Tag Archives: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Late Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Kate Lockley

Dearest readers, I apologize for the late post. The pull of Independence Day was just too strong.

On an administrative note, this will be the last character review post I write about the characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The next group of characters I will be writing about are….you will have to come back next week and find out.

*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.

There is something to be said for a healthy dose of skepticism. It keeps us sane when the impossible happens and we need to process what has just happened.

On Angel, the skeptic is Detective Kate Lockley (Elizabeth Rohm). A member of the LAPD, she is ignorant of the supernatural world that exists around her. She meets Angel (David Boreanaz) while investigating a murder, thinking that he may be a potential suspect. But she doesn’t know that Angel is trying to find the killer. Her obsession with him as the killer grows the point in which she breaks into Angel Investigations and starts to search the site without a warrant. This leads to a scuffle with the real killer in which Angel saves her and Kate is able to give justice to the victim’s loved ones.

Angel is cleared of all charges and they become sort of partners. But Kate does not know that Angel is a vampire. When her father is killed by a vampire and she learns who he really is, Kate goes on a quest to rid Los Angeles of the supernatural. Then a resurrected Darla (Julie Benz) decides to drink her way through the denizens of Los Angeles. Believing that Angel is responsible for the murders, she goes to arrest him, but lets him go because she knows that she knows that he can stop this crime.

The skeptic becomes a believer to the nth degree, but her obsession gets her fired. She nearly dies from an overdose of pills and alcohol, but Angel arrives in the nick of time to revive her. Their relationship ends with the belief that there is someone watching over them and protecting them as they fight against the forces of evil.

To sum it up: Kate works as a character because she is the eyes of the audience. While the other characters are well versed in the supernatural world, Kate only knows of the non-supernatural world. Her exposure opens her eyes and eventually teaches her acceptance, which often comes after a few bumps and bruises. Viewers remember Kate because of this journey and her eventual understanding that there is often more than meets the eye.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Connor

*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.

One of the marks of adulthood is making the conscious or unconscious decision to break away from your parents and how you were raised. The grey area of this decision is that as much as you may want to break away from your parents, they are always with you.

On Angel, that break is represented by Connor (Vincent Kartheiser). Born to two vampires, Angel (David Boreanaz) and Darla (Julie Benz), he was not raised in the typical happy family life.

Initially taken care of by his father and the rest of the gang at Angel Investigations, Connor is kidnapped and raised by Daniel Holtz (Keith Szarabajka) and raised in another dimension. Taught to hate his father, Connor has superhuman abilities and is not afraid to use those abilities.

Returning to Earth, Connor is now a teenager and is intent on killing Angel. But Angel, like many good parents, forgives his son, even after Connor tries to drown him and watches him from a distance. He also, like many young men, falls in love. The woman he falls in love is Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). She becomes pregnant and both are manipulated by a cosmic entity bent on destruction.

To save his son’s life, Angel agrees to take over the running of Wolfram & Hart. Connor’s memories are wiped and replaced with that of a normal childhood. Though his memories are briefly returned to him, Angel tells him to go back to his foster parents and live as any young man would.

To sum it up: Though Connor tries to run from his past and his parentage, he can separate himself from the fact that he is Angel’s son. By the time the series ended, Connor found peace with himself, his past and his father. As fans, we remember Connor because we understand his inclinations and though we may have grown past that stage of life, we can easily remember going on that same path.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: The Master

*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.

In every science fiction and fantasy program, there has to be a big bad. This character represents all of the evils of this fictional world. The ultimate goal of the hero or heroine is to stop this big bad. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the first big bad is the Master (Mark Metcalf).

The Master is an ancient vampire who leads a centuries old order of vampires. Relying on ritual and prophecy, he knows of the existence of the Slayer. Forced into the Hellmouth, his goals are two fold: kill the Slayer and destroy humanity. Unable to leave his prison, he sends his vampire minions to find victims and create new vampires.

He feeds by proxy. Sending Luke as his “emissary” to the world above, the Master feeds when Luke feeds. But Buffy continues to get in his way, staking Luke and saving lives. When they finally meet, it is a battle that tests both Buffy and the Master. Buffy wins, but not before being killed by the Master and then resuscitated by her friends.

To sum it up: every villain thinks they they are right, that their actions are entirely correct. On BVTS, the Master believed that his perspective and his world was the correct way to live. The humans were incorrect and therefore, they had to go. A good villain is committed to their cause 150% and will do anything to achieve their goal. The Master, if nothing else, is committed to his goal, which makes him the perfect villain and the perfect foil to the Slayer.

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Thoughts On the 20th Anniversary of Angel

Sequels and spin-offs have an iffy reputation. If they are done well, they are an homage to their predecessor while blazing their own path. If they are done poorly, the sequel or the spin-ff casts a shade on it’s predecessor and it’s legacy.

On October 5th, 1999, Angel premiered. A spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show follows Angel (David Boreanaz), Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) soulful vampire ex-boyfriend. Angel has moved from Sunnydale to Los Angeles, where he is seeking to redeem his violent and bloody past by being a hero.

While Angel goes on the hero’s journey to make up for his past, he is joined by allies who support his cause and his goal of redemption. Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (the Glenn Quinn) joined Angel in the first season. Later on in the show’s run Wesley Wyndam-Price (Alexis Denisof), Charles Gunn (J. August Richards), Lorne (the late Andy Hallett), Winifred “Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker) and Spike (James Marsters) fought against the forces of darkness.

Compared to BVTS, Angel was darker. It dealt with the same themes as BVTS, but the show dealt with those same issues with a grittier and more mature perspective. Unlike other heroes who see the world as black and white, Angel saw and understood the shades of grey that exist and force us to make decisions that in hindsight are not always wise.

Twenty years later, Angel still resounds with the fans because of the show’s grittiness, it’s honesty and the universal desire for redemption.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Riley Finn

*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.

Some relationships are meant to last a lifetime. Others are meant to last a short time. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) first boyfriend after high school and Angel (David Boreanaz) was Riley Finn (Marc Blucas). Their first meeting comes during Buffy’s freshman year of college. He is the TA in her psychology class. He appears to be just a normal college student, but he is not.

He is a member of The Initiative, a military like organization whose job is to protect humanity from vampires, demons and other dangerous non-human creatures who put humanity at risk. At first, both Buffy and Riley are unaware of each other’s double lives, but they come clean eventually.

During their brief relationship, Riley learns a few things. One thing he learns is that the scooby gang is very particular as to who they let in. He also learns that not all demons are evil. After The Initiative was destroyed, Riley lost his sense of who he was, causing him to act recklessly and question his relationship with Buffy.

In the end, Riley and Buffy’s relationship ended like many relationships do. They are good when they are good, but they are not meant to last forever.

To sum it up: One of the lies that Hollywood tells audiences is that the perfect relationship is well, perfect. There is just enough drama to make the story interesting, but not enough to be realistic. This relationship will last forever and the couple in question will live happily ever after. But that is not reality.

As writers, it is up to us as to how we want to portray the couple and their relationship. However, I believe that we have a responsibility, even in a hyper fictional world like BVTS and Angel, to ground these romantic relationship with a sense of reality. That sense of reality allows the audience to connect with the characters and make them believe in the relationship. As I see it, that is the key to the success of television program or a movie.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Doyle

*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 death of an actor who plays a pivotal role in a movie or television show is more than the loss of the actor who played the role and the human being who is no longer on this earth. It requires the creative team to reinvent the narrative and the character development without this actor and the character they played.

On Angel, half demon Allen Francis Doyle, otherwise known as Doyle, was played by the late Glenn Quinn, who died from a tragic overdose in 2002.

Doyle’s powers did not manifest until he turned 21, when he was married to a human woman. The marriage did not work out due to his ex-wife hesitance to accept who her husband was. This led to Doyle living only for himself, not caring who he hurt in the process. Then the visions came and Doyle turned his life around. Teaming up with Angel (David Boreanaz) and Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), they officially form Angel Investigations.

Doyle falls in love with Cordelia, but she wants nothing to do with him because he is half demon. It is only after the brief reappearance of Doyle’s ex-wife and his sacrificing himself to save Los Angeles that Cordelia accepts Doyle for who he is. Their brief kiss is more than a kiss, his powers of sight and the headaches that come with those powers are now Cordelia’s.

Though Quinn’s time on Angel was short, his character had a major impact on the world of the show and the fans. Like many of the characters in the BVTS and Angel universe, Doyle had a past and challenges he had to overcome due to his past. In his short time on Angel, Doyle was starting to see beyond his past. Unfortunately, both the character and the actor’s passing prevented Doyle from growing further.

RIP Glenn Quinn.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Lorne

*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.

A good joke has the ability to lighten the mood. When a show is particularly dark, comedy is needed to break up the darkness for both the characters and the viewers. On Angel, the comedy came by way of Lorne (the late Andy Hallett). Given the name of  Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan at birth, Lorne comes from a warrior clan who are constantly battling against the forces of evil and have a serious distaste for humans.

Among his kind, Lorne was unique. He enjoyed art and music and preferred to spend his time doing anything but training for battle. After being sucked to Earth via a portal (the same portal that sent Winifred” Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker) to Lorne’s home dimension of Pylea), he opened a karaoke bar. Instead of using his innate mystical gifts to hunt prey or fight, he used them to read the emotions of those who sung on his karaoke stage.

Lorne reluctantly joins Angel Investigations, initially preferring to do his part as a neutral third party. But Angel (David Boreanaz) has a way with words and before he knows it, Lorne is part of the crew. While living and working with Angel’s team (and taking care of Connor (played as an adult by Vincent Kartheiser), Angel’s newborn son), he discovers that the hotel they call home is bugged.

A brief stay in Las Vegas turns into a nightmare when a crime lord threatens to kill innocent people unless Lorne uses his abilities for less than honest means. In the final season of Angel, after the team takes over running Wolfram & Hart, Lorne is put in charge of the entertainment division. But all is not what it seems.

After Fred is murdered and Illyria takes over her body, Lorne’s normal cheerful disposition turns dark. Disgusted with the way that his world and his friends have changed, he walks away for good.

To sum it up: We all need a good laugh. In the world of Angel, where darkness and death were sewn into the narrative, Lorne provided a laugh, a one-liner and a moment to just breathe. As a character, the audience remembers Lorne because of his ability to make the audience laugh. That is why we love him and why we keep going back to this character time and again.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Charles Gunn

*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.

Sometimes, a warrior does not come from a traditional background where they receive formal fight training. A warrior may learn to fight because he has to. On Angel, Charles Gunn (J. August Richards) fought because he had to. Born and raised in inner city Los Angeles, Gunn learned from an early age that it was up to him and those around him to protect the residents of his neighborhood. Especially when the vampires invaded.

Gunn meets Angel (David Boreanaz) when he tries to dust Angel, not knowing that Angel is not a baddie. It takes Gunn a little bit of time, but he soon joins Angel’s crew as a fully fledged member. When Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) is sucked into the alternative world of Pylea, Gunn joins the boys in finding her and bringing her home.

When they return home, Gunn must face his past when his former gang is slaughtering demons for no reason. Knowing that he cannot go back, he finds the family he did not have before. He also finds love with Winifred “Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker). But that love is tested when Gunn kills the man that sent Fred to Pylea, where the Angel Investigations crew first met Fred.

The guilt of the murder leads Gunn to Wolfram and Heart, where he become a lawyer by the power of magic and takes over the L.A. office. Though Gunn has good intentions, you know what they say about those who have good intentions. In the end, Gunn dies fighting for what he believes in.

To sum it up: A warrior is someone who does what they need to do to protect their home and their loved ones. Though Gunn does not have the traditional background of a warrior, he is still a warrior in every sense of the word. He may not always make the wisest choices, but his heroism comes through in the end.

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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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