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February 19 2004

(SPOILER) Entertainment Geekly's reviews "Smile Time" "The triumphant return of Busty Nina and her little, felty friend." Also contains a speculation/spoiler for next week.

I never, ever seem to agree with this guy's reviews. I never fully agree with Herc either though.

Great episode though. I was hoping Fred would look into the nestegg near the end there cuz I thought she'd make an adorable muppet.
I want muppet versions of them all!!! Vampy muppet Angel!

Hell, if Joss can't get all of the actors back for a movie, just turn 'em into muppets! Man, I would kill for an all-muppet episode. Just dying here. Great ep indeed. I want to have Ben Edlund's evil genius babies. I've been laughing myself silly for hours since the episode aired.

[ edited by punkinpuss on 2004-02-19 09:15 ]
Ah man I laughed so hard. He vamped out! And when Lorne comes across him all torn up....ah too much to mention. Classic, absolutely classic.
Hee hee, an all muppet cast would be a quite funny movie! Heck, if they can't get SMG to agree to come back just make muppet Buffy!! That would be worth it just watching Angel (or Spike) trying to have a love scene with muppet Buffy!! Can't you just picture her having to jump up on a vamp and try to stake them! (Just pictured Sid the dummy from the Buffy game!!) Or little Willow the witch. Oh, Willow would be so cute as a muppet!
Love scenes with Muppet Buffy! Brilliant! Hah can anyone imagine S6-like sex scenes with naked muppet Spike?? 'Smashed' with muppets! And Muppet Angel walking in on them! I'm dying here!

And say does anyone remember Joss answering on-line questions a while ago and joking that if the budget ran out they would probably do it all with puppets? I wonder if that's where the idea came from.
Everyone's mentioned the hilarious puppets, so another thing I'd like to point out that impressed me with this episode was the use of off-screen developments. If we have to have Nina back (I was pretty lukewarm about her first appearance), it was nice that the writers threw in a bit of plot forwarding in the exposition that made sense (hey, maybe they've rediscovered the way to not make me hate the past-referencing exposition--actually talk about something we didn't see on screen and/or were smart enough to assume for ourselves). Of course Nina's been back to W&H these last few months, but we didn't need to see each visit and it's nice that the writers haven't made us. I was perfectly okay with them mentioning that some W&H employees have become familiar with Nina's face and her apparently obvious attraction to Angel. I also enjoyed the Fred/Knox bit. It's great that the whole failed relationship, or brief courtship, or whatever it was, took place off screen. 'Cause those were two instances when I didn't need to see it all, so it's enough that the writers have made reference to it.

The Gunn thing is potentially intriguing. Unfortunately, I've been saying that about the new direction with his character ever since his scene with Conduit-Cat in the White Room during "Home"--potentially intriguing. There'd better be some great pay-off, otherwise I'll feel pretty bad for J. August Richards. Every interview featuring him that I've read, he's seemed really excited about the new direction. Yeah, it must be great to have something to actually do after all this time (and he really proved that he could handle the spotlight last season in "Players" and man I just reminded myself that I kinda miss Gwen for the second time in the last week).

The Wes/Fred stuff really didn't bother me, I've always been sorta indifferent towards it (the only thing that really got me was Wes' anguish at the end of "Billy", but since then not much has really worked). Wes telling Angel to "get over it" though, that was the only thing that pissed me off about "Smile Time". What the fuck? He's suddenly a relationships counsellor? Who gives a shit if the majority of relationships (99.999%...???) don't provide perfect happiness, why would Wesley encourage Angel to risk all their lives for some tail? I also don't think Wes should go around doling out relationship advice, the only half-decent one he's had in the last five years was with Virginia. I don't think anyone'll try to convince me that what he had with Lilah was healthy or gave him any credit in this department (much as I enjoyed the thing they had). Was this the writers way of telling us, "Hey, just forget about the curse and the continuity of the gang being cautious about the happy clause [which, admittedly, it looked like they were already breaking with the Cordy/Angel crap], we're letting Angel play the field and the odds" ? Huh? Confusedness. :(

A bit more confusion for me...not that it was absolutely integral to the plot, but I expected more of an explanation for the puppet-demons than just "They're demons". I was expecting the demons to mystically come out of the puppet bodies once they were destroyed by the MoG, so...what? Did the demons just decide to become puppets without worrying about how easy they'd be to kill?

Anyway, I kinda loved this ep. Puppets! Puppets Who Kill! (actually that's the name of a great little comedy that's only aired on the Comedy Network in Canada)
Some interesting tidbits for those of you interested in The Wb and UPN...
-The WB tv network is owned by TimeWarner a 39.6 billion dollar company(HBO,TNT,CNN,Cartoon Network, New Line Cinema and not to mention 24.3 million AOL members in the US alone)...Time Warner is a distant second in the cable industry but still enough of a powerhouse to be considering a bid on Cablevision...Why do I mention this? Because TimeWarner owns both The WB and TNT...TNT being a possible alternate destination for AtS.
-Viacom, a 26.6 billion dollar company ( owns CBS and MTV, Nickelodeon and BET, as well as Paramount Pictures) Viacom is rumored to rely on advetising revenue for 45% of its total revenue...Not a very comfortable place to be if you are in television media (and not NBC)...

In other words, if we want UPN to pick up Angel we have to convince UPN that Angel will bring in big bucks for advertising time...
After a dismal week and depressing news, I for one loved this episode. Hell I even loved Nina...she and Angel could work...Werewolf and Vampire...why not? It worked for "Underworld" didn't it? Am I sensing a change of heart for Ange? Is he finally going to start living for the moment and stop brooding over a romance that wore out 4 years ago ? All I can say is Amen to that...move on Angel...Buffy sent you home in Chosen...she stayed with Spike.
As for the puppets they were priceless. Other posters have said they would love to see the entire cast as puppets. That would be a hoot. Angel Broody Face and Captain Cheekbones...oh yeah!!! If anyone wants to offer Angel and Spike puppets for sale...I'm in. Maybe we start a fund raiser to save the show by selling Puppet Angels and Spikes, also Puppet Lorne,Fred,Gunn,and Wes. Ok...Puppet Harm could be cute...but as for about Voodoo Doll Eve instead, complete with push pins ? Works for me.
turning aside for a moment from my utter adoration for Vamp Puppet Angel... it looks like Wes & Fred will hold the Buffyverse record for shortest sweet romance?? Evil Joss.
Am i the only one who thinks that this episode would of been a perfect time to redo the credits "superstaresque"? I think the funniest things in the world would of been puppet angel swinging his jacket and walking down that dark alley.
After the episode was over I immediately rewound and watched Nina wake up naked again (ahem, merely for research purposes *cough*) because I thought I saw her pull a Janet. In one frame you can see part of a pasty on her left nipple.

Just another great part of a great episode.
Oh dear God. I admit, I thought a "puppet" episode was going to be lame, but I was screaming and howling in laughter last night. That was just awesome. Puppet Angel is SO CUTE. I want one! "My little Prince!" ROFL!

Why, WHY GOD did the WB cancel Angel?!
400lb, you are so not alone on that. It's so much fun just picturing that in my head, I couldn't imagine how great and funny it would look on screen. have a point...regarding Wes telling Angel about the 99.99% perfect happiness thingie. I thought the same thing at the time and completely forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. That seems to go so against cautious Wes's character. That was definitely a 180.
Prufrock -- and apparently in one frame you can see her entire right nipple. A poster on the fireflyfans site posted the frames in question in a Smile Time thread. You might want to research that further. (*cough*)

Funny, I missed this breast stuff last night. I wasn't really fixating on Nina's breasts. More interested in Puppet Angel. Although the breasts do seize the attention, don't they?

I like Nina as a character much better than I did in Unleashed, but I think I know why I am resistant to her and Angel hooking up. Angel's two (three, if you count Darla) great loves have been that -- great loves, earned over years of intense interaction. If Angel goes on for another season or two on the UPN, then I'm all for the Nina character being developed more as a real love interest. But with nine (now eight?) episodes left, I don't want any quick fix romances for Angel. Although that may not be ME's intention......maybe the Nina character will be more of a casual, lighthearted romantic partner for Angel. On second thought, that might be kind of interesting. Something new, certainly.
LOVE the insertion of Puppet Angel into the Whedonesque cast of characters banner!
Heee, someone noticed!
Hey I was JUST about to comment on that! LOL! Well done, prolific!
Just my 2 cents on the ep:
It was funny, it was sad, Knox is freaking out, Wes is kissing people, Lorne was his hilarious best (She wants a piece of Angelcake!), and the Vamp Angel puppet was great.
I get the whole "Angel's moving on and going out with someone" thing, I just don't care for Nina and Angel as a couple. Don't ask - I don't know why, I just don't.
I'm really really happy for Fred and Wes, but come on, we all know this can't end well. Actually allowing Wes to be HAPPY?
Great Epi! But alas, we Whedon faithful know the signs of doom.....two people in(or on the verge of) a happy relationship. Buffy and Angel make love = Angelus. Giles and Jenny make up = Dead Ms. Calendar. Xander and Anya have a wedding = Xander leaving, Anya demon again. Tara and Willow make up = Dead Tara. Buffy tells Spike she loves him = Dead Spike(well, at least that one was only partly true)

Oh no, Joss, you're not going to fool me again. Even if I hadn't seen the trailer for the next epi, I wouldn't have fallen into that trap again. First thing I said to my hubby after 'the kiss' was, "Well, let's see how long that lasts. Nothing good can come of it...."

PS Anyone else think that Fred shooting the big puppet was remniscent of Wes shooting his father.....or maybe just me...hehehe
Personally I loved the fight between puppet Angel and Spike. He brought Spike "down" to his level if not lower - so many implications with that elevator. Angel's definitely got his Mojo (purpose) back even if he's only 2 and half feet tall! Loved the episode! I for one always thought children's TV shows were just creepy, now I know why!
RogueSlayer: To your PS, I think that's exactly what we were meant to be reminded of. At least I was.
An utterly delightful episode...just fabulous...I nearly died when Puppet Angel vamped out!
Prolific - muppet Angel is a great addition to the Whedonesque banner! hehehe... :)
anyone know where to get a screenshot of the vamped angel puppet?

put the link in here!

"I think the funniest things in the world would of been puppet angel swinging his jacket and walking down that dark alley."

I seriously doubt I could handle that. I would have fallen off the couch! LOL
I've seen some people complain in other forums about how unrealistic it was for Fred to fall for Wesley in one episode after 2 years of him pining away for her, but didn't people notice the way she was looking at him when he performed that spell (did that spell remind anyone else of Willow?) in You're Welcome? Fred harboring feelings for him ever since. I'm *so* glad she didn't wait too long to act on them. Wes deserves some happiness. Granted, I wish I could be the one to give him that happiness, but I'll be satisfied with living vicariously through Fred's experience.

My ship has finally sailed! Weee!

Dumb old fairy tales and their happily ever afters.

[ edited by RTADoyle on 2007-10-27 11:34 ]
I don't think it was a case where she fell in love with him in one episode. There has been feelings between the two of them for a long time, back when she was involved with Gunn and torn between her loyalty towards Gunn and her strong feelings for Wesley. I think it's taken her awhile to admit to her feelings for him and it's about damn time!!
See, I didn't notice Fred's feelings for Wesley in seasons 3 and 4 so much. It seemed to me that Fred chose the first guy who showed interest in her, which was Gunn. His attraction was more obvious and assertive, while Wes was holding back a lot, scared to make a move. Gunn and Fred never seemed right for each other. In season 4 when Wesley kissed Fred it didn't seem like she reciprocated. And then there was Willow, who Fred had definite chemistry with. I figured maybe Fred is gay and doesn't realize it. Then during this season (and especially after watching the season 3 DVD last weekend) I boarded the Fres ship because god I love Alexis Denisof and the way he portrays subtle but intense emotions in his character. He makes me want what Wesley wants. That's powerful acting.
It's funny how people react to things differently. I definitely thought Fred kissed Wesley back in that scene you mentioned and I didn't see Fred being attracted to Willow in a sexual way at all. I thought it was more an attraction of meeting someone who thinks a lot like you and getting exactly what you meant. I thought the funny part of that scene was Willow misinterpreting Fred and Fred's confused look to that afterwards. To me, Fred strikes me as a girl that never really had any close girl friends because of her intellect and when she met Willow she was excited because here was another female who was as intelligent as she is. And of course, Willow's bubbly personality draws everyone in.
Yeah, blwessels, I admit the my Fred and Willow obsession was mostly wishful thinking. I do like Wes and Fred together. I'm happy now. :)
The photos of a bare-breasted Nina are photo manipulations...sorry guys!
Well, I have to come out and say that I heart Ben Edlund and want to have his puppets -- erm, his demonic offspring. Is he married? I mean, I'm married but who cares? My husband will understand -- he was laughing almost as hard as I was at this amazing episode. I can't say enough about its wonderfulness, it was just classic ME -- poignant, hilarious, creepy, risky, fantastic storytelling and whywhywhy is the WB soooo frickin' stupid? WHY???

Someone has to step in and pick up 'Angel' (Note: The ratings for ST improved over last week's ep!) because no way should a show this smart and vastly superior to all other genre offerings end up on the crap-heap of corporate commercial whoredom.
Ok, just for you guys, I went back myself and did some hard research(hmmmm..... maybe I need to rethink that last line). You never see Nina's right nipple, the left one on the other hand, you do see in one frame, from the top side, it's very quick, blink if you miss it on slow mo. So if you guys want to see her in her glory, this is the place to go.
Oh you men and Nina's nipple(s). You're too funny.

I'm with Wiseblood. I want to have Ben Edlund's spawn.
There’s no question that I’m not quite as hot on “Smile Time” as most other fans seem to be. I did enjoy it though, and I’ll probably enjoy it more the next time I watch it. Ben Edlund, for sure, has a strong knack for slapstick humor and finding ways for it to rub off on the characters. It was rather hard for me to fathom sitting here watching my big tough action show that now has all these puppets on the screen. The thought of hellish evil beings taking the form of children’s puppets is unsettling to me. None of this is beyond the Whedonverse though; it’s just a really offbeat take. Otherwise, I enjoy the chemistry Fred and Wesley have developed, and it works very well in “Smile Time”. I think Spike deserved a little more to do in this one. If Spike has the material, he can turn a ridiculous situation into something truly hilarious. I’m thinking of “Something Blue” and “Tabula Rasa” when I say that.

(whimpers and tears) “When I heard that Angel was cancelled, I was having fruit punch, and I thought well Spike and Angel and those other vampires will NEVER HAVE anymore fruit punch that looks like blood EVER!!! It’s stupid. It’s mortal and stupid, and no one will explain to me WHY!?!?!?” (turns evil and all-powerful and causes computer equipment to overload)

[ edited by G Thing on 2004-02-20 01:36 ]
I missed the nipple but Nina cupping her own breast as she got up was already worth watching hehehe.

As for Fred and Wes, yeah there have been looks from Fred for a while. And sometimes people need to wake up to what's in front of them, a theme that was clearly repeated in this last ep.

Personally I'm happy. I like Gunn but in the earlier triangle between him and Wes and Fred I had to root for Wes. I mean Gunn was the cocky suave guy and Wes the quiet, booky shy guy. Wes was definitely the underdog here and I always hate to see the cocky guys get the girl. Go Wes! Long time in coming. And a bit of a vindication in that she came to him now. "Mss Burkle needs a driver" hehehehe

Of week....their happiness will be 'Jossed'.....
I thought this episode was incredibly hilarious, one of my favorites. I have to say, this is certainly proving to be my favorite season of Angel. I don't want it to end!!

I caught the Janet-shot of Nina. I'm not accepting Angel and Nina as more than a slight interest. I felt Wes' first scene, where he tells Angel to suck it up and get back out in the dating field, was a little out of character. I can't place exactly why, aside from it straying from his normaly cautious self. I want my own Angel puppet, and I was waiting through the whole episode for it to vamp out.

One thing I'd like to point out that no one has mentioned yet.... the scene where the puppet is controlling the puppetmaker... The human was David Fury!! I was trying to see if the puppet voices seemed at all familiar, but I couldn't place anyone.

ETA: Just saw the actual discussion for this episode, and others did pick up on the Fury appearance. I thought it was odd not seeing anyone mention it. :)

[ edited by Greyflowers on 2004-02-21 09:24 ]

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