Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review-Wesley Wyndam-Price

*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.

By stereotype, the British are believed to be traditional, by the book and unable/unwilling to move away from the tried and true. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this 2D character stereotype was introduced in the form of Wesley Wyndam-Price (Alexis Denisof). Sent by the Watchers Council to be a second watcher to assist Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart-Head) with slayers Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Faith LeHane (Eliza Dushku), their relationship does not start well. Full of it and not exactly able to do his job, Wesley is as ineffective as one can get as a Watcher.

It does not help that there is a mutual crush between himself and underage Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter). When the final battle happens between the students of Sunnydale High and the Mayor, Wesley is knocked out as the battle is just getting started.

The viewer then sees Wesley in Los Angeles. Filling a void left by Doyle (the late Glenn Quinn), he joins Angel Investigations working with Angel (David Boreanaz) and Cordelia. When Faith is hired by Wolfram and Hart to kill Angel, but she kidnaps and tortures Wesley instead.

A while later, Wesley develops feeling for Winifred “Fred” Burke (Amy Acker), the newest member of the team. He also switches to the dark side when he tries to save Angel’s newborn son, Connor (played as a teenager by Vincent Kartheiser), but his throat is slit in the process. After dealing with loss, a bruised ego and discovering the truth about his father, he dies next to his beloved, Fred.

To sum it up: Over the course of his time on screen, Wesley moves from a pompous know it all who is obsessed with rules to a man who more often than not, gave into his flaws and weaknesses. But in the end, he redeemed himself by fighting for what was right. As an audience member, I can’t ask for a better character arc.

P.S. Fun fact: Alexis Denisof and Alyson Hannigan are married IRL and have two daughters.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

Throwback Thursday-Mom at Sixteen (2005)

Being a parent is never easy, regardless of age. But so is infertility.

In the 2005 TV movie Mom at Sixteen, Donna Cooper (Jane Krawkowski) is a high school teacher who desperately wants to be a mother. But she is wrestling with infertility. Jacey Jeffries (Panabaker) is a sixteen year old who has discovered that she is pregnant. Her mother, Terry (Mercedes Ruehl), forces Jacey to keep the baby and arrange for adoption after the baby is born. But Jacey decides to keep the baby and have her mother raise her grandchild as her own child. How can Donna help and will Jacey be able to raise her child?

For a Lifetime movie, which is usually oozing schmaltz and predictability, Mom at Sixteen is pretty good. I appreciate that the film honestly depicts both teenage pregnancy and the turmoil that comes with being infertile. Both topics are emotionally difficult, but this film plays in a way that does not feel forced or overdone for the sake of a few more eyeballs on the screen.

Do I recommend it?

Yes.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today Book Review

History is full of stories of women who have made the world a better place, but their contributions are unknown at worst or trivialized at best.

Pamela Nadell would like to change that narrative. Her new book, America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, is the story of Jewish women from the earliest days of the American colonies to our modern era. Over the course of the book, she examines the lives and experiences of notable women such as Abigail Franks, Emma Lazarus, Fania Cohn and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This book is one of the best history books I have read in a long time. It is dynamic, easy to read, exciting to read and educating the reader without hitting them over the head.

I recommend it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History

Those Who Live in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones

We all remember where we were on 9/11. Unlike other memories that fade, where were that day and who we were with are forever burnt into our memory.

Last week Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) gave a speech at a CAIR event. It is not a surprise that the right jumped on the speech and a specific phrase in the speech as if it was a piece of meat thrown to a group of famished hyenas.

The phrase, in regards to 9/11 and the rise in anti-Islamic hatred is as follows:

“Some people did something”

There are two issues. The first is that the right and the right leaning media (which unfortunately includes the NY Post, a paper that I have been a loyal reader of for many years) focused on that particular phrase instead of pulling back and getting all of their facts together before reacting.

The second issue is that you know who continues to harp on Representative Omar about her previous antisemitic comments. While I don’t quite think I will ever completely forgive her, the death threats that she and her family are receiving are a symptom of a much bigger issue in this country.

In spite of saying that he is pro-Israel and bears no hatred for people of the Jewish faith, his past tweets say otherwise.

By the way, does anyone else recall that while thousands of innocent people were dying on 9/11, he was bragging that he then owned the tallest building in lower Manhattan? (Starts at 1:50)

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

2 Comments

Filed under National News, New York City, Politics

Thoughts On the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

Iconic is a label that is often used lightly without considering the context of what or whom is considered to be iconic. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a building that is automatically labelled iconic, for good reason.

Construction on the cathedral initially began in 1163. It ended after nearly 200 years of work in 1345. An untold number of generations of parishioners and visitors have marveled at the beauty of the architecture of this building. It is one of the finest creations that mankind has ever built. Yesterday, it was nearly destroyed by fire. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished before the cathedral could be completely destroyed along with the priceless historical and religious objects that it houses.

I’ve never been there, but I can imagine how awe inspiring this marvel of human ingenuity is.

I feel for the people of Paris and the worshipers who consider Notre Dame to be their church. Regardless of faith, this church belongs not only to the people of Paris, but to the whole country. It is theirs to love, cherish and worship under, if that is their prerogative. Ask any religious person and they will likely tell you that their specific house of worship is akin to their second home. I feel the same way about the synagogue that my family attends. I don’t attend very often, but when I do, it’s like snuggling under a warm blanket with a hot drink on a cold winter night.

It will take time to rebuild, there is no question. But this ancient and beloved house of worship will return to her former glory, that I know is certain.

1 Comment

Filed under History, International News, Thoughts On...., World News

Women Warriors: An Unexpected History Book Review

When it comes to war and women, the general image that comes to mind is not the warrior on the battlefield. At best she the wife, the sweetheart or the mother doing her part on the home front while the men are fighting for their country. At worst, she is the victim of rape, enslavement or of a massacre.

Pamela D. Toler’s new book proves otherwise. Entitled Women Warriors: An Unexpected History, the book examines how women throughout history have taken up arms to protect their nation and their people. Jumping throughout time and different parts of the world, Dr. Toler examines the reasons why these women went to battle and the challenges they faced both as women and warriors.

I found this book to be fascinating. I loved that instead of focusing on one area of the world or one specific part of human history, the book spans the gamut from ancient times to the 20th century. My only warning is that some readers might consider the book to be a little too academic for their taste.

I recommend it.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History

The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump Book Review

The FBI is one of the most important aspects of our legal system. Without their tireless work, this country will be a dangerous place to live.

It doe not help when certain members of the executive branch question the motives of the members of the FBI.

Andrew G. McCabe worked for the FBI for over twenty years. After succeeding James Comey, he was fired in 2018. His new book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, is the story of his career and the last few years on the job from his perspective.

Part memoir and part retrospective, the book examines how the current administration (both during the 2016 election and presently), is using every tool in the box to undermine the reputation and hard work that the FBI puts in to protect this country.

Unlike a certain President who is apt to tell lies and half-truths, Mr. McCabe comes off as honest and respectable, even if it makes him look bad in the process. From my perspective, this is just another reason why you know who is ill-equipped for the job that he was unfortunately voted in for.

I recommend it.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, Politics

Thoughts On the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer

After months of anticipation and speculation, the teaser trailer for the new Star Wars film was released today. The name of the 9th film in the series is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

My mind is blown. Like any teaser trailer, there is just enough information to tempt the audience to want more without giving away too much detail.

With most of the cast from the last two films (the late Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Adam Driver) returning to a galaxy far far away, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will hopefully be the closing chapter that this narrative deserves. Among the cast, there is also a familiar face: Billy Dee Williams will be returning as Lando Calrissian, linking the past with the present.

I could watch this trailer multiple times and nitpick, looking for clues as to the overall story, but I don’t want to. I just want to enjoy the trailer and wait until the film premieres in December.

P.S. Did anyone else get the chill when they heard the unnerving laugh of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid)? I cannot fathom how they have brought him back from the dead, but it will be from my perspective, one of the highlights of Episode 9.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies, Star Wars, Thoughts On....

Flashback Friday-Behind the Music (1997-Present)

Behind every successful musician is a human being who did everything they could to see their dreams become reality. Along the way, there are predictably a few bumps and bruises.

Behind the Music premiered in 1997 on VH1. For the last 22 years, it has been one of the staples of the network’s schedule.

Each episode focuses on the lives and careers of a specific band or artist. Each artist or band is followed as they grow up, struggle to make it as a performer, become successful and try to maintain that career while dealing with the everyday stuff that we all deal with.

I really like Behind the Music. In terms of the biography format,it doesn’t feel forced or glossed over. Each artist has the opportunity to tell their own story in a way that it unique and personal to them.

I recommend it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flashback Friday, Music, Television, TV Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Darla

*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.

The hallmark of any good character is change over the course of their time that they are on the screen or on the stage. Without that change, the character is static and unappealing to the audience. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Darla (Julie Benz) went through what can only be described a roller coaster of change.

When the audience meets Darla in the premiere episode of BVTS, she is just another vampire out to kill as many humans as she can. But unlike other vampires on BVTS and Angel, the audience gets to know Darla. Born in the 16th century, she was turned into a vampire by The Master (Mark Metcalf) in the early 17th century. Nearly and a century and a half later, Darla sired Angel (David Boreanaz), who became her lover. In the mid 19th century, their twosome grew to a foursome when Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) joined their group.

In Sunnydale, Darla sees the town and her living residents as fresh meat. She understands that fighting Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) will require intellect as well as physical strength. She uses Angel, who is now with Buffy to get the slayer. Ultimately, it is Angel who stakes Darla.

Three years later, Darla is revived by Wolfram and Hart to get to Angel. This plan gets tangled when Angel and Darla sleep together. Her last act on earth is giving birth to their son, Connor (Vincent Kartheiser), redeeming herself after centuries of murder and destruction.

To sum it up: As a character, Darla goes through an extraordinary change. As a viewer, Darla is one of the more interesting characters because of the journey she goes on and the change that she experiences. It is our job as a writer to create that roller coaster. If done well, that roller coaster not draws the audience in, but keeps the actor on their toes. This is why BVTS and Angel fans still have a high regard for Darla.

Leave a comment

Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television