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Charlie Gunn: muscle for hire/street warrior?

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We had numerous recurring characters over the years on Angel who were very obviously put up there possibly to be regulars, some made it (Lorne, Gunn, Harmony) and many didn't (Groo, Gwen, Kate). Gunn does make it and he's in many ways the straight man of AI, constantly appalled by the grand ideas of everyone else;

Wes; "Why do people keep putting me in charge of things?"

Gunn (exasperated); "I have no idea!"

The danger with Gunn was that he would become the BA Baracus and just play the role of street muscle, something they addressed head on in Players. There was also the racial aspect of course, Buffy had been criticized as being an overwhelmingly white show (although Santa Barbara which Sunnydale is based on is truly like that). Here we have Gunn and he even has a love affair with a white southern woman (CC originally having been intended to be a black actress but the network nervous about an interracial romance). I liked the way at the end of his first appearance rather than Angel playing the 'white saviour' to Gunn it's Angel who needed Gunn's help and calls him in during the next couple of eps. His human weakness and its' tragic consequences in the final season are brilliantly played.  

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19 hours ago, nosleepforme said:

I think Gunn was a very underrated character and J. August Richards sold whatever he was given in terms of material. I especially love his comedic timing, whenever he had to deliver a funny line, he sold it. I especially loved his line in "Waiting in the Wings" when he's crazy about the athletic ballet dancers and remarks "I was cool before I knew you". He was also good in vulnerable emotional moments, but we didn't quite get as many of them. 


In terms of racial matters, I do find his character somewhat problematic, as they are really playing up his gang origins in the first three seasons. They could have introduced Gunn as a street-tough black character without having him tied up with gangs, though the writers earned a few points by moving him away from that. I mean, within the universe of Angel, it's kind of fun way to tackle gang violence by putting a supernatural spin on it,  but I do still find it somewhat problematic.


I wish they had brought Gwen back, I would have liked to see Gunn date her and I think it would have added to the show, as Fred did not like Gwen regardless of whether she was dating Gunn.

I'd love to have seen her interact with Eve? Or werewolf girl?

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