Friday, July 02, 2010

The ladies of televsion

Day 15 - Favorite female character

So, I'm going to list two here. They're actually very similar. They're both the "secondary" lead female on their respective shows. And where I love the titular lead on both shows, neither particularly has a series arc. Oh sure, all kinds of things happen to them, and they do change and mature and deepen, but they're still doing the same job they started out in. Whereas the secondary characters grew by leaps and bounds in all kinds of other ways. And I absolutely love and respect that about both of them.

I'm referring to Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Gabrielle on Xena: Warrior Princess.

Both start out naive and a bit mousy and, while they both had funny dialog, there wasn't much to them. They usually needed rescuing. But only very early on. And then they grew. Boy, how they grew, and in all kinds of ways. You kind of have to watch both series really to watch the progression, but it was lovely. Willow had Oz, then Tara, discovered she was a witch, became hugely powerful, flipped out and went to the dark side. I mean she goes from a cute nobody to someone you do not want to mess with. And she gets all the emotional arcs to go with it.

Same with Gabrielle. A farm girl who wants to be a bard and go on adventures, and who gets far more than she bargains on when she hooks up with Xena. She evolves over the seasons into a more than capable warrior in her own right (much as Willow evolves as a witch). She also gets quite a bit of tragedy and emotional growth along the way (ie: Hope, among other things) right up to the very end of the series.

(There's all kinds of character parallels between the two shows, really, now that I think about it. Buffy/Xena, Xander/Joxer, Spike/Autolycus, Angel/Ares, and Willow/Gabrielle. How interesting!)


  1. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Hmm. Totally agree with Willow, obviously. Gabrielle... Hmm.

    Got to admit, Xena kind of passed me by. I saw the odd episode here and there (same with Kevin Sorbo's Hercules), but was never particularly taken with it. Didn't dislike it, either - it just didn't stick.

  2. Hee. I got sucked into both. I watched Hercules and Xena faithfully, though the last season of Xena started getting a bit wonky strange. Actually, while we're on favorite characters, Hercules' sidekick, Iolaus (Michael Hurst), would be in my top ten favorite tv male characters list. He really made that show work.