Daily Archives: January 17, 2019

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Willow Rosenberg

*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.

Confidence is not always something that some of us have naturally, especially when we are teenagers. Confidence sometimes has to be grown into. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy’s BFF, Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) was not the most confident when the series started. Book smart, tech smart and a little awkward, Willow was not exactly at the top of high school social hierarchy. But she was not alone in her social awkwardness. Her other BFF, Xander (Nicholas Brendon), was equally looked down upon.

But then things changed for her. Willow discovered that not only was she a witch, but also found solid romantic relationships. In high school, she dated rocker/werewolf Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green). In college, she not only came out of the closet and dated Tara Maclay, but also became confident with her magical abilities.

But even with her new-found confidence, Willow is far from perfect. Her addiction to magic nearly kills her and everyone around her. It nearly ruins her relationship with Tara and compounds her grief when Tara is murdered. But she is able to heal from the loss of Tara, move on from her addiction and find the will to move on with her life.

To sum it up: Watching a character gain confidence in who they are and their abilities can be a very compelling narrative. Over the course of the series, Willow grew from a teenage girl who doubted herself to a woman who faced personal trials and survived. That story is as old as the human race and continues to be compelling because we all go through a similar narrative in our lives.

P.S. As a Jewish redhead, seeing myself reflected on-screen was the cherry on the top of the ice cream that is Willow Rosenberg.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

Throwback Thursday-Beat Bobby Flay (2013-Present)

There is nothing like a challenge, especially when one goes up against a master in your field.

Beat Bobby Flay premiered on the Food Network in 2013. The purpose of each episode is for one of the contestants to beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a cooking contest. The structure of the game is as follows: Two professional chefs create a meal based around a single ingredient of Bobby’s choice. The winner is chosen by two of Bobby’s celebrity friends who would like nothing more than to see him lose. The winner of the first round then takes on Bobby using a dish of their choice. This dish is judged by three additional professional chefs/restaurateurs. Can Bobby Flay be beaten or will he win to fight another day?

Beat Bobby Flay is interesting because there is nothing like going up against a master to teach you. It’s also a little bit of a nail biter to make a guess as if Bobby Flay will live up to the title of his program.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Throwback Thursday-Finding Your Roots (2012-Present)

Discovering previously unknown parts of one’s family tree is akin to being a detective.

Finding Your Roots premiered on PBS in 2012. Hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., each episodes focuses on two or three well-known personalities as they learn about their family trees. The cumulative research of genealogists, historians and genetics experts is then compiled into a book of life. As the subject of each episode follows along, Mr. Gates either reveals their family history or answers questions to long-held family secrets.

Genealogy is a fascinating subject, at least from my perspective. It’s more than knowing where your ancestors came from. It’s about connecting the past to the present and revealing that the human experience is a universal one.

I recommend it.

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Filed under History, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review