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30 Days of Buffy Meme — Day 7

Day 1: Favorite Season
Day 2: Favorite Episode
Day 3: Favorite Song Used In An Episode
Day 4: Favorite Female Character
Day 5: Least Favorite Female Character
Day 6: Favorite Male Character
Day 7: Least Favorite Male Character

Day 8: Favorite Friendship
Day 9: Favorite Romance
Day 10: Least Favorite Season
Day 11: Least Favorite Romance
Day 12: Least Favorite Episode
Day 13: Favorite Potential Slayer
Day 14: Favorite Female Villain
Day 15: Favorite Male Villain
Day 16: Episode You Like That Everyone Else Hates
Day 17: Character You Relate To The Most
Day 18: Character Who Didn’t Get Enough Screen Time
Day 19: Character You Like That Everyone Else Hates
Day 20: Best Spike-centric Episode
Day 21: Best Willow-centric Episode
Day 22: Best Xander-centric Episode
Day 23: Two Characters You Wanted To Get Together That Never Did
Day 24: Hottest scene
Day 25: Favorite Buffyverse Saying
Day 26: Favorite Scooby Moment
Day 27: Cutest Moment
Day 28: Character You Love To Hate
Day 29: Episode You Hate That Everyone Else Loves
Day 30: What You Think Made Buffy So Great

Least Favorite Male Character:

There are lots of men on Buffy to dislike. Some I love to hate. Some I only hate some of the time. There are hardly any guys on the show that I feel neutral about. All of them have disappointed me at some point or other. Even darling Oz screws up.

I'm doing a rewatch right now, and I'm finding Xander less charming than ever before. I don't hate him, though. He's pretty realistic with good and less good traits; his crimes are small time, personal ones, mostly, and he seems to show growth to a certain extent over the course of the show.

A character trait that I find disturbing is paternalism — a person, organization, etc., that protects people and gives them what they need but does not give them any responsibility or freedom of choice. In Buffy, there are a range of men (and sometimes women) who exhibit this trait, and I don't like 'em: Quentin Travers, Angel, Maggie Walsh, later-season Willow Rosenberg. Riley Finn has a real tendency in this direction, but he never really pulls it off. There's deadbeat dad Hank Summers on the other side of the equation. Is taking on more responsibility for people than they want you to really worse than not taking any responsibility for your actual children? There are some "daddy" figures on the show that are really wonderful: Giles, Richard Wilkins III (The Mayor), and D'Hoffryn.

There are characters who are horrible, but too funny to really hate: Principal Snyder, Ethan Rayne, enormous user Parker, pre-coming out Larry. Larry is an example of lovely character growth. He's a HUGE jerk who becomes a sweetie pie and a hero. He's a cautionary tale against writing off people, really.

But then there's the out-and-out misogynists: Pete from Beauty and the Beasts, the yucky swim team/coach combo from Go Fish, the horrible werewolf hunter from Phases, Tucker Wells from The Prom, Kralik from Helpless. These are mainly one-shot villains, though, and I don't feel like they have enough impact to rise to the level of "the worst".

Then there's Warren. He's arguably a Great Man, a genius. He's completely aware of his choices, but he chooses to use his gifts for entirely selfish, destructive ends. He's given plenty of opportunity to rethink his trajectory but remains unrepentant to the end. Was anybody sorry to see him go?


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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
chasingdemons
Jun. 23rd, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
Warren is an excellent choice. Ben is a close second.
rebcake
Jun. 24th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC)
I'm actually pretty agnostic about Ben. He's sort of bland, and then doesn't, ahem, "man up" when he's pressed, but I don't hate him. He's doomed, and doesn't really improve his situation much with his actions. His only option to be a "good" person is to commit suicide, and that's asking a lot of somebody.

I read a great essay about him called Ben as Illusory Comfort which makes excellent points about how Ben is ruthlessly and pointlessly placating, even at his best. Totally worth a read.
zanthinegirl
Jun. 23rd, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
He's a cautionary tale against writing off people, really.

I think this could be said about oh, a good 30% of characters in the Buffy-verse. Cordelia? Wes? Anya? Andrew? Certainly Spike, Drusilla, and Darla. I would hate to have missed any of their stories!

re: Warren: One thing I noticed the last time I rewatched season 5 was just how sneaky and duplicitous he was even in season 5. He was funny in early season 6, but there was always that undercurrent of "creep". He makes my skin crawl in very MRA ways. Women are a commodity to him, not real people. ::shudders:: His bot was really a brilliant way to show that!

re: Xander: He certainly has his moments when he's way, way out of line. But he grows up a lot over the course of the series. And he's consistently funny. I'll forgive a lot for that!
rebcake
Jun. 24th, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
I think this could be said about oh, a good 30% of characters in the Buffy-verse

Absolutely! It's one of the things that I love about the 'verse. Nobody is without sin, nor without redeeming qualities. Mostly. Just like the rest of us.

Warren's redeeming qualities are all frittered away by his overwhelming need to be recognized as superior. Willow has similar impulses, but unlike Willow, Warren's intellect and ingenuity are never used for the benefit of anyone else.
makd
Jun. 24th, 2014 12:29 am (UTC)
Nope....despite how he went, I was more than happy to see him go.
rebcake
Jun. 24th, 2014 03:45 am (UTC)
Co-signed.
rbfvid
Jun. 24th, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC)
Warren is the character I love to hate, but I really love his story. All that way from nerdy jerk and comic relief villain into really scary monster. Actually, he is the only one scary buffyverse villain for me, all others are too cartoonish (or not exactly the villains).
rebcake
Jun. 24th, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
Personally, I love to hate the Watcher's Council/Quentin Travers, but I agree with you about the very visceral scariness of Warren. He's just too believable. I've met Adam Busch, the actor that portrayed Warren, and am pleased to report that he's nothing like Warren. Whew!

Unrelated scariness note: Spike is not really scary to us, the viewer after The Intiative when he has his "performance problem" with Willow. When he attacks her before the commercial break, though, it's maybe the scariest thing on the show ever.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )