Friday, April 29, 2005

All Good Things...

Yes, I'm a geek, reread my profile :P

And no, this isn't about TNG. It's about good old dark, angsty and beautiful, aka Angel The Breeding Mar^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hooding Hero.

All in all, it was a very nice and enjoyable series--except for season 4, which doesn't exist except as one of those nightmares that fades from your mind even as you get up from your bed in the morning. I expected feeling intense frustration upon reaching the end of the last episode, but I didn't experience that. The ending is, amazingly enough, coherent with the pronouncements made all along the series: the fight never ends. You cannot win, but you keep fighting, again and again, and nevermind the impossible odds. It couldn't end. There could be no victory and living happily everafter. So, the ending as it was suits me fine. As for the few peeves I might entertain toward the series, let me see...

(note for anyone who isn't done watching Angel season 5: you might want to skip the rest, unless you don't mind spoilers...)

Plot holes. Hello, plot holes! The whole series is strewn with them. An example? Oh, gladly! Meet Illyria, Season 5 archdemon, Old One, older than the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart ("they were small"), absolute power, overgod, and so on. Incarnates in a human shell too fragile for it, and lo, all it takes to contain it is some plastic pseudo sci-fi weapon developped in less than an episode by Wesley (not that we get to see him actually _working_ on the thing), who's not exactly an expert in the manufacturing of advanced weaponry... Urgh.

Connor. Ah, no, no Connor, doesn't exist. Impossible, remember. Why did they write Connor? Insufferable character, except for the few scenes he has in season 5, when he's finally gotten a life (litterally).

Season 4--wait, what season? Ah, the thing that could have been written and directed by a 5 year-old kid? The thing during which all the actors suddenly regressed to be really, _really_ bad? Three things save season 4 from the abyss and allow it to hang by a tiny corner of paper on the edge of that veeeeery high cliff: Wesley, Lilah, and the last episode.

Lindsey. Come on, Lindsey is such a fantastic character, why, oh why, did the writers have to bring him back for another round in season 5? Why was it necessary to change that nuanced, grey character into your average middle-level Bad Guy (tm)? How could they throw to the wolves such a superb character? Anyone but Lindsey! Leave Lindsey alone! (perhaps I should create a society for the preservation of Lindseys...)

The fabulous depth and sincerity shining (yep, shine. Shine, shine!) in the so-called romances of our resident dark-and-beautiful-and-tormented Angel such as they're masterfully blundered during season 5--on the other hand, no. Let's not go there, or I will start saying really unflattering things for whoever was in charge of managing that. One word: ludicrous.

Angel killing off Drogyn and feeding from him...okay, I can work with that, but dagnabit, CHARACTER COHERENCE, people! It takes roughly 10 seconds of footing to justify it, a word whispered in an ear. But, nothing. And as a result we get Angel being as un-Angel as you can get. Really, was it too much to ask to get Drogyn to know and accept the reason why he was about to die? With such a scene, all is well. Without it, Angel just goes over to the dark side--not to fool his enemies as is stated in the season, for real. It doesn't fit with the character, it's just plain stupid.

Other than that, as stated before, Angel is a really fine entertainment series. If you don't get sick when you spot plot holes (no matter how huge they can be), if you don't mind the occasional deus ex machina, then you get truly nicely done and developped characters.

And you get Spike. Yes! Spike! More Spike is always good! But then, Spike, simply by being Spike, would turn any series into a worldwide success (and I won't even try claiming a semblance of objectivity here :P)

Wesley is definitely one of the best characters I've ever seen in a TV series, along with Lorne and Lilah. Gunn and Fred come next. Angel is Angel, too much of a cliche and a walking stereotype to be really good, in spite of valiant attempt of gifting (or cursing) the character with a sense of humor. I would mention Andrew, but then he gets so few scenes and is such a Buffy character that I can't decently list him here--wait, isn't that what I just did?

And kudos to Joss Whedon for coming up with the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart. Must be one of the very best depictions of evil I've ever seen or read about.

Before I finish this mind dump on Angel, one last note regarding coincidences: discounting season 5 (which can't compete since it has Spike throughout, and that would be unfair when comparing with seasons which have much less--and sometimes none--of him), my favorite season in Angel is season 2, which matches Buffy season 5, my favorite Buffy season. Chances, chances.

Now, Mr. Whedon, why don't you start working on something that doesn't involve catering to the nostalgics of the American Founding Fathers and the Wild West Pioneers, and get back to something that's also palatable for the rest of the world? I happen to believe you're a man of true talent, and I'd really love to get more of what your mind can create :P

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