Originally published Jan 2017
By Shannon McKinley
OK, grown woman confession: I woke up one morning thinking about the similarities between the lives of Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) Summers and Scandal’s Olivia Pope.
As someone who fangirled hard for Joss Whedon’s epic Chosen One, and an unapologetic Scandal-holic, I could not help but write about the parallels between the Buffy Summers and Olivia Pope characters. I know, I know…Buffy and Scandal are different genres, have different storylines, blah, blah, blah. However, I’m sharing my thoughts anyway, so I hope you enjoy!
10. Buffy and Olivia Pope are both: Fierce, Flawed, and Independent Women Who Save People for a Living.
Buffy had no other choice but to be fierce and independent because as “the Chosen One”, she was responsible for saving everybody all of the time (even when there were two slayers). The Slayer was the decision maker, the chief ass-kicker, and the world-saver; but she was not invincible. Buffy had her share of insecurities and vulnerabilities (and deaths). And like most superheroes, she was imperfect and made mistakes. These things made her human and a character we (still) love.
Olivia Pope is also a fierce and independent woman. She’s a business owner, a handler of difficult problems, a fixer who saves people from crises, and she runs presidential campaigns. However, like Buffy, Olivia is not infallible and has made mistakes. The Head Gladiator in Charge (HGIC), Olivia regularly uses questionable and illegal tactics in her quests to slay political dragons. Olivia Pope is a boss with super bad-ass credentials, but she still fantasizes about living a “normal life”, despite demonstrating, more than once, that she is ill-equipped to identify, let alone handle, “normal”. Her faults make us root for her, even when we want to shake some sense into her.