Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Xander Harris

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Every superhero has to have the mortal friend. Sometimes, this friend is a wise ass, always cracking a joke when the tension has reached its highest. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this mortal friend is Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon). Xander is not just one of the Scooby Gang, he is the one who is frequently attacked by the baddie of the week. Like many teenage boys, his romantic life is often hit or miss, especially with crushes on Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter).

Years later, Xander was engaged to the demon in human form Anya (Emma Caulfield Ford). But he broke the engagement out of fear. They had what can only be described as the science fiction version of will they or won’t they, until Anya died during the battle with The First Evil.

To sum it up: Laughter is always the best medicine. Especially when all h*ll is about to break loose. On Buffy, Xander not only provides the laughter, but the humanity to Buffy’s super-strength. A good writer knows where to provide the balance between the drama and the laughter, the humanity and the superhuman. By injecting Xander’s humanity and comedy into Buffy, the show is not just another science fiction/fantasy show. It is a show that underneath the magic and the fantasy, there is a humanity to the narrative and the characters. That is what usually hooks audiences and keeps them coming back for more.


At This Point, Why Not Just Give Him The Dam Wall Already

When faced with a toddler having a tantrum, one has two choices. They can give the child what they want, knowing that this will stop the tantrum. The downside of this method is that the child learns that he or she will get what they want with a tantrum if the initial answer is no. Or, the parent will look the kid in the eye and make it clear that no means no. Taking a tantrum will not result in getting what they want.

Right now, in Washington D.C. we have a President who has been taking a tantrum for nearly three weeks. This tantrum has led to a government shutdown and will likely prevent federal workers from receiving their badly needed paychecks tomorrow.

At this point, I am so sick of the back and forth. Why not just give him the wall already? He has from my perspective, already proven to be an ineffective and clueless leader.  Let him waste billions of American tax dollars (read: not Mexican tax dollars) on a border wall that will do not nothing to resolve the issues with our immigration system.

Then we will see what happens next fall, perhaps then those who blindly follow him will see the truth of the man they continue to support.


Throwback Thursday-This is Life with Lisa Ling (2014-Present)

There is an old saying: we can never understand another person until we walk a mile in their shoes:

Lisa Ling‘s CNN documentary program, This is Life with Lisa Ling (2014-Present) is the next best thing to walking a mile in another person’s shoes. Every episode tells the story of Americans who see the world from a similar perspective. No issue is off limits. This past season, Ling took the viewers on a journey to meet the children of killers, visited a town full of psychics and explored how the damaging the legal system can be toward fathers in the process of divorce.

I find this program to be fascinating. It is fascinating because we are all human beings, but we frequently don’t see that common humanity. This is Life with Lisa Ling allows the viewers to see the subjects of each episode as fellow human beings, opening the door to conversation, common ground and mutual respect, in spite of our differences.

I recommend it.

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