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View Full Version : Why did Xander think he ‘had a chance’ with Buffy?



MikeB
29-03-18, 09:15 PM
* Xander had dated Willow when they were both kids. But there’s almost zero hint Xander dated anyone after that before dating Cordelia Chase.

Cordelia and Co. all considered Xander and Jesse losers and completely undateable.

Buffy in “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01) is groomed, ‘made up’, and ‘dressed to impress’. Buffy wants to be popular again and is almost certainly wearing designer clothing. Buffy looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar who is easily arguably better looking than Harmony Kendall who is probably the second most popular girl at Sunnydale High School (Cordelia Chase being the most popular girl).


* Buffy shows no physical/sexual interest in Xander before or during “Teacher’s Pet” (B 1.04). Xander in “TP” is introduced to the idea of Buffy/Angel, especially given Buffy wears Angel’s jacket during the episode.


* Hyena Xander in “The Pack” (B 1.06) acknowledges that Buffy’s into Angel.


* “Angel” (B 1.07) happens.


* There’s nothing before “Prophecy Girl” (B 1.12) that implies Buffy’s not still into Angel. That Xander asks Buffy out when she’s almost certainly still into Angel makes his reaction to her rejection troubling.


* Xander in “When She Was Bad” (B 2.01) knows Buffy was being cruel to him by dancing with him the way she does.


* Buffy in BtVS S4 is into Parker Abrams, not Xander. Is then into Riley Finn, not Xander.


* Xander in “Seeing Red” (B 6.19) is largely upset with Buffy because Buffy got with Spike instead of Xander. But Xander in “Intervention” (B 5.18) already considered Buffy/Spike was very possible. And Buffy post-“When She Was Bad” (B 2.01) and pre-“Seeing Red” (B 6.19) shows almost zero physical/sexual interest in Xander.


* It isn’t until Buffy in BtVS S8 has sex with a fellow Slayer that Xander finally considers Buffy/Xander not possible.

Priceless
29-03-18, 10:58 PM
I think Xander thought he 'had a chance' with Buffy because he and Buffy were friends. She was nice to him, and he hoped that part of that was an attraction to him, but it wasn't. Buffy liked him as a friend only.

I think of in terms of making more sense, the writers could have written Buffy and Xander as a couple at any time in S1 and late S2 or early S3 and it could have made sense. But dating a vampire was far more interesting, as was being completely in love with the vampire and having to kill him. There was no way a high school boy, no matter what he looking like or how charmingly written, could compete with that story line.

In S4 a Xander/Buffy relationship would be comparable to a Riley/Buffy relationship. I have heard that there were ideas put forward at the time that Xander and Buffy should be a couple in S7, but I personally much prefer Spike/Buffy so am glad the writers didn't go in that direction.

TimeTravellingBunny
29-03-18, 11:13 PM
I think Xander thought he 'had a chance' with Buffy because he and Buffy were friends. She was nice to him, and he hoped that part of that was an attraction to him, but it wasn't. Buffy liked him as a friend only.

I think of in terms of making more sense, the writers could have written Buffy and Xander as a couple at any time in S1 and late S2 or early S3 and it could have made sense. But dating a vampire was far more interesting, as was being completely in love with the vampire and having to kill him. There was no way a high school boy, no matter what he looking like or how charmingly written, could compete with that story line.

In S4 a Xander/Buffy relationship would be comparable to a Riley/Buffy relationship. I have heard that there were ideas put forward at the time that Xander and Buffy should be a couple in S7, but I personally much prefer Spike/Buffy so am glad the writers didn't go in that direction.

I've heard that Buffy/Xander and Willow/Xander were considered for S7, but I have a hard time believing any of that was a serious consideration, because at that point, neither of those would have made sense or been good narratively.

As to the early seasons...the way Xander and Buffy were written and their relationships with each other and other people set up, I can't think of any moment when a Buffy/Xander ship would have been an idea I would like and wouldn't end up looking like one or more really infuriating tropes. The only way to change that would be to go back and write them differently from the start...but that would effectively make them different characters.

Priceless
29-03-18, 11:38 PM
I've heard that Buffy/Xander and Willow/Xander were considered for S7, but I have a hard time believing any of that was a serious consideration, because at that point, neither of those would have made sense or been good narratively.


I agree that a Xander/Buffy relationship wouldn't have been very convincing, and couldn't compete with the history Buffy/Spike had. I think SMG suggested it to Joss, but he could see it wouldn't make the most exciting tv.

The trouble is that Xander would always be the re-bound guy and would have to be dumped in favour of a vampire to make the story interesting. Xander is, in essence, Scott Hope, the average normal guy. He could also be seen as similar to Riley but without access to the Initiatvie. He's a great character but Xander couldn't compete with Angel or Spike in terms of exciting story telling, use as metaphor or the philosophical debates of the later seasons.

- - - Updated - - -

By the time Season 8 came along, I doubt there were any members of the audience who wanted to see Xander and Buffy together, so he was not competition at all for Satsu. He and Dawn were a much more interesting pairing imo, and I hated Buffy coming onto Xander, even when she knew he was seeing her own sister. Hated it! :down:

Fool for Buffy
30-03-18, 01:43 AM
I voted for everyone making more sense except Scott and Robin because I just really dislike both of them. Buffy and Xander were great as friends, but they never would have made sense as a couple. Buffy needs someone to complement her; Xander just absolutely could not. On a more superficial note she is way out of his league. Plus I think Xander would be better off in a more down to earth relationship, as it would allow him to have a balance in his life between fighting evil and being "normal."

Sosa lola
30-03-18, 07:59 AM
Where's the option of Buffy/Xander making more sense than any of those ships? The poll isn't fair.

While Buffy and Xander would make a freakin' adorable and hot couple in the high school years, because damn they would:

https://78.media.tumblr.com/cb8209dd925e243fc4a8cd3e077b4dd6/tumblr_p6d7euiuF01reop97o2_400.gif https://78.media.tumblr.com/4167f2d5740be42fa588ac616b68821f/tumblr_p6d7euiuF01reop97o1_400.gif

https://78.media.tumblr.com/5500aaa75402be209d869d2e9ff6a1f8/tumblr_p6d7euiuF01reop97o4_400.gif https://78.media.tumblr.com/ded5668664ebe16eed427a5117ea7d05/tumblr_p6d7euiuF01reop97o3_400.gif

https://78.media.tumblr.com/2c9f3552d5adab8ce2cf51fabbff2de0/tumblr_p6d7euiuF01reop97o5_400.gif https://78.media.tumblr.com/04858595ae801a1c03292843ffcbe6d1/tumblr_p6d7euiuF01reop97o6_400.gif

Gifs made by watcherspet

I have to disagree that Xander is anything like Riley or Scott Hope just because he's a regular human. It's like saying that Angel and Spike are exactly the same because they're vampires. Xander is completely different than the other human characters Buffy dated: he's incredibly brave, outgoing, doesn't mind Buffy being his leader, and has saved Buffy's life more than once. He's got a unique personality and lots of flaws that would make the relationship interesting.

I would have liked seeing how a Buffy/Xander ship would play out, and it would be interesting considering that both of them are going through the same journey of being drawn to gender norms and not accepting themselves for who they are. That alone would have made their relationship exciting and interesting.

With that said, just like the many popular Buffy ships that didn't work out: Bangel, Briley, and even Spuffy, I don't see Buffy/Xander working out in high school because, like I said, both Buffy and Xander are not satisfied with who they are and hadn't accepted their roles within the group.

I can see the relationship working out in S7 and beyond, S7 painted a very nice and loving picture of domestic Bander with Dawn being their daughter.

I'm actually a bit torn about this:

1) I would love to see how Joss would write a Buffy/Xander relationship either in high school or in S7, and I personally don't mind if it didn't work out, I just like to see it explored.

2) I like how Buffy and Xander's relationship developed into a very trusting and loving platonic friendship and we do need to see more representations of friendships between the opposite sex, especially when they're straight.

3) I love Joss' commentary in Prophecy Girl about Xander being the perfect guy for Buffy because a) he's human and b) because he gave her life whereas Angel couldn't, and yet it was Buffy's choice, and Buffy loves Angel and chose Angel even though he's a vampire and didn't try to save her until Xander forced him to make a move, and that's okay. Love knows no logic and it's Buffy's right to choose.

flow
30-03-18, 07:53 PM
Why would Xander not be allowed, to think, he has a chance with Buffy ? He obviously has a better opinion of himself, than many people in fandom have of him. And I´d say, he has every right, to think of himself as a worthy partner for every girl or woman (or demon).

He is a well-bred, witty and handsome young guy. He might not be as brainy as Willow is, but he definitely gets his life on track and builds a career for himself. He is brave, he has fighting abilities and he is utterly loyal. He gets involved or dates several women through the course of the series, one of them being the the most popular girl in his high school, one being a Slayer, one being an ex-vengeance demon and at least two others demons as well. The most powerful witch in the Buffyverse as well as the Key have a crush on him. And even a vampiress wants to spent eternity with him (okay, Drusilla was insane and under a spell).

I`d say, it would be weird, had he actually believed, he has no chance at all with Buffy.

flow

Stoney
31-03-18, 04:08 AM
I agree flow, there's no reason Xander shouldn't feel he could have a chance. :noidea:

Buffy/Angel obviously had the melodrama and tragic teen angst and I don't think that is a story that you can repeat really or that would have suited Buffy/Xander. I also don't think Buffy/Xander would have been as compelling as Buffy/Spike personally. The progression they have gone through from S2 to S11 is really coherent and wherever it goes from here it has been the most developed romantic relationship in the series. So I don't think Buffy/Xander would have been as interesting as these two relationships of opposites because I don't think it would have sat well in the high drama style of story of Bangel and I don't think there would have been as much to work through progressively, as many hurdles and points of development needed as both Buffy and Spike has to go through individually and also together to get a deep build up to being in such a strong relationship as they are by S11. But I don't think either of those factors are about whether Buffy/Xander would have made any 'sense' or not.

I can't see why the show couldn't have written Buffy/Xander in a believable way if they had chosen to go down that route. They are really close friends that care deeply for each other so a relationship developing wouldn't have been off the charts confusing would it? But I like that it has always been a friendship. It could have replaced the Buffy/Riley years as an alternate, but it would have made a mess out of the group dynamic and affected them going forwards in a way I'm glad it didn't. I wasn't keen on Buffy coming on to him in S8 and think Xander really showed his maturity in seeing it for what it was and how he handled it. Buffy doing that despite knowing about him/Dawn was not a great character moment. But that doesn't mean that a Buffy/Xander relationship couldn't have been written believably, it just gets less easy to change it after so many years of being so close but not going there I think.

I'm not really answering the question maybe. The thread question, why did he think he had a chance is a straight forward one as flow said, why shouldn't he. But for the poll question which differs to would they make sense, I'd say more so in the earlier years. I don't think Buffy/Xander would have fitted the story Buffy/Angel filled because there aren't reasons for it to be tragic like that. And I don't think it could have been written over such a length of time to have such great depth to the development that Buffy/Spike has enjoyed. But I see no reason why it couldn't in general principle have worked. It makes less 'sense' to go there the longer they were friends to me, without it seeming exactly as Xander saw it in S8 (and I think it would have been a little the same at the S7 stage too as it was in S8 personally). But in the earlier high school/college seasons, there's no reason it couldn't have been written believably.

bespangled
31-03-18, 04:19 AM
I just don't see a source of drama between them. That's my big problem. I love Xander dearly but he would be a supportive boyfriend. I like them, but they don't light any sort of fire.

Stoney
31-03-18, 04:36 AM
I just don't see a source of drama between them. That's my big problem. I love Xander dearly but he would be a supportive boyfriend. I like them, but they don't light any sort of fire.

I suppose there's two different questions to it. Whether it could have made sense to go there at all isn't the same as whether it would have been likely to provide a great story and have made sense as a narrative choice. I agree with what you're saying bespangled. I think it would have been nice/comfortable and difficult to have written, especially as a longer term relationship. Although, the drama could still have come from the issues they were facing individually or outside of their relationship.

bespangled
31-03-18, 05:51 AM
I suppose there's two different questions to it. Whether it could have made sense to go there at all isn't the same as whether it would have been likely to provide a great story and have made sense as a narrative choice. I agree with what you're saying bespangled. I think it would have been nice/comfortable and difficult to have written, especially as a longer term relationship. Although, the drama could still have come from the issues they were facing individually or outside of their relationship.

And we all know how well that works with Joss - strip everything away and torture your characters - Whedon. To have Xander with Buffy makes it so Joss would have destroyed Xander and Buffy. There are ways that could be done, but there isn't an easy out with a curse broken and hell to pay. The would actually need to deal with that trauma and I can't think of any way it wouldn't destroy Xander.

This can work from a Watsonian perspective. All relationships on the hellmouth are doomed. How would Xander survive and be able to stay as a scoobie? Would it be low key romance and easy to break off - or would it be a romance where one person really betrayed the other?

Sosa lola
31-03-18, 07:11 AM
And we all know how well that works with Joss - strip everything away and torture your characters - Whedon. To have Xander with Buffy makes it so Joss would have destroyed Xander and Buffy. There are ways that could be done, but there isn't an easy out with a curse broken and hell to pay. The would actually need to deal with that trauma and I can't think of any way it wouldn't destroy Xander.

This can work from a Watsonian perspective. All relationships on the hellmouth are doomed. How would Xander survive and be able to stay as a scoobie? Would it be low key romance and easy to break off - or would it be a romance where one person really betrayed the other?

What Xander had done to Anya was terribly huge but she still remained one of the cast, even what Willow had done to Tara, and their relationship needed a whole season to heal, and what Spike had done to Buffy and he returned next season with a soul.

Whatever Xander or Buffy do to the other, it wouldn't be the end of the character, they could come back from it, either by getting together like Willow/Tara, or becoming friends like Xander/Anya.

Xander is a good person, but damn he's filled with flaws, and the same could be said about Buffy, too, if they get together in high school years, their similar journeys would clash and there will be lots of drama.

bespangled
31-03-18, 09:32 AM
What Xander had done to Anya was terribly huge but she still remained one of the cast, even what Willow had done to Tara, and their relationship needed a whole season to heal, and what Spike had done to Buffy and he returned next season with a soul.

Whatever Xander or Buffy do to the other, it wouldn't be the end of the character, they could come back from it, either by getting together like Willow/Tara, or becoming friends like Xander/Anya.

Xander is a good person, but damn he's filled with flaws, and the same could be said about Buffy, too, if they get together in high school years, their similar journeys would clash and there will be lots of drama.

I disagree, and it's because Xander is a good person. Like I said, if they were in love it would take something huge to break them up. Buffy was not in love with Riley - and he basically had a complete breakdown and blamed her for it. Angel lost his soul, kidnapped, tortured and killed her friends and when he returned with a soul she forgave him because she loved him. But he still had to leave for reasons. Spike left and returned as a different person.

Xander can't lose his soul and go on a murder spree - and he has already dealt with his feelings about being less powerful. He is unable to hurt Buffy physically. She's not Anya - if he left her at the altar she would want to talk it over and work it out. It would take a lot to break them up - and Xander is a good person.

I don't want to see either Buffy or Xander fall that low - and I don't find a happy supportive relationship possible for several seasons in the B-verse.

KingofCretins
31-03-18, 03:18 PM
I just don't see a source of drama between them. That's my big problem. I love Xander dearly but he would be a supportive boyfriend. I like them, but they don't light any sort of fire.

Healthy relationships are generally rubbish television, was probably always one of the biggest obstacles. Actor chemistry was on point. Actor interest was even on point, as one or both of them suggested it as storyline from time to time starting with Season 4 (think SMG probably shared the writers' instinct that it's the sort of relationship she'd turn the page from Angel with, but their plan was to invent an alt-Xander that was directly related to their central storyline).