PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What's a Rogue Demon, Season One?

Season One Stats

Dead Humans - 27
Dead Undeads - 62
Dead Flashbacks - 17
Alterna-Dead Humans - 2
Alterna-Dead Undeads - 1
Dead Lawyers - 1
Doyle Has a Vision - 7
Cordelia Has a Vision - 7
(Cordelia Fakes a Vision - 1)
Wesley Prat-Falls - 7
Lawyered Ex Machina - 8
Evil Reveal - 9
Unevil Reveal - 7
Shenanigans Called - 11
Apocalypse Called - 1
Prophecy Called - 3

Additional Stats
Recurring Characters: 18 (The Powers That Be, Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey McDonald, Detective Kate Lockley, Spike, "We Help the Hopeless," Phantom Dennis, Trevor Lockley, Lee Mercer, Buffy Summers, The Oracles, Darla, Angel's "Irish" accent, Lilah Morgan, Faith, David Nabbit, Charles Gunn, Holland Manners)
Future Famous Person: 3 (Josh Holloway, Jeremy Renner, Christina Hendricks)
Already/Past Famous Person: 2 (Bai Ling, Eliza Dushku)
Generally Known TV Face: 30 (Christian Kane, Tracy Middendorf, Vyto Ruginis, Elizabeth Rohm, Jenni Blong, Brent Sexton, Andy Umberger, Beth Grant, Alex Skuby, Steve Schirripa, Kristin Dattilo, Carlos Jacott, Chris Tallman, Lauri Johnson, Lee Arenberg, Sean Gunn, Maury Sterling, Ken Marino, Josh Randall, Jerry Lambert, Julie Benz, J. Kenneth Campbell, Douglas Roberts, Markus Redmond, Scott William Winters, Tyler Christopher, Maurice Compte, David Herman, Sam Anderson, Todd Stashwick)
Buffy Crossover: 15 (Angel, Cordelia Chase, Spike, Oz, Aura, Buffy's headshot, Buffy Summers, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Darla, Faith, Collins, Weatherby, Smith, Deputy Mayor Allan Finch, Willow)
Whedonverse Hat Trick: 25 (Lilli Birdsell, Derek Hughes, Andy Umberger, Alex Skuby, Kevin Will, Carlos Jacott, Anthony Cistaro, Sean Gunn, Alexis Denisof, Maury Sterling, Jeremy Renner, Bob Fimiani, Christina Hendricks, Mark Ginther, John Patrick Clerkin, Markus Redmond, Marc Rose, Eliza Dushku, Jennifer Slimko, Jeff Ricketts, J. August Richards, Sven Holmberg, Jennifer Badger, Scott Berman, Derek Anthony)
Angel’s Alias: 3 (Mr. Jensen, husband of woman with an ocular tumor; Herb Saunders; Angel Jones)
Cordelia’s Alias: 2 (journalist for Journal of Diagnostic Orthoped ... Et Cetera., Jensen International Holdings receptionist)

Angel! In! History!
  • Angel’s been to Missoula during the Depression … his depression … he was depressed there.
  • In the late 1700s, Angelus used to mark his victims with a cross scratched into their faces.
  • Angel as sudden art museum docent: “And this brings us to Monet's incomparable 'La Music Aux Tuileries,' first exhibited in 1863 ... On the left one spies the painter himself. In the middle distance is the French poet and critic Baudelaire, a friend of the artist. Now, Baudelaire -- interesting fellow. In his poem 'Le Vampire' he wrote 'Thou who abruptly as a knife didst come into my heart.' He strongly believed that evil forces surrounded mankind. And some even speculated that the poem was about a real vampire. Oh, and uh Baudelaire was actually a little taller and a lot drunker than he is depicted here.” aka ship Baudelangel is canon.
  • Angel speaks Spanish, Russian, and Italian. Also this wasn’t his first kill. Or his twenty-first.
  • He’s heard Ernest Borgnine is a very skilled lover.
  • He never killed a famous person before.
  • Angel’s father was a merchant—linen and silk. Had a couple servants [“just the one”—Angel] til Angel killed them.

Zelda's Thoughts:

It's a bit of a weird swerve, this Season One, at least in context of the two other shows we've covered. Buffy knew what it was and what it wanted to do from scene one. Not every episode there was a grand slam, but the establishing themes were clear, the metaphors were there, and we got a great hero narrative for Buffy, culminating in "Prophecy Girl," where she saved the world and then partied. Then we have Veronica Mars, also a show that knew what it was and what it wanted to do (at least in its first season). Though VM was never as strong later on, I think we can all agree that the first season was baller.

And now we're on Angel, a show that will try to straddle, narratively, a space between monster of the week and arc-arc-arc plots. And it's definitely a show that will suffer from studio pressure to dial down the arc for fear of losing viewers (to its detriment; does anyone think S5 is the strongest season?). This season, though, the arc stuff is still pretty low key, as they're finding their feet a bit more than our other two shows. They know who Angel and Cordelia and Wesley are, but what do they want the show itself to be? Is the world view the same as in Buffy, a show aimed at teens, or is our moral compass a bit more subject to the winds of the moment? And so we get these explorations of what it means to be a demon, and how that's not an inherent indicator of evil. And, to balance that, we also get a law firm, where the attorneys at least are all human -- and decidedly evil (or in Lindsey's case, sometimes undecidedly so).

It's very much Act Two of Into the Woods (don't @ me, you sat through my gifs when we covered the Buffy episode of the same title).

But does it work, this new show? Sometimes. They take their time establishing W&H as our longstanding antagonist, which I appreciate. And they definitely seem to be testing the waters as to which characters to keep around as recurring, between the revolving door of lawyers, eccentric billionaires, Detective Kates, and -- wait, the snitch character doesn't show up til next season, does he? But hey, we also finally get introduced to Gunn as the season speeds toward its finale, and I'm glad that he'll be back as a regular when we see him again. Speaking of regulars, I appreciate that the loss of Doyle isn't trivialized or forgotten. He continues to matter, his loss continues to matter, and he'll be given a final farewell in the hundredth episode. I'm also looking forward to Cordelia's arc, as I think she's been a real star of the first season, and I'm looking forward as well to seeing more colors from Wesley. Angel? Well. You know what I think about Boreanaz's acting range (to paraphrase what Maltin once said unkindly of Patrick Swayze, his expressions run the gamut from A to B).

I'm excited about the Hyperion and Lorne and Darla (oh my!). Let's go Season Two!

Daniel's Thoughts:


Zelda's Coda:

Every. Time. I feel like the Conan to your Paul Rudd.

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