Wow. Here we are again. Somehow I’ve managed to stay online for twenty-one weeks now. The Weekly Ascension can now legally purchase beer in the United States. Never a dull moment with us at the Weekly Ascension. No, Sir. Not here. Well, with the exception of this pointless paragraph, that is.
As many of you can tell, this article is a little later than usual. The reason? My question is why do you deserve a reason? What have any of you ever done for me? Oh, right. I placed fifth on the top features of the site. Thank you all again…despite Hell’s Kitchen deserving that spot.
Anyhow, aside from a few basic computer problems (which still today are not resolved…but I’ll keep you all posted), my phone lines were fried over the weekend do to weather problems, so things have been moving a little more slowly than usual…as one might imagine. But we’re back now. And we’re up. And we’re ready to face the new week ahead. Do we have a good article today or what?
Actually, I’m seriously asking because I don’t remember what I wrote about. From quick glance at the title, though, it can’t be that great. Anyway, I’m leaving now. On with the real writing. Enjoy…
Nothing burns me more than when I receive nearly twenty-five emails in a row stating about how I insulted Tara in one or two articles I’ve written. Okay, actually that’s not true. Truth be told, I’m happy I received these because I couldn’t think of anything useful to write about this week.
But anyway, for those of you who don’t know (those twenty-five email authors, that is), I never once insulted this character. Ever. Well, I have actually. But not in my articles. Look back at the writings for yourself if you don’t believe me. The line that is mistaken countless times is the following:
“I personally find the chemistry (between Willow and Kennedy) better than I did between Willow and Tara during Season Four.” – Coach Jon, “SiTs, Please!” 4/14/03
Now, let’s dissect this sentence. First, I’m obviously making a comparison. A comparison is never an absolute opinion, but in this instance I was stating that it was indeed a personal opinion of the writer. The word personal is not to be mistaken for the word universal. Likewise, Universal should never be confused with Disney. But point in case, I only speak for one party.
But what are these strange things called comparisons? Well, they are a way of linking two or more subject matters together for analysis. For instance, I could say I would rather go to hell and burn for an eternity than sit through the film Gigli. This does not mean that I wish to go to hell. Rather, it means I would prefer to go to hell if my only options were to burn on a stove or sit through that crappy movie.
Secondly, I specified that I was speaking about Season Four. As a matter of fact, in the article in question, I went on to say that Season Five Tara gave to us a new dynamic that was previously missing…and gave to us a more lovable character. Which leads me to believe that the emails in question came from parties who have never even read the Weekly Ascension…which pretty much makes this sidenote pointless being as how they aren’t reading this one as well. Hm…
So, to elaborate as a means of not making this article a complete waste of both your and my time, I will make this statement that is commonly misunderstood into an entire article. Sound good? Didn’t think so. On with the topic anyway…
Anyone who wants to argue that Tara had great chemistry with Willow from the very beginning is either lying out of respect to actress Amber Benson or a complete idiot. Okay, okay. Maybe they’re not complete idiots. Perhaps only half-idiots. Or maybe I’m the idiot for missing what is so obvious to someone else (cough*yeah right*cough). I have watched Season Four countless times now and I still don’t see it though. Don’t get me wrong. It was a great leap beyond measure to have this coupling together on television in the first place…but that doesn’t mean that the chemistry was there.
I will admit, however, that there was an episode in that season that I do recall where Tara seemed for the very first time to be remotely a part of the series…as well as a believable part of Willow’s life. Therefore, one could make the argument that Tara’s usefulness and likableness began in Season Four. However, since this building of the character seemed to go on hold after this particular episode…I am forced to say that Tara as a character was not truly developed until Season Five.
After all, if I had to name a point in the series that Tara’s character came to life and truly adapted into a role all her own it would have to be in the season of Dawn, when we watched the relationship between Willow and Tara actually develop beyond the simple “Hi, I’m the girlfriend and this is my lover” lines. Also, the thumb war scene is what bought most of us over. Hell, let’s just admit it. We’re all just a bunch of Tara/Dawn shippers when you boil down to it…
In Season Five, we took a peek into Tara’s past on countless occasions, creating a well-rounded individual in place of the stereotypical girlfriend side-role she seemed to fill in the season prior. It may be true that Tara was not in the main cast as a character for Season Five, but anyone who says she wasn’t a main character for that year has to be doped up on something or seriously out of the loop. Fortunately, we had an entire episode devoted completely to surrounding her life and her past during that year, and it helped us to better understand where she came from and a bit about her roots. By doing so, we were let in on the inside of who Tara really was as an individual. Thus, why Season Five is truly the year of the Tara. At least, I seem to think it was. Not much else happened that season aside from April the robot and Spuffy’s first kiss….Oh, yeah. And Buffy died again. That’s always cool.
Anyway, let’s not get on Spuffy as a topic. We are, after all, talking about one of the more memorable of relationships to ever grace the Buffyverse. Willow and Tara. Suddenly not a pointless sidestory for the C lane…but rather something launched into the mainstream as a continuing and ever-building relationship.
It’s really no surprise that Willow’s relationships have truly been the peek of what I would call “true love” relationships in the Buffyverse. Buffy’s walks in love were always more complicated and seemingly awkward…which is one reason I don’t spend much time in these articles looking into them. Honestly, most of the time Buffy’s relationships seemed pointless…as if we knew how they would end before they ever got started. I still don’t understand how people can waste so much time arguing between Spike and Angel when it comes to Buffy’s sex life. Who really cares? Take a stab at Willow’s life. Now THAT is worthy of commentary. I wrote an entire article on it once….And it appears I am writing yet another entire article about it again.
Willow’s relationships, as any idiot could clearly see by watching the show, were always unpredictable. Why? Because love was the foundation. And love is an unpredictable force. Aww…wasn’t that sweet of me to say? Truly worthy of the “kinder” and “gentler” award that we’re going for here at the Weekly Ascension for the month of September.
But now that that has been cleared and the air is filled once again with a humble solitude of pointless, rampaging thoughts…let us voyage back into Tara’s life. And let us look at the amazing things this character did for our show. She is truly credited with many happenings regarding the Buffyverse and those happenings should never be forgotten.
For instance, Tara’s relationship with Buffy. In the beginning, things were kinda rocky. Buff had a little trouble adapting to the idea that her roommate was gay (I can’t imagine why. I mean, hell, they only dress in front of each other and sleep together.). When Tara first met Buffy, I believe she actually met Faith in Buffy’s body. And who was able to tell right away that Buffy wasn’t Buffy despite never meeting her before? That’s right! Tara! Tara did!
As the show progressed, Tara and Buffy slowly became good friends. The peek of this growing relationship came with the episode “The Body” when Tara was able to relate her own personal experience of losing a mother to help aid in Buffy’s pain and feeling of loneliness. That personal link grew them together as closer friends. And it was truly needed for what would happen later in the series.
Tara’s next most memorable moment has to be when she was brain-sucked. The sweet and innocent psychotic Tara has got to be one of my more favorite of personalities ever to grace Sunnydale, California. Let’s face it. She was downright cute. Truly memorable. Or at least in a psychotic way. Does that count? I always sort of wondered what the show would have been like if all the main core scoobies had gotten brain-sucked at some point in their lives. I think that that would have made a much better Season Six, personally.
Then, of course, as we did eventually move on toward Season Six we had the unfortunate break-up, make-up, and belly-up. When Tara died, that was truly a sad moment for all Buffy fans. Well, except for those of us who hated her. Not that I’m one of those few…but as you all know I don’t like to express my own personal opinions here in my columns.
Hard to say that with a straight face.
I’m pretty convinced that Tara’s death was the “moment” for an entire generation, though. You know like when people ask, “Where were you when you heard the news of JFK’s death?” Or the Challenger, for those of you who don’t like to follow politics. Well, the Buffy fan will always ask the question of, “Where were you when you heard the news of Tara’s death?” And if you answer anywhere but watching the show…then you truly were no friend of this character.
It was such a pivotal moment…and not necessarily a good one. Let’s face it. We all would have liked to have seen Tara come back for Season Seven. Even if only through the guise of The First.
Well, even with a Bensonless Season Seven, we still had quite a ride for a final twenty-two episode installment. Of all the killed off characters who kept coming back, it appears Tara was the one who couldn’t. Well…she and Jenny Calendar share that prize actually…but being since Jenny came back via The First in Season Three…I’m going to let Tara carry that torch alone for the time being.
Regardless of all this information, however, it still doesn’t change my stance. If I had to judge between Tara and Kennedy solely based on each character’s introduction season…Kennedy would win hands down. Why? She adapted better, she came to life earlier, and the chemistry between her and Willow was far greater in far lesser amounts of time.
But still, to each their own. Hopefully this article has helped clear some of that air…or created yet even more misconceptions in the process of doing so. Whichever the case, see you all again next week. And hopefully we’ll be on time without any of those pesky internet delays hassling us. Thanks for bearing with me. TTFN.
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