Have I mentioned lately how much I adore Joss Whedon? It bears repeating, often. Hence, the Angel U.K. Boxed Set comes with a letter from Joss to Angel fans. Via astridv, from here:
Joss Whedon's letter to Angel fans:
Dear Angel Fan...
"..and she'll have a love interest, a mysterious stranger named Angel who turns out to be a vampire! But a vampire with a soul, cursed to walk the night in eternal remorse for his evil deeds.."
No wait. That's way too cheesy. Nobody will ever buy that.
Such were my thoughts as I developed the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I knew Angel wouldn't (forgive the pun) fly. I was frantic. And then something wonderful happened.
I totally didn't come up with anything better.
So this guy was born, and not only did people buy him, they loved him. I loved him, at least 76% platonically. I loved him enough to create, with my partner in crime David Greenwalt, his own show. "Angel". And then it got weird. Well, weirder.
The thing is, "Buffy" was a simple premise that developed into a complex show. "Angel" was not a simple premise, not for guys like Dave and me. We couldn't just have noble, handsome, dark hero rush in and save various days. We tried. That ain't life. We found that "Angel" needed to be a show about our darkest journeys, not unlike Buffy except that Buffy had a grounding; she had a destiny, an arc, a posse. We knew where she had to go. We had NO IDEA where Angel had to go. And so he went everywhere: up down, good, bad, left, farther left... off the edge of the world and home for supper and the thing is, it ended up being as much or more about our lives than Buffy was. We weren't 'chosen' (not for sports, anyway). We had no destiny. We lived on the edge of chaos, personally, narratively... even as Angel surrounded himself with more and more of a family (and we found more and more wonderful actors for David Boreanaz to play against), that central core of warmth and safety that Buffy enjoyed was missing. The result is before you in toto: The long, strange trip that is five years in the life a vampire. Not long enough, I would argue, but plenty with the strange. For your listy goodness, a few of the moments herein that made my life worth living:
-Angel locking a roomful of lawyers in with two peckish vampire gals.
-Buffy swearing never to forget her time with Angel, right before she does.
-Faith in the rain, begging Angel to kill her.
-Darla's horrified accusation, "While Spike - SPIKE - was out killing a Slayer, you were busy saving Missonaries!... From me." (True emotional Vampire logic, courtesy of Tim Minear.)
-Lilah dressing up Fred to seduce Wesley. (Gentlemen, start you therapists!)
-Any and all karaoke.
-Fred and Wesley, deeply drunk.
-Gunn in the White Room, meeting his match.
-The biggest, bloodiest and most personal Spike/Angel fight we've ever shot.
-The silliest, most pointless Spike/Angel argument we've ever shot.
With no star to guide us, we sailed into waters filled with dragons and mermaids and a few really impressive icebergs. We made some of our most compelling television, reinventing season by season, show by show, moment to moment. This is our odd little odyssey, and no, we never did reach the shores of safety, but that's sort of the point. We don't go through the Hell of existence - the pain, the drama, the meaninglessness and confusion because it's safe, or simple, or will end happily now or ever after. We do it because nobody ever come up with anything better.
So enjoy it. I did.
So, to play along with Joss (because who doesn't want to play along with Joss), here is more listy goodness--my own personal favorite Angel moments (some of which are the same as Joss').
- BUFFY: "I'll never forget. I'll never forget. I'll never forget... *flash* ...So, then let's just stick to the plan. Keep our distance until a lot of time has passed, and given enough time, we should be able to..." ANGEL: "Forget."
- Cordy and Angel watching the video of Doyle. Both times. "So don't lose hope. Come on over to our offices and you'll see that there's still heroes in this world... Is that it? Am I done?"
- Angel making breakfast for Cordy and Wes. "After an all-nighter of fighting the lurking evil, we get eggs."
- Angel holding Faith in the rain. "Angel please, just do it. Just kill me."
- Lindsey and his evil hand. "Me, I'm unreliable. I've got these evil hand issues, and I'm bored with this crap."
- Cordy and Wes caught reenacting the Buffy/Angel saga. "Kiss me!" "Bite me!" "How about you both bite me?"
- Fred's breakdown in front of her parents. "But if you're here and you see me then... then it's real! And it did happen. If you see what they made of me... I... I didn't mean to get so lost!"
- Angel holding Darla--again in the rain--when she dusts herself.
- All of Smile Time ("I'm made of felt... And my nose comes off."), but most particularly Spike's fight with the Wee Puppet Man.
- The end of You're Welcome, because... *sob*
- A Hole in the World, because of cavemen and astronauts, Fred's boys ("I've fought plenty of mummies, and none of 'em were as pretty as you."), and the ending that left a hole in the world ("Please, Wesley, why can't I stay?").
- Wesley and Illyria in Not Fade Away. "Would you like me to lie to you now?" "Yes, thank you. Yes."