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A little reviewish, a little selfish

For the record (having watched Angel on my wee PC screen last night, while Jen something, downstairs...)

Yeah. The googly faces were bad. The fact that there was very little supporting cast action was bad -- except for Cordy, and she's being set up for A/C.

The fact that WHAT THE FUCK? Fred knows how to trace websites? Better than Cordy, who's been doing this for two years, at least? Was bad. Either she learned a *hell* of a lot over the summer, while cloistered in her utterly computerless cell of a hotel room, or...Well, the woman's been in another dimension for 5 years. Cast your mind back. Think about the WWW in 1996. Think hard about it. I mean, it existed, but... Okay, whatever.

But overall, the chorus of bitching is getting to me. Dissatisfaction with a particular ep. or even several eps, is normal, and I can listen and sympathize, but the feeling I'm getting that there's going to be a massive, landslide retreat from Angel fandom, over this plot... It's just a storyline. And it's not *that* bad. Really. There will be more Wes and Gunn. There will be more slashy moments. There will be, and is always, the Great Lorne.

I guess I love the expanded universe too much to not put up with some moments of crap. And I don't think we're going to have googly-face making be the major theme of the second half of the season -- there had to be a googly-face episode, and the one right after the major trauma is the natural choice. I also genuinely liked certain aspects. How ready they were to protect him. How he did, in the end, trust them with the most important thing. You may not *like* that thing, may think it distracts from his friends and his mission and his monsterness, but it's bringing that all to the fore again. It's a foil. Just wait.

And Records Girl. Gah. Wonder what she is. Wonder what it would be like to be Lilah, making love to her on a clean desktop, unstrewn with papers because it's all there in her head. Finishing the scene she didn't get to have with Angel, and it's just as good, because, really, this girl's even more dangerous. "I'm records and files. It's my job." She knows *everything*. And that's hot. Librarians are hot. Archivists are hot. Lilah would be looking into her eyes, caught in a moment with her breath stopped in her throat and this aching dance of muscle spasms along her inner thighs and something *pulling* at her stomach, and there'd be just darkness in RG's eyes. But Lilah would be waiting, for the slot-machine flip and spin, the eerie light, wondering, "What does she know about *me*? How much I like to have my hair stroked? How far behind my head I can get my ankles, thank you God and eleventh grade gymnastics? How many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?" Because it's all in there. It's all in there, even the stuff she's forgotten, even the stuff she's not quite sure if she ever knew. Yeah. Bing! go the eyes, three cherries, and she comes.

Heh. It's a *good* thing I don't write femslash.

In general, though, this is just kind of the selfish begging part: No! You can't leave me! Look, half the people I love, who can write in the Buffyverse, are getting seduced away, or just worn out by either the shows, or the fandom circle. Somebody said it in the catalog of eerily accurate generalizations: Buffy is the fandom that eats its young.

It's also the only fandom I have an interest in. I can't get into anime, I think Roswell is hideous, I do not and shall never *get* Boyband slash. I don't have a problem with it, but I certainly have no desire to read or write it. I don't listen to their music, don't think they're particularly cute (Yes, that's right. None of them. They *all* look to me like those stuck-up, handsome jerks in high school, who were all sweet and sensitive to their cheerleader girlfriends, and made nasty comments about the fat chicks, when said girlfriends weren't listening. I'm not saying the guys are like that -- I'm saying that's the only type of cuteness I can see in them, and I don't *like* that type), and they have no *story*. I'd have to invent the story, and the setting would be the music industry, which interests me about as much as fried hedgehogs in butter sauce.

And Smallville. I keep saying somebody's gonna tempt me into the fandom. If so, it'll be Te, Tham, or Saber -- but... I really don't think I'll ever do more than lurk. It doesn'tsatisfy my craving for stories about people I *know*. I'll read some C/Lex, but the thing is, I don't *like* the show. I don't think I'll ever like the show. I have to be seduced by the plots, before I can let the slash control me. I have to like the people, all of them, before the subtext can get strong enough to make me forget about the text. The text has got to be good in the first place. And, though there's a lot of hotness and creativity being generated in slashdom right now, I have this itchy feeling that Clex is a one-note thing. That Smallville is a one-and-a-half note show. Clark and Lex are unhealthily fascinated with each other, and Clark is a future superhero who's trying to be a real boy. Cut, print. Right now, the original stories are out there, and they're fascinating, and sexy, but even now, four months into the show and only reading a very few Smallville stories, I can see the fanon being developed. The themes repeating. Power is heady, destiny sucks, pain is pretty.

In other words, the big fandoms out there aren't going to console me, if everyone flocks away from BtVS/Angel, and it's only me, James, Lorna, and a hundred people who think a beta reader is something to do with software, and Xander's sexual abuse happened onscreen, in that episode they missed when their VCR's went out. I exaggerate, of course. There are many great writers left in the b-verse. but I'm alarmed. And whiny. 'Cause in the end, it's all about me!

And Angel v. Spike thought: Spike can look evil, in gameface, if he wants to. He can also look sweet, funny, goofy (in a good, non-moronic way), sexy, and intelligent.

Angel can *only* look evil. The contact shade? The shape of his face? How pointy his teeh are? I dunno. But the googly-face gameface scene creeped me out, not because he *did* it and it was some terrible all-time low on the writers' part, but because he looked *evil*. Even when he was trying to be good.

Random thoughts


2001-12-12 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)

I get what you mean about Smallville. I started watching it finally, simply because it seems inescapable. I read Tham's stuff. And LaT's. Write it? Highly doubtful. I can't relate to them well enough.

*g* You, me, James, and Wolfling. Don't forget Wolfling. ;-) It concerns me too. There's a lot of die hard Buffy/Angel fans who hate both plots this season. And they're going elsewhere. Personally, I couldn't care less about Angel's kid. But I rather like Holtz. And Gunn and Wesley are too damn cute. So, lame or not, I'm still in for the long haul.

Re: Random thoughts


2001-12-12 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, Lord yes, Wolfling. And Benaresque. And others. Admittedly, I've narrowed my reading. I can't say there's nobody writing good Angel slash, because I've barely checked the Angelslash list in the last few months. I'm down to what hits my inbox, which is S/X, because the squidge web interface sucks, and let's not talk about escribe, plus recs, and checking up on my list of fave authors regardless of what pairing.

I'd say Mod, but the boyband world is calling her, and I'm afraid it may slurp her away. Same with Pet. And Kita and Jess don't seem to be going anywhere, but they're being sucked into dark!Spuffy, which is interesting on the show, but I've no desire to read hetsmut, suddenly, just because it's brilliantly angsty.

It's not that these are bad things. bad fandoms, bad pairings, bad genres. The writers haven't become less in my eyes because they've gone that way. I'm just not interested in the *stories*. There's a distance beyond which I'm not going to go, even for good, nay great writing. There a brilliantly written books all over Borders, in every section, but I'm not going to go read a spy novel, no matter how good the writing is, because I'm not interested in teh subject.


2001-12-12 10:55 am (UTC) (Link)

I will say that for all my whining last night, the second half of the ep was much better than the first. In part because the whole supporting cast was suddenly back in the picture, and suddenly because --ooo, files chick. Love files chick. Is she human? Do I care? She and Lilah are much more interesting than Gavin and new boss guy.

I do wish the plots were better written. Like Angel's little godfather threat is gonna work? How was Angel suddenly able to watlz in that far before the alarms went off when it's canon that doing so requires long planning and dumb luck? So boss guy is thinking 'gee, yeah, threaten me - *that's* new. Somebody station a guard on my door. OK! Reports, anyone?'

He's gonna bend over because Angel growled at him? Don't think so.

Angel's problem with the evil gameface thing is - he is a dork. All he has going for him is the ability to look like a dork, or be so bloodthirsty that no one gets in his way. Dork only gets you so far because it only works on people who already like you. (Cordy, Wes, Gunn, Fred -- it so works on them.) I can see where being a father might make him grow up in ways two hundred years of unliving hadn't done. If only when the baby won't go to sleep and he's having to tell himself "I can't eat it. I can't eat it, I *love* it."

But my problem may come from, in part, because kids are long-term. Unless they plan on killing or giving away the kid in a year or two, for the next 18-50 years Angel's life is gonna get distorted by the gravitational pull that is His Son. And if the kid does go away, Angel's grief will be that distortion. They've changed Angel in a fundamental way that nothing else that's gone before, has. 500 years in hell? Got over that in a season. Never mentioned it again.

What's gonna happen two seasons from now? Toddler Conner a regular cast member? Or 'oh, yeah, the baby. Didn't work out. Lost him.' ? Magic might make it internally consistent, but the focus of the show is moving progressively away from the characters and plots I care most about. And I don't see Joss professing any great commitment to Wes and Gunn so why should I console myself that they'll get their due? The only one who counts is Angel, and whatever sidekick they give him to bounce off of.

Although killing Wes or Gunn would make a great story. ;-)

And now I have a plot bunny -- no, no, not to kill them. Silly bunny. Trust me.


2001-12-12 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

For the record, it's Smallville that's singing the siren's song in my case :) But personally, I think that the draw to Smallville is going to be a limited time offer, and here's why. You're right. The show isn't that interesting. I'll admit it. What's interesting about Smallville fic is purely exploring the interaction of the characters as archetypes. Which, I admit, right now is very interesting. But that's because it's brand new. And honestly, if storylines don't become more interesting, more resonating, then once everyone gets the archetype fic out of their systems, Smallville slash is going to go the way of the Dodo. There is only so much one can say about the characters before they need the show to back them up.

Which is why I think I'll never leave Buffy entirely. Because there is so much more than writing about what happens when personality A meets personality B. Buffy provides us with strong plot, metaphor, irony... so many things that other fandoms can't.

Boy band slash? I will never understand it. Ever. How do you ever get a grasp of the characters? What does one center their fic around? Too much like writing original fic, and if that's the case, what's the need to slap a famous face on it?



2001-12-12 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oops. If it makes you feel less like I'm a moron, it was the two fandoms I got mixed up, not you with someone else! Those seem to be the two biggest things that are sucking Buffy writers away, though.

yes, I can see the Smallville thing. Right now, it *does* seem to be archetype fic. It's Clark and Lex, to me. Yes, I happen to have the actors' faces to put on it, but, having seen 1.25 episodes, I'm mostly going with *Clark* and *Lex*, and knowing that the show has a more modern, sensual spin on them. I'm not seeing DC comic Superboy, but they *do* seem to be about the uber-characters, with pretty 3-D faces and voices attached. I like much of what I've read, but don't like the characters or the over-story enough to seek out more, unless it's thrust in front of my face.

This is why I love you


2001-12-12 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

You are too eerily accurrate in pinpointing things for your own good. Must be the Indiana in you. *g*

Other than the fact that I HATE CRYING BABIES, I still like Angel. Kinda. Well, I like everyone in the show but Angel at the moment, because he's turned into Dorkboy instead of cool Batmanguy. I may have to stop watching, though, if that damn kid cries every show. I'm sorry, but children are meant to be eaten, not heard.

I also agree with your Smallville assessment in regards to fanfic, simply because there is a time constraint on it. It's fun at the mo' to explore the developing of a friendship/relationship that could lead to the betrayal/badness that is the future of the C/Lx ship. However, the show itself will be taking Lex and Clark in different directions as soon as the end of this first season, throwing in the Evil!Lex already (if rumors hold true), which will squash the CLexers. I, myself, already slide in and out of the fandom after the first rush of newshow ideas, just writing little episodic ones.

(I've now been dragged into HP fanfic. Egads.)

As for Buffy... mostly, I'm stuck in the writing area (and rather than just blow them all up, I've put them aside), and I'm just not in the mood for smutsmutsmut, which is all the fic seems to be on my lists. Whatever happened to writing stories for the _stories_?

It also doesn't help that I'm mad at all the characters on the show. (And I know, it's just a show, but... grr!) Buffy needs to stop comparing sleeping with Spike to Willow's magic/drug addiction. Willow needs to stop being the anti-christ scary girl and go back to hackerwitch. Dawn needs to stop whinging. Xander and Anya just need to stop, period. Tara finally got her backbone, but then she left. Giles is gone *sob*. And I cannot respect a vamp who wears a *pimp chain*.

The musical floored and invigorated me, but after that it's been all downhill and depressing (well, except for the BuffySpikeFuckathon, which was browraising, but not fic-inducing).

Oh well, I'll stop rambling now. My two cents went to the county Xmas party which I'm ditching tomorrow.




2001-12-16 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

It was "A year without a Santa Claus", if I remember correctly. And, once again, it was a year without recording it, so shadddupayou mouth! ^_~

I don't have anything insiteful to say about slash writing. I have a horrible tendancy to revel in it when I can SEE the subtext, but just picking two characters and throwing them on a page together? uh uh. But that's okay. If the story's good enough, i'll read just about anything now - well, maybe not Buffy stories - I don't like Buffy. I liked MOVIE Buffy. Long story, never mind.

I agree with MadP about Smallville, but that's because I don't like soap-opera-esque shows anymore. I can't identify with them - so there's no draw. Especially the teen ones. Which is weird, since I actually enjoy reading YA books.

Ooooh look! "Home Alone 2" is on. Again.

Anyway. just thought I'd post a response. I don't do it too often.


Re: weeeellll


2001-12-17 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Mrm. No, it was "The Year Without a Santa Claus." I was about to say that's when I was *recording* Angel, not watching it, but it wasn't. It was on the next day while I was recording "Hush." But that said, I watched Angel afterwards. Cos, remember me actually *being* there to make faces at the puppetoons?





2001-12-17 11:43 am (UTC) (Link) pretty much everything you said (barring the boybands, natch).

My problem with Angel is this. In my yearlong investigation of just about every slash fandom out there, I seriously found nothing to compare to Buffy/Angel, in terms of sheer quality of writing, development of characters, depth of understanding, and of course, lovely hot men licking (or biting, whatever) each other. I think this has to do in part with the quality of the shows themselves, the density of the plots we were given to play with, the richness of the characters as they're presented originally. And of course, the slashy subtext, which really is fairly blatant, relative to other fandoms. Basically, Joss was giving us this incredibly detailed and elaborate playground in which to frolic, and the results were just marvelous.

I'm not seeing that so much this season. Angel has become a domestic soap opera. The departure of Lindsey has taken quite a bit of zing out of the show, and I'm not saying that just because I think he's yummy; he was a good character, conflicted and damaged and very believable. Lilah and the Housing Inspector just aren't doing it for me. The Angel/Cordelia hints fly in the face of all the character development we've been given thus far, and frankly make me cringe. And the baby? Good lord.

Buffy's a little better, which I base almost exclusively on the fact that for me, James Marsters can take the most annoying subplot and act the SHIT out of it and glue me to my television screen. I find the Willow plot annoying and rather incredible. And Xander and Anya...if they don't get a real plot soon, or something resembling such, I'm going to wish them away on a magic carpet, or dead. (oh, wait, I already wish Anya was dead...oops)The loss of Giles hurt the show a great deal, I think...he was really essential to the chemistry.

And on both shows, the slashy subtext is being subsumed by canon het relationships.

This doesn't mean that the shows won't turn around, or that they're not pretty, or that they aren't slashable. It just means that the playground isn't as fun anymore, and I think fewer people will be coming to play, in the meantime.

Just my $.02, and for me, the reason I'm off playing with pretty sparkly dancing boys. *grin* But I know for a fact that the people I know who have strayed are also still reading Buffyfic, and want to WRITE Buffyfic, and just aren't getting the inspiration. So hopefully it won't be quite as dire as a permanent exodus.