal or Buffy. I can never decide.
Off the top of my head, not in any specific order...

1. Buffy
2. Faith
3. Spike
4. Anya
5. Willow
6. Cordelia
7. Wesley
8. Giles
9. Mal
10. Topher
11. Adelle
12. Fred/Illyria
13. Joyce
14. Tara
15. River

I'd probably have a completely different list depending on the day lol. Lilah, Lorne, and tons of the Firefly characters deserve mentions.
I quite like the character descriptions they give :)
Granted I haven't seen much of the Whedonverse by anyone's standards, but I'm personally meh on Jayne getting a spot. Mostly because I have severe Simon Tam tunnel vision because I notice no one from Dollhouse is on the list and I think Adelle or Topher should've made it. Over Jayne, anyway. I'm pleased to see Kaylee is there though and the reasoning for it. She is important in a show that could've easily gone full Nelson cynicism.
For once this is quite a decent list. (Yay for high scoring Wesley!) Swap out Andrew for Xander and it'd be pretty much the same list I'd come up with..
I have all kinds of problems with that list. My top 10 would be:

1. Faith (sorry, but over time she's just become cooler and more compelling than Buffy). She also technically is THE SLAYER.
2. Angel - Sorry Spike, he did everything you did first. You're just a copy...though a very entertaining and cool one. I like Spike as much as the next guy, but he's never been as compelling to me as Angel/Angelus. The vamp with a soul known as Spike is not as good as the original
3. Tie between Malcolm/River - They are the two iconic characters that define Firefly/Serenity. Either one of them could vie for a top 5 spot but I couldn't pick one.
4. Doctor Horrible - Joss finally created something that rivaled Once More with Feeling and Doctor Horrible was the star of the show. And c'mon, it's Neil Patrick Harris. He's awesome.
5. Tie between Wesley/Cordelia for having the two greatest character arcs in the Buffyverse. You could make a good case for either one of them.
6. Spike - Not as great a character as Angel IMO, but I do think he is one of the most iconic Buffyverse characters and everyone knows and loves James Marsters for his many other genre appearances. I think Spike's character lost a lot though when he, to use a pro wrestling term, went babyface. His best days were as a villain in Buffy season 2. His character underwent a lot of damage from Buffy seasons 6 and 7, while Angel remained a far stronger vamp with a soul character throughout his entire run on both TV shows. Now if you throw the comic books into the discussion on the other hand...oh god, that Twilight debacle.
7.Drusilla - Such an unforgettable character and the coolest female villain to every grace both Buffy and Angel's shows, unless you count Faith. She was played amazingly well by Juliet Landau. She killed a slayer. She sent Angel spiraling downward in Angel season 2 after turning Darla, and she nearly was Faith's undoing in the Angel & Faith series. She also represents possibly Angel's greatest sin from his Angelus days.
8. Illyria - A fascinating character that really injected some exciting new energy into Angel season 5. Illyria is such a great character that in just one season I felt she completely overshadowed everything Fred brought to the entire series.
9. Grant Ward - On my list for single handedly taking Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from a decent show to an awesome one. He saved season 1.
10. Alpha - If I gotta put one Dollhouse character, he's easily the coolest

Honorable mentions - Pretty much all of the Scoobies (Giles, Willow, Xander...and I guess Dawn too). We love them all, but they've always just been Buffy's sidekicks and always played second fiddle to her. I know some will argue a strong case for Willow becoming more than that though. Angel was the only character to graduate from sidekick to actually having his own show.

Of course, Buffy herself gets an honorable mention for creating the whole Buffyverse to begin with, but over time she's become possibly its least interesting character. Even Fray is more interesting in my opinion.

[ edited by Angel&Faith on 2014-06-21 21:01 ]
Lack of my own personal favorites aside, that's very nicely thought-out list.
I don't really understand characters like Anya, Kaylee and Andrew being on that top 15 list. In the grand scheme of things, those characters just didn't really matter, just bit players, no matter how entertaining they may have been.
I'm alright with it, considering the list is more on how good of a character they are and not necessarily on how much they influenced the plot or anything. Sometimes supporting characters are just fantastic characters even when they don't actually do much in the grand scheme of things.
Season 6 had some of my favorite Buffy episodes ever, but Andrew always just bothered me. And I didn't really see his arc as being one of redemption as it is one of just following who ever was available and wouldn't make him leave. His odd relationship with Spike was fun to watch, but other than that... meh. I always though is appearance on Angel when they came to collect the crazy slayer and took her away from Angel would have been more effective if it had been Xander in that role. Andrew not trusting Angel didn't have much of an impact. But Xander now... that would have been something.

Lists arbitrary. It's hard to argue with someone else's preference. But Topher or Adelle would have been much better in Andrew's slot, IMO.

Wes so far has had my favorite arc. Mal is a consistent favorite because of the man's near infinite will to live. I do love Buffy for insisting on doing things her way and realizing that the power of a Slayer is stronger with a support system she chose and not one handed to her by others that envy her power (The Watchers Council). I could go on but I won't. Maybe I'll make my own list for my blog for Joss's... wait, holy crap, he's 50!!!??? Huh.
I don't get the addition of Andrew on the list but no Topher or Adele or Whiskey. I think any one of the three of them did more for their show than Andrew did for Buffy.

But then again, I always disagree with lists like these cause they are so subjective to personal preference.
Why isn't the Cheese Man in there? He's the key to the whole thing, man!
For me, it was Willow. She was the most complex character. Alyson nailed this role out of the park.

Sarah as Buffy was good as well.
It is not possible to please everyone with this kind of list.
Right off the top, Andrew but no Xander? No.
And I like Andrew.
Wesley at number 2?
No again.
Ward even on the list? Nu uh.
I couldn't even attempt to make this kind of list because I didn't watch all of Dollhouse.
But my list would go something like this. Today.
1. Spike
2. Buffy
3. Willow
4. Xander
5. Giles
6. Anya
Then I would start with the Angel cast.
Now that I think about it, if I expanded my original list from 10 to 15 (like the article), I would add Fray at # 11 and the remaining spots in any order to the Scoobies

Buffy doesn't need to be in my list because she would have to get the number 1 spot just by virtue of being Whedon's first great character. It's kind of an unfair competition putting any one up against her based on that.
While I don't begrudge anyone their opinions, people really shouldn't express their opinions as facts.

"Season six is nobody's favourite run of Buffy..."

But kudos for Wesley for getting such a high spot.
Season six is my favourite. Oh, ...that makes me 'nobody' *sniff* :D
I think when I did a poll on Twitter about people's favourite season with Whedonesque's followers, season 6 came top.
That line about season six being nobody's favorite simply reminded me of Stephen Colbert's bit during the Presidential campaigns about how based on preferences shown on wikepedia, the Republican candidate for Vice President would be Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I don't think I could come up with a definitive Top 15, but a potential list of mine might look something like this (in no particular order):

Buffy - a great, complicated, nuanced protagonist. Boo to booing people for putting her in the top spot.
Adele - too often overlooked on lists of great Whedon characters
Boyd - the other great and even more overlooked Dollhouse character
Giles
Willow
Oz - I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone mention him yet
Spike
Anya
Andrew - Anya and Andrew were not just two of the funniest, most enjoyable television characters ever, they were also at the center of some of Buffy's (and thus Whedon's) most profound moments
River
Simon - Simon and River were my favorite thing about Firefly
Zoe
Warren - yes really. He was awful, but I thought he was a great, super-creepy-but-all-too-real villain.
The Mayor
Lilah
These lists say far less about the characters than they do about the people making the lists.

And Spike.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2014-06-24 14:32 ]

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