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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The 10 Best Love Triangles, Ranked

Relationships are fraught with tension, drama, and anguish. And that’s just in real life. Imagine dating somebody on the Hellmouth. Not only could a vampire steal your life—but they could also steal your mate. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scooby Gang always has their hands full. Sometimes, it’s with fighting the latest Big Bad, but often it’s with their own romantic conflicts.

The love triangle is one of the most tried and true plot devices ever. That’s because the audience can get involved and invested, debating the ship worthiness of one couple over the other. Over its seven seasons, Buffy had more triangles than a geometry class. So which were most guaranteed to steam up your TV? Here is Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The 10 Best Love Triangles, Ranked.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 10 Times The Show Broke Our Hearts

10 Willow, Oz, Veruca

Happy couples don’t exactly make for great TV. But it’s a testament to the stellar Buffy writing staff that we’d be tickled pink if Willow and Oz were able to carry out their too cute for words romance with nothing bad ever happening. Sadly, this is not in the cards for TV’s favorite witch-werewolf couple.

Despite his commitment and red-hot attraction to Willow, Oz finds himself drawn to Veruca. As a fellow werewolf, Veruca has a natural connection to Oz that Willow never will. The sexual connection between Oz and Veruca is animalistic, to say the least. Veruca urges him to literally cast off his shackles and roam free. Though this comes back to literally bite her, Oz realizes that his werewolf side isn’t nearly as under control as he thought. He fears being a danger to those he loves, namely Willow, and splits town. Love triangles are known for both their agony and ecstasy. With this one, it’s a lot of the former and not much of the latter.

9 Angel, Buffy, Scott

While the Willow-Oz-Veruca triangle was way too tumultuous to be enjoyable, this one has the opposite effect. Scott is like the poppy field in The Wizard of Oz—guaranteed to put the viewer to sleep. The best we can say about Scott is that he makes Angel, fresh back from his summer vacation in hell, green with envy. It looks like Buffy has moved on with her life and it’s a life that doesn’t include the vampire who tortured and murdered her friends.

RELATED: 10 Boyfriends On Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ranked Worst To Best

Alas, this never becomes a full-fledged love triangle as Scott takes himself out of the running by prematurely dumping Buffy. We should be outraged by his actions, but—zzzzzzzz.

8 Xander, Anya, Spike

Seriously, what’s more audacious? Xander leaving Anya at the altar or telling her he still wants to date her…then leaving her at the altar? Before we even have time to contemplate an answer, Xander goes for the hat trick of audacity, slut-shaming Anya for sleeping with Spike.

It’s called a rebound, Xander. Anya is left lonely and heartbroken and Spike’s in a similar boat after Buffy leaves his bed. Mutual misery isn’t the most positive reason for sexual congress, but given the circumstances, it’s beyond understandable. We’ll concede that it has to be painful for Xander to have watched it live, courtesy of the Trio’s creepy hidden cameras, but the man-made his choice. Even though Spike and Anya never pursue a romance, let’s just say it—they have a lot in common and are totally ship worthy. Meanwhile, Xander can walk the plank.

7 Buffy, Angel, Cordelia

This barely counts as a love triangle, as Cordelia deludes herself into thinking Angel has any real feelings for her. Still, Buffy is her own worst enemy, as her insecurity gets the better of her. Thanks to some liberated Watcher Diaries, Buffy gets it in her head that Angel has a thing for delicate women of nobility. In the present day this translates to a varsity cheerleader, not a Slayer.

Angel assures Buffy she has nothing to worry about and Cordy eventually gets the message. Ironically, years later Angel and Cordy end up getting together on Angel. That too has its own detrimental complications. Angel teaches us that if a vampire ever comes up on our Tinder, swipe left.

6 Cordelia, Xander, Willow

Xander, like many of us, wants what he can’t have. Even before Willow admits her crush on him, he has an inkling that it’s there. When she winds up blurting it out, it’s an explosive reaction to Xander’s relationship with Cordelia. Considering that Cordelia made her life hell for years, it’s a real boot to Willow’s heart.

But like a lotus growing out of mud, Xander and Cordelia’s relationship is the best thing for Willow. She’s finally able to let him go and find happiness with Oz. But now that Willow’s unattainable, all of a sudden she’s looking mighty fine to Xander, who puts the moves on her. Willow and Xander carry out an affair of the kissy variety behind their partners’ backs. When they get caught, it has disastrous consequences, namely for Cordelia who winds up getting impaled. No guy is worth dying for, especially Xander Harris.

5 Xander, Anya, Willow

Most love triangles involve two parties warring for an individual’s romantic affections. This one is an anomaly because Willow and Xander no longer have feelings for each other. Willow has come out as gay and besides, Xander is…Xander. But they’re still BFFs and Willow is used to being the most important woman in his life. Furthermore, Willow had beef with Anya before she even started dating Xander. The result is that Xander finds himself playing the role of rope in Willow and Anya’s tug-of-war.

RELATED: Top 10 Most Powerful Demons In Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Tension between Willow and Anya comes to a head when Willow accidentally summons Anya’s ex, Olaf the Troll. He announces he will kill Willow or Anya, and Xander has to choose which one. It must be a blue moon because Xander makes the selfless decision to sacrifice himself instead. This obviously doesn’t happen, but Xander’s gesture dissolves the sharp edges of this contentious triangle.

4 Riley, Buffy, Spike

Usually a love triangle involves somebody loving two people at once. In this case, Buffy loves neither man nor vampire. Spike assesses the situation best: things suck for him because he’s on the outside looking in, never getting the tiniest bit of affection from Buffy. But then there’s Riley, who goes through the motions with Buffy, gets to live a romantic life with her, all the while knowing that she doesn’t fully return his feelings.

There’s some truth to Riley’s accusation that Buffy is using him. At some point, she should have the self-awareness to see what everyone else does. But oh yeah, her mom is dying of cancer. So she’s a little preoccupied. Besides, the Slayer deserves better options than a panty-stealing stalker and an ex-soldier who pays vampire prostitutes to bite him.

3 Spike, Drusilla, Angel

How does that expression go: You always hurt the ones you love? Or is it, the ones who hurt you, you always love? Either way, both adages can be applied to this three-ring circus of a love triangle. In their prime, Spike and Drusilla are total goals. But there’s the lingering shadow of Angel. Can you blame Drusilla? You don’t just forget the first person who tortures you to insanity. In the vampire world, this is like somebody giving you their class ring.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 5 Best Friendships (And 5 Worst)

Even though Angel gets Dru a human heart for Valentine’s Day, it’s clear he doesn’t really love her. He just enjoys getting under Spike’s skin. Dru adores being the cause of this cockfighting, and why shouldn’t she? All’s fair in love and undeath.

2 Oz, Willow, Tara

As flattering as it may be having two people love you at the same time, we don’t envy Willow’s decision. Tara is sweet and devoted, but also an unknown. Who’s to say things don’t blow up between them two weeks down the line? Then there’s Oz, who Willow knows she has crazy chemistry with. But there’s scorched earth there. Can Willow trust Oz not to break her heart again?

The whole thing ends up being a nonstarter. For all his Tibetan training, when it comes to Willow, Oz can’t keep his wolfiness under control. He packs his bags and Willow goes to Tara who’s waiting with open arms. It doesn’t fully sit right with us that Willow picks Tara by default, but we can’t thumb our noses at the beautiful love that comes from this relationship.

1 Angel, Buffy, Spike

What makes this one an anomaly is that Buffy is never really involved with Angel and Spike at the same time, save for the last episode. She previously spent a chaste yet intimate night with Spike, yet when Angel rolls into town, he and Buffy engage in a steamy make-out sesh that makes it clear their feelings have not changed own iota since their breakup.

There have been arguments upon tweets upon forums debating the merits of Team Angel vs. Team Spike. The series finale, for all its flaws, answers the question best—Buffy belongs with neither. Never mind the myriad of reasons why Angel and Spike are unfit partners in their own unique, spectacular ways. Buffy says it herself that she needs to figure out who she is first. When it comes to this triangle, we’re Team Buffy.

NEXT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The 10 Funniest Episodes Ever


2019-07-15 01:07:38

Liz Hersey

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 6 Times Buffy Was A Good Friend (& 4 She Wasn’t)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer broke the mold. Not just in terms of cult TV status, but in terms of the titular character herself. Buffy comes from a long line of Slayers. She is the Chosen One, meaning she and she alone is meant to protect the world against vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. Well, Buffy Summers gives a big fat middle finger to tradition and ritual by involving her friends, the Scoobie Gang, in her never-ending fight against evil.

Buffy’s rebellious approach to her calling paid off. She has lived longer than most Slayers, her two deaths notwithstanding, because she has aligned herself with invaluable comrades who have her back no matter what. Buffy loves her pals and over the course of seven seasons, has proven she’ll do anything for them.

That being said, Buffy isn’t perfect. Like any human, she has her flaws. She can be incredibly selfish. Her Slayer status can give her an inflated sense of superiority. She has a tendency to ditch her true-blue friends when she meets someone shiny and new. Yes, Buffy Summers is a both a multi-layered individual and friend.

10 Good friend – Chose sweet Willow over popular Cordelia

When Buffy arrives at Sunnydale High, she has it made in the shade. Queen Bee Cordelia Chase is drawn to Buffy like a moth to a cool girl flame. She invites Buffy to be one of the beautiful people, the popular kids. For Buffy this is a dream come true. All she wants is to leave her Slayer past behind and live a normal life, complete with cheerleading, boys, and trendy but tasty Frappucinos.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

But all this comes at a price far too high for Buffy: the price of human decency. Within minutes, Cordelia mocks wallflower Willow’s unfortunate outfit. Buffy realizes she’d much rather have a friendship rooted in kindness than sell her soul for a few golden years of popularity. That very day, she approaches Willow and asks to be her study-buddy. Buffy shows her true character, her valor as a friend, and one of TV’s best female friendships ever is formed.

9 Wasn’t – Treated her friends like garbage after she died

Coming back from death would be harrowing for anyone, especially a sixteen-year-old who carries the weight of the world on her slender shoulders. It’s understandable Buffy would be traumatized. But you know what doesn’t make sense, Buffy? Turning against all your friends, especially Xander, the person who brought you back to life.

RELATED: Sarah Michelle Gellar Says She Won’t Be In The Buffy Reboot

After summer break, Buffy is strangely aloof to everyone. One night she shows up at the Bronze, dressed to kill…her friendships. She grabs Xander and pulls him in for an intimate dance in front of everyone. During this “sexy dance”, Buffy taunts Xander, asking if he wishes she would thank him for saving her. Not only does she prey on Xander’s romantic feelings for her, she also upsets Willow and Angel, witnesses to the dance, in the process. Her behavior is baffling.

8 Good friend – Acknowledged Xander as a gentleman

Xander’s treatment of women, especially Buffy, has been beyond problematic. At the beginning of the series, Xander put Buffy on a pedestal, objectified her, and got rather salty when Buffy maturely told him she didn’t return his feelings. But in “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”, Xander accidentally casts a love spell that makes Sunnydale’s entire female population, including Buffy, fall head over heels in love with him. This results in Buffy surprising Xander in the library, wearing a sexy raincoat and nothing else. Xander turns her down.

RELATED: 10 Boyfriends On Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ranked Worst To Best

Should Xander be commended for not taking advantage of Buffy in a vulnerable situation? No, that would be called being a decent human being. But what is truly character-revealing is that he wasn’t even tempted. While he may have responded physically to the situation, mentally it was out of the question. Buffy isn’t in her right mind, therefore no tryst can happen. When the spell is reversed and everyone is back to normal, Buffy makes a special point to acknowledge Xander’s chivalrous behavior. It’s a small moment, but it really speaks to the level of respect and love these two friends have for each other.

7 Wasn’t – Sunk to Cordelia’s level

Buffy and Cordelia have been rivals almost throughout their entire time together at Sunnydale High. Cordelia is seen as the mean one where Buffy is the noble defender of the underdog. But there were times when Buffy gave Cordelia a run for her money as the reigning “Queen of Mean”. The best example is when they ran against each other for Homecoming Queen.

RELATED: MBTI Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters

At this point they were sort-of friends. While they weren’t exactly besties, they were both members of the Scoobie Gang. But when Cordy doesn’t tell Buffy about yearbook photos, this unleashes Buffy’s inner mean girl hell beast and she declares war for the Homecoming throne. There’s no question that Cordelia started it, but Buffy got right down in the mud with her. Neither pulled any punches with the negative campaigning, hurling mean names and body-shaming insults at each other. They both got their just desserts as neither Buffy nor Cordelia won the crown. Hopefully they learned a lesson about friendship too.

6 Good friend – Asked Giles to be her Watcher again

As people get older, it’s natural that some friendships are outgrown. Buffy’s first year of college finds her gradually drifting away from Giles, her father figure, as she learns to find her place in the world. However, sometimes a coming-of-age journey can lead us right back home. After the first Slayer haunts Buffy in her dreams, Buffy has all sorts of questions about what it truly means to be the Slayer. She wants Giles to help her answer them and to be her Watcher again.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 15 Things You Never Knew About Giles

Even though Buffy and Giles love each other like family, much of their emotional connection goes unspoken. Buffy verbally recognizing the value Giles adds to her life is truly touching and wholly shows her gratitude for their friendship.

5 Wasn’t – Ditched Willow for Faith

Buffy and Faith didn’t get along at first. Faith thought Buffy was an uptight goody-two-shoes and Buffy thought Faith was an obnoxious wannabe tough girl. However over time, Buffy became seduced by Faith’s devil-may-care approach to slaying, and life itself. Sadly, part of that meant leaving the Scoobies in the dust, especially Willow. Buffy commits the BFF’s unforgivable sin by ditching a study date with Willow to go “live large” with Faith.

RELATED: 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

But livin’ large was more than Buffy bargained for when Faith accidentally kills Allan Finch, the Deputy Mayor. While Faith appears to show no remorse, Buffy is a nervous wreck. She realizes that she’s in way over her head and goes to the one person she can trust more than anyone, Willow. Because killing civilians is so not “five by five”.

4 Good friend – Forgave Willow for her magic bender

Season 6 sees Willow’s magic addiction reach dangerous heights. Buffy and the Scoobies notice the warning signs and casually voice concernsm but this is uncharted waters. Is magic addiction even a thing? It turns out, yes. Willow gets absolutely out of control, driving while high on sketchy magic. Oh yeah, Buffy’s little sis Dawn is in the car. Willow crashes, breaking Dawn’s arm in the process.

RELATED: 10 Most Heartbreaking Buffy Episodes

Buffy is livid with her friend, but is able to recognize that Willow really has a problem. To forgive a friend for putting her sister in danger really speaks to Buffy’s love for Willow. The episode ends with Buffy tucking a shaken Willow into bed and giving her a cup of tea. Willow vows to get clean and makes good on that promise—for awhile. Having a real friend like Buffy definitely helps.

3 Wasn’t – Told the Scoobies she didn’t need them

Spike totally put the “Yoko” to the Scoobies during the days of the Initiative. He expertly observed cracks in the gang and exploited them to the best of his ability. His handiwork paid off and instead of discussing strategies for defeating Adam, the Scoobies devolved into multiple rounds of petty bickering. Everyone is guilty of taking cheap shots, but Buffy is by far the worst. She tells her friends that she doesn’t need them to fight Adam and they would only get in the way. Before leaving, she delivers the verbal knockout punch saying she now sees “why there’s no ancient prophecy about a Chosen One and her friends.”

RELATED: 10 Hidden Powers Buffy The Vampire Slayer Has (And 10 Weaknesses)

Ouch. That’s ice cold. And Buffy’s dead wrong. The group ends up reconciling and together they cast an enjoining spell to combine all their strengths into Buffy’s body so she could kill Adam good and proper. It’s a good thing the Chosen One could count on her friends.

2 Good friend – Integrated Dawn into the Scoobie Gang

If the Dawn haters of the world—and there are oh-so many—would set aside their prejudice, they might find that Dawn isn’t really as annoying as they might think and actually has some very sympathetic qualities. Sure, she was the Key and almost used as a human sacrifice but even worse, she’s forever left out of Scooby business. As Buffy’s sister, Dawn is always on the outside looking in. She’s just close enough to see the magical friendship the Scoobies have but too far removed from feeling like a member herself.

RELATED: 10 Last Minute Changes That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 10 That Saved It)

Much of this stems from big sister Buffy wanting to protect her. This is completely fair, but when Buffy finally sees Dawn on the battlefield, she realizes that her little sister has some serious fighting moves and that maybe sheltering Dawn from every bad guy is worse than teaching Dawn to be a strong woman. Buffy says, “I don’t want to protect you from the world. I want to show it to you.” This is the moment when Buffy allows Dawn into the Scooby Gang and the two go from being just sisters to best friends.

1 Good friend – Empowered her friends to save the world

The show saved the biggest battle for last. Buffy and co. spent the entire final season preparing to fight the First Evil. This tested the group like nothing before and the Scoobies risked complete implosion before they were able to band together to kick some undead butt. Perhaps Buffy’s most noteworthy stroke of genius was the idea of having mega-witch Willow cast a spell to give Slayer strength to all the Potentials. Willow is successful and this spell is instrumental in vanquishing the First and closing the Hellmouth.

What it all boiled down to is Buffy having faith in her friends, especially Willow. It may sound cheesy, but their friendship is what saved the world.

NEXT: 5 Times Willow Saved The Buffyverse (And 5 Times She Put Everyone In Danger)


2019-04-25 11:04:55

Liz Hersey

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The 5 Best Monsters Of The Week (And The 5 Worst)

Over its seven seasons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer became known for its deep bench of Big Bads. These characters ran the gamut from sinister to kind of sympathetic.

Yet during its run, Buffy also included a plethora of monsters of the week. These single shot antagonists only appeared in one episode. In that time, some made quite an impression and contributed something to the series as a whole. Then, there were the monsters that just didn’t work. They didn’t advance the story, reveal something new or interesting, or add anything to the show. Here, we explore monsters that fall into both categories.

These are Buffy’s best and worst monsters of the week.

10 WORST: RAZOR (BARGAINING, PARTS ONE AND TWO)

Okay, technically Razor was in two episodes, but he was limited to the two-part premiere of Buffy’s sixth season. Razor was the leader of a demon biker gang that came to Sunnydale when they learned the Slayer was no more. He has a lot of piercings and Freddy-Kruger-like claws, and along with his gang, he causes a lot of mayhem. Other than that, there’s not much to him.

Razor and his gang are unruly and terrorize the public, but unlike so many Buffy demons, they aren’t a metaphor for anything. They’re just a biker gang that happens to be made up of demons, making them pretty mundane for a show that usually traffics in much more thought-provoking characters. Also, Razor met his end at the hands of Tara. ‘Nuff said.

9 BEST: HOLDEN WEBSTER (CONVERSATIONS WITH DEAD PEOPLE)

Holden Webster doesn’t seem like the most obvious monster of the week. A former high school classmate of Buffy’s, she discovered him just as he arose from his grave as a vampire for the first time.

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Holden never posed a mortal threat to Buffy, even with the two years of tae kwon do training he said he had. Ultimately Holden made a much bigger impact with his partially completed psychology major and internship experience at Sunnydale Mental Hospital. He used his psychology knowledge to counsel Buffy on her problems. This led to a memorable conversation in which Buffy was able to delve into all the issues troubling her. Eventually, Buffy took Holden out, but not before he’d made a memorable impression.

8 WORST: MOLOCH (I ROBOT, YOU JANE)

Moloch appeared in season 1 just as Buffy was getting its sea legs. This monster of the week must have seemed like a good idea at the time. A demon who is released onto the internet when Willow scans the book he’s trapped in, Moloch tempts his victims with promises of love and power. Posing as a boy named Malcolm Black, Moloch seduced Willow and several other students over the  internet, while also coercing a company into creating a robot body for him.

The episode came out when the internet was still new technology and the idea of interacting through it seemed dangerous. Moloch takes those fears to their extreme. It’s not an especially inspired or involving metaphor though, and today it comes across as a bit of techno-paranoia that no longer applies.

7 BEST: SWEET (ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING)

Sweet was the demon behind the singing in Buffy‘s beloved musical episode, “Once More, with Feeling.” When he was called via a talisman, he appeared in Sunnydale and soon the whole town was bursting into song — and then bursting into flames.

Although Sweet doesn’t inflict much obvious damage on the Scooby Gang, by using their songs to make them share the truths they’ve been hiding from one another, he rattles the group more than perhaps any other demon had in quite a while. Plus, he did it with a bravura cool, a smooth song, and a wicked soft-shoe number.

6 WORST: LISSA (FIRST DATE)

Many shows include celebrity guest spots to draw interest and goose ratings. Buffy didn’t often engage in those tactics, but in this season 7 episode it decided to include pop star Ashanti as Lissa, a demon who wants to prove her allegiance to the First Evil.

RELATED: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’S MARTI NOXON INKS 4-YEAR DEAL WITH NETFLIX

When Lissa met Xander and he asked her out for a date, she decided he was the perfect mark to use for a ritual sacrifice in the First’s honor. The gag is that Xander always ends up dating demons, something the show joked about from the beginning. Unfortunately, Lissa is an uninspired monster of the week whose presence does nothing to move the plot forward.

5 BEST: GACHNAR (FEAR, ITSELF)

“Fear me!” Gachnar was a fear demon who was accidentally summoned to a Halloween party at a UC Sunnydale frat house that Buffy and the gang attended. Soon, the house trapped everyone inside and brought forth their greatest fears. Buffy is separated from her friends, Xander can no longer be seen or heard, Willow’s magic spell turns against her, and Oz starts to turn into a werewolf even though it’s not a full moon.

In the end, the build up to Gachnar coming forth is a lot more impressive than his actual entrance. Although Giles forces his way into the house and tells everyone they must prevent Gachnar from fully manifesting, when Buffy accidentally releases him anyway, they find he’s more cute than scary. Turns out Gachnar is the size of his illustration on the page in Giles’ book. So, when he instructs the Scooby Gang to tremble before him, it’s adorable. Gachnar ultimately meets his end when Buffy squashes him like a bug.

4 WORST: SPAWN OF SOBEK (SHADOW)

The Spawn of Sobek was the snake-like demon that season 5’s Big Bad, Glory, attempted to use to find the Key. The demon was made from a transmogrified cobra. While this made it huge and strong, it seemed like overkill considering it was made to gather information, not take on Buffy.

Buffy featured snake demons before, but this one was perhaps the silliest looking of the bunch. It was more menacing as the pre-transmogrified cobra than as the unconvincing-looking demon. And the image of Buffy riding it as she pummeled it into submission was more ridiculous than scary. An inglorious beginning to Glory’s reign of terror.

3 BEST: THE GENTLEMEN (HUSH)

No list of Buffy monsters of the week would be complete without mentioning the Gentlemen, the creepy creatures from the revered episode, “Hush.” The Gentlemen were the stuff of nightmares, literally. Buffy dreamed about them along with the nursery rhyme that explained their sinister objective — to take seven hearts while no one can be heard.

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Soon, Buffy’s dream comes true as the Gentlemen render the citizens of Sunnydale mute and perform heart extractions on victims who can only scream soundlessly in response. While the Gentlemen look scary, their courteous manner towards one another and ability to float instead of walk makes them even more unsettling.

2 WORST: TAINTED BEER (BEER BAD)

The fourth season episode “Beer Bad” is considered by many fans to be Buffy’s worst. Buffy is having a hard time adjusting to college life and has just been used and dumped by Parker. So she visits the local bar where Xander recently started working. There, she meets a group of guys eager to entertain her — with beer.

However, this beer has an extra-special ingredient that turns them all into cave people. The owner of the bar cooked up the special brew to take revenge on the obnoxious college kids he’d been serving for 20 years. The episode was meant to be a metaphor for the twin horrors of drinking and casual affairs, but the message came across as obvious and prudish in a series that was usually anything but.

1 BEST: GNARL (SAME TIME, SAME PLACE)

Gnarl came to Sunnydale around the same time Willow returned in season 7, after she’d become the Big Bad of the previous season. When Buffy, Xander, and Dawn find a boy missing his skin at a construction site, they assume Willow’s to blame since she did the same thing to Warren. Actually, though, the culprit is a creature called Gnarl, who paralyzes his victims with his long finger nails and then spends hours stripping and eating their skin. Yum!

Between his sing-songy, third-person speeches while he’s torturing his victims and his Gollum-like character design, Gnarl is truly one of the most memorable. We’re just glad we only had to spend a single episode with this sadistic monster.

NEXT: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?


2019-03-16 01:03:40

Cynthia Vinney

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel & Firefly Now Streaming Free on Facebook Watch

Facebook’s video streaming platform Facebook Watch just added the entire runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, absolutely free. For decades, Joss Whedon has been a powerful creative force in Hollywood, and – some personal scandals and his involvement in the debacle that was Justice League’s production aside – is generally one of the most revered among fans. Whedon of course helmed both 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron for Marvel Studios, and had a large influence overall on the MCU’s first two phases.

While it’s unclear when he’ll direct another film, Whedon remains active as a writer and producer, although he’s slowed his pace a bit since the massive stress involved with putting together the MCU’s early team-up extravaganzas. Long before his time guiding big screen superhero movies though, Whedon initially made his mark in the world of TV, reinventing his creation Buffy the Vampire Slayer from a widely mocked film into a beloved, long-running TV series. Buffy would also spawn a spinoff, Angel, which also proved popular. Then, in 2002, Whedon created the infamously short-lived FOX series Firefly, which became a cult hit, and received a movie follow-up.

Related: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sarah Michelle Gellar Supports Reboot

Whedon has since created the also short-lived Dollhouse and co-created Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it seems unlikely that any shows he makes going forward will attain the level of fan acclaim earned by Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Thankfully, the complete runs of all three shows are now available to stream for free on Facebook Watch, as reported by Variety.  The news was announced personally by Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar in a video posted on Facebook earlier today, which can be seen below. Interestingly, the episodes don’t currently appear to be available to watch from within a web browser, only from within Facebook’s mobile app. One assumes this is an error, as other Facebook Watch videos aren’t mobile only.

Of note is that Facebook is planning to use these shows to promote its newly launched Watch Party feature, in which users can watch videos together and have live conversations about them. To that end, each show will have its own special Watch Party to kick things off over the next few days, featuring participation from as yet unrevealed actors. Buffy’s gathering is at 3pm PST/6pm EST today, while Angel’s will happen at 12pm PST/3pm EST on December 1, and Firefly’s takes place on December 2, also at 12pm PST/3pm EST.

Another thing worth mentioning – and this will likely be a sticking point for many – is that Facebook Watch’s streams of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly episodes will include commercial interruptions. It’s not clear at present how prevalent these ad breaks will be, although if one absolutely doesn’t want to deal with ads, it’s worth noting that Buffy, Angel and Firefly are all also available to stream on Hulu’s commercial free tier, which costs $12 per month. Still, $12 a month is a lot pricier than free. Decisions, decisions.

More: Joss Whedon Finally Gives Buffy Her Happy Ending

Source: Variety



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Does Bad Times At The El Royale Have A Post-Credits Scene?

Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale sees the writer-director try his hand at a ’60s-set noir thriller, but does it have a post-credits scene setting up a sequel or clearing up the ending? Goddard made a name for himself in Hollywood as a writer, working on TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias. He made his directorial debut on 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods, a film he co-wrote with Joss Whedon. The movie became a hit with critics and well-remembered by horror fans for its handling of tropes typical to the genre. Now, Goddard returns to film directing with this year’s Bad Times at the El Royale.

The movie follows seven strangers over the course of one night in the ’60s at a motel called the El Royale, which sits on the border between California and Nevada. The star-studded cast includes Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Cailee Spaeny and Lewis Pullman as guests of the motel and the concierge working at the establishment. As the movie progresses, viewers follow the various characters throughout the night and gain insight into the backstories before arriving at the El Royale.

Related: Screen Rant’s Review of Bad Times at the El Royale

Now that the movie is in theaters, fans of Goddard – and/or those intrigued by the Bad Times at the El Royale trailers – have a chance to check it out, but they may be wondering if there’s an extra scene after the credits. Unfortunately, Bad Times at the El Royale does not have a post-credits scene, which means the movie wraps up entirely before the credits start to roll. While it’s always worth it to watch the credits of a film and get an idea of who was involved in making it, Bad Times at the El Royale doesn’t feature any extra teaser or scene at the very end.

Those who have seen Bad Times at the El Royale know the movie doesn’t quite leave room for a sequel, though there are undoubtedly ways one could be done. Still, it makes sense that the film doesn’t feature a post-credits scene setting up a follow-up. It’s relatively clear that there won’t be a sequel to the movie – just like there won’t be a sequel to Cabin in the Woods – but not all post-credits scenes are explicitly sequel teasers. Some are simply an additional scene that offer added context or insight into the main movie.

For instance, a Bad Times at the El Royale post-credits scene could have cleared up the mystery of who was on the film reel that’s discussed throughout the movie. Instead, viewers are left to ponder who might be the man on that reel (which was, no doubt, Goddard’s intention). So, while there may have been a way for Bad Times at the El Royale to incorporate a post-credits scene, it also doesn’t necessarily need one. At the end of the day, whether or not a movie includes a post-credits scene is up to the director and Goddard chose not to include one for Bad Times at the El Royale.

Next: Bad Times At The El Royale’s Ending & Big Mysteries Explained



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2018-10-11 04:10:56 – Molly Freeman

7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

It’s been over twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s groundbreaking pilot hit TV screens and it remains one the most beloved and influential shows of all time. The series subverted expectations, in the process shattering illusions of what people thought television was capable of. It forever altered the pop culture landscape, introducing audiences to a feminist icon they could truly identify with. The show popularized serialized storytelling at a time when TV programs were largely episodic and even changed the way that viewers talked by introducing them to “Buffy speak.”

By taking the idea that high school is Hell quite literally, Joss Whedon was able to use werewolves, witches, and vampires to explore themes of desire, female empowerment, and addiction. The writers personified feelings such as isolation, alienation and humiliation, using them to ground fantastical situations in those very real emotions.

Buffy was praised for a great many things, from snappy dialogue to clever plotting. However, one of the most vital elements of Whedon’s magnum opus was undoubtedly the amazing characters with which he chose to populate this world. These players were as lovable as they were relatable and the series continues to resonate with viewers of all ages. However, not all characters introduced to the series could be as awesome as Buffy, Willow, or Xander. While certain new additions had an undeniably positive effect on the series as a whole, there were also a few that BtVS would’ve been better off without.

Here are 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved – Spike and Dru

Sunnydale got its very own Sid and Nancy when Spike and Drusilla showed up in season 2 episode “School Hard”, quickly establishing themselves as the new Big Bads in town. They were never meant to last as long as they did, but stellar performances from James Marsters and Juliet Landau gave both characters a stay of execution. These two didn’t just shake up Sunnydale, but the show’s entire mythology. They were living proof that vampires were capable of genuine emotion. Their intense bond and amazing chemistry made fans fall hard for the couple. 

Spike, of course, went on to play a much larger role in the series as a whole. Writers kept finding new ways to justify his continued existence and fans never complained, because no one wanted the vampire gone.

19 Hurt – Riley

Buffy needed to move on from Angel, but did she really have to take up with “Captain Cardboard”? Riley Finn (Mark Blucas) first appeared in the season 4 premiere, “The Freshman”, and went on to hurt the show in ways almost too numerous to list.

With him came the Initiative, which remains the storyline that most BtVS fans would rather forget.

Even after the organization was no longer part of the narrative, Riley continued to overstay his welcome. Viewers were forced to deal with his constant whining and eventually, his infidelity. These were all plot points that the show could’ve done without. It was sad when Riley helicoptered out of Buffy’s life, but only because we care about her feelings. Ultimately, no one really missed him.

18 Saved – Tara

Now this is how you create a new love interest. Oz and Willow had become one of the show’s most beloved couples and fans were as heartbroken as she was over his sudden departure. Replacing the werewolf was going to be just as difficult as finding a way for Buffy to get over Angel. However, the show chose to go in a new direction entirely with Tara Maclay, who debuted in season 4 episode “Hush”. Not only was she a woman, but she also complemented Willow in very different ways than Oz had.

Not all viewers embraced this storyline initially, but Amber Benson’s performance quickly won most of them over. Before long, fans became incredibly invested in Willow and Tara’s relationship. In many ways, they became the show’s central couple, as well as its emotional anchor.

17 Saved – Anya

Much like James Marsters, Emma Caulfield earned more time on the show through her impressive performance. Her arc wasn’t meant to last much past her first appearance in season 3 episode “The Wish”.  Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins went from human to vengeance demon and back again. She was over 1100 old, but had completely lost touch with her humanity before meeting the Scoobies.

It was more than Anya’s evolution that made her special, though. She was the character who posed the questions that most people want to ask but think that they shouldn’t. Whether ruminating on love, loss, or the simple cold truth of mortality, Anya always said exactly what she meant. Even her lack of tact was charming. The former demon brought a different perspective to the group, as well as some undeniable humor.

16 Hurt – Dawn

This is kind of a tough one, because the storyline surrounding Dawn’s existence was one of the show’s best. Her introduction in the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula”, was particularly genius. Dawn was dropped into the series as if she had always been there, leaving viewers wondering if they had missed earlier clues of Buffy having a sister.

Dawn herself was always little more than an annoyance to most fans.

It didn’t help that Michelle Trachtenberg played the character as younger than she was. This wasn’t all her fault, as Dawn was initially meant to be portrayed by a younger actress. The main problem wasn’t season 5 Dawn anyway. In later years, writers clearly weren’t sure what to do with her, giving Buffy’s sister one ludicrous plot line after another: “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

15 Saved – Glory/Ben

Glory is one of the greatest Big Bads ever to appear on BtVS. Debuting in season 5 installment “There’s No Place Like Home”, she brought the season-long threat to a whole new level. Glory wasn’t just another demon. She was a literal god, just trying to get back to her home sweet Hell. However, it was more than just sheer power that made Glory such a great villain. Clare Kramer’s manic performance is what really set her apart.

Introduced an episode before Glory, Ben (Charlie Weber) was serviceable enough.

What really brought depth to the kind doctor was the revelation that he and Glorificus were sharing a body.

This was one of the show’s most successful twists. Seriously, no one saw it coming.

14 Saved – Wesley

While it can be argued that the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was utilized far better on Angel, there’s no denying that the stuffy new Watcher was another great addition to the cast of BtVS. Debuting in season 3 installment “Bad Girls”, Alexis Denisof imbued Wesley with undeniable heart and humor, despite the character’s uptight personality.

Aside from Wesley himself, it was the dynamic between him and Giles that helped to elevate the series during season 3. We got to explore a whole new side Buffy’s Watcher. It was one thing to know about his “Ripper” past, but it was the juxtaposition of Rupert and Wesley that truly proved how awesome Giles actually was – not that we didn’t love him already.

13 Hurt – Warren

The Trio is kind of everyone’s least favorite Big Bad. However, while Jonathan and Andrew were both worthy additions to the series, Warren never had any redeeming qualities. He first appeared in season 5 episode “I Was Made to Love You” and proved himself a total creep immediately.

Although Warren started out as a punchline, he turned out to be a misogynistic monster.

Adam Busch did an excellent job of making the character incredibly unlikable, but it was Warren’s cruelty that brought season 6 to the lowest of places. “Dead Things” was one of the most brutal episodes of BtVS, and not in a good way. Plus, no Buffy fan will ever forgive him for firing the gun that took Tara’s life. Warren did a lot of damage and his character was never compelling or likable enough to outweigh that fact.

12 Saved – Oz

Fans fell in love with Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) around the same time that Willow did. From the moment he appeared in season 2 episode “Inca Mummy Girl”, he was pretty much smitten with her – even in her Hallowe’en costume. Unlike Xander, Oz actually realized how awesome Willow was and fans were overjoyed to see her finally properly appreciated.

Oz was so beloved, in fact, that even though he left under truly awful circumstances, many viewers were still torn when he came back for Willow. A lesser character could never have remained in fans’ hearts after such indiscretions. In the end, the writers found someone even better for Willow, but it speaks volumes that so many viewers were willing to forgive Oz after he locked himself in a cage with Veruca.

11 Hurt – Veruca

Veruca (Paige Moss) made her first appearance in season 4 episode “Living Conditions”. Oz may have thought that she was pretty cool, but viewers noticed that something was off about her.

Most Buffy fans are pretty protective of Willow and no one liked seeing her relationship with Oz threatened.

It’s not that it makes no sense that something would break up Willow and Oz. They dated in high school and many such relationships do not survive the transition to college. The main issue was the werewolf herself. Veruca was kind of over the top, from her musical performances to her evil machinations. Perhaps she was meant to be a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain. Regardless, no one mourned Veruca after Oz ended her life.

10 Saved – Mayor Wilkins

Fans were introduced to Mayor Richard Wilkins in season 3 episode “Homecoming”. Sure, he was a major Big Bad whose ascension plans would’ve left the world in ruins, but he was also incredibly polite. BtVS has often excelled at creating villains that fans still kind of rooted for. The Mayor was one of the best, and not just because he was such a formidable opponent.

Richard’s relationship with Faith gave his character real depth. Much like the love that Spike and Dru shared with one another, the Mayor’s affections for his protégée made him much more human, which in turn made viewers care more about him. Plus, Harry Groener’s pitch-perfect performance made it impossible not to enjoy Mayor Wilkins.

9 Hurt – Kennedy

Kennedy was as much of an epic fail as Riley. The writers proved that they could craft more than one great love interest for Willow, so what happened with her? Introduced in season 7 episode “Bring on the Night”, Kennedy (Iyari Limon) was spoiled, argumentative and honestly, kind of bland. The key to a great TV relationship is making both characters compelling in their own right.

While fans came to love both Oz and Tara rather quickly, you’d be hard pressed to find many Kennedy fans out there.

There was nothing about Willow’s new girlfriend to even distinguish her from the other Potential Slayers, save her bad attitude. Willow deserved better and so did fans.

8 Saved – Faith

Shaking up things from the moment she arrived in season 3 installment “Faith, Hope and Trick”, Faith Lehane was Buffy’s dark reflection. The Slayers were incredibly different from one another and yet, undeniably two sides of the same coin. Eliza Dushku’s magnetic performance brought so much passion and energy to the role, and she had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the cast.

Faith provided new depth not only for the slayer line, but also to the idea of what it actually means to be Slayer. Before Faith’s arrival, fans had never seen a Slayer go rogue. However, it didn’t matter how far Faith went. Viewers were always hoping that she could somehow redeem herself. Thanks to her time on Angel, she was given that chance.

7 Saved – Robin

Robin Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) debut in season 7 premiere “Lessons” initially painted the new school principal as another villain lurking in the shadows. However, much like the rest of the characters on BtVS, appearances are often deceiving. Not only was Robin one of the good guys, but he was also the son of New York-based slayer, Nikki. The series teased this out slowly until fans realized the truth shortly before it was revealed.

It was a pretty genius move.

Although it’s easy to hate on Robin for his sneak attack on Spike, the vampire did off his mother, so his frustration can be understood. In the end, Robin turned out to be a great addition to the Scoobies, bringing both new perspective and an actual bag of tricks to the mix.

6 Hurt – Adam

Buffy almost always managed to deliver the goods when it came to the season-long Big Bad: compelling characters, with humor and even a bit of heart. The series excelled in that moral grey area, making viewers sympathize with villainous even as they committed unforgivable acts. Sadly, Adam (George Hertzberg) was a giant exception to this success.

The ersatz Frankenstein’s monster – or Walsh’s monster, as the case may have been – first appeared in season 4 episode “A New Man”. The only cool thing he ever really did was skewer his creator, Maggie, who was also not a great addition to the series. All in all, Adam was very powerful, but a boring villain. Defeating him required a major deus ex machina, which would’ve been fine if he had been a better character in the first place.

5 Saved – Andrew

Andrew Wells, aka Tucker’s brother, initially seemed as irredeemable as Warren Mears. When we met him in season 6 episode “Flooded”, he was a whiny coward with nothing even resembling a moral compass. After Andrew returned the following year, the first thing he did was take his best friend’s life.

Most fans weren’t happy to see him again, but somewhere over the course of season 7, this changed.

Like BtVS has done with the best of its characters – most of whom, let’s be real, have done some terrible things – the show found a way to endear him to viewers. Andrew may not have exactly been instrumental in Buffy’s battle with the First, but the former villain definitely brought some levity to a fairly dark season. He also provided an excellent example of the power of compassion.

4 Saved – Kendra

Interestingly, Bianca Lawson was originally cast in the role of Cordelia Chase. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the actress was forced to take a smaller part in BtVSIf we can all just put aside her painfully awful accent, everyone can probably admit that Kendra herself was a pretty cool addition to the series.

Fans were introduced to the other slayer in season 2 installment “What’s My Line Part 1”. She appeared initially to be another enemy, but instead proved vital in saving Angel’s life. Kendra’s existence answered important questions about the slayers and it was this new line, beginning with her, that later allowed for the introduction of Faith. The juxtaposition of Kendra and Buffy was also quite interesting, as they each approached their calling so differently. She also helped Buffy see that slaying was more than just a job.

3 Hurt – Forrest

Another irritating and useless season 4 addition, Forrest Gates (Leonard Roberts) was introduced in “The Initiative”.

He was little more than a foil for Riley and Buffy’s relationship.

Forrest’s feelings for his fellow soldier bordered on obsession and there was nothing interesting about him in his own right.Riley’s other pal Graham may have been boring, but at least he wasn’t so annoying. Forrest was self-righteous and obviously had very little going on in the way of an actual life. No one mourned him after he his passing. The worst part about Forrest’s demise was that it wasn’t even the last we saw of him, because Adam chose to reanimate his husk. Even then, he was still a total drag.

2 Saved – Jonathan

Jonathan Levinson (Danny Strong) had a continuing presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years after his first appearance in season 2 installment “Inca Mummy Girl”. He was always on the periphery, being picked on, rescued or taken advantage of. Prior to joining the Trio, Jonathan was at the center of season 3 episode “Earshot” and season 4 installment “Superstar”. The former was incredibly poignant and the latter, a hilarious change of pace.

Many fans were surprised to see Jonathan pulled by the dark side, but he never fully committed like his cohorts did. Less obviously evil than Warren and not as easily manipulated as Andrew, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Sadly, by the time Jonathan made an effort to redeem himself, it was too late. That opportunity was stolen from him by his best friend.

1 Saved – Angelus

None of Buffy’s greatest Big Bads were quite as personal or painful to witness as Angelus. Aside from the unfortunate implications of essentially punishing Buffy for being intimate with her boyfriend, there is no denying that the second half of season 2 was the show at its best. This was due in large part to David Boreanaz’s villainous turn.

Two people who were so in love destroying each other was utterly brutal and completely gut-wrenching. It also led to some of BtVS’s most empowering moments. Buffy was just a teenage girl shouldering the weight of the entire world. Feeling as though she had lost everything led to the epiphany that she still possessed what mattered most. Much of the series is about surviving life on life’s terms. More than just enduring this pain, Buffy managed to recover from it.

What new characters do you feel hurt or saved Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-06 04:10:54 – Jamie Gerber