deird1: Kennedy looking stubborn, with text "And you'll be stopping me... how?" (Kennedy stopping me how)
[personal profile] deird1
So, Buzzfeed released a ranked list of Buffyverse characters, and put Kennedy dead-last.

Leading to this snippet of conversation:
Mez: "Quite apart from my rabid Kennedy fangirling - the worst character? Really? Worse than Sam Finn? Than Adam? Than Scott Hope? Than Forrest? REALLY?"
A friend: "Yes. Really. I have my own disagreements with the list but that one was spot on. No I didn't expect Willow to become a nun after Tara's death but Not. With. Her."


To which my only question is... why not?

Why not her? And, if not her, then who? Should Willow go out with a Tara clone? Should she reconnect with Oz? Or what? And what, precisely, is so thoroughly objectionable about Kennedy? What is the one thing that makes her so damn unsuitable a girlfriend that people are ranking her below The Anointed One, The Beast, Rack, and Parker Abrams? Why???



The more I think about it - yeah. I do think people expected Willow to become a nun after Tara's death. I think they wanted her to never move on, and were prepared to hate her next girlfriend purely because that girlfriend wasn't Tara and it was too soon. It could have been ten years later, and people still would have cried "too soon!" and "not Tara!" and hated whoever Willow finally made a life with.

(And yes, I agree that people are allowed to dislike whatever characters they choose. But the overall dislike of Kennedy is so pervasive that I think there's something else going on here. Also – this is a rant. Logic has no place in it.)

Date: 2014-01-11 06:09 am (UTC)
kerri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kerri
For me I remember thinking that it was just so *quick*. Like, in less than a year, and Willow was devastated by Tara's death. I didn't feel like Kennedy had any characterization, either, other than 'spunky girl who is here to help Willow stop grieving!' The show didn't make me believe it, was the problem.

That said, no way would I rank her after a lot of characters on that list. I feel like the author just figured that putting a more well-known character so low would get attention.

Date: 2014-01-11 08:57 am (UTC)
juliet316: (BtVS: Faith worried)
From: [personal profile] juliet316
I definitely agree with that Kennedy didn't really have much characterization other than that in the beginning of a brat who constantly challenged the Scoobies authority. She got somewhat better towards the end, but she did rub me the wrong way when she was introduced.

Agreed. In terms of the Willow/Kennedy relationship, to me, it's not so much that it happened, as much as in my opinion that it moved way too fast and didn't feel like it happened at a realistic enough pace given that she was still mourning Tara even in the middle of S7 when she had her Warren episode. I know Joss wanted a happy ending for Willow (at least onscreen, though I haven't read the comics), but I think showing her inching towards a new relationship vs showing Kennedy and Willow making vows of forever and the like would have been better overall.

Date: 2014-01-11 06:15 am (UTC)
velvetwhip: (Die!)
From: [personal profile] velvetwhip
Okay, the compilers of that list lost me at the point where they declared that Jonathan and Andrew are better than Angel or Angelus. Really? What show were they watching???? (And yeah, okay, they put Willow first, but still...)


Gabrielle, who would happily move Kennedy up the ranks and replace her in slot 117 with Andrew.
Edited Date: 2014-01-11 06:26 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-11 07:03 am (UTC)
frayadjacent: Tara McClay leaning in to tell Willow she's special. (BtVS: Tara Awkward)
From: [personal profile] frayadjacent
Heh, I almost never look at lists like this for these kinds of reasons.

I know the first time I watched, Kennedy rubbed me the wrong way in an entitled rich-girl kind of way. It didn't really have to do with her hooking up with Willow...I think? But at any rate, after I rewatched it I've come to appreciate Kennedy a lot, both in her relationship with Willow and in her role as Gung-Ho Potential.

Date: 2014-01-11 08:27 am (UTC)
rebcake: Joyce with Axe: Not in the brochure (joyce_axe)
From: [personal profile] rebcake
The Anointed One is last, Buffy is first. I have an axe. All other arguments are invalid.

I am not fangirly about Kennedy, and resent her a bit for arrogance, a trait I don't like in several other characters. But she is not the worst by many a mile. She is perhaps the least impressive of all Willow's lovers, though. I'm not that interested in Willow's love life, except inasmuch as she usually showed tremendously good taste.

Here's a thought: maybe people resent Kennedy because they don't think that Willow deserves love so soon after she ran off the rails? I mean, nobody else is getting any, why should she, big bad that she was? Why that would translate into resentment of Kennedy doesn't make a lot of sense, except that Willow is a protagonist, and many people always blame the partner of the protagonist for everything. *sulks*

Date: 2014-01-12 01:03 am (UTC)
next_to_normal: (Willow meh)
From: [personal profile] next_to_normal
Yeah, this. Buffy is #1, end of story. And Kennedy is hardly even close to the worst.

I disliked Kennedy's arrogance and brattiness - for reasons that have nothing to do with shipping, since I was never much of a Willow/Tara fan to begin with, nor do I have particular ~concerns about it being too soon for Willow to date.

In fact, given Willow's general good taste (crush on Xander notwithstanding), I'd say her getting together with Kennedy is actually a PLUS for Kennedy in my book, lol, in a "Well, I don't get what's so great about her, but there must be something if Willow likes her" kind of way.

Date: 2014-01-11 10:01 am (UTC)
londonkds: (Librarian respect! (blindingtorment))
From: [personal profile] londonkds
I think it's because Kennedy seemed to have absolutely no purpose at all in the plot except to date Willow and prove that Whedon et al weren't homophobes. I hate the Spike-Wood plot with a volcanic fury but at least it meant Wood had some relevance to the story except to have sexual tension with Buffy and then Faith.

Add to that Kennedy's obnoxiousness towards the other Potentials, and the fact that for me Willow's more morally questionable tendencies have nothing to do with "addiction" and that Kennedy's complete and utter worship of her would seriously encourage them.

And personally I'd have, rather than created a new character, shipped her with Faith in S7 because they both have pasts of doing horrible things because they think they're entitled to, and could critically support each other not to do so.

Date: 2014-01-11 04:22 pm (UTC)
frogfarm: Always. (faith prison redemption)
From: [personal profile] frogfarm
As a fellow W/F shipper, I approve these messages, while still concurring with my esteemed colleague BGF below. As for her acting skills, I haven't seen her in anything else, but I think Iyari Limon did the best she could with what she was given.

Date: 2014-01-11 06:35 pm (UTC)
ladycallie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladycallie
Ohhh, i havent read those! Thank ye!

Date: 2014-01-11 11:01 am (UTC)
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beer_good_foamy
Preach it, fellow K-clubber.

(And I also love how Kennedy basically gets to be towards General!Buffy what Buffy was towards tweed!Giles in s1. Always challenge authority.)

Date: 2014-01-11 02:45 pm (UTC)
shapinglight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shapinglight
Kennedy definitely didn't deserve to be last. I do wish Iyari Limon had been a better actress, though.
From: (Anonymous)
Kennedy was forced on the viewer in addition to being a flat character. I think she MIGHT bother meme less if she wasn't added to so many group Scooby scenes, like she belonged there as an established character. That drove me nuts.

I very nearly cannot watch season seven because of her. That said, I wish the show had even hinted at Willow and Faith, which makes more sense the longer you think about it. They would be a great couple, and the show wouldn't have had to do much with them other then shack them up. They even had a built in moment when they drive from LA to Sunnydale to start the googly-eyes...although neither lady is really a googly-eyes maker, I think hot makeouts against a wall are more fitting for them.

And unrelated to Kennedy, I still wish they'd killed Xander and brought him back as The First. NB does evil so well. Also it would have been terrible for the gang to be taunted by him all season.

Date: 2014-01-12 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
For me it wasn't so much about expecting Willow to become a Nun after Tara's death (although I did have many issues with how they wrote Willow/Kennedy), but something about Kennedy's obnoxiousness towards the other Potentials really rubbed me the wrong way. When she was bullying a bunch of scared 15 year old girls as their self-appointed drill sergeant, then boasts to Buffy that did you see me just call that girl a maggot, well I was pretty much done with her character after that

Any character introduced to be a love interest would have been unpopular after the way that Willow/Tara ended, but I also think a lot of the excessive hate that Kennedy gets is because the writers gave her some really unlikeable character traits on top of that. A lot of the audience had bonded with Buffy, Willow, Xander, Tara, and Anya because they related to them being outsiders, whilst Kennedy came across as a pretty obnoxious bully to me in comparison and really full of herself

Date: 2014-01-16 12:25 am (UTC)
rebcake: Joyce with Axe: Not in the brochure (joyce_axe)
From: [personal profile] rebcake
The intention and glee might have been similar, but the fact that "that girl" commits suicide almost immediately afterward makes it seem much less role-playful in retrospect. Also, the Scoobies were interrogating evil-doers, while Chloe was supposed to be on the same team. If we'd ever seen Kennedy feel badly for her part in the tragedy, it would have gone a long way toward making her more sympathetic as a character. It makes sense that she doesn't, because she's pretty tough-minded and knows that the First is trying to get to them and refuses to give it what it wants. That's my (perhaps too-generous) interpretation of her motivations and seeming coldness. This incident is probably behind a fair amount of Kennedy hate.

Date: 2014-01-12 07:49 pm (UTC)
ruuger: (Big Damn Hero)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
For me, the problem with Kennedy was that the show seemed to treat her as the sexiest and toughest and smartest and all around bestest Potential and I kept waiting the reveal that she's actually Buffy's long lost half-elven sister who destined to defeat the First in Buffy's stead ;) I think where the character went wrong was that the writers seemed to be compensating for killing off Tara, and were desperate to make her 'worthy' of Willow. I love arrogant characters (boy do I ever) but her arrogance never felt as earned.

Still, she's nowhere near my least favourite character - that honor goes to the god-awful Guardian.

(Funny story: I had actually been spoiled of Kennedy/Willow when I first watched S7, but because of her name assumed that she was a guy and that the reason why people hated him/her so much was because Willow had been de-gayed)

Date: 2014-01-13 06:36 pm (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Doctor Who, Eighth Doctor in blue leather jacket points sonic at screen (Sheridan/oranges OTP)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
I saw the show all in one epic marathon years after it first aired, and I still have no idea why people hate Kennedy--other than the "she wasn't Tara" thing, which is a believable reaction for someone who was really into Willow/Tara, but doesn't say much about Kennedy's virtues one way or another. Even going in knowing that "Kennedy sucks", I only founc her maybe a bit bland at times. I dunno.
From: (Anonymous)
A few thoughts about the alleged speed of Willow and Kennedy's relationship development:
You don't have to be completely done grieving someone to begin a new relationship, partially because a grief process will, in one way or another last the rest of your life, and wax and wane around significant life events. It won't always be as raw or fresh, but you will have always lost that person, and it will always suck that they are gone.
Willow would have freaked out when she started something new, regardless of when it happened, because it would always have been about letting Tara go a little bit, if it happened in one year or ten.
Willow and Kennedy were living in the same house, spending lots of time around each other, working in a common goal ( apocalypse stopping) and not actually at all sure that they would survive the next few weeks to months. I would say that under these circumstances it is pretty normal for a relationship to develop much more quickly, and be more intense than if you are just catching up for coffee and doing normal world dating.
Just to really emphasize, they thought that death was a very real possibility, that sort of thing tends to clarify the mind a fair bit. Tentative slow dating under those circumstances would be pretty weird to me...We might be dead tomorrow, but I want to get to know you slowly...I think under the circumstances most people would be much more "all in" even if it wouldn't gel with who they are under non-imminent death circumstances. Also it is easy to be all "I will love you forever" when forever is most likely next Thursday! Just my thoughts

Date: 2014-01-21 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
For most of us she's a bit like Adam or Sam Finn -- an empty gap where there's supposed to be a character -- with a little bit of arrogance thrown in for characterization's sake -- gee, that seems like a great person to combine with the witch whose feelings of superiority/inferiority nearly got the world destroyed last year.

I'm glad she works for you. That's better than working for no one. But she didn't work for me, and it's not because of an objection to Willow dating after Tara.

Date: 2014-01-22 02:58 am (UTC)
cmattg: Teyla is awesome (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmattg
I think the flood of Willow/Fred shipping that appeared after, what, 10 minutes of shared screentime? Makes it hard for me to believe fandom at large wanted Celibate Willow.

I have a Theory of Kennedy, though: They were planning to have Willow date someone as little like Tara as possible and realized they could combine this character with the Outspoken Buffy-doubting Potential they were planning on. Unfortunately, this gave Kennedy that creepy sleeping-her-way-to-the-top vibe that turned off so many fans(like, say, me) who'd liked her when she was Inappropriately Flirtatious Potential.

All that said, I agree about the Buzzfeed list; there are more than a few characters who should have been lower down.

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