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Does anyone find Gunn bland?

Mr Trick

Scooby
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
14,669
Age
40
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London, UK
No. Just think it is part of his laidback humour. Think there are moments when the character has more charasma. I love some of his one liners. He's not one of the more eye catching characters but then not every character needs to be.
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,149
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
Not bland, but his character growth/arc is a lot like Xander's- its not big and flashy, just a steady progression as Gunn tries to find his place in the grand scheme of things; is he a leader? Is he simply muscle? Is he the W&H top lawyer.

Gunn goes through some subtle changes as he tried to find his path and in many ways he seems swept up in other people's story arcs and a bit overwhelmed, but I think eventually he gains some perspective right a the end of S5, where he gives up his legal knowledge spends the day helping out his local neighbourhood, content in his lot, right before the Big Battle.
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Agreed.

caitaintdead

caiters gonna cait
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
5,550
Location
Down Under
Black Thorn
I agree! Gunn had some excellent potential as a character but I felt like none of the writers knew quite what to do with him. The more I watch BtVS and AtS the more I come to the conclusion that the white, middle-upper class writers were just completely incapable of writing for characters from lower socio economic backgrounds. This is evident not just with Gunn, but with what I believe to be a poorly executed Faith, and the unrealistic portrayal of being poor in BtVS Season 6.

When we meet Gunn in Season 1 he is living in gutters with other teenagers that do not have steady incomes. The writers did not seem to want to address how Gunn came to be here. It seems to me like Gunn had quite a bit of depth in terms of intelligence and culture, and that he mostly played up the part of 'rough street kid', in order to survive his circumstances. What lead to his sister and him running away from home? Was it abuse? Or something more sinister? Were their parents attacked by vampires - explaining his general distaste?

The, flash-forward, tra-la-la, Gunn isn't homeless anymore! We never find out when this happens. I mean as far as we know, as we are never told otherwise, he could STILL be living on the streets? Bland - yes. Undeveloped - definitely. At times the treatment and writing of his character actually borders on racist trope. A black guy that has no parents, lives on the streets, and likes to beat things up was just about all he ever amounts to until a white lawyer 'saves' him, by implanting 'white' character traits into his brain.

Having said all of that, I would still vote Oz as the dullest regular character in the 'verse.
 

PaulParmar1

Spuffy Forever
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Messages
2,804
Age
23
Location
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Sineya
I agree! Gunn had some excellent potential as a character but I felt like none of the writers knew quite what to do with him. The more I watch BtVS and AtS the more I come to the conclusion that the white, middle-upper class writers were just completely incapable of writing for characters from lower socio economic backgrounds. This is evident not just with Gunn, but with what I believe to be a poorly executed Faith, and the unrealistic portrayal of being poor in BtVS Season 6.

When we meet Gunn in Season 1 he is living in gutters with other teenagers that do not have steady incomes. The writers did not seem to want to address how Gunn came to be here. It seems to me like Gunn had quite a bit of depth in terms of intelligence and culture, and that he mostly played up the part of 'rough street kid', in order to survive his circumstances. What lead to his sister and him running away from home? Was it abuse? Or something more sinister? Were their parents attacked by vampires - explaining his general distaste?

The, flash-forward, tra-la-la, Gunn isn't homeless anymore! We never find out when this happens. I mean as far as we know, as we are never told otherwise, he could STILL be living on the streets? Bland - yes. Undeveloped - definitely. At times the treatment and writing of his character actually borders on racist trope. A black guy that has no parents, lives on the streets, and likes to beat things up was just about all he ever amounts to until a white lawyer 'saves' him, by implanting 'white' character traits into his brain.

Having said all of that, I would still vote Oz as the dullest regular character in the 'verse.
Oz is not dull imo.
Oz was quiet but he was brought impact to the story imo.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
22,571
Black Thorn
He didn't start bland but he quickly became bland. He started out as a good character and then just seemingly devolved into just a love interest. A similar thing happened to Tara now that I think about it.
 

MarlieTheSlayer

Bangel shipper
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
488
Location
Sunnydale
Black Thorn
I absolutely love Gunn, but I agree that the writers had a lot of problems with the character. As a black woman, it especially bothers me how blatantly they made use of multiple racist tropes and stereotypes. The season 2 episode ''The Thin Dead Line'' is one of the more problematic examples of the show. Don't even get me started.
 
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Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Hate that episode...
MarieVampSlayer
MarieVampSlayer
I just had the same feeling re-watching That old gang of mine!

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,741
Age
39
Much like Lorne, he suffers from loss of identity once he joins the group full time. I think the character should have been a little more of a freelance, with a relationship that was more professional than personal. Granted, in my ideal world, he probably becomes "Walker's Black Hood Friend," but 40% of Angel Episodes were Walker Episodes anyways.
 

RachM

I'm busy. I'm brooding.
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
Messages
1,485
Location
Australia
Oh man, I would never describe Gunn as "bland", he's amazing! I love Charles Gunn with everything I have, he is such an under-appreciated character, both in the fandom and within the show’s narrative, and I will never stop being bitter about how badly he was treated in-Universe, and how his character and his relationship with Fred were both sacrificed for Wesley’s arc.

Charles Gunn is an amazingly strong character, stubborn, street-smart, highly intelligent, resilient. He survived on his own for such a long time, took care of his younger sister, tried to keep his crew safe the best way he knew how. He was kind and loving and caring, and always did his best with what he had. He was a valuable addition to Team Angel, bringing his street-smarts and real-world experience with vampires to the table, and he was so much more than “just the muscle”. Watching him grow and evolve over the series, learning to trust Angel and adjusting to a world which wasn’t as black-and-white as he thought was one of my favourite aspects of AtS. His relationship with Fred was beautiful and equal and stable, and one of the best interracial relationships portrayed on television, and the fact that it was so completely decimated for absolutely no reason other than to make way for Fred/Wes is still one of my biggest gripes about AtS.

Gunn’s treatment within the narrative gets worse and worse as the seasons go on. While initially Gunn was valued for his contributions to the team, his sense of loyalty (despite his conflicted feelings about his new gang vs his old one) and his street-smart intelligence, over the last couple of seasons his character was used more and more as plot point in the emerging Fred-and-Wes dynamic/”relationship” and in Season 5 he is outright relegated to villain status, with the show having Wesley stab him (and condoning Wes’ actions) and having Gunn suffer and almost die over one single mistake he made. The show condemns Gunn for wanting what he never had the privilege or opportunity to have - an education, a chance to show off his intelligence, his intellect. The only person of colour on the show was denied the same privileges as the white characters and then punished for desiring that privilege. His story and character are shoved aside in order to prop up two white characters, and his relationship with one of those characters is completely destroyed to make way for the other character, whom the show tells us “deserves” the girl more.

Charles Gunn deserves better. He deserves to be acknowledged as the strong, smart, awesome character he was. He deserves to have happiness with the woman he loved, who loved him back and treated him as an equal partner until the show decimated them. He deserves to be recognised for who he was, an amazing, multi-faceted character, who was so much more than “just the muscle” and was certainly not "bland".
 
Athena
Athena
YES!

Athena

The original one-eyed chicklet
Staff member
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Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,507
Location
UK
Black Thorn
Oh man, I would never describe Gunn as "bland", he's amazing! I love Charles Gunn with everything I have, he is such an under-appreciated character, both in the fandom and within the show’s narrative, and I will never stop being bitter about how badly he was treated in-Universe, and how his character and his relationship with Fred were both sacrificed for Wesley’s arc.

Charles Gunn is an amazingly strong character, stubborn, street-smart, highly intelligent, resilient. He survived on his own for such a long time, took care of his younger sister, tried to keep his crew safe the best way he knew how. He was kind and loving and caring, and always did his best with what he had. He was a valuable addition to Team Angel, bringing his street-smarts and real-world experience with vampires to the table, and he was so much more than “just the muscle”. Watching him grow and evolve over the series, learning to trust Angel and adjusting to a world which wasn’t as black-and-white as he thought was one of my favourite aspects of AtS. His relationship with Fred was beautiful and equal and stable, and one of the best interracial relationships portrayed on television, and the fact that it was so completely decimated for absolutely no reason other than to make way for Fred/Wes is still one of my biggest gripes about AtS.

Gunn’s treatment within the narrative gets worse and worse as the seasons go on. While initially Gunn was valued for his contributions to the team, his sense of loyalty (despite his conflicted feelings about his new gang vs his old one) and his street-smart intelligence, over the last couple of seasons his character was used more and more as plot point in the emerging Fred-and-Wes dynamic/”relationship” and in Season 5 he is outright relegated to villain status, with the show having Wesley stab him (and condoning Wes’ actions) and having Gunn suffer and almost die over one single mistake he made. The show condemns Gunn for wanting what he never had the privilege or opportunity to have - an education, a chance to show off his intelligence, his intellect. The only person of colour on the show was denied the same privileges as the white characters and then punished for desiring that privilege. His story and character are shoved aside in order to prop up two white characters, and his relationship with one of those characters is completely destroyed to make way for the other character, whom the show tells us “deserves” the girl more.

Charles Gunn deserves better. He deserves to be acknowledged as the strong, smart, awesome character he was. He deserves to have happiness with the woman he loved, who loved him back and treated him as an equal partner until the show decimated them. He deserves to be recognised for who he was, an amazing, multi-faceted character, who was so much more than “just the muscle” and was certainly not "bland".
Exactly what I wanted to say, but you said it all already so..... yeah. I think Gunn & Fred is probably the most underrated relationship in the Buffyverse. I mean, I like Fred & Wes, but it felt forced to me. Gunn & Fred felt natural; two people just finding a connection, going on sweet dates, none of the drama. I loved that. Wes & Fred was set up to be dramadramadrama from the get go.

I love the final season of Angel, but I hate what they reduce Gunn's character to. He and Lorne suffered to get Spike on board, and as much as I love Spike, he wasn't necessary in Angel Season 5.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
8,815
Age
30
His relationship with Fred was beautiful and equal and stable, and one of the best interracial relationships portrayed on television
Also the show never made a song and dance about the fact that Gunn was black and Fred was white, unlike the whole Willow's "gay now" that was said quite a lot unnecessarily on Buffy.

I read something somewhere that said that usually when an interracial couple is shown in the media, it is between a white man and a black woman or a woman of some other ethnicity. Very rarely does it feature a black man and a white woman.
 

CharlieGunn1

Ready for battle...
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
303
Location
LA
I absolutely love Gunn, but I agree that the writers had a lot of problems with the character. As a black woman, it especially bothers me how blatantly they made use of multiple racist tropes and stereotypes. The season 2 episode ''The Thin Dead Line'' is one of the more problematic examples of the show. Don't even get me started.
Agreed that episode is cringeworthy. Also another POC Buffy/Angel fan! Sorry, its just were kinda rare on the boards.
 
As far as Gunn being bland, I think its the result of the writers not being people of color themselves. It made it difficult for them to explore his character without knowing his unique perspective. Having said that there were many episodes where they frankly didnt know what to do with his character, so he ended up just sort of being 'around'.

Its a problem that many black characters written by white folks encounter. Geordi TNg, Keith David in just about every movie hes ever been in... even my beloved Sheppard Book. There not given a huge amount to do, but to be there as a sounding board for other characters.

However even with the limited growth hes given, j august brought a lot of heart and depth to the character. Still one of my favorites, even when hes a little bland.
 
MarlieTheSlayer
MarlieTheSlayer
Nice to meet you & agree!
MarieVampSlayer
MarieVampSlayer
This, exactly this!

MarieVampSlayer

Bloody hell, Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers..
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Sineya
Ok so I always considered Gunn to be the bland character too but I decided to give him more attention during my re-watch of Angel and boy did my opinion of him changed. I think the problem is he gets outshine by the others characters and that people finbd it hard to relate to him because lets be honest most of us aren't black kids from the streets. But here is some things that we forget about Gunn:

1) He is one of the most loyal of the AI team.
2) He is a very skilled fighter as good as Wes.
3) He is probably the best boyfriend of the bunch. I couldn't find anything bad about the way he treated Fred.
4) He has as much struggles and loss as the others. He lost his sister, his cousin and a bunch of friends fighting the good fight.
5) He is very funny:



I could go on but really I assure you Gunn is not bland, he is just misunderstood!
 
I agree! Gunn had some excellent potential as a character but I felt like none of the writers knew quite what to do with him. The more I watch BtVS and AtS the more I come to the conclusion that the white, middle-upper class writers were just completely incapable of writing for characters from lower socio economic backgrounds. This is evident not just with Gunn, but with what I believe to be a poorly executed Faith, and the unrealistic portrayal of being poor in BtVS Season 6.

When we meet Gunn in Season 1 he is living in gutters with other teenagers that do not have steady incomes. The writers did not seem to want to address how Gunn came to be here. It seems to me like Gunn had quite a bit of depth in terms of intelligence and culture, and that he mostly played up the part of 'rough street kid', in order to survive his circumstances. What lead to his sister and him running away from home? Was it abuse? Or something more sinister? Were their parents attacked by vampires - explaining his general distaste?

The, flash-forward, tra-la-la, Gunn isn't homeless anymore! We never find out when this happens. I mean as far as we know, as we are never told otherwise, he could STILL be living on the streets? Bland - yes. Undeveloped - definitely. At times the treatment and writing of his character actually borders on racist trope. A black guy that has no parents, lives on the streets, and likes to beat things up was just about all he ever amounts to until a white lawyer 'saves' him, by implanting 'white' character traits into his brain.

Having said all of that, I would still vote Oz as the dullest regular character in the 'verse.
During my S3 re-watch I actually asked myself where does Gunn lives? Everyone was going back home in their car and he was just walking and I was like, where is he going? Guess I'll never know!
 

LeeJones41

Potential
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Aug 18, 2016
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150
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I think the problem is he gets outshine by the others characters and that people finbd it hard to relate to him because lets be honest most of us aren't black kids from the streets.

Why does one have to be a black kid from the streets to understand Charles? I've always understood him, just as I have been able to understand the other characters.


As far as Gunn being bland, I think its the result of the writers not being people of color themselves. It made it difficult for them to explore his character without knowing his unique perspective.

I don't think that is a good excuse. It's possible that the writers didn't really bother to explore his character and used his race as an excuse. But I have come across television shows and movies in which the non-white characters were explored very well . . . by white screenwriters and show runners. If Charles as a character wasn't explored that well, the screenwriters and Joss Whedon have only themselves to blame.
 
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fauxindigo

Scooby
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Feb 6, 2017
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34
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New York
I love what Gunn brought to the team!
I love that he is a "muscle character" (even though he hated only being the muscle); it's attractive when a guy is good in a fight! I'd feel safe patrolling with Gunn.
Not to mention he is funny and sexy!

I liked his chemistry with Gwen but not really ever with Fred. Yes, Gunn & Fred had their sweet moments and episodes that I genuinely liked them together but they never really felt right as a couple! It's not the love triangle of Gunn/Fred/Wes that bothers me (bc everyone loves Fred!) but that Gunn & Fred ever evolved past friends. Gunn & Fred should've remained platonic like Angel & Fred. Wes & Fred just make sense together because they're both such brainiacs. Maybe that's part of why Gunn loved her. And reflects in his choice in Season 5 to enhance his brain at Wolfram & Hart.

Anyway, I STILL LOVE GUNN!
 

PaulParmar1

Spuffy Forever
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Oct 2, 2017
Messages
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Sineya
I love Gunn.
I can't believe other people don't.

Seriously, like I love some Angel, but Gunn is probably the type of guy I'd go for IRL (sweet, handsome, funny, knows how to treat a lady, still has an edge). I mean what's not to like?
For me he's just boring a lot of the time. A lot of the show run I just didn't care for his character so I didn't like him.
I think he got better as the show went on but im not a huge fan
 
BuffyBot22
BuffyBot22
Understandable! He's not everyone's cup of tea, but he's mine lol

buffy1990

"Every now and then, people surprise you."
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326
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30
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I love Gunn. He's actually my favorite character on Angel. I enjoy his personal story as well as his relationship with Fred. He's really sweet and he's got a lot of funny lines. Also, I find him really attractive lol
 
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