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Half Pint: Bo vs. Buffy — Episode 73

November 13, 2014 by Drinks at The Dal


Bo in Vexed
As part of our ongoing series of discussions about parallels that might be made between Lost Girl and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we discuss how our lead characters, Bo and Buffy, compare to each other. While they are the same general type of character and do have some commonalities, their major story arcs and themes are quite different.

Similarities

  • Quippy, badass supernatural heroines
  • Street smart rather than book smart
  • Protective, appreciate a group effort rather than working solo
  • Coming of age stories, to a certain extent
  • “Coming out” language used when they tell their mothers that they are supernatural beings
  • Bad first sexual experiences: Bo literally killed her boyfriend Kyle while Buffy figuratively killed Angel
  • Romeo & Juliet/Juliet & Juliet storylines
  • Kicked out of their houses by their mothers when they find out about their abilities
  • Go through a period of isolation from their friends

Differences

  • Bo’s story is one of redemption and discovering her origins, which never really factors into Buffy’s story
  • Buffy’s main story arc is about the burden of being the chosen one
  • While we are getting more of a chosen one angle to Bo’s story recently, it’s not nearly as prominent as it is on Buffy
  • Bo doesn’t love that she’s a succubus at the beginning, but once she figures out how to feed without killing she’s pretty OK with it
  • Buffy being the slayer is a big secret that causes conflict in her relationships in early seasons, which never is much of an issue for Bo. Bo lives in a world in which she can be open (most of the time) about being a succubus.
  • There’s a lot of Buffy being the slayer in conflict with her desire to be a normal girl. There’s a little bit of that on Bo’s side, but it’s not nearly as prominent.

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10 comments »

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  1. One interesting difference is that Buffy gathered a bunch of potential slayers up in the final season and trained them to be as powerful as she is. That last scene, where all those slayers are lined up on that bluff over the destroyed hell-mouth is almost an anthem to women power.

    I’m just guessing here, but I think Bo is going to end up being woman power – woman, singular. She’ll have her friends and followers, but she will be in charge.

    Either way, they both save the world. A lot.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      Yeah, that ending of Buffy in which many girls became slayers was a great ending to the show, but I don’t really see that as where Lost Girl is headed. Like Kris mentioned in the episode, I think that was really an extension of the “there can only be one”/the burden Buffy felt as the slayer. By the end of the series, she is liberated by the fact that there are so many more slayers now.

      If Lost Girl has an equivalent, I’m thinking/hoping it will be that by the end of the series the Fae will have the chance to be liberated from the Light/Dark system. Bo has been the unaligned succubus, which sets her apart from the other Fae, which has mostly been represented as a privilege rather than a burden.

  2. Aaron says:

    “X-Men” reference, point for that Kris.

    Another similarity between Bo and Buffy is that they both have a pretty cool “dark counterpart” in the characters of Aife and Faith, I use that in quotes because they aren’t really villains (I feel) they just do things the hero wouldn’t; that’s a typical lead character aspect though for most shows, the dark counterpart, so it’s general but something to consider.

    I’m glad there was no series long “chosen one” arc on “Lost Girl”, that got old for me on “Buffy” because Buffy was so stressed out all the time; she had less freedom than Bo did until the arrival of the slayer army and then she still had training obligations. It’s like on “Lost Girl” Bo was the “chosen one” because she made herself that way taking all the cases, Buffy didn’t have a choice; with Bo she has the option to say “no” more than Buffy did you could argue because there’s more a chance someone else would take the job if a client kept asking around where as with Buffy if she didn’t do it then it wasn’t going to be done. The only time Buffy kind of had a breather as they say is when Kendra and Faith showed up so she had a person she could pass the job to, but it didn’t last long.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      We’ll probably talk about Faith and Aife at some point, so I was thinking more of them being similar rather than Bo and Buffy similarly having a “dark” version of themselves. But, yes, I agree with your point about Aife and Faith.

  3. Jessalyn says:

    Given how often Lost Girl reminds me of Buffy it never really occurred to me how different the main characters are. Other characters from the shows match up nicely, but not so much with these two. Both are great characters and I like that we get to see different versions of what a strong female lead can be.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      It was a little weird for me to think, “Oh yeah! BtVS and Lost Girl are so similar!” and see so many similarities between LG’s characters and BtVS’s but then realize that Bo and Buffy really aren’t that similar. But they’re both great leads, and I enjoy their storylines.

  4. NYPinTA says:

    I’ve always thought Bo had more in common with Angel than Buffy. Although there is no mystery about his past, they’re both in search of some redemption for past acts that were beyond their control: Bo when she feed off humans before she could control her powers and Angel for the deaths he caused as the vampire Angelous. Then they set up shop in a new city as PIs to the weird. Their stories after that diverge, but both also exist under the cloud of prophecy.

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      I can see the comparisons between the Angel of Angel the Series and Bo, but I think like Buffy the comparisons lie more in the broad strokes or the superficial. Comparing Angel and Bo’s storylines, there’s not much that’s similar beyond that they both regret things that they’ve done in the past. The prophecy angle of Lost Girl popped up so, so recently that it’s tough for me to say how similar it will be to the prophecy storylines on Angel just yet. The show did use the dreaded C word (“champion”) to refer to Bo in Season 2, which reminded me of Angel, but that wasn’t linked to prophecy the way that Angel’s role is.

      Even though he doesn’t have a dark past like Angel’s, I think of Dyson as serving a function more similar to Angel, but I admit I’m thinking of the Angel of Buffy rather than of Angel the Series.

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