Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter…
Much of “Deep Down” is devoted reorienting us in Angel‘s world. Possibly too much. Its a necessary evil of serialized television that the season premiere needs to remind us of what happened last year and the redundancy is only exacerbated in the era of DVD but all the recapping here feels excessive, even by those standards; did we really need a reminder of Justine’s origins? That said, the episode still manages to mine all the hindsight for some narrative payoffs. Yes, the characters are painfully expositing about what’s happened, but they’re also grappling with its consequences. I’m still not sure that the recap shouldn’t have been toned down a little, but it’s not enough to keep this episode from being very entertaining. Continue reading
Are we done expositing yet?
Can Buffy go home again? I now know the answer but, eleven years ago, the possibilities of a rebuilt Sunnydale High intrigued me. A few growing pains aside, I always thought that the series weathered the transition from high school relatively well. But while change was (mostly) good for the series, the high school years did feel a bit abbreviated, ending when they did only because Buffy started in her sophomore year and not because they’d run out of stories to tell. With so much fresh powder left behind, it’s not unreasonable for the series to try to revisit the “high school is hell” metaphor. That said, it’s still weird for a show that has always looked forward to now focus on its past. Continue reading
For the third season in a row I’m struck by the fact Angel would’ve been better served by a cable-length run. Not that there weren’t more than 12 to 13 good episodes this year, but there were probably only 12 to 13 essential ones. Angel just never seemed to be as good as Buffy at transitioning between the episodic and the serialize and the season-arc suffered anytime attention strayed away from. That said, the non-essential episodes of this season were still (for the most part) very entertaining and I’ll certainly say this this was Angel’s best season so far. Continue reading
I’m a big fan of Buffy’s sixth season but, having now finished reviewing it, I can understand why many people don’t like it. This isn’t the series it once was. That’s not a bad thing, as shows need to evolve in order to keep from becoming redundant, but the series did (for the most part) lose that “comfort food” appeal of long running television. In exchange, we got a darker, more introspective version of Buffy. Whether or not you think that the trade was worth it is really a matter of personal preference. Continue reading
No safe word?
Is it any wonder that so many people hated Connor? Not that Angel’s son isn’t entertaining here, far from it, but he was around for just two episodes before becoming the antagonist. “Tomorrow” wisely goes all in with the choice. Yes, Connor’s been manipulated to evil ends but we’re given only one glimpse at the wreck Holtz has made of him before the opening credits. After that he becomes the manipulator, winning the trust of the entire AI team before delivering the most devastating revenge possible. However misguided his motivations, he’s still the heel of this story and there’s no room left for sympathy. Continue reading