12.11.2010

Meet the real Cordelia Chase, and the Ultimate Slayer

Kendra, the Vampire Slayer
My bad-ass black female character kick continues....

I love Bianca Lawson, as some of you already know, and I'm ticked her career hasn't gone where it should have.  Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I had seen her in other things, but I didn't fall in love with her until I saw her play a Vampire Slayer.

Fans know she was originally casted to play Cordelia Chase, a character who was casted black, recasted as white, and then went on to have a 7-year career.  Bianca apparently had signed on to play a different character on a different show (which only lasted one season), and her contract would not release her (bastards).

But then she returned as Kendra Young, a Slayer from Jamaica raised by her Watcher from early childhood to be a living weapon.  During her first fight with Buffy, audiences got to watch her wipe the floor with Buffy - literally.

And here's one of the things I like about characters like these.  They act like a "taste test" for the times.  When Kendra was killed off, fans did not approve.  You watch any YouTube vid with this woman and 98% of the comments bluntly state her death was not kosher, and fans have since refused to accept any excuses or explanations from the writers.*  We all know why the writers killed her off; she got to be too popular.  Buffy was annoying audiences with her constant whining, while Kendra was designed to be the perfect Slayer.  And unfortunately for the writers, they outdid themselves in that regard.  Kendra was in four episodes back in 1997, and almost 14 years later, fans are still worshipping this character...as well they should.

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*By the way, the fans' reaction to Kendra's death made Joss Whedon change his mind about killing off the Slayer Faith Lehane in Season 3.  The original plan was to introduce a new additional Slayer each season.

9 comments:

  1. I truly liked her character it was different and she was strong not just from her powers of being the slayer, but mentally and emotionally strong she had the maturity that buffy didn't even grasp until later seasons. I didn't like it when they took her off. I didn't know that coredlia was suppose to be black.

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  2. Judochop, honey, I co-sign all the way.

    To cleanse myself of my recent experience with the Twilight saga, I'm gonna have to do a Buffy marathon...with a focus on Kendra and Faith.

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  3. I haven't watched Buffy in forever. What about the very first slayer. Wasn't she black too?

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  4. @ DN
    Yup. :-)

    As was the principal's mom, Spike's so called "favorite". http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080430210026/buffy/images/thumb/6/6f/Nikkiwood.jpg/225px-Nikkiwood.jpg

    She lived longer than Buffy as a slayer( her ressurections will never count to me)and was able to have a kid despite her job. Good on her.

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  5. Yep, First Slayer, Sineya was black.

    I had quite a few things to say about how the writers mistreated her as well.

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  6. I've been a fan of Bianca Lawson since I saw her in Feast of All Saints. She is gorgeous and needs more work.

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  7. Ugh. I loved Kendra...I loved her so, so, so very much like you wouldn't believe. I was so excited when she first came, and then the second time she showed up? She dies in that totally BS that made me hate Drusilla even more than I did before Kendra showed up. SERIOUSLY, WHEDON? SERIOUSLY? I swear to GOD it was only because Kendra was everything Buffy wasn't and was probably more popular because of it. So, OF COURSE, Hollyweird had to nix that quick. "Can't let the Negroids think we actually want themselves empowered" and all that.

    Sigh.

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  8. I had a problem with HOW Kendra died more than anything. She's a Slayer with Slayer powers...and she dies like that? That was a pathetic excuse of a Slayer death. I always thought she should have been in more episodes as well.

    @GoddessMaverick
    I like Kendra, but I love Nikki Wood. :)

    @EDGRay
    Nikki's backstory is never fully explained in the show, but in "Tales of the Slayers" (a canon comic written years ago by Joss and other TV writers that answers some questions the show never answered--same with "Tales of the Vampires") her story is explored more throughly. That's where you find out she had a Chinese American boyfriend, and that she's amazing :) And since Joss says that it's canon and since I enjoyed the story, it's canon in my eyes.

    When Joss messes up race, he screws up bad. But when he handles race well, the man does it well. It's just too bad that the mistakes he made are so awful.

    But hey, at least we have a WOC Slayer in Season 7 that has a major role and doesn't die...too bad she's incredibly annoying and that half the fandom doesn't even realize she's a WOC in a similar fashion that they don't realize Jenny is a WOC (Charisma Carpenter who ended up playing Kendra is half Mexican, but the Cordelia character was still White, so she doesn't count as a character of color).

    That ended up being a little ranty and OT. I'm gonna go read some Kendra fics lol.

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  9. Charisma Carpenter who ended up playing Kendra*


    Cordelia. Threw me for a moment there....

    I had a problem with HOW Kendra died more than anything. She's a Slayer with Slayer powers...and she dies like that? That was a pathetic excuse of a Slayer death.

    WORD.

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