Monthly Archives: February 2014

Control, That’s All Anyone Really Wants

Nothing about this is remotely sexual

Nothing about this is remotely sexual

Spike’s first Angel outing is good but not great.  I remember being disappointed in ghost-Spike the first time around; I wanted to see my favourite Buffy character on a new show and the insubstantial version just felt like a cheat.  It is, when you get right down to it, but it’s a necessary one.  Spike’s too antagonistic for it make sense for him to stick around without some sort of mystical excuse.  The antagonism is fun enough to make that excuse worthwhile (especially on subsequent viewings) and “Just Rewards” wastes no time sliding Spike into the role of naysayer.  The exposition regarding the move to W&H is still a bit clunky, but Spike more than holds up his end as he repeatedly reminds Angel that he’s sold out. Continue reading

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You’re Not Part of the Solution

Angel501

For goats, press one

As season premieres go, “Conviction” is pretty solid.  There’s some fairly stilted exposition as it struggles to justify why the AI team would ever agree to working for Wolfram & Hart but it does manage to establish why we should enjoy watching them do it.  As I said of last season’s finale, the firm is bright and shiny and new and this episode does a good job outlining the storytelling possibilities as the gang adjust to their new surroundings.  They’ve literally got every form of evil imaginable in their own clients files and there’s a definite sense that we’re not in Kansas anymore.  More importantly, the impact of this bright, shiny, unspeakably evil environment is already being felt by the team.  Any worries that the show had jumped the shark are put to rest as the focus remains on the characters we care about. Continue reading

The Real Buffy

Real.  That’s a strange word to ascribe to any work of fiction, let alone one called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Not content with merely trumpeting the shows fantasy-horror roots, the title also satirises them, promising a series that is, by nature, an examination of art rather than reality.  And the show delivered on that premise with its incessant genre deconstruction, pop culture references, and self reflection. Buffy was a construct through and through, at times not even a good one whether by just getting too far up its own ass with cleverness or grossly missing the mark on issues of real concern.  And yet, “real” is the word I keep coming back to. Continue reading

Final Thoughts – Buffy Season Seven

I’ve never been so tempted to sugarcoat a review. My memories of this show are so great that it just feels wrong to end things on a down note.  I’ll have something to say about the series as a whole next week, but this is the last time I’ll be reviewing a particular season and I must admit that it simply isn’t good.  Not, “not good for Buffy,” but just plain not good.  There are still some great elements here and plenty to enjoy on a selective rewatch but the parts of the series I loved had to compete for scarce screentime with too many that I didn’t.  It’s still Buffy, and I can’t really say that I hate it but, as a season of television, it fails. Continue reading