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Joss Whedon Angel episodes, why not as good

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Synch View Post
    About the "story by"... If we take the usual creation structure (premise + break story + outline by the credited writer + notes by showrunner + script + notes by Joss + shooting draft (with additional revisions: blue, yellow, pink etc) it makes no sense the story by is only about the idea or premise. I guess is more than that: maybe the whole concept, even the outline.

    I mean... Joss came up often with the ideas or arcs and, according to David Greenwalt, he pitched the whole Pylea idea but he hadn't a story by credit in those episodes.



    I'm quoting myself but, according to David Greenwalt in an interview between Angel S2 and S3, the story by probably means that an individual writer, or two, did break the story instead of the usual group process:

    How did the initial idea to do Angel come about?

    For the first three years of Buffy I was full time and then the end of year three Joss came to me and said "What do you think about spinning Angel off into its own show?"

    I said "I think it’s a fabulous idea and I think we should bring young Charisma Carpenter who plays Cordelia Chase with us, because I think she will be a great foil for Angel, a great other side of that dark coin, that big bright girl."

    Then we sat down and broke - which means figured out - the story. Breaking the story is almost harder than writing the stories. We broke the story, wrote the pilot and Joss directed it.

    I was very excited, although the idea of doing two shows just seemed crazy because Joss worked so hard on Buffy. I would come in to our Buffy sets in Santa Monica, California, and he’d be here at seven in the morning, having spent the night [there], having gotten two hours of sleep.

    He was just doing everything in those first few years and I thought "how on earth are we ever going to do two shows?" as it seemed so hard to do one. Particularly with an aim for quality - we want to do good work. Joss seems to have the energy of four men. I’ve the energy of maybe 1.2 men.

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    • bespangeled
      bespangeled commented
      Editing a comment
      I understand CC was an issue,. Joss didn't want her on the show but Greenwalt decided. She's been open about her difficulty remembering lines, etc. It gives context for what happened in season 4 when Greenwalt was no longer there to take her part.

  • #17
    Originally posted by Synch View Post

    I'm quoting myself but, according to David Greenwalt in an interview between Angel S2 and S3, the story by probably means that an individual writer, or two, did break the story instead of the usual group process:

    How did the initial idea to do Angel come about?

    For the first three years of Buffy I was full time and then the end of year three Joss came to me and said "What do you think about spinning Angel off into its own show?"

    I said "I think it’s a fabulous idea and I think we should bring young Charisma Carpenter who plays Cordelia Chase with us, because I think she will be a great foil for Angel, a great other side of that dark coin, that big bright girl."

    Then we sat down and broke - which means figured out - the story. Breaking the story is almost harder than writing the stories. We broke the story, wrote the pilot and Joss directed it.

    I was very excited, although the idea of doing two shows just seemed crazy because Joss worked so hard on Buffy. I would come in to our Buffy sets in Santa Monica, California, and he’d be here at seven in the morning, having spent the night [there], having gotten two hours of sleep.

    He was just doing everything in those first few years and I thought "how on earth are we ever going to do two shows?" as it seemed so hard to do one. Particularly with an aim for quality - we want to do good work. Joss seems to have the energy of four men. I’ve the energy of maybe 1.2 men.
    Joss on the S1 DVD Overview does say its only with Eternity that he got it . That they weren't making anthologies anymore and that it was about the characters themselves.

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    • #18
      Once they did get the idea to focus on the characters, Angel started to really work. They had a good set of characters and actors. The ultimate villains of a demon law firm was also clever -- especially with Lindsey and Lilah (and Holland Manners overseeing them).

      The thing that never quite worked for me in the whole "help the helpless" phase of early season one was that the helpless of LA seemed to be good-looking, well-educated and usually white. Maybe that's a holdover from film noir, because I know they were going for a film noir vibe. But it wasn't set in the past like say, Chinatown, was. And certainly as an audience member I was very well aware than most of the ones in LA that Angel should help wouldn't be rich, beautiful blondes.

      And the real masterstroke was resurrecting Darla to screw with Angel. Darla was such a minor part on Angel, and so it's lucky they cast an actress like Julie Benz who could grow with the part -- just as David Boreanaz himself had grown.

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      • #19
        PuckRobin I agree with your criticisms of how the 'helpless' were usually good-looking, well-educated and white. That's definitely a problem and a valid critique of early AtS. It also annoyed me that so many of them happened to be women as well as it felt quite redundant and almost as if Whedon was deliberating trying to undo any progress he'd made with BtVS.

        However, I must admit that nowadays I much prefer the earlier tone of AtS S1-S2 when "helping the helpless" was still at the forefront of the series. Some of the 'case of the week' episodes were fairly weak but I did really like the series overall mission statement. It felt genuinely heroic and it really set the series apart not just from BtVS but other TV in general that there was such a strong undercurrent of helping people in need (and not just by battling monsters) and of Angel finding redemption in helping people through their own. I liked that he would really form a connection with the person he was trying to save as opposed to them just being random, voiceless victims.

        The series really lost that in S3-S4 and I think it's a bit of a shame. The characters became very self-involved and caught up in their own petty dramas and bullsh*t. The focus shifted away from helping people and became more about the office love triangles and internal conflicts. I definitely think you need to develop the main cast and flesh them out but I wish they hadn't lost sight of what Angel's mission was meant to be. I thought the series developed quite a genuinely unpleasant tone during that period (especially with some of the uglier plot developments like Cordy/Connor) and Angel himself didn't seem awfully concerned about helping save people or redeem himself. Even Cordy's visions, when she did occasionally still have them, stopped being about helping innocents and became more about grandiose arcs and foreshadowing etc.

        S5 actually shifted the focus back more to "helping the helpless" but more in the sense to contrast on how much the gang had lost their way whilst working at W&H. But I liked at least that the writers remembered what the original mission statement was even if it was to comment on how far we were away from it.

        ~ Banner by Nina ~

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        • #20
          Giving how Joss mishanded Angel in Buffy Season 8 it's clear that Joss doesn't completely understand Angel.

          Tim Minear was the best Angel writer in my opinion.
          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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          • #21
            Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
            Giving how Joss mishanded Angel in Buffy Season 8 it's clear that Joss doesn't completely understand Angel.

            Tim Minear was the best Angel writer in my opinion.
            That's a bit unfair. Who didn't Joss mishandle in S8?

            Comment


            • #22
              Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

              That's a bit unfair. Who didn't Joss mishandle in S8?
              Had to think on it, but I feel that Faith was written well.
              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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