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September 12 2010

True Blood fan does another Bill/Edward/Angel comparison. "Bill Compton's recent bad behavior on the HBO show upends what we learned from Twilight and Buffy".

No HBO, so I'm not a True Blood watcher (though I'm pretty fond of Being Human), so can't accurately assess the comparison. But to me, this is just soooo wrong on Buffy: assuming that there's no moral ambiguity, that "Angel is a young hunk of beefcake (!)", and that the details provided show that True Blood is somehow a paradigm shift instead of another entry in the genre.

Makes me kinda grumpy, it does.

Inconsistent characters != Moral ambiguity
Did this author watch all of BtVS or Angel? Moral ambiguity runs rampant in both shows. While I agree that "True Blood" takes it to the next garish level, I don't think the author gave BtVS enough credit considering the moral conundrums it dealt with.
Also, the author considered both SM and Joss' political views when critiquing the shows but did not mention Ball's views. It's obvious this author is a True Blood fan - and I also enjoy the show - but a bit more levity would have been nice.
Bleh, this is one of those annoying columnists who ignores what happened on screen so they can force the shows to squeeze into their points.

***SPOILERS for True Blood up through mid-Season 3***

Bill didn't almost kill Sookie on purpose, he wasn't being bad. It was very similar to what happened when Buffy forced Angel to drink her in the Season 3 finale (when only slayer blood would cure him), which the article mentions. Angel went too far, accidentally/lost control, as did Bill, who was very drained after being tortured and near death himself. True Blood went to great pains to make that distinction too, that it wasn't just Bill in a sexual and/or bloodlusty frenzy and he fucked up big on a casual day (noted by most of Sookie's friends reacting badly and going back into shun-Bill-and-discourage-Sookie-from-seeing-him mode, whereas Sookie--though terrified that it happened to her--forgave Bill). The columnist gives Angel extra points for pulling off before he drained Buffy too far, but I'm not sure he deserves that in distinguishing him over Bill. The vamps of True Blood are different from the ones in the Buffyverse and, to me at least, seem to be even more ruled by their animalistic nature. Angel pulled off because Buffyverse vamps seemingly have a little more self-control while drinking (even when really thirsty).

True Blood (and I love the series, I'm not tearing it down here) didn't really bring anything new to the genre in terms of nihilistic elements (on TV, at least, I don't think there's been anything quite like Eric and Pam and a few of the other supporting vamps, so there's that). Angel Season 2, anyone ? With threads throughout all seasons of the Buffyverse franchise.

"Each rejects the impulse of homicidal mania."

Hah ! Bill's killed folks for past sins against Sookie on nuermous occasions, above and beyond what the law would've done to them (and as a pre-emptive strike against anyone who might harm her--sorta Dexter-like, or if I went out and started getting medieval on local lowlifes who might some day affect the safety of me and mine. Bill went murderous-vigilante, really). He killed the Rattray couple (the trailer trash vamp-drainers/V-dealers from the first and second episode of the series) who beat Sookie nearly to death, he killed the uncle that nearly molested Sookie as a child, and I'm probably forgetting a few more.

Don't agree with the shot at Boreanaz and Moyer's acting (Pattinson--show me more than just Twilight and New Moon, I can't judge based on those. It'd be like judging Ewan McGregor solely on his Star Wars work). Moyer especially, has been great from the getgo. Bill's just not the most compelling character in the cast, is all, throughout most eps (his best stuff has been in flashback and, this season, in dealing with present-day Lorena. Though Sookie and him did have two or three well-written, more refreshingly honest scenes this season, despite the whiplash of their back-and-forth and up-and-down relationship).

"...the conservative idea that an individual can overcome life's obstacles, and, through hard work and tenacity, be good."

Conservatives have a monopoly on that viewpoint ?

And it's perhaps a view of many religious conservatives that we're all sinners by default and need to work to be better/good, but...ah, it's not even worth getting into. How 'bout we're all just human, neither automatically good nor evil, but we can commit good and evil acts ? This article ignores the grey, the nuances, to make simplistic black and white points, so I can't get behind it.

Someone refresh my memory--when Bill was out and about with Russel Edgington, still under the guise of going along with his plans, did he kill that young stripper this article mentions him feeding on ? I forget. I wouldn't be surprised if he had killed the girl (Bill seems to be very much a ends-justifies-the-means kinda guy, so he would had to have kept up the ruse to keep Russel from mistrusting and likely killing him, in order to figure out Russel's plans and protect himself, Sookie, and a whole lot of others).

"It's a radically leftist (and trenchantly contemporary) stance of moral relativity and unending existential crisis. In the "True Blood" world, there's no way to trust anyone; no way to predict anyone's actions; no fixed ruler with which to measure anybody's choices. Before "True Blood," Ball's creations ("Six Feet Under," "American Beauty") were philosophically nuanced, but "True Blood" offers a remarkably macabre and elusive depiction of morality."

There's no way to 100% trust anybody in real life either, but we choose to anyway and hopefully choose wisely.

I couldn't get a feel for whether this last part was just an observation, or something the columnist found unsettling.
I think the key to enjoying True Blood is that you shouldn't take it anywhere near seriously.
Just keep in mind that True Blood is just a big, Southern-fried, soap opera where characters can change at the whims of the writers and just go with it.
It's refreshing to read a Buffy vs. Twilight vs. True Blood article that actually has a bit of substance and thought - even if somewhat misguided - supporting it. It's a huge improvement over the usual "lol who is hotter edward or eric" stuff that's so frequent (and especially since the answer will always be Spike =p).

And I love True Blood, but even Alan Ball has basically said "Six Feet Under was me being serious and very personal; True Blood is just me having fun." Doesn't mean it's not enjoyable as hell though.
Just because I've seen two comments on this concept so far and we're only six comments in, I'd ask that you rewatch True Blood if you think the charecters are just changing on a whim. As Matt said, this is certainly not the most serious thing Ball has ever done, but he's not haphazardly throwing things against the wall either.

What Compton has done this year has been entirely consistent with his character. What Eric has done has been the same. Tara has been in the process of having her psyche shredded for 3 years (the mother, Maryanne & Eggs, vampire stalker/rapist), and Sam has been dealing with things his own way. I think Sam's losing it this year, but again all things considered I don't find it OOC although maybe slightly jumpy. Hoyt and Jessica I find to be extremely consistent and tightly plotted, but this may have something to do with Jessica not being in the original source material so they were free to do what they wanted.

I'm just saying, attack the article because it's knowledge of Angel seems to end at S3 Buffy when he was about as complex as Disney's Cinderella. But don't imply True Blood is lazy writing because of an article. I don't wax philosophical about True Blood's meaning (although that may be because True Blood attracts a broader and less bookish audience), but as a drama it deserves a little more respect than some of the comments would seem to indicate.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-09-12 20:16 ]
'True Blood' is fluffy fun. Very well made fluff but fluff nonetheless (and I wouldn't have it any other way). It's also got just enough self-awareness to make it clever fluff IMO .

In fairness, I don't think Bill changes on a whim, he went through a debauched periood every bit as bad as Angelus' but as the article alludes, without losing his soul i.e. he's always had that in him. He seems like he was a decent (but not perfect) man who fell in with bad company and lost it a bit on becoming a vampire (possibly compounded by post traumatic stress, both from the war and losing his family).

Someone refresh my memory--when Bill was out and about with Russel Edgington, still under the guise of going along with his plans, did he kill that young stripper this article mentions him feeding on ?

(***spoilers*** for season 3 of 'True Blood' follow) I'm not sure we actually see her die (though she surely does) but in that situation, once she got in the car the girl was dead anyway - Bill could either fit in or stand on principle, attract suspicion and probably be killed by Edgington (who could easily best him, what with being vastly older and more powerful). As you say Kris, means/ends - you don't survive for getting on 200 years without making the odd pragmatic moral choice.

The article's OK in itself I reckon. Its thesis is pretty thin (because characters that make mistakes and have qualms about it isn't exactly a brand new idea - in vampire fiction or otherwise - and because IMO being on cable accounts for quite a few of the differences in tone/content and because, as has been mentioned above, BtVS and Ats both featured plenty of morally ambiguous character choices) but ultimately it's just a fan of a show championing it on the internet - we've seen the same thing done for Buffy only about a bajilion times.

ETA: Some of which azzers said a mere minute go. I blame mobile broadband personally (it's kind of like dial-up sometimes, pretty usable at others).

[ edited by Saje on 2010-09-12 19:52 ]
I know it's not intended this way, but every time someone labels something I enjoy (like BtVS) as 'liberal' and contrasts it with something I don't enjoy (like Twilight) that they label 'conservative', I feel like it's assumed that I as a fan must be liberal rather than conservative as well.

It's uncomfortable, and I wish they would just leave the political labels off my vampires altogether.

(Also, Edward's rival vampire is...Edward? Anyone else notice that?)
I have to say having read all of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, that one of the details and part of the True Blood mythology that made it into the series, is that a vampire has to answer to their maker. Bill, actually, was quite selfless in leaving Sookie when he was imprisoned at Russell's mansion with Lorena. He not only was compelled by the maker/child bond to stay there, he followed Lorena's and Russell's instructions so Sookie wouldn't die. I don't think he's confused at all and that he is operating within his own moral code and strength of will depending upon the parameters of each situation he finds himself in.

The fact that True Blood incorporates a complex mythology that allows a vampire to retain their soul though being turned warps them into a vampire nature that is not necessarily all evil, all the time, is what makes the show as interesting as Buffy/Angel, which sharply defines no soul as soulless/evil monster vs. with soul, a human being (except in the case of Spike and Angel who war with their vampire nature while burdened with a soul that makes them remember every evil act they ever committed).

I didn't dip my oar into that whole other topic about what soul means in the Buffyverse, but I like to think there is no confusion when Angelus appears (especially when Faith returns on Angel), Liam's soul tucked into a nice velvet box, or in that case, a glowing orb. The marked difference between the two vampires is pretty stunning and I believe what I see when Angel is in the driver's seat, is not Angelus making him conflicted by trying to take over, it's guilt, sadness and remorse that Angel battles. Not two beings blended together all the time.

That being said, Angel is still capable of doing bad things, like any man, morally gray.

ANGEL: There is one thing more powerful than conviction. Just one. Mercy.

(Angel kicks Hauser's gun upright & it goes off. blood splattered wall.)

FALLEN AGENT: What happened to mercy?

ANGEL: (walking out) You just saw the last of it.

" what makes the show as interesting as Buffy/Angel..."

I don't dislike True Blood, but how is it more than a competently made melodrama? Buffy plays in the drama league in my book.
On rereading the piece, I don't think the author takes AtS into consideration at all. To include it would completely trash her thesis, since that series made a point of being nothing but shades of gray. Angel is never really a nice guy, does tons of amoral stuff, and is just as presumptuous (always assuming he's the one that should call the shots) and impetuous (kill first, ask about it later) as Angelus, most of the time. He just feels bad about it.

She is also definitely unaware of the non-TV developments in Buffy's story, where the whole "vamps in the media" theme was addressed in Buffy S8.
"The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work which exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions."

That's a wikiepdia quote, but I didn't want to find my old dramaturgy books to find a definition and that one certainly works.

I find, that the difference between drama and melodrama is far less objective than people suspect. And the Buffyverse has no shortage of melodramatic moments either.

To answer your question, "How is it more", well I don't think most television shows are more. And that includes BSG and Buffy. For one, they might have a unifying theme... but they tend to meander about until they see the end of the show and THEN they move towards some statement with purpose. But until that time, they simply tend to tell a story to appeal to your emotions.

In general, television that isn't plotted into long term arcs tends to always fit the description of melodrama for me because all they can do is plan one season at a time. And that means appealing to your emotions whenever they can in order to keep it interesting. It's not a damning statement, it just is what it is.

Something more long term like Bablyon 5 tends to not fit that description for me because it only rarely tries to attack your emotions in major fashion and when it does, it is at the climax of the series. In other words, it follows a fairly standard dramatic model.

My outright opinion, is that Buffy is a drama because we as a fanbase choose to parse it up into self contained chunks and dissect it as fans. Which is fine, but then as a fan you have to be able to acknowledge that someone else can watch a different show and dissect it as well and find the same self contained meaning. That you are personally not interested in doing it with THAT show, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-09-12 23:15 ]

[ edited by azzers on 2010-09-12 23:15 ]
hence, when I say interesting, I mean the vampire mythology. No, it's not the shows I love, it's different, and I find the violence, especially towards women, very hard to take at times, but it does have some good elements to recommend it; namely Alan Ball and the regular cast (and some guest stars, like Denis O'Hare have proved to be stellar).
The author also neglects to mention Spike: a character without a soul who was capable of deeper emotion.
I get the impression that the author's understanding of politics is as skin-deep as her understanding of Buffy. Statements like "liberals think nothing is a person's fault" is just an unbelievable simplification of the structural theory of poverty, which itself isn't constitutive of liberalism as a political ideology. It's perfectly consistent to be a liberal and accept the possibility of real evil - if the author had even skimmed the debate between liberal interventionists and non-interventionists on foreign policy, she would know that. But don't let the truth get in the way of a pithy article.

P.S. the idea that Buffy as a show sends the message that "nothing is anyone's fault" is absurd. Faith much?

P.P.S. I love True Blood, but attempting to equate its mindless albeit super-entertaining stupidity to something with Buffy's philosophical complexity is also absurd.
Okay, I just wanna preface this with I quite like TB(True blood, not the illness, although I like that they have the same acronym!) but it, much like many other things in life, has a problem with the fans. They tend to put a stake through an otherwise enjoyable show. Now I firmly believe that Buffy and Angel are the most perfect depictions of vampires in popular media, but i'm not gonna deride any other display because of that. I think for this fan to really believe that TB is superior, s/he needs to create flaws in everything else. It's the perfect way to disinterest people who have been drawn to it from another vampire show. Just enjoy these things based on their own merits!

[ edited by BlueSkies on 2010-09-13 03:00 ]
It's uncomfortable, and I wish they would just leave the political labels off my vampires altogether.

I think there are easily as many examples that can be used to draw a conservative political viewpoint from the show. Here's Jonah Goldberg's thoughts on it, for example. As others have said this article is oversimplifying political stances and cherry picking plot points to match its argument. Any work of fiction has to go beyond the writer's own point of view if it's headed anywhere worth following. Otherwise it's just propaganda.

ETA: And here is a nice overview of political philosophy in Buffy.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2010-09-13 02:54 ]
Wow, I'm kind of surprised that article has garnered such a strong reaction here! I agree it's a little simplistic, but I'd say the overall point more or less stands. I mean, I haven't seen True Blood, so I don't know if the description of that show is accurate, but the comments about BtVS seemed about right to me, if not especially profound or complicated.

The soul / no-soul thing is pretty much central to whether a character is capable of heinous things, and as others have mentioned, Angel / Angelus are virtually like two separate characters. Angel may feel guilt for what Angelus has done, but the audience never holds Angel responsible for Angelus' deeds and neither do his friends.

The author also neglects to mention Spike: a character without a soul who was capable of deeper emotion.

The baddies on BtVS were always capable of love, that was part of their appeal. But the show drew a pretty sharp line between Soulless Spike and Ensouled Spike, and it was only the latter that Buffy could have a deeper relationship with. I thought they were going somewhere so much more interesting than the Angel / Angelus, Soul / No Soul divide with Spike, when Soulless-But-In-Love-With-Buffy Spike tells Drusilla he's changing, and hesitates to feed, sees her as a sort of monster. But in the end, they had to give him a soul for him to be Properly Good, so the show never really followed through on that much greyer possibility (can he be a soulless vampire and still be good, and what is love without a soul, and then we get into what the soul is anyway in the show and yadayada, not that I'm not still endlessly interested by these questions).

the idea that Buffy as a show sends the message that "nothing is anyone's fault" is absurd. Faith much?

I thought Faith was a perfect example of what the author was saying about the show. Baddies are either soulless (so it's not really their fault) or Hurt / Alone (so there are mitigating factors). The show is pretty explicit about the fact that Faith is what Buffy might have been, if she were alone in this fight, without the friends and the mom giving her the love and support she needs. And indeed, when she really does have the support of a true friend, in Angel, Faith gets her shit together. While we aren't meant to excuse Bad Faith, I think we are meant to sympathize with her to some degree, and to see her anger and evil as coming from her circumstances. Which I guess fits with the "liberal" POV that the author ascribes to the show.

But I prolly can't add much here as Buffy is the only one of the three shows I've seen.
Amen Blueskies.

The impenetrable logical artifice that some fans seem to need to construct to defend their love of a specific show is perhaps one of the most ridiculous, over-the-top, and interest killing things a fan can do.

Farscape is my favorite science fiction show of all time. I've never felt the need to denigrate Firefly, Star Trek, Dr. Who, or anything else to defend it. Likewise, people can give me 10 page reports why each of those series are superior to Farscape and I still won't like them any better. Because the interesting thing isn't really which show is the best, the interesting thing is why does that show appeal to each person.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-09-13 03:29 ]
I love watching True Blood. It's my guilty pleasure-and I've talked a quite a few family members into watching it too. But I don't take it too seriously-it's like a train wreck I can't look away from.

That being said though, I would never compare Bill with Angel, not after this season. He's ... worse, in my opinion. I can't watch the show now without seeing what he did to Lorena.

ps-a spoiler warning for this thread might be a good thing. :)

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-13 04:08 ]
Major reason I stopped watching TB after its first season is exactly what this article seem to celebrate as the show's superiority to Buffy. Funnily enough, the book series themselves (which I believe to be weaker spoof of Buffy extracted from Buffy's season 3 single episode), try and stick to certain resemblance of Buffy-style morality - but the show looses it completely swerving instead into a rather boring and repetitive jumble of bloody carnage that has nothing to offer but repetitive scenes of rough sex, bondage and other supposedly titillating extremities. The problem however is that extremities stop being titillating when they become the sole content of the show and characters loose their appeal when they become as alien to you as martians from the remake of the War of the Worlds...
Great articles Sunfire, thanks!
Farscape is my favorite science fiction show of all time.

It does take all the best scifi ideas out for a fun test drive. I'm sure there are similar comparisons of the philosophy of Farscape with Star Trek and Firefly and so on. All of which probably mention that one of these things is like the others, but very stoned.
Sunfire, I loved those articles. Thank you!
I thought Faith was a perfect example of what the author was saying about the show.

Yep, Faith exemplifies the soul/no-soul liberalism distinction quite well. Aside from the grey area of what a soul actually is in the Buffyverse (a being's essence or moral agency or whatever), what it gives you is a second chance that the unensouled very rarely get, in that sense it's almost "the potential to change". A soul is a shot at redemption basically. So Faith can commit murder but still not be beyond saving whereas unensouled vampires are routinely killed without any sort of consideration (even pre-emptively).

Likewise, people can give me 10 page reports why each of those series are superior to Farscape and I still won't like them any better. Because the interesting thing isn't really which show is the best, the interesting thing is why does that show appeal to each person.

Isn't that the same thing azzers ? So long as we all agree that there's no such thing as an objectively good or bad show (except 'Ned and Stacy' obviously ;) then surely those ten page reports are precisely each person explaining why it appeals to them ? Likewise, if people denigrate 'True Blood' then they're pointing out why it doesn't appeal to them ?

Which show is "best" isn't interesting because it's essentially meaningless - no shows are best, all shows are best, s'just down to the individual.

FWIW, I agree that it's perplexing - and sometimes annoying - this tendency folk have to not just decide something isn't for them but to then go on to decide "Because it's rubbish. And anyone who likes it is deficient in some way" as if in a subjective area like taste there's no room for honest disagreement. It's called 'taste' for a reason right ? Are some people inherently superior because they don't like ketchup for instance ? Personally though (usually - as I say, occasionally it bugs me too, particularly depending on the style of delivery), so long as people stay civil, who cares right ? As you say, those ten page reports aren't going to change how you feel so what's the difference ?

All of which probably mention that one of these things is like the others, but very stoned.

Heh. What i've always assumed re: 'Farscape' is that in their writers' room they just never had anyone that went "Wait a minute guys, isn't that maybe a bit, y'know, crazy ?" ;).

But yep take a sci-fi staple, the body swap:

-Trek examines the nature of identity, what it means for any of us to be who we are
-Stargate has some fun with actors playing and at the same time subtly lampooning their friends/colleagues
- Farscape has Crichton unzip his/Aeryn's top and then jump up and down a bit. It's funny (and probably offensive) cuz it's true ;).

Or the body double/copy:

-Trek examines the nature of identity, what it means for any of us to be who we are
-Stargate has some fun with actors playing and at the same time subtly lampooning themselves/the show conventions
- Farscape has a heartbreaking long-distance love non-triangle (or non-love triangle) between the copies and the woman "they" love

And I love all three shows BTW, not denigrating any of them, they just do things differently.
Likewise, if people denigrate 'True Blood' then they're pointing out why it doesn't appeal to them ?

I don't know, Saje. I think there's a fine line between denigrating a work and critiquing it with a substantiated argument. Introducing the superiority/inferiority element isn't necessarily the same as saying something like True Blood is too slow-paced and melodramatic for me (which isn't the case, because I dearly love me some True Blood)(except the Tara arc has admittedly become tedious). IMO, while it's interesting and fun to compare different series, it's also worthwhile to critique a work based on its on merits and flaws as opposed to denigrating or elevating another.

That said, I've yet to read the article.
no shows are best, all shows are best

OMG my head just exploded!
Ah but did it only explode to you catherine ? ;)

(I practically guarantee BTW that someone will read that and think - and possibly say - that i'm saying "everything's relative/subjective". For the record, nope, i'm not, i'm just saying some things are and that that's fine. The relative/subjective and the absolute/objective can co-exist quite handily IMO, so long as you know where the line is)

I don't know, Saje. I think there's a fine line between denigrating a work and critiquing it with a substantiated argument.

Sure but my point is it's still "just" someone else's opinion cardea - if you accept that their opinion won't change yours (and they're not being personally insulting in its expression, which on here at least is mercifully rare) then what's the diff ? Are you the show ? I'm guessing not ( ;) so surely the only way their opinion of the show can hurt you is if (however slightly) you identify liking the show with your own self-worth (not saying you are BTW, just that that seems to follow) ?

(don't get me wrong though, some arguments are more worth listening to. Rants - whichever side you're on - can sometimes be funny but they're not much use in a discussion)
Are you the show ?

Was it that obvious? The universe works in mysterious ways, Saje. ;)

surely the only way their opinion of the show can hurt you is if (however slightly) you identify liking the show with your own self-worth (not saying you are BTW, just that that seems to follow) ?

The logic follows, but I think there might be a tendency to find some synonymy - however irrational - between what individuals like and how that's received by others, and IMO it all comes down to how people relate to the shows. Like I said, however irrational it is, a comment that denigrates the work rather than a critique of the show based on its own merits (also should point out that by denigrating, I mean comments like "True Blood is absolute rubbish, so-and-so is much better!" as opposed to "I like so-and-so more because blah blah blah") makes a mark on the individual's appreciation of it simply because they could relate to it in whatever way and so the issue becomes personal in some sense. Simply because it resonated with us creates that effect and when someone feels the need to bash it unconstructively, it hits home to some degree depending on what the show means/meant to you. (Plural you, that is)

Obviously, though, if you can accept that others' opinions won't change yours, then your logic is correct. But we're not all rational creatures, alas. Of course, it also depends on delivery and that often seems to be the source of most of our problems... but like you said, not so much in the big black.
But we're not all rational creatures, alas.

Oh, too true (and not even 'alas' - what sort of world would it be without passion ?). Just to be clear, if someone rips into a show I love I don't always sit there with neutral expression, hands steepled and mutter "Hmm, fascinating" while maintaining a Spock-like calm. I sometimes have to consciously remind myself "Oh well, what the hell" because as you say cardea, if you love it and they say it's not just something they don't like (for X, Y, Z reasons) but totally worthless then they're effectively saying "... so your judgement sucks" and it's hard not to take that personally.

That said, the vast majority of the time, a complete slagging off affects me less because, frankly, it's easier to dismiss "It's total rubbish, you suck" (even by implication) than it is a carefully nuanced argument that might actually have a point (particularly if that person seems perceptive enough to have seen things i've missed). And (IMO) it's generally true that people who see things in those terms have less of interest to say anyway.

Like I say, except for 'Ned and Stacy' ;).
I like comparing shows to people, sometimes duos who are very different, based on something I read about two actors years ago and always remembered: John is like fine claret and Larry is like hearty burgundy - (Gielgud and Olivier, of whom people have varied and violent opinions).

If I did this with the two shows in the topic I care to talk about, then Buffy/Angel might be Bette Davis (who in the Golden Days of Hollywood was a very refined, intelligent actress with moments of real passion) and True Blood might be Joan Crawford (flashy, not untalented but more and more overwrought as the years went on).
I guess I must be remembering incorrectly, but didn't Buffy beat Angel off (get your mind out of the gutter - I mean with blunt objects) when he started draining her too much?

[ edited by SpendTheNightAlone on 2010-09-13 18:15 ]
No - she crushed a vase, but didn't fight him. He stopped when she was totally limp.
I really won't read any comment now, because I still did'nt saw the last ep of TB.
Just passing to say that the Bufy reference of the first season was different in the original books -

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