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Did Angel leaving make Buffy a better show or better with him on it

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  • Priceless
    replied
    Can you imagine if Angel had never returned from hell? Poor Buffy would never have gotten over him or what she had to do. What a terrible concept. She's be set in aspic at that moment and how could she ever move on. I'm very glad Angel came back, if only to free Buffy from that terrible guilt.

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  • Lostsoul666
    replied
    Originally posted by PuckRobin View Post

    Presumably if there was no spinoff on the horizon, the Buffy/Angel relationship could have gone in different directions. Maybe they’d have broken up, maybe he’d get more involved with other characters. It’s hard to say, but given how all the other characters evolved from seasons 4 through 7, presumably Angel would have too.
    Personally I get the feeling that if the spinoff hadn't happen that Angel's "death" at the end of season 2 would have been permanent. I've always gotten the feeling that Joss never really originally planned on Angel coming back from hell.

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  • PuckRobin
    replied
    I would say not better or worse — just different.

    I think the BTVS season 3 version of Angel was in a holding pattern — keeping Angel around and the actor employed until the spin-off was ready. Having Angel taste Buffy’s blood in Graduation Day put him into a similar place that he was immediately in after the Angelus arc, where he also feasted on human blood which could have left him with a craving too.

    Presumably if there was no spinoff on the horizon, the Buffy/Angel relationship could have gone in different directions. Maybe they’d have broken up, maybe he’d get more involved with other characters. It’s hard to say, but given how all the other characters evolved from seasons 4 through 7, presumably Angel would have too.

    Of course, as it has been said, Angel leaving allowed him to grow from an interesting supporting character to an even more interesting lead character.

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  • sybil
    replied
    Bottom line?

    Would I “do Spuffy?” No. Would I ‘chuck’ the dark journey? No. Am I going to solve all “realities” of cast availability, et al, in a hypothetical? No. Is Spike of use? Absolutely. He also gets the last word. Period.

    I am not trying to write a fan fiction here. Just give a frame of reference to meet the challenge “Angel does not need to leave.”

    Afterall, we got the vision of a “forever moment, “ with Buffy and Angel in her first death. Xander must intercede in this ‘forever moment.’ The second speaks to “marriage” and in the (forbidden?) vehicle of sex, as the journey of light, that was started, and the dark one, shown to be at the * “ends” * of light and dark. But the full paradox fails, in part, (re process of life/death within the “ends” of life and death), for B/A to achieve the point of the “narrative:” WHICH! These two stated as “normal” and “mortal.”



    The third of “the Gift” …is “correct” but, it took a lot of “tell” in “lessons learned” and ‘cast call out’ to do it, but, to me, well…it doesn’t work for the “hypothetical” question, of “what about ?” that really is not just “moving on” to ‘another story’ nor does this use ‘cast’ and Spike, especially, best, IMO.

    “Become/becoming” is the paradox I feel “tells the tale” in the achievement/process of “normal” and “mortal.” Those two words may seem “like with like,” and we head off to the sunset beach for a wedding, yet again. “Tree pretty” but really? HORRIBLE!

    I’ll get to this “book end” later, as “what you might be asking” is camera shots, framing of symbol motifs and “reality” NONE of which my ‘interest’ or most certainly “expertise.” Fans here have that rich experience and even creativity, in great skill sets of all that “how to.”

    Anywho… the turning of Dru and of Spike is critical to “the whole thing” to my understanding of what is the ‘show’ “showing.” A reflection, TO KNOW what we are to see.

    Some ideas might include the human soul/demon soul, the light journey, the dark journey, what it is to be a “seer,” and, thus, (straddle) the actual dimensional nature of time itself, in past, present and future, as “times arrow”; and time, when it is *also * suspended in the reality of “all at once.” Dru’s insanity is that she herself is suspended thusly.

    I do think this is why her own human “girl interrupted” story toward “marriage” and immortal vampire “stuckness” for “existence” within the psyche, is shown to be both inside and outside dimensional time, giving rise to the “show” of all this in the “material body” (our human “process” life/death) in ‘suspension’, even as she is literally ground down, (instead of ecstatic light of her human soul), in the ‘marriage” process of immortal ‘stuckness’ (shown with Darla/Angel in vigorous action, but no transfigurative change to them (Or the humans stuck to the walls in a ‘process’ that doesn’t change/transfigure their “lost potential” materiality “back to life” That does seem to take the operation of “death” on dead people, who just might have ‘killed’ their own demon souls on the way to heaven. Can’t say.


    However, I think that is why Dru keeps destroying the “windows of the soul” in her self-representations, of (ignorant) dollies, yet also why Dru, who,as the ‘seer, ’ sees’: William (innocence) for the meaning of “marriage.” William/Spike is the marriage of process and of the immortal. She sees him in her own (mad) ‘union of opposites.” The Poet.

    The origin of the vampire as the ‘truth teller’ was interesting in that Buffy fully reveals her own thoughts primarily to vampires, as humans seen are ‘mystifying’ in complications, problematic, situational action, etc. This whole diatribe is justification for Spike as the “story teller.”

    Yes, “Intensity” is part of mythic transformations, and “habituation” is everything to do with process, with perception, with stagnation, with (actual) processes of change, particularly in ‘dimensional’ overlap e.g. magic and descriptives of “gritty reality.’ (No, I don’t think ‘perception is reality’ because light is * meant * to be seen as ‘reflected’, but when someone tells you who they are, believe them).

    So! Doing Angel “never lef” t would include “we all go to LA” because Buffy filled 10 graveyards, no humans are around much, and “closing the hellmouth’ keeps her a child needing more growth/change. Just as kids off to college or “the big city” implies. Seriously.

    I don’t see a problem in the sanctuary and/or detective agency re: scoobies and fang gang, for the show of ‘struggle’/’peace’ is the ‘show’ of ‘ boogity’ and “just human’ ‘overlap” for dimensional perception we need, in the show of things, not merely the “tell.”

    This means “to become” as in an achievement/accomplishment of the deepest desire for “normal” (Buffy’s stated objective) and “mortality” (Angel’s desire for redemption/peace).

    We saw the first “forever moment” posed in Buffy’s first death of her human body in failure. Angel also possesses both “human soul” and “demon soul, ” but is ‘outside of our dimensional “space-time” in having no breath. It is both ecstatic and a “release”, in the paradox of the “forever moment” They endure this again and the “weak human” cannot withstand his own ‘curse’ of an “unsatisfied” demon, regarding the shape of Love. Buffy ends up releasing the “demon slayer” because she also has a strong human soul (she withstood Angelus’ torments, despite her own delayed desires.

    The thing is…it has to be shown that ”other dimensions” didn’t just “presto” disappear from * all * reality for all “fill in the blank.”

    Maybe (cheese factory here) we have Doyle, hanging from the rafters, as an angel, in some children’s school play, shot from the back, with graying hair, in an empty room, with “some woman” at the door, and he is saying, “Are we done?”;

    pull out into the street level shot that offers sunlight and shadow. Yes, maybe, we can have the promise of Lorne’s vocal hum to start off the sound of the sublime promise, yet also include a sound of a crash and a few beats, the sirens;

    and pulling out (a little more quickly) to a graveyard that is the prompt for Spike to repeat his poem, his POV, shows he is in a graveyard

    He is leaving, to shadow or the night, as we don’t know if it is dawnish or twlight, The stones now are seen fresh to read and others too worn to read. The last view if Spike leaving into the night or into shadow, we can’t know. Go ahead. Stick in Dru’s hand or?? joining his, if you wish.

    Then to the partial earth over the rim of the moon –you know “the one.” We reach darkness. The end.

    The p.s. in the credits:

    After all, those little humans and demons of our story, get those human souls and demon souls from somewhere, just as gods, monsters, heroes, and ‘ another story” means there is always the potential for “another story.”

    Maybe (cheese factory) in that darkness, a filtered curtain like dimensional “sharing of space, over something like a domestic scene of our cast call, “The Master” of “Glory” of “Jasmine” and even of Groo, and “the sharing of knowledge” with all kinds of adults, e.g. those in communication with pilots walking to rocket ships actually docked in that dark space.( Tto show some movement in time itself.) I don’t care if “shippers’ have fun here, and flip through a montage of characters, moving into the darker and darker parts of space, even as ‘what is in space’ eventually fill the “back ground” in violent colors. Yes, a fast ‘montage’ of everyone gone can be done, with respect for “ that paradox of potential” in ‘future generations’ we might actually be seeing. (And it is not in the "basement.").

    I still choose “Love” to describe how even ‘uncaring’ nature operates on the grand scale, for I do think Spike’s poem about love, also just “fits,’ because the word I think I want to hear as the last word is Spike's; and THAT is not “I Love You,” or even the shiipper: “Buffy?”…”Angel,”

    Spike’s: The one for “Beauty.” Why? Because the “ effulgent “ does not withhold and it exists whether we perceive it or not—just maybe for us “to discover” it is a key to discover all the glory of existence itself, to discover the “effulgent.” Beauty is the proof of the potential in that paradox of life—Spike gets the last word because 1. “we are only human” and 2. for all the reasons why this is a lie that holds the truth: a story. Told by a poet.

    And then what happened? Jaysus, See “Stand by Me” and hear the “Barforama” story. It kept its promises and its implied promise for the “protagonist,” too. Not exactly a franchise and that is “good enough” for me.

    HUGS!
    sybil
    I am not sure i am in the right thread regarding "if Angel did not leave" theories/hypotheticals?


    Last edited by sybil; 27-11-21, 10:02 PM.

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  • HardlyThere
    replied
    Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

    When even the writers are making fun of what they are writing (see the Zeppo) you know a relationship is played out. I don't see what they could have done next that was any different
    They've admitted publicly they really didn't have much to say about the relationship. It's an interesting discussion because having Angel leave was the only real reason he came back in S3. I guess it might be a better way to look at is as if Angel was quickly cancelled and they brought Cordy and Angel back to BTVS.

    Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

    But wasn't that cliche a trend in the show. Hell both shows , like in Expecting where Cordy sleeps with the guy and gets a demon pregnancy (Joss really didn't like women being pregnant did he)
    I guess they thought they were doing the opposite the following season where Angel sleeps with Darla then has moment of clarity while treating her like crap but that's seen as ok
    Well, yeah. It's one thing among many. Buffy was meant to be a subversive character and series. It's hard to really do that when the show never really delves into the building blocks of the tropes its meant to subvert, so in the end it ends up using them all the same. Buffy's the pretty blonde murdered in an alley. It doesn't seem as though Joss ever asked the question of why that trope and others are so prevalent in horror to begin with. Much of his explanations about that arc only sound to me like he's doing a bit of fan meta on his own work. That's why there are contradictions like him complaining about characters being punished for sex then admitting he's punishing Buffy for having sex.

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  • vampmogs
    replied
    Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

    Would you have been up for a Buffy Angel Riley Love triangle though as I'm guessing that's what they would've gone with ?
    Doubt Spike would've been a regular either
    There's very few storylines I object to without giving the writers the opportunity to convince me so, honestly, this doesn't deter me at all.

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  • BtVS fan
    replied
    Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

    I think that was possibly intentional. The Angelus metaphor really isn't a very good one and kind of undermines things. The reality is sex doesn't turn a guy into a jerk. He was always a jerk. Like Parker. But by directly linking sex to the guy turning evil, it not only doesn't subvert the cliche, but actively doubles down on it.
    But wasn't that cliche a trend in the show. Hell both shows , like in Expecting where Cordy sleeps with the guy and gets a demon pregnancy (Joss really didn't like women being pregnant did he)
    I guess they thought they were doing the opposite the following season where Angel sleeps with Darla then has moment of clarity while treating her like crap but that's seen as ok

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  • BtVS fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
    Angel leaving made Buffy better since by season 3 the whole Buffy/Angel relationship was played out. Plus we got another show out of the deal.
    When even the writers are making fun of what they are writing (see the Zeppo) you know a relationship is played out. I don't see what they could have done next that was any different

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  • Lostsoul666
    replied
    Angel leaving made Buffy better since by season 3 the whole Buffy/Angel relationship was played out. Plus we got another show out of the deal.

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  • HardlyThere
    replied
    Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

    I agree. Plus the whole Will they won't they relationship had kind of been played out by that stage. So much so The writers were making fun of it "You looking for Buffy ?" "As always"
    I Will Remember You was that done large but with reset at the end.
    Though one criticism of the Parker storyline I have was that it basically redid the boy who didn't call storyline of Angel/Angelus but no longer as a metaphor.

    One consequence of Angel (and Cordy too I guess) still on the show I doubt they would've made Spike a Regular
    I think that was possibly intentional. The Angelus metaphor really isn't a very good one and kind of undermines things. The reality is sex doesn't turn a guy into a jerk. He was always a jerk. Like Parker. But by directly linking sex to the guy turning evil, it not only doesn't subvert the cliche, but actively doubles down on it.

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  • BtVS fan
    replied
    Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
    Better? Definitely not. Considering I find S2, S3 and S5 to be the best seasons of the show and Angel featured in two of those I would have a hard time arguing that his departure made the show better. I think his departure was a good turning point for his character and I agree that Buffy/Angel needed to break for the show to move on but, IMO, S4 is weaker than S3 so Angel's departure didn't improve the overall quality of the series. I can't point to anything that says the show improved by him no longer being on it.

    I do sometimes imagine what the series could have done with Angel had he never left. He could have been incorporated into the Initiative storyline quite easily either as being held captive or on the run. I'm not sure if his character could have realistically made it all the way through to S7 but it's hard for me to picture.

    The Angelus arc is my favourite arc of the series so I think his contribution to the show was huge. I think it clearly proved it still could be an incredible show without him so it wasn't dependant on him for it's success whatsoever but when he was on it he added a lot of positives to it.
    Would you have been up for a Buffy Angel Riley Love triangle though as I'm guessing that's what they would've gone with ?
    Doubt Spike would've been a regular either

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  • vampmogs
    replied
    Better? Definitely not. Considering I find S2, S3 and S5 to be the best seasons of the show and Angel featured in two of those I would have a hard time arguing that his departure made the show better. I think his departure was a good turning point for his character and I agree that Buffy/Angel needed to break for the show to move on but, IMO, S4 is weaker than S3 so Angel's departure didn't improve the overall quality of the series. I can't point to anything that says the show improved by him no longer being on it.

    I do sometimes imagine what the series could have done with Angel had he never left. He could have been incorporated into the Initiative storyline quite easily either as being held captive or on the run. I'm not sure if his character could have realistically made it all the way through to S7 but it's hard for me to picture.

    The Angelus arc is my favourite arc of the series so I think his contribution to the show was huge. I think it clearly proved it still could be an incredible show without him so it wasn't dependant on him for it's success whatsoever but when he was on it he added a lot of positives to it.

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  • BtVS fan
    replied
    Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

    But he didn't. His leaving opened up Buffy's storylines considerably and gave room to expand her character. As much as we might dislike Parker or find Riley on the bland side, you wouldn't get explorations into Buffy's isolation and rebellion against domestication without them, which made her pretty interesting.
    I agree. Plus the whole Will they won't they relationship had kind of been played out by that stage. So much so The writers were making fun of it "You looking for Buffy ?" "As always"
    I Will Remember You was that done large but with reset at the end.
    Though one criticism of the Parker storyline I have was that it basically redid the boy who didn't call storyline of Angel/Angelus but no longer as a metaphor.

    One consequence of Angel (and Cordy too I guess) still on the show I doubt they would've made Spike a Regular

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  • BtVS fan
    commented on 's reply
    They could always find an Ex machina way out of things I guess. On Ats he could have sex but not lose his soul for example

  • Priceless
    replied
    Short answer is yes. It allowed the show to expand in ways it never could if Angel had stayed. It also allowed Buffy to grow up, which she never would have quite managed if her ex was part of the gang. Of course they could have stayed a couple for 7 seasons. Perhaps Willow could have done a spell to lift the curse.

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  • Stoney
    replied
    Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
    But he didn't. His leaving opened up Buffy's storylines considerably and gave room to expand her character. As much as we might dislike Parker or find Riley on the bland side, you wouldn't get explorations into Buffy's isolation and rebellion against domestication without them, which made her pretty interesting.
    Well no, he didn't stay. I was just playing devil's advocate and saying if he had they could have changed how he was interacting with others, which was the element you raised.

    I don't disagree though. As much as I'm happy to accept that they could have written him staying and found a way to make it work, as I said, I think it is easier for Buffy's story and to work with the notion of progression and going through stages in life as she grew up for Angel to leave. They were able to hold the Bangel dynamic in a kind of stasis because he left which wouldn't have been possible if he'd stayed. For Buffy to have continued growth and other relationships, it would have affected them. It would have broken one of the main points of the show if she hadn't continued to face differing challenges/stages through the college/young adult years.

    But that doesn't mean that Angel leaving made Buffy a better show. She could have continued through various stages if he'd been there, but it was probably easier to do some of it when he wasn't. I can't say the absence of him made the show better though. It was strong when he was there and strong when he wasn't. The writing could have made either option work, if the show continued to focus on Buffy and the life stages/challenges she faced.

    It's not really different to wondering if she needed Joyce to die and Giles to leave. Angel was Buffy's first love and it changes the landscape around her if he's still there but that doesn't mean the show couldn't have continued on the same overall trajectory. Joyce and Giles could have also stayed all the way through and Buffy's independence have been emphasised in the story in other ways. It is easier to put a spotlight on growing up and moving on when stages pass more distinctly/literally though and the person continues and finds their footing again.

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  • HardlyThere
    replied
    Originally posted by Stoney View Post

    But that could obviously have been changed if he'd stayed.
    But he didn't. His leaving opened up Buffy's storylines considerably and gave room to expand her character. As much as we might dislike Parker or find Riley on the bland side, you wouldn't get explorations into Buffy's isolation and rebellion against domestication without them, which made her pretty interesting.

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  • flow
    replied
    The first answer that came to my mind was that leaving certainly made Angel a more interesting character. He had more opportunities to grow and develop outside Buffy's shadow. However, this wasn't what you asked.

    I don't think Angel leaving, made Buffy a better show per see. But I am struggling to imagine how it would have become better had he stayed. His and Buffy's love story had ended up in a dead-end. He had been good, turned evil, and turned back to good again. He also had been to hell and back. What could they have done with his character without him becoming a redundant character or a background character? During the second half of season 3, it already felt as if the writers didn't really know what to do with him anymore. The writers could of course have come up with a way to anchor his soul so he and Buffy could have been together. But that would have diminished the drama of their romance.

    So, I'd say the show was certainly better because he was on it during the first three seasons. It didn't become worse because he left and I am not sure if it could have been better (than it was) if he had stayed.

    It would be interesting to hear what exactly people think could have been his storyline in season 4 (and beyond).

    flow

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  • Stoney
    replied
    Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
    Made it better, IMO. All he added was superficial melodrama. He had very few interactions with people who weren't Buffy.
    But that could obviously have been changed if he'd stayed.

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  • HardlyThere
    replied
    Made it better, IMO. All he added was superficial melodrama. He had very few interactions with people who weren't Buffy.

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