Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Kendra Young

*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.

Art has a strange way of imitating life. Like in real life, some people are not meant to be around forever. They are just meant to be part of our lives for a short time before moving on. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kendra Young (Bianca Lawson) was only on the show for a brief time. In the world of BVTS and Angel, when one slayer dies, another one is immediately activated.

After Buffy is killed by The Master before being brought back to the life, Kendra is activated as the new slayer. Kendra’s entire world is being the slayer, while Buffy is balancing being a normal teenager with her slaying responsibilities. She nearly kills Angel (David Boreanaz), thinking that he is one of the baddies.

Over time, Kendra and Buffy become friends and learn from each other. That friendship is cut short when Kendra is killed by Drusilla (Juliet Landau).

To sum it up: We learn from everyone we meet and every experience we have. Though her time with Buffy is brief, Kendra teaches Buffy to accept her destiny as a slayer and Buffy teaches Kendra to enjoy life. When creating narratives and characters, no matter how far out the world maybe from the real world, there still has to be an element of reality. Buffy and Kendra’s friendship, as brief as it is, leads to life lessons that can only be learned from one another.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

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