Rational analysis, or "Angel" is freaking me out! (DEFINITELY SPOILERS!)

(I saw the other “Angel” thread, but this thread is not so much about that specific episode as it is about this TV show in general.)

I just saw the 4/9 ep of “Angel,” (it airs a day late where I am) and now I can’t sleep. A messianic figure who is the daughter of a half-demon and granddaughter of a vampire with a soul. Rotting flesh, mass mind control, you name it.

I am seeing things in this show that I have never seen on television before. This episode had moments that were as scary as “The Shining,” and as eerily creepy as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I want to say this is great television, but something is holding me back.
I think it is that in this episode, Joss Whedon has crossed an invisible line. “Angel” is no longer a fun little BtVS spin-off. It has become completely its own show, and is better than the show that preceded it ever was. But more than that, when you start dealing with messianic figures whose closest parallel is the Anti-christ, you cannot claim to be a kid’s show any longer. “Angel” has become a compelling science-fiction alternate universe with its own species and physical laws.
I call it “science-fiction” because that is the only thing I can really think of to compare the feeling of awe I felt watching this episode. In reality, the show is technically horror, but I think it has outgrown that genre.

Did anyone else get this much from it? Frankly, I can’t believe there has been talk of cancelling this show. The people making this program are working at the peak of their abilities, in my opinion. They probably won’t win any Emmys, but this has to be one of the most well-acted, non-formulaic and original programs on television right now.

Extremely interesting tidbit: I read in the other “Angel” thread that the rotting flesh face may be based on a work of Salvador Dali’s. I just now read that Millet’s “The Angelus” was one of the prime influences on Dali’s work. Interesting

—But more than that, when you start dealing with messianic figures whose closest parallel is the Anti-christ—

I think it’s in even more dangerous territory than even that, at least right now.

And if it gets renewed at all, it’ll be completely different, at least as far as the word about network negotiations goes.

Don’t worry, Angel fans, the guy who managed to get Buffy and Firefly canned (not to mention the animated series, Ripper, and at least two potential spinoffs) will be concentrating completely on your show next year.

Good luck.

So what is the “word about network negotiations,” commander know-it-all?

That they’re re-pitching the series with one of Joss’ patented “Back to the beginning” style off the cuff remarks.

He’s said something about what happens when you have to grow up and get a job in the real world, like you’re an environmentalist and you wind up working for Shell. Angel Investigations, Wolfram and Hart, that sort of thing. I’m at the bottom of the ladder spoiler wise, the primary sources are out there.

They’ve already sold the existing episodes into syndication, they’re not getting any new viewers as is and the ratings suck no matter where they put it in the schedule.

Heard a bit about what’s in the spoilerbox. I definately like that direction though, especially after some of the good/evil switcheroos we’ve seen so far this season.

Whoops, my mistake, that was from David Greenwalt, not J.W.

How can they go back? The show has been burning through plot this year like a dragster on nitro. That’s one reason I finxd it so refreshing. You know something will happen in every episode.

When did Angel ever pretend to be a kids show? From the very beginning it was always this dark (both physically and emotionally) drama as opposed to SUNNYdale.

I agree - they’re treading on thin ice, but its great stuff and I hope the WB has the cojones to keep them on the air and leave them the hell alone to create what they want. I know, I know, but a girl has to have her dreams…

About the spoiler:

Time to grow up and get a real job? Isn’t that what he did to Buffy that started the final tailspin for that show? What, is Angel going to flip burgers now? Will he be managed by his necromurderous ex? Can they guarantee he’ll get a nightshift? Some people never learn.

Wow, that’s kind of harsh. Buffy is ending because SMG is leaving. Firefly wasn’t given the chance by FOX to find an audience. One spin-off, to feature Faith, was aborted because ED signed on to do another pilot. I don’t see how these are JW’s fault. I don’t know what the story is on Ripper, TAS or the other spin-off you mention (I wasn’t even aware of another spin-off unless you mean the Spike-Willow talk that was briefly going around) but slamming JW for things largely beyond his control seems kinda pointless.

But fun, Otto.

I’ve read the sides for the final episode of AtS, and so I kinda have a vague idea of the new direction for next year—and don’t worry, it’s not going to be nearly as lame as Double Meat Palace. Even I’m intriqued, and normally I really don’t care one way or the other about the show.

Angel was intended to appeal to the same audience as BtVS, except perhaps with more appeal to males. BtVS’s core audience is teenagers and college students. In the entertainment industry, that’s a kids chow. The next lowest notch is The Powerpuff Girls.

But my point was that Angel has left this niche far, far behind. With this new, Antichrist-like character it is entering Twin Peaks or X-Files levels of creepiness and plot sophistication.

And I never thought the main characters’ wearing a black trenchcoat and brooding a lot made the show “dark.” The obviousness of that artifice to a more sophisticated viewer was one reason it was a kids show. Nobody whose been around the block thinks you’re bad just because you wear a black trenchcoat. That’s high school thinking. You’ll note that Angel is NOT dressing like this now.

MrVena was watching the latest ep with me, and kept saying “I don’t like this… I don’t like this…”

He was nervous about the whole christ/anti-christ vibe too.

I think that JW is stretching, pushing the boundaries - and it makes for great TV.

Well, for me, it’s obvious that Wheadon and his production company, since around the end of season 2 of Buffy, is constantly exploring ‘freedom of choice’ at the boundary where good and evil meets.
The most vicious (he-he) vampire ever, the killer of two slayers, is breaking the mold and plotting with the good side to stop the apocalypse. Sure happy meal on legs, but he enjoys living, at least he did back then.
There’s the duality of Angel/Angelus. The roots for the slayer, the wicca turning evil (we’ll leave the ‘addiction’ out of this). Even the Mayor was good to those he cared about. Evil doesn’t necessarily, lie. He’s little speach about his wife was… well not touching,’ cause him being evil and all, but clearly a side of him where he had a morality of sorts, and some empathy for people he loved, which was obvious from his interactions with Faith, too.

The initiative, created for the good, turned out to be evil. Glory was a bitch, but kinda likable, and Giles was on the edge when he killed Ben.

I think Terry Pratcett wrote in a book (don’t ask me which): “There are no good or bad people. All are bad, but some happen to be on our side.” In a way I can see Joss Wheadon exloring humanity along the same lines, and I enjoy it. This is why Buffy and Angel are two of the best shows on television.
So many shows and movies, are about the hero overcoming obstacles to get the just revenge on the bad guy. It just gets very tiring to see the same formula over and over again.

Patricia Highsmith said, in an interview regarding The talented Mister Ripley, that she wanted to tell a story about an amoral man, who didn’t get caught, because vengeance wasn’t interesting: “I believe men, far more evil than Ripley, are living in freedom, often a luxurious life.”

But it’s not for everyone. Even with a bigger network and a great slot, many people would be turned away by a vampire croaking Mandy in a karaoke bar, run by a green, gay(?), red horned, crooning demon. It doesn’t fit the cliches, the way a show like Charmed does.
I think there will be a 5th season and I hope the WB lets Wheadon et al. tell the stories, without interference. This whole messiah/anti-christ is very, very interesting. On par with Job, by Robert Heinlein.

It also reminds me of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. And as Cordy said last week: “Good and Evil - they’re just words.” Which I also think is a clue to Yasmine.

Enough rambling now. Next week, all new Buffy and Angel. I’ll be a happy Gaspode, as long as the wildfeed doesn’t make more trouble.

They DON’T? Damn, I guess I gotta return my jacket.

Some might say it’s Columbine High School thinking

I haven’t seen Angel in quite a while, and not out of having lost interest in the show.

Someone above said it didn’t matter what time slot they put the show it, that it was still losing (or at least not gaining) viewers.

I think it DOES matter. Consider the two timeslot moves: from it’s original Tuesday night slot (okay so 24 would have taken a lot of viewers, but still) to SUNDAY night, almost always a kiss of death move unless you play to the “Murder, She Wrote” demographic, to Wednesday opposite West Wing.

Those time slots SUCK, and it’s almost guaranteed any show would fare badly. I haven’t seen Angel in so long because I’m rarely home on Sunday nights, and place Angel 3rd on my traditional list of favorite shows, behind West Wing and 24, as a result, I’m always watching something else.

I think if Angel were on, say, Monday night at 9, it would probably do better. At least I know I would be able to watch it again then.

BTW, for the record…

I hate Lorne. Hated him from moment one. Can’t believe he turned into a full-on cast member. I rejoiced when he was decapitated and felt hugely cheated when they put his head back on.

He really needs to be killed off, if he hasn’t been already. Like I said, I haven’t seen the show in quite a while.