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"They swear there was a memo."
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October 04 2003

Conviction: The Sentence - 89 to Life. A poster at the ATPoBtVS&AtS unscrambles Joss's script for AtS S5x01. Lots of lawyers. I mean, layers, metaphors and metanarration.

"The WB was willing to pay to bring Angel to life and now they feel they own it. They dont give a damn about the show itself. It is just a vehicle to bring in viewers and thus advertising dollars. Joss had better be willing to do everything possible to bring in those viewers and thus money or else the bomb will be dropped."

Part II of the essay.

"Joss Whedon is the one with conviction. They want episodic television? Hes got three words for them to be continued."

Okay, there was a time when I actually enjoyed analyzing each and every single syllable of dialogue, every last wardrobe decision, and even the tiniest piece of set-dressing. For awhile at least, the whole "point" of being a Whedonverse fan was finding the significance in the seemingly INsignificant.

But after seven years of that, and particularly the past TWO years of ritualistic fandom sacrifice, the novelty of that little excercise has well and truly worn off.

And there is such a thing as WAAAAAAY over-analyzing, to the freaking Nth degree...

I will say that even though it goes WELL over the top as far as analyzing every single line, the parallels between the show/characters and Joss himself are amusing.
Interesting. Goes a little too far with Whedon being forced to make changes for the sake of the WB (Fury & Minear stated last summer that this is a direction they were going to pursue before the whole cancellation spectre began to loom) but certainly a very complete look at the episode from a meta prospective.

Definetly agree with a general premise of the post. I recall saying to my wife back in June that S5 should be terrific because if there is one thing a TV Producer can relate to it's trying to do good work in 'the belly of the beast'. Just not sure you need a novella to state that but then again I feel that way about most posts. Brevity not really big concern in that arena.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-10-04 18:04 ]

[ edited by unitas on 2003-10-04 18:56 ]
Waaaay too much free time there. Wow. ZachsMind, you may have met your match.
Unlike Buffy where the metaphor is very clear - the stages of growing up - Angel does not have a metaphor. It's a melodrama about men and women with a supernatural element.

Tim Minear in the November 2003 issue of SFX.
Ha. But this was Angel as written by Joss Whedon.
You've got me there :p.

Speaking of which, in the last couple of years I've never found episodes of Angel directed by Joss much cop but 'Conviction' was an exception.
Actually, I caught the obvious hover over the Dixie Chicks poster, but I didn't read as much into it as this guy did. I just figured Whedon was giving a shout out to some righteously talented and beautiful babes. It certainly wasn't worth all this copy.

I thought his dissection of the use of the word "Spanky" was particularly over the top. No, this is not bringing the old tv shows in with a new approach. This is a successful, although tired and used, attempt at humor. Sometimes a banana is just a banana, as Freud might say.

Met my match? Heh. I like to pretend that what I have to say holds just a little bit more water than this. Still, I encourage anyone to wax fantastical on Whedon's work. His stuff holds up to intense scrutiny. That's what I like about it.
I imagine when a writer reads a review wherein a script is completely overanalyzed... he must feel sooooo much smarter than he really is.

"So, ten years ago when you wrote this and that, I don't think many people realized that it would have developed into such a complex storyline that you concluded last week. How does it feel to be an incredible genius?"

"Uh... yeah, I meant to do that all along... I... uh... wrote the whole story arc when I was 12, actually..."
Exactly, while this was interesting (if a bit long, ahem) it really felt like one of those articles to me where way more meaning and symbolism is seen by a fan than the writer actually put in there.

Lines like "Here Harmony leaves the room, which symbolizes that the show won't always be funny!" (Paraphrazing but that's the gist) just makes me chuckle a teensy bit. I think all that happened there was simply that Harmony left the room. In the sense also that she's not going to be in every scene is she?

As for the Dixie Chicks poster, well yes it was probably a nudge to Fred's role in the team, but really how can this writer say with such certainty that 'it wasn't a swipe at the current administration'? With Joss' clearly vocalized and very strong dislike for George Jr, I think it's very possible it was very much also a swipe. And a little wink of support to the Dixie Chicks who suffered so much abuse for simply having their own opinion. With what I know of Joss I'm certain their woes pissed him of a lot.

So there's several things to be detected in something like that, and maybe they're all true, maybe some.... But until Joss clearly states something about that you can't really say what it's meaning 'clearly' was or wasn't. That kind of 'certainty' about what are basically just personal observations about possible motivations of a writer, always just annoys me a little.

They say when you dream of white lilies (Or roses, what was it) it means something sexual. Perhaps, but maybe it just means you're really just dreaming of white lilies.
After four years of study and teaching in English Literature and technical writing I can analyze prose inside and out, but now I have seen everything...Sometimes a man in the woods is just "a man in the woods" and not a post-modern expression of the isolation that individuality brings. Angel is great...Don't loose your head over it...Wesley's coffee is just a cup of coffee...Directors strive to make each shot different and to bring dynamic movement within a scene...It probably came down to Joss saying, "Wesley needs something in his hand for this scene" not some esoteric relevance such as "needing to wake up. Ive seen freshmen do the same thing; Try to impress me with their analytical skills and pull, How Banquo is really who the witches are referring to the entire time, directly out of their butt. I must admit, this was a valiant effort to give meaning to exposition and such, but enjoy it for what it is: a great television show.
Simpleba - That was excellent (to quote Xander)

What bugs me about analysis of this type (detail may be a better term) is the it demonstrates a deep unreality about TV production. The timeframe you have to write a script. The eight days you have to film it. The structure & time imposed by networks. And the million other things I'm not covering. That even the weakest episodes of Buffy & Angel are as good as they are is a small miracle, and this kind of analysis just places impossible expectations on the work. Expectations that can't be and, I would say, shouldn't be meet. A cup of coffee is sometimes just a cup of coffee simply because an actor likes a prop to play with.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-10-05 23:25 ]

[ edited by unitas on 2003-10-05 23:26 ]
Well, you can dismiss it, but it beats moaning about a character's haircut.
Well, you can dismiss it, but it beats moaning about a character's haircut.

BWAA!
So true. :D
I moaned about a lot of things...not just the haircut...
Well, darn it all! I guess I should just toss this 20 page essay now. I thought that everyone would want to read about the multi-metaphoric reasoning behind Angel's new hair style. I mean, for starters the part in his hair is a parallel to the him being split over the whole W&H thing. But I won't go on because that would be "moaning" AND "overanalyzing" and I really don't want to annoy the entire Whedonesque community! =) Friendly sarcasm intended.

[ edited by Karen on 2003-10-06 17:48 ]
LOL Karen...I wish I had enough time to write a 20 page essay covering a television show...Want to grade some midterms?
Can I take the 'moaning' back? It was a bit harsh. 'Expressing concern over' would be better.
Haircut problems not withstanding, how come Angel killed Hauser without any (visible?) compunction?
And how does the character of Eve manage to be annoying and boring at the same time?
These are the two main questions I still have after watching the opening two-parter and reading my way through reviews and comments. The first just seems out of character and the latter is simply unexpected in a Whedon show.

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