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Thread: Positives And Negatives - Season 1

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    Default Positives And Negatives - Season 1

    Copying Stoney's excellent Buffy thread Taking one episode a day, try to choose one thing about the episode that you think is positive and one thing that is negative. They don't have to be big things about the story, plots, characters (although they can be). This isn't intended to be an overview of what you think about the episode/season critically as a whole, so more superficial observations are also very welcome and may bring up some variety.

    Feel free to comment/discuss any thoughts posted too (and also to join in ad hoc or play catch up too if you miss a day or so and want to).

    Day 1 - City Of
    Day 2 - Lonely Heart
    Day 3 - In The Dark
    Day 4 - I Fall To Pieces
    Day 5 - Rm w/a Vu
    Day 6 - Sense and Sensitivity
    Day 7 - Bachelor Party
    Day 8 - I Will Remember You
    Day 9 - Hero
    Day 10 - Parting Gifts
    Day 11 - Sonambulist
    Day 12 - Expecting
    Day 13 - She
    Day 14 -I've Got You Under My Skin
    Day 15 - The Prodigal
    Day 16 - The Ring
    Day 17 - Eternity
    Day 18 - Five By Five
    Day 19 - Sanctuary
    Day 20 - War Zone
    Day 21 - Blind Date
    Day 22 - To Shanshu In LA

    - - - Updated - - -

    Day 1 - City Of

    Positive: Angels pushing Winters through the window is just iconic and the best thing in the episode, setting up Angel's character going forward. Laughed out loud at Doyle telling Angel 'it's all about spreading hope and love and stuff' and then telling a beggar to 'get a job you lazy sow' I pretty much love everything Cordy does, and she's so great here, with her meditating and spotting Winters was a vamp.

    Negative: Angel's 'you looked lonely so we've got something in common' line is just cringey. Oh and Angel surfing the net on 3 computers at once! I am sure this was going to be a 'thing' but thank the lord it was quickly dropped, it's just too silly

    - - - Updated - - -

    Day 2 - Lonely Heart

    Positive:Cordy offering business cards in the club, so funny. I should also mention how good Angel looks. I am sure he didn't look this good on BtVS

    Negative: Horrible introduction to Kate Lockley 'I'm a self-flagellating hypocrite slut' and then she over reacts to Angel being nice with 'I can do whatever I want and you can go to hell'. Yeah she's an undercover cop putting on an act, but still horrible. Cordy with absolutely no computer skills, when we saw her several times on BtVS in computer class, plus she's not an idiot.

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    I probably won't be able to join for all of these, but I'll pop in as/when I can.

    City Of....

    Positive - As Pricey chose Angel shoving Winters through the window, I'm going to pick the double-staking at the start and the moody avenger (deliberately played) Batman thang Angel has going on. The tone of it is great and works well to start off what is a pretty strong series opener that sets the mood and basic premise really well.

    Negative - Doyle's intro, showing he's part demon and then giving the summary on where Angel has come from, I find it just a bit too forced/awkward.


    Lonely Heart

    Positive - The developing vibe between Doyle/Cordelia/Angel is fun throughout and I really like how the episode bookends the going out or brooding in the dark options, ha.

    Negative - Kate's strong belief/insistence Angel's the killer makes her look a little dense.

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    City Of...

    Positives: The opening teaser. I love the shot of Angel staking both vamps with his Batman-esque stakes and I love how Angel shifts through multiple different personas (drunk, hero, monster) in the space of just a few minutes. I also really like Tina and she's probably my favourite one shot character in the series.

    Negatives: I don't warm up to Doyle in this episode at all and Russel's vamp makeup is terrible


    Lonely Hearts:

    Positives: The action scenes are quite good and I like the ending where Angel is allowed to spend time alone in the dark. There's really nothing wrong with that and I appreciate that the show points that out at the end. I also actually like Kate's introduction as I consider her to be quite a tragic and sad figure whom I've come to appreciate more as I get older

    Negatives: The main plot is pretty weak and lame. The bar fight also seems gratuitous and pointless.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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    Day 3 - In The Dark

    Positive: Spike's monologues are funny and he and Angel are great in every scene together. Seeing Angel on fire, diving into the sea, then walking out of the water into the daylight was cool, and quite moving.

    Negative: The Gem is a problem and I understand why Angel destroyed it, but I can't help thinking there should have been a way to keep the ring, because it would have come in so useful and Buffy wanted Angel to have it. Just seems such a waste.

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    In the Dark

    Positive - Spike's critique of Angel saving the woman is classic.

    Negative - But generally he's made to be so idiotic in this it's ridiculous. He's employed a vampire as a torturer, someone else who would benefit from having the gem for themselves and will clearly betray him to get it. That's just dumb as hell. The whole tantrum ending with his head setting on fire at the end just epitomises the tone of his appearance. It's just one of those times they overdo stupidity in a character for comedy.

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    Day 4 - I Fall To Pieces

    Positive: I like the Cordy/Angel dynamic here, she tells him to 'get over it', she's not putting up with his nonsense when they're trying to run a business. I actually like all three leads, they work well together and how could Doyle or Cordy not be attracted to Angel, he's a very attractive man


    Negative: The doctor is incredibly creepy and stalking is a horrible crime. I really wish they had left it at that and not made it supernatural, though I guess that's the hook for the show. But they made a serious and disturbing crime just ridiculous and you just end up eye-rolling through the silliness of those hands in the bed.

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    Day 4 - I Fall to Pieces

    Positive - Angel in the cuddly jumper.

    Negative - Should the dart really have worked on Angel when he has no blood flow? I appreciate his heart stopping wasn't really going to be a problem, but why did it knock him out at all???

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    Our rats are low ... as in rats, I just watched these a week or so ago and I can't think just what I want to say on them yet, I'll have to go back and look again ... remind myself of a few things .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Day 4 - I Fall to Pieces

    Positive - Angel in the cuddly jumper.

    Negative - Should the dart really have worked on Angel when he has no blood flow? I appreciate his heart stopping wasn't really going to be a problem, but why did it knock him out at all???
    He must have some kind of blood flow... after all, he gets erections and he bleeds.

    He wouldn't do either if he didn't have some kind of rudimentary circulation. My guess would be that his blood diffuses rather than getting pumped around. Moving using his muscles would cause his blood to move. We know vampires are animated by their demon and that their muscles work...

    Muscle tone is a large part of why we have venous return - as we move, and our muscles contract, it squeezes blood vessels, and forces the blood back toward the heart. A full complement of blood within the system helps maintain a blood pressure inside the vessels. Veins have one-way valves so any blood that gets forced forward, keeps progressing toward the heart instead of pooling in the feet, for example. Venous return is mostly passive. One the blood hits the arteries, I imagine instead of pooling, it is forced back into them because the muscles continue to push blood back up and it has to go somewhere, so it goes back out... just slowly.

    Anything you put into a liquid eventually diffuses if it is at all soluble. Motion will speed that process. A dart forces stuff in, so that will also speed the diffusion process. Probably wouldn't work as well or last as long as something that was pushed through his body rapidly by his heart. But if it's powerful enough, it works.

    Just as the poison slowly spread when Faith shot him with the arrow.

    BTW: Passive circulation does occur, even in humans. Our lymphatic system is passive. There's no lymph pump, yet the lymph goes throughout the body. It is slower than blood, but blood only has to move fast in creatures who require oxygenated tissues.

    NOTE: (This is all head canon, since as far as I know, vampires aren't real. :P It is based on my knowledge of the human circulatory system)

    Less clear is why Spike choking Dru knocked her out (on Buffy). After all, it's not a need for oxygen. Maybe that too is based on blood flow being cut off... but no, I got nothing for you with that! But we see vampires get knocked out, so clearly brain function is a thing! Meh, the rules are unclear!!

    btw, I love this episode. It's all about the victim taking back her power and becoming a survivor. I love Kate in this too!



    ______________

    Physiology of venous return, if you really care: http://teachmephysiology.com/cardiov...venous-return/

    Lymph: https://health.howstuffworks.com/hum...ne-system5.htm

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    Day 5 - Rm w/a Vu

    Positive: Love Cordy, she's equal parts terrible/adorable. I also like how they story is subverted, and Dennis the ghost is a good guy, that is unexpected.

    Negative: Doyle's constant chasing, flirting, longing looks at Cordelia really gets on my nerves. It's too much, more the behaviour of a teenage boy than a grown man. Don't like how he's mad at Angel for moving in on his girl, like he has some claim on Cordy. 'She's gonna be grateful for a long long time' - err yuk.

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    Rm W/a Vu

    Positive - I also liked the reveal in this episode, uber dark/creepy. But to choose something different I'll go with the interaction between Angel/Cordelia during her stay and his grumpy accepted.

    Negative - "I’m not a sniveling whiny little Cry-Buffy. I’m the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history. - I take crap from no one." just didn't work for me. I know she is calling back to being a real nasty b*tch at times at school, Queen C and all that, but Buffy was hardly someone that was just pushed around and whined/cried about it. There's old rivalry in there but I don't remember there being context for it here and now so it's just random. The whole over the top whimpering doubting mess they had Cordelia reduced to just to emphasise the Queen C return/contrast just didn't work for me alongside that either.

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    Day 6 - Sense and Sensitivity

    Positive: Once again it's Cordy who brings the heart and the humour to another dour episode. Angel and Doyle are a thousand times better when they are sharing scenes with her. She has a lightness of touch and brings an energy the others can't yet match.

    Negative: It's like Kate is on a different show. She's written as though she's on a real procedural cop show, not a fantasy dramedy. She just doesn't fit in with the vibe of the show, her story/character contains no humour. She is the antithesis of Cordy

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    Sense and sensitivity

    Positive - This is one of my favourite episodes of the season and DB stole the ep for me. His timing and overall delivery of the humour were just simply brilliant. The over the top sensitivity was so comical and I love the 'painbow', that has me in hysterics.

    Negative - Honestly it's a good while since I watched this episode, I can't remember really disliking anything but I'll go for how clichéd the sensitivity training psycho babble was. When I first watched it I wasn't keen on the hints of a possible romance brewing between Kate/Angel. I just didn't see them as a couple, but obviously it was a false tease anyway.

    --

    I have to say I really like Kate and enjoyed getting to see more of her in this episode. I find the plot with her father a strong element of the season and obviously it sits interestingly against Angel when we later learn more about his past. I enjoy her and Angel interacting and seeing the similarities between them. I was definitely glad it never went down the romantic route but I liked them together and was disappointed when we lost the character.

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    Stoney you have stunned me. You think this is one of the best episodes of the season? That does not bode well for the rest of the season The 'painbow' line was funny, but this episode bordered on the embarrassing more than entertaining. The story of hunting a mob boss, the tough cop with emotional issues, girl looking for her father's love and respect, it's all a trope. I did like the father rejecting Kate at the end, so it didn't finish all tied up in a bow.

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    I'm not opposed to the odd trope appearance and I like where Kate's story goes with her father here and overall. It all plays into the season's bigger picture I think and has its place in this first season where Angel is really trying to scope out what he's doing and how he's functioning with the people around him. So much of what Kate explores sits against Angel's path and I like how they reflect each other and interact along the way. As Kate is the tough cop who looks for the acceptance and approval of her dad, Angel is the broody/withdrawn hero trying to 'get it right' and learn to interact successfully with his team. If I had a complaint about it I'd say they mirror each other too much at times, which is why I thought a relationship between them, if it had gone that way, would have been dull. But because there is that deliberate parallel going on it adds interest even where more cliched or predictable aspects are front and centre. I don't know, I just like it.

    painbow

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    I Fall To Pieces:

    Positives: I like how Angel identifies and understands Roger's behaviour because he's been guilty of stalking and obsessing over people as well. Those darker insights into Angel's character make him a very different hero than your standard protagonist.

    I also enjoy the scene at Melissa's workplace when they're getting the birthday cake ready. It feels really authentic and all the guest actors do a great job.

    Negatives: Meh. This episode is pretty lame overall. The special effects are really average and I have a hard time believing that Roger would even give Angel this much trouble. I also agree that it doesn't make any sense that the poison could hurt Angel, however, it's consistent with tranquilliser darts working on vampires as well.

    Rm W/a Vu:

    Positives: The end scene is fantastic when Cordy is speaking on the phone with Aura. Her evil cackle when she calls someone "so nasty" for their fashion sense is just infectious. I wished they kept this meaner side to her character, it's so much fun!

    The scene of Dennis' mother bricking him up behind the wall is also really well done and creepy. It's my worst nightmare!

    Negatives: I agree with Stoney that the "I'm not a whiny, snivelling little cry Buffy" is such an odd line. Firstly, has Cordy ever even seen Buffy cry besides Helpless? It's just an odd way for her to describe Buffy. It's also quite a random thing to say and instead of me finding it empowering I just think that it's kind of sad how far she's gotten underneath Cordy's skin that Cordy is still making jealous references about her when they aren't even in each other's lives anymore. I know the last thing Cordy really ever expressed about Buffy in Buffy was pretty negative ("It's just such a Buffy thing to do. She's always thinking of herself") but overall I got the impression that Cordy and Buffy were on better terms in Season 3. Angel seems to play up how much Cordy seems to dislike Buffy for whatever reason and I'm not sure where this rejuvenated resentment she has for Buffy really stems from?

    Also, Charisma's acting is really pretty awful when Cordy is a sobbing mess. Charisma just cannot fake cry to save her life.

    Sense and Sensitivity:

    Positives: The Kate/father stuff just makes me really sad. I've really come to enjoy her character more with every rewatch and I find her story so tragic. Her dad is just such an *******, honestly.

    Negatives: I really don't find this episode very funny. I think it thinks it's funnier than it really is but I barely crack a smile throughout most of it. To be honest, it's probably one of my least favourite episodes of Season 1.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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    Poor Sense and Sensitivity, I love ya.

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    Day 7 - The Bachelor Party

    Positive: Liked the surprise factor, the bluffs and finding out more about Doyle's character. I really liked Angel in this episode too, he's starting to match Cordy with the energy levels and doesn't seem so dour and negative, hey he willingly goes to a party

    Negative: Wish Cordy hadn't been so damsel-in-distress and been allowed to fight the demon that attacked her. There is no way on this earth Cordelia Chase would ever fall for Doyle, no matter how many times he saved her. And ther is no way that Doyle was a teacher. No way!

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    Day 8 - I Will Remember You

    Positive: This is the first episode I've thought Angel was the mvp. He's great as a human, with the food and the sex and the awkwardness and the joy! (Side note, as a bit of a Cangel, Cordy's jealousy is heartwarming )

    Negative: So many (lol, I'm a Spuffy, sue me) Why can't they be together? They love each other so much, find a way! Angel making a choice for himself without consulting Buffy, he should have more faith in her and the future they could create together. It's all so negative and gloomy and self-imposed martyrdom. And of course Angel keeps the memory, so he keeps the pleasure and pain and wipes it out for everyone else, which I really don't like.

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    The Bachelor Party

    Positive - Angel forming his 'family' relationship structure with Cordelia and Doyle is really warming in this ep.

    Negative - I found the husband brain eating ritual more silly than funny.


    I Will Remember You

    Positive - I like seeing this as Angel taking the conscious choice to walk the path he does. I know he did already do that on some levels but he is given the chance of a way out of the fight here and he chooses to stay with it. It feels like more of a conscious deliberate decision rather than a response and coping with something that was done to him in the curse. There's a little more free will layered in that I appreciate.

    Negative - I found a lot of the melodrama in the episode really silly and have some issues like Pricey with the choice that was made and how it was presented/justified, the idea Angel did it to save Buffy didn't really hold up. I'm just not romantic so lots of little things distanced me from what they were going through. But to pick one specific, the chest licking, that was incredibly awkward and really corny.
    Last edited by Stoney; 01-07-18 at 05:15 AM.

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