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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I can see the maudlin segment of tonight's binge is in full swing."
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March 04 2004

Steve DeKnight posts at the Bronze Beta. The writer and director of 'Shells' reveals amongst other things that Joss Whedon wrote and directed two key scenes of this episode (Steve's posts are in dayglo green).

You might want to check the previous posts page as well for more of his comments.

Cool. I kept thinking, gosh that's all very Joss - especially the perspective line.

By the way, they had me up until the weepy song of pain started in this episode.
Next time any of these guys show up - some one should ask them about the potential for a writers strike in Hollywood and how likely do they see it happening - since they are wga members.
prolific, I also wasn't enthused about the weepy song of pain -- at first. When the first notes sounded I flinched and thought, oh god, this is like regular plain old tv! It's a regular old montage of pain! I pretty much never think that when watching an ME show. It seemed very un-Angel. Jarring. Luckily (for me) the final scene of Fred driving into her future was so beautiful that I didn't care anymore. And in retrospect, I'm not sure how else it could have been done so effectively. I did love the song. Pretty. I was convinced it would turn out to be the Dixie Chicks but I was wrong.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2004-03-04 16:15 ]
It's so not the first time they've used music in that way though. The first one that pops to mind is the "goodby to you" montage when Tara leaves Willow...
No writers on any shows are as cool as these guys. Aaron Sorkin doesn't go to West Wing fan parties. No white lady. David E. Kelly never shows up at the Boston Public conventions.

We are so lucky to have guys and girls like this. Mere, Elizabeth, and Sarah haven't written an ep in a while. Will they have another?
I was thinking that it was more a Buffy thing - that this was the first time we'd seen something like that on Angel and that maybe it fit better on Buffy. But the Fred driving off bit was indeed very moving.
phlebotinin-- That was my initial reaction, too. I thought "You don't need to manipulate me. I feel hopeless and sad enough already." But when Fred drove off into the magic hour light, it was like a little gift of being able to say goodbye to her. I'm prepared to burst into tears over the littlest thing for the remaining episodes.
Joining in on the weepy brigade. After the high drama of last week, this ep really drove home to me the terrible loss of Fred in a way that was so moving. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Chirp, you're quite right. We are lucky to have such wonderful writers, not just creating these shows, but participating in our fandom with us and letting us into their world.
But the whole time I was thinking, how come Fred gets the weepy goodbye and Cordelia, who I was *much* more, um, attached to, got like a 2-second mention in a board meeting the next episode and that was that. Harrumph.

The weepy song thing worked great on Buffy. Not so much on Angel. Not sure why.
The weepy song thing worked great on Buffy. Not so much on Angel. Not sure why.

I hear ya. I love Freddles as much as the next guy, but that montage seemed so misplaced.

One reason would be that Buffy is a more feminine show and Angel is more masculine show.

Also, more probable reason:we hear vocal music on Buffy ALL the time; either at the bronze or at a club. Angel, not so much...at least not since Karitas.
I have to agree that the song seemed out of place, even though it was beautiful. The second it started up it struck me as odd because I wasn't expecting that from Angel and that was something you would expect as normal on Buffy. More evidence though that the two shows are totally stand alone that fans immediately picked up on that.

And Phlebotin, I also thought it was going to turn out to be the Dixie Chicks because of Fred's poster. As I am not a fan of theirs I'm not to familiar with their music so I'm sure someone who is would know right away.

Anyway, Deknight seems like a delightful person and it is nice that the ME Powers that Be like to attend functions and chat with the fans on boards. They honestly feel like family and I think that is why it is so hard to accept that the last ME show is leaving the airways.
I'm shocked by the number of people that either didn't care for or outright hated the "musical montage" at the end. I thought it was beautiful. Just because there are other shows that use that same "gimmick" doesn't mean it can't work for Angel. I mean there are other shows that have characters wearing PANTS too, but somehow it seems to work for the characters on Whedon shows just fine. Well, most of them anyways.
I loved the musical montage at the end, but I'm a sucker for when ME does those. The "Goodbye To You" moment is one of my favorite parts of season 6, and I found the song used on Angel to be so perfect and beautiful that I had to rush online to see what it was. Now if only I could figure out who the heck sang that cover of "If You Leave" on The O.C. last night...
Can't help what my reaction was. The song just immediately made me notice it and it felt out of place. I never noticed songs like that on Buffy and they felt like they belonged. It's just my reaction and wasn't meant to offend anyone who liked it. And I really think comparing people wearing pants on shows is a bit overly sarcastic to saying a song didn't feel like it belonged because we aren't used to that. It threw me off when it started. It seemed too loud and because there were lyrics (and the loudness) it made me notice the song more than the montage. If they had done it more softly or with no lyrics it would've probably set the mood for me more.

And maybe it was in another post, but I didn't see anyone in this post say they hated the song, just that it felt out of place.
Wait, what was the "perspective" line? I can't remember that.
Not loving the music either. Ep was great up to that point.
I'm glad the montage worked so well for you, Haunt -- it was clearly designed to do that and you should count yourself lucky that you loved it so much. For me, it felt initially out of place, like it was un-Angelish. I can't help feeling that way. I did end up being extremely moved, though. And the song itself was lovely. Comparing mundane things like wearing pants to creative choices like montages seems a little unnecessarily sarcastic, though.
Chirp, I believe that Craft and Fain have episode 17.
The music montage just made me go "HUH". (As did other parts of the episode, but then it was quite late and I did have a few drinks on me.) Anyway, it took me out of the experience of watching the show rather than draw me in. That's kind of why I didn't like it. I've liked previous songs on Buffy, even if the type of music Whedon generally picks is so very not my cup of tea, but this one not so much.
electricspacegirl, here's the perspective line:

When Spike was discussing the mini bottle of Jack, he held it at arm's length and said maybe it was just "very far away". Angel asked him what did he mean, (referring to another Spike comment about Fred being gone) and Spike said that it was "just a trick of perspective"... not getting what Angel was on about. Throwaway line perfection; very Jossy. Also reminded me of the Bauhaus line re: "A trick of the light and too much caffeine" but that's all me.
I like the "Fred music montage" but I really would have liked to see Cordelia get the same treatment...I still can't get over how her character was cast off this season...Really strange because IMHO I always considered HER to be the heart of AtS.
god everyone is complaining about cordelias gyppage, even on TwoP. its ridiculous. cordelia was such an immense part of the show, no musical montage would have done it justice. the way they handled cordelia was perfect. understatement is everything. when angel left buffy, there wasn't a whole to-do either. different character departures require different approaches and goodbyes.
Not only that, would you of wanted You're Welcome to end on an unnecessary Full of Grace like ending? (not that i'm implying Full of Grace was unnesessary, i still cry when i watch that episode) I think both these episodes got that point across. I was even joking with my friend who was watching it with me why that song wasn't Sarah Mclachlan. (just because we are so used to those on Buffy). The song was a great choice, it got the point across, but i agree it was a little out of Angel character. I still cried though, i guess that makes me a sappy girl.
Could we all be judging more harshly because we know it is the end? I mean really it was a bit icky the song, the montage, the sun light, but would we be so disappointed if we thought there would be more great stuff to compensate?

[ edited by calmlid on 2004-03-05 05:11 ]

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