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2003-09-30 13:27:17-07:00 - Village Voice article on the new season - (reldevik@usa.net)




2003-09-30 16:04:23-05:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (Avatar <avatar@donoteventhinkaboutit.com>)


On 30 Sep 2003 13:27:17 -0700, reldevik@usa.net (Clairel) wrote: >From www.villagevoice.com > >S > >P > >A > >C > >E >- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - > >It's one thing to renovate a show voluntarily, quite another to do so >at gunpoint. Angel began four years ago as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer >spin-off, with a tight ensemble cast and a Buffy-esque mixture of >pathos, hilarity, and ass-kicking. At its best, this saga of a vampire >with a soul was one of the most melancholy, piercing series on prime >time. Until last season, that is, when it succumbed to a bloated story >line involving a mind-controlling god-dess sired by Angel's son, who >grew up in a hell dimension, and Angel's paramour, who turned all >devilish and ended up in a coma and . . . See what I mean? > >The word is that Angel was on the verge of cancellation last spring. >To avert certain death, the producers concocted a whole new framework >for the program. Angel and the remaining gang of do-gooders (minus the >girlfriend in a coma) would take over the L.A. branch of Wolfram and >Hart, a wicked law firm whose controlling partners reign from hell. >They'd work their way through evil, one case at a time&#8212;a >postmodern, supernatural L.A. Law, if you will. Initially it sounded >like a terrible idea, but the two episodes I've seen suggest the >revamped Angel might just work. Out with the old mawkish meditations >on redemption and mercy, in with a giddy, self-consciously clever >approach. The season debut opens with a familiar scenario: Angel >(David Boreanaz) swooping into a seedy alley to rescue a damsel from a >nasty vampire. After slaying the bad guy, Angel stalks off into the >darkness&#8212;only to be greeted by a phalanx of Wolfram and Hart >bureaucrats who induce the damsel to sign a contract indemnifying the >company against damages. "You run a law firm?" the young woman asks >with undisguised horror. > >Angel does run a law firm now, but he's not quite sure what to do with >it. He and the gang wander around Wolfram and Hart's corporate >skyscraper joking about the ridiculous plot premise. "We're crusaders >against evil and now the law firm that represents most of the evil in >the world has given us their L.A. branch," jabbers Fred (Amy Acker), >the show's giggly female brainiac. "Probably in an attempt to corrupt >and divide us. And we all say yes in, like, three minutes." That's >because they've been enticed with personalized bribes: Fred is given >her own state-of-the-art scientific lab; Wesley (Alexis Denisof) has >access to all the mystical reference books he could want; Gunn (J. >August Richards) trades his street smarts for book smarts; and Lorne >(Andy Hallett), the green lounge singer, becomes an entertainment >industry power broker, allowing him to riff on the stars who've made >pacts with the devil, e.g., the Olsen twins. > >Angel is the character most adrift in this new setup. No more of that >dashing "find the bad guy and put a stake in him" stuff. Our hero now >presides over a firm whose clientele is primarily demonic; if Angel >kills all his fiendish clients, then the company falters and he loses >the resources and power that Wolfram and Hart puts at his disposal. So >Angel CEO must keep up his bottom line while also working to conquer >the evil empire from within. This gives rise to some witty legal set >pieces. Discussing the details of one upcoming case, a lawyer >explains, "The jury is tamperproof. Literally&#8212;I think one of the >D.A. shamans has conjured a mystical shield around them." > >Meanwhile, there are plenty of inside jokes for longtime Angel and >Buffy fanatics. Harmony (Mercedes McNab), who has transformed over the >years from Sunnydale airhead to devious vampire (and sometimes >sycophantic girlfriend of Angel's nemesis, Spike), pops up here as >Angel's comically ditzy secretary. When asked why she's at Wolfram and >Hart, Harmony replies, "Duh&#8212;I'm a single undead girl trying to >make it in the city!" Even more enticing to slayer devotees, Spike >(James Marsters) has joined the series, adding a frisson of sexual >tension and jealousy between the Men who Loved and Lost Buffy. >Spike&#8212;destined to play ghostly sidekick to Angel&#8212;feels as >sorry for himself as ever: "I save the world, throw myself onto the >proverbial hand grenade for love and honor, and what do I get?" Just >as ER's Dr. Carter can never measure up to the long-suffering Luka, >Spike forever lags behind the ever noble Angel. > >This sudden abandonment of apocalyptic gloom for lighthearted jokiness >may back-fire: Messing around with the emotional investment of >longtime fans is a risky strategy. And the self-referentiality could >drive away new viewers not sufficiently versed in slayer >lore&#8212;presumably the very audience that this overhaul was >designed to attract. But in the wasteland of prime-time television, >Angel remains an oasis of ambiguity, an eccentric genre series once >again pulsing with undead energy. > >- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - > >My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility >with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), but even aside >from that I'm skeptical about the statement in the last paragraph >about how much the mood of the show has changed. There was always a >fair amount of light-hearted jokiness, and the reviewer doesn't seem >to recognize that; how well can the reviewer possibly know AtS? >Granted that I've only read scripts and haven't actually seen any of >the new episodes play out yet, but I don't believe the question of the >show's mood is really such a problem as this review makes it out to >be. > >Clairel I finally broke down and watched the "working prints" that have been floating around for a few days and I'm pleasently surprised. I'll not say anything that could be construed as a spoiler but I really liked it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sooner or later, all of our names wind up on a Post-It. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2003-09-30 16:05:19-07:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (Mark Jones <sinanju@pacifier.com>)


Clairel wrote: > My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility > with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), Well, there you go. I saw his take on the series as dead-on accurate, since he saw the S4 debacle for what it was. > but even aside > from that I'm skeptical about the statement in the last paragraph > about how much the mood of the show has changed. There was always a > fair amount of light-hearted jokiness, and the reviewer doesn't seem > to recognize that; how well can the reviewer possibly know AtS? Yeah, the last half of S4 was just _brimming_ with light-heartedness and jokiness.... > Granted that I've only read scripts and haven't actually seen any of > the new episodes play out yet, but I don't believe the question of the > show's mood is really such a problem as this review makes it out to > be. They've retooled the show. Of course the change is a risk.

2003-09-30 23:40:19+00:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (PJ Browning <antarian@pacbell.net>)


In article <vnk31grkokgj46@corp.supernews.com>, Mark Jones <sinanju@pacifier.com> wrote: > Clairel wrote: > > > My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility > > with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), > > Well, there you go. I saw his take on the series as dead-on accurate, > since he saw the S4 debacle for what it was. I disagree that the last season was such a disaster. I liked it and thought it was well done for the most part. But I'll be the first to say that the season was very dark compared to earlier ones and if such a dark mood continued the show would not last long. They needed to have a change of direction and returning to the one off style of the earlier eps (which didn't work then) is a good choice. Putting Connor on ice via the spell for a while is also a good idea. They could always bring him back into the game without him knowing at first who he is. He could get to know all of them without the emotional baggage and they would likely get along quite well. I could even see him seeing Angel as a pseudo father figure and mentor. Then when he did remember the truth he'd have to reconcile what he knows about Angel the good guy with what he was told by Holtz during his real childhood. In the end he would likely trust what he knows now, not Holtz's teachings and we could have father and son together again without all the anger and angst. Putting Cordy on ice kind of sucks cause I like her, but I'd rather have her gone then back to the passive character she became when she got the visions. It seemed like Cordy got the vision and set them out to battle while she stayed home and I didn't like that change one bit. And I like bring Spike into the game because he is one of a small group of people that would be brutally honest with Angel. Even more so than Cordy would. And Angel could do with that.

2003-10-01 00:34:56+00:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - ("R. Watson" <shanovia@earthlink.net>)


"PJ Browning" <antarian@pacbell.net> wrote in message news:300920031641092059%antarian@pacbell.net... > In article <vnk31grkokgj46@corp.supernews.com>, Mark Jones > <sinanju@pacifier.com> wrote: > > > Clairel wrote: > > > > > My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility > > > with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), > > > > Well, there you go. I saw his take on the series as dead-on accurate, > > since he saw the S4 debacle for what it was. > > I disagree that the last season was such a disaster. I liked it and > thought it was well done for the most part. Agree. > Putting Connor on ice via the spell for a while is also a good idea. > They could always bring him back into the game without him knowing at > first who he is. Agree. > Putting Cordy on ice kind of sucks cause I like her, but I'd rather > have her gone then back to the passive character she became when she > got the visions. Agree and agree. I think Cordy would've fit wonderfully with the new season 5, IMO. But I think she would've been too conflicted for the W&H angle. > And I like bring Spike into the game because he is one of a small group > of people that would be brutally honest with Angel. Even more so than > Cordy would. And Angel could do with that. Gunn and Wes(moreso Gunn) have never back down to Angel, so honesty wasn't needed. Spike a wildcard and we have yet to feel out his chemistry and personality on the show. Right now he being used as a ratings draw and a needle in Angel eye. I'm just hoping this season will be the best ever and everybody come aboard for the AtS love.

2003-10-01 01:51:07+00:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (Chris Schumacher <kensu_@hotmail.com>)


On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 16:04:23 -0500, Avatar <avatar@donoteventhinkaboutit.com> wrote: > >I finally broke down and watched the "working prints" that have been >floating around for a few days and I'm pleasently surprised. I'll not >say anything that could be construed as a spoiler but I really liked >it. > Yeah, I second that. I haven't seen such a wonderful set of opening episodes since the second season of Buffy. Of course these two episodes can really be considered as the "pilot" for the new series. The real test is the third episode. > >--------------------------------------------------------------------------- > Sooner or later, all of our names wind up on a Post-It. >--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dead Like Me? -==Kensu==-

2003-10-01 04:46:57-07:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (wallyrosenberg@hotmail.com)


reldevik@usa.net (Clairel) wrote in message news:<1faed770.0309301227.29631f99@posting.google.com>... > My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility > with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), but even aside > from that I'm skeptical about the statement in the last paragraph > about how much the mood of the show has changed. There was always a > fair amount of light-hearted jokiness, and the reviewer doesn't seem > to recognize that; how well can the reviewer possibly know AtS? You are right. I watched my Season 3 DVDs last week (never miss an opportunity to brag...) and the really striking thing is the way the tone changes during the season and even between adjacent episodes. Some episodes are non-stop rollercoaster rides of tragedy, some are light-hearted fun, and some mix it up - consider Sajan (sp?), who is the classic Whedon funny mystical character (sarcastic, American, net-savvy, joking about his skin problems and pop-culture), and yet he's the evil driving force behind the plot. Early episodes of the season are no guide at all to the over-all tone (if there can be said to be such a thing.) At the end of it you really feel like you've watched several movies on different themes and you've certainly got your money's worth. And season 4 started bleak, then went comic-book, then fun, then apocalyptic, then Freudian-icky, then cross-overy, then philosophical, and was a delightful mix. I think this reviewer is talking out of his orb.

2003-10-01 10:44:47-07:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (reldevik@usa.net)


Mark Jones <sinanju@pacifier.com> wrote in message news:<vnk31grkokgj46@corp.supernews.com>... > Clairel wrote: > > > My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility > > with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), > > Well, there you go. I saw his take on the series as dead-on accurate, > since he saw the S4 debacle for what it was. > > > but even aside > > from that I'm skeptical about the statement in the last paragraph > > about how much the mood of the show has changed. There was always a > > fair amount of light-hearted jokiness, and the reviewer doesn't seem > > to recognize that; how well can the reviewer possibly know AtS? > > Yeah, the last half of S4 was just _brimming_ with light-heartedness and > jokiness.... --I was laughing a lot of the time. Lorne and the magic eightball, saying "Has Cordy been a very bad girl?"; Angel and Connor singing "Jasmine" to the tune of "Mandy"; pathetic 1970s Angel putting "Mandy" on the jukebox in Orpheus; Willow's and Wes's conversation in the same episode; Willow telling Fred "I'm seeing someone"...of course there were heartrending things going on too. But Joss Whedon's genius is to combine laughter and tears in a way nobody else can. Clairel

2003-10-01 22:16:11+01:00 - Re: Village Voice article on the new season - (Laser_Eraser <voodoo_priestess@hotmail.com>)


"Clairel" <reldevik@usa.net> wrote in message news:1faed770.0310010944.34ef3635@posting.google.com... > Mark Jones <sinanju@pacifier.com> wrote in message news:<vnk31grkokgj46@corp.supernews.com>... > > Clairel wrote: > > > > > My comment: Anyone who's so down on AtS season 4 loses credibility > > > with me in the first place (because I loved season 4), > > > > Well, there you go. I saw his take on the series as dead-on accurate, > > since he saw the S4 debacle for what it was. > > > > > but even aside > > > from that I'm skeptical about the statement in the last paragraph > > > about how much the mood of the show has changed. There was always a > > > fair amount of light-hearted jokiness, and the reviewer doesn't seem > > > to recognize that; how well can the reviewer possibly know AtS? > > > > Yeah, the last half of S4 was just _brimming_ with light-heartedness and > > jokiness.... > > --I was laughing a lot of the time. Lorne and the magic eightball, > saying "Has Cordy been a very bad girl?"; Angel and Connor singing > "Jasmine" to the tune of "Mandy"; pathetic 1970s Angel putting "Mandy" > on the jukebox in Orpheus; Willow's and Wes's conversation in the same > episode; Willow telling Fred "I'm seeing someone"...of course there > were heartrending things going on too. But Joss Whedon's genius is to > combine laughter and tears in a way nobody else can. > > Clairel Newbie poster here! I like S4 for the Angelus (I am a huge fan!) and Faith stuff plus grrr Wes. Lorne is always a highlight. Connor annoyed me a lot, being Evil's lapdog. also annoyed at how they hav messed around with Cordy's character, why ruin a good thing? I miss S1 Cordy sometimes. Watched the workprints as well, liked the 2nd angel ep better than the first. . Sue