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Fred was intolerable this season

burrunjor

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Hear me out here I know this is going to be controversial.

I don't dislike Fred overall.

I liked Fred a lot in season 5. Her and Spike's friendship is a highlight for both characters, and I didn't mind her at all in season 4. In fact she probably came out of it the best out of the main characters. Wes they went a bit too far in making him dark, Gunn and Lorne were maybe pushed to the side a bit much, and Angel and Cordy were caught up in a gruesome love triangle. Fred got a lot more screen time like in The Magic Bullet and natural development.

Also her brief appearances in season 2 were okay. They were a bit like Spike's parody of Angel saving Rachel in In The Dark LOL, but there was some good humour. "When I got here they didn't do that. Oh that's nice for her."

However in season 3 she was the worst in my opinion.

Amy Acker whilst a good actress I think overdid the trying to be cute angle. Cuteness is a very hard thing to pull off. I think it's like eccentricity, it can become self aware very fast. Now to be fair Willow could fall into this too, particularly in later seasons, but still overall I think Willow like Osgood from DW got it right, in that they were maybe just a bit awkward, a bit shy, unabashed in their love for nerdy things, but that was it.

With Fred they'd have to have her go on for ages about something nerdy, have her giggle at everything and it just got annoying. It kind of reminded me of Christopher Eccelston trying to be mad with cringey head bobbing in DW.

Also I think that other characters gush over her too much. Gunn telling her she's cool, Wes and Gunn fighting over her etc. She's not quite a Mary Sue, but at times it does feel like the writers are trying to hard to get us to like her. Also I hate to say this but at times she does feel like a bit of a guys fantasy character. Cute little nerdy girl, who is so helpless and dependent on her big handsome men, who eats a ton, but never puts on any weight etc. She's not the worst example, but it does feel a bit like that.

I also think that she is perhaps one character too many. This is a typical problem of Joss Whedon's work that he crowbars too many characters in. The worst example is Buffy season 7, but even then Fred's appearance in the show I think means there is less time for the core 4.

I also dislike her relationship with Gunn. It's a total cheese fest that doesn't go anywhere (the worst is that bit where they come in on the phone LOL talk about a schmoopy moment. Also I'm not too happy with her and Wesley's relationship this series either. I do love Wesley and Fred in season 5. They're up there with the big tragic love stories that year, but I think it lets down Wes somewhat in season 3.

I don't buy that level headed, practical Wesley wouldn't go to his team mates about the prophecy because he was upset about a girl. It kind of makes him look like a petulant schoolboy with a crush. He's also only known Fred for like 4 months or something if that, so it's not like this is the love of his life. Hell even during that time he hardly knew her as she was in her room the entire time.

Overall I wouldn't say bringing Fred in was a mistake, as they were able to salvage the character and get something really good out of her. (The Ilyria arc is one of my all time favourites.) Still overall I think she had the weakest introductory season of any main character (bar Connor who was only really there for a year.)
 

Priceless

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I never understood Fred's purpose on the show, except to be the girl Gunn and Wes fought over. She was cute and ditzy but also highly intelligent, not real in any way just a box ticking female role for a show that desperately needed more well rounded female characters. The only reason she works is because Amy Acker is so charming in the role.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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You know, it occurs to me there's a parallel universe where Amy Addams was cast as Fred, and Amy Acker was cast as Cousin Beth.
 

Taake

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I don’t know what you’re all on about. Fred was a treat from the start and her relationship to Gunn is one of the show’s highlights for me (in my advanced age I’ve even come to accept Fresley...kind of. There is a reason it had about the longevity of Cangel) 😄

But maybe it is about what kind of cute one can tolerate, because I think Alyson’s Willow-cutesiness was obnoxious most of the time and quite awkward. So it might be that she rubs my annoyance in the way Fred does for others.

Also, I never thought of Wes as a petulant school boy, more like bitterly disappointed and plagued by old insecurities, so I felt it fit with the background of his character. :)
 

Spanky

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But maybe it is about what kind of cute one can tolerate, because I think Alyson’s Willow-cutesiness was obnoxious most of the time and quite awkward.
That is without a doubt accurate. But when Fred became "normal" is when I started to become meh on the character. When she was fresh off the boat from Pylea and alittle backwards is when I think the character worked best. The more social norms she got, the less interested I was in the character as it became just like anyone else.
 

burrunjor

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I don’t know what you’re all on about. Fred was a treat from the start and her relationship to Gunn is one of the show’s highlights for me (in my advanced age I’ve even come to accept Fresley...kind of. There is a reason it had about the longevity of Cangel) 😄

But maybe it is about what kind of cute one can tolerate, because I think Alyson’s Willow-cutesiness was obnoxious most of the time and quite awkward. So it might be that she rubs my annoyance in the way Fred does for others.

Also, I never thought of Wes as a petulant school boy, more like bitterly disappointed and plagued by old insecurities, so I felt it fit with the background of his character. :)
Fred's cuteness reminded me of this.


I don't think it's ever a good idea to have a character ramble in order to try and be cute, or make their voice more high pitched. That's why season 1 Willow worked better that way.
 

Btvs fan

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I never understood Fred's purpose on the show, except to be the girl Gunn and Wes fought over. She was cute and ditzy but also highly intelligent, not real in any way just a box ticking female role for a show that desperately needed more well rounded female characters. The only reason she works is because Amy Acker is so charming in the role.
Her character never made sense to me. She was morally judgemental, yet she goes to work for Wolfram and Hart and the writers never even bother to give a reason why
 

Taake

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Her character never made sense to me. She was morally judgemental, yet she goes to work for Wolfram and Hart and the writers never even bother to give a reason why
I thought the reason why was that she, like others, feel for the temptation of desires fulfilled. She wanted to be a researcher, judging by her somewhat vague academic career, and here she gets a whole lab to run on her own.

I guess I never found her particularly morally judgemental at all, I’d love to here where you think she is though, but even if she was she is still a human and has weakness like everyone else.

They all take the devil’s bargain, for various reasons, because they’re all given something they want so much it blinds them to the consequences of the price they’ll be paying.
 

Mr Trick

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Acker made the character more accessible than she otherwise would have. I agree she had a slow start on the show and some of the love triangle stuff did some damage to the character. But from Fredless onwards I enjoyed the character for most of her run. S5 may have been her best season when you include the Ilyea stuff.

As for the Willow cutesy stuff? I disagree because the Willow character was very funny and charming. Plus she felt like a realistic teenage and young adult. I can understand the criticism of Willow S6-7 I don't see it Willow S1-5.
 

Btvs fan

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I thought the reason why was that she, like others, feel for the temptation of desires fulfilled. She wanted to be a researcher, judging by her somewhat vague academic career, and here she gets a whole lab to run on her own.

I guess I never found her particularly morally judgemental at all, I’d love to here where you think she is though, but even if she was she is still a human and has weakness like everyone else.

They all take the devil’s bargain, for various reasons, because they’re all given something they want so much it blinds them to the consequences of the price they’ll be paying.
In the episode Home she is asked but never gives a response why she joined so its all speculation

She is judgmental, she shoots down the idea of being with Wesley the second she finds out he slept with Lilah. If you're in her good book you're fine. If you're not then you deserve to die
 

Taake

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In the episode Home she is asked but never gives a response why she joined so its all speculation

She is judgmental, she shoots down the idea of being with Wesley the second she finds out he slept with Lilah. If you're in her good book you're fine. If you're not then you deserve to die
Wow, that’s a radical interpretation of the text.

To my recall the only person Fred thought deserved to die was the professor who sent her to Pylea. And retributive vengeance isnt exactly a trait solitary to her on these shows.

As for the Lilah thing, I don’t see it as much different from the Scoobs finding out about Buffy and Spike and being surprised or disappointed about entanglement with someone they as a group had characterized as evil. But I don’t think she shot down the idea of being with Wes because of it, so much as she was disappointed and needed to get over that, also feeling that he had lied to them. There is probably some jealousy there as well.

But thanks for the explanation of what you see in her.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

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She is quite vengeful actually - even when she's still in dippy trauma Fred phase. She keeps on hititing Angel's body with a baseball bat after he's been knocked out in Carpe Noctem - Old man Angel has to tell her to stop. She tasers Connor even after he's tied up because she doesn't like the answers he's giving. So her decision to not just kill but brutally murder her professor in Supersymmetry is an extension of what we have already seen. And she is admitting she is getting vengeance not justice. She isn't sending him to Pylea - she is sending him some place much much worse. The Buffyverse always puts this strict moral code on not killing humans no matter how reprehensible they are. It is always a big deal for a character if a human is killed and yet we see Fred consciously and purposefully plan it - trick Gunn and Angel into thinking they've calmed her down and then goes to Wesley for help instead.

Perhaps part oft he reason she is so drawn to vengeance is because she is judgemental. She judges that these people deserve it and has no problem meting out punishment. She does judge Wesley for sleeping with Lilah. She judges Lilah's very existence ... and then gets seduced into working for the same firm and doesn't even stop to consider the hypocrisy.

Which isn't to say I dislike Fred or have a problem with her being a bit vengeful and hypocritical - she's a person, people aren't perfect. But she is presented to us as the perfect girl, she is a bit of a Mary Sue - her very real and quite serious flaws are just brushed under the carpet.

I feel like Amy Acker/ Fred is Joss Whedon's dream girl and so what we are watching is Joss Whedon's own fantasy. She will do things to facilitate a story which are objectively bad but they won't be treated as bad because in Whedon's mind dream girl can do no wrong. But for those of us not in on the fantasy - we notice the discrepancies.
 

Taake

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she is admitting she is getting vengeance not justice.
For clarity, I never said it was for justice, I said it was for vengeance.

Personally I don’t see the above as proving that Fred is particularly judgemental or vengeful, just average. Like with Connor she obviously feels betrayed, she isn’t doing it out of moral superiority, but hurt feelings caused by the break down of what had been a friendly relationship.

I kind of think of Fred judging Lilah in the way Willow judges Cordy (s.2 more so than later), but I don’t feel she judges her very existence either.

Again, I guess I see the end of s4 differently, I thought the whole point of that was all of them being seduced into a devil’s bargain, revealing that they’re all weak/have a sense of hubris about their ability to resist/are blinded to the consequences. Basically that all of them taking deal on some level admits that they’re all hypocrites and that the show is self-aware of that. And they’re all duly punished for it.
So she doesn’t have to stop and consider it, because we do. But that is just my interpretation and why I love it so much.
 
Myheadsgonenumb
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I wasn't aiming that at you - I was just making the point she isn't being fair, she is going an eye for an eye and then some : )
Mr Trick
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Totally agree.

SpikeOrAngel

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I like Fred but...

One of the surprising things about internet fandom is how Fred is worshipped while Gunn is seen as "meh" and his race is brought up to prove Joss can't write POC.

Fred being a geeky genius cute girl isn't unique. In fact we already had it with Willow. It's just amazing how fandoms from various franchises fall for such an obvious trope.

Of all the characters on Angel, I would have thought Angel himself, Lorne, Wes, and Spike would be waaay higher on people's favorite lists, but a revelation to me on the various forums and communities is that Fred is pretty much the heart and soul of Angel and seen as perfect, and beyond criticism. Big surprise to me that Spike's addition was not universally beloved and how so many people can overlook Fred's voice and being treated like an innocent princess (ha!) by all the guys on the show.
 

Faded90

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I like Fred but...

One of the surprising things about internet fandom is how Fred is worshipped while Gunn is seen as "meh" and his race is brought up to prove Joss can't write POC.

Fred being a geeky genius cute girl isn't unique. In fact we already had it with Willow. It's just amazing how fandoms from various franchises fall for such an obvious trope.

Of all the characters on Angel, I would have thought Angel himself, Lorne, Wes, and Spike would be waaay higher on people's favorite lists, but a revelation to me on the various forums and communities is that Fred is pretty much the heart and soul of Angel and seen as perfect, and beyond criticism. Big surprise to me that Spike's addition was not universally beloved and how so many people can overlook Fred's voice and being treated like an innocent princess (ha!) by all the guys on the show.
Fred I think is written as some kind of geeky male fantasy and she borders Mary Sueness at times. The thing with her being able to eat huge amounts in one sitting but not put weight on was something Joss wanted to show Buffy doing (which actually would have made sense with her being a supernaturally athletic person) but I don’t know if maybe SMG or writers veto’d it and it got handed to Fred. As if not putting weight on is some huge achievement rather than genetics
 

Priceless

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Fred being a geeky genius cute girl isn't unique. In fact we already had it with Willow. It's just amazing how fandoms from various franchises fall for such an obvious trope.
I think the thing that was different about Fred was the science. She never (I may be wrong here) slipped into magic or mysticism. Like Scully, she was the science geek. Most highly intelligent girls (like Willow) tend to go witchy instead of sciency on tv shows especially in the 90's
 
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