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Buffy/Angel - best romantic partners for the characters

Someone at TrekBBS posed the question: Who do you think would be the best romantic pairings for various Buffy/Angel characters. My answer ended up being more involved than I anticipated so thought it would be convenient to capture it.

First, there's a difference between what's best for a person in a relationship, ie the character in the TV show; and what's best for heightening the drama on the TV show. The best TV relationships are usually full of angst and pain, which you don't usually wish for in a real relationship. With that in mind...

Buffy

Best for the character: Riley. She treated him like shit, but his groundedness, not to mention government training and contacts, would have helped stabilise Buffy (she got out of control in later years and needed a steady hand to calm her) and assist her in carrying out her Slayer function.

Best for the drama: Angel. I'm a romantic, so the concept of "First Love, True Love" still resonates. And there's never been a better arc in Buffy than the dozen episodes or so commencing with the first post-coital Angelus appearance and culminating with "Becoming". I had real problems with how the character of Spike devolved in season 4 onwards so never took to the Buffy/Spike fling.

Xander

Best for the character: Anya. She gave him a sense of purpose, maturity and uniqueness; three things I think he knew he was lacking.

Best for the drama: Same. The Cordelia pairing was fun for a few episodes but didn't have the legs that the one with Anya had. Anya had much more potential as a character.

Willow

Best for the character: Me. She just doesn't know it yet. But of the BTVS regulars it's a tough choice between Xander (her first love and best friend) and Tara (with whom she connected so deeply that it opened up a whole new world for her). For a long, long time I wanted Willow to end up with Xander, but considering the extent to which both she and Xander have changed over the years Tara is now a better match. Oz I never connected too; he was too perfect as a character. Or maybe that's just jealousy speaking. In fact, I'm sure it's just jealousy speaking, so even though he - being practically perfect - may have been perfect for Willow, he still doesn't get my vote.

Best for the drama: Tara. Though I identified with the "unrequited love" angle of the early seasons as a story telling vein it exhausts itself fairly quickly. With Tara we got the whole "is she or isn't she" coming out thing (which, while mishandled, was at least stimulating viewing) and much more dramatic ups and downs than we got with Xander or Oz.

Giles

Best for the character: I think he connected more with Jenny than with any other woman we saw him with. With her knowledge of things supernatural and magickal (not to mention her IT/research skills) she would have fit naturally into Giles' world.

Best for the drama: I think there could have been much story potential if the metaphor of Giles as Buffy's father figure had become more explicit by hooking him up with Joyce. Seeing how they came together after the Band Candy incident would have been fun too. That said, "Passion" is one of the great episodes of the series.

Angel

Best for the character: Cordelia. Buffy was too tempestuous and immature for Angel. Cordelia matured way faster and further than Buffy ever did and even without Slayer powers became an enormous asset to Angel in his role as a champion. I'm still amazed how she grew from being one of my least favourites on BTVS to one of my favourites on ATS. (Pre season 4 of ATS of course.) I did like his chemistry with Kate a lot as well.

Best for the drama: I was going to say Buffy for the reasons documented above... but thinking about it I'll go with Darla. The Angel/Darla relationship over time became much more complex, nuanced and interesting than the Angel/Buffy relationship. Also, Julie Benz is considerably hotter than SMG so that never hurts. :D

Fred

Best for the character: Depends. Gunn would be better for her than Tormented Psycho Wesley, but Cool, Calm & Charmingly Bumbling Wesley would be better for her than Gunn.

Best for the drama: Angel the series ended up being mainly about Wesley anyway in its later years (and rightly so), so Fred contributed to the Wesley character arc much more than to the Gunn one.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 17, 2004 12:58 AM.

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