Character Crush: Spike

 

Spike is dreamy.

He’s also evil, dangerous, and undead. The platinum-haired crush of many Buffy fans is a twisted mess of emotions, poetry, death, and destruction. He’s also dreamy. *ahem*

I’ll not defend William the Bloody (Spike). He’s done some horrific things in his 100+ years on this earth. But I will say that, for a bloke without a soul, he’s pretty sweet.

Spike is a vampire. He has no conscience, yet he manages to have morals. Sometimes. When he feels like it. Not killing people for starters.

Okay… He’s got a chip in his head, courtesy of the demented Professor Maggie Walsh with her underground government agency, group of scientists, and soldier boys. As long as that chip’s nestled in Spike’s brain, he can’t hurt a human. There is that.

But there is so much more. Choices he makes when the chip stops working. When it’s removed. When he’s on his own, has free will, without technology interfering. He helps. Again and again. He helps. There is a bit of the meek poet he used to be in the 1800s still hanging out inside this demon leaving a delicious mixture of sentimental and homicidal. Like the time he swishes off in his black trench coat to kill Buffy with a shotgun and winds up sitting on the back porch consoling her. Because. Spike. Buffy’s crying and he wants to know if there’s anything he can do. When there isn’t, he sits with her. Who has empathy as a soulless demon? He’s a bit of a marshmallow. With fangs.

I’ll just throw in here that he nearly gets himself killed, going through “trials” that really should have killed him, to get his soul back. He chose to do this. He didn’t die, but did get majorly beaten and driven insane in the process.

Not to mention (yet I will) the comic relief he adds to the show. He’s dry. Deadpan. My favorite kind of humor. Though, in the Buffyverse, almost everyone has a side of humor with their evil-doing or evil-fighting. But Spike’s delivery is just…brilliant.

We can’t get too comfy around him. He can’t be trusted. Not entirely. And yet characters do trust him (with their lives and the lives of their loved ones). He offers help when the Scooby Gang needs it. He is deadly, yes. He is also affectionate, sensitive, and loyal.

Alas, at the end of the day (and well into the night), this lovely lad is still a vampire. One who saved the world. Just saying. ❤

 

 

I saw this blogathon forever ago. It’s about crushes. It can’t be an actor or actress, it must be the character. (Big shout-out to James Marsters, though, for his portrayal of Spike.) These movie blogathons are so fun. But then I saw television and book characters were fair game. I mean. Seriously? Awesome! Then…I thought. And thought. And, honestly, I was overwhelmed.

My mind was suddenly flooded with ALL OF THE PEOPLE. How could anyone choose one character from all the books, televisions shows, and movies out there. It’s impossible. So I picked one and created a running list that I plan to explore in the future. A blog series of amazing characters (and what makes them so damn lovable).

 

Television

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I’m pretty much crushing on, like, half the characters in Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse. My favs are: Spike (James Marsters), Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), and my girl crush, Willow (Alyson Hannigan).

Gilmore Girls: Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham)

Northern Exposure: Chris Stevens (John Corbett)

Xena, Warrior Princess: Xena (Lucy Lawless)

And many more…

Film

LOTR: Strider/Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom)

 

Harry Potter: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), Severus Snape (Alan Rickman)

Good Will Hunting: Will Hunting (Matt Damon)

Ocean’s Eleven: Erm…everyone. Okay, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), if I had to choose.

Princess Bride: Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes)

The Avengers: Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.)

Blazing Saddles: Jim (Gene Wilder), Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn)

Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood: Viv Abbott Walker (Young: Ashley Judd / Older: Ellen Burstyn)

Grosse Pointe Blank: Martin Blank (John Cusack)

 

Dead Again: Gray Baker (Andy Garcia)

Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)

And many, many more…

Books

I can’t even. My brain hurts just thinking about this.

 

 

After I wrote my list of crushes, I thought, “Geez, Sarah, here’s something to look into, no? I mean, you’re crushing on some pretty unpleasant people.” Indeed. It’s a very interesting list. People who are crass, wicked, dangerous, manipulative… Criminals, demons, hit men…

Shiny, happy people aren’t my thing. Flaws are intriguing. That said, I don’t go for the truly evil. They’re not my thing, either. I find them disturbing. I love the reformed, conflicted, confused (or confusing) ones. For example, the sexist, womanizing, jackass billionaire Tony Stark (Iron Man) who, in The Avengers, consistently risks his own life to help innocents and, at the end, is the one who goes on a suicide flight to save the world. Or the hit man, Martin Blank, who has killed his share (and more) but is having a bit of a crisis and winds up saving a girl, her father, and some random folks along the way.

I think it’s safe to say I like my characters a little rough around the edges.

 

 

Character crushes. They are difficult to narrow down. At least for me. Who’s your crush? (Or crushes?)

 

This post is part of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Font and Frock#ReelInfatuation

 

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When Does a Victim Become a Villain?

 

 

When does a victim become a villain?

What is it that turns someone we would love to protect into someone we love to hate?

Is it the first act of violence against another living thing? Does it have to be human? When does the child who has been brutalized at home become the bully? Is there a magical age when we stop feeling sorry for the child or is it simply a response to the child’s actions?

When I read a book or see a film, I want to know about the villain’s history. He did that?! What on earth happened to him?

That’s just me. Others might not care. Good guy vs bad guy. The end.

I want more. I want to know why the bad guy is so bad. Is he pure evil? Did he make a mistake? Is he mentally unstable? Is he out for revenge?

When it comes to villains, grey matters. Har. Yes, the brain. Psychology and whatnot but, also, areas between the black and white world of good and evil. It’s not simple.

Of course, sometimes, it is. Simple, I mean. Other times, it’s extraordinarily complex.

In searching through the biggest baddies of all time for the Villains Blogathon, I saw some surprising selections.

Carrie from Stephen King’s Carrie is listed as one of the top villains. Hmm. The whole movie sets up those last scenes. She is bullied horrifically at school and abused sadistically at home. Also, she’s unsure (and afraid) of her powers. Then, well…burn, baby, burn. Returning home, Carrie is taken in by her mother who hugs her to hide the great, big knife she’s about to stab Carrie with.

Then there’s Regan. A disgusting-looking, in-need-of-a-facial, pea-soup-projectile-vomiting little girl. The girl from The Exorcist is one of the top villains? She is possessed by the devil, people. Just saying.

Norman Bates is, um, Psycho. This kid, the one who grew up to be his mother (literally), had an extremely disturbing relationship with his cruel, possessive, demented mother. His entire life was abuse and isolation, leading to his inevitable insanity and the infamous stabby shower scene.

If you’ll allow me to delve into the realm of television for one teensy moment, I must talk about one of my favorite victims/villains of all time: the beautifully insane Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer played by the incredibly talented Juliet Landau. Oh, yeah, Drusilla is nasty. No argument there. But it’s her backstory that makes me seriously sick. She was an innocent young woman who caught the attention of a vampire who, patiently, goes to great lengths and takes great pleasure in torturing and tormenting her. He waits for the perfect moment to take her soul and make her immortal—right as she is driven insane.

There are also the people who were victims because they were sort of…magically (or in some other unnatural way) morphed into villains: Jack Torrance (The Shining), Gollum (Lord of the Rings), the kids who lived in Gatlin, Nebraska (Children of the Corn), Bucky A.K.A. Winter Soldier (Captain America/Civil War), Regan (The Exorcist)…

I’m not defending any actions. I’m not denying their villain status. I’m asking when, exactly, do these characters become villains?

 

When does a brutalized or brainwashed victim become a villain? What pushes the helpless victim into the role of evil villain?

 

 

This post is part of The Great Villain Blogathon. Click here for all the participants.  #Villains2017

Read my Matrix contribution to VILLAINS2016 here. Working within the constraints of the Matrix was tough but chatting about the villain of the flick was wicked fun and philosophical and *psst* not Agent Smith.

 

A joyous thanks goes out to the hosts of The Great Villain Blogathon 2017: Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy. This is an annual festival of fun. Evil fun. 😈

#villains2017