I wanted a cool title, this article isn’t about Bon Jovi.
Spike was probably my second favorite character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer right behind Anya. His character arc was definitely the most evolving and made an otherwise meh show for me quite watchable and ultimately entertaining.
Justin. How dare you say Buffy was “meh”?!??1!
So I had just gotten a new girlfriend and her first proclamation was “Buffy is my favorite show and we are going to watch it from the beginning.” I really had no intention on doing this ever. This is well after the show was off the air and I was a 22 year old black guy. Alternatively, I really like watching or experiencing things that have had cultural impact in the media (watched all the Harry Potter and Twilight movies just to see what the hype was about)…and I really liked this girl.
So here we go. My first thoughts were “Wow, this is awful, melodramatic teen drama with terrible fight choreography and monsters from the late 90s-early 00s.” As I continued to watch, I finally started to get it. Some things really didn’t change (cliched drama, sometimes laughably bad acting) and the eponymous character was/is unlikable to me. I was able to see past all its faults to see why this had such a big impact on that generation and especially younger girls. Buffy was tough as nails, super strong teen with the weight of the world on her shoulders, all while trying to deal with boys(or 100 demons), school and family. You can see how relatable this was for the times. Surrounding Buffy was a cast of characters much more interesting than herself. Friends were fleshed out into people you truly cared about. Joss Wheadon also dealt with very real issues that teens would be dealing with in a time that may not have been exploring such topics. It ranged from family death, rape, lesbianism to working at a fast food joint and wild college sexcapades. He also wasn’t afraid to do things that really stuck with you like having episode with no music (UGH, I’M SAD AGAIN), a musical and an alternative reality episode that dealt with mental illness.
Spike went through a lot during the course of the show. He started out as a legitimate threat to the Buffy gang along with Angel who was evil at the time. As the series went on, he became a nuisance, strange tryst partner, stalky lover and begrudging but dependable ally. James Marsters really brought a strong on screen presence and real emotional depth to Spike. You could go from feeling sorry for him to being absolutely disgusted in a couple episodes. I thought it was odd that his character went through so many transformations but it totally worked. Spike was probably the best character in the universe.
I still love Anya the most and was VERY VERY VERY SAD ABOUT TWO BAD (fuck you Xander) THINGS (fuck you…endings) THAT HAPPENED TO HER.
Anyway, I’m glad I watched this show that was definitely not for me. Spike was a big part of the show even though he was a little part of this write up.