Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Positives And Negatives - Season 1

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #76
    Blind Date

    Positive: I like how Holland Manners makes a choice to kill Lee but promote Lindsay. I get it. Holland knows that Lee will always stick to betraying W&H to find an even better, shinier job and benefits package for himself with their competitors. However, Lindsay didn't betray W&H to find a better job but instead, as a matter of principle to save children. However, Holland knows that this new commitment of Lindsay's is incredibly weak. Lindsay is pretty fundamentally selfish and malicious to his core. So all Lindsay's turn-coat display really showed Holland was that Lindsay is brave and gusty and those qualities will always stay with Lindsay. This temporary crisis of conscience, on the other hand, will pass.

    Moreover, I believe W&H employees' choose to be horrifically abused by their employer even past death because they believe that the wider world is a cruel, abusive place as well but W&H, alone, is strong and connected and important enough to protect their interests if they succeed at their jobs including past death. This belief is crucial to maintaining employee loyalty among highly self-interested, malicious employees who don't give loyalty easily by any means. Lilah best communicates this, in the subtext of her life. By Lee seeking out a rival evil law firm, Lee calls that fundamental belief into question and therefore, he can never be counted upon to be loyal to W&H. Lindsay, on the other hand, isn't challenging W&H's supremacy at protecting and enriching him by taking an interest in a rival firm. Instead, he's flirting with becoming poorer and more vulnerable in order to Do the Right Thing. But again, Holland believes that will pass.

    Holland is a great mirror to Angel. Angel also has made his choices on which wrong-doer to embrace and which to heap scorn upon. Just two episodes ago, Angel crusaded to redeem Faith and was giving her doughnuts and punishing her with a "severe cuddling" even after just brutalizing Wesley and Buffy. There, Angel defined his mission to Buffy as "saving souls." However, here, Angel will take Lindsay's inside-info but to put it mildly, Angel's not cuddling him.

    Lindsey: If I get myself killed, that'll convince you that I've changed.
    Angel: It's a start.

    IMO, it's a genuine mixed bag for Angel where he has good and bad reasons for the different treatment. He is biased to Faith over Lindsay for reasons outside of Lindsay's control. Angel is more tender and fonder with women than men. Faith is a Slayer so redeeming her is always going to feel like a huge accomplishment because of her choseny destiny and superpowers. Note, Angel didn't want Faith to go to prison but instead, wanted her by his side. It's not the same glow to get Lindsay to....change jobs to work at a non-supernatural law firm. Faith is charming. I think Lindsay is smarmy and annoying- and I always get the impression that Angel would agree. I think Faith's dramatic, tearful breakdown speaks more to Angel's flair for melodrama than Lindsay's more reserved breakdown even though Lindsay's breakdown was more productive (coming with an offer of help and a warning about Brewer attacking children).

    However, Angel does have some good reasons for rejecting Lindsay even though he championed Faith. Lindsay finished high school, college, and law school and a number of years of working at W&H to the point that he's a Senior Associate and only now, he's having a moral crisis. With all of that education and years in the real world, Lindsay should have already thought deeply about the consequences of his actions. Faith's real age is something that fandom debates but she's 18 at her oldest and she didn't even finish high school. Lindsay chose to enter the supernatural world of violence in order to get power and riches at the cost of others' lives. As Angel said, he sold his soul for a fifth floor office and a company car. Faith was forced with slayer powers and a calling to save people and she was trying to be a hero but then, starting using her powers for evil in a slippery slope after she made an accident while trying to be a hero. Angel can also identify with being forced with a supernatural destiny. Faith really didn't have anyone else to turn to. I think Angel could assume that in all of his years of gaining wealth and focusing on himself, Lindsay has either confidants at W&H or he can pay a trained confidant in the form of a shrink but it's not as "on" Angel to reform Lindsay.

    Negative: Eh, I didn't think Vanessa Brewer was that cool. It feels so counter-intuitive that she's a mortal blind woman who became this incredible assassin who could go toe-to-toe with Angel just because she studied some obscure form of enlightenment to be sharper attuned to movements and stuff. Maybe I don't have a big enough imagination here but I can't get past my skepticism.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 11-12-18, 10:27 PM.

    Comment


    • #77
      To Shanshu In LA

      Positive: I love that the Vocah is such a leader and bad ass. He gets called in as an independent contractor to raise Darla. Then, when he learns that the humans at LA W&H lost the scroll, he just takes over with a plan to destroy AI and almost gets away with it. BAMF. It's a darkly funny capper to how W&H has been successfully introduced as a powerful, malignant force in LA but the main lawyers there have been incompetent in these MOTW plots because they're flummoxed by Angel. I like that moment where Lilah and Lindsay look at Holland like "Does this guy really get to just take control of the whole project?' and Holland is all, 'Well- end of discussion!"

      This ep features Angel as very heroic and deeply and authentically connected to Wesley/Cordelia and humanity. Frankly, I'd argue that Angel seems more terrified of Wesley/Cordelia dying and more focused on restoring them than his angstiest scenes where Buffy was in danger in BtVS S1-3. This isn't a ding on Buffy or Bangel by any means but rather a comment on how much Angel grew in S1. However, this does get a darker lining on rewatch when Darla is resurrected because Angel will pick Darla over his friends. We see a whole new surprising great side to Angel in S1- but Darla is a harbringer of how there's bad surprises to Angel too because as a centuries old vampire, he contains multitudes.

      Negative: AtS can get a lot of mileage out of "Well, it's Los Angeles. Demons and magic can exist undetected out in the open because even non-magic humans let their freak flag fly high." Just in this ep, See Nabbit, David.

      However, a creature as strange and terrifying-looking as the Vocah striding around a daytime craft market while the extras don't even stare for a bit is a bridge too far.

      -------------------
      This note mainly applies to later eps. It's odd that the Oracles were important in S1 but Angel doesn't get new Oracles in S2-5. If I had to sort it in Negative/Positive, I'd say it's mostly a Positive because the Oracles were cheesy and I'm not sure that there's a way to write them so they're *not* cheesy. Vague exposition-speakers for the allmighty Powers That Be are going to be cheesy by their design. S2-4 also get increasingly scary and dark because TPTB are so mysterious and so odd. Their visions and apparent esteem in Angel is crucial to upholding the whole mission but their named goodness and power is belied by how cruelly they treat Cordelia and how they seem to withhold crucial information that could help the gang at a number of points. And then S5 is a different flavor of dark when Angel doesn't even have TPTB other than the Black Thorn vision from Cordelia that we just see Angel interpret instead of Cordelia, the actual seer.

      Anyway, it brings up an interesting question on why TPTB didn't replace its Oracles so Angel could have someone at the other end of the Customer Service line even if they're not that helpful. TPTB couldn't find or create an appropriate replacement? TPTB wanted to punish Angel for letting his contacts die? TPTB decided that they wanted to be more mysterious and unreachable? It's a permanent consequence that seems to make the Vocah even more effective in hindsight.

      Comment


      • #78
        Latecomer but I just watched the pilot episode of Angel (Liam Duke got me intrigued!)

        City of...

        Positives: What a brilliant, strong season opener! Angel is incredibly dynamic and likeable in this, there's definitely a Batman vibe to his star image. I don't know why but this pilot reminds me slightly of Buffy's S2 premier "When She Was Bad" (not that they're remotely similar in themes or plot) but because there's this superhero movie "feel" to both episodes - much more so with this one. That iconic moment when Angel shoves Winters through the window... I've never seen Angel this badass before and it's fantastic. There's a film noir feel to the whole episode and I loved the teaser when he double-stakes those vampires. Most of all, I loved his playing at being drunk in the beginning - Angel and humour go so well together and I *loved* his reminiscing over Buffy. Cordelia was terrific throughout. Loved the way she was written. So much to love in this episode.

        Negatives: Cordy makes this suggestion:

        Cordelia: So I was just saying, if we’re going to help people, maybe a small charge. You know, something to help pay the rent, and my salary. You need somebody to organize things, and you’re not exactly rolling in it Mr. I-was-alive-for-200-years-and-never-developed-an-investment-portfolio."
        Angel: "You want to charge people?"
        Cordelia: "Well, not everybody. But sooner or later we are going to have to help some rich people, right? Right?"
        Now, this just confuses me. Anya makes this *exact* same suggestion in S6 but it's flatly dismissed as the wrong thing to do? I get that this coincides with Buffy S4, but Angel's apparently not in great financial shape at the start of this series and this is presented as a viable solution. I don't understand. Even Giles got paid a salary as a Watcher. Why is Buffy the only one left out of getting paid?
        .
        buffylover made this stunning banner

        Comment


        • #79
          This is great SpuffyGlitz, have you watched any of AtS before? I love BtVS more, but AtS is also a great show with some fab characters. Are you intending to watch it through?

          I think the fact that Buffy isn't paid by the Watchers' Council is ridiculous. That she/Giles, especially in S6, never turn to them and challenge them on it is a farce. That it's dismissed yet Giles' returned status and retroactive pay are even demanded during S5 makes it even more so when she's in such desperate need herself later. I think the difference (not that I agree with it) is the sense that Buffy has a higher calling, a sacred duty. Almost that to try to profit through being Chosen is tacky. Whereas people who are choosing to put their lives into the fight, have an opportunity cost that should be acknowledged by their need to earn a living being an integrated part of what they do and how they do it, so it is made into a business. The suggestion of asking people for money after saving them slips uncomfortably towards a situation where you would be withholding help if they weren't going to pay (and that is something touched on in AtS). Which does push the reason for fighting into being for self benefit and profit which doesn't meet how Buffy treats what she does (or Angel generally, but the fact that he is employing others who would otherwise be earning a living separates the fang gang).

          There is also the theme throughout BtVS of Buffy's fight against patriarchy and the corruption of the power of authority. Angel is the special champ of the powers but his battles are within himself or against others that try to oppress/use people. There's a sense of adult independence from the start that is more in keeping with Buffy's later seasons when she isn't in high school or college anymore perhaps. Then I think Buffy's choices on how she addresses her finances probably fits to her desire to balance different aspects of who she is alongside being the slayer. To make her living about being hired to perform the same tasks, for being the slayer, would narrow her in a way that she wouldn't want (even before she faces the moral question about charging some people who come to you but saving others within the general scope of what you do). As Buffy becomes more comfortable with herself and her calling through the comic seasons the integration of her slaying into her daily life, how it works alongside her day job, gets specific focus. So in that sense I think it is part of her progression in choosing it all for herself and considering who she wants to be, what she wants to do and she stops seeing the fight and slaying as something separate to herself.

          Comment


          • #80
            I've watched parts of AtS S5, S2 and S1 sporadically but no, I haven't really watched the series properly, so I'm not familiar with what happens (apart from what I've heard and read and seen referenced.) I do intend to watch it chronologically now :-) It does seem different in tone from Buffy. I think I'll always love Buffy the most, but I'm pretty intrigued now and it does seem gripping.
            .
            buffylover made this stunning banner

            Comment


            • #81
              Really looking forward to your thoughts SpuffyGlitz and seeing what stands out to you as the positive/negative of each episode. You could consider opening a thread for posting more general thoughts/discussing the show as you go along.

              Comment


              • #82
                I'm currently rewatching Angel and never finished these, so here goes.

                “The Bachelor Party”

                Positive: For all of Cordy’s previous complaining about Angel’s lack of sensitivity in the previous episode, he is a really good friend to both her and Doyle throughout this episode. I like the teaser scene with Angel giving Cordy’s date the third degree and listening to her talk about her feelings for Doyle. It’s weird because I’ve always felt that it was strange that Angel was so interested in her date. Since when does Angel care about Cordy’s romantic life? But then I read it as him – possibly due to the events of the previous episode, haha – really just starting to become a more open personality and more emotionally in tune with the people around him, as we see here.

                Negative: Since AtS is bringing back exes (Harry in this episode; Buffy in the next), why didn’t they bring back Xander?? Not in this episode, but in general. Him and Doyle meeting would have been pretty cool to see as they are almost the same person. Cordy seems to have a type, despite her hesitance to admit it.

                “I Will Remember You”

                Positive: As contrived as the entire – I mean, the ENTIRE – episode is, I think it does a good job fleshing out Angel’s character. Buffy’s appearances and references on Angel generate a lot of mixed feelings from me. While I love the way the legend of Buffy Summers – both as the Slayer and as Angel’s love – kind of looms over the entire series, I don’t think her character fits in with the tone of this series that well. In a weird way, I think fans of Buffy (I’m talking the character, not the series) are kind of spoiled. Buffy was the centerpiece of her own show for seven seasons. Damn near every storyline on BtVS revolved around her in some way. We were constantly, constantly inside Buffy’s head and clued into what she was thinking or doing. So naturally, it’s very jarring when she’s seen or mentioned on Angel and just used as a piece or plot device in his story. I think that’s why her appearances on Angel (and her behavior in some episodes of Buffy that experimented with the format) cause as much controversy as they do. We’re seeing Buffy, but not from her perspective as we’re usually accustomed. It’s *Angel's* perspective. And that’s why, as odd as it sometimes felt, Buffy appearing on Angel was necessary in order for the audience to get a good grasp on their relationship from his perspective, which we didn’t get that often on Buffy.

                Like, whenever I watch “Pangs”, I always think of Angel as a giant tool for coming to Sunnydale to stalk Buffy without even telling her. And same thing for what he does with the Oracles in this episode. But I do like how this episode shows his perspective and the way he struggles with these controversial decisions. He’s depressed as hell at the beginning of this episode (and at the beginning of the next one) due to seeing Buffy and, although Buffy’s frustration at him for hiding from her and shielding her from important decisions is completely understandable, I feel that, in the end, Angel hurts himself more than anyone with the decisions that he makes. This episode also gives another reason why a relationship between Buffy and Angel can't work besides him being a vampire. He's just like Riley. He wants to be about the mission, not the mission's boyfriend.

                Negative: I wanted to enjoy seeing Buffy and Cordy together again, but Cordelia's attitude ruined it. Did Buffy spit on her diploma on their way out of SHS or something? I don’t understand why she’s still under Cordy’s skin so much. I feel like, upon seeing Buffy again, Cordy would be just as nonchalant and tactless as she usually is instead of how bitchy and high-strung she is here. It has to be jealousy, as Doyle points out, that’s the only explanation I can think of. It's funny because I actually like and defend her ‘cry-Buffy’ line in “Rm w/a Vu” and thought it neatly reflected Cordy’s simultaneous dislike and admiration for Buffy, but there’s no admiration shown here. Just snippy comments and she’s too old to be acting like that. High school is over. Cordy doesn’t have to like Buffy, but she can at least be civil. Especially since Buffy saved her life a million times.

                “Hero”

                Positive: Cordelia’s commercial at the beginning of the episode. You know, maybe her talent lies in producing/directing instead of acting because I thought it was brilliant.

                Also:

                DOYLE: ‘Our rats are low.’
                CORDY: ‘Rates!’
                DOYLE: ‘It says rats.’

                It’s a genuinely funny exchange that takes on such a sad context upon rewatch.

                Negative: Aside from some nice Cordy/Doyle moments and the last five minutes, this episode is so damn boring. Doyle probably got the worst send-off episode of any Buffyverse character.

                “Parting Gifts”

                Positive: This is a really underrated episode. A really strong performance from Charisma Carpenter in particular and shows that, when under good direction, she can show some range. Cordy is so many things in this episode: funny in her usual Cordyness, heartbroken and guilty over Doyle’s death, seductive to Angel and Wesley, and completely badass at the end. I love the way she riles the bidders at the auction into spending more money on her, both out of pride and in an effort to stall. And on a shallow note, she looks particularly stunning in this one, especially in the scene when she kisses Wesley. Wesley’s reaction to their kiss always cracks me up. Right there with ya, buddy. I always think there’s this subtext present throughout Season 1 that, despite their failed flirtation, Wesley would still jump Cordelia’s bones if she was willing.

                Negative: Not really a negative as I think it’s a compliment to the writers, but I found Barney to be one of the more disturbing villains on the series. Not only is he a villain, but he’s an empathic one. He can literally *feel* the pain that he causes his victims and still does it anyway. Of course, he’s a soulless demon so I shouldn’t expect anything more from him but that’s such a dark concept and creepy as hell. Especially since he’s a rather comedic character for most of the episode.

                “Somnambulist”

                Positive: This episode reminds me a lot of “Angel” (the S1 BtVS ep), but wayyy better. The show has a better grasp of Angel’s history and the terrible things he’s done. Boreanaz’s acting has improved a LOT and defines the character way better than he did back in his first ever season. Kate’s reaction to finding out Angel is a vamp feels a lot more human and realistic than the Scoobies (except maybe Xander) did – not that I hate their reactions or anything, I just think Kate’s was better.

                Negative: Angel asking Cordy for a stake and her saying “It’s like 8 in the morning” was just a terrible line. Especially since she had literally just outsmarted a vamp two seconds previously. I even remember listening to a podcast with Tim Minear watching and discussing the episode and even he admitted that was a bad line.

                Also: Angel, rather aggressively, putting Wesley in a headlock to shut down his and Cordy’s suspicion that he’s evil. He really didn’t have to do all that to demonstrate his point and I can’t imagine him doing something like that to Doyle. But I think it’s good writing though as it shows how Angel is a little on-edge in the first half of this episode due to his dreams and it’s an example (perhaps, the first) of the dickishness that Angel often exhibits towards Wesley.
                Last edited by Andrew S.; 03-08-19, 07:21 AM.

                Comment


                • #83
                  “Expecting”

                  Positive: I really agree with Dipstick’s comments about this episode being much more solid than people give it credit for (much better than that *other* time Cordy was pregnant, ) and I like how it solidifies the connection between Angel, Cordy and Wes. I particularly like the moment where Angel questions the bartender on Cordy and Wilson. The bartender asks: ‘You the boyfriend?’ and Angel replies: ‘I’m family.’ I actually like this moment better than the scene where Angel storms into Cordy’s hospital room and says the same thing in the season finale. Angel’s kicking ass and taking names over Cordy feels so much more endearing when it’s from the lens of a big brother being protective of his little sister than it does in later seasons when it’s more about Angel defending his lover’s honor. While I thought Wesley was kind of jerk to Cordy earlier in the episode when criticizing her to Angel, he really made up for it with the tenderness he showed while taking care of her after discovering her pregnancy.

                  Negative: For all of the dating she did and slut-shaming she used to endure in high school, Cordelia really has the worst sex life of any Buffyverse character. Like it’s not even funny. She barely gets any action throughout this whole series and nearly every time that she does, it’s under terrible circumstances (demonic impregnation, body hijacking, etc). It’s quite sad honestly. The cynic in me wonders if it's because the writers thought that viewers wouldn't buy Cordy's heroic arc if she was portrayed as having a healthy sex life or something. I really hope not, but with the way her character is treated in particular, I wouldn't be all that surprised if that were the reason.

                  “She”

                  Positive: Angel’s social anxiety and general uncomfortableness at Cordy’s party. Believe me when I say I can relate. First of all, props to Angel for showing up in the first place. If this was at the beginning of the season and Cordy invited Angel to a party, he most definitely would have said no. But due to their strengthening friendship, he decided to go anyway and support her shindig or hootenanny or whatever, only to end up feel like a complete alien around everyone. His defending himself to Cordy by saying he talked to one girl (Laura), only for Cordy to say 'She thought you hated her!' Poor guy. Also, I love the fact that Cordy has such an avid social life throughout S1 of Angel. It’s realistic because of her extroverted personality and it’s a shame we didn’t see more of characters trying to balance their supernatural lives with regular ones in later seasons of AtS (and BtVS too, for that matter).

                  Negative: What a worthless waste of an episode. I don’t even know how it made it to air.

                  “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

                  Positive: This is the first episode that really fleshes out Wesley’s character and establishes his deep-rooted daddy issues. Both with his actual father and with his new father figure, Angel. I like how the demon taunts him about this. Wesley is determined to prove his worth to Angel in the same way that he was determined to prove his worth to his father and the Council, which is a huge part of their dynamic going forward IMO. I also liked the ambiguity played with Ryan's father, who was the initial suspect at the beginning only for it to turn out that he's actually a good dad (a rarity in the Buffyverse). The parallel with him and Angel at the end was nice. Two guys trying to keep their families together, despite their losses (Ryan; Doyle). The heavy emphasis on fathers in this episode is even neater because it continues into the next one.

                  Negative: This is hard as I consider this a really solid one, but I agree with Priceless that Cordy’s a tad too flippant in this episode.

                  “The Prodigal”

                  Positive: Wes talking to Angel on the phone about how fragile women are when it comes to supernatural only to be cut off by Cordy cheerfully and competently dissecting a demon. When I compare that scene to the previous ones of her bitching (to the Scoobies and to Angel) about getting her hands dirty, I feel so proud. It’s a great example of *showing* the audience how much a character has developed instead of explicitly telling them.

                  Negative: I agree with Dipstick that Wesley and Cordelia should have been used more.

                  “The Ring”

                  Positive: Amazing episode for Wes and Cordy. Alexis Denisof and Charisma Carpenter have really good camaraderie as actors. They really sell Wesley and Cordelia’s dynamic in all forms – from their flirtatious Buffy S3 days to their conflicts with each other and dealing with Angel to their excellent teamwork here. They save the day -- and the episode.

                  Negative: Man, I forgot how boring and uninspired this season is at its worst. The entire main plot with Angel and the demon being held captive just felt so generic.

                  “Eternity”

                  Positive: I see so many people complain about it, but I have no problem with the happy pills triggering Angel’s behavior towards the end. Have you ever gotten really intoxicated and then said/did a whole bunch of stuff that you felt really embarrassed about later on when you sobered up? Yeah, this is basically Angel’s version of that. As Wes states, the pills don’t really cause Angel to turn. It is just an illusion that shows what a fine line there is between Angel’s souled and soulless self. This might be the best episode in either series (better than “Enemies” and “Orpheus”) when it comes to emphasizing that Angelus is always deep inside Angel and that, even when souled, Angel can always let that side slip out if he doesn’t keep himself in check.

                  Negative: As funny as it was, I don’t buy that Cordy would be so bad at acting as to yell ‘Line?!’ right in the middle of the play.
                  Last edited by Andrew S.; 06-08-19, 04:59 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    "Five by Five"

                    Positive: Faith has completely lost her marbles. The scene of her torturing Wesley was brutal but amazingly well-acted and directed, as were all of her scenes, to be honest. For the longest time, I thought that AtS had retconned the whole Watcher/Slayer dynamic between Buffy/Faith/Giles/Wesley. In this episode, Faith says to Wesley – ‘What if things had been different? What if YOU had Buffy and Giles had been MY Watcher?’ This line had never made any sense to me because Giles *was* Faith’s Watcher, at least temporarily, and Wesley was CLEARLY Buffy’s Watcher (which was emphasized in, like, 90% of his scenes during that season).

                    But I’m actually really fond of it now because I take it as just another example of Faith’s delusionality and her trying to rewrite history once again. Similar to her rebranding of Buffy S3’s events as Buffy and the Scoobies turning against her rather than the other way around. I had to see someone do this in real-life in order to fully understand it and it was insane. In order to manipulate people or justify their own shitty behavior, some folks will twist reality to suit whatever narrative they’re trying to create in their own minds. Faith is a well-written depiction of a person like that. Like, remember in “Enemies” when Faith had Buffy tied up and she said that she ‘did her job kicking ass better than anyone’? I’m surprised Buffy didn’t laugh in her face because how many episodes were there in early-S3 when something strange was going on in Sunnydale and Faith was nowhere to be found? The sad part is that Faith seems to genuinely believe the BS she spits out during the moment of her vengeful ranting. Delusional.

                    Negative: The scenes of Angel infiltrating Wolfram & Hart to get info on Faith. They are incredibly dry and slow down the pacing. It would have been much better if Angel had just stalked Faith the same way he used to stalk Buffy and his victims. That would have been a great way of showing Angel using his own villainous instincts in order to get one step ahead of the antagonist, a la “I Fall to Pieces”. I also agree with Dipstick that Cordy’s blasé attitude in this episode – not so much in the next, though – concerning Faith targeting Angel is a little weird considering all that they have been through together.

                    “Sanctuary”

                    Positive: Buffy is so damn FIERCE in this episode. She’s not very likeable in her behavior or her motivations, but it all comes from such a human place that I can’t be too mad at her. I love that extremely brief, split-second interaction between her and Kate. Kate threatening to lock Angel up in a cell with a view of the sun and Buffy outrageously responding, ‘This is murder!’ It shows that Buffy’s righteous act is not just limited to Angel and Faith. She is calling *everybody* on this show out on their bullshit and it reiterates my previous point that Buffy – at least, not at this stage in her development – just doesn’t fit into the grittier atmosphere of Angel the series. Everyone on this show is so fundamentally damaged in ways that make it so much more natural for them to do shady things that Buffy would never do.

                    Don’t get me wrong, Buffy herself isn’t flawless, not even on her own show, and she does some pretty suspect things herself from time to time. But when she does, it’s almost always emphasized as a *huge* deal. A lesson/experience that she is meant to learn and grow from. Like when she beat up Spike in the alley in “Dead Things”, that moment was portrayed as a BIG deal and was something that caused her much internal strife. Whereas on this show, characters are so casual to do immoral things without batting an eyelash unless the consequences are severe enough to force them to do so. Like, Kate is also human and supposedly a ‘good guy’, but she’s also fundamentally damaged enough to do something like locking up Angel in a cell next to sunlight despite knowing he’s a ‘good’ vampire. Whereas Buffy, no matter how vengeful or hateful she is towards someone, would never do something like that. Even in her extreme anger towards Angel and Faith during this episode, Buffy’s first instinct is still to protect the both of them. She protects Faith from the Watcher ops and you just know that, if Faith hadn’t turned herself in, Buffy would have taken on every cop in that police station before letting them lock up Angel.

                    Also: ‘This is getting ridiculous. The first assassin kills the second assassin, sent to kill the first assassin, who didn’t assassinate anyone until we hired the second assassin to assassinate her!’ Call me lame, but I laugh at that every time. It’s Lee Mercer’s Top 1 moment of all-time.

                    Negative: I love Buffy’s righteous anger riff in this episode, but her puppy-dog-eyed victim reaction to Angel hitting her – after she hit him first! – grates.

                    “War Zone”

                    Positive: David Nabbit. I understand why people think he's one-note but he was funny to me and they could have gotten more mileage out of him. I like the idea of Angel Investigations having a real financial planner. I don’t think David should have become a regular character or anything, but he could have been a great recurring presence throughout the series. Both Angel and Cordy started off as one-note stereotypes in their early Buffy appearances and they developed into much more interesting characters, so I’m sure that David could have as well.

                    Negative: This episode, like many in S1 especially, suffers from bad direction and pacing. It’s just so dry and dreary, which is a shame because the actors are quite good. Take the scene in which Gunn has to stake his sister. J. August Richards’ performance is heartbreaking and the actress playing his sister is solid as well, but their good acting is undermined by bad dialogue and pacing. Alonna’s speech to him goes on for way too long and, by the time that Gunn finally does stake her, a lot of the impact and emotion of the scene is lost because the sequence has plodded on for too long.

                    I did find it interesting though that Alonna’s first instinct was to turn her brother into a vampire rather than just killing him. It goes to show how not all vamps can be placed in the same category and each one is different. Some of them will immediately slaughter their loved ones (Angel) and some will actually try to sire their loved ones so they can still be together (William Pratt, Alonna here).

                    “Blind Date”

                    Positive: I love Holland Manners. Wolfram and Hart becomes a lot more interesting and fleshed out in this episode and his presence is a big part of that IMO. The firm definitely lost something after Holland’s death, both in terms of being a competent organization (in-text) and a believably intimidating Big Bad (out-of-text).

                    Negative: I’ve always hated Lindsey’s character and I think it might be because of his actor. I’ve been reading the scripts for the episodes alongside actually watching them and on paper, Lindsey is pretty fine in the way he’s written. But on-screen, I absolutely loathe him. Christian Kane is probably a nice guy in real-life, but he plays Lindsey as a complete sleazebag to the point where I just cannot take his character seriously. I like the moment where Angel snores during Lindsey’s speech about his childhood. That represents my feelings about his character in a nutshell.

                    “To Shanshu in L.A.”

                    Positive: For those who fans who buy the ‘Jasmine Planned Everything’ retcon, Cordy hoping that there is a prophecy about her could work as solid foreshadowing for her arc in Season 4. Especially her hoping for fame as Cordy does end up becoming very famous (though not in an ‘enviable’ way like she was hoping) amongst LA citizens for her role in bringing Jasmine into the world.

                    Negative: Vocah knew his way around Los Angeles extremely well for a demon of the underworld. How did he know to find Cordelia at an art gallery?
                    Last edited by Andrew S.; 21-08-19, 04:18 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Another really interesting read Andrew S. Interesting points about Faith and a great observation about Alonna looking to sire her brother. I've never really thought about that but yes, it is yet another time where we see variation. Can't agree about Lindsey though, I loved CK's portrayal and was really disappointed to see him go. I hope you go on to do posts on the other seasons.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                        Another really interesting read Andrew S. Interesting points about Faith and a great observation about Alonna looking to sire her brother. I've never really thought about that but yes, it is yet another time where we see variation. Can't agree about Lindsey though, I loved CK's portrayal and was really disappointed to see him go. I hope you go on to do posts on the other seasons.
                        Thank you! I'm actually in the midst of rewatching S2 right now In CK's defense though, I don't think he's a bad actor. Quite the opposite, he might have played his role a bit *too* well for my liking. He's just so damn smug/unpleasant in so many of his scenes. And while it does fit in with the character of Lindsey and the direction they were going for with him, it just makes it really hard for me to care about him. But yeah, these things are very subjective. Like, I love Warren Mears but I can completely understand why other fans can't stand him the way that I can't stand Lindsey.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
                          IMO, it's a genuine mixed bag for Angel where he has good and bad reasons for the different treatment. He is biased to Faith over Lindsay for reasons outside of Lindsay's control. Angel is more tender and fonder with women than men. Faith is a Slayer so redeeming her is always going to feel like a huge accomplishment because of her choseny destiny and superpowers. Note, Angel didn't want Faith to go to prison but instead, wanted her by his side. It's not the same glow to get Lindsay to....change jobs to work at a non-supernatural law firm. Faith is charming. I think Lindsay is smarmy and annoying- and I always get the impression that Angel would agree. I think Faith's dramatic, tearful breakdown speaks more to Angel's flair for melodrama than Lindsay's more reserved breakdown even though Lindsay's breakdown was more productive (coming with an offer of help and a warning about Brewer attacking children).
                          I think the reason why Angel treats them differently has more to do with their actions. Faith has shown real remorse, Lindsay on the other hand hasn't. The fact that now Lindsay's getting upset about the company he works for planning to kill little kids, but was willing to defend evil beings such as Russell Winters who killed young women, is why Angel has such a hard time believing Lindsay wants out of Wolfram & Hart. Lindsay is pretty much picking and choosing his moral crisis.
                          The fact that Lindsay uses his poor childhood to try to justify his actions shows that he's not really interested in changing his ways.
                          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            I've been in a bit of an AtS headspace lately and I think I could come up with some sort of list. Besides "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been" which remains my favourite, the episodes are in no particular order but I do find that my preference for S1, S2 and S5 continues to cement itself. I couldn't limit it to quite just 10 episodes, though.

                            - "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been" - "Take them all."
                            - "Five by Five" - "I'm evil! I'm bad! I'm evil. Kill me. Just do it. Please just do it."
                            - "I Will Remember You" - "I'll never forget... I'll never forget"
                            - "Sanctuary" - "Buffy, this was about saving somebody's soul"
                            - "Reunion" - "And yet somehow I can't even seem to care"
                            - "Darla" - "Whilst Spike - Spike! - was out killing a Slayer you were saving missionaries. From me."
                            - "Reprise" - "See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."
                            - "Epiphany" - "Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
                            - "Not Fade Away" - "Let's go to work"
                            - "Spin the Bottle" - "I'm invisible!" "No you're not?" "Oh. Excuse me"
                            - "Damage" - "We were victims too. Once upon a time"

                            I also have a real soft spot for "City Off..", "Somnambulist", "The Trial", "Forgiving", "Waiting in the Wings", "Salvage", "Release", "Soul Purpose" and "Shells."
                            "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                              I've been in a bit of an AtS headspace lately and I think I could come up with some sort of list. Besides "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been" which remains my favourite, the episodes are in no particular order but I do find that my preference for S1, S2 and S5 continues to cement itself. I couldn't limit it to quite just 10 episodes, though.

                              - "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been" - "Take them all."
                              - "Five by Five" - "I'm evil! I'm bad! I'm evil. Kill me. Just do it. Please just do it."
                              - "I Will Remember You" - "I'll never forget... I'll never forget"
                              - "Sanctuary" - "Buffy, this was about saving somebody's soul"
                              - "Reunion" - "And yet somehow I can't even seem to care"
                              - "Darla" - "Whilst Spike - Spike! - was out killing a Slayer you were saving missionaries. From me."
                              - "Reprise" - "See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."
                              - "Epiphany" - "Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
                              - "Not Fade Away" - "Let's go to work"
                              - "Spin the Bottle" - "I'm invisible!" "No you're not?" "Oh. Excuse me"
                              - "Damage" - "We were victims too. Once upon a time"

                              I also have a real soft spot for "City Off..", "Somnambulist", "The Trial", "Forgiving", "Waiting in the Wings", "Salvage", "Release", "Soul Purpose" and "Shells."
                              Just out of interest You didn't rate Lullaby or Sleep Tight ?

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
                                Just out of interest You didn't rate Lullaby or Sleep Tight ?
                                No I'm really not a fan of AtS Season 3. It has it's moments but overall I feel like the season is one big blur and no matter how many times I rewatch it, I honestly couldn't even differentiate what happens in most episodes. It's also the season that introduces a lot of plot elements that, IMO, bog the series down in Season 3-4 (Cangel, Connor, W/F/G triangle) so I never look forward to rewatching it.

                                Honestly, I think Darla's death scene in "Lullaby" is fantastic but the rest of the episode is very unmemorable for me. I also think that "Sleep Tight" has some great scenes towards the end but the first half of the episode is pretty generic. I think "Forgiving" is the stronger episode out of that arc.
                                "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X