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VisionGuy
03-01-16, 11:19 PM
This is my fourth post on the site, and if I had seen these welcome posts, I would have just came here instead of other places to introduce myself. I've been lurking this board for a while now and I've finally decided to join. I don't have very many people in my real-life to discuss the Buffyverse with and this forum is full of people who have insightful, thought-provoking thoughts about the 'verse, so I finally joined.

I'm more of a Buffy fan than an Angel fan, but I do still love AtS as well. My favorite season of Buffy is S3 with S2 right behind it, and my favorite of Angel is S2.

My favorite character is Cordelia, at least in her first five years in the 'verse (BtVS S1-S3 and AtS S1-S2). AtS S3 is where the character loses me. Right behind Cordy as my favorites are Faith and Buffy.

Silver1
04-01-16, 12:27 AM
Welcome to the board. :D

Stoney
04-01-16, 01:47 AM
Hey VisionGuy, welcome to the board, it is great to see new people joining. I came to online fandom to find others who wanted to discuss the show as much as I did too. I'm a huge Spike fan and he is by far my favourite character, then I'd probably say Wes, Angel and Connor (even though BtVS is my favourite show too, I'm just a sucker for the complicated guys!). Season 6 then 5 are easily my favourites of BtVS, then I'd probably order them (most days) as 2, 3, 7, 4, 1. Considering my other character faves AtS 3 and 4 being my favourites in that show is probably not a great surprise. :D

See you around the board. :)

kimothyschma
04-01-16, 02:30 AM
Hi VisionGuy! Welcome!

I am pretty new here, too. I joined up after lurking this summer and seeing how insightful all these guys were. :)
I know what it's like not to have anybody who wants to talk Buffy in real life!

My favorite character is Buffy, and my favorite season is Season 6, but I am with you on Season 2 of AtS. I think Cordelia is a great character, but for me she was better in Buffy than Angel.

What's your favorite episode?

VisionGuy
05-01-16, 07:57 AM
Stoney, I understand your love for Wesley and Connor. Wesley is one of my favorites as well. The aforementioned Cordy, Faith and Buffy are my top 3, but Wes is probably fourth tied with Darla. While I don't find the character as likeable in S3 and S4, I do still LOVE watching him and I can honestly say him and his interactions with Lilah and Illyria are the best things about S3-S5 for me. I'd be lying if I said Connor didn't annoy the hell out of me a lot, but I will say that I do find his arc incredibly tragic and heartbreaking. I believe Vincent Kartheiser is one of the more underrated actors of the Buffyverse. I always seem to like the underdog characters. I like Connor, I like Dawn, and I like Riley. But I don't like Kennedy, however.

kimothyschma, I agree with you on Cordelia. I used to prefer her in AtS (S3 and S4 aside), but I'm currently re-watching BtVS again (on S3) and I think I might like her Sunnydale incarnation better. My favorite episode of Buffy is probably the "Graduation Day" two-parter. It has everything I like about BtVS in it. "Fool for Love" comes close as well. My favorite episode of Angel is either "City Of" or "Not Fade Away." I prefer BtVS, but I will admit AtS's premiere and finale blows the BtVS premiere and finale out of the water.

My BtVS season ranking: 3, 2, 5, 4, 6, 1, 7. 3 and 2 are pretty much tied with 3 barely winning simply because of Faith. I love the high school years and I think they are the best seasons of the Buffyverse. 4 and 6 are tied, and I think they're really underrated seasons. 4 suffers from a weak arc but it's standalones are perfection. 6 kind of fell apart in the middle and was a bit too depressing at times, but for the most part I love how dark things got, and I think Buffy's arc is fantastic. It was nice to see a resurrection in fiction have repercussions for once. 1 and 7 are equal for me but I place 1 over 7 simply because the creators were still finding their way which is an excuse for the season not holding up as well as the others. 7 has no such excuse. But I still like both seasons, but S2-S6 is BtVS at its best IMO.

My AtS season ranking: 2, 5, 1, 3, 4. 2 because I love the Darla arc, though I will admit the season kind of loses something after "Epiphany." 5's standalones are weak, I didn't like Spike's resurrection because his characterization was off and it cheapened his great S7 arc and death, but "You're Welcome", the finale and anything to do with Wesley and Illyria makes the season great for me. 1 suffers from a lack of an arc, the standalones are hit or miss (with the hits being fantastic and the misses being horrible), but the character work in that season is stunning, particularly Cordy's (her best season in the 'verse IMO). 3 and 4 are still good, but Cordelia, Fred/Gunn, lack of character development for anyone that's not Wesley, Cangel, and the sloppily-plotted arc in 4 bring it down. Though Wesley and Lilah is fantastic. Holtz was good and I actually like the Gina Torres Jasmine arc.

Stoney
05-01-16, 10:19 AM
I really dislike Not Fade Away as a series finale, unless you go for the bleaker reading of the whole thing (which I do), where it scans into Angel's despondency of the season. It is just too negative for me, a kamikaze plan for a moment of glory rather than his mission to help those on ground level. It was good as a culmination of what Angel had got himself into and ending the episode mid-fight was powerful, but Angel lying about his part in the plan and putting so many people on the line for what they admitted was a temporary moment I thought was a terrible way to end his story if you try to see it as positive.

Spike's characterisation was often frustrating in AtS S5. The forced about-face in his attitude to get him to join the team compared to the earlier episodes when he was more himself was obviously caused by them demanding his inclusion in the season. I always assumed they even required a certain percentage of screen time as some of the episodes he is heavily included in are weak and really pointless to the season, I just don't think you should force in characters like that. Some of the ways they undermined S7 for humour really annoy me as they were important aspects of his story that they almost seemed to want to mock in how they referenced them. It is somewhat inevitable post BtVS it seems that Spike and Angel are reduced to a buddy comedy dynamic that can often be funny but also doesn't let either of them come out smelling of roses, most often it is infantile and lacks the nuance they had in early BtVS for me (although obviously S5 is the first time they are both souled together so it shouldn't match BtVS S2, that isn't what I would want/expect). On the plus side they also sometimes have moments like the end of Damage which was brilliant. Bringing Spike back was an easy resurrection choice but it doesn't undo what he achieved across his time in BtVS I don't think and he has followed a progressive path since which is good. Frustratingly Angel's story seems to be stagnating a little as he doesn't really gain personal development but cycles over the same errors/hubris. It is like they are trying to hold him in a kind of stasis away from self awareness and progression, it's in keeping with his batman esque persona I suppose. :p

You're right that Wes/Illyria is a highlight of S5, the best part of it I think. Amy Acker really steals the show in the final part of the season as Illyria. Wes certainly has great problems in his actions in S3 and the effect on the character in S4. Like with what you say about Connor, it is just more of that 'troubled guy' writing that draws my interest. I agree with you that VK seems to be typically underrated and I'm fond of Dawn too, although I wish she could turn down the shrill a little at times. ;)

kimothyschma
06-01-16, 07:45 AM
Whoa, I disagree that those two episodes of Angel are better than their Buffy counterparts! I was so disappointed with NFA. I was mad. That's it?? :blink: I think Chosen was a better finale. But your favorites are your favorites. :D

I just love Cordelia's journey from shallow popular girl to the nuanced and vulnerable character she is by the end of Season 3. She has so many hidden depths. Her arc on AtS is in contrast, a tragedy. I sometimes like tragedies, but not this one, I think because I had invested so much in her growth it felt wasteful. I also dislike CC's AtS acting and styling, and I think the way the character is written takes her intelligence down about 15%, although I do enjoy her friendship with Angel. Darla's arc is my favorite thing about AtS, except for maybe Wesley in the later seasons. I am rewatching AtS right now, concurrent with the BtVS Season 5 rewatch. But I have never really "gotten" AtS like I do BtVS, and in general I don't really like what they choose to do plot-wise. I think what is good on that show is all about the character growth, as you say.

Both great episodes of Buffy, though, definitely in my top 10. I have a really difficult time ranking the BtVS seasons, except to say 6 & 5 are my favorites, 7 & 2 are close runners-up, and 4, 3, and 1 are in my lower group, but I still like them more than most other television. I prefer the post-school years, I like seeing Buffy forced into the real world and how she comes to terms with that, I guess because I relate to it more and I prefer the slightly more serious tone. Sounds like maybe we are coming to the show from different perspectives, though I agree with a lot of what you say. :)

VisionGuy
06-01-16, 10:21 PM
Stoney, I didn't mean Spike being resurrected cheapened his S7 arc and death, I just meant the way he was handled in AtS S5 cheapened it for me. One of my common criticisms of S7 is that Spike and Spuffy take too much screen time from the Scoobies. But despite that, I do think Spike and Spuffy was incredibly well-done. Spike revealing his soul to Buffy in "Beneath You" and their scenes together in "Touched") are two of the greatest moments in the series for me. I just think Spike's arc ended perfectly in "Chosen." Living with his soul, burning up in the hellmouth, saving the world and finally hearing "I love you" from Buffy is just a much better end to me even though I do realize the writers had no choice to bring JM over to AtS. I will admit Spike did have some great moments in S5 (the scene in "Damage" you mentioned, his reading Cecily's poem in NFA), but when all is said and done, it just wasn't worth to me.

kimothyschma, I believe that Cordy's arc on BtVS is vastly underrated. In my opinion, her development from S1-S3 was the greatest of anyone else, except for Buffy herself and maybe Giles. I like CC, but I agree that her acting is inconsistent. I feel like it's because the writers gave her too much to do in S3 and S4 of AtS. I think CC was great in BtVS and AtS S1-S2 when she was one of the sidekicks. But in AtS S3, they tried to elevate her to leading lady and Angel's love interest, and I just don't think Charisma had the dramatic chops to carry the show with David since the show became increasingly dark. I also feel like she's the kind of actress whose performance is based on how much she likes the material. The writing for Cordy was horrible at the end of S3, and as was CC's acting. The writing for Cordy was horrible in S4, and as was CC's acting. The writing for Cordy is fantastic in "You're Welcome," and as was CC's acting. While I do have sympathy for Charisma not liking her material in S4 (I'm not a parent, but it must be hard to act like your unborn baby is the Big Bad, especially when you've previously had a miscarriage), her not liking it doesn't excuse her poor performance in those seasons. SMG didn't like Buffy's arc in S6, but she still put in a damn good performance. I also liked the Angel/Cordy friendship a lot, which is the main reason why I didn't like the romantic turn in S3.

I like the Buffy high school seasons more because the Core Four Scoobies were a lot closer then, and that's my favorite part of the show: the interactions between the characters I love, which became less frequent in later seasons. That's also the main reason I prefer Buffy: I'm fonder of the characters. With the exception of Angel, Cordy, Doyle and Wes, I don't love the Angel characters like I do the Buffy ones.

Stoney
06-01-16, 10:51 PM
Well I'm not going to disagree with you that AtS 5 didn't give Spike the writing value that BtVS did. I'm still invested in his story though and it is still progressive overall so I'm happy that my favourite character came back. I do feel like there is more for him to reach for and develop to. :)

I was always very take or leave Cordelia when I first watched it. I just saw her as a background character and paid less attention I think. I appreciated her more in my current BtVS rewatch though after having seen AtS for the first time, (although I think I prefer her in BtVS). I think it was seeing where she went on to post-BtVS and how she struggled in the first season of AtS but showed her grit as well as her loneliness, it made me watch her differently and more closely in BtVS this time around and I saw a heck of a lot more. So although she will never hit a favourite character for me I think I can see why you would like her S1-3 BtVS arc.

One of my biggest complaints about Cordelia in AtS was that she was given the leading lady part and CC wasn't up to it, so I definitely agree with you there. I think there is still some of that in play in the early AtS seasons too to be honest, but yes, it certainly worsened and stood out further in S3/4. I liked her appearance in You're Welcome although I thought the plot twist of the vision transfer was rubbish nonsense. But that ties into my dislike of taking a positive reading of what Angel decided to do at the end of the season I suppose and trying to link the two and justify it through Cordelia. She was originally placed as one of his connections to humanity and appeared then because she wanted to get him back on track for goodness sake. But, having said that, Cordelia in S3/4 become too convinced of her own elevated status for me and her pov often voiced (and repeated in YW in fact) was the she and Angel were 'special'. I think that was a realistic development for the character, but her hubris matching Angel's wasn't a positive thing for them. :s I preferred their friendship over their romance too.

kimothyschma
07-01-16, 02:56 AM
I sometimes think it would have been a more poetic end to Spike's arc to let him stay dead. But at the same time, he is my (very close) second favorite character and I was thrilled they brought him back for another season and I would certainly miss him in the comics. I guess here I have to admit to being a Spuffy fan and say that I really don't buy his whole not-calling-Buffy deal. I have read meta and fanfiction that is convincing on why that would be, but the show did a terrible job of it. Again, I think the writing on AtS is just not as good.

The first time I watched AtS I did kind of ship Angel/Cordy. I was disappointed when it didn't work out. The second time through I prefer Angel/Darla.

I see what you're saying about the relationships between the Core Four in the later seasons, and I can see why you'd miss that. But not only do I love Spike/Buffy, I also really enjoy watching Xander/Anya and Willow/Tara, and all of that is in the last 3 or 4 seasons. Dawn being added in Season 5 really takes a lot of Buffy's attention from her friends, but I love Dawn, she's probably my third favorite. I think Season 7 in particular was missing a peek into Xander and Willow's heads, but there just wasn't time to do everything they needed to do to finish the show. The thing I miss most about the high school years in the later seasons is Giles and his relationship with the other three. But you can never go back to high school, and you'll never be as close to those friends again. I like it, it's realistic. :)

VisionGuy
10-01-16, 12:42 PM
Stoney, I agree about the whole Cordelia thinking she's special crap. While I thought it was realistic for her character to be that arrogant, the fact that she was never called out on it irked me. The closest we got to her being called out on her holier-than-thou attitude was Skip's "Cordelia Chase is such a pure, radiant saint...please!" but Cordy wasn't even there when he said it. I did like Cangel at first, but after re-watching, I realized it was their friendship I liked so much, not their romance.

kimothyschma, I also like Angel/Darla due to the amazing chemistry Julie Benz has with David Boreanaz. Same with Spike and Dru due to James and Juliet's chemistry, though I believe from a character standpoint, Spike and Dru are horrible for each other. I do agree on how realistic is was that the Scoobies grew apart in later seasons. I thought it was a very bold move by the writers because most television shows the characters' dynamics are the same from the first season to the final season but I liked that they showed how realistic it was they grew apart. Even on S3, I can already see the Scoobies drifting and they're never as close as they were in S1-S2. The only season in which I actually have a problem with less Scooby time is 7 because I don't like the way Willow and Giles are handled and Xander feels irrelevant that year after the first eight or nine episodes, as do Anya and Dawn.

But don't get me wrong, you guys. I still love the later seasons (except 7, which I like but don't love like 5 and 6), and characters like Anya and Tara, I just love the high school years a bit more.

kimothyschma
11-01-16, 02:46 AM
Yeah, the way the characters relationships to each other evolve is one of the most interesting things about the show. It's what drew me in!

Don't worry, I see what you're saying! :D