And frankly, while I think it's early fannish mouth-foaming that I'm seeing, and I do think there's unscripted things in store, even if the script is right on, it's not that bad. It's not perfect, and it's not Restless, and it's probably not even the Gift, but it's not a travesty, and I think they're doing the best they can to give a lot of the viewers what they've wanted for a long time -- Buffy the person not being about which man she's dating. The delivery sucketh, if the cookie dough thing is real, but the point is there. piedmargaret has some things to say on the subject that I agree with, at least about 80%.
(I retain the right to change my mind about this tomorrow, of course, and call for the deaths of writers, directors, producers, characters, and anybody who looks at me funny, if I so desire. ;-) )
But. I do have a small rant. Not a Spike's-dying-Buffy's-over-Angel's-a-pon
Angel's appearance is wasted? Yeah, possibly, but damn, it's been building in this direction multiple seasons. The minute anybody ever said "You can't be good because you don't have a soul," the possibility of Spike having one became a plot point, and the issue of Shanshu was on everybody's minds. This is not a big cop-out surprise, that Spike may be experiencing things we expected were going to happen to Angel.
The assumption is that Spike gets Angel's Shanshu (assuming Angel gets renewed) and it's awful and horrible and Spike just eats every storyline in sight, wail, woe, gnashing of teeth.
Except not. Because just like every *other* prophesy in both series, it had loopholes in it from the beginning, and just like every other time, the characters made assumptions about what it means that are likely to be shown up as false. My god, you're right, Joss has lost it! When has he ever done that before? He must have been seduced by Spike's naked chest!
But it's stealing Angel's thunder!
Yeah, because Angel has done so many, many mature and self-sacrificial things that weren't based on his own personal biases, without ever being a self-centered asshole, so he *deserves* humanity more than Spike does.
Or, it could be a plot twist. That isn't based on how much either of them "deserves" something, (and let's face it, neither of them are very high up the ladder towards deserving miraculous rewards) but is based on the PTB's (the Jossian ones and the fictional ones) liking to fuck with every character's expectations, and throw them into new situations.
And okay, for diehard B/A or B/S folks who wouldn't even consider slash if it came up and licked Angel on the ass right in front of you? The Angel vs. Spike thing is legit, I suppose. But the heck? Slashers? Why the heck does it have to be about comparing them and hating one because he's getting something (plotline, attention, sex with Buffy) you think the other one deserves?
Man, I went through this in spades when I hung out on the Cross & Stake and watched the Xanderfen bash Spike, and the Spikefen bash Xander, and I wanted to bash all of their heads together until all they could see were little tweeting birdies and the subtextual possibility that wow, two guys could have interactions that actually *aren't* about who's the best boyfriend for Buffy. But I never expect to hear it from slashers.
I don't know. It could be good, it could be bad. We've certainly seen both from ME this year and last. But I'm hopeful. Can I be hopeful, is that ok, without me looking like an idiot? I'm annoyed too, but I don't think this is so damned awful that it's time to pull out all the stops and turn into...well, X-Philes. Been there, done that, love these shows more. Love the friends I've made while being a fan of these shows more. Hate seeing y'all get so, so bitter about it (and I do realize this is immediate reactions to spoilers and a month from now, the atmosphere could be totally different) when I want so hard to still love it, and have other people around me loving it too.