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Parallels between BtVS and AtS

 
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:15 am    Post subject: Parallels between BtVS and AtS Reply with quote

I mentioned in the original 20th anniversary rewatch thread that I've been wanting to watch Season 2 of BtVS and AtS close together to study some of the shared themes and parallels in our heroes' journeys. (A lot of great ones are documented by Luc here.)

Well, I happened to notice recently that the Passion of the Nerd video reviewer has just started on AtS Season 1 in the last few weeks. (He's doing it in tandem with BtVS Season 4, and posting one review of each show per week.) He's up to episode 3 of each. So that made me want to start watching AtS Season 1 in the midst of our BtVS Season 1 rewatch.

I'm not going to write up my thoughts on the AtS episodes until we get to that point in our own rewatch in the coming months (and I'm hoping we make it!), but I thought I would post some of the points of comparison that I'm noticing as we go along. (I don't want to bog down the rewatch thread, so I thought I'd start a separate one.*)

Here goes! It's a mix of serious and silly observations.

Episodes 1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" & "City Of"

Obviously, at the beginning of BtVS, Buffy has just moved from LA to Sunnydale. At the beginning of AtS, Angel has just moved to LA from Sunnydale.

In the first episode, they both encounter a messenger who was put into their path by the Powers That Be (Angel himself for Buffy and Doyle for Angel).

When Buffy comes to Sunnydale, she wants to make friends and not do her job of fighting demons. When Angel comes to LA, he wants to avoid human contact and only do his job of fighting demons. But for both of them, doing their jobs WITH friends is what makes them successful.

Loneliness (a burden of power) is already a big theme for both, in the first episodes.
Angel says to Tina (the victim who ends up getting killed by the vampire who later attacks Cordelia): "Because you looked lonely. And I figured that we have something in common."
Buffy says to Giles: "Prepares me for what? For getting kicked out of school? For losing all of my friends? For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? Go ahead! Prepare me."

Buffy and Angel both experience failure when someone they are trying to help gets bitten by a vampire (Jesse and Tina).

Oh, and they both get insulted by Cordelia. Very Happy

*I hope I'm not being annoying by doing this.
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bonnaleah
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
*I hope I'm not being annoying by doing this.


Absolutely not. I love it and think it's a great idea. Very Happy
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, bonnaleah! Very Happy Very Happy
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elle2
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grace wrote:

Episodes 1: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" & "City Of"

Obviously, at the beginning of BtVS, Buffy has just moved from LA to Sunnydale. At the beginning of AtS, Angel has just moved to LA from Sunnydale.

In the first episode, they both encounter a messenger who was put into their path by the Powers That Be (Angel himself for Buffy and Doyle for Angel).

When Buffy comes to Sunnydale, she wants to make friends and not do her job of fighting demons. When Angel comes to LA, he wants to avoid human contact and only do his job of fighting demons. But for both of them, doing their jobs WITH friends is what makes them successful.

Loneliness (a burden of power) is already a big theme for both, in the first episodes.
Angel says to Tina (the victim who ends up getting killed by the vampire who later attacks Cordelia): "Because you looked lonely. And I figured that we have something in common."
Buffy says to Giles: "Prepares me for what? For getting kicked out of school? For losing all of my friends? For having to spend all of my time fighting for my life and never getting to tell anyone because I might endanger them? Go ahead! Prepare me."

Buffy and Angel both experience failure when someone they are trying to help gets bitten by a vampire (Jesse and Tina).

Oh, and they both get insulted by Cordelia.


This is what I am referring to as new insights for me about both series. I always know that there are parallels for both shows and I consider those as metaphor for "connection" and "bond" that tied them together.

But it never occurred to me the details of parallels about the first episodes of both series until now. And thank you for pointing it out clearly. Nice observation, grace Smile

I guess when they started Ats, the showrunners wanted to do the same formula they used for BtVS. There was a famous quote from "old-day-sane-Whedon" about what made BtVS worked and he said something like it worked because of "Buffy's friendship with Willow, Xander and Giles, plus romance with Angel".

If I am going to interpret that quote, they used the cliche formula of "FRIENDSHIP & LOVE" surrounding the protagonist in order to develop the series and make it watchable for everyone. In Ats case, I believe the showrunners also wanted Angel to have some friends like Buffy had on the first episode. I guess it was a bit challenging to tell how a brooding, loner & brokenhearted vampire would be befriended in a city where everyone seems "lost" in their own ways. I think Angel "making friends" was harder than him finding "love", because there's no question about whom "THE LOVE" is for Angel. The showrunners made it clear at the beginning, "It started with a girl". Though the opening scene was made in humor, I guess, we all know that Buffy was the driving force why Angel left Sunnydale and came over to LA. The only thing that bugs me a little nowadays, and I don't know if the reason was told during the course of the series, is "Why Los Angeles?". If Angel really wanted to stay away from Buffy, why go to a city where it is only few drives away from her? Is there a hellmouth in Los Angeles that attracted Angel into it? And if I were a vamp who is a bit of "sociopath", wouldn't it make sense if I just hibernate in a place where humans can see me less? It's not that I disagree with LA as "Angel's gotham-like city to protect, (which in fact I love it), I guess I am just seeking more "canon explanation" of why Angel chose Los Angeles. Unlike in Buffy, where it was explained the "reason" & "purpose" why Buffy ended up in Sunnydale. I mean I can understand the simple concept of that Sunndale is a hellmouth and Slayers were drawn by the hellmouth. But in Ats, we are only presented on "the purpose" of LA as Angel's city, but no elaborate reasons on "why" Angel would be drawn into it, aside from the fact that it has "angel" on it.

If anyone here can remind me of an episode where it was explained why Angel drove to Los Angeles instead of other cities like New York, San Francisco etc., please do so.

As to the supporting cast, it was clear that both Angel and Buffy were in a "trio company"; Willow & Xander for Buffy and Doyle and Cordy for Angel.

The only thing missing for Angel was the Giles-like persona, which I guess was not necessary since Giles was more of a "father/teacher" figure to Buffy in which Angel would have not needed since his vast experiences as an evil/cursed/slayer-lover vampire has provided him more experiences than any Giles-like persona. Though, I can see Whistler taking the role instead of Doyle since it's Whistler who "guided" Angel on his path to Sunnydale and gave him a "purpose" in life. But then again, since Doyle's vision served as a link from PTB to Angel on his "assignments", I guess it worked well for my taste. The Visions served as "guide" on where & what the PTB wanted Angel to do. The PTB offered Angel in Los Angeles a job in which at the end of the day he accepted and he said "he's game", without knowing what would he get as payment, other than having "new purpose" of continuing his existence.

Anyways, thanks Grace. As you continue rewatching, may you provide new observations like the ones you posted and share it with us.

Oh...and another thing, maybe what I would about to write fits to be in another thread but I am gonna put it here anyway. I read somewhere in Rewatch Thread that you mentioned Angel was supposed to be in motorcyle. I saw the unaired Pilot ep on YT once and it was horrible for me, since I am biased and very vocal that what drove me watching early BtVS eps was mainly for Angel and since I didn't see Angel in that unaired ep, I didn't like it. Smile And besides, I think SMG played Buffy more angsty and more sarcastic which reminded me of Buffy later seasons, which both I dislike.

Anyways, back to the motorcyle script, did you know that the casting panel, including Joss, David Greenwalt and Marcia Shulman made DB act on the motorcyle scene, which according to DB once, he thought he ruined it and almost didn't make it as Angel?

For those who did not know what happened on DB's audition act for Angel here are some facts;

1) DB said David Greenwalt liked his audition and laughed all throughout when DB pulled some chair (or a wooden pony?) to make it the props as the motorcyle and he rode on it.
2) but Joss did not like DB's audition and in fact later admitted he was not impressed by him.
3)Marcia Shulman (the casting director who automatically said DB is "THE GUY" for Angel by just looking at him) told a somewhat hilarious/disastrous story on DB's audition. She said the moment DB acted on riding "that wooden motorcyle", she almost had the "WTF" moment because DB said "vroom, vroom" and Joss certainly did not like what DB did, and gave Marcia the wtf look and said "what the heck?"
4) At the end, Marcia stood up on her decision and begged Joss to hire DB because DB did not have a job and she asked joss to give him a chance.

and I think, that's one possible reason why we never see any scene DB driving the motorcyle throughout the series Laughing Though we saw Angel taking the passenger's side on the scenes with Wesley and with Spuke, but never the driver. Which is somehow ironic because his only major role (not really a major one Laughing) before BtVS was on "Married With Children" as Kelly's biker boyfriend.



Mr. Green
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you liked the comparisons, elle!

elle2 wrote:
The only thing that bugs me a little nowadays, and I don't know if the reason was told during the course of the series, is "Why Los Angeles?". If Angel really wanted to stay away from Buffy, why go to a city where it is only few drives away from her?


Yeah, I don't remember an explanation, but I'll keep an ear out for any supernatural reasoning as I rewatch. My personal feeling is that Angel worried Buffy would still need his help so he didn't want to be too far away, since at that time it was difficult for him to travel long distances quickly.

ETA: I guess another reason could be that Wolfram & Hart's main office seems to be the one in LA, so the PTB wanted Angel there.

elle2 wrote:
For those who did not know what happened on DB's audition act for Angel here are some facts;

1) DB said David Greenwalt liked his audition and laughed all throughout when DB pulled some chair (or a wooden pony?) to make it the props as the motorcyle and he rode on it.
2) but Joss did not like DB's audition and in fact later admitted he was not impressed by him.
3)Marcia Shulman (the casting director who automatically said DB is "THE GUY" for Angel by just looking at him) told a somewhat hilarious/disastrous story on DB's audition. She said the moment DB acted on riding "that wooden motorcyle", she almost had the "WTF" moment because DB said "vroom, vroom" and Joss certainly did not like what DB did, and gave Marcia the wtf look and said "what the heck?"
4) At the end, Marcia stood up on her decision and begged Joss to hire DB because DB did not have a job and she asked joss to give him a chance.


Thank you so much for sharing these! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy And for the pic!


Last edited by Grace Newman on Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Episodes 2: "The Harvest" & "Lonely Heart"

Another obvious note: the main action in both episodes takes place in a club (The Bronze and D'Oblique).

The themes of loneliness and connection continue, particularly as they relate to vampires. "Lonely Heart" is all about an STD demon that moves from body to body looking for the right match, and it seems to be a metaphor for Angel's difficulty making connections with people because of his fear of hurting them. In "The Harvest," newly vamped Jesse talks about feeling connected to everything. So Angel is cut off not only from Buffy and the human world but from enjoying the vampire connectedness he experienced in the past.

Speaking of Jesse Cordelia explains in "The Harvest" that Jesse following her around like a puppy dog doesn't work for her. Her attitude changes when he becomes a demon (unbeknownst to her). Doyle is taking the Jesse-puppy-dog approach in "Lonely Heart" and it's not working for him, either. Just wait till she finds out he's part demon

The strongest BtVS parallel in "Lonely Heart" is actually with "Welcome to the Hellmouth," in that it uses the "blonde girl does the unexpected" trope twice. First, there's the mislead with the "Sarah, Plain and Tall" blonde at the bar leaving with the STD demon and then becoming the demon. That's the parallel to the opening scene of "WttH," with Darla, where the blonde girl is unexpectedly a monster. And potential damsel-in-distress Kate turns out to be an ass-kicking cop, of course, just like blonde Buffy turned out to be the slayer.

This is especially interesting when you remember Buffy's aptitude test in "What's My Line." So it seems like they were setting Kate up as a Buffy-like figure. The lyric that we hear as Kate searches Angel's apartment is "I'll never find someone quite like you again." Wonder who that could be referring to? Wink

Actually, the lyrics to this song "Touched" by V.A.S.T. are pretty good B/A circa Season 1 AtS:

Touched
You say that I am too
So much of what you say is true
I'll never find someone quite like you
Again
I'll never find someone quite like you
Like you

The razors and the dying roses plead
I don't leave you alone
The demi-gods and hungry ghosts of God
God knows I'm not at home

I'll never find someone quite like you
Again
I'll never find someone quite like you
Again

I, I looked into your eyes and saw
A world that does not exist
I looked into your eyes and saw
A world I wish I was in

I'll never find someone quite as touched
As you
I'll never love someone quite the way that I
Loved you



Since both shows have a lot of monster-of-the-week plots in Season 1, I don't think there will be enough to do a side-by-side for every episode (especially because AtS has 10 more episodes than BtVS in S1). But I will post the stuff I do notice, and I'm definitely looking forward to comparing "Prophecy Girl" and "To Shanshu in L.A." since they both feature prophecies about our heroes "dying" that turn out to involve rebirth.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of notes from Episodes 3: "Witch" & "In the Dark":

Another shared theme: Buffy wants to be normal; Angel wants to be human.
Buffy sees cheerleading as a return to normalcy, but ultimately realizes it's not part of her journey anymore. The Gem of Amara could provide Angel a more normal "human" life but he realizes he doesn't want to take shortcuts on the road to redemption.

In the first episode of BtVS, Angel gives Buffy a cross that is meant to protect her. In the third episode of AtS, Buffy sends Angel a ring (the Gem of Amara) that is meant to protect him. Both help them defeat a bad guy.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't see a lot in Episodes 4: "Teacher's Pet" & "I Fall to Pieces," I think largely because the AtS episode doesn't quite come together on the metaphorical or character levels, though it's super creepy.

However, it was very funny to note that each had a scene with a straight dude commenting on Angel's hotness and his outerwear.

From "I Fall to Pieces":
Doyle: Personally, I dont think you need much in the way of clothes. But you are right, and I do agree. Angel needs to start charging. He just hates bringing up the finances with the clients. He likes playing the hero walking off into the dark with his long coat flowing behind him in a mysterious and attractive way.
Cordelia: Is this a private moment? Because I can leave you alone.
Doyle: No, no, I'm not saying *I'm* attracted. Im just saying hes projecting a certain kind of image and asking for money isnt part of it. Hes sensitive about that.
Cordelia: Oh, here he comes. OK, we're going to stand up to him.
[Yada, yada, Doyle gets a vision.]
Angel: (grabs his coat and throws it on) I guess Im going to work.
Doyle watches him as he leaves the office (in slow motion) his coat flowing behind him. Cordelia looks over at Doyle.
Doyle: Maybe Im a little attracted.

From "Teacher's Pet":
Xander: Who's that?
Willow: That must be Angel! I think?
Xander: That weird guy that warned her about all the vampires?
Willow: That's him, I'll bet you.
Xander: Well, he's buff! She never said anything about him being buff!
Willow: You think he's buff?
Xander: He's a very attractive man! How come *that* never came up?
Cut to Angel. Buffy comes up to him.
Buffy: Well! Look who's here!
Angel: Hi.
Buffy: I'd say it's nice to see you, but then we both know that's a big fib.
Angel: I won't be long.
Buffy: No, you'll just give me a cryptic warning about some exciting new catastrophe, and then disappear into the night. Right?
Angel: You're cold.
Buffy: You can take it.
Angel: (takes off his jacket) I mean, you look cold. (He puts his jacket around her shoulders.)
Cut to Willow and Xander.
Xander: Oh, right! Give her your jacket. It's a balmy night, no one needs to be trading clothing out there!

Heart
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't notice much in the fifth episodes, "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" & "Rm w/a Vu" ... except the theme of Cordelia not liking Buffy. Very Happy

I have to say, Cordelia's line, "I'm not a sniveling, whiny little cry Buffy" makes me irrationally angry. I know it's supposed to be funny, but it just seems like such a cheap shot, even for Cordelia in that moment.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catching up... The sixth episodes, "The Pack" and "Sense and Sensitivity" both focus on the use and misuse of power, from very different ends of the spectrum, but there's not much to really delve into. I also didn't see much in "The Bachelor Party," though it has a lot of B/A parallels in the Doyle/Harry love story.

So, of course I had to compare the seventh episode of BtVS, "Angel," and the eighth episode of AtS, "I Will Remember You," both written or co-written by David Greenwalt. I'm convinced he must have gone back and rewatched "Angel" as inspiration, because there are several bittersweet echoes of it in "IWRY."

This is one you all know, but the last thing we hear in "Angel" is Sophie Zelmani singing, "I'll remember you / That is all that I can do / But I'll remember." That, of course, is echoed in the title (and plot) of "I Will Remember You."

In IWRY, Buffy tells Angel, "I just know that when you're around, whether I see you or not, I feel you - inside - and it throws me." We see examples of this in both "Angel" (when Angel is watching Buffy at the Bronze in the opener but is gone when she turns around) and "IWRY" (when the now-human Angel shows up at the beach).

Buffy, talking about Angel following her around in "Pangs" without letting her know he was there, says, "What is this, some new torment you cooked up just for me?" When Angel first tells her about the curse that the Romani cooked up for him in "Angel," she says, "What, they were all out of boils and blinding torment?"

After Angel spends the day in Buffy's room in "Angel," she has an outburst when she thinks he read her diary and then she's embarrassed, because she revealed she wrote about him and he hadn't read it. After Angel mentions he feels weird in "IWRY," Buffy again has an outburst about their relationship and then is embarrassed, because Angel says he meant the demon's blood was affecting him.

Buffy also rates their kissage in both eps, telling Willow kissing Angel was "unbelievable" before he vamped out, and telling Angel that she thought their kiss on the beach was "well above average."

In both episodes, we have a big crash-through-the-window moment, with Angel in "Angel" and the Mohra demon in "IWRY." Also, in "Angel," they fight vampires in medieval-y looking armor; in "IWRY," they fight a demon in medieval-y looking armor.

At the end of both episodes, Buffy and Angel talk about how they have to stay away from each other (though we know they don't want to). In the closing of "Angel," Buffy says, "One of us has to go here" and she eventually does. In IWRY, she says, "So I'm gonna go ... start forgetting." (And everyone's heart breaks.)
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skipping over a few eps since there wasn't much to note, but I was interested by the common elements in AtS' "Somnambulist" (1x11) and BtVS' "Angel" (1x07). This is the episode in which Kate finds out Angel is a vampire, so there were bound to be some similarities.

Obviously, the main villain in both is a member of Angel's vampire "family" -- his sire, Darla, and a vamp he sired, Penn. Darla frames Angel for hurting Joyce intentionally and Penn throws suspicion on Angel for the "Pope" murders completely unintentionally, but misplaced blame is a driving element in both stories. (I'm assuming this is deliberate, since both episodes also focus to some degree on the question of how much responsibility Angel bears for Angelus' sins. AtS goes hard on the need-for-redemption angle, but this thematically leaves room for the viewer to question whether Angel is misplacing blame on himself. He feels responsible, but...)

In both episodes, Angel is burned by a cross necklace worn by the person who has just found out he's a vampire. In "Angel," the cross in question is one he gave to Buffy, to protect her. He takes the punishment of the cross's burn as he allows himself to experience the pleasure of her kiss for what he believes will be the last time. With Kate, it's a necklace that shows that she believes in something beyond the material world (or, at least, it's symbolic of that) and he uses it as a kind of weapon against her disbelief in vampires when he burns himself with it. In both cases, it seems like a symbol that revealing the full truth about himself is painful for Angel, but he's willing to bear it.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to finish up my observations for Season 1, including the season finales, so here's a quick wrap-up. I had fun doing this, and I plan to continue for Season 2.


Parallels in BtVS & AtS Season 1

In each season opener, we join the title character in a new city, where they encounter a messenger put into their path by TPTB (Angel for Buffy and Doyle for Angel). In their first mission, they experience a failure (Jesse and Tina both die), but they are ultimately successful, saving character(s) who will be important to them throughout the season. Then we get a series of monster-of-the week episodes that are metaphors for the challenges to growing up on Buffy (sexuality, bullying) and analogies illuminating Angel's character and past on AtS (stalking, heartbreak). Then, seven or eight episodes in, the defining romantic relationship for both characters is tackled head-on in the emotional "Angel" and "I Will Remember You." In both, we see the characters' strong feelings for each other but also their pain as they acknowledge that they cannot be together. Each leaves the other's show for a period of time before showing up again near the end of the season. In the penultimate episode of both seasons, Angel recovers a set of prophecies thought to be lost for centuries (the Pergamum Codex and the Scrolls of Aberjian) that will be pivotal to the season finale.

In "Prophecy Girl" and "To Shanshu in L.A.," Buffy and Angel are each faced with a prophecy foretelling their death – Buffy's immediately at the hands of the Master and Angel's after a future apocalypse. Sixteen-year-old Buffy, who very much wants to live, has a devastatingly emotional reaction to this news, while the undead Angel, with nearly two and half centuries under his belt, hides his feelings well. But both of them show they are willing to fight despite the threat of death (or the hope of a future reward, in Angel's case), when their friends are threatened. Buffy fights after seeing Willow's distress; Angel fights to save Wesley and Cordelia.

For Buffy, the prophecy comes true but with a twist – she is revived by Xander. For Angel, the prophecy is found to be mistranslated – instead of dying, Wes discovers, Angel too will be revived, as a human.

At the start of both seasons, we see heroes who HAVE BEEN CHOSEN and by the end, we see heroes who are CHOOSING. What's more, we see they are meeting the challenge outlined for them by the messenger in their very first conversation.

From "Welcome to the Hellmouth":
Quote:
Buffy: What I *want* is to be left alone!
Angel: Do you really think that's an option anymore? You're standing at the Mouth of Hell. And it's about to open. Don't turn your back on this. You've gotta be ready.


In "Prophecy Girl," Buffy tries to turn her back on being the slayer, but finds that it truly is no longer an option for her.

From "City Of":
Quote:
Doyle: You see, this vampire, he thinks he's helping. Fighting the demons. Staying away from the humans so as not to be tempted. Doing penance in his little cell. But he's cut off. From everything. From the people he's trying to help.


Doyle: It's not all about fighting and gadgets and stuff. It's about reaching out to people, showing them that there's love and hope still left in the world. … It's about letting them into your heart. It's not about saving lives; it's about saving souls.


In "To Shanshu In L.A.," Wes and Cordelia reiterate this concern about Angel being cut off from the world, but we see through his determination to save them that he has let them into his heart.



On a side note, one thing I appreciate more on rewatch is how important Cordelia is to both Buffy's and Angel's stories. In BtVS, she shows us the path not taken; what Buffy might have been like if she hadn't been chosen. In AtS, she starts off showing us a more human version of Angel's redemption quest (especially in "Rm w/a Vu," where she shows she does regret how mean she was in high school after being "cursed" in her own way by her parents losing all their money). And then, midway through the season, Cordelia too is chosen and begins a Buffy-like journey toward growing up. She also tries to reject her gift at first but by "To Shanshu in L.A.," she truly wants to help the helpless, despite the personal cost.
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Grace Newman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time for Season 2!

Season 2 of AtS of course has some echoes of Angel's story in BtVS Season 2 (the whole "Surprise" / "Reprise" thing). In the first half of the season, instead of becoming more hopeful as he finds meaning in his life through Buffy, Angel is drawn down into darkness through his struggles with Darla and Wolfram & Hart.

But there are also parallels with Buffy's S2 story that I've been having fun thinking about as well.

Starting out with the season openers, When She Was Bad and Judgment, both Buffy and Angel are still focused on the aftermath of the prophecies from the first season: Buffy is traumatized by her encounter with the Master and is acting bitca-y but is secretly terrified; Angel is imagining his life as a human, even thinking about going to the gym, and is seeing his reward loom closer with every demon crossed off the whiteboard. Both of them are cocky about their ability to handle anything that's thrown at them.

In WSWB, Cordelia warns Buffy that she'll lose her friends if she doesn't change her attitude; Lorne warns Angel that he is "feeling smooth, in the groove. Isn't that the thing that comes before a fall?" Both of them brush the warnings off. But then they both make an honest mistake that has bad consequences for the people they are trying to help. Angel kills a demon who was protecting a pregnant woman, and Buffy heads off to the diversion staged by the Master's minions at the Bronze without realizing a trap is being set for Giles and Willow. The mistakes lead both of them to reevaluate their earlier attitudes.

Quote:
Angel: I thought I was out of the tunnel.
Cordelia: Sure you did... because the tunnel is - you know, it's something we all... Are we talking real tunnel or symbolic? Just give me that much.
Angel: I-I saw the light at the end of the tunnel - that some day I might become human. - That light was so bright, I thought I was already out.
Cordelia (with a sigh): Yeah. We all got a little cocky, didn't we? It's gonna be a long while - until you work your way out - but I know you well enough to know you *will*. - And I'll be with you until you do.


Quote:
Buffy: It's entirely pointy. I was a moron. I put my best friends in mortal danger on the second day of school.
Giles: What are you gonna do? Crawl inside a cave for the rest of your life?
Buffy: Would it have cable?
Giles: Buffy, you acted wrongly, I admit that. But believe me, that was hardly the, the worst mistake you'll ever make. Uh, that wasn't quite as comforting as it was meant to be.
Buffy: Well, points for effort.


The arc of episodes after the season openers focus on the pressure that is building for both Buffy and Angel, albeit for different reasons. In School Hard, Buffy can't confide in her mom about all the stress she's facing and Snyder gives her a hard time because he either doesn't know or doesn't care she's the slayer. In First Impressions, Angel is under a ton of stress as he is being haunted by Darla in his "dreams" but he can't seem to confide in Cordelia or Wesley.

Darla tells Angel he's "always the protector, never the protected"; when Giles reminds Buffy she's the Chosen One in Inca Mummy Girl, she says, "Just this once I'd like to be the Overlooked One."

In some ways, the pressure they are both under comes to a head in the fifth episodes, Reptile Boy and Dear Boy. (Both, as it happens, written and directed by David Greenwalt.) Buffy lies to Giles (making Willow and Xander uneasy) to go to the frat party and is almost fed to a giant demon snake; Angel pursues Darla single-mindedly to get to the bottom of his dreams (making Wesley and Cordelia uneasy) and almost gets arrested.

Then there are the random things that just happen to match up, which are also fun to notice. School Hard and First Impressions (episodes 2x03) feature Buffy and Angel's first direct interaction in the season with a blond vampire (or ex-vamp, in Darla's case), who will be crucial to the season's direction. Inca Mummy Girl and Untouched (episodes 2x04) both focus on superpowered teenage girls (Ampata and Bethany) who have been seriously wronged and now can be dangerous and out of control. And Reptile Boy (BtVS 2x05) features robed fraternity boys who worship a green snake demon in their basement, while Dear Boy (AtS 2x05) shows us robed figures who worship a green thrall demon in a water tank.

Also, in Reptile Boy, Buffy is being driven crazy (in a good way) by her dreams of Angel, while in Dear Boy, Angel is being driven crazy (in a bad way) by his dreams of Darla. Buffy even says she's dreamed about Angel for three nights in a row, while Cordelia mentions that Angel's been sleeping for the last three days.

Anyway, the end of Reptile Boy sets Buffy and Angel up to start actually dating, which of course will lead to a doozy of an arc, and Angel has no idea what's he's asking for when he says at the end of Dear Boy, "There's gonna be a lot of trouble. And I say bring it on." Sigh.
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Grace Newman
Dark Avenger


Joined: 18 Jan 2017
Posts: 478
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope y'all don't mind me continuing to drone on over here. Smile

The next part of both Seasons 2 is why I started doing this in the first place, because I admit I didn't fully appreciate Lie to Me (BtVS 2x07) until I saw The Trial (AtS 2x09).

The premise for Lie to Me and The Trial is essentially the same: a previous romantic interest of our title character is dying of a human disease that can't be cured. That person decides s/he wants to become a vampire and goes to great lengths to try to convince a vamp to turn them. Our protagonists know that's the wrong choice and try to convince their ailing companions otherwise, but in the end the vamping happens anyway and they have to deal with the consequences.

It's incredible to me that the same basic framework plays out so well in such different ways. Darla is a more sympathetic vampire wannabe, since we already know her and her plan is only to turn herself, unlike Ford giving up Buffy (and the cult) to Spike, but I don't think the point of either episode is really to make you put yourself in the shoes of Ford or Darla, since we know that becoming a soulless vampire means you're pretty much guaranteed to kill people on a nightly basis. From Buffy and Angel's perspective, we see the value in life is not in holding onto it, but about living it and ending it in the right way. Life without a soul is not worth living.

The central conflict also taps into the main thematic quest of each show: Darla, a former vampire, is now a human. Angel thinks if he can save her, she can be redeemed ... and maybe he can too. Ford is a person from Buffy's past who she cared about, a "good guy." If she can convince him not to follow through on his plan, then the world is simpler, more the black and white of childhood than the adult gray.

In a way, both episodes also foreshadow the overall seasons they appear in as well. Buffy's former crush "turns evil" and then she has to kill him. Angel goes through painful trials expecting some kind of payoff only to find out there's nothing waiting at the end. "In this place, the journey is all. Where it may lead is not our concern," says the British dude emceeing the trials. ("If nothing we do matters...")

Both episodes also emphasize Angel/Buffy's selflessness compared to Darla/Ford's selfishness. In The Trial, it's very literal, in that we see Darla abandon Angelus to Holtz without a second thought in the flashback sequence (which has an interesting counterpoint in Lie to Me, in which we see Spike give up on his plans without a second thought when Buffy threatens Drusilla). The Buffy/Ford contrast is not played out as explicitly in Lie to Me, but the audience should still have Buffy's sacrifice in Prophecy Girl fresh in their heads.

Lie to Me begins with super creepy Dru; The Trial ends with super creepy Dru. (In Lie to Me, we find out that Angelus drove Drusilla insane and then sired her on the day she took her holy orders. In The Trial, Dru gets a kind of mirror image revenge on Angel, by siring Darla, which will send Angel off the rails and divert him from his calling.) Lie to Me features a cult of vampire-worshipping humans who want to be vamps but don't really understand them; The Trial features a human who knows everything about vampires trying to convince a vamp who knows little of the lore to turn her.

There are some other interesting parallels in the second five episodes of both seasons. Halloween and Guise Will Be Guise (both 2x06) are about costumes and impersonation, being someone you're not. I think this line from the fake T'ish Magev applies to both Buffy and Angel: "But how do you expect to triumph over the soldiers of darkness when you're still fighting yourself?"

What's My Line 2 (BtVS 2x10) is about a dark power rising – Drusilla – and Reunion (AtS 2x10) is about Drusilla herself raising a dark power – Darla. And, fittingly, things are about to get darker for both Buffy and Angel.
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