Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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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-ponce-Spike's-a-scenestealing-bastard, woe woe woe, fuck Joss six ways to Sunday rant, as I've been seeing in alarming numbers today. Just a Spike-vs-Angel rant. Or rather, a "Why the heck does it have to be Spike vs. Angel?" rant.

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.

zortified

2003-04-15 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)

I intend to love it. I love it, right now. My reaction to Spike is "Awwww!" He gets to do this, how wonderful and sad and hurting and beautiful for him.

Then again, I haven't read the script spoilers. And I don't care what happens to Angel, because he's a dork and deserves it and besides, Wes can make it all better in fanfic.

mpoetess

2003-04-15 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)

*snicker*

Go read anniesj's post for nice speculation about how next season's Angel could go. Just cover your ears and sing LALALALA about the Spuffy parts. Pretend it's eyepatch-wearing Xander who comes to find Spike.

minim_calibre

2003-04-15 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)

So, I've seen tonight's episode and I loved it. The early spoilers were filled with, well, the ususal foaming at the mouth.

Even the worst of Season 7 hasn't been X-Files Season 8 and 9 bad. Maybe Season 6 (Files) bad, but jeebus...

mpoetess

2003-04-16 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)

I'll have to take your word on the Files comparison, because I gave up after S6!

I loved this week's ep too. Every damn bit. Including Xander's fantasy at the beginning.

anniesj

2003-04-15 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, Poetess -- I completely agree with you. I read the script and yeesh, it's not perfection, but it's not THE END OF THE WORLD, y'know? And I agree -- there are definitely some places where it feels like something is missing. I think that Joss is holding out on us, and good for him -- I don't want to be COMPLETELY spoiled.

So, you rock. That's about it.

::licks you::

mpoetess

2003-04-15 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)

I was completely spoiled for The Gift, and was incredibly disappointed that something more...big, or unexpected, didn't happen. And at the same time, felt like a fool, because dude, I spoiled *myself* -- Joss didn't make me go looking for advance scripts. I still end up expecting more from him, though.

And ee! I've been licked by Annie! I can die happy now.

thebratqueen

2003-04-15 09:36 am (UTC) (Link)

And then there are those of us who can say that Angel's appearance, if it ends up as spoilered, was a total waste of time even without giving two shits about the Spike vs Angel thing.

My problem with Angel's cameo is that it amounts to no cameo. "Hi I'm here." "Great, go away." What? Who cares? Why is he even there then? (And don't say the deus ex machina since by definition those can appear from anywhere)

My problem with Spike is that, IMO, he's stealing thunder from Buffy. I don't care if he Shanshus. Hell, I want him to Shanshu since that way Angel stays a vampire and I'm a happy TBQ. But I do care if the last story about Buffy and the Scoobies that we ever hear is a story about Spike, particularly one that thinks it can give closure to that anecdote via a plot device instead of something organic to the characters.

As I've said repeatedly, I'm firmly in the land of believing in foilers and those unwritten scenes and maybe it's stupid but I still think at least 90% of what we're seeing right now is totally wrong and the final is going to kick major ass. But if we're talking about the spoilers as they stand then I just wanted to point out that it's possible to still call the whole thing bruce without ever having cared about Spike/Angel, Spike vs Angel or in any way shape or form comparing Angel's scenes with Spike's. Currently they suck pretty well all on their own.

mpoetess

2003-04-15 10:14 am (UTC) (Link)

I do think Angel's appearance (as scripted) is a crock. I agree about that part. I think it's a tiny foreshadowy necessity that they've set up very badly. (If not a foiler.)

FWIW, I think every appearance Angel has made on Buffy since he got his own show, was pretty much pointless fluff that added to the plot not one whit. (FFL flashbacks not included.) I suspect some of that is down to Boreanaz seriously, seriously wanting to distance himself and 'his' show from the Buffy plot. (As well as the Angel directors and writers -- but I've always gotten a serious vibe off DB that he'd be happy to have everyone forget that his character ever had an origin that depended on a show he wasn't the star of.)

(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-04-15 10:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kita0610, 2003-04-15 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)

zyre

2003-04-15 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Sigh. I need to go delete that post...

mpoetess

2003-04-15 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)

No, you don't. It's okay to have an opinion, Z! It's ok to have an emotional rant too. Mine was, just as much as anybody else's I've been reading.

Re: - zyre, 2003-04-15 10:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-04-15 10:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
*whine* - chocgood84, 2003-04-15 10:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *whine* - mpoetess, 2003-04-15 10:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *whine* - chocgood84, 2003-04-15 10:40 am (UTC) (Expand)

onetwomany

2003-04-15 10:23 am (UTC) (Link)

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?

Just wanted to say 'word' to the above. I love Spike and Angel, and I really don't get why so many people seem to want to make their stories into some kind of zero sum game. Can't both boys hace some time in the sun? Besides, a Spike shanshu could be great for Angel's, story wise. How will he deal with his coveted reward being snatched away? How will he define himself now he's not The Vampire with a Soul?

And the spoilage? I agree with what Annie said above. It's not great. I've read the script too. And while it's not the best episode ever, it's not a complete loss. There are some really good bits, some really bad bits and a truly kick-ass battle. I'm happy enough, and not gonna freak, especially as we don't even know whether it's (a) legit, and (b) complete.

So, I'm also joining you in the hopeful. And if that makes us look like idiots, so be it ;)


raincitygirl

2003-04-15 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

<<
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<<<Besides, a Spike shanshu could be great for Angel's, story wise. How will he deal with his coveted reward being snatched away? How will he define himself now he's not The Vampire with a Soul?>>>

I agree. Done well, it could kickstart Angel into high gear and force him to contemplate some of his own choices. Got Angel S1 on DVD recently and was struck by the different vibe back when Angel was helping the helpless because somebody had to, because they were helpless and he happened to have the strength, rather than as a way of racking up the merit points towards his Shanshu.

I don't blame the Shanshu prophecy for the changes in Angel, but I think losing it as his motivation to do good could bring him some much-needed self-awareness. Maybe he would be able to look at how far he's gone from the original mission, and re-decide whether he wants to help people just because they need saving.

Of course, I don't think that, *if* Shanshu is awarded on merit points for good behaviour, Spike is any closer to achieving it than Angel. They've both been assholes at times, even with their souls. And maybe having two souled vampires in the mix would spark some onscreen talk about how much a soul is worth in the redemption business, given just how fiendishly many people with souls behave.

Yeah, there's been tons of such discussion among fans, but I'd like to see it onscreen, an acknowledgment that Angel is pulled not simply between the soul and the demon, but between three sets of desires: the crush-kill-destroy instincts of the demon, the good instincts of a human being striving to atone, and the bad, selfish instincts of a human being (because Liam the drunken frat boy was far from a perfect human being). And that's one way in which "Seeing Red" succeeded as an episode. Its execution was by and large clumsy, but it did (I think) succeed in making the point that it was the man inside Spike who wanted to rape Buffy, not the demon.

So, yeah, written well, with attention to character, and with some acknowledgment of the philosophical issues which have been raised, then yeah, it could work well. My worry is that it won't be written well. Yeah, AtS has *totally* pulled its act together since the debacle of S3, but hte fact that it could have gotten that bad in the first place (not to mention the fact that the sister show, with many of the same staff, has definitely not pulled its act together) has left me vaguely dubious. I expect the worst in the hopes that I will be pleasantly surprised.

(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-04-16 06:49 am (UTC) (Expand)

piedmargaret

2003-04-15 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)

I agree almost completely. Very well said :-)

mpoetess

2003-04-15 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)

*g* FWIW, my 80% agreement with your post was only that low because I can understand the cathartic need for a *bit* of frothing at the mouth as this all comes to a screeching end, and I'm the first one to say there are problems with the finale-as-spoiled.

(no subject) - piedmargaret, 2003-04-15 11:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-04-15 11:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ivyvine420, 2003-04-15 10:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2003-04-16 06:14 am (UTC) (Expand)

Your website's down, offline or something.

metal_dog5

2003-04-15 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hey there :) Was about to check the link for CG so I could rec it to a friend, and I haven't been able to access your page or any based at http://www.jbx.com/ It's been at least an hour since I first tried, so I thought I'd give you a heads-up.

Later,

~Leanne~

Re: Your website's down, offline or something.

mpoetess

2003-04-15 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yup, the whole server's down. Dunno when it'll be back up. Since it's a free account, there's not much we can do about it, sadly. :)

jamaisneutral

2003-04-17 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm pissed off. I'm still pissed off tara's dead. ;) And I'm pissed off that they had to give spike a soul because he "couldn't be good" otherwise. I mean, the evil trio were human and pretty evil (or one of them) and they had souls. I thought Spike did care for the scoobies when he was soulless (after a while). So it's not as black and white IMO. I wanted them to show that with Spike, that even though he presumably doesn't have a soul... he does have a brain and a component of free will. The whole soul thing is just an excuse for Angel to let Angelus loose now and again (i mean, how many more times is he gonna be evil? Give over already, hand in the leathers!). *runs from avid fans*

I read the spoilers. Don't really know what to make of them. Bit of an anticlimax i think. Can Spike not get his own series. Spikeman with his faithful eyepatched sidekick Xandman?
"Holy goolies Spikeman! There's a toothy vampire attacking a maiden in distress!!"
"Oh Xandman.. let us watch and then save her after a while. Now give us a little kiss"

mpoetess

2003-04-17 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I'm not overjoyed at the storyline of Spike *needing* a soul, myself. But since they went that way, I'd be overjoyed if Angel-lovers (the sort who favor Angel's character over other characters, not just folks who happen to love him) would please stop bitching about how Spike is stealing everything that should be Angel's. Gah. Can't they all just fuck and make all of us happy?