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ARGGHH

I just typed up half a ramble and it vanished.....


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THE GATHERING 2004 - Friday, August 6 (Part One)

And we're back...

Friday was an eventful day, so I'm breaking it down into two rambles.

I got my wake-up call, lingered for a few minutes, showered and shaved (or trimmed, I should say). Then I went upstairs for my big interview with David Grabias and the DVD guys (Howard the DP and Thierry on sound, I think). David asked me some questions, I'm sure looking for some great short pithy responses that would make nice sound bites for the DVD documentary.

Of course, I have many talents, but being short & pithy ain't one of them. My 45 minute interview lasted an hour and a half. At one point, David sent me back to my room to change shirts so that he could pretend that a little intro I was doing for the original Gargoyles pitch (which will also be on the DVD) was shot on a different day. The thing that interests me is that you'll be seeing me intro the thing at age 40 and then jump back to me at age 30 pitching. I think as an Easter Egg or something they should create a little mini-morph of me aging rapidly.

After that I brought Erin & Benny's art down to Cindy. We took a few minutes to figure out which piece went with which title card. But it was all fairly self-evident.

I saw Zehra at that point, I think. I was really glad she came back this year. Also saw Noelle somewhere in here and Lexy & Marty and others.

Next up was the Voice Acting Seminar. I brought the same old stuff to cover. Stuff I developed doing a Seminar for Telemarketers (waves at Sapphire), a.ka. that time I was truly doing the Devil's Handywork. I've used it for at least a couple years now, but I wasn't afraid of it getting old, because the plan was for Keith and I to do this seminar together. His take on the stuff (his take in general) would provide us with a unique experience. Problem was that Keith hadn't arrived on Thursday night as planned. His movie in Miami was rained out a couple days which caused a delay in his flight for said couple days.

So I'm doing this on my own. Which isn't a problem, per se, except that it's the same old stuff. But there were enough newbies to let me get away with it.

I began by reciting my meager qualifications as stage actor, stage director, voice actor and voice director. Then I broke out the scenes.

We started with the Demona audition side, which Jen read -- way too well. It was frustrating as my schpiel sort of depends on some amount of badness in order to allow me to riff on how to improve. She didn't really provide that. Damn her talent!!

Anyway, Seri got up and read Demona. And she did a good job, but I was able to force her to read the last line over and over in order to make a point about acting choices.

Then we did a few others scenes. The Tea Scene from MIA is one of my favorite acting lessons. The tag from Thrill of the Hunt. And the "Friend" scene from Awakening 1. It was all fun. The DVD crew came in and filmed a bit, which was a running theme throughout the con. It actually made everything feel fresher and more exciting.

I think I have a new reality series to pitch....

Anyway, next up was our first round of auditions. Of course, I had forgotten the audition forms in my room. So I searched for the elevator. BTW, the hotel was great, but the entire weekend I had some kind of weird trouble finding my bearings, i.e. the elevators and/or restrooms. I constantly found myself walking in circles.

Jen and I ran the auditions, like old times. I get to force people to bark like a dog or meow like a cat and when I remember to speak with either English or Scottish dialects. Every year is unpredictable. There have been years when almost no men audition and I have to drag Hudson off the street to play a part. This year, at the Friday audition, we have tons of men and only two women. It's panic time as this particular radio play has an IMMENSE cast of 31 (not counting me). And at minimum (even with some cross-gender casting) I feel I need at least seven women for clarity.

Throughout the day, Keith's flight keeps getting pushed back.

And people keep giving me stuff.

Maui gives me a box of Godiva chocolate bars. Not a box of chocolates, mind you, but a box of chocolate BARS.

Kathy feeds my Buffyverse obssession by giving me a Buffy Companion book.

Tony gives me his Annual Gathering CD. (Which I listened to on the way back from San Diego. It's great.)

Wingless gives me a Banana Splits CD. (Which I listened to on the way to San Diego. It's VERY Cool.)

Michael gives me his Demo CD. (Which I haven't listened to yet, but I will. But Michael, here's my question: I already know you're good. But are you planning a move to L.A.? What good is your CD if you're not here to audition if and when I get something (please God anything) to have you audition for?)

I got four cool con t-shirts and pins (which I had paid for) from the staff, as well as a staff t-shirt from Jen (which I did not pay for).

I got Subway from Alan, which I also paid for, cuz frankly Alan still intimidates me a bit. It must have something to do with how cosey I get with his wife.

I got my con badge and the VERY cool program that Si put together. It includes a picture of me with a pillow over my head. I'm told this is a great picture. I find it interesting that the best picture of me is one where my face is covered.

I got a G2005 Vegas t-shirt from Chris at some point.

I got a UPS package which contained stuff from the Buena Vista Home Entertainment folk for use at the Opening Ceremonies.

And best of all, I got BLACK ROSES from Christine. Which is cool. But cooler still, is the dedication, to me and Salli and I guess all of you. I have never had a book dedicated to me before. I can't tell you what that feels like. It really makes my day on a day that makes my year.

NEXT UP: OPENING CEREMONIES (the never-ending story)


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GATHERING 2004 JOURNAL - Thursday, August 5

Time to journal.

As usual, let me open with a few caveats, apologies, etc.

I'll try to be as complete as possible, but inevitably I may forget a few names or forget to include a few people or events. My apologies. Please don't feel slighted. The con for me is always a great time, but also a whirlwind of people. With few exceptions, I only manage a few minutes with everyone. Sometimes it takes me two or three years to really nail a name to a face. (The fact that many of you have multiple names doesn't help either.)

I'd also like to mention a few of the people I didn't see, people I hope to see next year. Former con-chairs like Jubes and Batya and especially Mae Lee. People who made an impression, like Spike and Vanessa and many, many others. I'd like to ask all of you who did attend and/or all of you who are reading this now to reach out to fans who have wandered. As many of you know (and as Friday's G-Journal will soon make clear) this is really a make-or-break year for the series. We need to re-energize, rejuvenate and REAWAKEN the fandom. Especially those who have drifted away. We need everyone!

Speaking of which, here's ANOTHER reminder to post your GATHERING JOURNALS here at ASK GREG. Cut & Paste. If necessary, enter them a con-day at a time as I'm doing. If you're reading this and you know of people who attended the convention who haven't yet posted their journal, get on their cases. I think we've got about a dozen so far. I appreciate them all, but that's NOT nearly enough. We had 200 people attend the con. If we can't get at least 100 journals here at ASK GREG, I'm going to be VERY disappointed.

Finally, as most of you know, my diaries tend to center around food. Basically, I love to eat, and it's something I really have a talent for. I love great food and horrible junk. And I'm often obssessive about the subject. Strangely, or perhaps not-so, my memories of this adventure do NOT revolve around food. In part, because I didn't get to eat as often as usual. Just not enough time. In part, because I had such a blast just spending time with all of you. Thanks.

ANYWAY, enough preamble. Let's get gathering.

The week before the Gathering had been extremely eventful. Good things and bad things were happening to my family, especially my siblings. For more info on both check out the very well-written websites of Robyn Weisman...
http://barbaricmysticalandbored.blogspot.com/
and/or Jon Weisman...
http://www.all-baseball.com/dodgerthoughts/

Over at my house, things were almost as crazy. We had taken out a loan to paint the exterior of our house. Right after we were financially committed to that endeavor, our upstairs bathroom cracked its shower pan, creating (ultimately) a hole in the ceiling of our entry hall. We have had to totally demolish that bathroom in order to repair it, which caused further damage to our bedroom, living room and powder room. Even our doorbell has stopped working.

Plus, I got a stye in my eye. For a couple of days, it was swollen up, and I thought: "YAY, MY DISFIGUREMENT CAN BE IMMORTALIZED FOREVER ON THE DVD!" Fortunately, it faded by Thursday and was all but gone by Friday.

Also, there was that ladder thing. How many Gargoyles-Creators does it take to screw in a light bulb? I was up on a ladder changing a ceiling bulb. I had the old bulb out and in hand, when the ladder (which is missing three out of four rubber feet) tipped me off. I landed on the hand holding the lightbulb, which <SHATTERED> on the brick floor. Blood and glass everywhere. The wounds, such as they were, turned out to be very superficial once they were cleaned off and the imbedded glass was tweezered out. I was wrapped in gauze for a night and my daughter took to calling me "Daddy Mummy" or "Dummy" for short. Smart kid. Anyway, by the next day, I was down to two band-aids. By Thursday, the puncture wounds were barely noticable.

More seriously, there's Norman, our ten-year-old Bassett Hound. Earlier this year, Norman was stricken with a life-threatening ear infection. We tried multiple courses of anti-biotics (including some human versions). Nothing worked. Finally we had to have his ear canal surgically removed. Then last month, the other ear got infected. It soon became clear that we were going to have to have his remaining ear canal removed, rendering him completely deaf. It was very upsetting to all of us, and I felt horrible that I was going to be out of town during the surgery. Of course, I had made a commitment, and to be honest I really didn't want to miss the Gathering.

And the fact was, I was already planning to miss a portion of it. My daughter's birthday is August 8th, 1994. I wasn't going to miss her tenth birthday, which meant I'd be leaving VERY early on Sunday morning in order to make it home in time for her birthday dinner. That meant that I was going to have to stuff all my G2004 fun into a few short days.

So, Thursday morning I got up at 7am, reminding myself that I couldn't use my own demolished bathroom. I showered in the kids' bathroom, and made my way downstairs. I had been vaguely Atkinsing for the last three weeks and had in fact lost about eleven pounds. But the diet was done for the duration. I had Cereal and banana.

I was picked up at the house at 9:30 am. The trip to the airport was uneventful. Got to LAX and got through all the various lines without incident. Then I bought a loaf of sourdough bread and ATE the entire thing. Also had a Three Musketeers bar and a bottled water. Obviously, I was craving carbs and sugar.

Aboard the plane, I began to read "I DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON" by Susan Kandell. This is a very well-written murder mystery by a friend of ours. The protagonist is Cece Caruso, a biographer who stumbles onto two murders (one old, one new) while researching the life of Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of Perry Mason. I definitely recommend it.

On the plane, I had Tomato Juice and toyed with my meal: beef, biscuits, cole slaw, rice and a roll.

The movie was "Day After Tomorrow" and even though it was free, I couldn't bring myself to watch it. Though I did get curious about how it would end -- about what could possibly be considered a coda for it, so I ear-phoned up for the last ten minutes or so. Uggh.

The flight, like the whole trip, was easy. Customs in Montreal was a long line, but had the advantage of non-stop movement, which at least makes the wait FEEL more palatable.

Patrick, Jen & Rob were waiting for me. I was already in a good mood, but I immediately felt better. Now, the Gathering had really begun for me.

We had a completely uneventful ride to the Delta Centre-Ville (our G2004 Hotel). In the lobby, I saw Carol, Kathy & Kelly. Mandi, I think? Abram. A Fan. I checked in, and hit my room to do a VERY quick unpacking before meeting everyone in the consuite. I saw Becca right away, and asked where her parents were. Christine was standing just behind me and gave me a big hug.

The constaff had planned in advance to go to dinner as soon as I got in. There was some miscommunication, which I really regret, as some non-staffers were waiting to join us and the restaurant we were heading toward couldn't accomodate us all. Sad irony, we didn't even end up at that restaurant (as its kitchen was closed) and the place we did eat at had plenty of room. In the future, I'm gonna make an effort to be more inclusive at these things.

Not to rub it in, but those of us who did attend: Lanny, Derek, Michael, Karine, Cindy, Rob, Jen, Alan, Kaylee, Shawn, Patrick, Laurean, Liz, Carol and I had a great meal. We had taken a long walk to get to the crepe place that Karine wanted us all to enjoy. The weather was lovely but just a tad cool for a guy from California in a t-shirt. If I had just brought my sweatshirt along, it wouldn't have been a problem, but I was shivering by the time we sat down in our second-choice restaurant.

Which was great, by the way. Lobster Bisque, Fettucine Alfredo, Bread, bruschetta, a mussel and coke.

And great company. I enjoyed the walk back a bit more, even though I was still freezing. Karine offered to lend me her sweatshirt, but I'm still enough of a gentleman (just barely) to refrain from taking a pregnant woman's wrap.

Back at the hotel, I ran into Lynati, Mara, GXB, Alex, Eric, Hudson, Ethan, Maui, Kyt, Chris & Aaron. I hung out in the lobby with a few of them for a bit. But it was getting late, and I wanted to call Beth and the kids and talk to them before they went to bed.

So I headed up to my room. Called home. Then tried to sleep. Wound up watching TV until at least 3 or 4am, though that was only midnight or one my time. Then I finally went to sleep.

TO BE CONTINUED...


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A Plea and/or Reminder

I'm back in Los Angeles after an amazing trip to Montreal and a fun family half-week in San Diego.

My own Gathering Journal will be forthcoming in installments, as usual.

But in the meantime, I'd like to remind everyone who attended G2004 to please, PLEASE, take a few minutes and write up your experiences in as much detail as possible.

Were you on staff? Were you a dealer? Were you there for the whole weekend or just for a few hours? Whatever your situation, please write up a Gathering Journal and post it HERE at ASK GREG. It's great if you have your own website or livejournal and want to post it there or even in the S8 Comment Room, but please CUT & PASTE your journals and put them here as well. No links please. Cut & Paste.

For those of you who've already done this, thanks. For those of you who started but didn't quite make it through the weekend, please don't run out of steam. For those of you who haven't started, START. Trust me, your memory isn't going to improve with time.

We had about 200 people at the Gathering. I'm hoping to get at least 100 diaries/journals here at ASK GREG. AT LEAST. (Frankly, I'd be thrilled with 100% journaling.) Getting them all here allows me to direct the Disney/Buena Vista powers-that-be to this site as a single clearing house.

Guys, this is important. Prove that you are going to do what it takes in the coming year to support the show by taking this simple first step.

It will be very much appreciated at this end.


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GATHERING 2004

Okay, gang,

I'm going to be off-line for a while.

I leave early tomorrow morning (8-5-04) for Montreal and the Eighth Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles.

I come home on the 8th, but then the family is immediately going to San Diego for some SeaWorld/Legoland action.

So I won't be back at ASK GREG for over a week.

But when I come back, you can look forward (I would hope) to my ramblings about the Gathering.

PLEASE, PLEASE post your own Gathering Journals, Gathering Diaries, etc. as well.

Seriously, I'm using this as a tool with Disney. We have about 200 people attending the Gathering this year. I'd like to see at least 100 Gathering Diaries posted here at ASK GREG.

Thanks.

P.S. Remember, if you see me at the Gathering, don't hesitate to come up to me and say hello. Don't be shy. Please introduce or re-introduce yourselves. I know many, many of you, but I'm traditionally not great with names. Sometimes it takes me a couple gatherings to remember. For that I apologize, but please don't take offense. I really do want to meet all of you. See you soon.

Greg


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some REAL rambling...

Okay, this is not GREG SPEAKING FROM THE MOUNT...

This is just me thinking aloud. (Well, not really aloud. I'm sitting here typing.) I don't even know if I like these ideas. They're definitely not canon.

But the following notions occured to me today...

Gargoyles don't seem to have a native language. They acquire human language ... perhaps much the same way that they acquire names. Naming is clearly addictive. And language, in many ways, is just sophisticated naming.

Clearly gargoyles are just as intelligent as humans. Before humans developed tools, Gargoyles were at the top of the food chain. They may not have created/invented as much "stuff" as humans have, but they also had way fewer needs. Necessity being the mother of invention, they had less motivation for inventing sophisticated shelter, clothes, tools, etc. But that in and of itself isn't a comment on their brain-power.

So why no need for language and names?

When it comes to naming, gargoyles clearly felt that names were superfluous if not somewhat limiting, if not downright harmful to the spirit. Humans must define things. Gargoyles know that things just are.

We are friends. What other name do we require, etc.

It fits in with their animistic/monotheistic view of a higher power. A higher power that requires no name.

Does beg a question, though if you go back far enough.

Does the sky need a name? Does the river?

Elisa responds: "The river's called the Hudson."

But she could have responded: "The river's called a river."

Did the gargoyles have a language that they ABANDONED in favor of human words -- even if those human words were Atlantean (like the term "Gorlois", the true Atlantean etimology for "GARGOYLE")?

Or perhaps...

Gargoyles are so attuned to the earth. They have biological clocks that match the seasons. They have relationships that require no names, until those names have been imposed.

Is it possible, that gargoyles once... long ago... had mild psychic abilities that left them with no need to create language? It wasn't words that they intuited (or transmitted or read or whatever) but emotions, maybe images or sensations.

Maybe it was tied to magic. Not that Gargoyles are magical creatures, but if magic was free-flowing before the Will-O-The-Whisps evolved into the Children of Mab (or whomever) and somewhat confiscated that power for their own, perhaps that magic was just part of the Earth that gargoyles were so attuned to, and allowed for some psychic congress.

Or perhaps, it is a biological ability -- based on biio-elecricity and brainwaves -- that has faded with disuse. Perhaps the very language skills that Gargoyles learned from the human race dampened their psychic intuitiveness, much as Fox's natural magical abilities were stunted by her human upbringing.

Either way, it suggests that this ability could be latent.

I'm NOT saying that the gargs we know are psychic. They've all been fooled enough, even by the INTENSELY emotional Demona (who would theoretically be broadcasting as well as receiving) to bely that notion.

But I wonder if this isn't an interesting area of speculation.

If you see me at the Gathering THIS WEEKEND, it's a topic I'd be interested in discussing.


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REBORN!!

As I'm sure many of you have noticed, Gorebash has rebooted ASK GREG in a major way. It's still a work in progress, so feel free (politely) to offer your input to Gore.

But don't forget to thank him as well for his hard, hard work.

Thanks, Gore! It's very much appreciated.

Gregs


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Buffy Season Two Character Countdown

As noted yesterday, I'm as big a geek -- if not bigger -- than anyone in the room.

So now, for no particular reason, I've put together a countdown of the GREATEST BUFFYVERSE characters from Seasons One & Two.

I thought about doing Season Two separately, as if it stood alone, but that felt artificial. (Like the rest of this feels natural? Yeah, right.) Think of the Buffyverse as an eight year horse race. You're not sure which nag is going to go the distance... But cumulatively, you begin to discover things.

So here's the top 30 characters of the Buffyverse for Seasons One & Two combined. In reverse order...

#30 - The Judge. Medieval demon raised by Spike & Dru to burn the humanity out of, well, humans. Killed by a rocket launcher. (Previous Rank: Did not appear in first season.)

#29 - Mr. Norman Pfister, a.k.a. Worm Guy. One of the assassins hired by Spike to kill Buffy. Could transform his whole body into worms. Stomped by Xander & Cordy. (Previous Rank: Did not appear in first season.)

#28 - Dalton. A relatively brainy vampire flunky, who appeared in a couple of episodes working for Spike & Dru. Burned by the Judge. (Previous Rank: Did not appear in first season.)

#27 - Luke. Still a fairly memorable first opponent for Buffy even a year later. (PR: #14. Okay, he's memorable, but not that memorable, falling 13 rankings with no where to go but down.)

#26 - Harmony Kendall - Made another humorous appearance. (PR: Honorable Mention.)

#25 - Hank Summers. Still, if barely, a part of his daughter's life. (PR: Honorable Mention.)

#24 - Willy. The weasley guy who runs the demon-bar hangout and plays both sides of the fence. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#23 - Amy. Back as a full-fledged witch. (PR: Honorable Mention.)

#22 - Ethan Rayne. Giles old chaos-worshipping "friend". (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#21 - Uncle Enyos, a.k.a. Gypsy Man. Jenny Calendar's vengeance-seeking Gypsy uncle. Killed by Angel. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#20 - Jesse. (PR: #13. Drops seven rankings, and counting, as he's been totally forgotten.)

#19 - Jonathan (variously spelled Johnathan and Jonathon, a.k.a. Student and/or Hostage Kid and/or Freshman (which he later turns out not to be, unless he skips a couple grades by the time Buffy graduates). Jonathan with something like 6 appearances but VERY little screen time in each really makes an adorable impression, thus it's not surprising that he winds up playing an increasingly larger role with every year. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#18 - Whistler. The demon, played by the always interesting Max Perlich, who helped redeem Angel from the gutter. This guy interested me a LOT, but never (as I recall) returned. I always wondered if Doyle was a reworking of Whistler when they couldn't get Perlich to be a regular on Angel. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#17 - Kendra the Vampire Slayer. Came and went. But before you know how interesting Faith can be, she was very cool. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#16 - Principal Bob Flutie. (PR: #9. Drops 7 places and being still dead, likely to keep heading south.)

#15 - Darla. Appears in a wonderful flashback, where she sires Angel. (PR: #11. Only drops 4 ranks, and is likely to make a comeback, because death plays much more fast and loose with Darla than with Principal Flutie.)

#14 - The Annointed One. Spike just overwhelmed this guy (and then flambéd him). I suppose it was also a liability to have an eternally youthful child in an ongoing series. It won't take long before a growth spurt changes the kids looks significantly. (PR: #10. Another four rank drop and falling.)

#13 - The Master. Influence still being felt... (PR: #8. Down five rankings.)

#12 - Oz. Becomes Willow's guy after a slow burn. And gets to be a Werewolf to boot. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#11 - Jenny Calender, a.k.a. Janna the Gypsy spy. Becomes SO important that Angel has to snap her neck, breaking Giles heart -- and falling into a Buffy/Angel trap that is common to most TV dramas (except Gargoyles) which states that no relationship really has long term potential. (PR: #15. Actually moves up 4 rankings, while most are moving down.)

#10 - Principal Snyder. (PR: #12. Also moving up a bit.)

#9 - Spike, a.k.a. William the Bloody. Enters the list in the top ten.

#8 - Drusilla. This surprised me a bit. Would not have guessed that Dru would beat out Spike. But in their first season, she's actually a tad more important. His villainy culminates in hers. (Of course, both are overshadowed by Angelus) (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#7 - Joyce Summers. (PR: #7. Holding her spot.)

#6 - Angel, a.k.a. Angelus. Really starts to come into his own here, but missed a couple episodes and Cordy had a headstart from season one. (PR: #6)

#5 - Cordelia Chase. And Cordy also begins to truly come into her own in this season. Evolving out of her funny but one-note stereotype from Season One and beginning a relationship with Xander that I was sorry never got to be played again in Angel (even historically). (PR: #5)

#4 - Willow Rosenberg. Xander's headstart kept him ahead in a season where they had a much more neck-and-neck pointscore. (PR: #4)

#3 - Xander Harris. (PR: #3)

#2 - Rupert Giles. Still a bit surprised how he continues to rank above X&W. (PR: #2)

#1 - Buffy Summers. (PR: #1)

Honorable mention goes to the following (for making one or two memorable appearances):

Catherine . Okay, normally, I'm not going to honorably mention someone in consecutive seasons, but that great scene where Oz is watching the Cheerleading trophy follow him with his eyes, is priceless continuity.

Absalom. Vampire working for the Annointed One trying to raise the Master. The last champion of the Season One storyline. Buffy burns him.

Nurse Greenliegh. Eaten by fishboys. Probably gets extra juice because I like actress Conchatta Ferrell in just about anything.

Ted Buchanon - Psycho Robot Serial Killer. Lots of evil fun. Trashed by Buffy.

Devon - Dopey lead singer of Oz's band.

Inca Mummy Girl, a.k.a. Empada. Poor kid. She just fell apart on us.

Larry. School bully who turns out to be a sensitive gay guy.

Lyle Gorch - Cowboy vampire, barely smarter than his brother.

Chanterelle - Goofy vampire wannabe.

Detective Bob & Detective Stein - Each appeared twice. Bob was Snyder's cop. The one who helped Snyder cover up the macabre doings at the school. Stein was Buffy's vague nemesis. The one who questioned her about Ted's "death" and suspected her of Kendra's. Both are interesting and feel more important than they wind up being.

The Mayor. Doesn't appear at all. But Snyder's both scared of him and desperate to impress him.

And that's it. But Season Three just came in the mail today. It'll obviously take me some time to watch it. But eventually, I'll be continuing this pointless exercise...

Aren't you glad?


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Buffy Season One Character Countdown...

Yes, that's right, I'm as big a geek -- if not bigger -- than anyone in the room.

I bought the 1st and 2nd Seasons of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER on DVD. And I've been watching the episodes. Or studying them actually.

So now, for no particular reason, I've put together a countdown of the GREATEST BUFFYVERSE characters from Season One.

(WHY, you ask? Because it amuses me and appeals to my geeky mind. <Yeesh, what a dopey question.>)

Now, this is a truly subjective (if not pointless) exercise that I've tried to reduce to an objective task. I've awarded points per episode to each character based on a number of criteria. Then I totalled up the points for each character for the season. In case of a tie, I made a subjective call.

I tried NOT to make the point totals reflect what happened with characters in subsequent seasons. This is a countdown reflecting Season One only. Though I won't deny the fact that if a character reappeared later in the series, it probably meant that said character was memorable to the creators (and the viewers) in his or her original appearance(s). So I allowed some bias to filter in. But I tried to be strong.

Most of the results aren't particularly shocking, but a few things surprised me a bit.

Originally, I was just doing this for myself. But I figured, what the heck, might as well share my obssessive behaviour with you poor victims.

So here's the top 15 characters of the Buffyverse for Season One in reverse order...

#15 - Jenny Calender. In season one, she's merely the computer teacher/techno-pagan. But she already seems to have some interest in Giles.

#14 - Luke. The vampire who was the surrogate for the Master's "Harvest" during the 2-part pilot. An impressive first foe, who'd be topped many times over. But he set the bar well. He received the same point total as Jenny, and long-term she's MUCH more important, but in the first season, I think Luke's role was much more crucial.

#13 - Jesse. Jesse was Xander's best friend, who became a vampire in the pilot and was accidentally staked. Jesse would have been more important if anyone had EVER mentioned him again -- even in episode three. It strikes me as a very un-Joss like thing that Jesse completely faded from memory... INSTANTLY.

#12 - Principal Snyder. The new and harsh replacement principal makes an immediate impression.

#11 - Darla. The vampire who served the Master and was revealed as Angel's sire. Jealous, vulnerable, greedy and sweet all rolled into one. She was staked in her third appearance, but it's not surprising she came back both in flashbacks and in ANGEL.

#10 - The Annointed One. Also known as Colin and/or the Boy. This guy was built up to be VERY important in Season One, though he wound up not being important at all.

#9 - Principal Bob Flutie. The conflicted original principal of Sunnydale High. For obvious reasons, adjusted to be MOST sympathetic just before he was eaten by the quartet of Hyena-Avatars.

#8 - The Master. The main recurring villain for Season One. Staked at the end of the season, though his influence would continue into Season Two and beyond. (FYI, one of the DVD extras revealed that his real name was Heinrich Joseph Nest.)

#7 - Joyce Summers. Buffy's mom.

#6 - Angel. Made a pretty big impression in relatively few appearances. Obviously.

#5 - Cordelia Chase.

#4 - Willow Rosenberg.

#3 - Xander Harris. This surprised me. I would have thought that Willow and Xander would have been neck and neck -- impossible to declare as anything but a tie. But at least in Season One, Xander really got more screen time and a much bigger overall role in the series.

#2 - Rupert Giles. This surprised me a bit too, as I would have guessed that Xander & Willow would have both scored ahead of Giles. But nope. Not when you break it down.

#1 - Buffy Summers. Duh.

Honorable mention goes to the following (for making one or two memorable appearances):

Catherine & Amy, mother & daughter witches. Amy obviously will become more important, but Catherine's end, forever imprisoned in the cheerleading trophy, was too cool.

Dr. Gregory. Buffy's biology teacher. Made two appearances before being killed by the She-Mantis. Was the only teacher who believed in Buffy.

The She-Mantis. A fun villain.

Harmony Kendall. Only made two brief appearances, but she stood out enough as one of Cordelia's "Cordettes" that she would wind up being brought back again and again. A certain comic timing, probably.

Hank Summers. Buffy's dad.

Joy. The Senior Cheerleader.

Sid. The human trapped in the body of a ventriloquist's dummy.

That's it. I'll have Season Two shortly. I bet you can't wait.


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Announcement for August...

Hey gang,

Just wanted to let everyone know that Gorebash, Todd & I will be re-opening the Question Submission function for the month of August 2004.

Gore is working on revising the whole site. We're not 100% sure that the new version will be ready by then, but either way, you'll be able to submit questions and rambles from August 1st to August 31st.

I'm going to ask (and pray) that people NOT post frivolously. I'm still over two years behind on answering questions. Try and do your homework just a bit before posting a question. Check the Archives or at least the FAQ. Heck, it wouldn't hurt to pre-post your question at the Station 8 Comment Room. Give your fellow fans a chance to direct you to the answer, before you post it for me. Keep in mind that it will take me a LONG time to get to your questions, so if you can get them answered another way, it'll be MUCH FASTER for all concerned.

But with that caveat in mind, I'm very pleased to be reopening the site to you, if only for one month. In particular, I'm anxious to get as many GATHERING 2004 DIARIES as possible. Seriously, we have close to 200 people attending this year, and my goal is to get at least 100 diaries posted at ASK GREG as an historical record. So please, that's one kind of post that I'm really looking forward to. So don't hesitate.

Thanks,

Greg



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