Tag Archives: Anthony Stewart Head

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Drusilla

*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.

Evil is not born, it is made. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Darla (Juliet Landau) was not born evil. But she was made evil by Angel in his Angelus form (David Boreanaz) who killed her family, tortured her and sired her (when a human is turned into a vampire). Possessing psychic abilities and a childlike insanity that hides an innate intelligence, Drusilla joins Angelus, Darla (Julie Benz) and Spike (James Marsters), whom she sired, make up quite the evil quartet.

In Sunnydale, Drusilla hears about the new slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and is eager to make her mark as the vampire who killed the newest slayer with Spike’s help. But Buffy is not so easy to kill. But she is easy to manipulate when it comes to her boyfriend, Angel. After Angel reverts back to Angelus, he and Drusilla have some serious flirting going on. This does not sit well with Spike.

Though Drusilla is unable to kill Buffy, she does kill Kendra (Bianca Lawson) and takes Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) captive. Feeling betrayed, Spike switches sides to get his girlfriend back. They escape to South America, but Drusilla is not happy with the relationship and ends it with Spike.

In Los Angeles, hearing that a now human Darla is dying, Drusilla attempt to sire her. That siring does not go as planned, though the vampires do go on a killing spree. Hearing that Spike has moved on, Drusilla returns to Sunnydale in hopes of renewing their relationship and the vampire quartet that roamed Europe. Neither happens and as the world of BVTS and Angel closes, Drusilla is wandering about the world somewhere, looking for her next meal and perhaps a new vampire to sire.

To sum it up: The best villains are not born, they are made. As a main baddie, Drusilla stands out because she is ruthless, but under that ruthlessness, she is emotional and is incredibly smart. A smart villain will entice the audience to get involved and stay involved with the narrative because they, as a character, are enticing to watch.

 

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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.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Anya Jenkins

*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.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, especially when a woman takes revenge on her cheating husband or boyfriend.

On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anya Jenkins (Emma Caulfield) was introduced in third season as a guest character. Though she was once human, the audience meets her as Anyanka, a demon that women call on when they want to take revenge on the men who have cheated on them. When Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) catches her boyfriend, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) kissing Willow (Alyson Hannigan), she wishes that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) had never moved to Sunnydale. This opens the door to an alternate reality where there is no slayer and the vampires control the town. Thankfully, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), destroys her necklace (where her power comes from), returning the world back to normal and returning Anya back to human form.

Because she has lived for 1000 years as a demon, Anya is unaware of the social cues and social norms. This leads to uncomfortable moments within the Scooby gang and comedy for the audience as Anya says and does things that someone who is aware of social cues and norms would not say or do. She also has a will they or won’t they relationship with Xander, which leads to them nearly saying I do. But Xander is manipulated by someone from his soon be wife’s past and his growing anxieties lead him to break off the engagement just before the ceremony. At the end of the series, Anya becomes a martyr, sacrificing herself to save her former lover.

To sum it up: the woman taking revenge on her cheating significant other is a standard narrative. Anya makes the character more interesting by adding the comedy and the lack of awareness of what not say and do. This comedy not only lightens the dark mood of BVTS, allowing the audience to laugh and wanting to come back for more.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Rupert Giles

*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 hero needs a mentor, especially when the hero is in the throes of adolescence. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that mentor is Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head). Though he looks and acts like a mild-mannered school librarian, Rupert (refered to as Giles) was strategically placed at Sunnydale High School. He is a watcher, responsible for guiding and supporting the slayer as she protects the living from the undead. But Giles is much more than just Buffy’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) watcher, he becomes a father figure to his charge and her friends. He also provides the historical background of the baddie of the week and home base (the school library) for the Scoobies to do hang out and do research before Buffy does her work.

Though he may look like and sound a proper Englishman, Giles was quite the rebel in his youth. His vices were dark magic and rock and roll. That is, until a life changing event forced him to change course and follow in the family tradition of being a watcher. After the high school was destroyed at the end of season 3, Giles felt like he had no direction in life. Then he takes over as owner of The Magic Box and Giles had his place in the world back. He also began to feel like Buffy needed to stand on her two feet, his presence in her life was not helping her grow as a human being. By the end of the series, Giles is able to move on with his life, knowing that Buffy no longer needs her watcher.

To sum it up: Being a mentor, especially when your men-tee is a teenager can be both gratifying and heart breaking. It is gratifying because you can shape a young mind, but it can be also heart breaking. At some point, your men-tee will no longer need you. As a character, viewers remember Giles because he is not just the adult mentor, but he also has a heart. He was also a young once and experienced his own rebellion, adding a layer of understanding to the adult that the audience thinks they know.  This combination endeared Giles to the audience and allowed the young audience to see him not just as an adult, but as someone who we can relate to. For that alone, Giles will forever be a memorable character.

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Flashback Friday-Merlin (2008-2012)

The hero or heroine’s journey is a common narrative. For some, that journey is the rocky road from youth to maturity.

The television series Merlin (2008-2012) told the story of the young man who would become one of the greatest wizards in mythology. Starring Colin Morgan as the titular character and Bradley James as the future King Arthur, Merlin is initially a servant in King Uther’s (Anthony Stewart Head) Camelot. As time goes on and Merlin grows up, he will become a friend, a companion and a trusted adviser to the man who will be known as King Arthur.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this series, but the fact that it lasted four years says something about the quality of the program.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Persuasion 1995 Vs. Persuasion 2007

Persuasion is Jane Austen’s final novel, published posthumously with Northanger Abbey.  It is her most mature novel. There is sadness and a sweetness to the novel. The question of what if pervades the novel. What if we had a second chance at true love? What if the love of your life, the one that got away, came back? Do you take the chance at happiness or do you let it slip through your fingers once more?

As I have done with the comparisons of Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice, I will be comparing the 1995 Persuasion and 2007 Persuasion.

1995 Persuasion

Cast: Anne Elliot (Amanda Root), Captain Frederick Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds), Sir Walter Elliot (Corin Redgrave)

  • Pro’s: This adaptation is beautiful and spot on to the text of the novel. Every actor is perfect for his or her part.  Redgrave as Sir Walter is Austen’s metro sexual, is cringe worthy as Anne’s only surviving parent. Root, as Anne is brilliant. Shy and retiring at first, but slowly coming into her own and learning to trust her instincts. Hinds, as Captain Wenworth, is stubborn and angry, but slowly looses his anger and starts to remember why he and Anne fell in love in the first place.
  • Cons: None.

2007 Persuasion 

Cast: Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins), Captain Frederick Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones), Sir Walter Elliot (Anthony Stewart Head)

  • Pro’s: Hawkins and Penry Jones were well cast in their parts and age appropriate. Stewart Head (Giles to my fellow Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fans) is as cringe worthy as his predecessor.
  • Cons: As with some adaptations, some aspects of the story line or some characters are edited or removed completely.  As much as I love the scene where Anne runs through Bath after receiving the letter, it would have not been appropriate for a well bred young lady to run as she did.

And the winner is…the 1995 Persuasion, but not by much.

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