Whedon mentions Cheese Man in the DVD commentary of “Restless.” He explains:
“Cheese Man: meaningless. Why? Because I needed something meaningless in the show, because there’s always something in a dream that doesn’t make any sense. In this case, it was the Cheese Man. That’s why everyone gets confused and people attribute a meaning to it. This For me, that means we’re successful because it means they don’t worry about everything else, which means they understand a lot of other things in some way.”
Even so, theories about the Cheese Man abound, even after all this time. Over the years, I’ve heard everything from “cheese stands alone” as Buffy does, to the connective tissue of cheese among this close-knit group of friends, to Whedon being a huge cheese fan. “Buffy Meets Academy: Essays on Episodes and Scripts as Text” There’s a whole chapter by Melanie Wilson arguing that Cheese Man is not only pointless, but an integral part of “Restless.”
As someone who once dreamed that I gave birth to a garbage sock, I won’t argue whether the Cheese Man had a deeper meaning, though he was always just a joke to me. After all, dreams have the meanings you ascribe to them. Whedon may have included Cheese Man as a pointless comedic element, but it’s pretty fascinating that there is such a wide variety of beliefs about a character with almost no screen time.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is still my favorite show, even if its creator fell in love with it. increasingly complex. Just because Cheese Man is meaningless to Whedon doesn’t mean fans can’t find meaning in their chosen location.