O.K., I know I am coming late to the party and I hope you will forgive me for bringing up something that I’m sure was discussed years ago, but over the past few weeks I have watched the last three years of Angel and I have one question. Does anyone know why Charisma Carpenter left the show at the end of season four?
She got pregnant and was essentially written out. Joss Whedon was NOT happy with her.
The official line was that her story was told and she wanted to do other things. The reality was what Lou said. Joss was pissed that she basically trashed his entire storyline by getting knocked up immediately after getting married.
That kind of makes Joss sound like an asshole.
Well, he did kill off Wash and Book.
Not to mention Tara, Jonathan, and Anya
Why are people blaming Joss for this? He was pretty much checked out of the Buffy-verse at the time working on Firefly at the time wasn’t he?
Who’s blaming Joss? It was entirely Charisma’s fault. If she’d kept her knees together, she’d still have a job!
From what I (vaguely) remember from some Whedon Message Boards, the issue wasn’t that she was pregnant, but that she didn’t tell them until essentially the last minute (or at least last minute when it comes to the pre-production and writing for the season).
With enough advanced warning, they could have plotted a better course around her pregnancy, but instead, they had to scramble and come up with a completely new story arc that fit with the existing seaond and also go her off the show fast enough to accommodate the imminent childbirth look. Then she opted to spend more time at home raising her son, so the choice was to downgrade her role hugely, or take her out completely.
The situation isn’t as assholish at it sounds at first glance.
And a lousy story arc it was, too. In my opinion. I’d have rather seen her stand behind the counter for half a season.
So what was the original storyline supposed to be? Has anyone ever heard anything to suggest where they were going before Carpenter’s pregnancy interfered?
If true it explains the dramatic break before and after the birth of Jasmine, the second-lamest
Buffyverse villian (before Adam). Up to that point I greatly enjoyed the series, but I got
disenchanted after that and didn’t watch much of the last season (esp. after that loathsome
Muppet episode). In any event Charisma looked like hell during that period.
But Smile Time had nekkid Nina! No matter how much you loathed the puppets (I thought they were great!) the nuditity should have made it at least rate a “meh.”
I liked the puppets… I liked darn near everything they did… while the Jasmine stuff was severely lame, there were some good moments.
What I didn’t like was when they screwed Fred over…that really never did sit well with me.
Fred got reamed, but Illyria was a much better character for Amy Acker to play. Lots more to do there, and neater outfits, too. Rumor has it that had there been a Season 6, Willow would have retrieved the remnants of Fred left in Illyria, allowing Amy to play a dual role on the show.
True about Illyria, but that season 6 would’ve rocked…
Now that we’re getting a “Season 8” of Buffy in comic book form, maybe we’ll someday see a “Season 6 of Angel” as well.
Not for that kind of major casting decision, no.
It’s my impression Joss never had the kind of hands on approach for Angel that he did in Buffy’s early seasons (he was never the show runner for it, for instance). But everything I’ve read or heard (on DVD commentaries, for instance) indicate that he always approved each script before they went out, and was the final decision maker on the major creative decisions, both for Buffy and Angel. His lack of involvement in the later seasons of Buffy that some fans guessed at at the time was greatly over exaggerated, and that probably always held true for Angel.
And anyway, CC wasn’t fired till after season 4, by which time Firefly was canceled and Buffy had ended. I’ve heard that season 5 of Angel was the most time Joss ever had to devote to it, since he was down to one TV show and it took awhile for the Serenity film making process to get going.