Daily Archives: March 7, 2019

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Cordelia Chase

*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.

According to the lore of the high school social hierarchy, the popular cheerleader is the girl that we should all aspire to be. On the top of the pyramid that the social aspect of high school, the girls want to be her and the boys want to date her. She is also often cast as the mean girl who takes pleasure in putting down her classmates.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the character trope of the popular cheerleader/mean girl was filled by Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter). When Cordelia meets Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), she genuinely likes her. That is, until Buffy becomes friends with Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and becomes a target for Cordelia’s cruel taunts. She is also unaware of the darker elements that are engulfing the school and the community.

At the end of the first season, Cordelia’s eyes are opened about the nature of the world that she lives in. Not only does she become friends with the Scooby gang, but she starts an on/off relationship with Xander (Nicholas Brendon). Towards the end of season three, as the prom nears, Cordelia reveals that her family is having major financial issues and she must now fend for herself.

After surviving graduation and the destruction of Sunnydale High School by the mayor, Cordelia moves to Los Angeles in hopes of becoming an actress. Instead, she works with Angel (David Boreanaz) to solve supernatural cases. She is no longer the popular cheerleader/mean girl that she was in high school, she is working for a greater cause. After gaining the power to know when someone is in trouble from Doyle (the late Glenn Quinn), the person that she was back in Sunnydale disappeared. Instead, she has become an adult who understands what it means to sacrifice yourself for something greater.

To sum it up: the essence of any character arc is to watch a character develop over the course of the time that they are on our screens. Between BVTS and Angel, Cordelia morphed from the standard teenage trope of the popular cheerleader/mean girl to a woman who put others needs before hers. It is a remarkable journey for a character that could have easily remained two-dimensional and predictable.

Instead, the writers of BVTS and Angel created a character who grew from a young girl to a woman. The one thing I remember about Cordelia is that her arc felt very real. The growing process from our teenage years to adulthood is full of emotional potholes and barriers. By the time Angel ended in 2004, Cordelia was a woman who looked like the young girl that she was, but was a very different person from the audience’s initial introduction.

That, if nothing else, is the mark of a good writer.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

Throwback Thursday-Made (2002-2014)

Imagine, if you wanted to do something that you thought was impossible. Then you had the opportunity to do what which you thought would be impossible.

Made aired on MTV from 2002-2014. Each episode followed a young person as he or she goes on a journey to do something that they have wished to do, but have been unable to previously. Aided by a “Made Coach” who is an expert in the field, the subject of the episodes works to reach what they thought they could not do.

Among the pantheon of reality shows, Made stands out. It’s not some frothy show about the wealthy, the famous or finding a date. It’s about the very difficult journey of reaching your goal, no matter how hard it gets.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

What is Good For the Republicans is Good For the Democrats

Hate and prejudice have no place in this country, whether it is on the streets or in the corridors of power.

Instead of censuring Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) earlier today, House Democrats took the easy way out. While they did pass a resolution on antisemitism, it was akin to putting a band-aid over a bullet wound.

When Rep Steve King (R-Iowa) questioned how the term white supremacist could be hateful, he was severely and publicly censured by his party. In contrast, the response by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to Rep Omar’s comments looks weak.

Rep Omar is entitled to her opinions and to speak out of there is a legitimate humanitarian crisis.  There is a humanitarian crisis in Palestinian territories, but it is not caused by Israel. It is caused by the Palestinian leadership who is more interested in destroying Israel than actually supporting the citizens who call the Palestinian territories home.

 

As a voting bloc, American Jews have voted mostly for Democrats for generations. We have a Presidential election coming up next fall. If the goal of the election is to replace you know who with a qualified member of the Democratic party, I suggest that the Democratic leadership censures Rep Omar now. If they don’t, they may lose the confidence of the voters and help you know to another four years in office.

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Filed under National News, Politics