~ Out of this World ~
Nombre de messages : 59114
Age : 30
Date d'inscription : 07/01/2009
|Sujet: Les Big Bads de Buffy : du pire au meilleur Mer 16 Mar - 19:34|| |
- Citation :
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Big Bads Ranked from Worst to Best
BY AUBREY PAGE
Night has fallen on Sunnydale High School as a young couple looking to find some privacy wander the darkened hallways. Spooked, the girl asks the boy to take a look around, but as he turns to assure her they’re safe, the once-helpless beauty easily sinks her teeth into his prone and unsuspecting neck. So begins Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of the most iconic series of the ‘90s and what would become Joss Whedon’s first indelible mark on pop culture.
The concept for Buffy is simple, centering around a “Chosen One” called upon by the universe to protect the innocent world from various (and seemingly endless) demonic shenanigans. That One is Buffy Summers, a clever subversion of the “little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and dies in every horror film,” who reserves as much affection for frosted lip gloss and miniskirts as for a freshly sharpened stake and a witty zinger. The series, which ran on the WB (and later UPN) for seven glorious seasons, featured Sarah Michelle Gellar in the titular role as a member of the eventually nicknamed “Scooby Gang,” with Alyson Hannigan as the witchy Willow and Nicholas Brendon as the ever-dopey Xander in tow. And while the scope of the show was never what you could call small, each season was devoted to the vanquishing of a unique “Big Bad” (a term eventually coined by Whedon in Season 3), meaning a specific evil generally hell-bent on bringing destruction to the world as we know it.
Impossibly, it’s been 19 years since ‘Welcome to the Hellmouth,’ the series’ first episode, aired, beginning a legacy of female-centric television and Whedon witticism that continue to this day. In honor of its anniversary, we’ve got all seven of those Big Bads, ranked from the totally silly to the deliciously evil. Cue that Nerf Herder theme song.
7. The Initiative/Adam (Season 4)
While season four is home to the truly fantastic ‘Hush,’ it’s largely notably for the series’ most lackluster Big Bad: The Initiative, a shadowy government entity looking to develop a demon-human hybrid for the purpose of creating super soldiers with otherworldly powers. If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it definitely is, and when a successful experiment named Adam (George Hertzberg) arrives as the season’s Big Bad incarnate, things don’t really improve. A misunderstood monstrosity modeled after the sentimental Frankenstein character with none of his interesting qualities, Adam is a poorly rendered and ultimately ludicrous villain. Thankfully, Whedon jettisons him before the finale with little more than a suckerpunch from Buffy, allowing the truly brilliant ‘Restless’ to unfold untethered by the silly mythology that preceded it.
6. The Master (Season 1)
Though his heavy-handed prosthetics aren’t the most well-aged effect the show ever produced, The Master (Mark Metcalf) earns the distinction of inducting the concept of the Big Bad into the Buffy lexicon, with a simple yet evil mission: to undermine the world order and release hell on earth. Sure, those kind of machinations looked at in the context of the series’ run sound a bit like a yawn, but this Big Bad has enough accoutrements (including a creepy little child minion) to be plenty interesting. The Master combines genuine threat with plenty of witty verbal gymnastics, and while he’s probably best remembered for that iconic fruit punch mouth, it is worth noting that he is one of the few evil forces to actually kill Buffy. That is, just before she returns the favor by slamming him right through a glass ceiling. (Feminism!)
5. The Trio/Dark Willow (Season 6)
In true Buffy form, the Big Bad of Season 6 is revealed through a bait and switch, with many of the season’s episodes devoting time to The Trio: a group of Dungeons & Dragons aficionados whose love for fictitious land grabs soon turn into a desire to overtake the very real town of Sunnydale. They’re taken less than seriously for much of the season, but in one of the most shocking deaths of the series (I still don’t really want to talk about it), Willow’s witchy powers turn from mildly grey to pitch black. Devastated, she goes on the war-path, and at the height of her powers Willow succeeds in looking particularly ominous. But as soon as Xander arrives and the episode tips up into the yellow crayon denouement, you realize that not even the darkest magic could split up this trio. Joss Whedon has gone on to say that the true Big Bad of Season 6 is life itself, which explains the season’s lack of real punch, but with Dark Willow’s help, one of the show’s most heartbreaking seasons is bolstered by one of the Scooby Gang’s more human adversaries.
4. The Mayor (Season 3)
Richard Wilkins (Harry Groener), mayor of Sunnydale and half-demon mensch, is a fascinating and especially Whedon-esque combination of the psychotically cheerful and the diabolical. Referred to simply as “The Mayor,” Season 4’s Big Bad is singularly self-absorbed and focused only on his ascension, which will find his mortal being transmuted into a higher form. Ultimately, he finds his partner in crime in Faith (Eliza Dushku), a slayer whose reckless spirit pushed her away from her would-be partner, Buffy. Falling for the promise of unmitigated demonic power (and the gift of a kick-ass apartment), Faith develops a father-daughter relationship with the wannabe despot that is almost kind of sweet until, you know, it’s not.
3. The First Evil (Season 7)
The personification of all the evil on earth able to assume the appearance of any dead person to compel others to do its bidding? Count me in! The series’ last Big Bad was specially calibrated to end the slayer line as we know it, and remains the series’ most abstruse villain. Though The First Evil is noncorporeal, it becomes best defined by a zealot-like preacher named Caleb (played by Whedon favorite Nathan Fillion) intent on tearing apart Buffy and her supporters. It seems especially appropriate that the final season’s central antagonist remain unvanquished even at the end of series, but without a specific figure to pin your fear on, the First Evil is one of the series’ more muted Big Bads.
2. Glory (Season 5)
Adding a little spice to the humdrum demon fighting is Glory (Clare Kramer), a god from a hell dimension doomed to earth and forced to share a body with a strangely dreamy medical intern. Aided by minions who seem to exist only to pay her compliments on her hair and complexion, Glory is a prim and direct evil, exceptionally fixated on finding a “key” that will help her find her way back to her hellish home. Perennial troublemaker that she is, it’s no surprise that the universally maligned Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg) would be that key, a fact that draws Glory right into the Scooby Gang’s crosshairs. Seeing Dawn in danger isn’t much of a concern (because really, who needs Dawn?), but between her predilection for valley girl theatrics and her teetering mental stability, Glory is certainly a Big Bad for the ages. She’s got a wealth of quirks to keep her incredibly compelling throughout the whole season, including a mind-sucky tendency that leaves her wrung-out victims on the verge of mental handicap. It’s no question that Glory rings in as one of the raddest villains Whedon & Co. has ever devised.
1. Spike, Drusilla, Angelus (Season 2)
Appearing as a due reward for those tenacious enough to stick around through Buffy’s less-than-stellar first season is Season 2’s truly fantastic Big Bad arc, featuring the vampire love triangle of Spike (James Marsters), Drusilla (Juliet Landau) and Angel/Angelus (David Boreanaz). Spike is known far and wide as one of the series’ best characters, and while David Boreanaz’s brooding theatrics are difficult to be impressed by, Juliet Landau’s unhinged Drusilla is easily of the most genuinely threatening vamp forces to ever appear on Buffy. Sure, the whole thing hinges on the magic of a boning session that allows Angel to reach a “true moment of happiness” in the arms of Buffy, but Angel’s turn from uber-sensitive to ultra-sadistic is nothing short of devastating. The actual lynchpin of the show surrounds a weird demon sculpture and a portal to hell that depends on the spilling of Angel’s blood, but who really cares about the specifics once Buffy finds herself having to plunge her sword into the stomach of the only man she’s ever loved? Talk about a messy breakup.
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