Friday, November 25, 2005

The Hue of a Champion

Angel Season 3 Part 2

The end of this season was probably the high point of this shows popularity, possibly because Buffy was becoming less popular at the same time. It's not one of my favourites however. I think the writing slipped a little bit, as they ditched the b-grade goofiness of the first two seasons and tried to treat itself more seriously, but at the same time they came up with a pretty cool plot. A vampire hunter from Angel's past is out to extract revenge for Angel's murder of his children by kidnapping Angel's new born son.

The highlight of the season for me was when Wesley kidnaps Angel's kid (for all the best reasons), and ends up letting him get stolen by the bad guy, who promptly takes him to hell. It convincingly sends Wesley on the path from being a goofball to being a dark badass. The success of this reveals that the actor playing him is actually pretty good, refer also to Cordelia's transformation from a bimbo to Angel's love interest, a transformation I found considerably less convincing. Staying on the subject of characterisation, Fred and Gunn as the happy couple were kind of grating, but I guess they were meant to be that way in order to contrast with everyone elses misery, and to set up their own misery in later seasons. Also, I really don't buy Angel as the doting dad. Maybe it's just my own dislike of little kids but it seems incongruous for this dark tormented character to go all gooey for any reason.

The best episode is the stand-alone Waiting in the Wings, which is set at a ballet performance, and involves some entertainingly steamy scenes between an entranced Angel and Cordelia. Most of the rest of the episodes are dedicated to the overarching plot, which is competent and better paced than Angel usually is, but lacks the spark that makes Buffy so good. However the last episode Tomorrow is a perfect example of a good end of season cliffhanger, with the final scenes cutting between Cordelia ascending to heaven and Angel sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

While it's not my favourite season, it still has plenty of cool goofiness, best summed up by the manifestation of a loa (a voodoo spirit) in the form of a 'Mayor McCheese' style burger mascot. It only makes sense... in a Neil Gaiman type way modern human worship would be concentrated in corporate mascots.

Classic quotes:
“By the way, baby formula and Kahlua--not as bad as it sounds.”
“He's really happy.” [starts to jab Angel in the back with a stake] “But not too happy, I hope.”

See Also:

Angel Season 2 Part 1
Angel Season 2 Part 2
Angel Season 3 Part 1


fairy princess said...

I thought you might like this competition. Its on the website.

Intergalactic Records - NZ Metal Prizepack!
Probably the biggest prize pack ever - EIGHT CDs from New Zealand's top Metal artists (with a few tracks of Hard Rock thrown in for good measure), supplied thanks to Intergalactic Records.

- Subtract's 'Formula One' album
- All 3 of the 8 Foot Sativa albums 'Hate Made Me', 'Season For Assault' and 'Breed The Pain'
- The Axe Attack Compilation Vol. 1 which features artists such as Shakhan, New Way Home, Malevolence, Cripple Mr Onion, Ramekin, 8Forty8 and Dawn of Azazel
- Chuganaut's 'Wolf' EP
- 'Permanent Shadow' from Six Day War, which has a bonus movie on it
- and last, but definitely not least, Stardrunk's 'Overstay' EP.

Jon said...

Well I've already got the Axe Attack album, and I don't like 8 Foot so it's not really a good deal for me. Subtract aren't bad though, I keep meaning to get that album.