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Dumpster Busting TV: Buffy’s Lost Connection

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For fans of innovative, story-arc driven, genre blending television, there’s little argument that the two biggest names of the last decade are Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams. It’s a lamentable fact indeed that with the cancellation of both Firefly and Angel, Whedon has finally been driven off the idiot box (though into the open embrace of film, where he has been quite busy, especially in helming Serenity, Firefly’s transition to the silver screen, due to release this Fall).

Which leaves us with Wednesday nights as Abrams night on ABC with Lost and Alias now airing back-to-back.

For fans of both Whedon and Abrams, there is an intriguing trend of Whedon’s people making their way into the exotic world of Lost.

Exhibit A: Daniel Dae Kim, who plays the stoic Korean character Jin on Lost, also played recurring character Gavin Park on Angel. It should be noted that Kim shows surprising range between the two shows, as Gavin was a suck up lawyer working for the evilest law firm this side of hell (Wolfram & Hart) whereas Jin says little but emotes much through his frustrated, passive-aggressive actions and expressions.

Exhibit B: Drew Goddard. Who the hell is Drew Goddard?

Goddard, a simply marvelous writer, now spans the Whedon-Abrams divide by writing for both Alias and Lost. Goddard wrote some of the best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (“Conversations with Dead People”) and Angel, and was responsible for last week’s episode of Lost, which was really an extraordinary hour of television (Sawyer’s abuse-revenge complex, Sawyer and Kate get strangely cozy, Sawyer has a run-in with Jack’s father at a flashback Aussie bar).

The episode stands out because there’s an emerging mystic/spiritual undertone beginning to take shape from Lost, a feeling that everything adds up to far more than the sum of its parts. There’s the sense that the characters were either summoned or drawn or forced onto the island by an outside force. Each character is deeply lost in some fundamental way, and the purgatory of the island (literally?) will test them, resulting in salvation, death, redemption, or madness.

Sawyer and Locke and Jack and Charlie and Claire and Kate are becoming unique and fascinating characters, part of a genre-mixed show of action and characters both.

Check out a fairly well written episode guide here if you’ve missed some episodes, like me. Just don’t miss any more!

For more on this and every other topic under the sun, check out:

Dumpster Bust: Manufacturing Miracles from Mind Trash, Since 2003

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  • http://scottpepper.blogspot.com Scott Pepper

    Don’t forget that David Fury, one of the driving forces behind both “Buffy” and “Angel,” is now a producer on “Lost” as well.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Lost is on the DVR-list, though I personally find it flawed. I’m not a Firefly fan. Angel was great.

    Nice report

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Thanks Scott — I knew there were a few other connections and were hoping people would check in with them.

    Aaman – Perhaps you find Lost flawed because you haven’t watched from the beginning and let the show grow on you? This is blessing/curse of strong story-arc shows as they tend to turn off viewers who come in somewhere down the line, expecting an entertaining one-offer, and get the short end of it as allusions are being made to earlier shows. Lost is especially subtle — marvelously so for network TV — and rewards close watching.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    In addition to David Fury being a producer on “Lost”, he has also written some of the episodes, in particular, “Walkabout” which had the John Locke flashback, one of the best eps so far at showing what you think you know is wrong. Fury wrote next week’s most anticipated ep which has the Hugo Reyes backstory.

    Fury wrote, directed, produced and acted on BtVS and Angel. He was the man who got the mustard out of his shirt in OMWF, and played Gregor Framkin in one of the best eps of “Angel”. And he sings, too.

    I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of the other people from BtVS and Angel on “Lost” in the backstories.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Though I like to watch Lost but I think it falls way short when compared to HBO shows like Carnival or DeadWood even 24 does a better job of hooking it’s audience.

  • Nancy

    J.J. Abrams is no Joss Whedon. LOST has become disappointing and I have watched it from the beginning. I don’t find it to be as clever as anything Joss created. When Joss tells a story, he lets the audience in on what’s going on. Joss doesn’t alienate them and keep them guessing the whole season. LOST doesn’t explain even simple things it just has stupid cop outs where characters say “Nevermind” instead of revealing things to one another.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Abrams and Whedon certainly have different story telling styles, Nancy. I think Lost improves upon the very good (and occasionally great) Alias by adding depth, character development, and mysticism to an action plot-driven model.

    Jim – Thanks for the David Fury bio, he’s certainly got an impressive one. Do you happen to know if he sang the line about getting the mustard out his shirt in “Once More with Feeling?” Boy’s got some lungs if that’s him.

    I’m not a musical kind of guy normally, but I must admit that I play the soundtrack to that show in my car now and then — it’s really great stuff.

    Also, Jim: Who is Hugo Reyes? I’m terrible at placing character names with faces.

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    Nancy, I think you’re missing the point. A lot of the folks on the island still think/hope they’re going to get rescued. Why should they “reveal” to strangers?

    I think Locke is the only one so far who understands that they are there for a reason, and he’s readying himself for whatever is to come, in his way. Sawyer and Kate are beginning to understand; Claire and Hurley are getting closer.

    Aren’t Wonderfalls and Point Pleasant also connected to Whedon?

    Another show that produced a swarm of great writers and producers was, oddly enough, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Aside from Twilight Zone, CSI, and Battlestar Galactica, you can find them in a lot of other shows you’d never suspect.

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    Eric, Hugo Reyes is Hurley, the “fat guy” with the wild mop of red hair who’s made saying “Dude” an art form. The character is loosely based on Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News fame, whom the actor slightly resembles.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Nancy–Personally, I think that Lost has just been getting better and better. It’s really moving lately. I agree that Abrams isn’t as good as Whedon, but Lost is an amazing show, though it does follow the Abrams trend of throwing out a whole lot of strands then taking a long time to tie them up–and creating new strands while doing it. It can be a little frustrating at times, but it’s also quite addicting.

    Eric–Fury did indeed sing the line. Also, if you didn’t know, the woman getting the parking ticket is Marti Noxon, who was a major presence on the show, wrote some great episodes (as well as a couple of bad ones, including the notorious “Willow is a junkie and crashes the car” ep from season six) and was showrunner throughout season six. She also sang her own lines.

    Mike–Wonderfalls was run by Tim Minear, who also ran Firefly and who was an Angel writer before moving over to Firefly. He wrote some great eps on Whedon’s various shows. He has a new show coming out on Fox (I can’t believe he’s giving them a third try) that’s called The Inside. It could start airing as early as March.

    As for Point Pleasant, the above-mentioned Marti Noxon is an executive producer on the show.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Thanks Mike and Joel. It should definitely be noted that Minear, Fury, and Noxon are all powerhouse TV people in their own rights.

    I was actually surprised by how much I liked Season Six of Buffy, Joel, as I expected the inevitable decline. The Willow as witch/druggie thing did get a bit over-the-top though, I’ll admit.

    Mike – Very cool about Hurley and Knowles (If you’ll notice, I link to Ain’t It Cool News quite a bit). I can’t wait for Hurley to get more screen time on Lost — great character.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    I’ve come to really appreciate season six, though I still think it’s the worst season. But for Buffy, that’s still some damn quality television. However, the thing that they were going for of being lost in your twenties is quite familiar for me, so I liked it. I just think it wasn’t done as well as it could have been. The metaphors started becoming direct comparisons, which ruined it, like in that episode Noxon wrote. And the season just wasn’t as funny or entertaining as it should have been, even though it was meant to be depressing, as well. I think the show just became lost when Whedon started focusing on Firefly and Noxon wasn’t able to hold it together the way he always did.

    I still appreciate the season, though, and it brought some classic episodes. There’s the musical, of course, which is one of the best eps ever. Tabula Rasa, right after the musical, is a classic. And I thought the last few shows of the season were amazing, particularly the season finale. The season had its problems, no doubt, but I don’t think it gets the credit it deserves, either.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Joel – You think the seventh season is better than the sixth?

    I’m starting to think that the sixth season is better than the fifth and perhaps the fourth because it is so dark and strange. The Scoobie gang is really in shambles for most of the season — each character becomes increasingly estranged from those they always relied upon. The exploration of these themes in the musical episode is what really makes it special.

    Angel really picks up on this level of writing as the characters on that show have mature and complex and often conflicting feelings toward one another. Mega-shame it was cancelled after Season Five. It deserved at least two more, in my opinion. And Firefly? Don’t get me started…

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    I still haven’t been able to figure out how much I like season seven, even though I’ve watched it twice. I tend to give it the edge over season six, but it’s quite close. I might need to rewatch the entire series straight through to figure it out.

    My problem with season six isn’t the theme and the storylines, as those were great. My problem was the execution. I thought the ideas they were working with were awesome but that they never executed nearly as well as the other seasons.

    I definitely wouldn’t put it above season four or five, both of which I thought were magnificent. Seasons six and seven, in my mind, are a good notch below seasons 2-5. As for the first season . . . well, it was nothing amazing, but it was a fine introduction to the show and the universe.

    I would have liked to see Angel continue, without a doubt. Season five was incredible. But it did end on a high note, if nothing else. As for Firefly, I agree. Don’t get me started. I’m going to think not about the cancellation, but of the impending movie. And hopefully all the sequels. Or–dare I even dream–a reemergence of the series (as huge a long shot as that is.)

  • Nancy

    I don’t get Abrams so I may be missing the point but the show can be whack! Come on, it’s ok to torture Sawyer in that one episode. They have no problem killing people. They introduce people and barely mention them afterwards like the French woman. Why didn’t they try to look for Claire? That bugged me a lot. There are so many things else I could write. There are other things that urk me and I would nice if the writers could throw some interesting stuff out there for viewers like me. I am still hoping to be pleasantly surprised by I doubt I will be.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Nancy: Regarding the torture / killings: The characters are regular people who are trying to survive amidst bizarre and sometimes horrific circumstances. They’re not boy/girl scouts, and they’re not Marines. They make choices and do what they need to do to survive, which means making tough ethical calls and also making lots of mistakes.

    As for the French woman, she’s mentioned often enough, along with allusions to there being other people on the island. Her story tied in quite well last week as both Sayid and Sawyer heard whispering in the jungle (which was super creepy… and I loved it).

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Joel – Season Seven is the only one I haven’t watched straight through. What I have seen I found to be well underneath the normal quality of the show (the little Buffy squad seemed… annoying) but watching it from end-to-end is the only real way to get a sense of it.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    They tried looking for Claire for awhile, and then there was nowhere else to look. If you’re stranded on a huge island with not paths or trails and someone is kidnapped, where are you going to start looking if you don’t have the kidnapper’s trail to follow? I mean, they really didn’t have anything they could do.

    And what Eric said on the torture/killings. And what killing are we talking about here? The guy who kidnapped Claire? I thought it was explained pretty well why Charlie did that and, frankly, while not the smartest idea, I can’t blame him either. I certainly don’t feel sorry for that guy.

    Now, the stuff with the French woman doesn’t bother me–and they have mentioned her a few times–but I can understand your frustration with them not trying to track her down. It’s a debatable point, but it is a point.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Eric, season seven does work better when you watch it straight through. There is some real downtime in the middle of the season, though, and the slayerettes do get a little annoying. But it sure does have a bang up ending.

    I could probably go either way on which of six and seven is a better season. I think the execution in season seven was a bit stronger than six, but that six was dealing with better storylines.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Yeah, what I saw was definitely mid-season downtime mode.

    One line, however, has stayed with me for a few years now. The slayerettes are all freaked out and having a group meeting to figure out what to do. Suddenly the lights go out, and everyone starts screaming. Right before break, one of the girls says, in a perfect teenaged self-conscious pitch, “I think I’m freaking out.”

    Hilarious.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Yeah, there was quite a bit of good funny in season seven, which is something I missed from season six.

    Have you seen all of season seven, just sporadically, or have you not seen some of the episodes? Do you have the DVD set?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I’ve seen Seasons 1-6 straight through, but have only caught 7 sporadically here and there on FX. It’s on my Netflix list, but I’m about ready to change DVD services as they’ve been so slow lately (this is a big deal to me, by the way, as I’ve loved and championed Netflix for years).

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    I think you’ll appreciate season seven more when you get a chance to watch it straight through. There are some great moments in it. But it may still remain your least favorite of the seasons. It was a serviceable ending to the series but it certainly wasn’t its peak.

    That sucks Netflix is giving you such trouble. I’ve heard some other people complain, but I haven’t had any real issues myself. Every once in awhile it takes them an extra day to send out a movie, but it doesn’t seem to be any more frequent than it was in the past.

    Do any of the other services have distribution centers near you? I’ve heard a lot of the other services still have long ship times because of fewer distribution centers. But then it all depends on where you live.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I live in California and have, until recently, received super fast service (2-3 days). For the last month, though, it’s been simply awful, with each disk taking 2-3 weeks turn-around time.

    I abhor Blockbuster, but I’m seriously considering switching over to their new service: it’s about $2 cheaper and they include two free “in store” rentals per month. Not bad if they can get my disks back to me within four days.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Weeks?? That’s insane. Typically, I send a disc, it arrives the next day, and my new disc arrives the day after that.

    Does it say why the disc is taking that long? Is that time in the mail or does a disc arrive and then they take a couple weeks to send a new one?

    Man, I’d be switching too. That’s a waste of money.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    David Fury and Marti Noxon also reprised their vocal roles in BtVS s7 ep “Selfless”, which had a musical flashback to Anya’s wedding plans. Noxon also played a role in “Angel” as an archivist in the basement at Wolfram & Hart.

    If you want a good example of how important it is to have somebody with vision overseeing the show, look at “Point Pleasant” which is co-produced by Noxon. It is cliched, humourless and totally lacking in style or substance.

    Also, another link, albeit somewhat indirect link is that Gina Torres is returning to “Alias” tonight, after appearing in both “Angel” and “Firefly”, but you knew her first and best in “Cleopatra 2525″.

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    Back to Lost, I’m also bothered by the French woman’s disappearance from the story. I mean, if you’re on a big tropical island and you discover someone has been living there sixteen years? On the one hand, going to her is an admission that you might well spend the rest of your life there, but given some of the weirdness they’ve all experienced, especially with Ethan showing up out of nowhere to kidnap and try to kill people, wouldn’t you haul ass to her hidey-hole for some answers? I sure would.

    One the one hand, yeah, it’s just a television show and I make allowances. But on the other, a lapse that large grates. Especially when they’ve shown how subtle they can be. And on the gripping hand, it is JJ Abrams after all and we’re used to huge honking plot holes.

    This season of Alias is an enormous reset button back to the first season dynamics, but it left some huge holes in terms of characters and motivations. The most recent episodes have addressed that somewhat, but still… come on! If you can put that aside, which is pretty hard, you do have a fun, brisk and breezy spy-soap.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    “Selfless” was an awesome episode and, yeah, Noxon and Fury do a duet in the far off background as the mustard man and parking ticket lady, if I remember correctly.

    Plus, it had the new song from Anya, which was great. That was also, overall, the best episode of season seven aside from the finale. And one of the best episodes of the series, as far as I’m concerned. And we can thank good old Drew Goddard for most of it, as he was the writer.

    Jim, I Tivod a couple eps of Point Pleasant but never got around to watching it and just deleted them the other day. Sounds like I didn’t make a mistake. In Marti’s defense, though, I believe she came onto the show late. So perhaps it will get better? She wrote some amazing episodes of Buffy, but her run as showrunner on Buffy was less than impressive. I don’t know how much of it was her fault and how much of it was the stark change in direction in season six, for what it’s worth.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    One thing you have to keep in mind with “Lost” is that in the show, the characters have only been there about 30 days so far. That’s a lot of stuff to deal with in the space of four weeks, with 40 castaways, 14 major characters, and no grocery store.

    When you list potable water, food, shelter … crazy french ladies, and mysterious radio broadcasts rank way below polar bears and rampaging boars, never mind crazy (or was he?), and now dead Canadian cousins of Tom Cruise. Have you actually spent any time in the woods with only basic supplies and a tarp?

    Besides, it is becoming clear “Lost” is first and foremost about the characters, what lead them there, and how they interact. The “plot” doesn’t matter, that is just the backdrop. If you are watching for plot, you should just watch some flavour of CSI or Lawn Order: Desperate Housewives Unit.

    And I can’t quite believe somebody thought “Carnivale” is faster paced than “Lost”.

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Funny how often things get turned into “Buffy” threads. Right now I’m revisiting Season 1 on DVD. Remarkable what a good show it was from the very beginning, even though I’ve always said seasons 3 through 5 were the peak. This discussion has made me want to check out “Lost,” but it’s so hard to commit to watching a show every week with my nutty schedule and lack of Tivo.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Jon, you’d probably be better off grabbing Lost when it hits DVD, as I imagine it will this fall before season two comes out. It would be the perfect show for a marthon DVD viewing, that’s for sure.

    And I’m in complete agreement about seasons 3-5 being the peak.

    I think it’s coming up on time for me to rewatch the entire show. Need to do that with Angel, too.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    I just started watching Carnivale, have so far seen the first two episodes. It seems like a good show–with the potential to be a great show–but yeah, not exactly fast pacing. It’s very slow, in fact.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    There’s also the cross-over with “Veronica Mars” (which some have called the new Buffy) with Alyson Hannigan appearing as a recurring character, and the title character being played by Kristen Bell, who appeared on “Deadwood” until she got fed to the pigs.

    And I’m sure there is some cross-over between in actors, writers or directors between “Veronica Mars” and “Lost”.

    BTW “Veronica Mars” is quite good, though rich California high-school kids don’t really interest me that much these days.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Joel – You’re right, my patience is just about done with Netflix. They actually make it very difficult to contact them nowadays. Maybe they grew too fast, which is sad, really. And no, they have not explained the super-slow down.

    Jim – Great call in mentioning Gina Torres, who has shown great versatility in Alias, Angel (I love every minute of the episodes involving her story arc), and especially Firefly. What an incredible pair she makes with the hilarious/talented Alan Tudyk.

    Jon & Joel: I couldn’t disagree more on declaring Seasons 3 – 5 to be Buffy’s peak. Season 2 is remarkable and amazing and probably Whedon’s best season of television. Season 3 comes very close, after which 4 and 5 fall off a little bit. Seasons 2 & 3 form the peak in, my opinion, with flashes and periods of greatness coming from 1, 4, and 6.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Jim I never said that Carnival is faster paced than Lost but its better produced and has a richer story line.

    Further more this show requires an attention span more than that of a peanut unlike many others.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Swinging – I hope you’re not implying that Lost is for the short attention minded. I find it to be one of the more intelligent shows on nowadays, especially as I am not so blessed as to receive HBO.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    See, I think season two is somewhat overrated. Now, the second half of the season is awesome and the ending is just heartbreaking, but there are some early episodes in there that are mediocre at best. However, Spike and Drusilla shows up in season two, so that’s some great times there.

    How about I just say that season 2-5 is the peak? Can a peak encompass more than half of a show’s run? Heh.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Spike & Dru, the Ms. Calendar storyline (Gile’s one and only serious love interest!), the burning hot flame of young love, the emergence of Angel as a major character (both good and evil), sweet Willow’s love sickness and the goofy young love fun between Xander and Cordelia…

    Sorry Joel, but Two is tops… but I appreciate the addition of it into your peak era (wink).

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    “Carnivale” is an interesting series, but two-thirds of the way though season two, we have got no indication that it is going anywhere other than a simple Manichean battle which will result in WWII.

    And every ep ends with:

    “Goodnight Ben”,
    “Goodnight Sophie”,
    “Goodnight, Stumpy”
    “Goodnight, Rita Sue”,
    “Goodnight, Samson”,
    “Goodnight, Iris”,
    “Goodnight, Norman”,
    “Goodnight, Justin”,

    Hail, Satan!!!!!, er, goodnight”

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Well, it’s a common opinion that season two was the best. I don’t quite go for that, but I did love the season. It’s actually when I started watching Buffy–a little ways into the second season. I can’t remember exactly which episode I came in on. So I do have fond memories, especially of the season finale.

    Here’s a question: Which was the funniest season? It’s a tough one, but I would probably go with season four, in large part thanks to the hilarity of Spike throughout that season. The third season, though, was very funny, as well.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Spike is always great, whether funny or serious (and he’s often hilarious). I’d love to see him get his own show as a new spin-off.

    I have no idea which season was funniest. What makes Buffy such a great show was that it was a delicious mix of horror, drama, and comedy. Whedon never let the show drift too far in any direction, with always the perfect pull to yank a moment out of any complacency.

    That said, Whedon trended darker throughout his television career, don’t you think? The series finale of Angel was almost a final, vengeful kick in the teeth to the TV world.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    What made BtVS and Angel really work was the mixture of elements. For example, “Hush” is one of the scariest eps, and has one of the funniest gags in the entire series, a triple entendre (“how do we kill them?” Buffy makes a, well motion) during a stylistically unprecedented teevee show.

    Or “Smile Time” on Angel, or “Tabula Rasa” (I’m Randy Giles!”) or “Storyteller”.

    But not “The Body”, and definitely not “Beer Bad”.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    On tonight’s ep of “Lost” “… in translation”, was Daniel Dae Kim amazing, or what?

    A great script, and a dynamic performance as Jin, with multiple connections to previous eps, especially Sun’s backstory.

    And the ending musical montage scene, I almost pissed myself laughing.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    For us, it was actually ‘lost in translation’ because of a frequent Amber Alert abt a missing child in the area.

    Good episode – because of the Japanese actor mainly.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Dude, he’s Korean. USAian, actually.

    One of the inside jokes is that Daniel Dae Kim plays a Korean who doesn’t speak English, while he is an American who doesn’t speak very good Korean (or so I’ve been told).

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Eric B check out the Carnival Season 1 DVD from netflix. I’m sure you will like it.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Jim–Oh, the loveliness of “Hush.” That staking motion of Buffy’s was one of the shows best laughs ever. Almost died when I saw that. Sarah Michelle Gellar played it perfectly.

    Also, Giles’ drawings. Classic. And I was very happy to see them return in season seven, if briefly.

    Eric–Whedon most definitely trended darker over his career. Season six of Buffy was brutal and season seven got fairly nasty, as well. Firefly was very funny at times but could also be pretty dark, and I’m guessing we’ll see more of that with the movie. And yes, the ending of Angel was absolutely brutal. Just a kick in the face.

    Angel was pretty dark throughout it’s run, in fact. I mean, Wesley getting his throat slit was pretty nasty, or when Angel let all the Wolfram and Hart lawyers get killed (possibly the show’s single greatest shot and moment, when he’s closing that door).

    I seem to recall a quote from Whedon once when he was talking about how he liked to pile on the pain for the audience, just making it worse and worse and worse to see how far he could take it. He definitely did that, and it was, frankly, one of the things I best loved about him.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Great points about Angel and Whedon, Joel. There’s an amazing moment in Season 4 of Angel, I believe, when Wesley — asked by someone why he’s so different now, why he’s changed — looks at the camera and says in a cold blooded voice, “My friends abandoned me.”

    The guy who plays Wesley (forget his name) is a simply great actor. His character evoloved enormously from early Buffy to late Angel, and really follows Whedon down the darkness trail.

    Talk about piling on the hurt: killing off Fred only to have her body replaced by a demon who acts like Fred to get into Wesley’s pants (and heart)… damn!

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Oh, the whole storyline with Fred was absolutely brutal. There were a few scenes between her and Wesley after she became Ilyria that were just heartbreaking. That really got to me, and Angel tended to be a show that never got to me the way Buffy did. I always found Angel entertaining, but for some reason I rarely ever cared about the characters as much as on Buffy.

    But I did start to care about Fred and found Wesley incredibly interesting. And yeah, the guy who plays Wesley–Alexis Denisof–did an amazing job with that role. That character came so far from his beginning on Buffy, it was an incredible arc. When Wesley first shows up on Buffy, you’d never guess he would become one of the most fascinating characters on either Buffy or Angel.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I came late to both Buffy and Angel, and in the first ep of season 4 of Angel, didn’t recognize Wesley, who I knew from season 3 of BtVS.

    “I’ll take away your bucket” indeed.

    One of the best Joss Whedon commentaries on increasing darkness is the one he did for the last Firefly ep, “Objects in Space”. Also his method of writing not what the audience wants, but what they need (similar to the credo behind “The Wire”).

    Amy Acker really impressed me with her craft as an actor in s5 of Angel, playing two characters, and often doing it with just a look. Especially in “The Girl In Question” which was mostly fluff.

    And how that refers to “Lost” is that what you know about the characters isn’t what you think you know.

  • http://katieofromreno.blogspot.com Katie O

    To get back to Whedon-Abrams connections…

    Josh Holloway (aka Sawyer on Lost) appeared on Angel in “City of”. He was one of the guys in the bar at the beginning when Angel is acting drunk.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Very cool Katie, thanks. I’m glad Holloway got a major role — he’s an excellent actor with a meaty part to play out.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Wow, I didn’t realize that, Katie. I’m going to have to go back and check that out.

    That was such a cool opening for the show, by the way. It was perfect.

  • http://www.angelsavengers.com Maria

    Good eye, Katie. Josh Holloway’s “demise” on Angel was also seen in the opening credits of Angel.