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Looking for a Manwitch essay -- Sshpadoinkel, 04:45:32 10/29/03 Wed

I have seen a reference to an essay by Manwitch about the use of demon metaphors in Buffy, but I have been unable to find the essay. Can anyone point me the way, please?


[> Re: Looking for a Manwitch essay -- manwitch, 20:19:09 10/29/03 Wed

Woo hoo. Someone's actually looking for something I wrote!? Sshpadoinkel!

I don't know the reference to which you refer, but my own recollection tells me that the only essay I have worth reading on the subject is a thread called "Something Else Entirely" in the archives along about January 25th, 2003.

I would post the link, but past experience tells me that I will post it wrong and it won't take you anywhere.

But I'm happy to ramble on about demon metaphors in Buffy any time. Well, asuming I have time to get to the board. (Which might be more often in a week or so, as I have quit my job HOORAY. Tomorrow's the last day. I'm like Giles in the Wish. I have nothing else lined up and don't know what things are gonna be like, but I know this new world to which I am going just has to be better. It has to be.)

Anyways, I miss Buffy so much. She up and left me.

[> [> here it is! -- anom, 21:41:26 10/29/03 Wed


There's also an epilogue at http://www.atpobtvs.com/existentialscoobies/archives/may03_p31.html#14

Sorry those aren't links--I'm just too tired to format 'em right now. The 1st one is at the top of its page; you can find the 2nd one by searching on "epilogue."

[> [> Re: Looking for a Manwitch essay -- sshpadoinkel, 01:41:33 10/30/03 Thu

Thanks for the pointer Manwitch and Anom. I found the reference to the essay in the January 2003 archives (Hors d'ouevre for this week's Angel, (Angel Odyssey 1.15-1.16) -- Tchaikovsky, 05:03:51 01/27/03 Mon) in case you want to read it.
I have read the first two parts of your essay. Very interesting. Have you written your thoughts concerning the spiritual journey of season 7, too?

I have only just discovered this site this week, so I don't know much about what you have been discussing here.
About the finale of season 6, you call Xander the "symbolic heart". Xanders words to Willow then were: "I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow."
A carpenter saving the world with the message that he loves you no matter what you are. Hm, seems familiar somehow :-) I suppose you've been around things like that in here, too?

[> [> [> Re: Looking for a Manwitch essay -- Sshpadoinkel, 04:33:44 10/30/03 Thu

Yes, you did write about S7 also. I found it in the May 2003 archives.
I have been practicing yoga for a little over a year btw. Maybe I should show this to my yoga instructor :-)

[> [> Congrats on the job quittage! Hope you're having a great last day! -- Ponygirl, 08:00:23 10/30/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Best wishes, manwitch. -- aliera, 16:32:05 10/30/03 Thu

[> [> Congrats and welcome.... -- s'kat, 21:47:59 10/30/03 Thu

Which might be more often in a week or so, as I have quit my job HOORAY. Tomorrow's the last day. I'm like Giles in the Wish. I have nothing else lined up and don't know what things are gonna be like, but I know this new world to which I am going just has to be better. It has to be

Ah...famous last words. ;-) Interesting - a year ago today, I did exactly the same thing you did and felt exactly the same way you've expressed in the quote above. My last day was Nov 1, 2002.

So I'm warmly welcoming you to the club. And congrats. I can promise you there will be up and down days...but on the whole much better than before, while you were somewhere you were no longer meant to be. At least they have been for me.

Saluting you!


[> [> [> thanks you folks. I appreciate it. Its a brave new world... -- manwitch, 22:10:18 10/31/03 Fri

External world mirroring an internal struggle...spoilers for Life of the Party /spec on a resolution -- morgain, 09:41:04 10/29/03 Wed

In Reprise, Holland Manners says:
Holland: "That's really the question you should be asking yourself, isn't it? See, for us, there is no fight. Which is why winning doesn't enter into it. We - go on - no matter what. Our firm has always been here. In one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor. See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And *that* - friend - is what's making things so difficult for you. - See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."

Manners is saying that it is the innate aggressive / evil drives within us that fuels W&H... that it is a part of our personality that is, essentially, the "Home Office", the source of all evil.

Tonight's episode of AtS has Lorne's id run wild, since he has had his sleep removed [the id expends most of its energy in the dream world, once the ego and superego have developed]. Now, we have a direct ME reference to a structure of the personality.

from http://allpsych.com/psychology101/ego.html
According to Freud, we are born with our Id. The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation. When a child is hungry, the id wants food, and therefore the child cries. When the child needs to be changed, the id cries. When the child is uncomfortable, in pain, too hot, too cold, or just wants attention, the id speaks up until his or her needs are met.

The id doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction. If you think about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents' wishes. They have no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing. When the id wants something, nothing else is important.

Now vampires are all about the id.... blood [food], sex, and aggression. They are the id externalized, with no controls. This is Angelus, and every other vampire in the Whedonverse. But, this is also the Senior Partners and The First, since they prey / feed on / derive satisfaction from aggressive impulses.

As the child interacts more and more with the world, the second part of the personality begins to develop. Freud called this part the Ego, the part of the personality which maintains a balance between our impulses (id) and our conscience (superego). The ego is based on the reality principle. The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run. Its the ego's job to meet the needs of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.

This is Angel... the vampire who helps the helpless... who sometimes lets his aggressive impulses get the better of him [lawyers in a wine cellar, anyone?], but basically wants to do what's right .. try and make a difference because " What else are we gonna do?"

from http://allpsych.com/psychology101/ego.html
By the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego develops. The Superego is the moral part of us [the conscience or voice of the parent] and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.

Now this is Liam's soul [not Liam, though, he is more id-like]. It is the soul that dictates the right and wrong... the guilt over past actions
ANGEL: (walks close around Spike, whispering in his ear) You think any of it matters? The things we did? The lives we destroyed. That's all that's ever gonna count. So, yeah, surprise. You're going to hell. We both are.

the yearning for redemption and forgiveness... the high and mighty road.... But it is also the PTBs who represent what is good and right as balance to the forces of W&H [the id]. The superego is and of itself, not kind, but can be authoritarian and rigid and the source of as much neurosis as the id.

from http://allpsych.com/psychology101/ego.html
In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation. Not an easy job by any means, but if the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take over the person's life. If the superego becomes to strong, the person would be driven by rigid morals, would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world.

Now it seems to me that the struggle between the Senior Partners and the PTBs are the struggle between the id and the superego. They also represent the external image of an internal struggle that Angel tries to manage between Angelus and Liam's soul.

So, if Angel is able to integrate [not destroy] the Senior Partners with the PTBs who are two sides of the same coin or are the same entities
WOMAN [later to be known as Jasmine]: Yes. In the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the earth. Untold power emanated from all quarters-the seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. But the shadows stretched and became darkness, and the malevolent among us grew stronger. The earth became a demon realm. Those of us who had the will to resist left this place, but we remained ever-watchful.

then the task is complete... the severed parts are rejoined... the coin has now remelded into one.... and it should also reflect Angel's ability to integrate those warring aspects of himself.

And that is the task for which the Shanshu becomes the reward....


[> For those who don't know, Life of the Party is Angel ep 5.5 -- LittleBit [who knows now], 13:08:19 10/29/03 Wed

[> [> Hi LittleBit -- Drizzt, 13:56:42 10/29/03 Wed

I can't talk in chat; browser not compatible with parachat
My email has been cancelled.
So, just saying hello here;)
Hey, I have been in LA since June...

[> [> [> Hey, Drizzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!! -- LittleBit, 15:41:04 10/29/03 Wed

Good to hear from you. Hope things are going well for you. L.A. huh? That's quite a change. Hope you can get into chat or have email sometime soon.


[> Interesting post - mirror worlds? Thoughts on Gunn (Spoilers up to and for Ats 5.5) -- shadowkat, 22:55:31 10/29/03 Wed

Welcome morgrain! Glad to see you still posting here!

But it is also the PTBs who represent what is good and right as balance to the forces of W&H [the id]. The superego is and of itself, not kind, but can be authoritarian and rigid and the source of as much neurosis as the id.

I'm wondering if this season is the mirror to S3-S4.
Before the ruling force was the PTB, with visions or a conduit through Doyle then Cordelia - then the PTB went too far and overwhelmed everyone in the body of Jasmine.
The Super-ego began to feed on the ego and the id. It allowed the ego to have it's validation, it's reassurance, to keep the id at rest - yet demanded nourishment in exchange. The high moral ground echoed in Deep Down through Home, is suddenly flipped over to an exploration of the ids needs - represented as you state by w&H. Instead of Doyle or Cordelia - we now have Eve and Gunn as the conduit's to W&H.

Gunn - acts like the id here - staking it's territory, Angel's second in command - yet he has a strong ego. The ego wants more. It wants recognition. Hence the peeing?

Eve - similarly is id - telling Angel to unbottle his feelings. She exudes (or is supposed to exude sex appeal)
and is all about temptation. Gunn is id w/ego. Eve is pure id.

Gunn pees on Angel's chair. Eve has sex with Angel in his office.

Then, we have the shadowy presence of Spike who ghostlike remains ignored. Angel ignores him throughout most of the episode - could he represent the conscience with his questions? And the id? Not clear. Maybe nothing. Not really sure Edlund knew what to do with Spike here. Or Fred and Wes for that matter.

I think through W&H we see what happens if you give in completely to the id. Yet it also shows what happens when you deny the id and give in to the ego. Is Lorne's decision to give up sleep - a decision of the ego? or the id?
When we see him talking to himself in the mirror is he talking to his id or his ego or his superego?

Is it so simple?

How many times was Buffy bitten? -- Ames, 11:23:28 10/29/03 Wed

Watching a B vs D rerun last night, I wondered about a couple of things.

When Drac bites Buffy, he still sees the scar Angel left from Grad Day 2. But where's the scar left by The Master?

That makes at least 3 times Buffy was bitten by a vamp. But what about Spike? It was always portrayed that the act of biting and being bitten was almost sexual. The vamps certainly seem to get off on it, and it looked like Buffy was experiencing something in Grad Day 2. In all the rough Spuffy sex in S6, surely Spike must have bitten Buffy a few times too? He even said they'd experimented with just about everything, and they seemed to have few boundaries! And yet this was the same girl that criticized Riley for enjoying a few vampire bites.

Why did Angel have difficulty stopping short of killing Buffy in Grad Day 2? Other vamps never seemed to have trouble stopping suddenly if they were in danger. And any vamp that wants to sire another vamp has to stop at a finely-judged point where the victim is not quite dead. What was Angel's problem? (ok, he was sick at the time, but not so sick that he wasn't able to think rationally and reason with Buffy a few seconds earlier) Maybe Xander was right to blame Angel for getting carried away to the point of nearly killing Buffy, rather than praising him for being able to stop.


[> Re: How many times was Buffy bitten? -- Dlgood, 11:48:31 10/29/03 Wed

Onscreen there are three times: the Master, Angel, and Dracula. In two of those cases, she was under some form of thrall. In the case of Angel, she offered her neck in order to save his life. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that Spike did not actually bite Buffy with Vampire fangs to drink her blood. (Biting with human teeth, being another matter.)

IMHO, it's too significant an event to not have shown onscreen.

[> [> Re: How many times was Buffy bitten? -- manwitch, 20:35:32 10/29/03 Wed

Spike bites Buffy on the lips in Something Blue. She is bitten by cockhead monster in Doublemeat palace. Its possible she was bitten a sixth time by Marv Alpert, but they didn't feel it was significant enough to show. I'm sure she's covered with lots of sexy scars, which I guess was the point of the question, right?

Angel needed to "drain the blood of a Slayer" in order to effect the cure to his ailment. Perhaps that was part of it, although he spoke about it as though it was just natural that he would kill her if he drank from her.

I always thought what Xander said to Angel in Prophecy Girl was wonderful. After that, I tend to take Angel's side when they're at odds.

[> [> [> ROFL -- Sophist, 07:38:18 10/30/03 Thu

[> Re: How many times was Buffy bitten? -- skeeve, 08:23:46 10/30/03 Thu

My take on the G2 scene is as follows:

Angel is deathly ill and only the blood of a Slayer can save him, but Angel is unwilling to put the bite on Buffy even to save his own life.

Buffy feels differently and starts hitting Angel in an effort to make him vamp out and put the bite on her.
Had Buffy's tactic been successful, Angel would not have had the self-control to keep from killing Buffy. Buffy had a broad definition of success.

Angel, having a different definition of success, vamps out without waiting to lose control. The idea is to bite Buffy while retaining enough control to let her live.

Deathly ill Angel's tactic doesn't work quite as well as hoped. Biting Buffy causes him to lose control.
Fortunately Slayer blood is fast acting and Angel regains his health and control while Buffy is still alive.

OT: my Halloween costume -- celticross, 13:54:03 10/29/03 Wed

I've got the (faux) leather pants, the cleavagey slutbomb shirt, the stylish yet affordable boots, the cross, and I'm looking for handy pieces of wood for stakes. Too bad I don't have an axe.


[> What will you be, what have you been -- mamcu, 17:44:18 10/29/03 Wed

Undecided for this year--look for updates. In the past ten years, I've been the Statue of Liberty, one of the Blues Brothers (Jake), a fortune teller, a pirate, a witch, something vaguely weird and spooky, and an alien (twice) with a forked tongue. These are all so prosaic, but they made a hit at the time. What have the rest of you been? Shall we send pictures? I will if you will (you is plural--in my dialect, it's y'all).

[> so many Buffy's, so little time :) -- Miyu tVP, 16:27:53 10/30/03 Thu

Well, the problem with being Buffy, is which Buffy to be?

Season 1 Buffy? (Short skirt, high boots, push-up bra)
Buffy as Anne the waitress?
I-just-crawled-out-of-my-grave Buffy?
DMP Buffy?
Construction worker Buffy?

The options are overwhelming! :)

on a side note, check this out....Wicca Barbie! (hey, they mention Willow at least)

Friends of "P" Angel 5.5 Party animal spoils -- neaux, 05:11:38 10/30/03 Thu

The very first night before my very first day of class in my Freshman Year at college at UNC.. I was trying to get a good night sleep because I knew my first day at college would be crazy. Little did I know how crazy it would be. I woke up around 5 AM to find a random guy peeing in my dormroom and it was not my roommate. I looked at the guy.. looked over at my roommate who was in his bed... looked back at the guy pissing on the floor.. and did a double take.

Holy $hit, I Thought. This guy just pissed in our bedroom. My roommate jumped out of his bed and tried to stop the guy. The guy just walked out of our room.

My roommate turned on the light. The random guy had peed all over my roomate's shoes and computer!! Turns out, he was stoned and drunk and our suitemate across the hall.

So why did I feel the need to relate this story? Because #1 it's funny and true. And #2 I was reminded of it after watching GUNN's territorial pissings last night.

Party Animal was the basic TRUTH of Alcohol influenced parties. When people get drunk, they Pee. In strange places even. I'm sure you know a guy who has been known to Pee in chester drawers.

Get two drunk people together that are best friends and Truths will be revealed. What? Yes, Fred lets Wes know about her feelings for another. Talk about shot through the heart!

And most importantly we know Drunkedness leads to sex. Angel and Eve getting' it on... havin' a go.

Lastly, drunks get into fights. So we have a brawl.

So why is any of this important other than making you remember crazy parties that you have been to? Well I think that's the real point. Everyone remembers THESE EVENTS. That is ultimately what makes a good party. And the result.. Lorne succeeded in creating a memorable bash at Wolfram & Hart.

Great episode.


[> chester drawers -- skeeve, 07:55:11 10/30/03 Thu

'Twas a long time before I learned why drawers were named Chester.
Having an uncle named Chet didn't help me figure it out.
It seems that some people, including those that spoke to me about drawers, mangled "chest of drawers" slightly beyond recognition.

[> [> LOL! -- neaux, 07:58:31 10/30/03 Thu

I blame my southern heritage.
that was extremely funny and made my day! thanks!

The biggest question that arises from "Life of the Party" (spoilers for Angel 5.5) -- Cactus Watcher, 05:12:18 10/30/03 Thu

Who is going to turn up naked next week?

The episode really need a strong warning. "Tonight's episode contains graphic scenes of Lorne trying to carry an episode, boring dialog, inane and immature humor, vulgar language for the sake of having anything memorable, and threadbare themes stolen from much better Mutant Enemy matieral, it may not be suitable for mature audiences.

Don't want to kick the dead horse much more, but I can't remember the last time a Lorne-centric episode was even average. Come on, ME, the guy's a decent character. Give him a break.

The best thing I can say about Angel 5.5 is that humdreds of people out there writing so-so fanfic can truly pat themselves on the back and say "I can do better than that!"


[> Clem -- skeeve, 07:50:14 10/30/03 Thu

[> Not that bad -- Ames, 08:46:09 10/30/03 Thu

Actually I thought it did a lot of things very well.
It pointed out in an entertaining way the near-impossibility of this gang of wallflowers and brooding introverts being able to run a people-centric enterprise like a large law firm, and how Lorne is being forced to carry a big part of the load.
The story kept moving along with dragging, and everyone had a role to play (even Harmony).
It worked in the Halloween theme.
It threw in an interesting twist for the future in the form of Angel and Eve's quickie.

The biggest weakness was that Spike was transparently tacked on (no pun intended).

[> A little harsh... -- Random, 08:58:48 10/30/03 Thu

Though I wasn't terribly impressed with the first half -- ME seemed to be trying too hard for the chuckle -- the 2nd half was classic. I think it compares quite favorably to many if not most other "light" episodes on either AtS or BtVS -- it was often hilarious, and even had some philosophical/psychological goodness to discuss (for those who've never take Psych 101, this is as good an ep as any to get started on those woefully-neglected studies.) While not one of the enduring classics or anything, this episode was generally strong as a stand-alone comic episode. But, then, you generally watch succulents in your spare time, so maybe we have different ideas of fun. ;-)

[> [> Re: A little harsh... (Life of the Party spoilers) -- Rob, 11:09:55 10/30/03 Thu

Agreed. It was pretty lightweight, but had many enjoyable moments, although I expected a bit more from Ben Englund. The major flaw with the episode I found were the villains of the week seemed tacked on to me and also over-the-top. I didn't find them or their whole subplot truly threatening, and that whole drinking-the-blue-blood-out-of-the-spigot-in-the-manservant's-arm thing too gross, even for this show. And in ways I liked the ideas better than the execution. The Lorne giving up his sleep idea I liked. I liked the big evil Lorne, I liked the drunk Wes and Fred, and most of all I liked the thematic links with the seasonal story arc and the issues of corruption/being in the belly of the beast, etc. Somehow it didn't come together as satisfyingly or cohesively as I would've liked. It was still full of classic moments, though (UC Santa Cruz, the demon in the "human" costume, the demon in the "Plylean" jacket, Gunn marking his territory--okay, I know it was juvenile humor, but it made me laugh--Harmony on the dance floor, and many more). I do usually like my campy episodes to have a little more depth, though, like "Storyteller," "The Zeppo," "Superstar," and "Triangle."


[> [> [> Classic Wes/Gunn Moment (Life of the Party spoilers) -- Scroll, 16:50:35 10/30/03 Thu

Lorne tells Gunn to stake his territory. Gunn pees in every corner of the office. Gunn pees on Angel's big chair. Gunn pees on Wesley. Staking his territory, indeed!

Hee! I'm such a bad, bad slasher : )

[> [> [> Re: A little harsh... (Life of the Party spoilers) -- Dlgood, 17:20:50 10/30/03 Thu

The major flaw with the episode I found were the villains of the week seemed tacked on to me and also over-the-top. I didn't find them or their whole subplot truly threatening

What bugged me more, was that there was only one Sebassis. If the W&H "experiment" is supposed to be this horrible experience, it would help if there were more of these odious demons that they had to prostitute themselves out to.

[> What other Lorne-centric episodes? -- Gyrus, 13:29:01 10/30/03 Thu

I can't remember the last time a Lorne-centric episode was even average.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember ANY Lorne-centric episodes before this one. Which eps are you talking about?

[> [> Probably the unfairly maligned "House Always Wins" -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:48:39 10/30/03 Thu

Personally, with both that ep and this one, I fall into the "liked it" camp. I'm not really a Lorne afficionado, but I generally seem to have a better taste for funny, inconsequential, filler eps than some people.

[> [> [> True... -- Gyrus, 17:10:45 10/30/03 Thu

Yeah, I guess that one was relatively Lorne-centric. I kind of liked that ep, too.

[> [> [> [> "Belonging" was also Lorne-centric. -- Rob, 10:36:50 10/31/03 Fri

Anyone notice...(spoilers angel 5.5) -- Seven, 06:23:26 10/30/03 Thu

When the gang finds Angel and Eve doing the horizontal Hokey-Pokey, Wesely drunkenly says something like:

"We have all been affected by Lorne, as well as Eve presumumblyblay....(presumably)."

This was hilarious. the ME writers have really put the in-jokes all over this season. From Spike and Wes knowing each ther to this --- ME's realizing that when we discuss this episode, we'll have to mention that "Presumably," Eve was susceptable (sp?) to (essentially) magic. So what is Eve? We don't know yet but "presumably" she has weaknesses just like humans.

Loved that line, probably my favorite of the episode.


[> Re: Anyone notice...(spoilers angel 5.5) -- skpe, 06:55:49 10/30/03 Thu

did'nt she later say that having gone to UC santa cruz she was used to having sex under magical thrall,(allwas heard it was a party school). I wonder who at ME is a santa cruz alumni

[> [> Re: Anyone notice...(spoilers angel 5.5) -- punkinpuss, 08:46:04 10/30/03 Thu

According to posters at Whedonesque, it's Marti Noxon.

[> [> As a Banana Slug, (mild Angel 5.5 spoiler) -- fresne, 08:49:15 10/30/03 Thu

yeah I notice.

Marti Noxon and Steven DeKnight went to UC Santa Cruz.

I wouldn't say that we were a party school. I mean okay, our mascot was a banana slug, but we had only intramural sports, which included surfing. There were those Lovecraft readings in the Justice Den, before they cut the tree down and it became Phoenix Den out in Elfland. And okay there was a Smoker's Den, but that wasn't the cause of the florescent orange stream by Dark Water Den. Right next to the Way to Hell and the Bridge to Heaven. Totally different from the Hall of Faces in the Hell Hole Cave. But we had no fraternities or sororities. Course there was Kresge and (cough) Porter and the nude drummers out in the meadow and party's for days that ended in y. And there was that whole incident with the Deercow. Moo.

Okay, Eve may have had a point.

Although, in retrospect, maybe we should have played that Lovecraft game with ourselves as characters in Santa Cruz. Maybe I would have ended up the servant of nameless and unknowable old ones and not just insane or dead. Or both.

[> [> [> Wow. Now why didn't I go to UC Santa Cruz -- Masq, 09:17:05 10/30/03 Thu

I mean, the lack of intercollegiate sports, frats and sororities alone is a reason to be a Slug.

[> [> [> [> How will this affect enrollment at UC Santa Cruz? -- skeeve, 10:20:23 10/30/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: Wow. Now why didn't I go to UC Santa Cruz -- purplegrrl, 13:44:15 10/30/03 Thu

**lack of intercollegiate sports, frats and sororities**

I, too, went to a college that didn't have these things -- and I turned out just fine!! (Except I hang out on this board. Hmmm.)


[> [> [> Re: As a Banana Slug, (mild Angel 5.5 spoiler) -- Rabel Dusk, 15:16:28 10/30/03 Thu

I was at UC Santa Cruz back in the late 60's/early 70's. At that time it could have been described as Haight Ashbury For Neurotic Intellectuals. It was a wonderful place. If you wanted to coast, that was fine, if you wanted to work, that was fine too. If you wanted to create your own reality, that was even better. I have no idea what it's like there now.

Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- Miyu tVP, 09:32:47 10/30/03 Thu

I noticed 2 glaringly obvious movie references in this week's ep. Of course Lorne's "Incredible Hulk" alter ego, but also the opening sequence with Lorne and his assistant was almost identical to the opening sequence of Phone Booth.

Just recently saw Phone Booth on DVD, and the opening scene is Colin Ferrel strolling rapidly through NY with toady assistant scampering behind, juggling cell phones, stroking and fawning over various egos - planning a party. For those who haven't seen the film, without spoilers, lets just say it's about a guy whose web of lies comes back to bite him in the ass big time, putting all those he holds dear in peril.

The Hulk reference was blatant - esp. with it coming out on DVD recently (did they plan this???). I haven't seen it, but from what I heard the theme is about a father failing his son.

Seems clear that Lorne's subconscious 'explosion' intimates what's to come for the king of bottling - Angel.


[> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- ZachsMind, 11:43:01 10/30/03 Thu

I coulda done w/o the movie refs. Particularly the Hulk thing. I was looking forward to seeing Lorne (played expertly as he is by Andy Hallett) losing it himself in a big way, rather than get close and then feel a headache and then looking back up towards the camera as if he's perfectly okay. I thought they were building up to where Lorne himself would explode like a pressure cooker and become temporarily seething red with anger. No need for added makeup or stunt work or special effects, but just have Lorne himself give everyone within earshot a mighty tongue lashing. It woulda revealed a side to Lorne's character (and Hallett's ability) that we so rarely see.

Lorne IS from a warfaring demonic race after all. Violence is something he's purposefully shunned as much as Mister Spock shunned emotion. It makes perfect sense (especially lacking sleep for a month) that Lorne would occasionally feel those cultural and genetic tendencies swell within him. How would Lorne deal with a more permanent situation, where these violent tendencies he's suppressed (out of disdain for his own kind) refused to be ignored any longer?

I was also hoping to see a stronger comparison between how Lorne handles his negative emotions and how Angel does the same thing. They did touch on it, but not enough. Each of the two men have a similarly powerful mean streak within them. Angel broods and occasionally whines about his darker side. Lorne channels those negative energies into positive ones when he can, and just suppresses them altogether when he can't.

The jury's still out on which behavior is more therapeutic.

[> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- leslie, 11:53:58 10/30/03 Thu

I was surprised by the scene in which Lorne talks about not having any superpowers--what, everyone can read other people's destinies in their singing auras? But also, I thought it was interesting that his alter-ego attacked the demon wearing the Pylean jacket. You would think, given Lorne's feelings about Pylea, that he would not feel so protective of his own kind--if a Pylean got skinned, that was what he gets for acting like a Pylean. This seems to suggest that Lorne is much closer to his people, emotionally and psychologically, than he admits, or even knows.

[> [> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- ZachsMind, 12:27:53 10/30/03 Thu

Agreed. He can't forever deny his true nature, and his reaction to the guy's explanation that the suit was "Pylean" was also revealing. Not only was Lorne revulsed, but he sensed a twinge of negativity that he normally wouldn't exhibit. Perhaps prior to his stint in Vegas (when he was simultaneously the life of the party and a singing caged bird) Lorne would have just laughed it off with a zinging one-liner and shrugged it off. However, his character has grown more complex and distinctive in the past year. Surrounded by negativity at every turn is putting a damper on his sunny disposition. It's not that he's grown homesick. It's more like he's getting older and more mature and his rebellious nature against his own kind (which has been an answer to his woes up until now) isn't really fixing all the problems it used to fix. He also used to be THE Host. Now he's just a part of a team, and I'm not sure if Lorne's cut out for that. He obviously doesn't believe he can.

But his remark about not having any special ability: to him his empathic powers are not special powers. He takes them for granted cuz they've always been there. Angel remembers what it was like long ago to just be human. Lorne's never been anything other than what he is. Lorne also can be sliced and diced and with some duct tape and a few hours in a sauna he's right as rain, but he doesn't consider that special either, because he doesn't compare who he is to being human.

In short, everyone around him is dragging Lorny down with them. Angel's brooding. Wesley and Fred's wallfloweriness. Gunn's fears of inadequacy. It appears the writers are showing how each character in their own way is losing a bit of him or herself, and not necessarily due to W&H. That's just a tool. The players who make up Angel's Dream Team have been doing it to each other, arguably since the trip to Pylea at the end of season two.

[> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- Miyu tVP, 14:39:25 10/30/03 Thu

I thought they were building up to where Lorne himself would explode like a pressure cooker and become temporarily seething red with anger

agreed. I would have preferred that kind of eruption, rather than what we got.

When Hulk!Lorne first appeared onscreen, I groaned at the ridiculousness (they must be joking!) and then I started laughing (aha!, they *are* joking!) But I couldn't take it seriously for a second.

But the fact that they did it *this* way when they could have done it any number of other ways (e.g. your scenario) just got me to thinking why? We're pretty much saturated with Hulk stuff over the past year. And the only thing I know about the movie (I have no interest) is that they tried to bring in a cohesive emotional hook by making it a father/son story. Son abandoned by father... all hell breaks loose... ring anything? :)

or - you know, it could just be the sheer joy of campiness. It is the Halloween ep.

anyone actually seen the Hulk?

[> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- undeadenglishpatient, 21:16:12 10/30/03 Thu

There were a couple other movie references as well, however I'm not positive on the meaning of them or if I got the correct Henry Fonda movie. Lorne was talking on the phone when these came up and until I can see the script of the actual episode, I will have a better understanding of what he was trying to say.

Henry Fonda - The Lady Eve (1941)?

Tom Jones - Mars Attacks?

Firefly - Grapes of Wrath in Space

Lorne talking on the phone is very important to this type of trivia stuff. Lorne is Joss...Joss is Lorne.

[> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- Dead Soul, 21:48:51 10/30/03 Thu

Henry Fonda was in The Grapes of Wrath, as the character Tom Joad - this was the reference Lorne was making. (I think. I've never actually read The Grapes of Wrath or seen the movie.)

Do you think Joss wants W&H to reanimate Henry Fonda to be in the big screen Firefly? Hmm. He'd be someone's knight in shining spacesuit.

[> [> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- undeadenglishpatient, 22:47:04 10/30/03 Thu

I think your right about the Tom Joad. It's so difficult to catch everything without the good script sites anymore.

Lorne's definately giving the Firefly/Joss nod/promotion. He was talking about Grapes of Wrath in Space or some such - must be the theme.

Lorne's phone conversations are hilarious. I expecially like the one in Conviction regarding Joanie loves Chachi meets "The Sorrow and The Pity", more like Joanie loves Pity. Sounds like Lorne was talking to Buffy/SMG to help her land the role. Lorne also mentioned in this conversation that the producers were clients of W&H, so I'm thinking Joss and co. (being the producers) are clients of W&H. They are evil, makes sense.

[> [> [> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- Claudia, 10:22:01 10/31/03 Fri

I didn't have a lot of expectations about this
episode. Which is probably why I ended up enjoying
it. I certainly cannot refuse an episode that begins
with Lorne singing a Thelma Houston song. In all, it
was silly, amusing and fun. Even Wes and Fred weren't
all that boring (they make great friends, but lousy
potential lovers). Although it looks as if Fred is
about to drift into another dull relationship. It
would be nice if she could find someone, with whom she
could produce a little more dynamics. However, there
is Angel and Eve. And as Lorne had pointed out, there
was a little sexual tension. I loved Eve's last line
about this wasn't the first time she had sex under
mystical circumstances. But I especially loved
Spike's two lines - one about Angel "getting some" and
the one to Gunn, congratulating the latter for pissing
in Angel's chair.

I do have one question about all of this - will Gunn and
Angel consider the consequences of their actions in
regard to Wolfram & Hart, especially after what happened
to Lorne?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Hollywood (Spoilers for Life of the Party) -- undeadenglishpatient, 18:45:53 10/31/03 Fri

I don't think they will. Frankly, because that is the season arc......each character going through the motions of adjusting to their new surroundings. Some may get corrupted and bounce back from it, some may get corrupted and go over the edge, and some may not get corrupted at all.

Angel seems less corrupted than Gunn at this point. Gunn, IMHO didn't give what Angel was telling him any thought whatsoever. He was like: 'ya, whatever'.

I think Angel's main shortcoming was highlighted this week: he's a stuffer. He stuffs everything, and like Lorne could end up with a AngelHulk personna acting out how he really feels.

What about the curse? (spoiler 5.5) -- TexasGirl, 13:37:02 10/30/03 Thu

Am I missing something here? Angel and Eve had sex at least once, possibly twice, yet there was no discussion about the danger to Angel's soul. Granted he probably wouldn't achieve perfect happiness with Eve, but you'd think the danger would at least be mentioned.


[> Thank you! (spoilers 5.5) -- Antigone, 13:43:35 10/30/03 Thu

I thought I was going crazy! The first thing that went through my mind when Angel and Eve came out of behind the sofa was: why isn't anyone in the A Gang even mentioning the soul-losing possibility? Then I thought: maybe Angel and Eve did not actually "do it"... but their last exhange seems to prove they did.

That's pretty much what ruined it for me yesterday; it was just too distracting. Well, that and the "green giant!"
Not that I did not enjoy the episode otherwise; lots of things I liked; but silly anti-continuity moments and over-the-top monsters just did not make sense to me.

[> [> I don't see any issue here... -- Rob, 13:54:08 10/30/03 Thu

...No matter how much fun he might be having, sex with Eve was not a moment of perfect happiness. Perhaps before Reprise/Epiphany, there may have been some concern as to whether Angel having sex instantly leads to soul-lossage, but those episodes completely resolved it. Angel is allowed to do it...just not with anyone he's deeply in love with. There is absolutely no danger with Eve, at least in the unspoiled, foreseeable future, that this will happen.


[> [> [> AtS 5.5 (Life of the Party) Spoilers in above post. -- Rob, 13:55:58 10/30/03 Thu

[> [> My impression was that they didn't get a chance to finish -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:57:37 10/30/03 Thu

They very clearly did have sex, but I think everyone burst in before Angel reached climax. If he had, then we would have grounds for concern. However, I doubt the perfect happiness moment would occur before that.

[> [> [> I agree with Rob (spoilers) -- Kendra, 14:17:22 10/30/03 Thu

The sex act in and of itself does not equate with "true happiness". If I recall correctly, he completed the deed with Darla several times.

[> [> [> [> Re: I agree with Rob (spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:35:49 10/30/03 Thu

Let's rephrase it, shall we?

Angel was with Buffy in many seemingly happy occasions. It was only when they actually had sex that Angel had a moment of true happiness. Given this, I think we can probably say that Angel just being in love with someone usually isn't enough to set off his trigger. We also know that just sex won't set it off, so it's some combination of the two: enjoying the person he's with and having sex. How much he must care about someone for it to work remains unknown. While Angel normally doesn't seem too fond of Eve, we can't be sure whether or not the spell temporarily affected his feelings for her. Them not actually finishing anything just seems far more concrete.

[> [> [> [> [> yes, but... (sp 5.5) -- Masq, 16:06:56 10/30/03 Thu

I seem to recall a line where Angel says to Eve (after everyone has discovered them together and left again), "Let's do it again".

I think they did it. But Eve ain't no Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree with Rob (spoilers) -- Rob, 17:07:28 10/30/03 Thu

While Angel normally doesn't seem too fond of Eve, we can't be sure whether or not the spell temporarily affected his feelings for her.

Had Lorne suggested they fall in love, that would be one thing, and I would agree that there might be a little flaw there. But all he said was (paraphrasing) they should just do it and get it over with. Since Lorne didn't dictate that they fall in love (which equals true happiness), all they were doing was getting their groove on.

Rob, who can't believe he just said "getting their groove on"

[> [> [> [> [> [> Was thinking of "Something Blue" -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:51:50 10/30/03 Thu

When Willow made Buffy and Spike decide to marry each other, they started acting all schmoopy and in love, even though there was nothing about them being in love in her wish. That got me to thinking Lorne's sexual tension comment may have had a greater effect on them than was explicit in his wording.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Was thinking of "Something Blue" -- Rob, 21:47:59 10/30/03 Thu

That's a good point. I hadn't thought of it like.

Although whereas getting married kind of implies (one would hope) that the bride and groom being in love, resolving sexual tension doesn't necessarily. So, I definitely see what you mean, but I still don't know if I think there was really something to worry soul-lossage-wise with this spell.


[> Re: What about the curse? (spoiler 5.5) -- LittleBit, 13:56:43 10/30/03 Thu

When Angel lost his soul in BtVS s2 "Innocence" it happened when he was basking in the aftermath of their love-making. Not 'during' it. Either that or Buffy fell into a pretty solid sleep right in the middle of things. ;) My own take on it is that Angel is unlikely to feel that complete contentment with anyone he doesn't feel that same emotional attachement to. Besides, Cordy [sniffle] is the one who would have immediately asked him, "Are you evil now?"

[> [> Yikes! -- Ames, 14:17:23 10/30/03 Thu

Can you imagine Angelus running W&H?

[> [> not in the strictest sense -- skeeve, 14:32:04 10/30/03 Thu

It probably didn't cross their minds, their minds being rather difficult to cross at the time.

[> Re: What about the curse? (spoiler 5.5) -- purplegrrl, 14:00:20 10/30/03 Thu

I wondered about that a little myself, since everyone gets extra wiggy whenever they think Angel is going to get a "happy" by doing the "horizontal Hokey-Pokey" (as someone else called it below).

I think everyone was too much under the influence of Lorne's hypno-suggestions to think overly rationally. Or maybe the hypno-suggestions overcame their ability to reason. They could only do what Lorne had told them to do. (Gunn is a good example: he knew he wasn't supposed to be peeing all over the floor, but he kept doing it.)

In my opinion, I don't think Angel will ever have a moment of "perfect happiness" again. The interlude with Buffy in BtVS season 2 was a concise intersection of circumstances: Buffy was willing, Angel was wanting, and Angel didn't know it would negate his curse/soul. Now that Angel knows what will make him become Angelus again, he is constantly on guard against it. Even if he were to have sex with Buffy again in his current vampire-with-a-soul state (not as a human as in "I Will Remember You"), it wouldn't be that moment of "perfect happiness." He would *know* and that would spoil the moment for him. Sort of like taking a bite from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Angel can't "un-know" what he now knows. (And the drug that Angel was given in AtS season 1 that simulated perfect happiness was just that, a simulation, not the real deal.)

[> [> With you there... -- LittleBit, 14:52:21 10/30/03 Thu

I don't think having sex/making love will cause Angelus to return. Not now, when Angel knows that can be a mechanism. I always thought he was in greater danger of having a happy, contented moment with baby Connor before he knew Connor was in danger, because none of them were on guard for that possibility.

[> [> Re: What about the curse? (spoiler 5.5) -- Antigone, 15:08:15 10/30/03 Thu

I agree with you all. I came up with these explanations as well (he did not climax, Eve did not bring "perfect happiness", he was under a spell, etc.) to at least make sense out of it.

But I'm still bugged by the fact that one of the fundamental and consistent elements of Angel's character over the years (the fact that he supposedly cannot have sex and that everyne worries he might lose his soul anytime he "lets go") has suddenly fallen in the background, like it's not a big deal at all. That seems like a pretty sudden and unexpected leap from previous seasons. I mean the only other time Angel had sex on his show (with Darla) they at least kept some of the ambiguity up; did he lose his soul? Did he not? Since that happened (3 years ago, right?) Angel has not slept with anyone at all (except maybe Cordy in his "dream/fantasy") and everytime he is attracted to someone, someone or something is there to remind him that he "can't get close." The "Darla" incident was never really explained either I think; we all assumed it was, as Angel said, because she "never made him happy", but it could as well have been an intervention by the Powers that Be to bring on Connor or some other outside element defeating the curse for this one time only. If ME had shown Angel have "caual sex" at least once over the years, then maybe last night's scene would not have seemed so out-of-place to me.

If that makes sense at all, it's not so much the fact that Angel can have sex that bothers me (I was actually glad the man finally got some action--or "release"! :-)--after all these years), but the fact that none of the other characters even commented on it seemed inconsistent with the canon over the years. Angel did not even seem surprised at all to still have his soul or whatever.

Anyway, I don't want to seem overly nit-picky but the casualness with which the Angel/Eve action was treated disappointed me; it's like, in the "New Angel Series," old rules of the Buffyverse don't apply anymore. Angel is just like any other TV hero; he can have sex with anyone, at anytime (at least, if he does not have feelings for them?) and noone seems to notice or worry.

I would have liked for ANYONE at the A Gang to at least mention something about the possibility of Angel losing his soul, even as a joke. The inconsistency in the characters' reactions (even if they were under a spell) shocked me. Doesn't mean there might be a perfectly sensible explanation for him not losing his soul in yesterday's episode , but some ME commentary on it might have helped make it more easy to swallow, especially to long-time fans who are so used to "fearing" instances of Angel having sex.

I wish last night's episode did not bother me so much but it did! :-)

[> [> [> Re: What about the curse? (spoiler 5.5) -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:30:23 10/30/03 Thu

Thing is, what's the point of Angel having casual sex if he goes in trying not to be really happy?

[> [> [> Oh, also . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:39:13 10/30/03 Thu

Two of them were drunk, one was thinking very positively, one was peeing over everything and not realizing it till someone brought it up, and the last was busy denying he was responsible. By the time their minds could get around to the happiness clause, they probably had already decided it hadn't been triggered yet.

[> [> [> [> OK -- Antigone, 16:16:30 10/30/03 Thu

I'm right there with you when it comes to explanations. They all make sense really.
But I'm still unhappy about how ME handled what should have been more than a "silent realization." I thought it deserved a bit more attention, even in passing, but oh well! :-)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: OK -- celticross, 16:48:32 10/30/03 Thu

Don't feel bad, Antigone (love your name, by the way)...I felt the same way last night. I can live without the gang commenting on it right that very minute, and I can accept that Angel can have sex without The Curse being a constant issue. But...I was thrown by the casualness of it all, even after the "spell", such as it was, ended. Angel has gotten close to very few people over the years, and sex has always been a very thorny issue. And now it's no big deal? It just felt off.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Antigone, 18:10:49 10/30/03 Thu

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling that way! It's funny how some things disturb certain fans and leave other fans undisturbed. :-)

I still remember the whole debate about Buffy's death in Season 5 and the absence of new slayer or the William/Halfrek encounter... Sometimes it seems that ME completely misses out on communicating certain subtleties to the viewers... Most of the time I actually like that they don't comment heavily on a lot of stuff; it means they trust us to be clever fans and figure it out, fill in the blanks (or make it all up!). But last night was my limit!

[As for my name, it's the heroine in one of my favorite plays by Anouilh--a modernization of the Greek tragedy. Thanks for the compliment!]

[> [> [> [> [> [> Casually looking at the curse -- Dlgood, 22:05:55 10/30/03 Thu

This isn't a new phenomenon, though.

Back in S3, nobody said boo about the curse when Fred, Lorne & Groo were telling Angel & Cordy to hook up. Perhaps that was Jasmine manipulating stuff... but still. In fact, for me, the idea that nobody was worrying about Angel's curse (Angel and Cordy included) during the C/A runup phase led me to believe it was something of a sham or misdirection.

[> [> [> Re: What about the curse? (spoiler 5.5) -- leslie, 16:24:46 10/30/03 Thu

"...but the fact that none of the other characters even commented on it..."

Well, Spike sure did--and he's the only one now who was there the first time, so his jolly "Hey, Angel's getting some! Good on you, mate!" (and when did Spike become Australian, by the way?) was a little jarring. Of course, Spike was happy with everything last night, which really hit home for me just how negative he usually is: "It will all end in tears" really seems to have become his motto.

[> Copying what I wrote next door on Angel After Spike (spoiler 5.5) -- leslie, 16:17:40 10/30/03 Thu

Just a thought--it seems pretty obvious by now that the "orgasm" = "losing his soul" equation no longer works for Angel, and I don't really think we can say "oh, but it was because it was Buffy, Buffy's special." I think that when Willow restored Angel's soul, she left out the happiness clause, most likely because she didn't know how to do it (I think of it as the garnish on the main recipe--you know, when it says "finish with lemon sauce, see recipe below"? Except Willow didn't have the recipe below--it was hard enough for Jennie to get the main recipe translated.)

Anyway, in this light, there is the intriguing possibility that Angel might spawn yet another son (with Eve?), and what will that occasion? If Connor was Mordred, would Eve's son be Cain or Abel? (Remember, biblical Eve may have bitten the apple, but she's primarily renowned as a mother--the mother of all humankind.) I can see this working to resolve dangling threads on a number of levels--just as there is now a question as to which souled vampire will shanshu, there would be a question of which souled vampire's son is going to kill Sahjan. It would also fit in with the ongoing ME theme of "you don't escape that easily, boyo." Yeah, strike a deal to erase your failures with one son, now you have another one and you have to deal with it all over again.

[> [> In Orpheus, Willow did the exact same gypsy curse as in Becoming, both 1898 and 1998 -- Masq, 16:45:13 10/30/03 Thu

Word for word. If the happiness clause was part of those curses, then the one in Orpheus was, too.

Simplest explanation, not all sex = perfect happiness.

Sex with Buffy before he knew about the curse, yes.
Sex with Cordelia in a dream where his life was also perfect in "Awakening", yes.

Sex 3x with Darla in "Reprise", no
Sex with skanky Eve, big No

[> [> [> Agreeing with Masq, the curse is intact: It's not about sex, it's about love. -- s'kat, 22:10:45 10/30/03 Thu

Why does everyone think "sex" is enough to give Angel a happy?

The series has pointed out on more than one occassion that Angel can have "sex" without losing his soul. Angel has even corrected Cordelia on this point, several times. Sex with Eve was hardly the "happy" deal - he might have enjoyed it - but it was still just sex for sex sake. He didn't love her. While with Buffy, he did love Buffy, it was a meeting of soul's and hence the happy. He and Buffy built up to it. It was never a one night stand. It's not that "Buffy" per se is necessarily special, if Angel just had sex with her a la Parker than no, he wouldn't have lost the soul. It's that Angel was "in love" with Buffy and Buffy was "in love" with Angel that made it meaningful and special. They made love, they didn't just.."boink". Big difference, which I give the writers credit for emphasizing in both series.

Boinking EVE for Angel is no different than Angel boinking Darla, or Spike boinking Harmony, or Wes boinking Lilah...it's "just" sex. In fact - Eve's response to Angel, reminded me of Darla's in Epiphany. It's almost as if she expected Angel to lose his soul as well and was annoyed he didn't. I could be wrong - but that was the impression I got. ("Wasn't I good?" Darla states. "I know you came, I've done this for years!" Darla doesn't get it - it's not about having a sexual release - it's about "rapture" or "bliss" which is only something you have when you make love with someone you love, not someone you just happen to be hot for.) As Angel and the actor who plays him has stated time and again - "no one understands the happy clause - Angel can have sex". (See Guise Will Be Guise which really makes fun of the confusion). Angel was not happy last night - amorous maybe, but not happy in the way you need to be to lose the soul.

In an episode during Season 2 0r S3, I believe (can't remember the title - think it's after This Gang of Mine) - these three soceresses that help Lorne enchant Caricas, make it clear that Angel slept with them and was great. In fact he promises to do it again - to get them to dis-enchant the club and then re-enchant it. Also, Angel states he can have sex, he just can't have that moment of "true" happiness. Note in Awakenings it wasn't "just" sex with Cordelia that made him happy - it was the whole perfect dream. Making love to her, being the hero. Just in Surprise, it's not just sex - it's the whole hero thing and surrendering himself to love, loving Buffy. This is repeated in Amends when Angel mentions taking comfort in Buffy's love. This is why "even if" Faith had seduced Angel in Enemies he wouldn't have lost his soul.
And why he didn't lose it with Darla.

So, I wouldn't assume that the happiness clause is necessarily gone, unless it's stated expressly.

[> [> [> [> Re: Agreeing with Masq, the curse is intact: It's not about sex, it's about love. -- Yasriel, 10:22:01 10/31/03 Fri

Note in Awakenings it wasn't "just" sex with Cordelia that made him happy - it was the whole perfect dream. Making love to her, being the hero. Just in Surprise, it's not just sex - it's the whole hero thing and surrendering himself to love, loving Buffy. -s'kat

Moreover, right now, Angel is so depressed I doubt even Buffy loving would provide him with enough comfort to give him the happy. Is there perfect happiness for a man who has magically offed his son, the one person he definitely loved -- and received control of W&H as the doorprize for that act.

Angel is so depressed right now his arc is that he has no arc. Can't move, can't swing, can't vibrate, all he can do is react.

He only realizes that Lorne is out of whack when the violence mounts, and he doesn't even notice it himself, the others have to bring the realization to him while he is boinking Eve. And he goes right on boinking Eve while they are trying to solve it.

Life of the Party makes one thing clear however, that no one at W&H has been reading the fine print on their deals. And now Angel has got to be wondering, what was the fine print on his deal with Connor. What did he miss?

So, losing his soul because of perfect happiness is not in the offing this year. But Angelus might start bleeding into Angel from perfect despair,

And Life of the Party shows us right up front another way for the subconscious or id to start emerging. Smash that mirror and bifurcate. Course, Angel is already bifurcated purely through his control of his superego. It is all an act of will to allow himself never to give into his passions. Lose control of that, and pretty likely Angelus starts surfacing.

[> [> [> [> Not only can he have sex w/o losing his soul, but he can lose his soul w/o having sex ("Eternity")! -- Rob, 14:22:27 10/31/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Yep - it's all about "Angel's" state of mind at the time. -- s'kat, 23:28:53 10/31/03 Fri

Mysteries: Memory, the Amulet, & Eve (Spoilers Season 5 thorugh Life of the Party, Speculation) -- heywhynot, 17:41:51 10/30/03 Thu

As I watch season 5, three mysteries keep popping in my head (well besides what exactly are the Senior Partners are up to):

1) What does everyone remember of the past year with the memory of Connor eliminated from their minds?

As others have mentioned, Fred, Wesley, Lorne, and Gunn have traits resurfacing that were last highlighted in season three. Is this why they went along with running the LA branch of W&H?

2) Who sent the amulet to Angel, bringing Spike to LA?

At the end of Buffy, the amulet was last seen worn by Spike catalyzing the implosion of Sunnydale into the Hellmouth. Somehow it is placed into an envelope and sent to Angel. Who sent it? No clues are really given. W&H is an easy choice but what do they want with Spike then? Could it be an outside force attempting to throw a wrench into W&H's plans?

3) Who is Eve?
She appears to be a young woman in her early to mid 20s. She knows about Connor and the workings of W&H. Eve states she is Angel's liason to the Senior Partners. It seems she attended or at least visited UC Santa Cruz and took advantage of some of the extracurricular fun while there. Lorne's abilities seemed to affect her. Eve appears to be the one keeping Angel & gang on the task of running a business.

One crazy idea I had until Life of the Party was that Eve was the daughter of the family Connor became part of. Connor being inserted knocked Eve out of the family. W&H took advantage of this, giving her a "family" and a role. The fact Angel slept with her is just a little too Cordy/Connor under this scenario for my liking and Eve going to UCSC probably means she is older than Connor making it harder for me to imagine he replaced her.


[> Sorry about the typos above -- heywhynot, 18:54:05 10/30/03 Thu

Sorry about the typos (especially in the header).

Word of advice do not write a message to the board when your refridge is leaking freon and well is basically dead. Sorry to the environment.

[> Re: Mysteries: Memory, the Amulet, & Eve (Spoilers Season 5 thorugh Life of the Party, Speculation) -- undeadenglishpatient, 21:06:41 10/30/03 Thu

1. The mindwipe definately seems to be effecting the characters. Without the memory of Connor events, their personal growth over the last 2 years has been stunted. Wes in particular seems to be reverted back to how he was a couple of years ago. I hope they get their memories back quick, before they all start repeating what they have already done in the past 2 years over again. If a person doesn't learn their lessons, history repeats itself until they do......I'm just waiting for Wes to screw up another prophesy....it's so gonna happen.

2. This week's episode gave the first clueage as to who is sending the mail - regarding Spike. Harmony!! We had Lorne telling Harmony to (paraphrasing) "Keep pushing that envelope sweety". This reminds me of Harmony's line in Restless between herself and Riley:
RILEY: (swaggers forward, pushes up cowboy hat) Why, hello, little lady. Can I hold those milk pails for you?
HARMONY: Why thank you, but they're not very heavy. (Overacting) Why have you come to our lonely small town, which has no post office and very few exports?

However, there still is the posibility they are coming from the PTB - the "Hall of Souls" (or some such) is located beneath the post office.

3. Eve. I don't know if it's really all that important who she is. Her motives are clear...keep an eye on the office, corrupt them if she can, and report back to the senior partners. For all we know, she's a robot.

It's Hard Being the Host of the Party.....spoilers for Angel 5.5 Life of the Party -- Rufus, 04:20:28 10/31/03 Fri

As an empath, Lorne has always been the one to make people feel better, help them find their destinies, then Angel moved the gang over to Wolfram and Hart. Lorne became head of entertainment, an easy gig, for a Host. Life of the Party certainly has it's comedic moments but there is an undercurrent that isn't funny at all. Angel is uneasy as well and he confides to Eve...

Angel: Look, I spent years doing everything I could to bring this company down, now I'm it's CEO and I have to question every move I make because anyone of them could be exactly what the Senior Partners want.

It's all about the party/journey and episode five has given us a hint of things to come. There have been changes to everyone that have started to surface, but Lorne had always been the stable one. Then came the party. Lorne is taking care of the details and Angel is trying to pretend it isn't happening.

Lorne: Okay, okay...you're killing me. Can't you just feel up the big picture Mr. Magoo. It's not about good and evil, it's about party - party capital "P"

Now what can be so important about a party? The gang didn't need to have them while they were at the Hyperion, so what's the big deal?

Gunn: I've gotta say Lorne is right. We gotta show all the big bads that the new regime is here to stay. For the most part it boils down to image. And image wise, if this party doesn't kick ass - we lose face.

Angel isn't convinced....

Angel: Okay, listen I understand the whole keeping up appearences concept, but everyone coming to this thing is unrepentant, dyed-in-the-wool, evil.

Lorne: Angel, a good host doesn't just make these sorts of judgements.

Angel: We don't know how many of them are holding grudges against us - or - against each other. It's a perfect recipe for an out of control bloodbath. (hmmm like what Angelus used to specialize in)

Lorne: That's describing every good party I've ever been to, listen Angel, don't worry about a thing, this is my forte. I ran Caritas for years a nightclub with an open door policy. The Good the Bad, the Hideously ugly....they all bellied up to my demon bar, but they all played nicely together....while they were there.

Eve: And this is exactly the kind of ethical tightrope you've got to walk now Angel.

Talking about tightropes, Angel isn't the only one walking one. Lorne puts on a stage face and always seems happy, and even keeled. But someone got their sleep taken away, stored in a room. No shut eye for Lorne and the rest of the episode is about the consequences of an empath demon not getting any shut-eye.

Lorne says he doesn't make judgements, is always the host, always on. Before the party Lorne showed just how much interferance he runs that may not be noticed. When the party is discussed, Knox talks about the past parties......

Knox: You should to it's the Halloween blowout to end all blowouts. Last year, they took a bunch of cows and put them in a giant wicker effigy of Krishna....doused it with Sambucca....(about that time Lorne signals to Knox to shut it as it's clear Fred is distressed by what she hears)

Lorne convinces Angel to go to one guest who has declined, possibly cause everyone thinks the party is a trap.....

Lorne: Archduke Sebassis. Bona fide nobility from the firey down under. Commands over 40 legions. He's the living end of a pure bloodline of Demonic Royalty.

Angel: Great, just great.

Lorne: Well also the very peak of the A-list mountain. He's the crown jewel of the underworld jet set. If we convince him to come, all the other glitterati will just domino in right being him and then we're in business.

Angel: This really matters to you doesn't it?

Lorne: Well of course, the new Wolfram and Hart. I mean - we have to

Angel: No I mean this really matter to you, personally.

Lorne: Yeah, you know Angel, I - I don't have super human strength, and I'm not a fighter, quantum physics makes me nauseous, and I barely made a passing grade in mystical studies. But I'm on your team, this is something I can do......I believe it has a purpose that can help you, even if you don't.

Lorne sums it up pretty good, he isn't super lawyer/fighter Gunn, big window drawing brain Fred, mystical specialist Wes, big bad demon fighter like Angel. Being the host is what Lorne does, and he is trying to find a place along side everyone that counts, that has purpose. For him, this party was as important as that gadget Fred put together in Hellbound. So, Angel sort of goes along. The others have to be convinced. In convincing, Lorne tells Gunn to stake out his territory, at the party tells Spike to be posative, wants Fred and Wes to be drunk. What ended up happening was a manic Spike, sloshed geek duo Fred and Wes, and a Gunn who takes territory marking very literally.........oh and Angel and Eve have sex.

Everyone is influenced by Lorne but what happens to people he knows casually, in a business like way?

Devlin: Lorne!!!

Lorne: Hey there Devlin.....so uh...what are you supposed to be?

Devlin: You no get? I human bean........look I do human bean..."I'm proud my honor roll student".....(laughes)

Lorne: Oh, right....that's, uh, so tell me that mask...uh it's rubber, right?

Devlin: (laughs) My other car a Lamborghini.

Lorne: Kay...so then ...uh you be good and everything.

I think it's safe to say the thing stretched over that demons face was that a face. Lorne reacts but not in an obvious way, certainly never lets it get in the way of being the host of the party. The thing that gets the violence going is Artode.

Lorne: Artode, welcome, welcome.....love the jacket by the way.

Artode: It's Pylean.

Lorne: Ah, made in Pylea, my home dimension. (that was exposition for new viewers)

Artode: Not made in Made from. I skinned it myself....anybody you know?

Lorne: Wow....great...thanks for dropping by.

Lorne sees Gunn next and tells him about getting his sleep removed never considering the consequences of that procedure. What happens to his friends can be seen as funny but when the bodies pile up we get an idea that Lorne does react, even if we don't always see it. The first one to go is Artode, he gets killed in the washroom....later Devlin is found on the buffet table. Lorne is faced with himself and that part of him is reacting to what he sees, just in a way that a normal Lorne would deal with in his sleep.

Angel askes why Lorne would get his sleep removed and proof that things have changed are in the answer Lorne gives....

Angel: Why didn't you tell me, why didn't you tell us....I would have....

Lorne: What? Fire me?

Would Lorne ever have felt the pressure to produce at the Hyperion? He does at Wolfram and Hart. In a way friendships have given way to the business grind. Lorne felt that getting rid of the sleep would give him more time to do his thing. The consequences Wesley described....

Wesley: That thing...I think it was a manifestation of Lorne's subconscious, it peeled away from Lorne's mind using Lorne's supernatual powers to punch it's way into our world.

Angel: "Punch" is the right word...but why was it trying to kill everyone?

Wesley: I don't think it was. It may have just been processing the conflicts that Lorne normally deals with in his sleep. Acting out on the emotional responses he has to the people around him.

Angel: I guess Lorne makes some judgements after all.

I wonder just how many wake up calls the gang needs before they realize that Wolfram and Hart thrives on trouble? I don't think Angel gave it much thought that Lorne had any reaction other than the face he puts on for everyone. How many other things has he buried so he could be the host?
If Lorne can be affected so adversely, then what about everyone else? The Lorne effect was a warning, and something that showed that there is some trouble brewing close to Angel. Fred seems ready to have another office romance. Wesley has had the same reaction he had when Fred chose Gunn over him, he is hiding his feelings bottling just like Angel, Gunn....what can I say other than pissing all over the boss's chair is a message that no cleaner can remove. Angel having sex with Eve, that look in her face as she left contradicts her casual response to mystically induced sex. We have trouble. It may just be surfacing but Life of the Party though funny is a signal to look for the goats cause the suffering just may be around the corner.

*Notice I said nothing much about Spike....well I'm wondering how to deal with his attachement to Angel's desk...how does one write a fan fic about the Spike/desk ship?


[> Good Judgement Call -- Claudia, 10:38:16 10/31/03 Fri

Good judgement call on this episode, Rufus. The issues that you brought up and the possibility that the events in this episode might be signs of things to come, are reasons why, underneath the superficial fund, I found this episode interesting.

[> [> Something Gunn said......spoilers for "Life of the Party" -- Rufus, 16:06:10 10/31/03 Fri

When the gang bursts into Angel's office they are surprised to see him active behind his desk. It's Gunns reaction that I found interesting.....

Gunn: What's wrong with........What are you doing with that?

Eve: Hey, watch it pal.

Short little bit, but we saw Gunn slip in a way that his new lawyer persona wouldn't allow for, normally. His reaction isn't a happy one but we don't get any idea of why his reaction was to use the word "that" for a woman they all know.

[> Re: It's Hard Being the Host of the Party.....spoilers for Angel 5.5 Life of the Party -- LittleBit, 13:30:42 10/31/03 Fri

I find it interesting that Lorne, the first one into the limo, the one who succumbs to the W&H offer before he's even shown around, the one who is singing "Something's Coming" from West Side Story in the lobby afterward while the others consider their decisions, is also the first one to break under the pressure.

[> [> Re: It's Hard Being the Host of the Party.....spoilers for Angel 5.5 Life of the Party -- Rufus, 16:01:09 10/31/03 Fri

I was surprised that Lorne would so casually submit to that sleep removal procedure. Could it be that what would have seemed sinister when observing from the outside becomes desirable from inside the belly of the beast?

[> [> [> that's not what surprised me so much... -- anom, 22:08:12 11/01/03 Sat

"I was surprised that Lorne would so casually submit to that sleep removal procedure."

...as that W&H didn't know the consequences of removing an empath's sleep. All the resources they have, the interdimensional knowledge--hell, they've even had empath demons working for them before (Barney in Parting Gifts). Did they really not know any better? But unlike the gang's suspicions about the firm's intentions in giving Angel the amulet, I can't see how W&H would benefit from the side effects of Lorne's operation--only from the extra hours he was available, which was the explicit intention. So, back to being surprised....

Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Rob, 07:16:16 10/31/03 Fri

Not too bad. Not anything great, but it was an enjoyable hour, IMO. Eliza Dushku's acting was very good, and subtle in many ways. In fact, the whole cast uniformly was quite good, and particularly enjoyed seeing Hudson Leick (Callisto from "Xena") again. I met her at a convention about 4 years ago, and she was very excited about some future projects that might help her career take off, like a role in the film "Chill Factor" with Cuba Gooding, Jr. *sigh* Well, it was great to see her back, and even though her role wasn't that well-defined, she played it very sympathetically. And the woman, btw, is gorgeous...she looks even hotter now than she did on "Xena."

I enjoyed "Tru Calling" while watching it, but when it was over, I started discussing it with my friend and noticed many, many problems. And coming from someone who barely ever notices plotholes, that's pretty big. The largest, most obvious one is the fact that the ex-boyfriend who comes to Rebecca with the gun that she will eventually commit suicide with, if Tru doesn't stop her, wouldn't have come to the apartment in the first place if Tru herself hadn't gotten him worried about Rebecca. So, how'd she get the gun the first time the day happened?

Also, the plotting and writing left a lot to be desired. The opening scene was so obviously written, I expected the sister to whisper, "This is an expository scene." A little weird happening at the funeral, though. And she does run an awful lot, doesn't she? I kept thinking, "Here we go again!" The other problem is that it got a little silly how she kept telling Rebecca, "He's the killer! No, I mean, he's the killer! I mean...Hmmmm." There needs to be a better way to narrow this down than accusing every person who crosses her path.

All in all, I'll definitely keep watching, because I love ED. But I really don't know how long this show can last, not just due to ratings, but creatively. I just can't imagine how many variations on this theme the writers can come up with and keep it interesting. It's not like "Buffy" or "Angel," where you can always come up with a new demon. A setup like this looks like it will start getting very repetitive very quickly. Each week someone dies. Each week she tries to save them. And I assume each week we'll have the "Tru-trying-to-convince-the-person-she's-telling-the-truth" part, and on and on. Oh, well, I'll still keep an open mind.


P.S. How cheesy was that final shot of Tru looking directly at the camera, with her hair blowing in the wind?


[> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Dlgood, 08:27:59 10/31/03 Fri

That was very cheesy.

I watched it, because I like looking at Eliza, but I'm not going to watch it again. IMHO, it just doesn't have enough of a set-up to retain my interest.

Hey - look - Tru's a track star, and we didn't include that just so we could have gratuitous "Tru running" scenes, just to make sure the audience felt urgency. Ehh

[> [> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- CW, 10:28:15 10/31/03 Fri

Hey - look - Tru's a track star, and we didn't include that just so we could have gratuitous "Tru running" scenes, just to make sure the audience felt urgency. Ehh

I didn't hate the running as much as some have said they did. But, it would be nice if ED looked like a track star. As I told someone last night, if the show lasts the season and they keep her running, ED is going to lose weight whether she needs to or not. Since she aready discovered the power to recall lottery numbers and to cheat at poker games, you'd think Tru could afford a car soon. ;o)

Over all I liked it, but I admit there were a lot of holes last night. Didn't see any real reason for anyone to trust Tru the way they did. The "Hey, we're two minutes short on run time" recap of the first 25 minutes or so, was a serious mistake.

[> [> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Rob, 11:47:24 10/31/03 Fri

I watched it, because I like looking at Eliza, but I'm not going to watch it again.

You may want to give it another chance before writing it off. See s'kat's post from yesterday in the Tru Calling post further down on the page for more details.


[> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Cheryl, 09:05:11 10/31/03 Fri

I'd read in the reviews about the excessive running, but it was even worse than I expected. They definitely need to cut out all the running and the repeated flashed scenes. I'll continue watching because I like ED and I think it's an interesting premise - I was a fan of Early Edition in the early days and this is very similar. They need more substance, though, and less repeating of earlier scenes. And, yes, the wind blowing hair shot was pretty cheesy.

[> [> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Rob, 09:20:59 10/31/03 Fri

What I thought was pretty funny was how they used the graduation scene to set up how "that wacky Tru is always running places!" ;o)

I'll definitely keep watching, because I love Eliza, and I love time travel stories.


[> The view from Television Without Pity (spoilers TC 1.1) -- cjl, 09:39:46 10/31/03 Fri

Tru Calling - "Pilot"

Episode Report Card: C
Reviewer: Shack

Viewer poll (145 users): B-


Huff, huff, pant, huff. Whew! Sorry. Hold on just a moment. I have to catch my breath. Whew. I ran all the way here. Hold on just a moment. Huff, pant, huff. Sorry. I'm not exactly a spring chicken. Okay. Whew! Okay. Your name is Eliza Dushku, right? No, it's okay. I'm not some crazy fan. Pant, pant. I just had to run here because...well...there's no easy way for me to come out and say this, so I'll just do it -- YOUR SHOW IS GOING TO DIE!

No, I know it probably sounds crazy, but let me explain. Somebody at some pitch meeting somewhere said "Wouldn't it be neat if that guy from CSI could go back in time and actually prevent those murders he saw?" And then somebody else said, "Yeah, but let's make it a hot babe instead. People are into hot babes these days." So they went and hired you to play this young woman, Tru Davies, who has friends who exist only to awkwardly spew exposition, and siblings created from every cautionary video about vice you were ever forced to watch in health class. And then you get this job in a morgue where everybody is obsessed about people "dying before their time." Get used to that phrase. You'll be hearing it a lot. Anyway, you meet some dead girl in the morgue who is subject to said phrase, and she suddenly wakes up and asks you for help. And then -- BAM! -- you're reliving the day where she dies. And everybody talks stilted and says really dumb things, including you. And you enable your brother's gambling addiction, but not your sister's coke addiction. And although it looks like one of this dead girl's two boyfriends may have been a killer, it turns out the girl killed herself, even though the wound was at the base of her neck. So clearly the time travel isn't the only violation of physics going on here. But then you save her by making her problems all about you. Yes, it's that bad. Run, Eliza, run. Back into the arms of Joss Whedon while he still has some influence left in Hollywood. Listen to me! I'm not crazy! No, don't call security! Listen! YOUR SHOW IS GOING TO DIE!

[> [> I actually laughed at something from TWOP! World must be ending! -- Ponygirl, 11:02:56 10/31/03 Fri

[> [> [> Agree. -- Masq, 11:34:03 10/31/03 Fri

I can't read TWOP stuff about shows I care about, like BtVS and Angel. They just make me mad. But for something I'm not emotionally invested in, yeah, I see the funny.

[> [> [> Ah, but this is Shack's recap -- celticross, 09:29:28 11/01/03 Sat

He's probably the funniest recapper at TWoP. His American Idol recaps are comedy gold. And nobody *really* likes American Idol enough to be insulted by them. :)

[> [> But if she doesn't run, we don't get breasts floopping around thus amping ratings.... -- Briar (Hope ED has great bra support!), 16:13:08 11/01/03 Sat

[> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Vesica, 10:19:39 10/31/03 Fri

I am giving this one a few more episodes before I start throwing things at the television. Someone had mentioned Early Edition - which made me happy as my first thought was 'Okay, so this is Early Edition without the paper or the cat'. I like Tru with her professor - it gives her the kind of moral ambiguity I am looking for in small-screen heroines.

Ah, the running. Did anyone else notice her SHOES?? Not only was our girl running back and forth repeatedly (as this is obviously a city without public transit) - she was running in stilettos! What the-? Not that her shoes weren't nice but come on - Who jogs in 4-inch heels? And did anyone see the ensemble she chose for her internship? It was cute but the *ahem* brevity of the skirt combined with the second pair of 4-inch heels, these black patent leather *me-ow*, was less responsible-doctor-in-training and more wanna-play-doctor-in-an-empty-exam-room.

And I did have one outstanding question at the end of the episode. Okay, actually I had quite a few but I will spare you most of them. The one: What was with the whole eyeliner thing? Did MAC pay a promo fee or are we supposed to wonder about Morgue guy (other than the fact he is 'Morgue-Guy')?

[> [> Another thing to ponder... (TC 1.1 spoilers) -- Rob, 10:33:00 10/31/03 Fri

Tru says in her monologue to her mother at the end that she'll do her job and wait for this time travel thing to happen to her again.

Besides the fact that this is the first episode of a weekly series, why exactly is she so sure that it will happen again? After all, this was the 10 year anniversary of her mother's death. It makes some sort of sense in a metaphysical way of looking at things that if her dead mother were able to send her back in time (okay, this is a really weird sentence!) that it would be a one-shot deal, also considering the fact that Tru here was given the chance to save a (future) mother, since she couldn't save hers. Seems like it would take a lot of mystical power to pull this off, and I wouldn't just expect it to happen again, if I were her!

Here's also another thought...would this have happened if she hadn't taken the job at the morgue? And, further, if she had gotten the job earlier, would she have been sent back in time before now, or was this date important?


[> agree, mostly (spoilers for premiere) -- anom, 11:19:33 10/31/03 Fri

Not too bad, but not too good either. I hope s'kat's right in the thread below about the changes planned for the show.

Not only did they overdo the running between scenes, but they kept the intercut shots going way too long. It's supposed to make the transition exciting, but I kept thinking, "OK, OK, what happens next, already?"

"So, how'd she get the gun the first time the day happened?"

Um...she didn't, 'cause the 1st time, it was ex #1 who killed her? Yes, two red herrings were one too many. Maybe one & a half too many. This guy kills her. No, this guy kills her! No, wait, she kills herself! And Tru is clued in to this only by a last-minute phone call from a morgue supervisor who can recognize the wound is from a .22 but can't tell if it's an entrance or exit wound.

I'm hoping the blunt "You don't know me, & I can't explain, but I know you're going to die today" is something Tru will soon learn--has already learned--is not the best approach. (Then they'll have to find other ways for her not to save the person till the last second. I mean, besides having to save them 3 times.) And I hope she learns better ways to help her brother w/his gambling habit than slipping him the right card. (& a royal flush? Please! It could just as well have been a straight flush, which would've been considerably more plausible.)

Speaking of the last-minute save, they treated "Neighbors heard a gunshot around 10" like it was an exact deadline (so to speak). Tru gets the "exit wound" call, looks at her watch: 9:55. "Around 10" could easily have been 9:55! But Tru runs in, saves Rebecca, looks at the clock: 10:01! Whew! Um, 'scuse me, she could still change her mind & kill herself another way.

They also treated Tru's intervention as all Rebecca needed. She's still a woman who's chosen 2 boyfriends who turned out to be capable of murder! Who's suicidal! And telling her "being a mother is a reason to live" & that her baby will need her is "saving" her? No follow-up necessary, no "Oh, & get some therapy, find a support group, have you even been to a dr. for some prenatal care?" What the hell kind of mother is she going to be without that? This on a show that goes out of its way to make both the main character's siblings addicts. That baby is likely to show up at Tru's morgue in 5 or 10 years beaten to death by Rebecca's latest boyfriend. Oh, wait--the show won't even be on by then. Maybe it'll be cancelled this very year, & Dushku will be available for another Buffy spinoff! And everything will be all right.

Gee, guess I disliked the show more than I thought....

"P.S. How cheesy was that final shot of Tru looking directly at the camera, with her hair blowing in the wind?"

Not as cheesy as the shot early in the ep of Tru running to her graduation, nearly bouncing right out of that low-cut red top. Cheesy and cheap.

Oh, & a fashion note. Well, coming from me, it's more of a clueless question. Is the long scarf hanging inches from the ground the latest accessory? Lorne wore one in Angel, & I kept wondering when he was gonna trip over it. Tru wore one wrapped closely around her neck, & I kept thinking it was gonna catch on something--or some bad guy would grab it--& strangle her! I just found it too distracting in both cases.

[> [> Re: agree, mostly (spoilers for premiere) -- Rob, 11:45:00 10/31/03 Fri

beaten to death by Rebecca's latest boyfriend.

Reminded me of one of the other over-the-top moments...Tru being taken into a chokehold by the boyfriend. WTF?!?

Gee, guess I disliked the show more than I thought....

LOL! Exactly the thought I had when the show was over and I actually started to think about what I'd just seen. It doesn't hold up well to analysis...and I'm not talking philosophical, but just simple plot construction.

But all this running does remind the musical theatre enthusiast in me of a fitting line from the play-within-a-play in The King and I: "Run, Eliza, run!" ;o)


[> [> [> Repeat what I said below... -- s'kat, 12:02:02 10/31/03 Fri

From the discussions I've read on whedonesque and on Spoilerslayer and AICN over the summer as well as other trade mags - what you saw last night is probably the equivalent of the Buffy pilot episode that was "not" shown.

Serious re-casting in the works on this one.
I was surprised they actually decided to show the pilot and didn't re-do it as well. Was not surprised it was bad. Actually from what I'd read online this summer - I expected it to be much worse.

People who'd seen it - reported it was horrid and predicted the series wouldn't even make it to the air. Several people thought it was dead in the water.

Then word was released that the show was being re-vamped. Rumor has it: We won't see the Professor boyfriend again, Tru stops running so much (they realized it didn't work), her family becomes less of a focal point, and a recurring love interest is introduced somewhere in the third episode.

Next week's is written by Doug Petrie. I'd check out the next two or three episodes just to see if and how many changes they actually made, be interesting to see if the rumor mill is correct on this one and if so, how you try to fix a bad tv show to grab an audience.

[> [> Agree, mostly, and thanks for saving me writing time! (spoilers for premiere) -- OnM, 21:01:03 10/31/03 Fri

I was going to do a little mini-essay on the TC premiere, nothing like my usual lengthy rambles, but as I kept organizing some of the main points in my head, I realized they primarily consisted of your basic griping over the wasting of ED's talents.

Hearing about the after-the-fact attempts to perk up the pilot (always a bad sign), I went into the initial viewage with hopes set fairly low, and unfortunately, those hopes pretty much stayed that way. As shadowkat already mentioned, it is unwise to make a judgement on the series until we are at least a few eps out, and I certainly plan to see at least the next 4 or 5 programs before deciding whether or not to tune in for however long the show lasts.

anom and several other posters have pretty much summed things up, so all I think I'll do at this point is give a quicky rundown of the high and low points, low ones first so as to end the post on an upbeat note.

* The opening scene at the church contained some of the most amateurish writing and direction I've seen in a long time. Was there an executive decision somewhere that went along the lines of, "OK, now we need to set up a clearly explained, expositionally detailed and emotionally involving scene to explain how Tru gets her wacky powers. So go for broke, guys-- give it a whole 30 seconds!" ?

* The aformentioned running in high heels. The time travel idea conjures a lesser suspension of disbelief.

* If the city is big enough to have a morgue with all that body storage, is it very likely they'd leave Tru alone there on her first night? Uh-oh-- she's all alone-- in the morgue! Ooo, suspenseful and scary!

* More running. Fer chrissakes, get a bicycle or something already! You can afford medical school but not a car? Yes, I know they intend to tone down the running thing in future eps, but this begs the question why did they think it was a good idea in the first place? (Don't answer that, I know why, I just prefer to pretend that I don't.)

* The absolute nadir of not only the show itself, but of all my TV viewing for the last several years-- the patronizing 'recap' of the show so far at the halfway point, done with the 'Previously on Tru Calling...' intro. I found this insulting to an incredible degree, since there are only a limited number of reasons why the producers felt this was necessary to do.

Reason 1: The execs have a 3 minute attention span and naturally assume that everyone else in the world does too.

Reason 2: The execs think that the audience is so grotesquely stupid that they will be lost after only 20-some minutes, so 'we need to refresh their empty little heads' with the sitch so far.

Reason 3: The execs thought the show was only going to be a half-hour originally, and they shot this as an intro to the next show. Then someone told them that it was actually an hour, but they didn't want to 'waste' the film.

Reason 4: The execs have a 3 minute attention span and naturally assume that everyone else in the world does too.

Reason 5: The execs thought that it would be 'innovative'.

* The amateurish screenwriting appears again. And again. And again. And again.

* The final shot at the graveyard. Did someone mistake this for a fashion shoot, or was this a bizarro-world tribute to "Storyteller" and the slo-mo-hair-blowing-in-the-breeze glamour shots in Andrew's mind?

Now for the good stuff:

* Bless Eliza Dushku for trying her very best to make this turkey fly. You have to admire that kind of artistic determination in the face of people who are doing their very best to make you fail.

* Reportedly, Doug Petrie will write the next ep.

Oh, & a fashion note. (...) Is the long scarf hanging inches from the ground the latest accessory? (...) Tru wore one wrapped closely around her neck, & I kept thinking it was gonna catch on something--or some bad guy would grab it--& strangle her! I just found it too distracting in both cases.

* The scarf was one of my high points, because if I guess correctly, this was one of the few truly clever things that managed to make an appearance in this otherwise grade-school production. Shortly after I saw the thing, and wondered about the practicality of it as did anom, it occurred to me: Aha! A Dr. Who/Time Lord reference.

So, methinks that's all for now, I'll see what becomes of TD next week.

[> [> [> Re: Agree, mostly, and thanks for saving me writing time! (spoilers for premiere) -- CW, 06:05:22 11/01/03 Sat

* The absolute nadir... the 'Previously on Tru Calling...' intro. I found this insulting to an incredible degree, since there are only a limited number of reasons why the producers felt this was necessary to do.

My first thought was that they were hoping that a considerable number of people would tune in after "Friends" ended on NBC. The idea of the recap would be to get those folks up to speed. But, I looked up at the clock while the recap was running. It was well before the end of the first half hour. I can't imagine they actually thought the recap was necessary for folks who'd been watching all along. If anything it made things more confusing instead of less. Was it, indeed, supposed to run shortly after the turn of the half hour? If so the cutting was abysmal. Otherwise, you just have to call it amateurish filler.

[> actually reminded me of... -- monsieurxander, 12:33:18 10/31/03 Fri

...Run Lola Run a German movie that is basically Independent Film Royalty... Where the main heroine runs around the entire movie trying to save her boyfriend from mob bosses... Fails a couple of times, and FLASH BAM BOOM she wakes up and starts running again.

So, um... hot babe, running around, flashiness of scenes? I'm definitely betting they'd seen RLR before.

[> Now, now .. give it a chance -- Ames, 14:40:39 10/31/03 Fri

It's only the first episode, and it wasn't that bad. Anyway, first episodes are always worked over to death by the schlockmeisters in an attempt to make the show all things to all people. We'll know better how it's really going when it settles down in a few episodes. And in the meantime we'll have ED to look at. :-)

[> [> Re: Now, now .. give it a chance -- jane, 14:57:23 10/31/03 Fri

I agree, let's give it a chance. I quite liked it, even though it was pretty cheesy in places. Did notice the running in high heels and thought, oh great! she's going to break her leg doing this stuff. I don't think walking is even possible in those shoes. I like ED and thought she did a good job with what she had to work with. There was an article in the local TV guide in which ED says there will be less running in future - good thing. So, I'll watch the next few episodes before deciding one way or other.

[> [> Hey, it's me. Of course I'm giving it a chance! -- Rob, 15:48:50 10/31/03 Fri

In fact, since I'm me, I'm pretty much guaranteed to be watching it each week even if the show doesn't improve! But from what I've heard, I expect to be enjoying it much more in the coming weeks. In fact, I enjoyed it this week, despite the flaws. The quality of the show in the coming weeks will just determine how many times if any I'll be rewatching the episodes.


[> Re: Let's talk Tru Calling (TC 1.1 Spoilers) -- Dariel, 20:29:52 10/31/03 Fri

Didn't like it much, for many of the reasons given here. Really hated those montages and the running. Don't they have public transportation where she lives?

On the other hand, I ended up watching 24, which came right after, and I think I'm hooked!

[> My only question? When do they introduce her spirit guardian cat... -- Briar Rose (experiencing pre's que vue), 15:30:52 11/01/03 Sat

[> [> Re: My only question? When do they introduce her spirit guardian cat... -- Briar Rose (experiencing pre's'qua vue), 15:39:36 11/01/03 Sat

OT: writing fantasy -- tim, 13:07:31 10/31/03 Fri

Below is an op-ed piece from today's New York Times. I haven't even lurked at this site much since I started a new job in August, but it seemed like the kind of thing the group would be interested in.

Happy Halloween!


Why I Don't Believe in Ghosts
By Philip Pullman
pub. NY Times, 10-31-03

OXFORD, England

Tonight is Halloween, All Hallows' Eve, a time of ghosts and spirits walking by night . . . which leads me naturally to think about literary realism, and about politics. How can you write in a truthful and realistic way about something that doesn't exist?

I don't take much notice of critics, except when they praise me extravagantly. But one of the remarks they sometimes make about my work does coincide with a mild puzzlement I feel about it myself: in common with some other writers whose work is read by children, I am chided for writing fantasy, because fantasy is a lesser form than realism, and everyone knows that there are no such things as elves or hobbits or, for that matter, ghosts and disembodied spirits, so nothing interesting or truthful can be said about them.

My usual response to that is to deny that I'm writing fantasy at all, and to maintain that all my work is stark realism. But that implicitly accepts the basic stance of the critic: that fantasy is a lesser kind of thing, and that realism is the highest form of literary art.

And there may be something in that. For example, take ghost stories. I don't believe in ghosts and disembodied spirits. I used to believe in them, and I can remember how thrilling it was, when I was a child, to read ghost stories with the thought, "This could be true, this could really happen. . . ." But that was a long time ago. I don't enjoy ghost stories in quite the same way these days. The trouble is that such tales have to convince you on the supernatural level as well as on the mundane. Part of your mind has to believe that there could be a disembodied spirit full of malice haunting this old house, there could be a nameless evil presence lurking in the crypt - and there just couldn't. Disbelief, at that point, is just too heavy to suspend.

The ghost stories I still enjoy, like "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, work because of their ambiguity. We're never really sure whether the evil presences are being imagined by the protagonist, so we can read the story as if it's a tale of psychological disturbance, and it makes enough sense that way.

I do believe, however, in disturbing places: there are houses that feel as if they're haunted. Three years ago I slept (or tried to) in a hotel room in Glasgow that was one of the most creepy places I've ever been in. But I am also persuaded by an explanation that has nothing to do with ghosts. Certain subliminal sounds or visual stimuli - the hum of an air-conditioner, the flicker of a fluorescent light - can resonate at the exact frequency that causes hallucinatory images to appear in the brain, or that induces feelings of panic or unease. Replace the neon tube, tighten the screws on the housing, and the haunting ceases as if by exorcism.

So there ain't no ghosts. The trouble is. . . .

The trouble is that for a writer of fiction (well, for me, anyway) expunging the uncanny isn't always a good thing. The rational, daylight, functional, get-about-and-do-things part of my mind welcomes the broom of reason as it sweeps away the cobwebs of spookery. But I don't write with that part of my mind, and the part that does the writing doesn't like the place cleaned up and freshly painted and brightly lit.

My daylight mind, the conscious and responsible me, might want to write stories about people who seem entirely real in situations that seem utterly plausible. I might want to explore family relationships or moral dilemmas or social problems or political questions that are entirely free of the fantastic, the ghostly, the uncanny. As a matter of fact, I do want to. Books like that are the sort I like to read; things like that are the things I think important. So I want to write stories about subjects like that.

That is to say, my will wants to. But my imagination doesn't.

When I try, it's like trying to light a fire with damp wood. Nothing catches. Making the will do the work of the imagination is a wearisome and melancholy task, and it would drive you mad with despair in no time if you let it. And there's no need to, after all; when there is dry tinder nearby, and when the spark of your imagination leaps toward it like a lover, you can have a fine blaze roaring in a moment, if a blaze is what you want.

So I came to the conclusion some time ago that imagination and reason were two powers that didn't always agree, and that the one who had sovereignty was the imagination. There's nothing democratic about what goes on in this business. Everything about the act of writing fiction is an exercise of absolute and despotic power. There's no point in deploring this, or wishing it were all nicer and kinder, or gentle and caring and inclusive. It's a tyranny, and that's that.

However, none of this is to say that we have to abandon every other faculty just because we've ceded dominance to one. In fact, we mustn't. If we don't bring everything we have to the task of writing a story, there's a psychological cost: we feel that it's a fundamentally trivial and worthless occupation, and we despise ourselves for wasting our efforts on something so contemptible.

Reason, memory, emotional experience, whatever we know of social and political truth, the craftsmanship we have slowly and laboriously acquired - all these things must come into play. Only then is the task worth doing. But these faculties must work under direction; there's no discussion, and there are no votes. They must behave like the devoted subjects of a tyrant, and dedicate their utmost efforts to serving their ruler.

For example, "The Turn of the Screw." Reading James's notebooks, we learn that the origin of that story was a supposedly true tale told him by the archbishop of Canterbury, in which the disturbing presences were definitely ghosts, with no ambiguity about them at all. But something in it caught fire in his mind. Once his imagination was engaged, his profound intelligence played over the situation and introduced the doubt, the mystery, and transformed a dinner-table anecdote into a work of art.

In my own case (and although I'm making no comparisons of quality, I think the process is similar) when I was playing with the opening of my story "His Dark Materials," I came on the idea of a personal daemon: an aspect of a character's personality that has animal form and is visible. It was the vivid pictorial craziness that caught my mind at first. But I very soon realized that unless I made that notion serve whatever I know of psychological realism, it would merely distract from the story; so I tried to find a way of making it say something about the characters that was both truthful and interesting. The notion comes first, and is sovereign and capricious. The conscious working-out plods along afterwards, obedient, diligent and, if it has the sense, modest.

I don't know if there's a lesson in this, except for those of us who write fiction. If you want to write anything that works, you have to go with the grain of your talent, not against it. If your imagination is inert and sullen in the face of business or politics or adultery among the artists or the perils threatening the environment, but takes fire at the thought of ghosts and vampires and witches and demons, then feed the flames, feed the flames.

So that's why I welcome Halloween, and it's why, although I revere the great realists and read their work with devoted admiration, I know I'm not one of them. My imagination comes to life only in the presence of the uncanny; the despot I serve is the part of my mind that feels a thrill as fierce and sudden as lust when it encounters a deserted graveyard, or comes on the idea of personal daemons, or hears those old familiar words: "Once upon a midnight dreary. . . ."

But isn't there something a little politically dubious about all this emphasis on despotism and absolute power and so on? Isn't there any room for democracy in this vision of literature?

Well, yes. Democracy comes in at a later stage, when we start reading. Reading is democratic all the way through. But that's another story.

Philip Pullman is author of the series "His Dark Materials,'' whose most recent volume is "The Amber Spyglass.''


[> Thanks tim! -- Ponygirl, 13:18:53 10/31/03 Fri

[> You beat me to it, Tim! -- DickBD, 14:17:26 10/31/03 Fri

I immediately thought of this board when I read it. It sounded as though it were written by Joss. Very well done!

[> Word. -- Masq, 16:50:21 10/31/03 Fri

If you want to write anything that works, you have to go with the grain of your talent, not against it. If your imagination is inert and sullen in the face of business or politics or adultery among the artists or the perils threatening the environment, but takes fire at the thought of ghosts and vampires and witches and demons, then feed the flames, feed the flames.

[> [> Re: Word. -- DickBD, 14:53:18 11/01/03 Sat

Yeah, I particularly loved that part, too. I haven't read any fiction by Pullman, but now I think I might.

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