Mol (mollyringle) wrote,

Time to ramble about Buffy

Despite Saturday attendance at LJ being historically low, I feel like posting a Buffy ramble. Been too long, right?

I'm rewatching the series slowly, and just saw "Enemies" from Season 3. Though it's an excellent episode, I think it has some of those typical Joss "please ignore that illogical bit" plot points. The mayor hires the blue-shrouded demon with glowing eyes to steal Angel's soul, but at the end we find out blue guy was actually in Giles's employ and thus on "our" side. Fine, and of course I love the line, "I introduced him to his wife," but how did they ensure that the mayor call that particular demon? Was it just luck? Oh, well. Ignore that detail and it's fine.

Of course, a similarly illogical detail hangs at the very crux of one of the best plotlines in the series: Angel becoming Angelus in Season 2. As probably ten million other fans have figured out, Angel's curse makes no sense. Having his soul reinstated so he can suffer forever remembering all the mayhem he committed as a vampire--sure, that makes sense; that's a good curse. But having his soul taken away again is no punishment whatsoever. The second he becomes Angelus, he loves being Angelus. As Angel, he loathes the possibility of this happening, but until it really does happen, he doesn't know it will happen because the gypsies never told him about that Moment Of Perfect Happiness clause.

The curse would have worked a lot better if they had, since then he'd carry around double torture: "I'm doomed to remember all the terrible things I once did, plus I can never be truly happy or I'll turn into a monster again." As it is, he doesn't even realize the second half of that sentence until after Season 2. It's almost like the gypsies planned for him to 1) find out by trial and error, and 2) get his soul reinstated by someone, somehow, so that 3) he could then live in the full torture they intended, with some nice new regrets about how he treated his new friends.

Yeah. No sense. But dang, it sure was a compelling story to watch.

Moving to the "Angel" series for a moment, let's take a minute of silence for poor Andy Hallett. He, as Lorne, and Glenn Quinn as Doyle, played two of the most lovable characters on that series, and now both actors are dead. If I were Amy Acker I'd be worried, since Fred was the only other lovable one. (I rate the rest of the cast as highly likable and/or interesting, but only those three as lovable.)

And then a note on the Buffyverse as a whole:
naill_renfro and I have been discussing the shows in email, and he points out that Joss's characters have some serious father problems. As Naill puts it:

"There's Buffy and her absentee deadbeat dad, Angel and his verbally/physically abusive father (who, as Angel later says, "tasted like chicken!"), Wesley and his abusive father, Kate Lockley and her emotionally paralyzed, criminal father, Xander and his horrible father, the demon father Doyle never met and whom he wishes had never existed, Giles' rejection of and attempt to escape the destiny his father imposed on him... I'm sure I'm leaving some out, but there seems to be a pattern emerging here."

Good point. Add to the list the long-drawn-out Series of Dysfunctional Events between Angel and Connor. We also mustn't forget John Ritter as the disastrous robot suitor of Joyce's, who sure didn't give stepfathers any better a name. We never see Willow's dad to my recollection, and Spike's father was, what, dead his whole life or something? Spike might view Angelus as a father figure early in his vampire career. That's not healthy. And though Giles makes an admirable father figure for Buffy and the gang, it sometimes feels a little un-familial and almost romantic. (Or am I just projecting? Hmm. Moving on...) In all, the Mayor of Sunnydale comes off as the nicest dad figure, in his interactions with Faith, and that whole relationship is, of course, demonic parody.

In fact, aside from Joyce, mothers don't turn out much better. In all the above cases of abuse by fathers, the mothers don't seem to be of any help. We only see Willow's mom once if I recall, and it's when she and the other moms try to burn the town's daughters at the stake in "Gingerbread." Spike's sweet mum had to be staked before she did something really icky to her son. Principal Wood teaches us that Slayers don't make good moms either. Lorne's mother gives him a memorably discouraging (though hilarious) greeting when he returns home. And Darla--well, yeah. At least she was merciful enough to remove herself early from the picture.

Fred's parents may be the only sweethearts in the series, come to think of it.

But then, this isn't necessarily any psychoanalysis of Joss himself. It's just a staple of good drama, going way back to myths and fairy tales. If your parents are always around and always loving, you can't get into many interesting adventures.

Rambling concluded. Go dye some eggs or scarf some Cadbury.
Tags: angel, buffy, writing

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