Thursday, July 08, 2004

Angelic Thoughts (Warning: Spoilers for season 3 of Angel)

I just finished watching Angel season three (though I still have some of the extras to get through). I find I have very mixed feelings about it. It started out as possibly the weakest season of what I've seen so far. The first half had some excellent individual dramatic moments (such as the circumstances of Connor's birth, which really took me by surprise) and some good touches of humor, but it was also unevenly paced and full of overly trite and obvious "message" stories. Watchable, in other words, but not exactly gee-I'm-glad-I-have-this-series-on-DVD quality. Then, just as I was starting to feel pretty much resigned to this, it suddenly got really cool. Surprising plot twists! Stunning revelations! Suspense! Angst! Tension! Betrayal! I found myself planning to sit down and watch one episode and instead watching two or three at a time because I wanted to see what happened next. And for quite a while, it was very good. Unfortunately, the last few episodes were kind of anticlimactic. Interesting, but not exciting. I somehow can't help but feel that they would have done better ending with Holtz disappearing through the spacetime rip with Connor as the season finale, as opposed to the rather cliched cliffhanger they did end with. All in all, I'd say I'm about equal parts pleased and disappointed, but I'm certainly still interested enough that I'm planning on picking up season 4 when it's available.

Some random thoughts:

  • I like Fred. A lot. In fact, I think she's my new favorite character on this show. (Sorry, Lorne! I still like ya, though.) And Gunn and Fred? So. Adorable.

  • The Angel/Cordelia stuff, on the other hand, I could have done without. Ditto the demony superpowers. And what happened with her in the season finale had me rolling my eyes.

  • Adding a baby to a TV show is usually the equivalent of holding up a huge sign proclaiming "We've Jumped the Shark!," but they actually handled it pretty well. I actually wasn't rolling my eyes at the schmoopy baby stuff, and I rather expected to be. Of course, cheating by having the kid grow up practically overnight really helps avoid the usual problems attendant with television baby-having.

  • Poor Wesley. Poor, poor Wesley. The thing is, I really do think that everything he did made perfect sense. Yes, he should have talked to the others instead of deciding to act on his own, but I can understand why he didn't. Which is pretty remarkable, really, because the vast majority of the time Big Angsty Misunderstandings just make me want to thwap people over the head for not talking to each other. And while I can also understand Angel's reasons for not forgiving him, my sympathies still lie entirely with Wesley. Angel, in some respects, is just a great big jerk. And he, of all people, should understand that "I would never hurt Connor and Wesley should know that" is a really, really stupid thing to claim.
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