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November 30 2004

100 Greatest T.V. Characters from Bravo. Complete version of list Simon posted earlier this month. Among genre characters, Buffy is outranked only by Capt. James T. Kirk.

I watched most of this...and I thought Buffy being at #13 was quite a compliment. Joss participated: he commented on how much he liked Diana Rigg in The Avengers (evidently he had quite the crush on Mrs. Peal), he commented on writing for Rosanne, and of course about Buffy herself. It is always fun to see Joss on TV!
Buffy hasn't been off air for too long, the character may be more in a decade, then the these greatest of lists might figure better, James Kirk has been around since the 60s, long time for it's name to grow, be interesting to see how Buffy is looked at in 10 years, 20 years etc, Angel as well.
That's amazing that Buffy made a showing at #13 (amazing as in it's great, not as in "Oh my God, how did that happen?"), considering she's right next to a character like Hawkeye Pierce.

Nice to see many of my other favourite characters like Jed Bartlet, Frank Pembleton, and Vic Mackey also showing up. I'm kinda disappointed that there's no David McNorris, but I guess he was on a show that didn't make it through it's second season, so...
Buffy is pretty good but how can she be so much higher up than Mulder and Scully???
Mulder and Scully are iconic, but I think Buffy is the better character. However there is also the fact that a lot of fans have gotten iffy about the whole X-files experience due to the last 2-3 seasons. I know personally that I think much less of the earlier years because of it, since i felt in retrospect the lack of a plan or any closure had changed interesting questions into gigantic holes.

With that said I still love the show, but I mention the series to my family or friends, and most peoples minds unfortunately seem to flash to the last few years.
Kirk is 9 and Picard is 55? Someone will be shot for this outrage...
Um, Grounded? You are on a Whedonverse site.

To most of us here, Buffy is hella better than M&S, whether we were X-Philes or not. So yeah.

And I think its cool that the only genre character higher than her was Kirk. I've long held that TOS Kirk was the perfect man for Buffy. ;)

Also loved it that Artie made it!
As much as I like Buffy, I can't help but feel other Buffyverse characters were actually far more complex and "greatest". Though I suppose it would help to know what the selection criteria was (I didn't watch the program) and I could be completely fangirling here, but practically from moment one I found Willow to be a much more engrossing character. Silly varying mileage thing. But yay for such a high mention.
I'm the same age as Joss but MY Avengers girl was Purdy. I also had a teacher at school at the time the show was on air who was the spitting image, right down to the haircut...
All I have to say is that I was a bit irritated that they listed Buffy as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" instead of "Buffy Summers". Her last name is "Summers", not "the Vampire Slayer". Perhaps it's just me...*shrug*
Um, Grounded? You are on a Whedonverse site.

To most of us here, Buffy is hella better than M&S, whether we were X-Philes or not. So yeah.


Not everyone is a complete diehard though. Personally, although Buffy/Angel are more important to me, I think the decline in quality of Buffy was a lot worse than that of X-Files. Buffy at it's best is better than X-Files I think, but as a character Buffy ended up preachy and unlikeable.

Also look at the article itself - it's not as if it was compiled by someone from Whedonesque!
All I have to say is that I was a bit irritated that they listed Buffy as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" instead of "Buffy Summers". Her last name is "Summers", not "the Vampire Slayer". Perhaps it's just me...*shrug*

It wasn't just you. :)
Good list, but Sam Malone needs to be much higher and where the heck is Norm? At least they were smart enough to rank Jim Ignatowski above Moonlighting. Best drug addled TV character ever. Who is Artie by the way?

I'd say that's a pretty decent showing by the Buffy. It's always nice to know the world isn't completely mad.
Sorry to go off topic here (Simon, I hope this is okay), but are you the Jet Wolf responsible for 'Jet Wolf's Top 100 Buffy Moments'? If you are, you have my eternal respect.
Artie was Larry Sander's (Garry Shandling) producer.

That whole cast was great.
Ah... Yeah he was great. Thanks Willowy. Oh, and in what universe is Dan Fielding a better character than Agent Dale Cooper?
Funny...I'm thrilled that Buffy the character gets so much regard here, but she was never the most interesting character in the shows for me...Spike, Angel, Willow, these were ostensibly foils for Buffy, but I found their developments far more fascinating than that of Buffy...not that I disount Buffy, it's just that her supporting cast were more interesting to me than she was.
For that matter, how are these 91 other characters better characters than Special Agent Dale Cooper?
Where's Angel? Honestly, spinoffs get no love.
Buffy will always be my favorite character of the Buffyverse, everyone else was great, but there was a reason the show was called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". And as for thinking M&S should've topped Buffy's character, not for me, Buffy was such a great, well rounded character that did it all. She was smart, funny, sexy, vulnerable, tough, delicate, lovable and at times hatable - in other words, she was like a real person but with superpowers! Scully without Mulder was boring and although Mulder was interesting, he wasn't as interesting as our Buffy. And not everyone thinks BtVS last few seasons sucked, some us really enjoyed them! I don't think you could say the same for most X-Files fans.
Buffy had a pretty good ranking, but the big question is why isn't Doctor Who on this list? In close to 26 seasons this man saved the earth from Daleks, Cybermen and the Master (non vampire variety). Plus his ship looked like a police call box; shouldn't that account for something? Where's the love man...where's the love?

Maxwell Smart should have a hire ranking; his phone was in his shoe.

I'm strangely offended by Xena and Monk ranking below Steve Urkell.
Yeah, Xena should've been higher up on the list and although I never watched Dr. Who, I know it had a huge cult following so it doesn't make sense that Dr. Who isn't on the list.
I'm strangely offended by Xena and Monk ranking below Steve Urkell.

Urkell's inclusion baffles me as well. I suppose what makes a television character one of the 100 greatest is entirely subjective, but Urkell doesn't scream "great character" to me. He's certainly recognizable, but a pair of suspenders and hiked up pants is hardly the mark of greatness in my eyes.

It's wonderful to see Buffy get some respect though. I'm a little irked that Frank Pembleton's not at least in the top 50. But then again, Homicide: Life on the Street rarely gets the recognition it deserves (much like Buffy).
Personally, although Buffy/Angel are more important to me, I think the decline in quality of Buffy was a lot worse than that of X-Files. Buffy at it's best is better than X-Files I think, but as a character Buffy ended up preachy and unlikeable.

I agree. In seasons 1-3 Buffy was such a brilliantly sympathetic character. I'd say her likability slid down from there, slowly at first, picking up the pace in season 5, and then bottoming out in seasons 6 and 7. By the end I couldn't stand to watch anymore it was so painful. To each his or her own, I suppose.
It seems like these characters were chosen according to how iconic they were. In which case, I can understand Urkel being up there, because so many knew his "Did I do that?" refrain. As annoying as it may have been. And everytime I mention watching Angel to non-fans, I'm met with a baffled expression until I mention that he's "Buffy's boyfriend" (which, obviously is a hugely reductionist look at his character, but what can you do?). Then people understand. Mostly everyone, whether they've seen the show or not, know who Buffy is. But very few people know who the supporting characters are. So I think that it makes sense that none of them are up there.

I'm very happy that she's so high, honestly. And I've very pleased about Pembleton, because I loved Homicide. Loved it.
Actually rabid, I feel as though Buffy is much more of an "iconic" character than Mulder & Scully (or any of the other characters listed)I think most of the most intriguing character development happened with characters like Willow, Spike, and Wesley...but Buffy remained the show's icon and therefore is attributed with all that the show encompasses...
Sorry to go off topic here (Simon, I hope this is okay), but are you the Jet Wolf responsible for 'Jet Wolf's Top 100 Buffy Moments'? If you are, you have my eternal respect.

Yeah. That was me. Hey. Can I trade in some respect for pie? I really feel like pie.

But back on topic, does "greatest" refer to "iconic" in this respect? Did anybody watch the show? Maybe if we knew what they said about the characters it would make a bit more sense.
An interesting assortment of characters, but I'd have to say my order would be very different. Mr. Spock only rates #21? In what universe does that logic compute? He should have been listed along with Kirk, at the very least, and why not a mention of the whole ST:TOS crew? Picard should have been ranked higher, and surely a Time Lord can beat a skinny geek in glasses and highwaters? It looks like representatives of shows with a longer lifespan beat out less-lengthily aired contenders overall, which is too bad. Cap'n Mal, River and Jayne Cobb are as memorable, despite their brief stints, as some of these other folks.

Buffy's strong showing makes sense considering she's more or less become the mainstream TV model for the 'small yet surprisingly deadly empowered female superhero.' And Angel, as distinctive and complex an (occasional anti-)hero as has ever been seen on network TV, should have been on this list, too, though I notice no genre vampires made the cut. But if dead genre people who aren't even real made the list (Kirk, Xena), I don't see why some undead unreal people couldn't have been included.
Well, I have to say that I'm happy to see Buffy up there. And although I agree that there were other characters on BtVS and AtS that were actually more complex, the thing is 'iconic' here and in popular culture as a whole no one is better known from the Whedonverse than Buffy herself. And yeah, Buffy herself became a bit less likeable over time to me too, but nothing that really detracted from my pleasure of watching the show.

As for the X-Files, I loved the show but that decline near the end was FAR worse than anything on BtVS. Please, at least Buffy kept the actual main characters! X-Files WITHOUT Mulder? Yeah that's like BtVS continuing with Rhona as the lead or something. No I completely gave up on X-Files when Mulder left. And the bits I've seen in reruns only confirm my decision.

For the characters themselves, I would've put Mulder and Scully up higher myself but not higher than anything Buffy related. I love Mulder as a character but there was just not enough growth and change in there. X-Files stuck to status quo too much whereas BtVS and AtS has the most growth in character of almost any show I know.

Picard, yeah should've been a little higher. Urkell....sorry, I don't think I ever got why anyone ever watched that at all. Interesting how high some of the oldies got: Kojak, Columbo, J.R. etc. I agree some characters in there are only in there because they're hot NOW. I don't really think Tony Soprano will stand the test of time like some of these guys.
In seasons 1-3 Buffy was such a brilliantly sympathetic character. I'd say her likability slid down from there, slowly at first, picking up the pace in season 5, and then bottoming out in seasons 6 and 7. By the end I couldn't stand to watch anymore it was so painful. To each his or her own, I suppose.

So true, but my early season Buffy loving, overides what came after. What's the secret you ask? I repress. Works wonders. Great to see Buffy so high up on the list. I think the only other two females to top her were the character from 'Sex and the City" and "Mary Tyler Moore".
Personally, I've always thought of Buffy as one of the more complex characters. I can list my reasons for thinking that in this post but I don't really wish to fill up this thread with 5000 of my own words :) I'll just say that she went through quite a bit and did a whole lot of changing. Yes, she was less likable by the end but I saw definite change and developement in her character. She kept me interested, even when I hated her. In any case however, I love nearly all of the characters that inhabit the Buffyverse and I don't think I can call any of them flat - even Harmony ... to an extent :)

Anyhow, I was very pleased to see a #13 spot! And I must agree with smog, where *is* Norm?! He was arguably more iconic than Sam and Diane! But I'm really pleased to see Frasier on there as well! I wish there was a Lilith.

[ edited by NatashaLea on 2004-11-30 09:27 ]
No Robert Goren or Frank Drebin? Surely not. And I would have singled out Karen from Will and Grace for special praise. Quite possibly, the greatest sitcom character ever.

But I digress. From what I can remember, there was an opportunity for people to vote for Angel in this poll back in April.
I always find it very interesting when there is discussion about Buffy becoming dislikeable in later seasons. I know that some people ended up hating the character at times.

I have to say that I've never felt this way. In fact, when I first started to watch the show it was Willow, Xander and Giles that I responded to the most, but over time I found myself becoming increasingly fascinated by the development of Buffy. I always thought she was a very complex character, and this development was exactly in keeping with everything that happened to her during the course of the seven seasons of the show. At the same time, she also remained, at her core, warm hearted and generous of spirit, even if this was increasingly internalised.

In the end, a major factor in my love of this show is Buffy. I've probably never responded to a character in this way before.
While my favorite characters were Spike, Willow, and Giles, the most iconic? Buffy.

And, yeah, even before Mulder left X-Files, the show was losing my interest -- but, after, it was terrible. Stopped watching altogether. At its lowest point, Buffy was never close to being as bad. And I think the Buffy character was more iconic than Mulder or Scully, despite the fact that I loved M & S in their day. But perhaps my measure is the fact that I can see Buffy episodes over and over again and not grow tired of them, whereas I don't get the same enjoyment from seeing repeats of X-Files.
Please, at least Buffy kept the actual main characters! X-Files WITHOUT Mulder? Yeah that's like BtVS continuing with Rhona as the lead or something. No I completely gave up on X-Files when Mulder left. And the bits I've seen in reruns only confirm my decision.

The fact that they kept the main characters isn't exactly high praise. Buffy was unrecognisable to me by the end so it was pretty much the same thing as not having Mulder in X-Files. Granted there was a slide in quality of X-Files, but totally writing it off because Mulder's not in it is pretty narrow-minded. I watched every last episode of Buffy first-run, even though I was disappointed by most of the later episodes.

At its lowest point, Buffy was never close to being as bad.

Personal preference I suppose. For me, Buffy managed 3 great years, 1 good year, 1 okay year and 2 bad years. X-Files managed 6 great years, 1 good year and 2 okay years. It's all about the math ;)

Of course this has nothing to do with characters being iconic or not, but it's still fun to debate :)
I find the Buffy of seasons 1-3 less sympathetic. So shallow and judgmental.
That was jet, all right, and her top 100 is one of the world's great lists. And she does so much more to boot. Excellent writer, all around. Check it out.

Anyway, I am delurking here out of the ether. I am glad to see Buffy rank so high, and my thoughts are that the character could not have done so without the help of the Scoobies. Yes, Buffy was tough and all, but it was the people around her that helped make that possible. In my humble opinion, I also think Willow should have been on the list- after all, she started out a geeky computer girl with no social skills and ended up literally the most powerful woman on earth (now there would be a fight for you- WIllow vs. Cordy the higher being, another woman who rose up the rans, so to say). Buffy never actually spoke to any god beside Glory; Willow made a habit of it. If you get my drift. :-)
The fact that they kept the main characters isn't exactly high praise. Buffy was unrecognisable to me by the end so it was pretty much the same thing as not having Mulder in X-Files.

Some of us consider that to be character development. After all the shit Buffy had been through I wouldn't expect her to be as happy go lucky as she was in the early seasons. The only time I had a major problem with how the characters behaved was when Buffy got kicked out at the end of Empty Places. I just couldn't buy the fact that Xander, Dawn and Willow would all turn on her so easily.
As for the X-Files vs Buffy debate I watched both shows from the very start all the way til the end and own all of both. However I am of the opinon that Buffy was still great at the end and it stands as my all time favourite show. The X-Files was my favourite show for a while but was supassed by Buffy during it's second season. I hated the fact that they carried on without Mulder, it just wasn't the same to me. That said I do agree that even before Mulder left, the show wasn't what it once was but the quality was still fairly high, I just felt that it dropped off considerably without Mulder. In fact if I hadn't known season 9 was going to be the last I might've stopped watching and I would never have thought that possible during the early years when it was my favourite show. Just my humble opinion of course :)
In fact if I hadn't known season 9 was going to be the last I might've stopped watching and I would never have thought that possible during the early years when it was my favourite show. Just my humble opinion of course :)

Which you are entitled to :) Basically, you're in roughly the opposite situation to me in that you think Buffy maintained its quality until the end and X-Files didn't, whereas I think Buffy nosedived and X-Files declined slightly. I think the big difference is that Buffy/Angel were more important to me as series, and so when they showed signs of decline I took it a lot worse. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in real life who thinks the end of Buffy is good (don't know many Buffy fans at all...), so I have no one to hash these arguments out with face to face - hence my repeated posting ;)

And I fully agree with the Empty Places comment.

[ edited by Grounded on 2004-11-30 16:13 ]

[ edited by Grounded on 2004-11-30 16:13 ]
I'm just tickled pink that Buffy placed at 13. Look at those names in the top 20. Most of these characters were in hugely popular shows with a vast viewing audience. BtVS aired on two small networks and never had more than 6 million viewers. Now, that's quite a statement on the impact Buffy made on said viewers.
I think it's awesome that Buffy got number 13 on the list. She is an awesome role model, inspiration, and heroine of our time. It's great for Sarah to get the recognition she deserves for working so hard the last 7 years and making a wonderful character so believable. This shows that the character of Buffy, and the show itself, means a great deal to alot of people out there. Thanks Joss for creating something so wonderful. Obviously I feel very compasionately about Buffy :D
A well deserved high ranking for Buffy.

The list seems to have a problem making up its mind regarding the individual cast members or the cast of X, a cast of Sopranos instead of one for Tony and one for Carmella would have made sense and maybe left room for someone from Babylon 5 ?

Buffy changed yes, I thought that was the whole point.
A better description of the show could be 'Buffy grows up and she also slays vampires', would have loved a season 8 with Buffy heading a new watchers council, putting the fear of god a la 'checkpoint' into any remaining watchers.
Basically, you're in roughly the opposite situation to me in that you think Buffy maintained its quality until the end and X-Files didn't, whereas I think Buffy nosedived and X-Files declined slightly. I think the big difference is that Buffy/Angel were more important to me as series, and so when they showed signs of decline I took it a lot worse.

Not exactly, I do think Buffy took a slight "nosedive" during season 7, some of the potentials annoyed the bejesus out of me and the aforementioned Empty Places is the only time I've ever finished a Whedonverse episode and felt unsatisfied. Buffy/Angel were vastely more important to me as series I just didn't think they showed signs of decline (other than what I've just mentioned) whereas I thought the X-Files dropped like a huge rock :)

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in real life who thinks the end of Buffy is good (don't know many Buffy fans at all...), so I have no one to hash these arguments out with face to face - hence my repeated posting ;)

Heh, in this situation we are completely opposite as I don't know anyone irl who doesn't love the end of Buffy :) Of course that's one of the joys of this very site, a place for well thought out discourse on the virtues of various seasons/episodes without any trolls or just people who outright hate the show(which as unbelieveable as it is to me, is sadly common place in both the "real world" and various other internet sites which I make sure I never read to avoid my blood begining to boil and possible damage to either my monitor or the eardrums of anyone near me :) )
What makes me laugh are the people who say they hate it, yet have only seen 2 minutes of it while flicking channels!
I think I would like to defend the end of Empty Places here. There had definitely been a buildup to Buffy's being deposed of leadership. Many times during the season there were moments of discontent about Buffy's leading (and speaching). Some very big, such as Giles and Robin working behind Buffy's back in Lies my parents told me, but also small moments in Storyteller (where the camera shows Willow and Kennedy being bored while listening to Buffy's speech) or when in Get it Done, after a Chloe commited suicide, Xander objected to Buffy's saying she was "leader as in do as I say".

Sure, I don't think they would have kicked Buffy out of her house, but I can understand why they deposed her of the leadership. Buffy herself then concluded she had to leave the house, but she only decided she would leave after she was deposed, so this was not necessarily a factor in the choices of everybody. After she said she would leave it was too late to change the verdict.

Actually the story of the downfall of Buffy reminds me of greek tragedy, where someone by good intentions but with too high self esteem (hubris) falls down real hard. The only difference is that Buffy crawls up and safes the world anyway, whereas in greek tragedy the characters usually just die horribly.

I therefore actually think it was a powerful moment when Buffy had to leave and thought it was a good ending of an episode.
I too Paul Rocks know not a single person in real life who didn't like the Buffy ending. (and I have MANY Buffy/Angel/Firefly fans, mainly because I got them into it.)

I also agree that X-files quality dropped like a rock.

Let me put it this way, on Buffy even at it's worst I've probably rewatched the eps twice and had an ok time with it.

On X-Files, which was my fanboy show, I got so disgusted with the writing that I actually stopped watching (and I know I wasn't the only one.)
I agree with them not actually kicking her out of the house, but it was kind of like Scully not believing Mulder for the hundredth time (to tie in with the other discussion :) ) Buffy always wins, she'd saved the world and all of them countless times, Faith had tried to kill most of them yet she turns up, says she's better and they throw her the leadership almost no questions asked. Just didn't ring true for me. Sure, express some doubts, question the plan but an outright coup/usurpation of the leadership. I just don't see the justification, I can believe the Sit's going for it, they don't really know either of the slayers well enough and Buffy's been pretty hard on them up to that point. Giles, Willow, Xander and Dawn I would've expected more from. I'd had doubts about previous events/story lines before but Joss had always won me over, this is the only time I feel he never managed it.

It in no way ruins my enjoyment of the season or the show as a whole, I just consider it a blip that I can ignore except when I'm actually watching it unfold.
Let me put it this way, on Buffy even at it's worst I've probably rewatched the eps twice and had an ok time with it.

I can go further than that, I've rewatched every episode at least 4 times (some over 10) and always gain great enjoyment out of them (yes even Empty Places, it's only the ending that rubs me the wrong way)

ETA: Sorry about the double post, if I'd thought of it sooner I could've just edited this post onto the end of the other one.

[ edited by Paul_Rocks on 2004-11-30 19:09 ]
In the math Grounded. I thought Buffy had 4 wonderful years (2,3,5,6) two good years (4,7) and one meh year (1). For the X-files I thought they had 5 very good years (1-5) 2 ok years (6-7) and 2 terrible years (8-9).

Unrecognisable season 6,7 Buffy, to me, was a natural progression of her character based on her growing up, her mother's death and her own brief stint in some kind of heaven.

Did I like her as much as early Buffy, no, but it was still great storytelling (ok Willow's addiction was at times pretty iffy, but still)
I always felt that if Buffy had maybe shown the slightest indication to her closest friends and family that she cared even remotely about Xander's injury, the end of "Empty Spaces" wouldn't have happened. I can sort of (if I try REAL hard) understand where Buffy's coming from, but it wasn't what they needed right then ... not Generalissimo Summers, but Buffy Summers.

And they had a point. Buffy wanted them to go back into the place where they'd just gotten their clocks cleaned, with depleted troops and zero morale, for no good reason she could give them. Yeah, we know in hindsight that she was right, but she had no evidence to give and no good reason other than "Listen to me, I'm right," when she was so clearly, painfully wrong last time.

All that said, I detest that moment. I can force myself to understand both sides, but after all they've been through together, I just can't believe it came down like that. And was then forgotten and forgiven like it never happened the next episode, which made even less sense. It was a painful, damaging, ultimately unnecessary moment, except to get Buffy out of the house so Spike could go find her.

...ahem. So, that Buffy. She's greatly iconic, yes indeedy.
The mention of Moonlighting got me thinking: surely the perfect boyfriend for Buffy would have been David Addison. What a spin-off that would be - admit it, you'd all watch that!

P.S. Not sure how to link it (think I've mentioned my technophobia before) but, in case any English fans haven't yet seen The House on Haunted Hill, which JM appears in (briefly!) it's on terrestrial TV this Friday, on Channel 5, at 10.05 pm.
It's brilliant to see Buffy at No9 among some alltime greats. It just goes to show just what a really great show it is.
The only shame is that none of the other charachters made it on to the list, surely Willow and Angel were worth a mention, but if it was a case of divide and rule, I'll think of Buffy as a vote for the whole cast not just a vote for Buffy Summers.
Who knows, maybe if they redo this list in about 10-20 years, we'll see more of our other favorite Whedonverse characters on the list! BtVS is showing all over the place, DVD sales are phenomenal and still going strong so I'm sure every year, more and more fans are joining the rest of us obsessed fans.
Missing in Action:

- Basil Fawlty (Fawlty Towers)
- Arnold Rimmer (Red Dwarf)
- Larry, Darryl and Darryl (Newhart)
- Hawk (Spenser: For Hire)
- Willow, Spike and Angel (duh)

Personally, I would have included the whole cast of Buffy. They deserve to go in the Hall of Fame as a team.
Addison could have matched her pun for pun, but Kirk was all about the action. B likes her men to be action-y.
I'm on board with Paul_Rocks re the end of Empty Spaces. I was furious at the end of that episode - it was the one time that beyond just a personal preference of enjoying a storyline or not - I felt that something completely out of character(s) took place. I remember that I called my Buffy-watching friend that I squealed with during commercials and venting that if this was the best they could do now, it was time to end the show.

Buffy had been unlikeable before. Start of S2 for example. It added to the depth of the character - everybody is unlikeable once in a while. But as teenaged friends, more than once, this tight knit group all gave each other the benefit of the doubt. They confronted one another and yelled, argued, but ultimately loved one another. Xander failed to tell Buffy that Willow was trying to re-ensoul Angel, which was not the only time I was pissed off at Xander for doing, or not doing something, out of jealousy. Xander flipped out over Buffy's having sex with Spike to a huge degree, and Buffy sat down and worked it out with him. Willow got addicted to magic/power and got Dawn hurt, got very nasty, and tried to kill her and Giles, not to mention, end the world. But they were all family, and Buffy didn't banish anyone, or write them off.

I've just started watching S7 again, maybe after seeing discussion here about it, I'll come away with a different feeling the second time around, but I doubt it. This one moment is one I think I always have to overlook. Buffy's prior sacrifices, to include dying, twice, did not warrant this reaction from her friends. And as I said, it all just seemed totally out of character.
All that said, I detest that moment. I can force myself to understand both sides, but after all they've been through together, I just can't believe it came down like that. And was then forgotten and forgiven like it never happened the next episode, which made even less sense.

Yes, this is exactly how I feel too. My only disappointment from the end of Buffy was that I never saw Buffy, Giles, Scoobies, Dawn to talk things through. And they needed it so much.

I have looked through a lot post-´Chosen´ fanfiction trying to find something that would fill this glaring gap for me. The only one that have almost satisfied me was Rob Sorensen's "Schoolbus rock" - link

A little too much Spuffy for my taste, but otherwise very good.
I don't agree that the end of Empty Places "didn't ring true" or "was out of character." For me it was one of those jolts that you don't quite see coming, but make perfect sense when they come, that are a big part of the greatness of BtVS. The Scoobies were beat and scared. They needed more time than Buffy did to work their nerve back up. They refused to back her up. I thought it was completely true to life.

I think the forgiving and forgetting in End of Days made sense, too. Buffy understood why they did what they did. It all worked out for the best. Haven't you ever forgiven a friend for something bad they did and never mentioned it, because that would take back the forgiving?
lince, you should check out jet wolf's The Chosen, a complete S8 with episodes and superb writing. She does everything you ask and tons more. And it is completely and utterly engaging, in a real Buffy way.
Dana5140, thanks a lot for the reference. I will check it out.
They needed more time than Buffy did to work their nerve back up. They refused to back her up. I thought it was completely true to life.

Well sure, that makes sense. So you all put your foot down, say "NO. We're thinking about this before we rush into anything" and then they all sleep on it. They should NOT throw Buffy out of her own freaking house, into an abandoned town crawling with Bringers and Ubervamps who had tried very very hard to cause her serious bodily harm more than once.

If it worked for you, that's cool. For me, it was twelve shades of wrong.

(Patently ignoring embarrassing stuff. :P)

[ edited by Jet Wolf on 2004-11-30 22:44 ]
But they'd all just been decimated. At least, what, 4 girls died? Xander lost an eye? Yeah, they're going to be rational and sleep on it.... I think it would have been weird if they had been. Buffy was operating on hunches, and whether or not those hunches had been honed over years of apocalypse-fighting, they had lost their faith in her ability to keep them safe.
Missing in Action:

- Basil Fawlty (Fawlty Towers)


I agree completely. Better than Python that show.
I loved the end of Empty Places. I saw Buffy season seven as a political metaphor. The First as terrorist leader who basically sits around and goads the suicide bombers (who could be anyone - suspect everyone - even your closest friends) into acting on its behalf. Buffy as the US, whose been the good guy for so long and saved everybody so many times that she's become a real jerk about it, and has genuinely started to believe she's not just stronger but better than the people on her side. The Scoobies as the rest of the "first world", who've rallied around their leader many times in the past, but have started to suspect that maybe she isn't better than they are.

At the end of Empty Places the 'international community' did what the real UN never had the guts to do: said "we can't really tell the difference between you and the bad guys any more, we can't follow you in this".

Up to the hugs&puppies reunion before the final battle I think that season seven is the best extended metaphor for American foreign policy that I've seen. 'Course, it turns out that Buffy's right, everybody else is wrong and everybody falls in behind the boss in the end. That's the part I thought was lame (although you can't have your series end with nobody liking Buffy - given that it was a series finale I'm pretty okay with the way the story went). But the end of Empty Places was great.

IMHO.
But in the case of The First, Buffy *was* actually fighting pure unmitigated evil, which we as the US weren't. A more analogous situation would have been if Buffy had decided that The First, as an incorporeal and indefinite evil, was too difficult to fight, and had instead decided to declare war on other demons that had nothing to do with the problem at hand.

Buffy ended up being "right" in the end because there was no right anymore. Any way that anyone went about it, people ended up dead or injured. Ultimately it was more logical to follow a tested leader (Buffy) over an untested leader (Faith) in the final battle.
Buffy as the US, whose been the good guy for so long and saved everybody so many times that she's become a real jerk about it, and has genuinely started to believe she's not just stronger but better than the people on her side. The Scoobies as the rest of the "first world", who've rallied around their leader many times in the past, but have started to suspect that maybe she isn't better than they are.

The metaphor falls apart though since Buffy is close friends with all these people. Even if she is being less than modest, they can't depose her or throw her out - they're her family and friends and they wouldn't do that to her in a million years, particularly given the dire situation they were in.

There was a similar situation at the beginning of S3, where Buffy's friends were supposed to have resented her for leaving them in the lurch and weren't talking to her. It just smacks of the old 'conflict is good' TV exec mantra.

Now go rewatch Angel ep Reunion ;)
Nice try, jet. Hey, lince, did I tell you she has posters, too? Check it out. And it is not often we can embarrass jet, so cool.

Anyway, the read of S7 as an extended metaphor for US imperialist actions has been made in the scholarly writing, and we are all likely familiar with Anthony Cordesman's writing about Buffy with regard to modern warfare- he is a real army guy. But, also, jet has the Buffy line correct- whatever else, Buffy did not deserve that. However, the Anya routine was telling, when she "killed" Anya, despite Xander's protestations, because all of a sudden Buffy was the law rather than, as she told Willow during the Seeing Red to Grave arc, the slayers and everyone else not being above the law. I think the story lines sort of got out of hand in S7, which is not my fave, in fact is my least fave (as a W/T shipper I am partial to S4 big time, Initiative notwithstanding.
Correct me if I'm wrong, Dana5140, but I thought that Buffy's comments in S6 were along the lines of the Buffy-Faith dilemma of S3, i.e., that when it came to taking *human* life, slayers were not above the law. In "Selfless," Buffy drew the distinction between humans (like Willow herself) and demons, like Anya. Convenient perhaps, but I think it was a viable distinction. Nevertheless, I'm happy to agree that the storylines got a bit out of whack back there . . . And I *love* S4.

As for Buffy's status in the Top 100 list: I feel it is richly-deserved (coming from one who doesn't recognize more than 30% of the names, I hasten to add). First off, as pointed out above, the show was "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"; not "Hell High", or "Teen Vampires", or even "Buffy and her super friends". It was focused on Buffy, from Joss's initial idea for the show about a blonde girl who fights back through the celebration of female power in "Chosen." Yes, the other characters were utterly indispensable, and their arcs were wonderful, and surely this is why we love the show? All the same, to the uninitiated BtVS is a blonde girl kicking demon butt, and to the cognoscenti, well, it's still a blonde girl kicking demon butt, just with some other stuff mixed in. (I exaggerate, but not so much as you might think . . .) It's *Buffy* who is the icon, not Willow or Spike or even Angel, much as we cherish those characters and their stories.

And personally, like NatashaLea, I found Buffy's development every bit as compelling as those of the other characters. Compare "Prophecy Girl" with "The Gift", then with "Chosen". On that basis alone I think she should be highly-placed in the table: she grew and changed, and of how many other TV characters can we say that? Mulder and Scully were fine - I was a big XF fan myself back in the day - but they were essentially ciphers. And, as I've said here before, to me even the "best" episodes of the X-Files don't hold up on repeated viewings. I now find the dialogue overcooked, the plots stagey, and the acting wooden. Fell asleep during "Beyond the Sea", which used to hold me riveted. BtVS changed, and I think S7 was a little suboptimal, shall we say, but it was terrific from start to finish.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2004-12-01 03:16 ]
Grounded, I've never felt that the conflict in BtVS was just for the sake of it. I could always see both sides, unlike many shows where you usually had a totaly bogus side, and the hero was in the right. This has always been a show where good people sometimes did bad things for good reasons, and had to deal with the conequences. (Though as has been said, in this particular case it was quickly forgotten. Maybe if there had been a S8 it would have been dealt with.)

And as to Buffy herself becomming unlikeable, I love that this IS a show where people change, develop and grow. I loved that S2 opened with Buffy being a Bitka. God knows what The WB must have thought when they saw THAT!

There may have been time when I didn't like Buffy, but I always loved the show.
zz9, it's bitca with a "c." SNT, COUGH! -*Mulder* and Scully- COUGH!
Oops, written in haste, and now I'll repent at leisure. thanks dreamlogic!
Well sure, that makes sense. So you all put your foot down, say "NO. We're thinking about this before we rush into anything" and then they all sleep on it. They should NOT throw Buffy out of her own freaking house, into an abandoned town crawling with Bringers and Ubervamps who had tried very very hard to cause her serious bodily harm more than once.

Yeah, but Buffy herself is the one who issued the ultimatum. She's the one who's not willing to listen and who's escalating the tension. When she feels like things aren't going her way, she lashes out and issues the ultimatum -- probably not expecting anyone to call her on it. She made her own bed. No one would have thrown her out if she hadn't forced their hand. Granted, I think that some things said in that confrontation were probably out of line (especially Anya), but Buffy just laid down orders and expected everyone to follow them. For me, it's no wonder that they finally found that to be too much to ask.

That said: it was all kinds of lame for no one but Faith to go after her (initially). But you know, I think that's a quality of S7 issue more than anything else. There's no way that would have happened a few years earlier on the show.

Embarrassing fangirl factoid: JetWolf, I totally found your site YEARS ago because of your Top 100 Sailor Moon moments. I was so surprised when I found that you had not only added some X-Men fandom stuff to your page, but also Buffy. Heh. Your site is like this one-stop shop for all my geeky needs! Just wanted to mention that

[ edited by sistakaren on 2004-12-01 07:38 ]
sistakaren, I was going to try to make some of the points you made in your post in my last, but sort of gave up. Season 7 is out on DVD now. Everybody watch the *brilliant* last scene of Empty Places and observe the emotional cascade that got out of the reach of almost all the characters' intentions.

I can't claim obvectivity, though. I overidentify much with Buffy the Unpopular Leader.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2004-12-01 08:39 ]
I agree with everyone with respect to the crappiness of "Empty Places." But you know what really bothered me about s7? Buffy cooked up a bad plan and it worked. The story gave her the win in the form of a mystical axe that no one had ever heard of until it became The Most Powerful Weapon Ever that could -- to top it off! -- magically make all the potentials full-fledged slayers. I stopped caring at that point. I even missed a few episodes near the end, and I don't care. Buffy didn't earn any of it, and that's bad storytelling. I had many other problems with the series by that point; I would have made of bunch of changes to plot points and story lines as early as s5 and especially in the two seasons after that; but that was something I couldn't let slide. YMMV, mind you.
No, okay, I grant a general lack of objectivity going on, so maybe "let's sleep on it" wouldn't have worked. I still can't stomach that the answer was to throw Buffy out on her arse and then not even spare us a few lines of dialogue where everyone acknowledges the act instead of pretending it never happened. But I guess I'm belabouring the point. You'll have to excuse me - I just finished rewatching S7 recently and it got me ticked off all over again. Better now.

sistakaren: What can I say, I guess I'm a fangirl's fangirl. Everyone pretend with me now that the title is a good thing.
Buffy didn't earn any of it, and that's bad storytelling. I had many other problems with the series by that point; I would have made of bunch of changes to plot points and story lines as early as s5 and especially in the two seasons after that; but that was something I couldn't let slide.

Yes! You've summed it up perfectly :)
Buffy DID earn it. Throughout the course of the season Buffy had been struggling with her superiority/inferiority complex. She was in a constant state of personal conflict with her role as a leader.

In Touched, when Spike confronted her, she went through a personal change. She "got over it" when she returned home, and became a leader again she was a stronger one. She was over much of her self-doubt. The Scythe was representing that. It was a symbol of her leadership.

I think she earned that.

If we wanted to talk about unfairly powerful magical weapons, or random deus-ex machina we can go back all the way to season 4, where suddenly her friends could turn her into Neo. Or season 5 where the only weapon they could use was a big troll hammer and than her own blood. Season 7 continued this trend, and like season 4's ending managed to be more thematicly resonant than good plotting.

[ edited by rabid on 2004-12-01 15:53 ]
It doesn't make much sense to defend a deux ex machina by quoting other instances! The blood in The Gift was definitely a bit of a fudge, but at least the hammer had been established previously. As for the 'Neo' bit, they used Superstar to explain how to kill Adam - they just didn't quite get the execution right. The Scythe just turned up in Sunnydale and solved everything - really, what's the point in that?

Didn't someone already mention in another thread that Joss agrees with the Scythe/the amulet being too convenient in a commentary? I can't remember...
he did comment on that, however he stated thematicly it was importance.

He also stated people were right that the ubervamps were too easy to kill, but that too was a thematic thing.

I think you are mistaking what I'm saying, the deus-ex machina in buffy are not generally used as plotting tools, they are used as thematic points.

For instance the "Neo" thing (and no there was no mention in Superstar that the friends bodning would turn Buffy into a Magical creature who could turn bullets into birds). Was there to show the friends rejoining, it was used as a means to show these friends coming back together and that Buffy was stronger with them at her side.

The blood was the familial link season 5 was showing. The fact that Buffy owuld sacrifice her own life to save Dawn's because of the "blood" in her veins.

Same thing with the scythe, which was a representation of Buffy's leadership and power, leadership which she was earning alone in Touched.

YES the show does contain narative things like that, but they aren't FREE they are representations of the themes underlying the seasons and the series. I don't just watch Buffy for the girl going on an epic quest and using clever quips, I watch it for the symbolic and thematic relevance as well.

Once again though I doubt I'm going to change anyone's opinion, but hey I enjoyed season 7 and know why I do.

[ edited by rabid on 2004-12-01 16:49 ]
I guess someone should mention the infamous Guardian and her crypt no one knew about but suddenly everyone could find their way to.
( Buffy, Angel, Caleb, Spike, everyone seemed to have gotten the memo suddenly ) convenient for the story yes but ...

Still love the 'he had to split' line though.
For instance the "Neo" thing (and no there was no mention in Superstar that the friends bodning would turn Buffy into a Magical creature who could turn bullets into birds).

I didn't say there was, but the manner in which he could be killed was uncovered. They didn't really need the Neo thing at all, that's why I said they didn't quite execute it properly.

Same thing with the scythe, which was a representation of Buffy's leadership and power, leadership which she was earning alone in Touched.

But how can it hold any meaning when it's simply handed to them, along with the amulet?

I don't just watch Buffy for the girl going on an epic quest and using clever quips, I watch it for the symbolic and thematic relevance as well.

Neither do I, but any thematic relevance should have a solid plot to stand on otherwise it's completely undermined.
Grounded is saying things better than I would, except I didn't have much of a problem with the Neo thing, largely because it wasn't all that necessary, as Grounded argued, but also because it 1) built on the Science vs. Magic tension that ran throughout the season, 2) made a nice statement about the power of cooperation and friendship (which sounds hammy when I write it, but you get the gist), and 3) looked cool. Still, the fact that it wasn't necessary did it for me, ultimately.

Let me just add that my problem with the scythe isn't so much that it showed up so conveniently, although that does bug me quite a bit. Rather, my issue is this: Buffy didn't resolve anything; the scythe did it for her. She was an awful leader and things basically turned out fine. The story vindicated Buffy when it should have punished her. (Which is part of my problem with the whole s7 project -- I don't believe the story itself was very well conceived. At least with s6 I could sort of see what they were trying to do, even if I thought the execution sucked in some ways; nevertheless, I don't believe it was beyond repair. s7, though, was just bad all around). All my opinion, of course.
I just need to say, no way should Carrie Bradshaw rank higher than Buffy.

I love "Sex and the City," but mostly because of the relationships--not because the characters are anything special. In fact, I think the opposite is true. They're very stereotypical, and the show would have been better to create more realistic characters instead of relying on the old archetypes: Samantha's the blonde vixen, Charlotte's the brunette prude, and Miranda's the redheaded cynic. Carrie, who's shallow, whiny, and a bad writer, was designed as a mix of the three--and yet, she still has very little complexity.

And was anyone else annoyed by Sarah Jessica Parker's constant shrieking? Oh no, Carrie's getting rained on! [scream, scream, scream] Who screams because of rain? How obnoxious. Unlike Buffy, one of the strongest yet most realistic female characters ever written, Carrie's character sets women back.

Even Buffy's most annoying character quirks were more endearing than Carrie's character in general.

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