It’s Buffy-Mania here at Monkeys Fighting Robots as we celebrate Buffy the Vampire Slayer! The show that made Joss Whedon a household name to geeks everywhere turns 20 years old! Let’s let that sink in for a bit, like a pair of fangs painfully reminding us we’re old. Buffy is a beloved vampire show long before things like True Blood, Vampire Diaries, or Twilight were much of anything at all. We here at MFR have been celebrating the anniversary with articles and best of lists. Here our team of writers gathers to say something about one of their favorite member of the “Scooby Gang.”
Happy 20th Anniversary To Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Jon Barr – Andrew Wells
“Buffy and Spike have some kind of history: you can feel the heat between them. Although, technically, as a vampire, he’s room temperature.”
Andrew may have been a late edition, but he was certainly a welcome one. As Buffy had been getting progressively darker in tone, Andrew helped keep things fun. Andrew started out as part of The Trio, Buffy’s nerdy villains from Season Six. After being manipulated by The First, the Buffy-verse’s primary evil, Andrew was taken in by The Scoobies. It took awhile, but gradually Andrew became a part of the group, helping to fight The First. Andrew was a comic character, as his fear and awkwardness often made him the punchline. But his redemption story made him a sympathetic character, especially compared to Warren or The First. And who could forget Andrew’s hilarious starring role in “Storyteller?” Andrew was a much-needed new heart, and funny bone, as Buffy entered its final year.
Beth Reynolds – Willow Rosenberg
“Mom, I’m not an age group. I’m me. Willow group.”
Willow, more than any other character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, evolved more as a human being through the seven glorious years we were with her. From an introverted, fuzzy sweater wearing nerd to an all-powerful, comfortable in her skin witch, Willow blossomed into being comfortable in her skin while on screen. As a shy bookworm watching Willow slowly discover herself and her potential, I looked at this character for guidance on how to be confident in myself and who I love. No other member of the Scoobies displays the authentic phases of human emotion like Willow, whether it’s falling in love, questions sexuality, mourning, or addiction, she faces it with a raw, real tenacity that makes viewers feel like it’s okay to be themselves. Willow made me feel okay to be scared, curious, and angry because those who love you are still going to after it’s all over. As a bisexual woman, Willow showed me that you could indeed fall in love with a man and a woman, and both of those relationships are big and bold, and they matter. Thanks for teaching me that I’m lovable even if I break the yellow crayon, Willow.
Read More From Beth Reynolds here!
EJ Moreno – Rupert Giles
“I’ll go dig up my sources – quite literally, actually. One or two people I have to speak to are dead.”
It couldn’t have been easy being Giles. Not only was he watching over a teenage vampire slayer but he also had to play a father-like role to The Scooby Gang. Adding to all of that, Rupert Giles also had a shady past as a rebellious teen punk known as Ripper. He brings that history when it comes to watching over Buffy and friends; he never wants to see them go down the dark past he went. That’s what makes Giles such an important character. He was the parent that most of the crew was missing. It was painful to watch his character lose control when Buffy died, or Willow went evil, but he remained the strong backbone of the group. I’m sure that weighed a lot on him, which made the episode he decides to leave even harder. Thankfully, he returned and never left again. It’s also hilariously poetic that Giles ended the first and last episode with the line “We’re Doomed.”
Manny Gomez – Oz
“Hey, did everybody see that guy just turn to dust?”
Without a doubt, my favorite Scooby Gang member is Daniel “Oz” Osborne, played by the multi-talented Seth Green. Aside from being a bad-ass werewolf, Oz had an almost Zen-like view of the insane situations that unfolded in Sunnydale. He wielded his humor like a weapon and often provided the voice of reason and calm. Making him a lycanthrope, and unable to control his cool, also added a deep layer of irony and tragedy to him. And to top it all off, he was in one of the best fictional bands of all time, the brilliantly named “Dingo’s Ate My Baby.”
Ruben R. Diaz – Xander Harris
“Well, I guess that makes it official. Everybody’s paired off. Vampires get dates. Hell, even the school librarian sees more action than me.”
Giles was super-smart, Willow was super-powered, and Buffy was a superhero. Xander? He was super-normal. But it was Xander’s super-grounded humanity that made him a hero like the rest of the original Scooby Gang. In the episode, “The Zeppo,” Xander is kidnapped by a gang of zombie hooligans and saves Sunnydale (and the entire world) with four simple words, “I like the quiet.” In the episode, “Grave,” Xander saves the world again, not with super-strength or powerful spells but unconditional love and friendship or unfettered humanity. Xander was the everyman of Buffy, drawing in viewers who couldn’t connect with being outwardly extraordinary like the rest of the Scooby Gang, but was a hero just the same.