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How did Angel fall down for you as a show ?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Andrew S. View Post
    I really agree with this. Despite the extreme change in direction, I still think the show remained enjoyable nonetheless. It just makes it hard for me to reconcile it all. And for all of its faults, I still do love AtS S4. It reminds me a lot of BtVS S6 in that much of it is very messy and problematic, but there's still so many brilliant ideas and powerful moments within it that I can't help but still be fascinated by it even though it frustrates me a great deal.

    My favorite Angel season is S2. But for second place, I can't decide between S1 or S4. I enjoy both seasons but for such different reasons. Like vampmogs, I enjoy the standalone/character-focused nature of S1 episodes. But I also really enjoy the sprawling, epic feel of S4 and think it was really bold (in a good way) of the writers to do one big 22-episode story. And while I love S1's story about Angel, Cordy, Doyle, and Wes all being a mini-family and bringing out the best in one another, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also really intrigued by the polar opposite story that S4 tells about how toxic the whole gang is to one another.

    For my least favorite season, I can't decide between S3 and S5. While S3 has far too many storylines I really dislike (Saint Cordy; the love triangles; the introduction of Connor), I also find the first half of S5 to be really dull, Cordelia's absence is too glaring, the premise of the gang being at W&H made no sense unless you take the view that I do that Angel's mindwipe forced them into it, and I feel less connected to the characters as a result of said mindwipe.
    Well S6 is my favourite season of BtVS and I love how it sits alongside S3 of AtS. The joint themes across the two really support and each other and I have enjoyed watching them concurrently immensely. S6 isn't without its weaknesses of course, but overall I think it is excellent. I probably feel very similarly to how you do to BtVS S6 with AtS 5, although I'm yet to rewatch it since I've reasoned a lot of my issues with the bleaker aspects and Spike's portrayal that bothered me through. I expect to enjoy it more next time around. As you say of S6, I still find there are ideas and moments that draw me even though aspects certainly frustrate me too. There isn't a single season in either show that I can't find things to really enjoy in them and that's a great part of why I love both shows so much.

    I do think one of the weaker aspects of AtS 3 is Saint Cordelia, but it works coherently for the character for me at that point. Although it definitely fits that more negative and bleak direction the series went to. But on this rewatch of S4 I'm enjoying Cordelia's inclusion far less and I think it is because I'm thinking of the character's overall path more. Ending greatly in the possession whilst everyone fails to realise it isn't her just isn't a great feeling for the character's last main appearance. I am still loving Connor's continuing story though, he's one of my favourite characters across both shows. But the general bleak direction everyone takes in the later seasons of AtS is harder to watch at times than the more empowering message BtVS leans too (and I too feel that Angel's mindwipe and, seeming, reconsidered choice to go to W&H did lead to the others going there too). But I do find that falling to weaknesses and corruption fascinating too. It just isn't uplifting.


    • #62
      Jakers.Thanks for all the thinky; particualrly, Andrew S. I actually should do more thinky, but time/topic means now.

      I am so glad, board mamas, all this ‘like’ /points button stuff is ‘outa here. I think all youse guys just saved everyone here from my wheezing on for pages. Thank you. I will say something, however.

      (I would also admit that I think Joss himself gets “whiny,” in seeking affirmation as the great “artiste” in how hard it is to have to wrangle with this ginormous talent, (he *almost * blames he didn’t ask for), come up with ‘Just Everything” all by himself, and to deal with the fact, he never really knew what to do with Angel. He is not “easy funny.” Considering that Joss saw him as a Chinese/Japanese warrior who didn’t lose face, either in showing his feelings or in allowing his pride/prowess to be ignored, DB’s lack of acting kinda wasn’t allowed to have all this “complicated” and “miraculous” stain of humanity stuff seen in the complex/comedic Spike, Harmony, Anya, etc.) He was posed as the extremes (Janus) and he was also given the sin of pride in all this “end justifies the means” approach to cause for effect.

      I would only add, that horror has an agenda and this show turned into some declaration of existentialism and atheism, as you well said, he never dealt with, well, anything. He just tore it all down.

      I think that Joss very simply took the experience Angel had with Buffy, the mythic union of opposites, and made finding that strung through the whole obsessively—since he couldn’t dare “do that” with Buffy herself.

      Which means, Angel’s relief from eternal self hate and mortification of soul became “arrogant humility” ==he was to become god himself with no other judges before me.

      Therefore, he didn’t have to keep dealing with “atonement” to “old gods” who he—maybe the writers?—considered as vampires, feeding on his eternal remorse and stultifying guilt.

      Angel, lost all sight of the work of atonement in providing “Sanctuary” for others was to be the path to providing it for himself. His own Fang Gang (humans) were ever the mirror he couldn’t see himself. Furthermore, he had every opportunity to makle a Law Firm for demons to be one for demons that didd’t measure the smallest action with the death penalty—and worse, by “being a species of” deserving full exinction. There is no belief in ‘potential’ to be found, which means this is all just as dead and stuck as he is. Action as cause for some (desired) effect is not “nature.” And most certainly is not “connection to the whole.” Which even an atheist can scientifically understand.

      Thus, the way to end eternal suffering is to destroy everything and create everything new. Again, the extremes, well shown in season eight of the comics and based on this fundamental change done to Angel on ATS forever after, which is why he feels so OOC.

      Not to mention, there is no literal female anything “surviving.” Illyria was a male god, forced to learn by some material osmosis of “soul” from Fred, that was to provide that balance in this trinity kind of ‘coupling’ with Angel as the finale of season 12 comics. Which is a direct stab at Christianity itself, if not the goddess of maid/woman/crone. Just sayin’