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30 Days of Buffy Meme — Day 8

btvs_halloween
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

Favorite Friendship:

Friendship is sooo important on the show. I am sad about the characters on Buffy that don't have important friendships. Even Cordelia is keenly aware of the utter shallowness of her relationships:

CORDELIA: Bummer for her. It's awful to feel that lonely.
BUFFY: Hmm. So you've read something about the feeling?
CORDELIA: Hey! You think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. Sometimes when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word I say.
BUFFY: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?
CORDELIA: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself.
Out of Mind, Out of Sight

And look what a lack of friends does to Marcie! And Jonathan! Fer crying out loud, it drives him into the clutches of Warren!

That said, friendship isn't exactly without its pitfalls. Most of the friendships on the show have their breaking points, as well as their triumphant moments. The Buffy/Willow friendship is really central, but also fraught with problems due to their matching superiority/inferiority issues. Willow/Xander is probably my favorite at the point where it alone saves the world, but is very disturbing at other points along the way. People rightly give Xander a hard time for the way he tries to control Buffy's love life, but the same could be said of Willow regarding Xander's relationships, exactly zero of which she accepts. The Buffy/Xander friendship is even more up and down. He struggles for years over his "friend-zone" status with her and constantly switches between "supporto-guy" and "attacko-guy".

There are interesting relationships outside the Core Three. Dawn/Tara, Dawn/Spike, Buffy/Giles all have strong familial overtones, which I enjoy, but that doesn't allow for a fully equal exchange. Buffy/Giles especially ends up breaking when he can't accept her autonomy. Spike/Clem is a huge hoot. Giles and Ethan's ex-friendship is incredibly interesting to me, if not exactly healthy. Workplace friendship Anyanka/Halfrek makes me wish better friends for Anya. Riley's friendship with Graham pretty much saves his life, so I think it's under-appreciated. Forrest, on the other hand, is exactly the kind of controlling friend nobody needs.

I really appreciated the all-too-short Buffy/Tara friendship. Having Buffy accept her as her own person allowed Tara to come just a bit more out of her shell, and Tara's understanding and non-judgmental attitude was exactly what beleaguered, depressed Buffy needed.

But the Spike/Buffy friendship was probably my favorite, even if it was fated to be just one iteration of their tumultuous story. He accepts her as she is, she brings him into a more meaningful life. They share humor, strength, and a love of the fight. It's what Xander once described as "a solid foundation for future bliss". That future may never materialize anywhere outside of fanfic, but it's still a foundation. I'm guessing this is a minority "favorite".

This entry was originally posted at http://rebcake.dreamwidth.org/36009.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
chasingdemons
Jun. 25th, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
Yes. There is not enough said about the Spike/Buffy friendship as the focus seems to go directly on something more shippy.
rebcake
Jun. 25th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
I'd say they were friends for longer than they were lovers, although they were antagonists for even longer, if we're not counting the comics. I suppose it depends on when you think they were friends. Late season 5, after Intervention counts with me, as does a big chunk of season 7. The irrefutable issue of Spike being in love with her does color things, though. There's a case to be made that she loved him, too, but either way I don't know that love negates the reality of the friendship.
zanthinegirl
Jun. 25th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
I'm a confirmed Spuffy-fan, but I tend to think their relationship was doing well while they were still "just friends" in the heady days of early season 6. In an ideal season 6 they would have been friends longer before trying a romantic relationship! I though they got the friendship back in season 7, especially towards the end. And it's the thing I like best about the season 10 comics so far. I actually don't expect to see "future bliss" in the comics, but ITA on the solid foundation!

One thing I like best about the buffy-verse is that those friendships aren't static. People in real life grow and change, and their friendships do also. I love Buffy and Tara's friendship in season 6 for just that reason, and Buffy and Giles breaking apart in season 7 kills me just a little.

But Spike & Clem! The world needs moar Spike & Clem!
rebcake
Jun. 25th, 2014 03:25 am (UTC)
Clem is the best! I love how in Season 7 Clem and Buffy get along like a house afire! "Hey girl, how you been?" "Hey! You look great! Really toned!" Hee.

But yeah, I like the friendly interplay with Buffy and Spike after Intervention and in early season 6, even if I'm pretty sure that there are deeper feelings on her side as well as his. It's good to let things develop over time, if you can. 'Cos, you know: foundation.

Edited at 2014-06-25 06:17 am (UTC)
eilowyn
Jun. 25th, 2014 05:34 am (UTC)
Wow. That Xander:Buffy's relationships::Willow:Xander's relationships (I assume you've been recently helping McDiva with SATs, so you know what that means) kind of blew my mind. And I for one appreciate Spike/Buffy friendship, but it never was a friend-zone friendship like Xander - there always was sexual tension.
rebcake
Jun. 25th, 2014 06:16 am (UTC)
there always was sexual tension

True. And, more importantly, it was always two-sided.

I'm sort of old-fashioned. I tend to think that it's not romance until it has a "making out" component, which is way too binary. And I also think that sexual partners can be true friends. Weird, I know.

Edited at 2014-06-25 06:16 am (UTC)
makd
Jun. 25th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
I love your post - because it's really a meta on BtVS friendship!

I had forgotten that conversation between Buffy and Cordelia, which is strange because: that's the first BtVS that I watched. And I was hooked from that episode!

Cordy and Buffy had this almost frenemies relationship, which was always interesting to watch....
rebcake
Jun. 25th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
Heh. I always have these "meta-lite" posts. I'm in awe of people who can bang out a whole treatise with outside references and deep, thoughtful examination. When I set out to explore an idea, if always ends up sounding like a standup routine to me: "Hey, did you ever notice how..."

Here's a meta worth reading, though not about friendship: Triggers, Chips, & Souls - Trading Clothes & Ringing Pavlov's Bell - Meta on Spike by shadowkat67.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words. My first episode was (dear lord) Reptile Boy, but I absolutely loved the Buffy/Cordelia interaction there, too! I thought they had something interesting. I'm not a big femslash fan, but there's the right kind of tension there to make a good story. Not least for the heartache it would cause poor Willow...
slaymesoftly
Jun. 25th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
I totally agree! The really strong friendship that grew between them in spite of/in addition to the romantic/sexual side is key to understanding why they may have lasted. I'm seeing the comics leaning in that direction now - lots of mutual caring, with the (supposedly) unrequited love taking a back seat. Okay by me as long as it keeps Spike in the mix and gives me something to work with when I want him to have more. :)
rebcake
Jun. 25th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
I remember at WriterCon 2009, Anaross just flat-out stated that Spike's entire journey was to find a family. She may have said something like community, I'm not sure. But he's so thirsty for meaningful connection with people, and not just of the "quenching the blood lust" variety, that I am ridiculously grateful for any gesture of friendship thrown his way. Buffy's gestures in that direction were the deepest, even if it took her awhile to get there. I'm also happy with the direction the comics are going in making Spike an integrated part of the team, and Buffy's pal. It may not be where it ends up, but I think it's good for both of them.
kikimay
Jun. 25th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
Buffy/Spike's friendship is one of the best thing ever. They have a way to interact with each other that also involves friendship. They can share a drink or being in comfortable silence together. They can talk. (Which is something I've never saw with Buffy and Angel. They can work as romance but never friends) Personally I think that a true OTP has to have friendship mixed with all the other feelings. They need to understand each other.
rebcake
Jun. 28th, 2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
I agree on all points! Couples with an intellectual as well as emotional and sexual chemistry are most likely to survive. Or, to hold my interest, anyway.

But, because Devil's Advocacy is my religion, I feel I must say that Buffy seemed able to talk to Angel as a friend in Chosen. I'm not sure he's capable of the same, though. ;-)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )