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November 17 2004

The Willow/Kennedy relationship. AfterEllen.com praises it saying "re-watching... [it] unfold makes the paucity of three-dimensional lesbian characters and relationships on network TV today all the more glaring".

Willow and Kennedy..a three dimensional lesbian relationship? HAHA
Willow and Kennedy are also featured in one of the worst moments in the season when Willow goes to kiss Kennedy after their date, and Kennedy turns into the evil Warren.

Slight mix-up here: it was Willow who turned into Warren.
Willow and Kennedy ? Say no more.
And we see flashbacks of Anya's mortal life as Aud in the episode 'Him'?? No, that would be 'Selfless'. How is it possible to get those two episodes mixed up?
I thought that "relationship" was the most forced one thrown at us and it never felt like a true relationship to me. It didn't come close to Willow's relationship with either Oz or Tara.
I was thinking about a Marti Noxon interview where she mentioned that she pointed out Amber to Joss after he had passed on her. Marti said she could sense that Amber had the right chemistry that would act well with Alyson. And she was right. Alyson and Amber's acting together always seemed natural and at ease. Perfectly lifelike. I never saw that with Iyari and Alyson. The acting interaction between these two always seemed forced and fake. Many fans say that Iyari was a bad actress, but I don't think this is the case. Because Alyson's acting in these scenes was just as bad. And we all know that Alyson is a very talented actress. I think they just didn't have the right chemistry to act well off each other.
I think I must be the only person in the world that didn't think Amber Benson was convincing in the role of Tara (I do not dislike Amber Benson, I just thought there could have been someone better for the role).
As soon as I saw her tell Willow that she should be with the one that she loves in "New Moon Rising", as sweet a moment as that was, I just cringed. But anyway, thats just my opinion and I really don't want to offend any Tara/Amber fans.
At the same time, Tara's death was one of the most painful moments in the show for me, and I was even more devestated to find out Amber had the opportunity to return for season 7 in the Buffy-could-make-a-wish episode that didn't happen, so I couldn't have disliked her too much, because Tara's return could have been one of the most touching moments in the whole series.
Well, they're half right, Willow was a three dimensional lesbian character. Not even particularly in season 7 though.

You know, it's funny. Some people didn't like Oz at first(maybe the Xillows?), then he became beloved. Same with Tara, because people who loved Oz were upset he was being replaced. Then Tara became beloved. But I really don't think if you had another season or two that Kennedy would ever become beloved. It just wasn't a convincing relationship, whether that's due to the writing or the fact that Iyari isn't convincing in a lesbian role.

I still can't decide who I liked less, or who I fastforward through more: Kennedy, Rona, or Connor.
I have to agree with buffbuff; Amber seems like a lovely person, and is certainly a talented singer and writer, but I was pretty unimpressed with her abilities as an actress. Still, even without much acting talent, she did seem to have a lot of chemistry with Alyson -- kind of like SMG and DB in the first few Buffy episodes, before he learned the meaning of the word "subtlety."
This article had lots of interesting links; I had to make myself stop!

I never liked the Willow-Kennedy pairing, in part because I found Kennedy's character too aggressive in all areas (not just in pursuing Willow). I felt it was too soon after Tara, but I think AfterEllen has a point that long mourning periods lead to boring TV.

I also agree with AfterEllen that Willow should have been bisexual; she fell in love with a person, which she states explicitly when she says, "Not women. Woman." So any time during the show when she was fully lesbian ("Hello? Gay now" to Anya), I never quite bought it. Plus, that distinction is vital; as I read in a novel I had, "As long as people love instead of hate, what difference does it make who they love?"
Willow-Kennedy? *So* not going there . . .

But, buffbuff, once again I'm amazed at how we fans can have such different reactions. That moment in New Moon Rising is one of my most favorite, and usually makes me cry, even on - what is it now - my 15th or so watching. I thought Amber was terrific as Tara, although I felt in much of Season Five and Six that she could, just occasionally, have been given better dialogue. Still in slightly shy slightly awkward Tara manner, for sure, but something a little more than being a foil for Willow or the voice of quiet moderation. The few moments when she is allowed to let loose or given an opportunity to carry a scene, she is wonderful.

Gaudior: although I suppose it doesn't matter what label you assign, I know exactly what you mean with the "gay now" unease. I never really believed that statement either, and you've helped put your finger on why that was.
As much as I hated Willow/Kennedy I think it's important to realize that the relationship seemed so forced because it was. We only had half a season to get to know them and be convinced they were right for each other. It took me about a season and a half to get into Willow/Tara, and then they kill her. Same thing with Anya/Xander.
I never saw Willow and Kennedy as "True Love Forever" or anything. And I don't believe it was written that way. Not even in Killer in Me. I thought Kennedy was a rebound, and there were other factors involved, like finding solace during the impending battle. Jane Espenson even said that Kennedy was Willow's 'Riley', that it wasn't a lasting relationship, and it was just there to help Willow move on from the tragedy of Tara's death.

The only people in the Buffyverse I ever thought were Willow's type were Oz, Tara, Scruffy Wes, and Fred. I also still think Willow was bisexual, but if they had paired her up with a man after Tara died it would have sent the wrong message to people. I know that's one reason they didn't make Willow bi in the end.

I still love the moments when Fred and Willow interact in Angel's "Orpheus". They had more chemistry in those few scenes than Willow and Kennedy ever did.

I think Joss' decision to create the "Anti-Tara" might not have been the best idea. Or the casting was wrong. Or something. I just would have wanted to see Willow with someone more her type. Like if there had been a potential who was really geeky, who read books all the time, and who was a lesbian who even though she was a nerd, she was also brass and assertive and spoke her mind, and blatantly flirted with Willow. I can even picture that kind of character in my head, and it would have worked so much better than Kennedy.

Oh, well. What can you do?
I agree that Fred and Willow had more chemistry in that one Angel episode than Willow and Kennedy had for the entire time in season 7. I still ROFLMAO at the end when Willow says "I'm seeing someone."

This is pretty much the only time I've heard anyone say they liked Willow/Kennedy.
Electricspacegirl, thanks for the Jane Espenson quote, that really clears things up for me. Just as Kennedy is Willow's Riley, so too Wood is Faith's Riley. Both are quite inadequate in the long run, and are rebound relationships. Willow belongs with another witch, not a slayer. Faith belongs with another slayer, not a regular human. That's just my opinion, but hey. ;-)
Faith belongs with another slayer, not a regular human.

So you think Faith should be gay too?
I know a lot of people online who love Willow/Kennedy. There are shippers of every kind, and a lot of those are just so wrong I can't even think about them without cringing. But every coupling on the show has fans, although I'd say the Willow/Kennedy shippers are probably in a minority.

And yes, I have heard of Cordy/Connor shippers. Let's never mention it again. ;)
I still love the moments when Fred and Willow interact in Angel's "Orpheus". They had more chemistry in those few scenes than Willow and Kennedy ever did.


LMAO!! So true!

And yes, I have heard of Cordy/Connor shippers. Let's never mention it again. ;)

Ptooooie!
I still can't decide who I liked less, or who I fastforward through more: Kennedy, Rona, or Connor.
LOL. totally agree. Although I have to say - Connor redeemed himself a bit for me in Origin. Kennedy annoyed me every time she was on the screen I would have hated her character anyway, and the fact that she was with WIllow, who I adore, just made it worse.
Which one was Rona? I still get them all confused. Was she the African-American potential? (hate to describe just using race, but they all blend together and that's the easiest quick description). She definitely got on my nerves, but I think the one that I was most annoyed by was the one with the bad Southern accent. About the only one I developed any feeling for was Amanda. Interestingly, I just got my Season 7 DVD set, and watched a couple of the special features in one, Joss talked about how great the potentials were because over the course of a half season we could develop a real empathy and reallly feel something when they got their slayer power at the end. That was so NOT the case for me!
I think Connor was never meant to be liked though. If they wanted people to like him, I doubt they would have sent him off with Holtz then brought him back and had him sink Angel. He wasn't there to be liked, he was there to make Angel behave in a certain way that really moved his character along. I've never liked Angel even slightly, but he did improve a little for me when he still did his best for Connor no matter what, even though no one said to him 'you should be looking out for Connor'. That has to be the first good thing Angel ever did off his own steam. Anyone that makes me like Angel is good in my book.

I don't have a problem with Willow saying she was a lesbian. People change. I'm not trying to devalue her realtionship with Oz, but I do think it's possible for him to love him and not ever think she was a lesbian, but then grow up and realize guys just didn't turn her on. You can say she was bi for all eternity, but if she didn't feel attracted to any guys at all after Tara then she wasn't bi. It doesn't mean she didn't love Oz when she said she did, but it does mean she changed. People are capeable of discovering they weren't quite what they thought they were, and of being confused or even completely unaware of their sexuality. Willow was just a teenager when she and Oz got together, with big time hormones, and teenagers are often confused about their sexuality thanks to puberty. Once she was in love with Oz, she was in love with him. But after he left she discovered she just didn't like guys the way she did when she was a teenager. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
Silv, I'm not disputing that. I know what you're saying but I don't think that was the case with Willow. Some of the writers even said they thought of Willow as bisexual, but they felt like making her bi after Tara would have sent the wrong message.

For Willow, it seemed to me that she fell in love with the person, and that gender wasn't an issue. That is just as possible as if she never knew she was really a lesbian until Tara came along.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-11-18 01:17 ]
Joss talked about how great the potentials were because over the course of a half season we could develop a real empathy and reallly feel something when they got their slayer power at the end. That was so NOT the case for me!

Totally agree. I felt little to nothing for the potentials except for, like you say, Amanda. I think they brought down a potentially(no pun intended) amazing season. The main characters got short shrift and were almost an after thought(in my opinion) to make way for enough time for us to 'feel' for the potentials, which never happened for me.

Connor redeemed himself a bit for me in Origin

Yeah, I agree here too. I'm more referring to previous season's Connor, when I really couldn't watch him.

Yeah, Rona was the black potential. I just hated how she was always complaining and bitching. The southern accent girl would have annoyed me to no end if she had been on the whole season. Thankfully she got whacked early, hehe.
Rogue Slayer, no character, and I mean NO character is anywhere near as annoying as Mollie the potential with the Cockney accent that makes Dick Van Dyke sound convincing! I cheered when Caleb wiped her out!
Willow/Kennedy is the only thing i hate of the whole series.
Forced, too soon, and unnecesary.

I think Kennedy is the reaction for all that gays & lesbians groups preassure, after Tara`s death. Willow didn`t need another relationship, it`s a very cheap idea. I can`t imagine why Joss yielded to the pressure (sorry, i don`t know if those are the right words)
I like to see Willow`s fault feelings, and punishments, but Kennedy wasn`t needed to show that.

And yes, for me, willow is bisexual, or not. She felt in love, of the person, not gender.

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2004-11-18 05:19 ]
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.
Willow/Kennedy.....my favorite topic!;-)

Seriously it was slapped together in haste and looked it. It's no secret that Joss had planned for Tara to come back in S7 and that when Amber didn't want to do it he had to come up with something else post-haste. I think it's safe to say Joss himself would still prefer his original idea but it was not to be.

And because of that this is the only relationship in the show that was not developed like the others were: slowly, over time, with care and credibility. I mean come on, they have a couple of moments with Kennedy being a pushy flirt and Willow looking a cross of awkward and scared. Then we have that nonsense of a 'date' where there were two drinks and Kennedy pretty much letting Willow know she had decided to 'have' her. Then Willow is traumatized with guilt because of kissing her.....and then another similar kiss an hour later suddenly 'makes it all better'. Ugh.

I hated the end of The Killer in Me, when they walk away clearly an official 'couple' now. And sure enough that's how they acted from then on and Kennedy even sat in on the meetings of the Core-Scoobies. Apparently having sex with Willow was enough of a credential. No, there was no time, but it a pity that the weakest relationship in the show (yes I'd even prefer Buffy/Riley to this) is the only one left standing at the end.

I'm really glad to hear Jane Espenson's comments about Kennedy being 'rebound girl' in her eyes. I can see that. In the end I can see it no more as 'true love' than I could see it in Faith and Wood.

I'm also one of those people who thinks Willow was bisexual. Come on, first she's in love with Xander for years and then has a happy (and sexual) relationship with Oz? Watch S3 and 4, Oz did turn her on. So did Xander before him. And remember when she thought Dracula was sexy and Tara was a little irked? Sorry, Willow's bi.

I think I remember Joss once saying in an interview that they tried to have Willow be bi for a while but decided it was easier in many ways to sort of play her for full-on gay from some point on. To avoid complications. I can understand that, but when I look at the character and her history, there's nothing that will ever convince me that she's not bi.
If anyone wants to hear the interview where Jane talked about Kennedy and Willow, there's a link to it here in the Succubus Club archives. I believe it's the May 7, 2003 Interview with Drew Greenberg, Jane Espenson and Rebecca Rand Kirshner.
And because of that this is the only relationship in the show that was not developed like the others were: slowly, over time, with care and credibility.

Yes and because we never saw much of Kennedy as a character. I always felt, and it's not just to satisfy my own personal fantasy, that Faith/Willow would have made much more sense. Faith was already an established character who mistrusted men and they had that hate-chemistry going on.

I also think if there had been an eight season of Buffy, Willow would have drifted away from Kennedy and found a new girlfriend, and that relationship would develop slowly over time. Kennedy was the plot device to get Willow over Tara's death, not the new love interest.

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