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tales from a fangirl
30 days of Buffy - Day Five 
5th-Sep-2010 11:50 am
Least Favorite Female Character


As much as I forgive and empathize with Buffy’s weaknesses, I am merely impatient with Willow’s. Underneath her timid exterior is a very arrogant personality, one who believes that if she’s doing something wrong it’s okay, because she’s doing it and she only has good motives. She runs roughshod over the self-agency of her friends and wants thanks for it. She never apologizes for any of it, and three months wallowing in her mistakes with Giles in England is getting off much, much too lightly for the personal destruction she wreaked on Buffy and Dawn during Villains/Two to Go/Grave. But what I most dislike about Willow is her disingenuous aura of “who, me?” that she wears like a costume. Real Willow isn’t wearing tights and a jumper. Real Willow is the girl who mourned Tara because of how Tara made her feel about herself rather than grief over losing Tara the person.

Before s6 she was just Willow, doing magic and making funny remarks. But the demarcation line for me was Bargaining II, when she stood in front of a resurrected and traumatized Buffy and smiled as though she were going to be thanked at any second. And it doesn’t much matter to me that Willow thought Buffy was in a hell dimension, because Willow had already proven in Forever that it was more about whether she could do it rather than whether she should.

That being said, I am very impressed that the show wrote her well enough in her faults (at least until they absolved her by making magic itself the addiction and not power) while keeping her sympathetic (to others, she never had my sympathy simply because her problems were nothing compared to Buffy’s in my opinion) that I had any reaction to her at all.

The end.

5th-Sep-2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
Agreed, so hard. Willow is the worst, followed closely by Xander, who at his base is very similar to her.
5th-Sep-2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'll get to him eventually.

I realized a while ago that I didn't much like either of Buffy's BFFs, on the whole. Though I don't actively hate on them, I don't believe they're quite the pals they see themselves as.

5th-Sep-2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
Willow's nice strategically.
6th-Sep-2010 02:23 am (UTC)
BtVS wouldn't be the same without her, that's true.

btw, I keep rewatching Hancock and now I find myself wanting to write Hancock/Mary....which probably means I missed the point, right? :D
6th-Sep-2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
No, I mean she's nice because she's being strategic. I don't for a minute believe Willow's sweetness and niceness is genuine. I used to, but, evan como (and many discussions with her) opened my eyes.

Hancock/Mary...maybe not. I loved that movie. Wanted more.
7th-Sep-2010 12:43 am (UTC)
evan como....now there was a writer. *sigh*

I agree. Willow's niceness, her sweet disposition, is a mask.

For example, "1-800-I'm-dating-a-skanky-ho".

Really? And then sit down later on in the episode and have a conversation with said skanky ho as though all were peaches and cream?

8th-Sep-2010 02:20 am (UTC)
The I'm dating-a-skanky-ho I could respect, but then, it turned out that Willow wouldn't say that to Cordy's face.

It's like Willow went to magic because she wasn't woman enough, grown enough, herself enough to reach for the power she already had within her.

And *that's* one of the reasons I don't like Willow much.

Also, well, yeah, she didn't mourn Tara as much as what Tara did for her. And Willow keeps scores in way that freak me out. And sadden me. And have me hoping I don't do myself.
6th-Sep-2010 12:06 am (UTC)
I didn't mind Willow in the first couple of seasons (by which I mean she was an easily-dismissed bit of background). She really started getting to me once they pushed her hypocrisy to the forefront and made her all about the magical "fixing". Though at least they were very consistent in escalating her faults, and (mostly) straining her relationships accordingly.

And tbh, the magic addiction is such a cop-out. It still gives little Willow a free pass — because it's not about addressing her issues, right, it's about mystical forces using her without her still being in control. (Which in turn makes me think of Angel's assertion, that who you are deep down as a person, rooted in the first instincts and without masks or affectations, is who vamp!you becomes — and hello, boring control-freak vamp!Willow...)
6th-Sep-2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Darth Willow and Vamp!Willow were very much indications of Willow's true self, I totally agree. And I agree SO HARD that the magic crack addiction gives her a free pass. It wasn't her, it was teh drug! Except right up until Wrecked, they'd consistently shown that Willow's issue was power and the need to 'shortcut' through her problems. Magic was the tool, nothing more. And it really irritates me that they cut that short because I suspect they did it to protect the image of awesome little Willow whom everyone loves. *eyeroll*

And honestly, she was under my radar for most of BtVS too, until s6 and the puppetmaster routine she pulled on her friends and her lover. Then it was nothing but rage and contempt.

It's amazing, how fictional people can cause such visceral reactions in me.
28th-Aug-2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Willow hate!!!

I don't hate Willow, but you are so right. I hated that Willow's entire arc of being the secret control freak was completely written out midway through season six... It's like all her years of being secretly controlling and power hungry were NOTHING. Lets change the arc to "Willow is addicted to magic, not control".

And this was happening while we still had another witch on hand to prove that magic is not bad, it depends on the user, but, hey, lets kill her off to give Willow an easy excuse to end the world. This cop out was one of the most cowardly things the writers ever did..
28th-Aug-2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
So agreed. I couldn't believe they derailed one of the best and longest most subtle character arcs of any show simply because they were afraid Willow was losing sympathy.

They had this same problem with showing Angelus' true potential in s4 AtS. He could have done SO MUCH MORE but oh no, chicken writers were too afraid to commit to their own build up.

28th-Aug-2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
Angelus season 4....all talk, no action. Which I never got. I mean, if the writers can write such a horrid Jasmine-Cordelia, how can they be scared of making Angelus(the one that everyone loved in Btvs) badass? Ugh...

I don't get season four for these reason. It had one of the best thematic narratives ever..but the execution was disastrous..
28th-Aug-2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
My appreciation of AtS kind of breaks down with s4 and the clusterfuck of Jasmine-in-Cordelia.

My own personal opinion is that that whole story was to punish CC for getting pregnant 'without permission'. They didnt' hesitate to destroy Cordy - or try to, anyway - but Angel is the star of the show and that's a different kettle.

It would have been so much better if they had committed to Angel's soulless threats, though. *sigh*
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