The “Women of Whedon” is missing a W


Sometimes a list is so close
to the hearts of readers that all a blogger has to do
is tell you about it and sit back to watch the fun. So, I was tickled
to find this list in the Los Angeles Times
of the “Women of Whedon.” The Times asked Joss Whedon
to name his five favorite female creations. I was less tickled once
I perused the list, however, thanks to at least one dreadful omission.
(Get ready to be indignant.) Where’s Willow?

While your ruffled feathers
relax a bit, let’s look at the women he did name. I certainly can’t
quarrel with the first.

Buffy Summers was one of the
most awesome television characters ever and definitely number one in
the Whedonverse. Sarah Michelle Gellar brought Buffy to life
in the series, but the Slayer herself is multidimensional enough to
sustain interest in the 2-D comic book medium. Buffy rules.

Next on Whedon’s list is River
Tam from Firefly and Serenity.

Hmm. I have mixed feelings
about this one. (River, not Summer Glau, who rocks.) I have to
admit, though, that I’m not as much of a Firefly fan as some
of you are. I agree that River’s genius combined with her delusional,
often violent, behavior makes for a compelling character. But is she
one of Whedon’s best five? You tell me.

Whedon lost me with Dandelion,
from his online comic, Sugarshock.

Granted, seeing Dandelion save the planet by playing the saddest
song on earth was pretty great. And her character is classic Whedon
— witty, random and able to kick butt. But after just four issues,
I don’t know Dandelion well enough to call her a favorite. I need at
least a few more story arcs. Or a television series. Hint hint.

I also take issue with Joss’
choice of Echo, from his upcoming show Dollhouse. (Again, my gripe
is with Echo, not Eliza Dushku, who plays her. I’m opinionated,
not blind.) I suspect Echo made the list because she’s Whedon’s project
of the moment — or will be once the writers’ strike is over. But if
I understand the premise of Dollhouse, Echo has no “character”

at all apart from the one imprinted in her mind for each assignment.
I would love to be proven wrong, but for now, I can’t imagine that Echo
will rank above Dushku’s other Whedon creation, Faith, on my

Last but never least is Fred
Burkle from Angel.

I’m in love with a girl named
Fred. (Blame the obscure reference on scribegrrrl’s recent homage to Carol Burnett.) Fred was
fab — a super-geek with a brain that got the team out of more than one
pickle. Until that nasty demon, Illyria, took over her soul, that is.
But does Fred rank above her predecessor and brilliantly nerdish role
model, Willow? What were you thinking, Joss?

My top five would have to include
Tara because, well, she’s Tara.

And I’d have to replace new
comic character Dandelion with Whedon’s futuristic Slayer, Melaka Fray.

I’ll leave the rest to you.
Of course, maybe the problem is that Joss Whedon has created so many strong women characters that naming the top five is impossible.
That’s a nice dilemma to have. But if you had to choose, whom would
you list?

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