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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:54 am 
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I'm a little late to the conversation, but I whole-heartedly agree with Monica.

Though I personally prefer Buffy to Angel by a lot, and I haven't seen any season of Angel in a while, season 5 is the only one that actively disappointed me, and left me feeling frustrated with the writing. I can understand why someone might enjoy it, but Angel S5's flaws are just so glaring that it's difficult to look past them.

Monica wrote:
Fred's total misuse, failure to follow up on the memory wipe, character regression and redundancy through the mid-season

Exactly my thoughts. Also agreed on Spike's inclusion being altogether unpleasant. I know the writers didn't have a choice in the matter, but it just felt shoehorned and completely out of character for the most part.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:26 am 
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PS: I did this for season 3 and got a perfect 22-0 for Buffy over Angel. Hot damn.

And I don't even like Buffy S3 that much. :0(

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:49 am 
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I thought there were only a few times where Angel Season 3 took it. I really like "That vision Thing", so that one was fairly easy. "Dead Man's Party" is meh. "Lullaby" or "The Wish" is up in the air. Both are great, some of my favorites from either show. But "Lullaby" is the more affecting episode, which is why I chose it. "Waiting in the Wings" is a Whedon classic, not on the level of "Once More With Feeling", but still excellent. Even better than "The Zeppo", which I also love. I'm not the biggest fan of "Consequences", but that match up is up in the air, as is "Sleep Tight" vs "Doppelgangland". The best scenes in "Sleep Tight" are A++ material, but it also has some flaws in the first half of the episode. But given how pivotal and important it is to the rest of the series, I couldn't not include it. "Forgiving" vs "Enemies" was very simple actually. "Enemies" is kind of uninteresting, while "Forgiving" is a very smart episode with a killer ending (almost literally) :wink: . The final one is "Benediction", which tells a compelling story in its own right while setting up future events, unlike "Graduation Day Part 1", which is basically just all setup for Part 2 (which is amazing). I was surprised that I gave it 7, because I adore Buffy Season 3, and think it's the FAR superior season. But there were a couple instances in which Angel took the cake for me. B3 is my favorite Buffy season, though. A few great episodes here and there don't change the glaring flaws with A3.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:57 am 
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Dead Man's Party is fantastic and the haters don't know what they're talking about.

I do prefer Forgiving and Benediction to whatever their counterparts are. That might be it.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:23 am 
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Freudian Vampire wrote:
Dead Man's Party is fantastic and the haters don't know what they're talking about.

Not sure whether this is sarcastic or genuine...

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:45 am 
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Iguana-on-a-stick wrote:
Not sure.

Episode-by-episode, slightly over half the season is very good or great. A handful of episodes are dire, and the remainder unremarkable or decent.

But judging it as a season, I'd need to consider how it hangs together as a whole, as well as the value of individual episodes. And judged by that metric, it's a mixed bag.

As I outlined in my previous post, the season had two specific tasks: Following up on Angel's decision to memory-wipe his friends, and to use the switch to Wolfram & Hart in interesting and thematically appropriate ways.

The season failed utterly at the first, only addressing the matter at all in "Origin," which — whilst good — was too little, too late, and also only dealt with Wesley and Connor.

The final black thorn plot went some way to salvage the second, but on the whole I still give the W&H plot below average marks. They took a fascinating concept and used it to do... nothing much.

Then there's the characters. They did some good stuff with Spike, but took too much time and used up too much screen-space to do so, particularly early on. Did we really need 4 out of the first 11 episodes to heavily focus on Spike?

As I said, Angel's stuff had the same problem. Lorne was used no better than he had been in previous seasons, and the episode focussing on him was... lacking. Wesley was largely ignored early on, though the episode focussing on him was brilliant, and the work later in the season more than compensated. Gunn had an interesting background arc, but again it only came out to the front in the second half. Fred was used badly, turned into generic-science-exposition-girl and forced to try and fill the hole Cordelia had left, until she died in an hour's worth of (very high quality) torture-porn.

Of the new characters, Hamilton was cool and had as much depth as he needed. (little, but plenty of style to compensate.) Nina was pleasant but ultimately didn't add much. And Eve was... there.

Illyria was magnificent, of course.

And then there is Cordelia. Or rather, there isn't Cordelia. Season 4 made a hash out of her character, season 5 seemed to forget about her completely. "You're Welcome" helped, but not enough, and knowing that the writers actually wanted Buffy for the 100th episode and only slotted in Cordelia when that fell through... it leaves a bitter taste.

The Black Thorn plot ultimately made for a thrilling and exiting finale, and the latter half of the season did a great job tying up the various hanging plot-arcs. With resolutions to things as wide-ranging as Lorne's disillusionment, Gunn's insecurities, Wesley's father issues, Spike's dichotomous past, and of course Connor's and Angel's troubled relationship, it did a pretty good job providing closure for all the characters, (even Cordelia) and went a long way to compensating for the first half's missteps.

But all in all? Going by Mike's grading curve, I'd have to give the season a "B."
Mike wrote:
A bit flawed, but otherwise very good. There's a lot of intelligence, character relevance, and/or fun here, but a few nagging problems keep it from rising higher.


Nagging problems keep it from rising higher. Sounds about right.


Well, a season 5 review may never get published, but at least we have this. (Very late, but still thanks. :) )

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:11 am 
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Genuine, albeit slightly hyperbolic. I'd say it's one of the most important episodes of the series and pretty damn well executed too. B+ at the very least.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am 
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I mean, I adore Season 5, but I see where Iguana's coming from.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:53 am 
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Freudian Vampire, can't say I agree with you there.

Dead Man's Party has its moments, but it also manages to monumentally screw up some extremely important charcter moments. There's so much out-of-character behavior in this episode, it's kind of impossible to look past.

For starters, why on earth would the Scoobies take Joyce's invitation to dinner as an opportunity to throw a kegger? I know they can be a little dense sometimes, but I just don't see it happening. And all the tension that came with Buffy's return is suddenly dissolved because of a surprise zombie attack and a sappy hug session?

There are so many better ways that this episode could have been done, but the writers decide to take the easy way out and altogether avoid the immediate consequences of Buffy's return.

This is a pretty good episode for Giles though, so I'll give it that. "Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead. Americans."

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Last edited by Gretchen on Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:00 am 
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Flamepillar112 wrote:
Well, a season 5 review may never get published, but at least we have this. (Very late, but still thanks. :) )


Heh. Thanks!

It's fun to read something you'd forgotten you'd ever written, but still agree with. All the credit, none of the effort. (Well, okay, I must have put effort into it at some point, but I've forgotten so it doesn't count.)

Gretchen wrote:
Iguana, can't say I agree with you there.


Uhm, about my Angel season 5 post? Or...

I'm a bit confused because your post is talking about Dead Man's Party, and I don't recall writing anything about that lately... actually, I pretty much agree with everything you write here.

Maybe you meant to write Freudian?

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:40 am 
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Well this is embarrassing. I'll just go and edit that now...

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:41 am 
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Gretchen wrote:
Words

That's pretty much the popular opinion. I also think it's completely wrongheaded. Fans of S3 (of which I am one) tend to point to how the events of "Becoming, Part II" caused fractures in the Scooby Gang which stay mostly below the surface but bubble up into big conflicts in key episodes like "Revelations" and in the Faith arc. The distance created between Buffy and her friends becomes an important part of her character going even beyond the season, especially in "The Yoko Factor" and "The Weight of the World". They just don't have the same level of closeness that they used to. People criticise "Dead Man's Party" for essentially burying the issues, but isn't that the exact point? You don't get it two ways. If the Scoobies duke it out properly and make up, the rest of the show becomes radically different. Instead the issues go unresolved and the problems left unaddressed remain there throughout.

I always thought it was pretty obvious the Scoobies threw the kegger to avoid the awkwardness of too much 1 to 1 contact with Buffy.

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 Post subject: Re: Angel vs Buffy: Season by Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:04 am 
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I guess I can agree with some of what you're saying, but I still feel that parts of this episode were poorly executed.

Freudian Vampire wrote:
I always thought it was pretty obvious the Scoobies threw the kegger to avoid the awkwardness of too much 1 to 1 contact with Buffy.

It's not that I didn't get that, because, like you said, it's pretty obvious, it's that it's so rude and dismissive of Joyce on everyone's part that it doesn't make very much sense. Oz, at the very least, should know better. And I know Joyce is still frazzled by the whole situation, but why is she so passive about the rager going on in her living room? You'd at least expect her to be a little upset that the Scoobies so wildly misinterpreted her invitation to a simple, quiet dinner. But hey, matter of opinion.

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