Friday, July 2, 2010

#21: Harmony

With 37 words in Joss Whedon's “The Harvest”, the second episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 237 words in Joss Whedon's “Not Fade Away”, the finale of Angel more than seven years later, Mercedes McNab's Harmony has a Buffyverse longevity record surpassed only by Angel himself (appearing in the unaired pilot where David Boreanaz did not, she could arguably claim the overall record, but the pilot was never shown on TV, is not considered canon, and has been disowned by Joss Whedon). Of course, she has considerably less to show for it than he does, being a regularly recurring vapid 'frenemy' to Cordelia at Sunnydale High, being a regularly occurring vapid vampire and girlfriend to Spike on both shows thereafter, and becoming a regular cast member only on season five of Angel, where she works at Wolfram & Hart as Angel's vapid assistant.

Human Harmony manages only 538 words in only six minor appearances across three episodes of Buffy. After that, Harmony the vampire attempts in vain to terrorise Sunnydale in seasons four and five across nine episodes. She racks up a more impressive 2435 words here, including a 761-word, number-two finish in “Real Me”, where the episode's title refers in turn both to Dawn and to Harmony.

Before season five, Harmony makes only one appearance on Angel, but it's an impressive one: 1060 words and a number two finish in the partially-eponymous “Disharmony”. She's still primarily comic relief in Season Five, surviving the series to reappear in the comic books, but she becomes a much more regular presence (number seven in the season overall). Or perhaps not: appearing in 16 of the season's 22 episodes, her role is quite small in all but one of them: fourteen minors and one number five. Not much to show for. Except that that tally excludes episode nine, the partially-eponymous “Harm's Way”, a Harmony episode par excellence in which she says an amazing 1843 words, almost as much as the other 15 episodes combined, an amazing 38.8% of the total script, and the third highest word count for a single character in a single episode across 254 episodes of the Buffyverse. An impressive feat, and who saw it coming from chronic underachiever Harmony?
  • Overall ranking: #21
  • Ranking on Buffy: #23
  • Ranking on Angel: #14
  • Total words spoken on Buffy: 2973
    • Season 1: 133
    • Season 2: 186
    • Season 3: 219
    • Season 4: 796
    • Season 5: 1639
  • Total words spoken on Angel: 4936
    • Season 2: 1060
    • Season 5: 3876 (#7)
  • Total words spoken in the Buffyverse: 7909
  • Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 15
    • Ranking #2: 1
    • Ranking #3: 2
    • Ranking #5: 1
    • Minor: 11
  • Total speaking appearances on Angel: 17
    • Ranking #1: 1
    • Ranking #2: 1
    • Ranking #5: 1
    • Minor: 14
  • Total speaking appearances in the Buffyverse: 32
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