From Bumbling Comic To Tragic Hero

Today I watched episode 14 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 3 (let me state it here that I have already seen the series, missing perhaps a few episodes, when it came out on cable here in India but I am now downloading the series from then net to re-watch it) called “Bad Girls”, which marks the debut of the character Wesley Wyndham-Price in the Buffyverse. Portrayed by American actor Alexis Denisoff, who mastered an English accent and mannerisms for the role, Wesley is one of the best characters & perhaps most tragic and beloved that series creator Joss Whedon has created.

Wesley’s debut is that of an irritating foil to & a replacement for Buffy’s watcher Giles, who was fired from the Watcher’s Council for his fatherly affections towards his ward and for failing a test (which Giles thought was unfair). His pompous attitude & slight arrogance is lost on Buffy, who will only accept Giles as her watcher and when Faith comes even she rejects him. He fails to get any respect from Giles or the slayers and soon is to nurture a crush for Cordelia, who flirts with him and uses him to elicit jealousy from her ex Xander. Soon Wesley becomes a comic foil and leaves Sunnydale.

Initially the character was meant to be killed off and only last part of the 3rd season but he became popular among the creators of the show and they wrote him into the spin off series Angel, where he would be a regular leading character. The evolution of Wesley is amazingly done well; from bumbling comic relief character in 9 episodes of Buffy’s season 3 and the first 2 of seasons of Angel, he becomes a worthy fighter, source of knowledge against the dark forces and for a while even the leader of Angel Investigations, surprisingly successful. It’s in the 3rd season that we see the character blossom even more; as he nurtures his love for Winnifred Burkle, who is in a relationship with Gunn.

Fiercely loyal to his friends, Wesley keeps a respectful distance. When a false prophecy causes Wesley, who has only good intentions, to betray his friends, which leads to Angel’s son being kidnapped by his nemesis Holz. Banished from being with his friends, Wesley forms his own evil fighting team and begins a sexual relationship with the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart’s laywer Laila. As he begins to feel genuine affections for her, she is killed. Later as he rejoins Angel and co as the leaders of  Wolfram & Hart, he finally realizes his greatest wish. He & Winnifred become lovers and within a few short weeks that happiness turns to despair, as Fred dies and her body is taken over by an ancient demon, who becomes part of the team. In the last episode, Wesley is killed and dies in the arms of the demon who is in body of Winnifred.

Wesley Wyndham-Price is that tragic hero, fallen, betrayer but with good intentions. He also suffers from series creator Joss Wheedon’s obsession with not allowing couples to last long within his series, adding more tragedy & heart-break along the way. Oh and one little anecdote: Denisoff was in the running for getting the role of James Bond that eventually went to Daniel Craig!

That Caramel Taste

Simple day out. I just had to go out of the apartment as it was driving me crazy that I had been cooped inside with a really bad cold & cough for the past 4 days. I had to get my haircut. I needed to check out and see about repairing my spectacles. I also wanted to get some good food after 4 days of resting in my home. So off I set at just around 11 am. Itinerary was medicines, work meeting, coffee, haircut and late lunch.

I did all that. Medicines bought I quickly finished the meeting which was more of a few presentation rounds, all 15 minutes each and soon I was out of there. Time for some coffee. So how do you think one should recover from a nasty cough & cold that puts you out of commission for 4 days? How about one of these? No, make it too. Caramel Lattes from Coffee Cube are really good. Hmmm caramel yum. Plus ogling some young beautiful babes also helped!

Then it was time for an overdue haircut. I went to my usual hair cutting saloon and got my sides and back chopped. The front & top – well we just won’t go there. That quickly done, I was on my way when I happened to run to an old classmate, from my 2 years spent in St.Paul’s college for my Pre-degree years. I don’t know how he recognized me as it has been close to 17 years since I last him! I would never have been able to pick him out of a crowd but he says that I haven’t changed much, other than putting on a lot more weight and losing a lot of my hair. I guess some people just are difficult to forget (says the charismatic & humble man!)

Lunch, late as it was, was chicken hakka noodles and garlic chicken. Noodles was good and so was the chicken but the gravy wasn’t up to par. All this activity pooped me out and I came back home and crashed on my bed. Snooooooooze!

What’s Wrong With You?

I’m a little worried about the youth of Kerala. I’m pretty sure that other states & countries as a whole must have similar problems but this is looking out of control. For the record let me say that I am 34 years old and will soon turn 35 in less than 6 weeks. The demographic that I am talking about is the lower middle class, middle class and some of the upper class. I’m less worried about the 3rd group as they seem to have enough money to take care of their issues and plus their folks will also ensure that the status quo is met.

At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy (I wish I knew what this term means) I am actually scared at the grooming of the youth of Kerala. There seems to be some problem somewhere and I wish we could all join together and get to the bottom of things. As I type this I can see a group of 6 guys from the windows of the cafe that I am in. They are on the side street next to a building complex car & bike parking area and sitting on 3 bikes and smoking. Well 4 of them are sitting on the bikes and smoking, 2 others are standing near them and chatting with this chick. 4 of the guys look – well if I use the word disheveled, the meaning of the word would get upset at me! One of the dude looks like he put his t-shirt & jeans in a washing machine, along with dirt, muddy water and manure instead of clean, warm water & detergent.

His friend looks like his head was used to clean the toilet – that hair has got to be toxic at the least! The rest have some sort of facial growth on their faces – half of their face are full grown goatees and half 4-5 day old stubble. Is this what is considered cool these days? That and smelling like the last day that they took a bath was a decade ago. If I were their father I would grab them by the scruff of the neck, fill a tub with water & Dettol, dunk them in for a day atleast and get some people to use brushes on them and then a haircut and a shave! A proper shave.

This whole unshaven look seems to have also hit the movie industry. On Sunday night, while having dinner, my parents were watching a movie awards show. Most of the male actors were unshaven – full mustaches but atleast 5-7 days worth of stubble. Is this suddenly so cool that even they must stoop to wear their facial hair like this? And it’s not the actors under 30 or even under 40 – even the above 50 superstars sported these so called ‘beards’!

And is there some rule that if you are under the age of 25, you must wear your shirt with the top two buttons off? Everywhere I turn I see these buggers dressed like this; going to colleges, to the movies, to parties, hanging with their friends etc. Don’t let them in public places dressed like that. Also some of these morons like to show off their underwear – they wear these baggy pants or low waist stuff and flash you their underwear. Some cops have been nabbing youths at bus stands if they seem to be showing their undergarments and I think it’s a good thing. Fine them a little and maybe they will change their ways.

In my previous office we’d get call center agents coming in unshaven, sporting 5 day stubble on their faces or worse – with what looks like a bee hive on their chins! You know what I’m talking about; it’s no mustaches but a big growth of hair on the chin. And they’d wear stupid pants that are on the verge of falling down. There atleast I’d throw  them out of training and push them towards the HR & Recruitment desks. In my current office atleast the guys are all decently groomed & dressed. I can’t do that to people on the street but can I call the cops on them?