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Best Fang Gang Member - Fred or Gunn?

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  • Best Fang Gang Member - Fred or Gunn?

    I was just thinking about the fang gang's additions and putting aside their romantic relationship, how do you think Fred and Gunn added to the gang and who do you think brought the best additional skills?

  • #2
    I think Fred was a more rounded character who had a much better arc overall. But I love Gunn, even though his growth is fully dues ex machina. A lot of Fred's 'quirky' qualities annoy me, they seem so male gazey-cool girl tropes, especially the food one, that sometimes I find Fred unwatchable.

    As for who bought the best additional skills, well that has to be Fred. Her scientific/mathematical brain saved the gang many times, and was paramount in them defeating Jasmine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Stoney View Post
      I was just thinking about the fang gang's additions and putting aside their romantic relationship, how do you think Fred and Gunn added to the gang and who do you think brought the best additional skills?

      I preferred Gunn but they really didn't do anything with him until Season 5

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      • #4
        I also found a lot of Fred's 'adorableness' fantasy fodder. Her trauma from Pylea was interesting but I found the fact that her childlike vulnerability was played alongside the guys swooning over her troublesome. But her grit and edge were interesting contrasts to that and I do think she was individually a good character. But I think Gunn was more intriguing in some ways because he came from something less dramatic. His struggles on the streets and fierce loyalty were interestingly played against his desire to do more good, to feel more successful. This then coupled with his personal insecurities, the chip on his shoulder that was greatly what made him sign up at the end of S4, but also that wish within (I believe) to escape the life he grew up in too. His transition from where they meet into becoming a firm member of the team is well done I think to give us insights into his character in the background of his inclusions, if you see what I mean. So I do think both characters had interesting elements.

        I think I probably overall enjoyed Gunn more though (if I'm separating Illyria from Fred's story). And I think Gunn brought an element into the group that they didn't have without him, a street level point of view and a different outlook. Fred was very smart and definitely benefited the group, saved them more than once, but I think as a team member the extra elements Gunn had were more distinct from the other members. But possibly not as significant at specific moments. So I'm a bit torn. I think the right answer is probably Fred but I want to say Gunn.

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        • #5
          ALL CAUGHT UP


          All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

          What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.


          AtS = Angel.

          A&F = Angel & Faith

          AtF = After the Fall




          * Winifred Burkle brought something unique to the Fang Gang. And her brain was very important to the Fang Gang.

          Charles Gunn is largely just 'muscle' until AtS S5. He's like a much much much much much etc. lesser version of what Spike is to the Scooby Gang. Spike aside from his demon-killing abilities also has a bunch of useful knowledge.

          A problem with Gunn's role in the Fang Gang is that the Fang Gang has Angel. It has Wesley, who eventually becomes a very competent demon killer. And even Cordelia Chase and Winifred Burkle become demon fighters and demon killers.

          Gunn doesn't really bring anything special to the mix. Xander in BtVS at least has his relationships with Willow and Buffy and can give them a much needed 'emotional pick me up' when necessary. Xander helps save the world in "Grave" (B 6.22). Xander is arguably the reason Buffy defeats Sunday in "The Freshman" (B 4.01). And Xander's arguably saved Buffy's life more than once.


          Originally posted by Stoney View Post
          I also found a lot of Fred's 'adorableness' fantasy fodder.
          - Huh? Faith Lehane is literally into comic books, playing video games, etc. She has sex with Xander Harris.

          - Cordelia Chase falls for Xander when he's still largely simply a 'dork'. Cordelia then falls for Allan Francis Doyle. Cordelia then falls for Angel even though Angel still considers he cannot have sex with anyone.

          - Is Willow Rosenberg not 'adorable'?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MikeB View Post
            - Huh? Faith Lehane is literally into comic books, playing video games, etc. She has sex with Xander Harris.

            - Cordelia Chase falls for Xander when he's still largely simply a 'dork'. Cordelia then falls for Allan Francis Doyle. Cordelia then falls for Angel even though Angel still considers he cannot have sex with anyone.

            - Is Willow Rosenberg not 'adorable'?
            Well these things are all subjective, it depends what your fantasies are I suppose.

            Willow is adorable, it isn't something Fred has that other characters don't, but the difference for me with Fred is how childlike she is presented when she first returns from Pylea. She comes across as very vulnerable and literally childlike in her fear/insecurities (hiding under the table for example). I find that being seen as attractive difficult. I suppose I assume that this is a fantasy for some, a fully grown woman behaving like a child. It is how it comes across to me and I don't like it personally. Others may read it very differently of course. And it definitely doesn't mean there weren't other characters that fitted fantasies, male and female. It was the only time I personally found it problematic.

            I do think we get to see Fred object to being babied too, which I find a relief in her relationship with Gunn and it isn't surprising to me that it comes as the relationship is ending and she's pushing back at being coddled. But that is a greatly separate issue as this thread is about them individually within the group, rather than their romantic relationship.

            I do think Gunn brings some social knowledge of the city and a large portion of the people out there on the streets they are supposed to be helping that none of the other members of the group properly understands.

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            • #7
              The more I watch the series, the more I like Gunn, and dislike Fred. I was charmed by her in my first watch through. Each time I watch she is less charming and more manic pixie dream girl.

              Gunn seriously devolves once he is with her, and I wish they had examined that more. He goes from being a warrior for the light to 'just the muscle'. He lose all sense of himself, and wants to become a Wesley with useful book knowledge. If only they had focused on that in season 4, his arc in season 5 would be far more powerful.

              Fred also devolved in the relationship from a brilliant designer of traps and weapons to a den mother for the men and boys making sure they are fed and tucked in. Once we get to season 5, we start inflicting science spread where an intelligent physicist suddenly is an expert in chemistry, medicine, and all other sciences. She became a plot point, doing whatever the show needed.


              Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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              • #8
                Gunn. He seemed like more of an actual character. Fred ticked too many of my annoyance buttons. She's like Willow but without the depth. Plus the whole physics wunderkind despite being out of the field for half a decade. I started to warm up to her a little in latter S4 with the magic bullet arc, but that quickly went away in S5.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bespangeled View Post
                  Gunn seriously devolves once he is with her, and I wish they had examined that more. He goes from being a warrior for the light to 'just the muscle'. He lose all sense of himself, and wants to become a Wesley with useful book knowledge. If only they had focused on that in season 4, his arc in season 5 would be far more powerful.
                  I think the relationship elements with Fred really disrupted the team and the camaraderie between Gunn and Wes being lost was a tragedy. It isn't a plot point that I like but I think it is probably relatable for some whose friendships are ruined by competitiveness over a romantic interest.

                  But even though the triangle was the main focus of what was going on I think they laced enough of Gunn's insecurity of not being smart enough for Fred through that which added on to his feeling of being needed muscle now and then when he first started joining the group that the choice he made on joining W&H fed from it well. What I wish they'd done more was to explore that in S5 further, just a little more digging into where Gunn had come from and where he'd ended up.

                  Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                  Gunn. He seemed like more of an actual character. Fred ticked too many of my annoyance buttons. She's like Willow but without the depth. Plus the whole physics wunderkind despite being out of the field for half a decade. I started to warm up to her a little in latter S4 with the magic bullet arc, but that quickly went away in S5.
                  The magic bullet arc is one of Fred's best points in the series, definitely.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ALL CAUGHT UP


                    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

                    What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.


                    AtS = Angel.

                    A&F = Angel & Faith

                    AtF = After the Fall





                    @Stoney

                    * Winfred Burkle looks like Amy Acker.

                    Winifred Burkle survived being in Pylea for 5 years.

                    Winifred Burkle is brilliant and resourceful.

                    Winifred Burkle is aware of the supernatural world and preferred fighting against the forces of evil rather than go be in academia or whatever.

                    It’s not difficult at all to understand why Gunn and Wesley would be attracted to Fred.


                    * I don’t see how Fred is childlike. Was it wrong for Buffy to say “mommy” when she thinks Joyce might be dead and when Buffy thinks Joyce might have returned? Fred was traumatized by Pylea for a few episodes after coming back to Los Angeles.



                    * It’s not as if Gunn’s gang are associates of the Fang Gang. It’s not as if Gunn’s ‘street knowledge’ was more useful to the Fang Gang than all of Fred’s knowledge and skills.


                    _________________________________________


                    * Both Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike (at least until “Never Leave Me” (B 7.09) hurt the Buffy-Xander friendship. Should Buffy not have had those relationships?

                    Should Buffy have gotten with Xander because Xander would have preferred Buffy be with him instead of someone else?

                    Wesley had around zero right to be upset and angry at Gunn/Fred.

                    I still reason Wesley/Fred in AtS S5 was a mistake.




                    @bespangeled

                    * Wesley and Willow also showed skills in various fields and Fred is likely significantly more intelligent than they are. And I don’t remember AtS showing Fred having the skills of a medical doctor.




                    @HardlyThere

                    * Fred can read. Her being in Pylea for 5 years didn’t lower her IQ or her knowledge-base.

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                    • #11
                      I didn't say Fred and Gunn shouldn't have had a relationship just that it was sad that the relationship broke the friendship between Wes and Gunn. The way Wes and Gunn treated each other around that was frustrating and unpleasant on both sides and Wes' jealousy was corrosive. But that is tragic as they had a great bond once. I would say the same if Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike had broken Buffy's relationship with Xander. It doesn't mean she shouldn't have had them, but it would have been a tragedy for it to have caused the friendship to break.

                      And I don't think Fred lacks obvious factors that would make her attractive, she's pretty, caring and intelligent. But I do think that when she is first back her vulnerability is acted in a very childlike way that makes finding her attractive at that point, when she is displaying a lot of trauma, uncertainty and troubling behaviour, uncomfortable. To me. She works past a lot of it of course, but Gunn does continue to try to baby her in a way she eventually finds frustrating. However, this thread isn't intended to be about their relationship but what they individually bring to the group.

                      Personally, I do think Gunn brings something in his street knowledge and experiences that the others just don't have between them. Whether you think it is worth more to the gang or not is part of the point of the thread. I think it's an additional element in the mix in how he looked at things that was valuable. I think Wes could have done a lot of what Fred did, in general terms. But there is no doubt she was exceptionally gifted.

                      If we're going to look in hindsight at specifics and where all else would have been lost if either Fred or Gunn hadn't been there, I probably would be surprised if it came out in favour of Gunn. But Gunn was also there first, so perhaps. I was thinking generally though in terms of their knowledge and skill sets.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I definitely think Gunn brought more to the show. I mean I guess if you're looking on a purely technical level, then maybe Fred. But that's like the Watchers' Council questioning why Xander is with the Scoobies. Gunn brought a different point of view, a different attitude, and yet also he had his own geek side too.

                        And as for season 5 Gunn, don't underestimate the value of knowing the Gilbert & Sullivan canon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They are both underdeveloped characters, but of the two of them Gunn is the better character.

                          As I said before Gunn's underdeveloped. And it's clear that the show's white writer's don't have the hang of writing for a black character. The best Gunn stories are Gunn's brain upgrade in Angel Season 5 which is kind of problematic since to some people it can come across as the black character finally getting an education, and the Vamp Gunn story in Angel After the Fall(which was originally planned for Angel Season 6), which is also problematic since Vamp Gunn isn't really Gunn. Vamp Gunn is just a monster wearing Gunn's corpse.

                          Rereading the Angel & Faith Season 2, and Angel Season 11 comics an one thing quickly becomes clear. Fred is boring without Amy Acker playing her.

                          With Fred there's a big gap between what she's suppose to be, and how she comes across. We're told over and over again that Fred's a strong female character cause she spent five years trapped in a demon dimension, but outside of the Jasmine story arc we really don't get to see her as a strong female character. Fred seems more like a prize for Wesley, Gunn, and later Knox to fight over. On rewatches I find myself liking Illyria way more, and not missing Fred. Bringing Fred back in the comics was a mistake.
                          Last edited by Lostsoul666; 08-05-21, 08:07 AM.
                          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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                          • #14
                            I think Fred is a mixture throughout her time of needing protection and not. She needs rescuing from Pylea but her ability to escape and elude the regime, to survive for so long there, was also presented as a strength. Her brains were consistently promoted and her return in Fredless was based on working out the danger the others were in and in Billy she dealt with the threat Wes had become. So we do see her fighting with them and helping throughout. I suppose perhaps it comes down to what you feel a strong female character needs to show to qualify as such. That they do raise the infantilising element out alongside her fury at Seidel and the issues between her and Gunn over her choice there and his wish to protect her and prevent her is needed. But I don't think that and the way that, as you say, she is constantly fought over removes that they do also show her individual strengths too. It is just always somewhat mixed, so I can understand coming away not feeling like she doesn't come across as strong because of some of it.

                            I wasn't keen on the return of Fred in the comics either. It was just yet another character death undone and they didn't even do anything interesting with her. I think it was an attempt to humanise Illyria even more but I believe the original intentions were always to eventually have a conflict/return of Fred, but I can't remember where I read that.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                              I wasn't keen on the return of Fred in the comics either. It was just yet another character death undone and they didn't even do anything interesting with her. I think it was an attempt to humanise Illyria even more
                              But they could have humanise Illyria without bringing Fred back. I hated how they made Illyria antagonistic in Angel and Faith Season 2 when they bought Fred back. All of Illyria's character development gone.

                              Angel After the Fall did a way better job of humanising Illyria without really bringing Fred back.
                              Spoiler:

                              ​​​​​​
                              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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                              • Stoney
                                Stoney commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Yes there were other options, but I think that is why they did it before partnering Angel with her. I just wasn't keen on her use in the comics and the voicing I don't remember being great either. Definitely one of the weakest elements.
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