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Buffy/Angel

Started by Magnum Valentino, April 08, 2022, 12:55:26 PM

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Magnum Valentino

Watching season 1 of Angel at the minute after promising myself for years I'd give it a (second or third) rewatch having not seen it in about a decade. Bawled my eyes out two episodes in a row so it's going well. Really like almost everything about the tightly-knit first season, feels much more like David Greenwalt's show than Whedon's (whereas later seasons, with the proliferation of quirky characters and the inevitable trope of everyone moving in together, feel much more like A Joss Whedon Thing).

But aye, I really, really like David Boreanaz who's an incredibly funny actor but gets to make the most of it by dispensing it in small doses. Glenn Quinn was great as Doyle, too, whose first name turns out to be Francis just like another popular Irish trio member in 90s fiction (YES. I AM ACCUSING YOU OF RIPPING OFF PREACHER, THE MAKERS OF ANGEL).

The bad episodes are astonishingly bad (like your man who deatched his body parts so he could stalk your one which is played wrong on every level) but the good stuff (Faith turning up for a bit of chaos only to find an unexpected sympathetic ear in Angel, the episode about the cops or really any episode that showcases Elizabeth Rohm who's brilliant in it) is ace. Still think one of the coolest things I've ever seen on TV is the vampire telling Angel he can do whatever he wants and Angel dryly replying "can you fly" and fucking cunting him out the windy, yaaaassss.

Buffy as well. Talk about both shows! Do you hate Willow the correct amount of 'entirely'?

There's another thread for discussing Joss Whedon acting the cunt here, just in case it helps lessen the liklihood of that dominating this thread, which is about two telly series he created and not specifically about how he's a fucking prick who bullied his casts and, arguably, ruined blockbuster films by popularising snark for what might turn out to be forever.

mattyc

I'm a huge fan of Buffy, definitely one of my favourite series ever. Oddly though, I've never seen a single episode of Angel, partly because Buffy gets constant reruns on (French) TV and Angel never seems to crop up. More controversially, I'm a bit reticent because I find the character of Angel slightly annoying and the love story between him and Buffy a bit boring. Now I think about it though, DB is pretty funny when given the chance, it's just that in Buffy he does too much brooding, lurking and moping for my liking.

More controversy: I love Willow!

Magnum Valentino

Can I shock you? I like Willow. Despite what I said earlier.

To be specific, I really liked her in the first two series where her shyness was really endearing and brilliantly performed, and a great foil to the oafishly confident Xander and the fucking force of nature of Gellar as Buffy.

They leaned so hard into her quirks as the show went on that I went right off her. I'm all for character development but thought hers was maybe too far in one direction as far as the tried-and-tested "a loser becomes a badass" trek (like in Breaking Bad, although I don't think we were ever supposed to hate Willow).

Here - watch Angel! It's really good. I think that removed from the relationship with Buffy the character thrives. He strikes a better balance between brooding and moping and being proactive and basically EMOTING as a result of having to carry a series. In that sense, he's arguably a different character (to the Angel in Buffy, who was a supporting player and played accordingly).

Endicott

I always felt Angel was no where near as consistent as Buffy, especially in Angel's first two seasons. One of the problems was not having an extended cast. I think Whedon shows work better with that dynamic. Best seasons probably 3 and 5.

The only person you need to hate, apart from Riley, is Connor.

JamesTC

Angel just about edges Buffy for me. Season 5 is probably my favourite of the two shows. Angel and Spike are so good, I don't even care that they undo Spike's grand sacrifice by resurrecting him.

mattyc

I will definitely give Angel a go if the opportunity arises! Unfortunately I live out in the sticks with an unreliable 4G connection + limited data, so watching online is pretty much out of the question. Maybe I'll get lucky and find the box set somewhere...

I see what you mean about Willow, although I like the fact that her character development was given such a slow build. She started with the magics around season 2 (?) and only went full badass much later on. I kind of think it was worth it for the Xander/Willow scenes at the end of season 6, which cause me to weep every time. I also though the addiction to magic storyline was really well done, as was her getting together with Tara in season 4. There are a couple of bits where I do hate her though, notably when she wipes Tara's memory. 

I didn't enjoy the character of Riley at all at first, but on my most recent rewatch I found he had grown on me quite a lot and I enjoyed his character arc.

Has anyone here listened to Buffering the Vampire Slayer? I really enjoyed it for a while but got fed up of it by the 4th season.

Mister Six

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on April 08, 2022, 12:55:26 PMGlenn Quinn was great as Doyle, too, whose first name turns out to be Francis just like another popular Irish trio member in 90s fiction (YES. I AM ACCUSING YOU OF RIPPING OFF PREACHER, THE MAKERS OF ANGEL).

It never occurred to me that Pronsias was Gaelic for Francis, but that's what the internet is telling me. Cheers for teaching me something!

If I get around to it, I'll probably just watch Buffy 1-4 and skip a lot of Angel season 1. Life's too short for the shite episodes.

Magnum Valentino

I decided years ago if I ever watched Buffy again I'd stop after the school blows up, which really is a perfect ending and helps with avoiding all that SHITE. Seasons 4 and 6 were particularly bad. 7 scores better for having Millie from Freaks and Geeks in it. And here, I liked Riley as well. I think he feels like he's designed to be hated, but I've always liked that sort of blue-eyed American do-gooder.

I've managed to stick to that, too. I've seen every episode a good five or six times over the course of rewatching now and then, but the last few times I rewatched it, I trusted in my decision and stopped at 3. It just doesn't feel like 'my' Buffy after that, in a kind of intangible way that I would really have to try and define if I wanted to describe it.

Famous Mortimer

I just got bored of them both, fairly quickly. I think the back end of season 2 of Buffy is about as good as that sort of telly ever got, but by the end of season 3 I just couldn't be bothered. Same with Angel, at about the same time in its run too. TV shows are too long.

Magnum Valentino

22 episodes a series is quite an ask these days yeah.

Deanjam

Both Buffy and Angel are great. They have an terrific hit rate of quality episodes, and even the worst ones are endurable thanks the the excellent cast of characters, especially Spike, Giles, Cordelia, and Anya.

I like Willow, except during the clunky villain transformation in series 6 which just doesn't work. Though series 6 overall has grown on me with rewatches. Number 7 is my least favourite season with the almost uniformally awful potentials. And the scene where everyone kicks Buffy out of her own house is just fake drama bullshit of the worst kind. She should've just left them all to die.

Pranet

It has been ages, but I remember liking Angel a lot, up to the point at the end of season 2 when they go to troll land. I thought that was stupid.

Season 3 and 4 I found a bit meh. I remember Channel 5 showing these seasons and quite often apparently not being able to sell any advertising because sometimes there would be no ad breaks. That's how I remember it anyway.

Liked Season 5 though.

dissolute ocelot

I got bored of Angel at the start of Season 2, although I returned at the end of Season 3 and for Season 4 which is epic (and 5 is fun too). The show could be funny, but not often enough in the early seasons. Far too variable to watch every week.

And yes Willow is good except in season 6. She's very funny in some of the earlier seasons, and it was nice to see her develop in 4 and 5.

Overall season 6 had some good ideas (Doublemeat Palace is lots of fun, and the whole "Buffy is broken" plot was interesting despite some kinks) but also some very bad ideas (everything involving Willow, how the Spike plot develops). Season 7 was bizarrely awful: parts of it feel like they're trying to set up spin-off shows but have no idea what they actually want to do, and they made so many bad decisions that entirely destroyed the appeal of all the characters and the show. Also so much nonsensical plotting, from the way the super-evil primordial vampires went from unstoppable to trivially killable, to the stupid-looking axe and the random way they just stuck in Nathan Fillion because he was unemployed (also it's much more on the nose in its depiction of misogyny, that you have to feel Whedon was being extra-predatory when it was being made and trying to compensate). It's hard to think of another show that had such a decline into utter ineptness (without obvious catastrophe or a long production break).

Riley was fine early on, but when they tried to make him dark, that just got silly. The actor was fine at comedy/being hunky but dorky, but terrible doing anything serious. Still, when he returned in the lighthearted season 6 ep "As You Were" he was fun.

Psybro

#13
I'm mad they took Buffy back off whatever Channel 4's streaming service is called when I'd only got up to School Hard.  As above, I'm not arsed after S3 so buying a box set seems a waste.  On the other hand, the streaming service was the HD transfer I just couldn't get along with, having originally seen it in 4:3 without people's faces being cropped out of the shot and the presence of darkness in some scenes.

I only started watching the first UK run on Sky at S2 E6 so it was fun to finally see S1 for the first time (albeit through somebody's floodlit letterbox), it's so delightfully wonky.

Edit: fuck, 'Hush' was after S3 wasn't it?  And I loved Spike's run as a regular before he started shagging Buffy all the time.  Maybe I do need the box set.

Pink Gregory

Rewatched it all recently and hooted with laughter at one of the potentials responding to 'do you guys want pizza' or something with 'As long as it's plain, I'm veggie' in a plummy english accent.

All the pizzas.

Plain.






All the pizzas.

Mister Six

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on April 08, 2022, 03:32:08 PMSeason 7 was bizarrely awful: parts of it feel like they're trying to set up spin-off shows but have no idea what they actually want to do

That's exactly what they were doing; at the time, someone on the Mighty Big TV/Television Without Pity forums linked to the casting calls for Dawn's friends from the first or second episode of season 7, and they talked up the roles as being intended for a potential spin-off. Someone purportedly from the writing team turned up in the thread to argue the case for expanding the Buffyverse, but obviously nobody else was terribly enthused. I think they also had eyes on the various slayers, Faith and the headmaster as possible spin-off fodder.

Mister Six

Quote from: Psybro on April 08, 2022, 03:36:56 PMI'm mad they took Buffy back off whatever Channel 4's streaming service is called when I'd only got up to School Hard.  As above, I'm not arsed after S3 so buying a box set seems a waste.  On the other hand, the streaming service was the HD transfer I just couldn't get along with, having originally seen it in 4:3 without people's faces being cropped out of the shot and the presence of darkness in some scenes.

I only started watching the first UK run on Sky at S2 E6 so it was fun to finally see S1 for the first time (albeit through somebody's floodlit letterbox), it's so delightfully wonky.

Edit: fuck, 'Hush' was after S3 wasn't it?  And I loved Spike's run as a regular before he started shagging Buffy all the time.  Maybe I do need the box set.

Season 4 is a bit wonky because the woman playing the intended mad scientist villain got written out after her agent misunderstood something she said as being sick of the job and pulled her out, so Adam - who was intended to join the Scooby gang - was upgraded to big bad (Christ, I feel like cunt using this terminology now), a role he didn't fit. It's still a decent season, though, I reckon. The rot didn't really set in till 5, and even that is only really mediocre, with 6 being just horrendously melodramatic and 7, as mentioned above, being a mess.

Pink Gregory

Adam is fucking awful.

Why on earth would a genetically engineered super soldier thing have gelled hair.

Would probably put both in my top 10 TV shows, and are maybe top for comfort viewing, but even then I only really truly love Buffy seasons 2 and 3 and Angel seasons 1, 2 and 5.

I think the thing that I don't really get along with that most fans love about later Buffy is how the characters grow. Look at the gang from season 2 (and side characters like Spike) and compare what they are like in season 7 and, for me at least, every single one becomes much less engaging. I also think the dynamic of the show and the setting worked a lot better when they were in high school - a superhero and her misfit friends have to deal with the nightmares of the underworld and the nightmares of being a teenager. When the setting shifted to college I kind of understood what they were trying for, small fish in a big pond type thing, but the military side-plot taking over kind of ruined that. When it moved on to Buffy having to become a guardian for her sister and having to get a job and pay bills (oh and also being a broken husk of a person after being revived from the dead), it just lost all the fun for me. With one exception (The Body), I don't think Buffy worked when it was trying to be too serious. Xander is a good example: he gets a lot of flak from the same people who blame "Whedon-speak" for everything wrong with film and TV now, but Xander in the later seasons when he essentially loses the Whedon-speak is such a bore and I think they don't know what to do with him, usually sidelined to look after some character while the main plot occurs elsewhere. (side note: probably my favourite Buffy episode was Xander-centric, and one very Whedon in its irony/subversion, Season 3's "The Zeppo")

Any reruns now I'll skip the final two seasons entirely. I've given them enough tries but still can't click with them like I could the first 3. Even the musical episode which is a hoot is too tied to uninteresting plotlines that I can't really watch it standalone.

Final season of Angel though, just wow, no idea where that level of quality came from after what I felt was a big dip on both shows.

Deanjam

Quote from: how do you like apples on April 08, 2022, 04:31:40 PMFinal season of Angel though, just wow, no idea where that level of quality came from after what I felt was a big dip on both shows.

Probably beacause it was the first year since Buffy series 3 that the Whedon team were focused on just one show.

Psybro

Steven Moffat saw that drop off in quality and went "Phwoar, I'll have some of that!"

Deanjam

Quote from: Psybro on April 08, 2022, 04:47:12 PMSteven Moffat saw that drop off in quality and went "Phwoar, I'll have some of that!"

Similar situation. I'm certain his writing fell off a cliff because he started writing Who and Sherlock at the same time.

Endicott

No love for Buffy Season 5? It's the best one. Most consistent writing standards / least number of lower std eps. Super previously foreshadowed introduction of new character. Best ending. It could have rounded off the whole show.

I mean it's a close run thing. 1 is pretty good, 2 and 3 are excellent. 4 is ok, eps like Hush bring it up. You can say the same for 6 and 7 with eps like OMWF and Selfless. But 5 is best.

Magnum Valentino

Think the last time I watched it I was surprised how much I enjoyed 5 yeah. I remember feeling that my overall memory of it being 'yuck, the Dawn/Glory one' wasn't fair as a dismissal of what was actually a very good collection of episodes.

Mister Six

Buffy suddenly being all right murdering a bunch of elderly knights felt very odd. That's about all I can remember from 5, except for Glory's alter ego, Dawn and The Body. Which one has the shit Spike rape subplot? Is that 6? Fucking season 6, man.

Deanjam

Quote from: Mister Six on April 09, 2022, 03:09:24 PMWhich one has the shit Spike rape subplot? Is that 6? Fucking season 6, man.

Yes, series 6. James Marsters has spoken a lot about how uncomfortable he was with that scene, feeling it wasn't handled very well.

Quote from: Endicott on April 08, 2022, 05:25:09 PMNo love for Buffy Season 5? It's the best one. Most consistent writing standards / least number of lower std eps. Super previously foreshadowed introduction of new character. Best ending. It could have rounded off the whole show.


It's a weird one, it feels like a soft reboot which isn't taking place in the same universe as the previous four seasons, but it's also written like the series is wrapping up, as the WB contract was ending and they thought that would be the end of the show.

I remember getting the episodes on video as they were coming out which predated the BBC showings by about six months, so it felt properly exciting to see them ahead of time. Watched subsequently, it didn't quite have the same impact - there are some fantastic episodes, but there's a stretch in the middle where it's all about
Spoiler alert
Joyce's illness
[close]
which feel melodramatically drawn out, especially when you know that it's a bait and switch and
Spoiler alert
she just drops dead anyway a few episodes later
[close]

You can also see the writers putting a lot of effort in to "de-fang" Spike, by ret-conning his character so he was actually a sensitive poet corrupted by a wicked woman rather than a cold-blooded killer, which feels like the sort of thing fan-fiction writers do.

Quote from: Mister Six on April 08, 2022, 04:01:47 PMThat's exactly what they were doing; at the time, someone on the Mighty Big TV/Television Without Pity forums linked to the casting calls for Dawn's friends from the first or second episode of season 7, and they talked up the roles as being intended for a potential spin-off. Someone purportedly from the writing team turned up in the thread to argue the case for expanding the Buffyverse, but obviously nobody else was terribly enthused. I think they also had eyes on the various slayers, Faith and the headmaster as possible spin-off fodder.

There were at least four mooted spin-offs as I recall, the Giles in England series(Ripper) which was supposed to be co-produced by the BBC, a Slayer School and/or Dawn & Friends series (might've been the same thing) and a Faith & Wood(the new watcher who turns up in S7) show. And none of these came to anything, so the latter half of S7 ends up feeling like a series of backdoor pilots that don't lead anywhere. For what it's worth the first half of that season did feel like it was building up to something genuinely interesting with a good sense of impending doom, but as soon as the potential slayers turn up it all goes to shit. Although there's a handful of decent episodes in the latter half, the plot feels like they're just winging it from episode to episode and by the end it's a complete clusterfuck.

Mister Six

Quote from: Ron Maels Moustache on April 09, 2022, 05:11:59 PMThere were at least four mooted spin-offs as I recall, the Giles in England series(Ripper) which was supposed to be co-produced by the BBC, a Slayer School and/or Dawn & Friends series (might've been the same thing) and a Faith & Wood(the new watcher who turns up in S7) show. And none of these came to anything, so the latter half of S7 ends up feeling like a series of backdoor pilots that don't lead anywhere.

The plans for Ripper one predated season 7 by a good few years, didn't they? I remember reading about it in SFX around the time it basically became a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanzine (an interview with James Marsters because his band was doing a UK tour? Fuck off!), which would have been around the time season 4 or 5 was airing in the US. I don't think it was still on the table by the time season 7 rolled around.

Quote from: Mister Six on April 09, 2022, 05:51:24 PMThe plans for Ripper one predated season 7 by a good few years, didn't they? I remember reading about it in SFX around the time it basically became a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanzine (an interview with James Marsters because his band was doing a UK tour? Fuck off!), which would have been around the time season 4 or 5 was airing in the US. I don't think it was still on the table by the time season 7 rolled around.

It might've first been talked up around the time of S5, but it was in development for a good few years after that. S7 had scenes with Giles & Willow filmed in the UK which were clearly supposed to be setting up the new status quo for whatever the show turned out to be.

Apparently there were still plans to try and do something as late as 2007/8, most likely a one-off TV movie rather than a series.

Blimey, I completely forgot about the the animated series as well! Yet another spin-off that got nowhere.