Friday, April 5, 2013

30 Days of Buffy and Feminism Day 27

Day 27: Cutest Moment

So many things in Buffy are adorable.  But somehow I knew I was going to pick something from "Chosen", because somehow it feels mandatory.

The Buffy and Angel "Cookie" Exchange in "Chosen"

BUFFY (cont'd)
I'm well aware of my stellar history
with guys, and no, I don't see fat
grandchildren in the offing with
Spike, but... I don't think that
matters right now.
(thinks a moment)
You know, in the midst of all this...
insanity, couple things are actually
starting to make sense. And the guy
He joins her, also leaning on the crypt.

BUFFY (cont'd)
You know, I've always figured there
was something wrong with me, 'cause
I never made it work. But maybe I'm
not supposed to. ANGEL
Because you're the Slayer?
Because... okay, I'm cookie dough,
Yet another curveball...
I'm not done baking yet. I'm not
finished becoming... whoever the hell
it is I'm gonna turn out to be. I've
been looking for someone to make me
feel whole, and maybe I just need to
be whole. I make it through this,
and the next thing, and the next...
maybe one day I turn around and
realize I'm ready. I'm cookies. And
then if I want someone to eat m --
or, to enjoy warm delicious cookie-
me, then that's fine. That'll be
then. When I'm done.
Any thoughts on who might enjoy... do
I have to go with the cookie analogy?
I don't really think that far ahead.
That's kind of the point.
I get it.
A beat, and he hands her the amulet.

ANGEL (cont'd)
I'll start working on a second front.
Make sure I don't have to use it.
A beat, his hands on hers, and he starts off.

Angel. I do. Sometimes... think
that far ahead.
He stops, smiles a bit.

BUFFY (cont'd)
We both have our lives, but...
sometimes... ANGEL
Sometimes is something.
It'd be a long time coming. Years,
if ever.
He walks backwards into the dark, smiling at her.

I ain't gettin' any older.
He disappears into shadow. She watches him go

This is adorable for a number of reasons. 

First of all, I've written here before about how I hate pretty much all of Buffy's relationships throughout the series.  This whole conversation is an acknowledgement of how terrible Buffy's romantic history is.  She even takes Angel's idealism down a peg.  I think in some way, in his very haughty way, Angel thinks he was supposed to come save the world with her and then sweep her off her feet.  He's so territorial when they talk about Spike that you'd think they hadn't actually been broken up for FOUR YEARS.   

Also, I feel like this is kind of owning her mistakes and realizing that she doesn't need to repeat them because she doesn't need someone else.  Being single isn't necessarily a feminist choice, but recognizing that it's okay to be single when you feel it's the best choice for you definitely is.  And Angel acknowledges here that he's pretty cool with this.  

Buffy has a lot of inner strength and she's finally kind of coming into her own, truly, here.  And the cookies metaphor is really adorable. Angel's reaction to it, for as broody and haughty and full of himself as it is, is also pretty adorable.

My blog hit 5000 pageviews today, which is like nothing in Internet numbers, but you guys are all awesome and I appreciate everyone who reads even a post on here.  Thank you!  

Monday, April 1, 2013

30 Days of Buffy and Feminism Day 26

Day 26: Favorite Scooby Gang Configuration 

Yikes.  It's tough with this one because in almost every configuration there's either a favorite of mine missing or someone I don't like in the gang.  So, this one surprised me, too.

Season 5: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Tara, Anya, Giles, and Spike (kind of)

I guess this is early Season 5, before Dawn really got clued into everything and was actively working with the gang.   As much as Dawn has grown on me as a character, I still find her an ineffective member of the gang all the way through the series, mostly because I cannot tolerate the sound of her screaming constantly. 

I like Oz a lot, and think he added a lot of levity and fun to the gang.  I also like Cordelia because watching her develop as a character in seasons 2 and 3 was really interesting.  But I also think their replacements were effective improvements, at least as far as the fighting aspects go.  Anya and Tara both bring with them talent that we didn't get to see before, Tara through magic and Anya through her extensive knowledge that is often not found in the seemingly thousands of books Giles has in stock.  The beginning of Season 5 also saw a distinct dropoff in Riley's involvement in fighting, thank God.  I only have a couple more days until I get to write about Riley and I'm really excited for it.

The characters who have been around all along have also grown into themselves by this point.  Buffy has come to a new point of accepting her responsibility as a Slayer, even embracing it.  Giles has both realized that Buffy doesn't need him anymore and that she does WANT him around.  Xander is still....Xander...well, oh well.  Willow is at a point where she is able to do powerful magic but has not hit the addiction point with it.  And Spike is in an interesting transition period, starting to accept that he's not able to be evil anymore but not yet realizing his affection for Buffy. 

From a feminist perspective, we're at an interesting point in the series where the female characters are almost universally more useful than the male ones here.  This is, to an extent, always the case.  But it's especially obvious here.  In fact, all of the three male characters are sort of in transition--Xander trying to figure out who he is and what is relationship is with Anya, and the aforementioned identity crises of Giles and Spike--while the four female characters have grown into their strengths and have confidence in them. 

Plus, the magic shop is the best Scooby home base post-Sunnydale High.