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  • Why I blame JW

    This is a reply to a post in another thread about the Girl in Question. I thought it needed it`s own thread, not clogging up the other.

    There I wrote in regards to placing the above mentioned episode where it ended up:

    I find this to be a typical JW decision.
    Nostalgia replied:
    What do you mean by typical? I believe Joss does his shows very well.. It was strange to add it in there.. but comedic relief is needed in television.. you can't have all arc. It just turned out that it was really bad.
    As you might have guessed, I don`t think JW does all his shows very well. My true heroes of the Angel verse are Greenvalt/Minear. When they left, the show took a hit in my opinion. Very much so on consistency. David Fury wrote the arc for season 4 so I will not blame JW for this swiss cheese, but.. season 5...

    It`s probably difficult to write TV series, as you need to pay attention to so many characters and their individual development and stay consistent within the universe you have created. From what I have read in intervies etc. JW is more likely to just put an episode in on a whim, cause it was a good idea at the time, making things as he goes - with no regard to where the characters stories are at any given time. It`s his show, his creation - so he thinks he can do anything with it. In that respect he is less of a writer than for example Strazinsky (of B5) who would never betray his characters and the universe like JW does. JW doesn`t even seem to consider past season when he starts off in season 5. It`s like he never really saw them, or read the scripts in full.

    While Greenvalt/Minear takes us gradually down the steps to "Angel`s basement" for example, using both episode-arcs and standalones to reflect on the overall theme, JW wipes the characters clean of what they have previously experienced and learned from season 1 to 4 in his first episode in season 5. Ambiguous decisions are grossly overlooked, questions raised not dealt with at all. It`s like he paints with a much larger brush, a more hurried and general stroke than Minear for example.

    It`s not that I don`t like the premise of season 5, or hate the whole season. But it is less of what it could have been, and it makes the total Angel series less complete, less "whole".

  • #2
    JW is more likely to just put an episode in on a whim, cause it was a good idea at the time, making things as he goes - with no regard to where the characters stories are at any given time.
    As for example? Cause I gotta say I find it hard to see how one could come to that conclusion?

    Take for example some of his work on Btvs. 'Once More With Feeling' was dealing completely with the storyline of the time, it was a pivotal episode in season six because it made everyone spill their guts, it advanced the plot in a big way. If you listen to everything Buffy is singing, it's just an advancement on the plot we've already been given, she's singing about feeling isolated and alone, unable to feel, and then she reveals she was in heaven to the Scoobies as well as kisses Spike in a moment of need. We also see the consequences of what Willow did to Tara in the episode prior and Tara's reaction to this, as well as Giles' still trying to make Buffy passionate again about her work. That episode was big about the stories at the time.

    Then take for example an episode like 'Hush.' Once again, it starts off directly with the relationship between Buffy and Riley continuing, whilst actually being the start of another big relationship in the show (Willow/Tara) and gives us new insight into another relationship, Xander/Anya, about how much he cares about her. Something other characters called it question throughout s4.

    Both examples are big episodes for Whedon, one a musical, one an episode without speech, big ideas he wanted to do, but neither ignored anything that was happening at the time.

    Then you've got 'Waiting in the Wings' for Ats, in which Joss had an idea to go to the ballet. It advanced the plot between Wes/Fred/Gunn as well as Cordy/Angel and gave us a great story as well.

    How do any of these show a lack of regard for what's going on with the characters at the time?

    It`s his show, his creation - so he thinks he can do anything with it.
    He can, because it's his show and his creation...

    JW doesn`t even seem to consider past season when he starts off in season 5. It`s like he never really saw them, or read the scripts in full.
    How'd you figure that? 'Conviction' leads directly off of 'Home' which isn't an episode written by himself and took place in s4. How'd he screw up anything? They came into that opening episode with Angel being aware Wolfram and Hart would try and corrupt him, Wes and Fred have the same concerns. Whedon hasn't pretended at all that they are different characters, they're the same people in a new situation. And the episode plays heavily on a major theme with Gunn since very early on with his addition to the show, which is his feeling of inadequacy and lack of importance in the group.

    Like you said before, "it's his show, his creation" he knows everything that goes on with it. No one, including Minear were allowed to do anything without passing it through Joss first. He's still the boss, the executive producer. To suggest he doesn't know what happens in seasons past doesn't make sense when he had involvement in plotting them out.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 09-02-08, 05:31 PM.

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    • #3
      Snipped Buffy stuff as I am commenting on Angel. He was involved deeply in Buffy, but not so much in Angel until season 5. Yes, he got to see the plots and story arcs, but theres more to it. The "fleshing out"...

      Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
      How'd you figure that? 'Conviction' leads directly off of 'Home' which isn't an episode written by himself and took place in s4. How'd he screw up anything?....

      Like you said before, "it's his show, his creation" he knows everything that goes on with it. No one, including Minear were allowed to do anything without passing it through Joss first. He's still the boss, the executive producer. To suggest he doesn't know what happens in seasons past doesn't make sense when he had involvement in plotting them out.


      From the top of my head: Previously the show has made it a key-point that Angel do not kill humans, even "evil" ones. In the first episode he does, all gung ho - and no of the other characters react to it at all. Nor is it even a tiny line about it. In the commentary JW seems totally oblivious to the change in the character. So, when did this change come about? In the 3 months we have not seen them? They are all ok with that now?

      I have no problem with the "decision" per se, the "Ok lets show how much they already are corrupted at the beginning of this season." But from what I can tell from this episode and coming ones, is that it`s really not a conscious decision at all. It`s just a whim a "I think it would be cool if..". or as JW says.. "this is what action heroes do.." - even though it contradicts everything Angel & Co have learned over the course of the seasons.

      Compare this to season 2, when we over many episodes can see the change in perception.

      And do I need to mention Drogyn/Lindsey again? How the characters dealt with that ? Or rather - didn`t - at all.

      Even if it is his show, -he still needs to be consistent in how he treats the characters. He still have to work within the framework of his own creation.

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      • #4
        I don't blame Whedon, but I think that he wasn't the showrunner for Ats like he was for Firefly or the first BtVS seasons. I prefer Minear and Greenwalt as showrunners.

        Whedon is creative and has great idea's, but he needs a Minear or Greenwalt to complete him because Whedon is impulsive, has a lot of 'special' episodes and can't work with real arcs.

        I blame Joss for something else, and that is how he treats his viewers. Not when he meets them in person but he can write plottwists and retcons which aren't very respectful for his viewers. Like the cheap twist in the final of BtVS season 6. We saw something else as what they told us later. It's not a masterpiece, it's not funny ... it's a move to fool us. But it didn't fit. We have to buy things because he said so.

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        • #5
          I really agree with Serafir on this subject. I mean my whole problem with season 5 (aside from Spike) was the lack on consistancy with the characters. I haven't watched the season fully in a while (though I finally got there in my marathoning) but I do remember that being my huge issue with watching it. No one felt right half the time, though Joss could go the route and say that it is W&H that caused this and that is why they are like they are ... and I mean c'mon! Fred/Knox? The hell was that?

          As you said vampmogs, everything goes through Joss first, and as I understand it he was really big into letting the writers know whether or not something was right... yet he didn't veto half the season so I'm thinking something is wrong there.

          And yeah vampmogs, she was talkin bout Angel, no one is denying that Joss put all his effort into Buffy...its Angel that got shafted.

          Naught naughty Serafir, going against Joss on a forum about his shows, don't you know that's illegal ... people have been known to lynch

          I'll post more when I get home, I just wanted to throw in two cents...
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          • #6
            I don't see how someone can enjoy a show and not enjoy the creator's work. He does 90% of the work on the shows.. whether something is written by others, it is always passed by others and always supervised by Joss.

            Now I don't know if this is just a personal vendetta for all of his work.. (because there's no debate that he writes the best episodes for all of his shows.) or just dislike for how he treated season 5.. but I disagree with both.

            Season 5 of Angel is a masterpiece from start to finish. I came into watching Angel at a late pace.. and I never really got into the show as much until season 5.. in fact, season 5 is the first season I began to watch.

            I don't see your displeasure with the stand-alones in season 5.. because Joss had always been known to place episodes that do not revolve around the main arc in a season. Look at season 2, with "I Only Have Eyes For You", or season 4 with "Restless".. which steps aside from the entire show as a whole. Not only are these types of episodes necessary for a show.. but they make the show what it is. If we had episodes pertaining to the season's arc constantly, we wouldn't be able to learn other things about the characters themselves. By doing small stories, and sub-plots, it levels out the season's arc by giving us information on stuff we hadn't learned about our characters before. A perfect example of this is "Normal Again.." where we step aside for a moment to learn more about Buffy. I know personally if we just had arc episodes consistently.. I would become tired and bored with the series. It often gets tiring to see "Buffy vs Big Bad" every episode.. and if we did have this, then others aspects of the show such as comedy and satire cannot really be reached to their full potential. I know for a fact that many people love the show for the stand-alone alone. A hugely loved episode by this board is "Tabula Rasa," which basically reverts to the fear of season 1 again with a comedy twist on it. "Once More With Feeling" was nominated for an emmy, as was "Hush," which have nothing to do with the actual stories themselves.. but are beautifully written episodes.

            That's why I can't tolerate shows like 24.. because every episode revolves around the arc.. and serious moments.. Every episode is treated like a season finale.. and it becomes over-acted and almost headstrong in a sense. I don't watch Buffy to see more interesting stuff about the bad villains.. I watch it for the characters. The other stuff like the vampires and villains are just a bonus and cool addition.


            Season 5 of Angel actually has more arc episodes than any other season.. There are hardly ever any stand-alones.. but the ones that do exist are actually bad episodes. TGIQ, Why We Fight, and The Cautionary Tale are all very badly written episodes.. but otherwise the season is probably the strongest written season of Angel. "A Hole in the World" and "Not Fade Away" are both outstanding and written by Joss.. and are without a doubt the two best episodes of Angel ever written.

            Originally posted by Serafir
            It`s his show, his creation - so he thinks he can do anything with it.
            Yes.. it is his show.. therefore he can do anything with it. Do you wish it wasn't his show? If you blame Joss for many of the things that you don't like about the shows, then you must blame him for all of the wonderful things that the show represents.. as well as the creation of the two shows. So I'm not entirely sure where you're getting at.
            Last edited by Nostalgia; 09-02-08, 08:59 PM. Reason: Fix
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nostalgia View Post
              I don't see how someone can enjoy a show and not enjoy the creator's work. He does 90% of the work on the shows.. whether something is written by others, it is always passed by others and always supervised by Joss.

              Now I don't know if this is just a personal vendetta for all of his work.. (because there's no debate that he writes the best episodes for all of his shows.) or just dislike for how he treated season 5.. but I disagree with both.

              Season 5 of Angel is a masterpiece from start to finish. I came into watching Angel at a late pace.. and I never really got into the show as much until season 5.. in fact, season 5 is the first season I began to watch.

              I don't see your displeasure with the stand-alones in season 5.. because Joss had always been known to place episodes that do not revolve around the main arc in a season. Look at season 2, with "I Only Have Eyes For You", or season 4 with "Restless".. which steps aside from the entire show as a whole. Not only are these types of episodes necessary for a show.. but they make the show what it is. If we had episodes pertaining to the season's arc constantly, we wouldn't be able to learn other things about the characters themselves. By doing small stories, and sub-plots, it levels out the season's arc by giving us information on stuff we hadn't learned about our characters before. A perfect example of this is "Normal Again.." where we step aside for a moment to learn more about Buffy. I know personally if we just had arc episodes consistently.. I would become tired and bored with the series. It often gets tiring to see "Buffy vs Big Bad" every episode.. and if we did have this, then others aspects of the show such as comedy and satire cannot really be reached to their full potential. I know for a fact that many people love the show for the stand-alone alone. A hugely loved episode by this board is "Tabula Rasa," which basically reverts to the fear of season 1 again with a comedy twist on it. "Once More With Feeling" was nominated for an emmy, as was "Hush," which have nothing to do with the actual stories themselves.. but are beautifully written episodes.

              That's why I can't tolerate shows like 24.. because every episode revolves around the arc.. and serious moments.. Every episode is treated like a season finale.. and it becomes over-acted and almost headstrong in a sense. I don't watch Buffy to see more interesting stuff about the bad villains.. I watch it for the characters. The other stuff like the vampires and villains are just a bonus and cool addition.


              Season 5 of Angel actually has more arc episodes than any other season.. There are hardly ever any stand-alones.. but the ones that do exist are actually bad episodes. TGIQ, Why We Fight, and The Cautionary Tale are all very badly written episodes.. but otherwise the season is probably the strongest written season of Angel. "A Hole in the World" and "Not Fade Away" are both outstanding and written by Joss.. and are without a doubt the two best episodes of Angel ever written.



              Yes.. it is his show.. therefore he can do anything with it. Do you wish it wasn't his show? If you blame Joss for many of the things that you don't like about the shows, then you must blame him for all of the wonderful things that the show represents.. as well as the creation of the two shows. So I'm not entirely sure where you're getting at.
              Kinda contradicting yourself a bit aren't you? I mean in the season 8 thread you stated that if Buffy were to become bi or lesbian you would drop the season completely...because it would be OOC...but Joss wrote it so it shouldn't be OOC should it? But nevermind that because this thread is not about Joss on Buffy, its about him on Angel. So why do people keep bringing up Buffy? Joss did amazing on Buffy (sans a couple things...mainly Spike IMO) and there is no one saying anything opposite that here, its about how he screwed over Angel.

              Season 5 does not have the most arcs in Angel... Season 4 holds that title strong and true. Season 4 was basically just arc after arc. Season 5... not so much.

              You can enjoy a show and not what the creator writes...that really has nothing to do with it. They came up with the show yeah, but that doesn't mean they write best for it. Look at Charmed, the creator of the show left and it didn't lose any of its greatness, not saying it was better but it didn't get worse. Same with Dead Like Me, the show actually got a lot better when the creator left. With other shows like Veronica Mars I really don't prefer some of the episodes that Rob Thomas does, but rather another writers...in which her name escapes me at the moment... Diane something...

              Actually my favorite episodes of Angel weren't written by Joss...so yeah there is debate there. I'm seeing this as more of a vendetta on your part actually, well in a way, to where you won't accept that Joss isn't perfect and in fact has screwed up quite a bit.

              I also first started watching Angel in season 5, and thought that it was pretty cool because I didn't know really anything about the characters...though I was wondering what happened to Cordy (which was probably Joss' biggest mistake). The biggest problem about season 5 was how the characters were just totally not themselves...like Serafir pointed out Angel killing a human and no one even goin against it is not something that would have happened in the previous 4 seasons. Some of the stories are actually good, but when you destroy the characters in the process without giving any justification it is just a ruined experience.

              Oh and as far as 'IOHEFY' and 'Restless' go, 'IOHEFUY' contributed to the ongoing Buffy/Angelus arc so that wasn't really a total standalone as say 'Go Fish' was. Also 'Restless' wasn't a typical standalone as it took place AFTER the season basically; but again, not about Buffy...
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nostalgia View Post
                I don't see how someone can enjoy a show and not enjoy the creator's work. He does 90% of the work on the shows.. whether something is written by others, it is always passed by others and always supervised by Joss.
                I don`t really see JW as the main creator of what I personally enjoy about the series of Angel. Theres no secret he was more involved with Buffy than Angel, and left it for others to write it although he had a veto right on plots and arcs. He was just a man, and could not be "90%" there for Angel as he was for Buffy, not with Firefly working in his mind. Thus for me, Angel is not really "his" as much as Buffy was. There`s a large leap from accepting ideas of plots and arcs, and to actually develop the characters and writing the script.

                Now I don't know if this is just a personal vendetta for all of his work.. (because there's no debate that he writes the best episodes for all of his shows.) or just dislike for how he treated season 5.. but I disagree with both.
                Do not by any means mistake this for a "vendetta". One can actually enjoy someones work, admire a persons creativity but still be critical in choices made. And there IS actually a large debate whether he wrote the best episodes for Angel. He clearly didn`t do that in my opinion.

                Season 5 of Angel is a masterpiece from start to finish. I came into watching Angel at a late pace.. and I never really got into the show as much until season 5.. in fact, season 5 is the first season I began to watch.
                If you just started to watch around season 5 I can understand why you see this as a masterpiece, because you did not have the knowledge of the characters from the previous seasons. You have of course seen seasons 1 - 4 of Angel afterwards?

                I don't see your displeasure with the stand-alones in season 5.. because Joss had always been known to place episodes that do not revolve around the main arc in a season. Look at season 2, with "I Only Have Eyes For You", or season 4 with "Restless".. which steps aside from the entire show as a whole.
                snipped a whole of Buffy stuff.

                "Restless" and "I only have eyes for you" etc are from Buffy. I am not discussing Buffy here, I am only criticizing Angel season 5 and JW`s impact on that. Why do you insist on bringing Buffy up? If I wanted to discuss Buffy I would have posted in the Buffy forum.

                As for stand-alones, sure. I get what you are saying - but that is not really my point is it. That is not what I am "displeasured" about. This is my main criticism, quoted from my first post:

                While Greenvalt/Minear takes us gradually down the steps to "Angel`s basement" for example, using both episode-arcs and stand-alones to reflect on the overall theme, JW wipes the characters clean of what they have previously experienced and learned from season 1 to 4 in his first episode in season 5. Ambiguous decisions are grossly overlooked, questions raised not dealt with at all. It`s like he paints with a much larger brush, a more hurried and general stroke than Minear for example.
                So, stand-alones is good - but they still need to be consistent within the universe. And by that I mean setting, characters etc.

                Season 5 of Angel actually has more arc episodes than any other season.. There are hardly ever any stand-alones.. but the ones that do exist are actually bad episodes. TGIQ, Why We Fight, and The Cautionary Tale are all very badly written episodes.. but otherwise the season is probably the strongest written season of Angel. "A Hole in the World" and "Not Fade Away" are both outstanding and written by Joss.. and are without a doubt the two best episodes of Angel ever written.
                My criticism is not directed as "standalones" or lack of arcs per se. See above. I am talking about how he completely ignores the story arcs of the characters, and also ignores previous "conclusions" made by the characters in earlier seasons. He "wipes them clean", or said differently - they start off somewhere completely different than where we left them in "Home." How did they get from "there" to "here"? Then I also mention the whole Drogyn/Lindsey debacle.

                And you might have guessed, I disagree with you on your picks The best written episode in the Angel series is "Are you now or have you ever been. " followed by "Reprise".

                Yes.. it is his show.. therefore he can do anything with it. Do you wish it wasn't his show? If you blame Joss for many of the things that you don't like about the shows, then you must blame him for all of the wonderful things that the show represents.. as well as the creation of the two shows. So I'm not entirely sure where you're getting at.
                All I can say to this is.. Huh?

                That you are not entirely sure what I am getting at is clear in what you write. I really don`t have problems with people disagreeing with me, but almost your whole argument in your post was really about something else completely. If I was unclear in my post I hope this clears it up.

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                • #9
                  Okay, I'm sorry.. I misread into what you meant by your post. It's not the fact that there are so many stand-alones in Angel.. it's the fact that they don't pick up where the story left off.. you feel as if they are out of place? Not in context with the situation?

                  Originally Posted by EndersWrath
                  Kinda contradicting yourself a bit aren't you? I mean in the season 8 thread you stated that if Buffy were to become bi or lesbian you would drop the season completely...because it would be OOC...but Joss wrote it so it shouldn't be OOC should it? But nevermind that because this thread is not about Joss on Buffy, its about him on Angel. So why do people keep bringing up Buffy? Joss did amazing on Buffy (sans a couple things...mainly Spike IMO) and there is no one saying anything opposite that here, its about how he screwed over Angel.
                  I did say that, but I also said that I was overreacting in the moment of a heated conversation. The thought of it discourages me to continue.. but nonetheless I would continue reading because I trust Joss with what he is doing. He has written 8 years for the Buffyverse magnificently and knows what he is doing. I have high doubts that it would come to that point anyway.. because after close second readings Buffy's touch does resemble a mother's. KoC had claimed that he may stop reading if Xander had become the traitor.. but it seems to me that he has acknowledged the chances of it.. and will bare it at least. That's what I am trying to do.

                  My apologies for going off-topic.. again, I thought this was more "target-Joss" than "target-Joss for season 5..." because of the statement
                  Originally Posted by Serafir
                  As you might have guessed, I don`t think JW does all his shows very well.
                  Season 5 does not have the most arcs in Angel... Season 4 holds that title strong and true. Season 4 was basically just arc after arc. Season 5... not so much.
                  And season 4 is also considered one of the weaker seasons of Angel.

                  You can enjoy a show and not what the creator writes...that really has nothing to do with it. They came up with the show yeah, but that doesn't mean they write best for it. Look at Charmed, the creator of the show left and it didn't lose any of its greatness, not saying it was better but it didn't get worse. Same with Dead Like Me, the show actually got a lot better when the creator left. With other shows like Veronica Mars I really don't prefer some of the episodes that Rob Thomas does, but rather another writers...in which her name escapes me at the moment... Diane something...
                  Again, this is off-topic.. and I'm sorry.. but..

                  Even if you enjoy another writers' work on the show.. they still had say in it. What I am getting to is that a creator writes most of a show's work nonetheless.. so whether you prefer another's work.. I cannot see how someone could not enjoy the creator's work and still enjoy the show simply because of how much of the show is impacted and written by the creator.
                  Actually my favorite episodes of Angel weren't written by Joss...so yeah there is debate there. I'm seeing this as more of a vendetta on your part actually, well in a way, to where you won't accept that Joss isn't perfect and in fact has screwed up quite a bit.
                  I was referring to Buffy.. again sorry for the mix-up. I don't see how I could have a vendetta when I'm just defending my opinion in that Joss indeed has never screwed up. You on the other hand have a problem or a "feud" with how the television series ended. My disagreement with your opinion doesn't equal a vendetta.

                  I also first started watching Angel in season 5, and thought that it was pretty cool because I didn't know really anything about the characters...though I was wondering what happened to Cordy (which was probably Joss' biggest mistake). The biggest problem about season 5 was how the characters were just totally not themselves...like Serafir pointed out Angel killing a human and no one even goin against it is not something that would have happened in the previous 4 seasons. Some of the stories are actually good, but when you destroy the characters in the process without giving any justification it is just a ruined experience.
                  Judging by your statements, I can assume that you didn't like the character death approach to season 5? In my opinion, that's what the season so strong. While many shows tend to play safe in terms of tending to the audience, Joss is a very bold television writer. He does what he feels is best for the show, rather than making sure the fans will be pleased with the outcome. Just out of curiosity, do view television as art, or a just a means of entertainment? Because whenever a person creates something, I believe they should always stick to their heart. The first person that should be satisfied with the outcome should be Joss, not us. A show isn't made for the audience in the same sense of a band stating "we do it for the fans." It is made for the purpose of Joss' contentment. We just analyze his work and enjoy it/dislike it according to our preferences.

                  Back to season 5..

                  I don't see how characters acted any differently from they were before. We've seen Angel do far worse than killing Drogyn (remember feeding Dru and Darla?). Killing Drogyn was done because it was necessary in order to succeed. In life, everything has consequences.. and that was a major theme to season 5.. from Angel joining "Wolfram & Hart" to Gunn pseudo-killing Fred. All that killing Drogyn did was show that Angel had a view of the bigger picture.. he did what he assumed was doing right. He wouldn't have been able to stop the Circle of the Black Thorn if he didn't kill Drogyn. Considering there were only two episodes left, and they had been under Angel's trust for 5 years now.. I think were also seeing the bigger picture as well. Plus there wasn't much time for disagreement in the context of the situation. There were more important things and lives at stake.

                  I see where you are coming from with Angel.. but how did Gunn, Wesley, or Fred change? Wesley had been in dark state for the past 2 seasons at that point.. and Fred only increased that anger.

                  I don`t really see JW as the main creator of what I personally enjoy about the series of Angel. Theres no secret he was more involved with Buffy than Angel, and left it for others to write it although he had a veto right on plots and arcs. He was just a man, and could not be "90%" there for Angel as he was for Buffy, not with Firefly working in his mind. Thus for me, Angel is not really "his" as much as Buffy was. There`s a large leap from accepting ideas of plots and arcs, and to actually develop the characters and writing the script.
                  Yes, Joss was not "90%" of Angel.. again, that misconception. But he still had more impact and work on the show. Whether he worked on Buffy more than Angel doesn't really apply here though.. because Buffy was over when Angel season 5 was made. Therefore he retained captain of the ship at that point. In the commentary for season 5, Joss expresses how he wanted season 5 to be.. so he clearly cared about it dearly and did indeed develop his characters. Considering he wrote the two strongest episodes in season five, I would think he was working hard at it.

                  Do not by any means mistake this for a "vendetta". One can actually enjoy someones work, admire a persons creativity but still be critical in choices made. And there IS actually a large debate whether he wrote the best episodes for Angel. He clearly didn`t do that in my opinion.
                  I didn't mean to offend you.. but you approached the situation with more bitterness than petty criticism. I was under the assumption that you were not a big fan of Joss at all.. and were in fact against many of Joss' decisions and writing by your post. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.
                  If you just started to watch around season 5 I can understand why you see this as a masterpiece, because you did not have the knowledge of the characters from the previous seasons. You have of course seen seasons 1 - 4 of Angel afterwards?
                  I have bar season 3.. but I just got the Angel Boxset so I am very excited to watch!

                  Judging from the others seasons, and even Buffy, season 5 remains my second favorite season of the entire verse. The only other season that tops it is season 2 of Buffy. Yes losing Cordy hurt, but picking Spike up made up for it.. Actually, season 5 seems to me very well-liked by the fanbase. It is always the highest among the polls, and there seems to me many who LOVE the season and consider it the best season of Angel. Although there are always some who do not enjoy it as well. I'd just like a little more specification to why you have such a dislike for it.
                  My criticism is not directed as "standalones" or lack of arcs per se. See above. I am talking about how he completely ignores the story arcs of the characters, and also ignores previous "conclusions" made by the characters in earlier seasons. He "wipes them clean", or said differently - they start off somewhere completely different than where we left them in "Home." How did they get from "there" to "here"? Then I also mention the whole Drogyn/Lindsey debacle.
                  Angel had slowly been hardening as a person from season 2 of Angel to season 5 of Angel. There are numerous accounts that show this.. as to his attempt to kill Wesley and the "throwing to the wolves" with the lawyers as I mentioned before. It not OOC at all.

                  I thought Cordy was wrapped up perfectly as a character.. she came back for one more episode, and they gave a great conclusion for it. I don't think it really was needed any further than that. What's your take?

                  Wesley was wrapped up perfectly.. just watch his final moments with Illyria. As for Fred, sometimes unwonted death is needed in a show. I forget the exact quote but Joss had made a comment to how he wanted Angel to end with a reality.. in that things don't always come to a conclusion.. or a "happy" ending. Sometimes there's a beauty in not wrapping things up.. leaving things open to interpretation.

                  Of course we have "After the Fall," now.. so that leads me to ask what are your opinions on that?
                  Last edited by Nostalgia; 10-02-08, 02:04 AM.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Serafir View Post
                    From the top of my head: Previously the show has made it a key-point that Angel do not kill humans, even "evil" ones.
                    In the season 2 episode 'Darla' Angel was stated to kill evil humans. Darla makes mention that all he kills now is evil dooers, like theives and scoundrals. And he was indirectly responsible for allowing Darla and Dru to snack on and kill the Wolfram and & Hart lawyers who are evil humans.

                    In the first episode he does, all gung ho - and no of the other characters react to it at all. Nor is it even a tiny line about it. In the commentary JW seems totally oblivious to the change in the character. So, when did this change come about? In the 3 months we have not seen them? They are all ok with that now?
                    Firstly, we don't even know if Angel told the gang that he killed the humans. We can't be sure of that so there isn't any need for them to comment on something they weren't there for. Secondly, Angel states it at the end of that scene, they just saw the last of "mercy." It's a big point in his character, it's meant to be seen that way, Angel states it "you just saw the last of it." Just because Joss doesn't say anything about in the commentary doesn't mean he didn't think about it when writing it.

                    I have no problem with the "decision" per se, the "Ok lets show how much they already are corrupted at the beginning of this season." But from what I can tell from this episode and coming ones, is that it`s really not a conscious decision at all. It`s just a whim a "I think it would be cool if..". or as JW says.. "this is what action heroes do.." - even though it contradicts everything Angel & Co have learned over the course of the seasons.
                    Like I stated at the start of my thread. Angel's directly killed evil humans before, indirectly been responsible for the death of evil humans before and has tried to kill humans before such as Wesley. Just because it isn't made into a massive deal doesn't mean Joss isn't aware of what he's done.

                    Compare this to season 2, when we over many episodes can see the change in perception.
                    The change in perception started from 'Convicton' and really from that first act.

                    And do I need to mention Drogyn/Lindsey again? How the characters dealt with that ? Or rather - didn`t - at all.
                    Didn't have enough time. But they did make mention of it, Spike was less than pleased when he learnt Angel killed Drogyn and Angel was less than proud of himself. And we were meant to take the scene when Lorne kills Lindsey seriously.

                    Even if it is his show, -he still needs to be consistent in how he treats the characters. He still have to work within the framework of his own creation.
                    IMO he did.

                    There`s a large leap from accepting ideas of plots and arcs, and to actually develop the characters and writing the script.
                    Like all the writers, Joss was in their creating those ideas, plots and arcs. It wasn't as if he just signed off on them after the other writers had created them, he created them with the writers. That's what an executive producer does.
                    Last edited by vampmogs; 10-02-08, 02:41 AM.

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                    • #11
                      angel killed rapists, murderers, thieves and scoundrels to show-off to darla, killed several men including "rudolf" who called him a beggar, fed on the romanian woman in the alley directly after getting ensouled but didn't kill her (ditto with buffy, kate, and in a deleted scene--tina), let the paranoia demon have a hotel full of victims, indirectly was responsible for the lawyers, pretty much insinuated that he didn't count guys like holland and linwood as human, and let the guy in the donut shop die on purpose (akin to the lawyers massacre--but he chose to be slow so he could feed on somebody who had just died).

                      the cleaner crew, lawson and lindsey were nothing new. drogyn--it was a surprise by the circle--but angel couldn't back out without getting killed himself or his plan not going down as a surprise.

                      he was also nearly willing to kill cordy and connor in season 4. he was too late and hesitant on the first before jasmine popped out and he actually did kill connor in order to get him reborn with his new memories (hence the knife slash and white-out).
                      Last edited by NileQT87; 10-02-08, 02:51 AM.

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                      • #12
                        To add to Angel's human body count... Vanessa Brewer as far as we know was human (1st season, so hardly inconsistent) he also caused the deaths of what appeared to be the human bikers in Dad. No one was really OOC in Season 5. Gunn's arc leads nicely on (I wrote an a mini essay on how Gunn's character developed on the now deceased Buffyworld forum) Wes? Lineage, great Wes ep, very in character. His utilitarianism and insecurity etc all dealt with and great refer back to Season 5. Fred's character of being the most 'innocent' was intact based upon circumstance and character development (compare Fred and Wes' views about Connor and Cordy and relationships in Players)

                        Angel has always been grey but I don't need the writer to constantly hold my hand in such moral analysis. I really don't, especially if the characters don't necessarily question it (Gunn, Wes, Spike and Lorne all cross certain lines so I gues they are not about the moral superiority game in regards to Angel)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kana View Post
                          To add to Angel's human body count... Vanessa Brewer as far as we know was human (1st season, so hardly inconsistent) he also caused the deaths of what appeared to be the human bikers in Dad.
                          Ah thankyou! When trying to come up with a list off the top my head it was bugging me so much because I knew that he'd killed other humans but I just couldn't think of them.

                          And didn't Wes kill some human bikers when entering the hotel as well? I dunno from memory a vampire and a human biker walks into and Wes blasts them with the flamethrower? It always stood out to me, I think I'm remembering right.

                          Angel has always been grey but I don't need the writer to constantly hold my hand in such moral analysis.
                          I agree 100% Just because we don't get specific mention from other characters that what Angel did could be judged as wrong, doesn't mean we aren't supposed to notice it or think about it. Great writing doesn't always state the obvious, it's more subtle. It's one of those cases where we don't need it spelled out for us, we don't need a character saying "Angel you kill humans!" we know he did, we can judge for ourselves wether or not we deem that as acceptable or unacceptable.

                          And as you stated below in your response, some of the decisions most of Angel's team as made were less than perfect. This isn't Btvs where you've got characters like Xander, Dawn and even Buffy to an extent who usually don't do anything majorly wrong. It'd be a little hard to stomach Wes sitting there giving Angel a lecture about killing some evil humans when he's capable of blowing a man's kneecap off, stealing a child, locking someone up in his closet against their will, and burning a human alive with a flamethrower. Likewise for Gunn after killing Fred's professor and Spike who's capable of torturing a man for information.

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                          • #14
                            Too many replies for me to reply individually, I would simply just get very confused trying that (and you in reading it), so I reply to Nostalgia in my post - but try to adress issues raised by others.

                            Throughout the seasons I as a viewer have been able to see and understand Angel`s journey, every step of the way. I could see why Angel took a wrong turn, and what made him come back. There were always in the context of cause and effect, action - reaction. Trough the storytelling we understood, not always approved, how he got from point A to B. Themes were set up and explored, not only trough multi-episode arcs, but reflected even in the stand-alones.

                            For example: From the end of season 1 and trough the episodes in season 2 we get to see the plan of WH in motion. We as viewers do not yet know what that plan is, other than Lindsey`s Line:
                            We do not want him dead, we want him dark.
                            (even though Lindsey isn`t in on the real plan until later) We see how Darla affects Angel, see him take her struggle as his own (cause that`s what it is - a reflection of his own search, and why it means so much to him) see him connect with Darla and making it a pivotal point to:
                            as Manners says: Save her soul.
                            The writers here emphasizes how much Angel pours into that hope, building it up just to make the fall that more steeper. When Darla finally accepts her faith, and Angel has indeed "saved her soul" that hope is crushed with the entrance of Dru. And, that pushes him over the edge, until he is completely disconnected from humanity in "Redefinition" He doesn`t even speak in that episode other than the voice over, a choice made of the writers to accentuate that further. The choice he makes in the stairway doesn`t just come from nowhere, we have seen it building up.

                            Yes, I do know that Angel does indeed kill humans, and that his body count starts to pile up in that respect. But see that is also my point. Those times he has been (most notably in Reunion) we have received the reaction from the other characters, seen what transpired before - saw where he was heading. We have seen what drove him down that path. He does kill humans, but only when he has "lost his way". The moral line is there as a reminder on how far he has stepped away from his mission. Or put more bluntly, the show has drawn the premise that a dark Angel kills humans, a whiter Angel does not. (Someone mentioned Angelus and his actions, that is actually very different..)

                            In season 4 we left them after they had fought for the exercise of free will. This connects with the above mentioned "do not kill humans", as a human with a soul has the power to choose "the right thing", if you kill them you remove them of that choice. So, where does that leave Convictions that completely shifts that around? Did Angel go dark in the three months we have been away? Has he and the others already been corrupted so profoundly? And yet the first episode do not really suggest that, since it sorta ends on a happy note that "they used the resources of WH to do good".

                            Originally posted by Nostalgia View Post
                            What I am getting to is that a creator writes most of a show's work nonetheless.. .
                            Just wanted to comment on this one. It really depends. Writers like Strazinsky, creator of B5 wrote a "Bible" where he had laid out all the main arcs and the characters - and every writer invited used that as a reference. He was still very much a part of the process, and wrote many episodes himself cause B5 was his only show at the time. As noted so many times before, JW didn`t have that luxury of following Angel exclusively , juggling at most 3 shows at a time. The writers pitch ideas to JW and then he approves, disapproves or twist them further. But the real work in Angel up to season 5, hands down, is done by the writers when they go back to the writing of the episodes, laying out the characters, writing the dialogs etc. The arc, the plot is just the frame in which the writers can fill out. JW couldn`t "be there" for Angel as he was with Buffy, for reasons stated earlier. Since he still was juggling other projects during S5 I do not know for sure how the work flow went, but since he indeed had more time I must conclude that he was the main force behind that season. Which is why I blame him, and not all the writers

                            Nostalgia wrote:
                            .....Killing Drogyn was done because it was necessary in order to succeed. In life, everything has consequences.. and that was a major theme to season 5.. from Angel joining "Wolfram & Hart" to Gunn pseudo-killing Fred. All that killing Drogyn did was show that Angel had a view of the bigger picture.. he did what he assumed was doing right. He wouldn't have been able to stop the Circle of the Black Thorn if he didn't kill Drogyn. Considering there were only two episodes left, and they had been under Angel's trust for 5 years now.. I think were also seeing the bigger picture as well. Plus there wasn't much time for disagreement in the context of the situation. There were more important things and lives at stake.
                            Season 5 has an overlaid theme that is explored throughout the season. In that respect it ties in with the other 4. But I disagree with your assessment that its about "everything has consequences" - that is if I understand you right here. If one wants to put the theme for the season into two words, it`s "power corrupts". In order to get to the Black Thorne he becomes what he has fought since season 1. "The goal justifies all means".

                            But we are not told how Angel came to that conclusion. Or are we supposed to believe that was what Cordy and the TPTB meant when she gave her vision to Angel? Did he misinterpret it or was it really the senior partners pulling the strings? And that is with the notion that JW actually knew what he had done with Drogyn/Lindsey and what the statement of those actions were. It is grossly overlooked.

                            Angel the series is about Angel`s journey. Earlier seasons took us on that ride and explored thematically morality and ethics. Showed us the way in which one can choose wrong even when wanting to do good, showing us the effects of disconnection from humanity etc. Season 5 is weak because it doesn`t follow suit. In that respect it feels like more of a montage than a story told.

                            Here is where Angel was in season 2, Epiphany:

                            Angel: "Well, I guess I kind of worked it out. If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters... then all that matters is what we do. 'Cause that's all there is. What we do. Now. Today. I fought for so long, for redemption, for a reward, and finally just to beat the other guy. I never got it.

                            Kate: "And now you do?"

                            Angel: "Not all of it. But now I just wanna help. I wanna help because people shouldn't suffer as they do. Because, if there isn't any bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world."


                            So, how did he go from there to "the goal justify all means" in season 5? Or from the story arc of the exercise of free will, implying that a soul can actually "choose again" in season 4, to gung ho killer machine of humans in Convictions? or from his reaffirmed belief in his mission in "You are welcome" to "Powerplay"?

                            It`s all up in the air, in contrast to what had previously been done.
                            So what happened? Didn`t JW have enough time on his hands to go back trough the seasons and analyze what premises that really had been developed? Did he fail to manage the seasons episodes in a way that made sure these things got worked on? Did he just decide on a case by case basis, making stuff up on the way and going on a whim? Did he actually see the consequences of those last actions as anything but what an "action hero should do "? Did he want to work on these issues in season 6?

                            I really have no idea. The season is less tightly knit, less united in it`s themes than for example season 2. And as a character study on Angel`s journey, the basis of the show - it is a montage, not a story told.

                            Nostalgia wrote:
                            Of course we have "After the Fall," now.. so that leads me to ask what are your opinions on that?
                            The verdict is still out on that one. If JW/Lynch pick up the grossly overlooked moral issues from season 5, I will be a happy camper. If not - I will go and get my "supplies" ready...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Serafir View Post
                              Yes, I do know that Angel does indeed kill humans, and that his body count starts to pile up in that respect. But see that is also my point. Those times he has been (most notably in Reunion) we have received the reaction from the other characters, seen what transpired before - saw where he was heading. We have seen what drove him down that path. He does kill humans, but only when he has "lost his way".
                              None of this happened in 'Blind Date' when he killed Vanessa, who was human. And none of this happened when Wes killed a biker with a flamethrower in s3.

                              This is a quote about Whedon's involvement in the series, from as early as s3;

                              "Actually, David, to his credit, is always saying, 'Just get Joss ? he should just direct one a year.' And we try to do that." In terms of guiding the show, stresses Greenwalt, "There's not a major thing that happens on the show that Joss and I haven't discussed. You know that guy makes up stories while he sleeps? He'll arrive in the morning and say, 'What if we do this, this, and this?' So in 10 to 30 minutes with Joss I can do what I would do in twelve hours or three days with a normal Human Being. But the answer is he's very involved: this whole arc, the baby, everything that will happen this year."

                              Joss doesn't just sign off on things, he creates them or works with people who create the ideas.

                              This is also a quote about Joss talking about he's going to be more involved with Ats than ever (taking place just before s4 started)

                              Is it impossible? Yes. Are we going to accomplish it? Yes. Because I won't abandon Buffy this late in the game. I won't abandon Firefly this early in the game. And I especially won't abandon Angel right in the middle of its power, because Angel is the one that nobody really knows about. It's flying under the radar.
                              Last edited by vampmogs; 10-02-08, 01:01 PM.

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                              • #16
                                I know I'm coming to this discussion pretty late, but I have to disagree with the original post quite a bit. All of the ME writers have their strengths and weakness, and Joss is no exception. The entire ME family has one big weakness in that none of them know how to write a convincing or realistic military organization. Outside of that though, I believe the entire group works well together to hide each others weaknesses and bring their strengths to the front.

                                But, the main reason that I disagree with the original post is because I consider season 4 of Angel to be the pinnacle of Buffyverse television, with season 5 of Angel not that far behind. But, while you may think otherwise, neither of our views really hinge on Joss being in charge of the show. Joss may be the head honcho, but in those seasons and in all of his Buffyverse material he worked with a team. They worked together to bring out a product and for that reason I don't think you can single out one individual for either praise or ridicule.
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