Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

AtS S1 - A Strong or a Stuttering Start?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • AtS S1 - A Strong or a Stuttering Start?

    I'm finding it really interesting watching a couple of the reactors I've followed since S1 of Buffy reach S4 and start to watch Angel too. It's fair to say, the two are having very different initial responses.

    Of course the show is trying to find its feet, but how well do you think they did in setting the tone of what the show would be like in S1, looking at it overall? There are of course some weaker and stronger episodes, but do you feel it offers a coherent whole that is a good foundation for the show? Where do you think they struggled and what were their early strengths? Do you enjoy rewatching the first season? Have you tried to watch it and not completed the season?

  • #2
    I also had a difficult time watching AtS. I only watched it once, except s5, which I watched twice and it was a mixed bag for me. The only episodes from s1 I liked were Somnambulist, Five by Five and Sanctuary. Most of the time I just missed BtVS. The tone of the series is really different, as it should be, but I don't like it. Strangely, I don't hate s4 as many fans do.

    Comment


    • Stoney
      Stoney commented
      Editing a comment
      S4 is one of my favourites, although I admit it has weaknesses.

  • #3
    I think it had a good start. One thing that really helps the first season of Angel is that it takes place in an already established universe so it already has ground rules already in place. The biggest problem with Angel Season 1 is all the client/monster of the week episodes. I also think that Doyle was killed off too soon(and yes I know that Doyle was killed off cause of Glenn Quinn's drug problems).

    For all it's problems I think that Angel Season 1 is better than it's sister show's season(Buffy Season 4).
    Last edited by Lostsoul666; 30-03-21, 08:07 PM.
    My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

    Comment


    • #4
      I think S1 is probably the weakest of the Angel seasons but it sets up the show well and Angel's ongoing issues with integrating and dealing with his demonic side. The use of Kate I think is great to mirror some of what Angel goes through and I really enjoy what she brings in. There's more inconsistency in the strength of the episodes in the first season than the others though and I can understand someone perhaps finding it harder going at the beginning to get into the season. The gems, Somnambulist, The Prodigal, Five by Five, arguably Blind Date and To Shanshu are in the second half. But so are two of the worst too with Expecting and She. There's enough there though to feel what it can be I think. I also miss Doyle, was really disappointed by his early exit, but delighted by Wes' inclusion. So again, ups and downs.

      Comment


      • #5
        I certainly think season 2, most of season 3 and a lot of season 5 are stronger than Angel season one. I feel like the help-the-helpless idea was a good one that wasn't always realized as the helpless seemed to be attracted, educated and well-connected ... and that maybe others would need more protection. But I like Angel's redemptive quest and the idea of an evil law firm was a stroke of genius. As a fan of Forever Knight, I'm a sucker for flashbacks. And the ending -- the resurrection of Darla - was the perfect set-up for a much stronger second season.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by PuckRobin View Post
          I certainly think season 2, most of season 3 and a lot of season 5 are stronger than Angel season one. I feel like the help-the-helpless idea was a good one that wasn't always realized as the helpless seemed to be attracted, educated and well-connected ... and that maybe others would need more protection. But I like Angel's redemptive quest and the idea of an evil law firm was a stroke of genius. As a fan of Forever Knight, I'm a sucker for flashbacks. And the ending -- the resurrection of Darla - was the perfect set-up for a much stronger second season.
          Do you think there was a missed observation in who was being helped from the writers? As the characters tend to be following the visions we can't really consider a subconscious prejudice from their point of view. I wonder though if there was an awareness of this throughout or after a time that could have led into the inclusion of Gunn and those that are living on the streets and fighting vamps. To highlight that there was breadth and more out there than Angel had been touching?

          Comment


          • #7
            AtS started really well I thought. It was coming of a very strong parent show, had a lot of buzz and a ready made audience and the first episode didn't disappoint. It introduced the main characters, and seeing Cordy was part of the team was exciting.

            From then on, it's pretty up and down. Eps 1, 3 and 5 were good, eps 2,4, 6 and 7 were not as good. Then it starts to pick up the pace, with eps 8, 9, 10 and 11 really moving the story and characters forward and we finally see where the show is going. Eps 12 and 13 were a let down, 14 and 15 were good, 16 and 17 not so good. Then we get the highlight of the season, episodes 18 and 19, the Faith episodes and we see that Angel and Buffy are going to be separate shows with separate way of doing things. I'm not a fan of ep 20, but 21 and 22 pick up a lot and the season finishes on a high, with Darla in a box and you are suddenly excited to see where season 2 is going to go.

            So pretty much a roller coaster of a first season. Some things worked better than others. I'm not a fan of Kate, but love Cordy and Wesley joining the cast was a master stroke, whoever thought of that. It widens up the show, offers so much more scope for comedy and character growth.

            Comment


            • Stoney
              Stoney commented
              Editing a comment
              That's very like my experience, real ups and downs, but I really like Kate.

          • #8
            Angel Season 1 give us this gem.
            Spoiler:
            My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

            Comment


            • Stoney
              Stoney commented
              Editing a comment
              I have a lot of love for Sense and Sensitivity and that line does make me smile.

          • #9
            I don't know how much Glen Quinn's problems affected their plans for the season. I don't remember ever hearing any specifics about them having to change what they had been intending to do. I would say that the first batch of episodes leading up to Hero, although with positive parts of course, are weaker. But not because of Doyle specifically, it was just getting going. So I'd have liked to have seen his character in some of the stronger episodes that came after and how they might have developed that understanding that he and Angel had in dealing with the demon within themselves. The shared sense of disquiet or perhaps even shame they had.

            I think you could argue though that Angel as a show works better when the character is in a team where he doesn't have that ease of connection with members of his team. It really brings the aspect of his attempts to somewhat integrate forward and you can see how much that sense of knowing each other builds and somewhat bridges it for him, but then it emphasises (in S2 onwards really) when that fails and he feels the greater separation. I'm not sure Doyle being around for a lot longer would have been better for the series overall. Does anyone know any specifics of what plans changed?

            Comment


            • #10
              I liked Doyle, but felt he was too similar to Angel, both demons, dark, Irish and with an instant connection. I think that's what the writers wanted to begin with, so the vampire could save his human self, metaphorically. But in fiction a team works so much better when the characters are all different rather than similar and I much prefer Wesley, at least earlier on.

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                I liked Doyle, but felt he was too similar to Angel, both demons, dark, Irish and with an instant connection. I think that's what the writers wanted to begin with, so the vampire could save his human self, metaphorically. But in fiction a team works so much better when the characters are all different rather than similar and I much prefer Wesley, at least earlier on.
                He was meant to be Whistler but they couldn't get the Whistler actor back. Fair play to Glen Quinn, he turned a Whistler clone into a unique character that's still talked about despite only being in 9 episodes.

                In answer to the original question though. It was obvious they were working out what kind of show it was going to be. Whedon admitted it wasn't until Eternity (e17) that he realised what kind of show it was and they weren't making anthologies.
                As a whole there is some doldrums mid season and it doesn't really take off until the Faith episodes.
                Lani from Chipperish said Angels Highs were high a but its lows were low and I'd kind of agree with that.
                5by5 and Sanctuary are real standouts otoh Expecting and She are awful.
                overall I would say S1 stumbled but on its way up rather than down as a show

                Comment


                • Stoney
                  Stoney commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I really agree with that last line as a summary for the season (and the 'low' episodes).

              • #12
                Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

                He was meant to be Whistler but they couldn't get the Whistler actor back. Fair play to Glen Quinn, he turned a Whistler clone into a unique character that's still talked about despite only being in 9 episodes.
                I do wonder why they chose Quinn though. They specifically wanted him to be Irish, he was half demon and he had powers, he also (at least some of the time) had a gambling addiction, which mirrored the show theme/metaphor of Angel being an addict. He was so similar to Angel and that must have been a deliberate choice. For me he was a metaphor for Liam, the human self Angel needs to save to save himself. I liked that they killed him off, it was a bleak moment for Angel because (to me) it said that you can't ever save yourself Angel, it's too late for that.

                Comment


                • #13
                  My understanding is that the writers always planned to kill Doyle off, but Glen Quinn's drug problems sped up the process, which I believe since Doyle was killed off only nine episodes into the show. Another big thing is that Glen was good friends with David off screen, and the Angel show producers were afraid that his drug problem would rub off on David. I also heard that Glen would show up on set, and not know any of his lines.

                  There was talk about Doyle coming back as the big bad of Angel season 4, but sadly Glen wasn't able to overcome his problems.

                  ​​​​​​
                  Originally posted by Priceless View Post

                  I do wonder why they chose Quinn though. They specifically wanted him to be Irish
                  I don't know about specifically.
                  Originally posted by TV Tropes[LIST
                  [*]Ability over Appearance: Doyle wasn't originally supposed to be an Irishman, but was written as such when Glenn Quinn was cast. The role of Doyle was Quinn's first role where he was able to use his own Irish accent.
                  [/LIST]

                  Also Doyle was in the first story draft of the episode Somnambulist.
                  Originally posted by TV Tropes
                  • What Could Have Been: After writing the first draft, Tim Minear had to rewrite parts of the script to accommodate Wesley's arrival and Doyle's departure; the final scene on the rooftop was originally between Angel and Doyle.
                  Also if you're a big Doyle fan then you should read IDW's Angel Spotlight: Doyle. It's a one shot comic staring Doyle that takes place just before the first episode of Angel. It's not canon, but it's still a good story.
                  ​​​​​​
                  Last edited by Lostsoul666; 02-04-21, 07:51 PM.
                  My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
                    My understanding is that the writers always planned to kill Doyle off, but Glen Quinn's drug problems sped up the process, which I believe since Doyle was killed off only nine episodes into the show. Another big thing is that Glen was good friends with David off screen, and the Angel show producers were afraid that his drug problem would rub off on David. I also heard that Glen would show up on set, and not know any of his lines.

                    There was talk about Doyle coming back as the big bad of Angel season 4, but sadly Glen wasn't able to overcome his problems.

                    ​​​​​​
                    I don't know about specifically.[/LIST]

                    Also Doyle was in the first story draft of the episode Somnambulist.


                    Also if you're a big Doyle fan then you should read IDW's Angel Spotlight: Doyle. It's a one shot comic staring Doyle that takes place just before the first episode of Angel. It's not canon, but it's still a good story.
                    ​​​​​​
                    Christian Kane said, him and David and Glen were big friends off screen and used to hang out together at Glen's Night Club a lot, so that might have been a big justified fear from the Creators part. Though from David's POV, he's just been given his very own show, so to screw that up would have been really dumb.

                    David Greenwalt has talked about it. He said Joss fired him hoping that would spur Glen to get cleaned up and that he didn't say anything out of politeness to GQ, though I've read an 200/01 interview with Joss where he makes snide shots at GQ , so I don't think he fired GQ simply for GQ benefit like Greenwalt says.

                    A lot of scripts had already been written. I've Got You Under My Skin was another that had Doyle in it. That's common though. Many of early Buffy S5 scripts had Dawn written younger before they cast older MT as another example.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

                      Christian Kane said, him and David and Glen were big friends off screen and used to hang out together at Glen's Night Club a lot, so that might have been a big justified fear from the Creators part. Though from David's POV, he's just been given his very own show, so to screw that up would have been really dumb.
                      Actors are not always known for making the smartest decisions.

                      A lot of scripts had already been written. I've Got You Under My Skin was another that had Doyle in it. That's common though. Many of early Buffy S5 scripts had Dawn written younger before they cast older MT as another example.
                      My point in bringing up script rewrites was to show that the decision to kill off Doyle was kind of last minute. Since Doyle was in the original scripts it's logical to assume that he was meant to last longer on the show.
                      My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

                      Comment


                      • #16
                        David Greenwalt about Glenn:

                        Look, I totally support actors laughing and talking right up until the call of action. Except when they're laughing at their performance and their lack of professionalism. I took him into my little motor home; we were in downtown L.A. and let's say this was around episode four or five. I said to him, "Look me in the eye. I'm a serial killer. You're going to die. You may not come to my set not knowing your lines. You may not come to my set and laugh over not knowing your lines. A lot of these people are driving a long way here to work, and they have eighteen-hours days. They work very, very hard for a hell of a lot less money than you're making, and I will not stand for it. Do you understand me?" And he began to cry.

                        So I assumed he understood me, but then of course absolutely nothing changed and we ended up killing him, heroically, in episode nine

                        Slayers & Vampires, pag 336

                        Comment


                        • Lostsoul666
                          Lostsoul666 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That's really depressing to read.

                      • #17
                        Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                        I do wonder why they chose Quinn though. They specifically wanted him to be Irish, he was half demon and he had powers, he also (at least some of the time) had a gambling addiction, which mirrored the show theme/metaphor of Angel being an addict. He was so similar to Angel and that must have been a deliberate choice. For me he was a metaphor for Liam, the human self Angel needs to save to save himself. I liked that they killed him off, it was a bleak moment for Angel because (to me) it said that you can't ever save yourself Angel, it's too late for that.
                        That's an interesting way to look at it. I do think having that ease of connection and support from someone else that was bridging both worlds at the start setting up AI really helped Angel. That Doyle struggled with his demon side and had the wariness of telling Cordy was quite reflective of Angel's start in BtVS too. And Doyle continued to give Angel that element of understanding and bridging that Buffy was able to offer.

                        The sense of purpose that Doyle reflected as well for Angel was a significant part of Doyle's role and own struggles. And that element really does track back to Liam as you say and his father's disapproval of the way he was wasted his life. In joining Angel right at the start and having the visions to offer to guide him with specific people he could help, Doyle offered Angel the sense of a greater purpose. Again, as Buffy had demonstrated to him before. So I think with the visions passing, that belief in making something of himself didn't go with Doyle's death. Perhaps the idea of having an easy understanding about the challenges of integrating did alongside it though, and in that way it reflects Angel's belief that Buffy needed to live without him. That he could never fully integrate with her life.

                        Of course Cordy then took on the visions and became somewhat 'other' too. She was his connection to the human world originally, then guided his purpose and eventually somewhat became the bridge too as she sacrificed being fully human to keep the visions. As this turned out to be part of the manipulation of her for Jasmine's purpose it was a corruption that once more fits that sense that the worlds can't be bridged for Angel and he lost his sense of purpose even heading into S5. So there is definitely that ongoing element of how well Angel deals with operating in society and a reflection of someone else that struggles with an internal demonic element too, killing the human side. I think the way that Angel saves that element within is through his actions and trying to do good. In having purpose and not letting himself just drift through the centuries without trying to positively influence the world around him. It's that, 'then all that matters is what we do' element.

                        My understanding is that the writers always planned to kill Doyle off, but Glen Quinn's drug problems sped up the process, which I believe since Doyle was killed off only nine episodes into the show. Another big thing is that Glen was good friends with David off screen, and the Angel show producers were afraid that his drug problem would rub off on David. I also heard that Glen would show up on set, and not know any of his lines.

                        There was talk about Doyle coming back as the big bad of Angel season 4, but sadly Glen wasn't able to overcome his problems.
                        Yes I can see how the potential influence on DB would have been something they weren't pleased about. It's really sad that things went so badly for him and the quote that Synch provided really does underline how much he was struggling and unable to pull himself out of it.

                        Also Doyle was in the first story draft of the episode Somnambulist.
                        It's interesting to think of Doyle being around for the episode where consequences from his past plague him as they do in Somnambulist and an inherent darkness being considered in I've Got You Under My Skin as BtVS fan mentioned too. Having that initial character that was reflecting that bridge as well as offering his initial sense of direction and purpose around more, possibly even to just before Faith arrives and Angel's offering her advice and understanding could have really emphasised his initial journey and ability then to reach out to give Faith support.

                        I'll probably try to get a copy of the IDW Spotlight, as I really did love Doyle and was sad to see him leave. Do you know if any of the other Spotlights are worth considering? I'm a huge Connor fan and did notice that they had a Connor one too.

                        Comment


                        • #18
                          Originally posted by Stoney View Post



                          I'll probably try to get a copy of the IDW Spotlight, as I really did love Doyle and was sad to see him leave. Do you know if any of the other Spotlights are worth considering? I'm a huge Connor fan and did notice that they had a Connor one too.
                          The Doyle, Wesley, and Illyria spotlights are pretty good. The Gunn one is bad, the Connor spotlight is so-so. It's better then the Gunn spotlight. We don't really learn anything new about Connor in his spotlight, the story is kind of cliche. If you can find the Connor spotlight for dirt cheap then go for it I guess but the Connor spotlight isn't really worth losing sleep over if you can't find it for a really cheap price.


                          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

                          Comment


                          • Stoney
                            Stoney commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Cool, thanks.

                          • Lostsoul666
                            Lostsoul666 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            You're welcome. ^_^

                        • #19
                          Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                          That's an interesting way to look at it. I do think having that ease of connection and support from someone else that was bridging both worlds at the start setting up AI really helped Angel. That Doyle struggled with his demon side and had the wariness of telling Cordy was quite reflective of Angel's start in BtVS too. And Doyle continued to give Angel that element of understanding and bridging that Buffy was able to offer.

                          The sense of purpose that Doyle reflected as well for Angel was a significant part of Doyle's role and own struggles. And that element really does track back to Liam as you say and his father's disapproval of the way he was wasted his life. In joining Angel right at the start and having the visions to offer to guide him with specific people he could help, Doyle offered Angel the sense of a greater purpose. Again, as Buffy had demonstrated to him before. So I think with the visions passing, that belief in making something of himself didn't go with Doyle's death. Perhaps the idea of having an easy understanding about the challenges of integrating did alongside it though, and in that way it reflects Angel's belief that Buffy needed to live without him. That he could never fully integrate with her life.

                          Of course Cordy then took on the visions and became somewhat 'other' too. She was his connection to the human world originally, then guided his purpose and eventually somewhat became the bridge too as she sacrificed being fully human to keep the visions. As this turned out to be part of the manipulation of her for Jasmine's purpose it was a corruption that once more fits that sense that the worlds can't be bridged for Angel and he lost his sense of purpose even heading into S5. So there is definitely that ongoing element of how well Angel deals with operating in society and a reflection of someone else that struggles with an internal demonic element too, killing the human side. I think the way that Angel saves that element within is through his actions and trying to do good. In having purpose and not letting himself just drift through the centuries without trying to positively influence the world around him. It's that, 'then all that matters is what we do' element.



                          Yes I can see how the potential influence on DB would have been something they weren't pleased about. It's really sad that things went so badly for him and the quote that Synch provided really does underline how much he was struggling and unable to pull himself out of it.



                          It's interesting to think of Doyle being around for the episode where consequences from his past plague him as they do in Somnambulist and an inherent darkness being considered in I've Got You Under My Skin as BtVS fan mentioned too. Having that initial character that was reflecting that bridge as well as offering his initial sense of direction and purpose around more, possibly even to just before Faith arrives and Angel's offering her advice and understanding could have really emphasised his initial journey and ability then to reach out to give Faith support.

                          I'll probably try to get a copy of the IDW Spotlight, as I really did love Doyle and was sad to see him leave. Do you know if any of the other Spotlights are worth considering? I'm a huge Connor fan and did notice that they had a Connor one too.

                          Another thing regarding Doyle is early on is his almost Angel's mentor style figure like what they did with Whistler but they did change that up so Angel was more the mentor to him, which worked better imo. A 250 Yr old should not need a Obiwan style mentor anyway.

                          Also regarding the differences in shows. One huge difference is that things were played serious on Angel. On BtVS there was always the self aware tounge in cheek humour that yeah this stuff isn't real and we should laugh at it. "It's lucky no one checked out any of these books" "yes its very convenient" , Ats didn't really have that. Now that was both good and bad. On the one hand serious episodes like 5by5 or AYNOHYEB could be done well. Otoh Them treating an extra in a rubber mask or in literal Paint (Oracles) super serious, could look super ridiculous.

                          Comment


                          • #20
                            Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post


                            One huge difference is that things were played serious on Angel. On BtVS there was always the self aware tounge in cheek humour that yeah this stuff isn't real and we should laugh at it. "It's lucky no one checked out any of these books" "yes its very convenient" , Ats didn't really have that.
                            Angel totally has a self aware sense of humor not as often as Buffy but that self awareness is still there.
                            From the episode "I've got you under my skin"

                            Cordy: “Uh-huh. I need an Ethros box.”
                            Rick: “A lady who knows what she wants. Commendable.”
                            Cordy: “Yes, I’m great. Just pop it in a bag and I’m out of here.”
                            Rick: “I don’t have one.”
                            Cordy: “You don’t have one. (Rick shakes his head) Well, (Cordy looks around then points at a box on a shelf behind Rick) what’s that?”
                            Rick: “Good eye. That’s a Shorshack box.”
                            Cordy: “What’s the diff?”
                            Rick takes the box down: “About 20 Dollars, and it’s not available in a mahogany finish.”
                            Cordy: “Looks the same. Handcrafted by blind Tibetan monks?”
                            Rick opens the box: “Pieced together by mute Chinese nuns. Now that’s craftsmanship.”
                            Cordy: “Look, I have an Ethros demon and I need a place to put it. Will this work?”
                            Rick: “Hmm, probably. Shorshack demon is a little smaller than your average Ethros, might be tight across the shoulders.”
                            Cordy: “Well, how big could the demon be? I mean, it’s in a little bitty boy! - I’ll take it.”
                            Rick: “A wise choice. I think you are going to enjoy this item. It’s a quality item. Shall I have it gift-wrapped?”

                            Them treating an extra in a rubber mask or in literal Paint (Oracles) super serious, could look super ridiculous.
                            From "I Will Remember You"

                            Angel: 'The Gateway for Lost Souls' (Turns to Doyle) is under the post office?"
                            Doyle: "It makes sense if you think about it.

                            Yeah I don't think that we are meant to take the Oracles super seriously.

                            Also the writers clearly didn't care about the Oracles much since they were killed off at the end of Season 1, and their role as someone that Angel turned to for guidance was replaced by Lorne who fit the tone of the show much better.

                            Oh, and don't forget that Wesley talks to a burger statue in Season 3. Clearly Angel was a super serious show.
                            Last edited by Lostsoul666; 04-04-21, 09:59 PM.
                            My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X