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  • #46
    Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
    The statement in NFA is: No more compromises. No more second, third, fourth and fifth chances. That was never the case before in either show. Angel actually uses the fact that Harmony will always fall back into old habits as part of his plan. Yet he lets her go. He has another person killed for the same reason. There's a pretty explicit contradiction in message there that goes beyond prior examples. Obviously the reasoning is still the same. Harmony lives because Joss and Co. like the character, but it makes Angel look pretty hypocritical.
    His declaration to Hamilton that Hamilton will never understand people who care. Yet by that logic Angel didn't care about Drogon or even his friends and making them think he had Fred killed or Lindsey or Lorne who had murder him Harmony's future victims. It's one of those Joss Whedon who ignores consistently in favour of his moment
    Last edited by BtVS fan; 22-02-20, 12:40 PM.

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    • #47
      I always considered Angel letting Harmony get away as another example of the Buffyverse having two kind of characters: Characters with depth/proper storylines and characters who exist for comedy alone. Anya, Andrew & Harmony have an occasional scene or episode where they are taken serious as a character, but usually they exist for comedy only. Generally other characters let them go, even if they do or say terrible things.


      Or maybe the writers realised they murdered pretty much every female character in Ats already and didn't want to add one more.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Nina View Post
        I always considered Angel letting Harmony get away as another example of the Buffyverse having two kind of characters: Characters with depth/proper storylines and characters who exist for comedy alone. Anya, Andrew & Harmony have an occasional scene or episode where they are taken serious as a character, but usually they exist for comedy only. Other characters usually let them go, even if they do or say terrible things.


        Or maybe the writers realised they murdered pretty much every female character in Ats already and didn't want to add one more.
        Seeing as Eve seems to stay to die as the building is collapsing because she found out he boyfriend is dead that might be unintentional

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        • #49
          Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

          His declaration to Hamilton that Hamilton will never understand people who care. Yet by that logic Angel didn't care about Drogon or even his friends and making them think he had Fred killed or Lindsey or Lorne who had murder him Harmony's future victims. It's one of those Joss Whedon who ignores consistently in favour of his moment
          Which is why I don't hate NFA for that reason. Joss never had a whole lot of integrity when it came to messages or tone of story. Much of the drama of S2 is all the death and carnage of Angelus and Buffy's inability to pull the trigger. Yet Spike leaving in S3 and subsequently murdering people nightly is treated as funny. They never unpack that Larry and Harmony and others are dead because of them saving Willow by giving the box back. Yet saving Angel or Spike or Dawn are questionable decisions because they aren't core four.

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          • #50
            Man, I’ve been wanting to reply this thread for weeks. RL has been very hectic but luckily, I have a free day to get all these thoughts off my chest.

            Overall, I think Angel the series was better as a supernatural noir a la S1-S2 than it was as a supernatural soap opera a la S3-S4. It’s a good show all around though, but definitely not as consistent as Buffy. BtVS was not only a more consistent show but it also had higher highs. Conversely, it had lower lows as well. No season of Angel is as good as Buffy Seasons 2-5, but no season of Angel is as bad as Buffy Season 7 either.

            I agree with the other posters who were underwhelmed by David Boreanaz’s acting. He grew into a competent actor but he never really grounded the show or showed the range of emotions that Sarah Michelle Gellar consistently did. I don’t even think Gellar was the best actor on Buffy but she *always* anchored the show well and, despite James Marsters’ best efforts, I never felt like her show was being stolen from her by another cast member. Whereas with Angel, Alexis Denisof was carrying the whole thing by the end IMO.

            The same goes for Charisma Carpenter as well, who was also a competent actor but not a co-lead on the level of, say, Alyson Hannigan. It’s quite ironic because Angel the series was created to give DB and CC, the supporting players on Buffy, a vehicle to shine but in some ways, the two of them ended up being kind of outshined by their own supporting players. In addition to Denisof, Amy Acker and J. August Richards were also better than the two leads. Unfortunately, the characters of Gunn and Fred lacked a lot of definition.

            But the most peculiar thing about Angel the series to me is how somewhere along the line (maybe midway through mid-S3), ME made the choice to either drastically change or forget the entire premise. S1-S2 and S3-S5 feel like completely different shows. I don’t even mean in setting or atmosphere (like going from the Hyperion Hotel to Wolfram & Hart), but it’s like the whole underlying philosophy of the show seemed to change.

            The original premise of the show was atonement. The characters were trying to make up for their dark pasts by reinventing themselves and becoming better versions of the people they were before. Angel tries to make up for his dark past by becoming a vamp detective who saves people and learns to embrace humanity, Cordy tries to make up for her Queen C past and subsequent fall from grace by devoting her life to helping people, Wes tries to make up for his failures as a Watcher by becoming a legitimately capable demon hunter. In the process of that, the characters not only grow as people but they band together and create the family dynamic that each of them never had with one another (a lot like the Scoobies).

            But by the end of S3-S5, the show goes from being an existentialist drama about the characters exercising their free wills and overcoming their troubled pasts and situations to being some kind of Greek tragedy where everything is apparently predestined and the characters end up giving into their worst tendencies. Angel regresses into a total POS who abandons his child and sells out his friends to the corporation that they were all supposed to be fighting against. Cordy becomes a total martyr whose huge ego makes her susceptible to corruption by a higher being. Wes loses all the hopeful optimism and, albeit oversimplified, sense of morality he once had and allows himself to be completely swallowed by the darkness around him. In addition to that, the gang completely lost the ‘family’ feeling that they had in early seasons and they all seemed to influence each other for the worse by the end. And whereas Angel’s initial goal was to redeem himself for his soulless actions, by S4 he is openly saying he feels no guilt about his past because he and Angelus are now supposed to be totally different entities -- which not only goes against the premise of the series but it is the exact opposite of why Angelus was such a great villain in the first place!

            I don’t know if this shift in direction was a conscious decision on ME’s part or just them being desperate to up the operatic drama factor, but my guess is more of the latter. It paid off in certain ways (in regards to Wes’ character development and the many strong episodes produced during S3-S5, including the finale) but it did not in other ways (the convoluted S4 plot and the Cordelia stuff, which left a huge blight on the show for me). It's why "Epiphany" and the 'If nothing we do matters...' line leaves me a tad cold on rewatch because Angel completely forgets it not long after and when it is brought back in the finale, it is completely twisted to suit the gang's ego-driven suicide mission.

            Most of the time, I can rationalize a lot of BtVS’ tonal inconsistencies with artistic reasons -- i.e. the show’s wide-ranging and deliberate balance of genres allowing me to handwave many of the moments in which the vampires go from being serious threats to comedic foils -- but the majority of AtS tonal inconsistencies leave me genuinely stumped and confused as to how to reconcile it all.

            On a positive note, Angel was better than Buffy in regards to a few things:

            - I loved how the series took characters who were mainly just foils to the Scoobies on BtVS and allowed them to shine on their own. Angel got to be an action star in his own right as opposed to just Buffy’s broody boyfriend. Cordy and Faith were also allowed to be heroines in their own right as opposed to Buffy-parallels. That amazing ‘Everyone, this is Faith... the Vampire Slayer’ introduction scene in “Salvage” could have never been done on BtVS without it having to be about Buffy in some way.

            - Angel was much more cinematic than Buffy was (but of course, it was intended to be). I was surprised to find out that Buffy actually had the bigger budget because Angel has always looked more well-made in terms of its stunts and effects than Buffy ever did. As far as visual style, I can’t decide which one I loved more: the noir look of Angel’s early seasons or the gothic vibe of Buffy’s early seasons.

            - I also think the series did a better job with the ‘sidekick goes dark’ storyline than Buffy did. Wes’ descent into darkness was much more natural than Willow’s descent. The ‘sleeping with the enemy’ storyline was also much better executed on Angel with Wesley/Lilah (see my avatar! ) than it was with Buffy/Spike.

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            • #51
              Fantastic post Andrew S.

              We differ in some points. For instance, from S2 onwards I felt that DB had really grown into the role and I thought he did a particularly good job conveying Angel's threatening and imposing side as well as the physicality of the role. Whilst in-verse Buffy is the more powerful character and I think she's a total badass, I never felt intimidated by her the way DB often made me feel when he'd rough someone up. I thought he'd really embodied the character well and I have never had any issues with his acting at all. I also found Angel, the character, way more interesting than his team (especially Gunn and Fred) so I never felt he was overshadowed in that way. Although I do agree that he never felt as strongly defined as The Protagonist the way Buffy did in BtVS. His character also kind of just drifts in S4 (and to a lesser extent S3) and I'm not sure I could tell you what his arc was supposed to be about those seasons. I agree that he never showed the range of emotions that Buffy did but I also don't think Angel, the character, shows the range of emotion that Buffy does, so I don't see this as a fault of DB's acting.

              But I really agree with you on the shift in premise and how detrimental this was to the series as a whole. I much prefer the themes of atonement and redemption and not just Angel but all of the characters were far more likeable people in S1-S2 then they were in S3-S4. In S1-S2 they seemed to genuinely care about people and wanted to help them whereas in S3-S4 they became incredibly self-absorbed and insular and the series mostly consists on their own internal conflicts and bickering rather than "helping the helpless." It didn't help that throughout their in-fighting they all acted pretty despicably and a great deal of the time the characters genuinely seemed to dislike each other. It's a real shame after the "found family" theme of S1-S2.

              I don't think I'd argue that S3-S5 had the better episodes because S1 had the likes of City Off, IWRY, Somnabulist, Five By Five and Sanctuary and S2 had AYNOHYEB, Dear Boy, Darla, Reunion, and Reprise but I can understand why fans would argue they're the more consistent seasons as they feature far less "cases of the week" episodes or episodes centred about guest star characters. And my experience with fandom is that they're generally not as interested in these "one off" characters as they are the main characters of the series, which is fair. But personally I much prefer S1-S2's mixture of arc/Case of the Week episodes because it did feel like the characters were genuinely interested in helping innocents and getting involved in their lives and that Angel in particularly really wanted to atone and make up for his past deeds.

              I recently rewatched AYNOHYEB and I honestly got a little teary-eyed at the end of the episode when the gang discuss the Hyperion ("Angel, this is a house of evil" "Not anymore") because it is of course, or was, symbolic of the mission statement of Angel and the show overall. When AtS really nailed that theme it was truly something special. It's terribly depressing that dropped to the wayside and it turned into a supernatural soap opera instead.
              "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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              • #52
                I think the descent into darkness (Willow/Wes) and sleeping with the enemy comparisons (Wes/Lilah & Buffy/Spike) are interesting and I honestly haven't ever really thought about how both shows use these aspects. I don't think I'd say AtS did either better, but mostly because I think there is enough individuality in both instances of similar topics that they work differently. Especially in terms of where it leads the characters involved. But this feeds into the different direction AtS leant into in the later seasons rather than the more hopeful and positive direction BtVS took.

                And in this sense, I also agree that there was a real shift in message in the show which, overall, then brings it into being a bleak outlook on the attempt to overcome our weaknesses. I don't have a problem with that shift though as I think it kept the series rolling. The basic premise of atonement and helping those on the ground/facing varying cases could have continued for further seasons but some additional aspect/angle would have been needed to keep interest. Obviously the options for that are huge, but it twisting into the ways things go wrong when you fail as well as succeed I think brought out some truly interesting work. But as S3 and 4 are probably my favourites, it isn't a great surprise I'd say that. I do think it also sits with the point of how strong Alexis was in the series too. But there are some excellent episodes in those early seasons as well, AYNOHYEB as Mogs says, is such an incredible episode (across both shows) and perfect for that early mission statement. So whilst I really enjoy both the early and later seasons, there definitely was a change of direction.

                Originally posted by Andrew S. View Post
                And whereas Angel's initial goal was to redeem himself for his soulless actions, by S4 he is openly saying he feels no guilt about his past because he and Angelus are now supposed to be totally different entities -- which not only goes against the premise of the series but it is the exact opposite of why Angelus was such a great villain in the first place!
                I honestly don't remember Angel saying he feels no guilt because he and Angelus are totally different entities. In S5 he and Spike are talking very much in terms of being linked to their soulless selves. I appreciate they did try to draw firm distinction between Angel souled/unsouled at times that pushed things towards that literal split within (especially around Orpheus) and I do find that frustrating. But the first time I watched it and just last week on my second watch of Angel's unsouled stint in S4, I manage to roll with it as part of how complicated feeling both connected and yet distinct is. The fight with himself in Orpheus then I see as pretty representative of the internal struggle that Angel is always suffering with. When we see him hesitate and feed from the gunshot victim he is having that kind of internal battle with his demonic drives and wants against his soul and ability to make moral choices.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                  I honestly don't remember Angel saying he feels no guilt because he and Angelus are totally different entities.
                  I believe Andrew S is referring to this moment in Players;

                  FRED
                  Angel, you can't feel guilty for anything Angelus did

                  ANGEL
                  I don't. I knew the risks. We all did... and some of us paid a higher price than others.


                  There is sort of an implication there that Angelus is a different entity ("for anything Angelus did") and Angel flatly states that he feels no guilt about it. Which is odd, IMO, for 2 reasons;

                  1) If it's that easy then what on earth has he been feeling guilty about for all this time? LOL
                  2) Isn't it arguable that he should feel more guilty about anything Angelus did seeing as how this is the one and only time Angel actually deliberately brought him back and therefore had a hand in unleashing Angelus on the world again?

                  I agree with you though that they backtrack on this again in S5 and Angel is back to feeling guilty. I think this exchange is just really poorly written and that the writers didn't really foresee the greater implications it had for the series overall.

                  S4 is just such an odd duck though in how it chooses to portray Angel/Angelus and the dichotomy between them. I actually don't find episodes like Orpheus hard to explain because even if we were meant to take "Angel" and "Angelus" as literally being two different entities, and those two entities literally fighting one another, it still wouldn't make sense. If Angel is actually "the soul" then he should currently be floating around somewhere in the ether, not in his body. Therefore it would make no sense that Angel is currently sharing headspace in Angelus' mind. So it simply cannot be "Angel" and "Angelus" literally battling each other. But the whole plot revolving around "Angel's" memory of The Beast being wiped whilst "Angelus" retains his memories because his mind wasn't present when the memory wipe took place is a lot harder to explain. I've tried to fanwank it as yet just another one of Evil Cordy's manipulations to make the gang remove Angel's soul, and that she simply restored "Angel/Angelus'" memories once the soul had been removed, but this doesn't factor in why everyone (including Angel) believes that they have two entirely separate minds and two sets of memories and would fall for Cordy's manipulations in the first place *sigh*

                  "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                  • #54
                    Wasn't there also pressure from The WB to be careful with that whole arc? Angelus wasn't allowed to kill anyone either. That might have played a role. Not sure what changed since season 2 when Angel (with soul) killed people though.



                    While I don't like what they did with the split personalities thing, I don't think it was wrong to move on from the whole redemption/guilt stuff. It would be odd to ignore his arc in season 3. The idea that Angel slowly moved away from that irrational guilt to a healthier mindset where he stopped banging himself up for something he couldn't help, was a good move by the writers IMO. The premise that he should redeem himself was flawed from the beginning and could only exist because Angel was obviously not in a good place mentally. You can keep him in that mindset, but that would mean that you deny him growth.

                    Plus the 'verse was changing. At the end of Ats season 3 and certainly in season 4 you had besides Angel and Faith, also Spike, Anya, Connor, Willow and Andrew. It was harder to buy Angel's guilt (and the blame others put on him for his soulless antics) while others got away with a few tears and one episode about their guilt.

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                    • BtVS fan
                      BtVS fan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm not sure it was the WB just simply the writers not wanting Angel to be held accountable for his choice of bringing back Angelus. In Epiphany they tried to give him a cop out line for Reunion "those Lawyers were going to die anyway" so its not like it's not happened before

                  • #55
                    Originally posted by Nina View Post
                    Wasn't there also pressure from The WB to be careful with that whole arc? Angelus wasn't allowed to kill anyone either. That might have played a role. Not sure what changed since season 2 when Angel (with soul) killed people though.
                    I've never seen this stated myself but I'd always suspected as much so it wouldn't surprise me if it were true. It is very noticeable how Angelus is never actually shown killing anyone (besides other vampires and demons) in AtS S4. It wouldn't be farfetched to think that the network was uncomfortable with their main star essentially being the bad guy for several episodes.

                    In regards to Angel and his development, I always saw his growth being less about no longer feeling remorse or seeking atonement but rather that he learns to channel that guilt positively into helping others. I don't get the impression that Angel was ever meant to have grown past it or that he should no longer atone. In Damage he and Spike have ideological argument about their past and Angel says it's "something he's still paying for." In S3 and particularly S4, though, I think he gets so caught up the infighting between the gang that he loses sight of that a bit and it doesn't feel particularly positive to me. The amount of people he actually helps in those seasons is actually really small.
                    "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                    • #56
                      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                      In regards to Angel and his development, I always saw his growth being less about no longer feeling remorse or seeking atonement but rather that he learns to channel that guilt positively into helping others. I don't get the impression that Angel was ever meant to have grown past it or that he should no longer atone. In Damage he and Spike have ideological argument about their past and Angel says it's "something he's still paying for." In S3 and particularly S4, though, I think he gets so caught up the infighting between the gang that he loses sight of that a bit and it doesn't feel particularly positive to me. The amount of people he actually helps in those seasons is actually really small.
                      Personally I consider Angel going back to his guilt trip in season 5 as a sign he is mentally in a terrible place. If it was about things he did as a soulled being, it would be different. But it seems to be about his soulless years once again. Beating yourself up for something you couldn't help doing, is not healthy. You can still feel bad for what happened and the people who were hurt, but without all the guilt. Which is why (IMO) his last scene with Holtz worked better than what happened with Spike & Robin in LMPTM.


                      Also I would say that 'helping people' and 'atoning' are sucessfully uncoupled in season 2. The whole point of the epiphany is that one should not help others in order to gain anything, but because it's what Angel wants to do. It's just his luck that not long after that epiphany he loses control over his life because of the PtB and W&H. Which is why helping people is getting harder and harder. (So hard that he can't save Connor's soul without reseting him.)

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                      • #57
                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                        I believe Andrew S is referring to this moment in Players
                        Ah that'll be this week's episode.

                        I don't remember the scene from when I first saw it and I'll be interested to see the wider context of why he might be wanting to brush past it and focus onwards perhaps. I don't think Angel does continue to feel the same way about making amends for his past through the series, but he always feels very connected to the acts because he still struggles with the demonic drives within himself, even when he doesn't feel the same about redemption and loses sight of the mission. But I agree that connection to his past should remain to some level or it unravels a good deal of his story and makes all those ongoing flashbacks kinda pointless.

                        S4 is just such an odd duck though in how it chooses to portray Angel/Angelus and the dichotomy between them. I actually don't find episodes like Orpheus hard to explain because even if we were meant to take "Angel" and "Angelus" as literally being two different entities, and those two entities literally fighting one another, it still wouldn't make sense. If Angel is actually "the soul" then he should currently be floating around somewhere in the ether, not in his body. Therefore it would make no sense that Angel is currently sharing headspace in Angelus' mind. So it simply cannot be "Angel" and "Angelus" literally battling each other. But the whole plot revolving around "Angel's" memory of The Beast being wiped whilst "Angelus" retains his memories because his mind wasn't present when the memory wipe took place is a lot harder to explain. I've tried to fanwank it as yet just another one of Evil Cordy's manipulations to make the gang remove Angel's soul, and that she simply restored "Angel/Angelus'" memories once the soul had been removed, but this doesn't factor in why everyone (including Angel) believes that they have two entirely separate minds and two sets of memories and would fall for Cordy's manipulations in the first place *sigh*
                        I very much agree about the fighting of Angel/Angelus and really the different memories issue is the sticking point. Especially for why everyone would believe that it could even be possible. But I think that the greater separation that they use with Angel in S4 might be deliberately done to try to tie to what is happening with Cordelia, and it just ignored the inconsistency it brought to how Angel has always been a complete person who is struggling with both sides within himself. Cordelia is literally possessed and so it doesn't work like that.

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                        • BtVS fan
                          BtVS fan commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Sometimes it's just simply the writing. In S2 TheTrial Angel speculates with Darla amd states he's never turned anyone while souled. In Why We Fight that's clearly shown to be wrong.

                      • #58
                        Originally posted by Andrew S. View Post
                        Man, I’ve been wanting to reply this thread for weeks. RL has been very hectic but luckily, I have a free day to get all these thoughts off my chest.

                        Overall, I think Angel the series was better as a supernatural noir a la S1-S2 than it was as a supernatural soap opera a la S3-S4. It’s a good show all around though, but definitely not as consistent as Buffy. BtVS was not only a more consistent show but it also had higher highs. Conversely, it had lower lows as well. No season of Angel is as good as Buffy Seasons 2-5, but no season of Angel is as bad as Buffy Season 7 either.

                        I agree with the other posters who were underwhelmed by David Boreanaz’s acting. He grew into a competent actor but he never really grounded the show or showed the range of emotions that Sarah Michelle Gellar consistently did. I don’t even think Gellar was the best actor on Buffy but she *always* anchored the show well and, despite James Marsters’ best efforts, I never felt like her show was being stolen from her by another cast member. Whereas with Angel, Alexis Denisof was carrying the whole thing by the end IMO.

                        The same goes for Charisma Carpenter as well, who was also a competent actor but not a co-lead on the level of, say, Alyson Hannigan. It’s quite ironic because Angel the series was created to give DB and CC, the supporting players on Buffy, a vehicle to shine but in some ways, the two of them ended up being kind of outshined by their own supporting players. In addition to Denisof, Amy Acker and J. August Richards were also better than the two leads. Unfortunately, the characters of Gunn and Fred lacked a lot of definition.

                        But the most peculiar thing about Angel the series to me is how somewhere along the line (maybe midway through mid-S3), ME made the choice to either drastically change or forget the entire premise. S1-S2 and S3-S5 feel like completely different shows. I don’t even mean in setting or atmosphere (like going from the Hyperion Hotel to Wolfram & Hart), but it’s like the whole underlying philosophy of the show seemed to change.

                        The original premise of the show was atonement. The characters were trying to make up for their dark pasts by reinventing themselves and becoming better versions of the people they were before. Angel tries to make up for his dark past by becoming a vamp detective who saves people and learns to embrace humanity, Cordy tries to make up for her Queen C past and subsequent fall from grace by devoting her life to helping people, Wes tries to make up for his failures as a Watcher by becoming a legitimately capable demon hunter. In the process of that, the characters not only grow as people but they band together and create the family dynamic that each of them never had with one another (a lot like the Scoobies).

                        But by the end of S3-S5, the show goes from being an existentialist drama about the characters exercising their free wills and overcoming their troubled pasts and situations to being some kind of Greek tragedy where everything is apparently predestined and the characters end up giving into their worst tendencies. Angel regresses into a total POS who abandons his child and sells out his friends to the corporation that they were all supposed to be fighting against. Cordy becomes a total martyr whose huge ego makes her susceptible to corruption by a higher being. Wes loses all the hopeful optimism and, albeit oversimplified, sense of morality he once had and allows himself to be completely swallowed by the darkness around him. In addition to that, the gang completely lost the ‘family’ feeling that they had in early seasons and they all seemed to influence each other for the worse by the end. And whereas Angel’s initial goal was to redeem himself for his soulless actions, by S4 he is openly saying he feels no guilt about his past because he and Angelus are now supposed to be totally different entities -- which not only goes against the premise of the series but it is the exact opposite of why Angelus was such a great villain in the first place!

                        I don’t know if this shift in direction was a conscious decision on ME’s part or just them being desperate to up the operatic drama factor, but my guess is more of the latter. It paid off in certain ways (in regards to Wes’ character development and the many strong episodes produced during S3-S5, including the finale) but it did not in other ways (the convoluted S4 plot and the Cordelia stuff, which left a huge blight on the show for me). It's why "Epiphany" and the 'If nothing we do matters...' line leaves me a tad cold on rewatch because Angel completely forgets it not long after and when it is brought back in the finale, it is completely twisted to suit the gang's ego-driven suicide mission.

                        Most of the time, I can rationalize a lot of BtVS’ tonal inconsistencies with artistic reasons -- i.e. the show’s wide-ranging and deliberate balance of genres allowing me to handwave many of the moments in which the vampires go from being serious threats to comedic foils -- but the majority of AtS tonal inconsistencies leave me genuinely stumped and confused as to how to reconcile it all.

                        On a positive note, Angel was better than Buffy in regards to a few things:

                        - I loved how the series took characters who were mainly just foils to the Scoobies on BtVS and allowed them to shine on their own. Angel got to be an action star in his own right as opposed to just Buffy’s broody boyfriend. Cordy and Faith were also allowed to be heroines in their own right as opposed to Buffy-parallels. That amazing ‘Everyone, this is Faith... the Vampire Slayer’ introduction scene in “Salvage” could have never been done on BtVS without it having to be about Buffy in some way.

                        - Angel was much more cinematic than Buffy was (but of course, it was intended to be). I was surprised to find out that Buffy actually had the bigger budget because Angel has always looked more well-made in terms of its stunts and effects than Buffy ever did. As far as visual style, I can’t decide which one I loved more: the noir look of Angel’s early seasons or the gothic vibe of Buffy’s early seasons.

                        - I also think the series did a better job with the ‘sidekick goes dark’ storyline than Buffy did. Wes’ descent into darkness was much more natural than Willow’s descent. The ‘sleeping with the enemy’ storyline was also much better executed on Angel with Wesley/Lilah (see my avatar! ) than it was with Buffy/Spike.
                        Great points. Though I disagree on some. Early S2 through to E10 Reunion kicks Buffy arse all over the map (FFL aside) Granted it flips in the second half (Pylea is self indulgent twaddle) but that first half is one of the strongest runs on either show.

                        I also kind of disagree about Willow journey. At first it was fine. A insecure girl whose gaining more and more power was believable then they changed her to a victim first with the god awful magic is a drug storyline and then because her girlfriend is killed. If they had kept it to the original story of her lust for power then it would've been fine .

                        When it comes to acting. Anthony Head was arguably the best actor on either (or any JW) show imo. James Marsters has admitted ASH was a better actor than he is. The issue for ASH was he was always given the worst lines and worst character. The British tweed wearing cliche (complete with different voice) as the exposition guy who told Buffy and the audience how she kills the villain. Pretty much all the writers admit this on the DVD commentaries. It's a testament to his skill that he was able to work around that and still be popular.

                        Cordy was only brought over because Greenwalt loved the character. Once he left the show her days were numbered.
                        By CC own admission she had trouble remembering her lines, a basic actor requirement, which got a pissed off SMG into banning her when she was on set, watch the Cordy/Buffy scene in IWRY and they are never in the same shot together.
                        Before Doyle's death (due to actor issues) she isnt doing much but pretty much doing the same stuff she did on Buffy ie being the comedy foyle and somone for Angel to rescue and for Doyle to want to ask out. She had no character of her own. Now once he died and she fit into that role really well but by S3 that role again had been done. The only other option was as the love interest. Also her performance in S4 especially as the villain was terrible.

                        Rewatching Sleel Tight Recently and it used to be in my Angel Top 10. Not anymore. Now some of that is due to the wraither plot at the start which is terrible as is Angel's bar chat with Lilah and Sajahan but it's also due to DB performance. The scenes when he realises he has been drinking his sons blood and thinking of him as food and when he loses his son when Holts takes him into Quortoth should be powerful but punches. Instead DB does his fish face routine and ruins to powerful moments. Compare that with AD in hospital when he can't speak. He conveys so much more with just a facial expression with his visits from both Angel and Fred.

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                        • #59
                          One thing I forgot to add before but both the Powers That Be and the series Villain Wolfram amd Hart and the Senior Partners are both mystery box characters that are a mixed bag for the show. With both good and bad. W&H peaks for me with Lindsey and Holland that ends perfectly with Angel locking them in with Darla and Dru but after that W and H were never really were as good. Part of it was Christian Kane the actor leaving the other part Lilah the Replacement was too cartoonish to ever take seriously. Her rivalry with Daniel Dae Kim is played tongue in cheek all the way.It's not till her relationship with Wesley that she becomes relevant to the plot again and that's only as a side plot.

                          As for the Powers that Be and the Apocalypse and Shanshu prophecy. Meh.. leaving aside the video game nature of it all. Angel kills enough bad guys and complete the game and so becomes human the fact that on Buffy at the same time they went through Apocalypses and Prophecies so many times it was played as a joke yet now suddenly this one which is conveniently vague for plot purposes must be taken seriously.......

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                          • #60
                            Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                            We differ in some points. For instance, from S2 onwards I felt that DB had really grown into the role and I thought he did a particularly good job conveying Angel's threatening and imposing side as well as the physicality of the role. Whilst in-verse Buffy is the more powerful character and I think she's a total badass, I never felt intimidated by her the way DB often made me feel when he'd rough someone up. I thought he'd really embodied the character well and I have never had any issues with his acting at all. I also found Angel, the character, way more interesting than his team (especially Gunn and Fred) so I never felt he was overshadowed in that way. Although I do agree that he never felt as strongly defined as The Protagonist the way Buffy did in BtVS. His character also kind of just drifts in S4 (and to a lesser extent S3) and I'm not sure I could tell you what his arc was supposed to be about those seasons. I agree that he never showed the range of emotions that Buffy did but I also don't think Angel, the character, shows the range of emotion that Buffy does, so I don't see this as a fault of DB's acting.
                            I also think DB embodied the character well and definitely brought some unique qualities to the role of Angel that few other actors could. Of course, I think that’s true of everyone in the cast. Likewise, I think Angel was a waaayyyy better character than Gunn or Fred, but I still think they were better actors. It’s the same way in how I love Cordy and am much more invested in her character than I am in Fred, but I can’t deny that Amy was a better actor than Charisma. I don’t think JAR or AA get enough credit for how much lousy writing they had to elevate and, despite having less screen time than DB and CC, they had harder jobs in some ways. The writing for Gunn and Fred was kind of all over the place, but they still had to make them feel like real people despite the fact that they had no consistent motivations the majority of the time. That’s really hard to do and I feel like they both succeeded.

                            But I don’t want to discredit DB as an actor completely because there are some times where he does some *amazing* acting (at the end of “Forgiving” and “You’re Welcome”), but I guess my problem is that his acting isn’t as consistent as that of SMG or Alexis Denisof. It’s the same thing with CC, who also does great acting at some points (“To Shanshu in L.A.”, “That Vision-Thing”), but I can’t deny her moments of cringeworthy acting either. But to think of some specific examples with DB, off the top of my head:

                            He can be really terrible at times when it comes to emoting pain. I think it was Stoney, who brought that up in the Positive and Negatives thread, in regards to “The Trial” and “Through with Looking Glass” when he’s portraying Angel recovering from his demonic transformation. I also find his acting to be kind of hammy at times particularly when playing Angel’s more lighthearted, dorkier persona. But conversely, I think he was wonderful in episodes like “Carpe Noctem” and “Couplet”. And during my last rewatch of S4, his portrayal of Angelus was a bit painful to watch at times. Which is weird because he was phenomenal in Buffy S2 and during some of his scenes in the cage, but in episodes like “Salvage” and “Release”, his acting really rubbed me the wrong way. Between him and CC, the Angel and Cordy scenes in those mid-S4 episodes were really hard to get through. So while DB is certainly capable of great acting, he’s just a bit too inconsistent IMO. To be fair, SMG also had her moments of less-than-stellar acting but I’d say about 90% of the time, she was quite impressive. I definitely think she was robbed of a couple Emmy nods for her portrayal of Buffy, whereas I don’t think Boreanaz was robbed of any nominations for his portrayal of Angel. But I also agree with you that SMG had stronger writing on her side.

                            Originally posted by BtVS fan
                            The scenes when he realises he has been drinking his sons blood and thinking of him as food and when he loses his son when Holts takes him into Quortoth should be powerful but punches. Instead DB does his fish face routine and ruins to powerful moments. Compare that with AD in hospital when he can't speak. He conveys so much more with just a facial expression with his visits from both Angel and Fred.
                            I think this is a really great point. While I wouldn’t say he ruins the scene entirely for me as he still manages to convey the general emotions that Angel is feeling, I do agree he relies too much on the same shell-shocked facial expression during the whole scene and as a result, there’s not much depth to his performance there. Meanwhile, in the very similar scene of Buffy reacting to Dawn’s kidnapping in “Spiral”, SMG completely knocks it out of the park. She goes from conveying Buffy’s simultaneous fear and determination to protect Dawn when Glory appears to conveying Buffy’s shock and horror at all the knights being slain and then finally, conveying Buffy’s utter despair when sinking to her knees. All in the span of about 30 seconds. THAT was some great acting.

                            Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                            I also agree that there was a real shift in message in the show which, overall, then brings it into being a bleak outlook on the attempt to overcome our weaknesses. I don't have a problem with that shift though as I think it kept the series rolling. The basic premise of atonement and helping those on the ground/facing varying cases could have continued for further seasons but some additional aspect/angle would have been needed to keep interest. Obviously the options for that are huge, but it twisting into the ways things go wrong when you fail as well as succeed I think brought out some truly interesting work. But as S3 and 4 are probably my favourites, it isn't a great surprise I'd say that. I do think it also sits with the point of how strong Alexis was in the series too. But there are some excellent episodes in those early seasons as well, AYNOHYEB as Mogs says, is such an incredible episode (across both shows) and perfect for that early mission statement. So whilst I really enjoy both the early and later seasons, there definitely was a change of direction.
                            I really agree with this. Despite the extreme change in direction, I still think the show remained enjoyable nonetheless. It just makes it hard for me to reconcile it all. And for all of its faults, I still do love AtS S4. It reminds me a lot of BtVS S6 in that much of it is very messy and problematic, but there’s still so many brilliant ideas and powerful moments within it that I can’t help but still be fascinated by it even though it frustrates me a great deal.

                            My favorite Angel season is S2. But for second place, I can’t decide between S1 or S4. I enjoy both seasons but for such different reasons. Like vampmogs, I enjoy the standalone/character-focused nature of S1 episodes. But I also really enjoy the sprawling, epic feel of S4 and think it was really bold (in a good way) of the writers to do one big 22-episode story. And while I love S1’s story about Angel, Cordy, Doyle, and Wes all being a mini-family and bringing out the best in one another, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also really intrigued by the polar opposite story that S4 tells about how toxic the whole gang is to one another.

                            For my least favorite season, I can’t decide between S3 and S5. While S3 has far too many storylines I really dislike (Saint Cordy; the love triangles; the introduction of Connor), I also find the first half of S5 to be really dull, Cordelia’s absence is too glaring, the premise of the gang being at W&H made no sense unless you take the view that I do that Angel’s mindwipe forced them into it, and I feel less connected to the characters as a result of said mindwipe.

                            Originally posted by vampmogs
                            I've tried to fanwank it as yet just another one of Evil Cordy's manipulations to make the gang remove Angel's soul, and that she simply restored "Angel/Angelus'" memories once the soul had been removed, but this doesn't factor in why everyone (including Angel) believes that they have two entirely separate minds and two sets of memories and would fall for Cordy's manipulations in the first place *sigh*
                            Haha, I’ve also tried to fanwank the whole Angel/Angelus split being a result of Evil Cordy, similar to the Ben/Glory conundrum. I would have loved for there to have been a scene of Evil Cordy herself revealing that she cast a spell to make them all think Angel and Angelus were two different people before escaping with Connor and leaving the gang completely dumbfounded. Something like:

                            WESLEY: “So… Angel is Angelus?”
                            FRED: “And Angelus... is Angel?”
                            ANGEL: (mindblown) “Who would have thought?”




                            Originally posted by BtVS fan
                            By CC own admission she had trouble remembering her lines, a basic actor requirement, which got a pissed off SMG into banning her when she was on set, watch the Cordy/Buffy scene in IWRY and they are never in the same shot together.
                            Where did you hear this? I know CC has been very candid about her struggles on-set. She admitted to having an anxiety disorder that caused her to have a hard time remembering her lines and admitted there was tension (but no real animosity) between her and SMG as a result, but I never heard anything about SMG being so pissed off that she had CC banned from doing scenes with her. I mean, it could be true but it sounds more like fandom speculation to me because I have never heard anyone -- not CC or SMG or anyone else associated with the show -- say this.

                            When watching the episode, you can tell Sarah and Charisma's scenes were shot separately, yes, but that's honestly nothing new. It's actually a common practice in movies and television in general. There were also numerous times on BtVS where SMG would be separated from the other actors and directors would have them react to a stand-in of her during some of their scenes "together". This was done to save time and money and to also free SMG to prepare for her other scenes and do other projects that she had going on during the filming of BtVS.

                            SMG was a very busy woman and had 22 episodes of her own show to do, so it's not hard for me to believe that the director(s) of IWRY might have just had her come in, along with DB, to do the crucial scenes she needed to do at the beginning (or the very end) of the production schedule and then shoot the stuff with the other actors reacting to her scenes and doing their own scenes without her afterwards or even beforehand. I don't think her being shot separately was due to a beef with CC so much as for practicality reasons, but of course, I could be wrong.

                            Originally posted by BtVS fan
                            Before Doyle's death (due to actor issues) she isnt doing much but pretty much doing the same stuff she did on Buffy ie being the comedy foyle and somone for Angel to rescue and for Doyle to want to ask out. She had no character of her own. Now once he died and she fit into that role really well but by S3 that role again had been done. The only other option was as the love interest. Also her performance in S4 especially as the villain was terrible.
                            I definitely disagree with this. You may not have enjoyed Cordy's character that much in early S1 but that doesn't mean she had no role on the show or character of her own. To me, that's like saying Xander had no character of his own on BtVS because he was the comic relief without superpowers. Cordy's role on Angel was very clear from the beginning. In addition to proving the light contrast to the grittiness of the show, she was the Everyman role and Angel's link to humanity. She had interests outside of the supernatural -- such as dating, struggling with finances, and pursuing an acting career -- and she was meant to represent the people that Angel was supposed to save, all of which was well-established in the pilot. I don't see how one could watch an episode like "City Of" or "Rm w/a Vu" and say she had no real character or purpose on the show.

                            I agree that CC wasn't the strongest actress and was the weakest of the main leads, but she was competent. She embodied the role of Cordelia quite well, enough to be a favorite of many fans (including myself) and she did have her moments of strong dramatic acting. She also had her fair share of bad acting, particularly in S3-S4, due to her personal issues but also due to her being a victim of some truly TERRIBLE writing that even a fantastic actress would have struggled with.
                            Last edited by Andrew S.; 01-03-20, 11:35 PM.

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