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October 31 2004

Halloween Announcement for Angel Final Season DVDs. Fox announces the specs for Angel Season 5 on DVD(R1). Available on February 15,2005. Lots of new people on commentary, yay.

Hope the R2 set (which looks set to come out at about the same time according to a flyer in recent Fox TV DVD releases) has the same special features, some of those commentaries should be really good, especially the one for "A Hole in the World", good that half the regulars and even guest stars took the time to record them. Would have been nice if Joss had done the commentary for "Not Fade Away" as well, and a "Smile Time" commentary would have been great.

The rest of the features should be good, wish they'd put deleted scenes on them (the Angel season 3 box was the only Buffyverse set that did that). Not that excited about an 8 minute gag-reel, they're never that good.

And with this the buffyverse DVD collection will be complete, quite sad really. Ah well, I'll save space on my shelf for Faith.
The commentaries look great, looking forward to getting this one.
Just out of interest but who here is dubious about buying this one considering the almost 100% certainty that Angel will be released as a complete series boxset about a year later?

I've still not bought season 4 on DVD since having heard of the Buffy complete boxset so i have to admit that it's highly doubtful that i will buy this seperately either. The only problem may be that if too many people think like me and season 5 DVD sets are poor sellers that may scupper the chances of the complete boxset even being brought out.

Although knowing how Fox like to milk their properties for all they are worth i'm certain it is already in development as we speak!
Why would I want to buy a complete series box set when I own the entire series already(except season 5) and it'll all be the same content, nothing new.

I don't really care if its a new packaging if its the exact same thing(like wise, I'll only double dip on a movie DVD if its unrated version or Director's Cut. The studios can't fool me with their SUPERDUPER DELUXE EDITION bulls*t)

[ edited by eddy on 2004-10-31 16:30 ]
This final DVD set looks excellent. Bet the commentary for 'A Hole in the World' will be very interesting. I wonder why they didn't ask James Marsters to do one. I remember James said in an interview that he would've been happy to do so. I know, I'm greedy. A 27 minute overview and nearly a nine minute gag reel. Looking forward to this release, but I'm a bit sadden at the same time knowing this is the last. Well, we still have the movie to look forward to.
Angel, Season 5. W/ commentary by Sarah Thompson on episode #100! Wow...can't believe how much I'm NOT going to buy the DVD! Season 5 is not only Angel's 'least best' season; it's simply THE WORST. The only worthy moments were the final five minutes of the show in 'Not Fade Away' and 'You're Welcome,' one of the best episodes in the show's history. Otherwise, the season just makes me angry: it discards conflicts that Angel's character were based on--can't have sex, might be human one day--and trades them for some LA Law/Practice setup where we have to put up w/ Amy Acker's outfits. Worst of all is the absence of Charisma Carpenter-- season 5 just makes me think how cruel Whedon and Co. were about her character--'we'll just leave her in a coma and mention her twice over the course of the season'--and to the actress herself: Carpenter helped build this show, and the show's refusal to acknowledge her character's contribution was just a season-long slap in the face. The show failed without Cordelia's humor and moral compasss, and as much as I loved Angel in its first four years, Season 5 was basically a brand new show which, save for a few moments, was a ridiculous show, an utter betrayal to its fans and, worse, to itself.
I am extremely excited about this looks to be one of the best, commentary-wise.

Won't get into it with Mel, but suffice it to say I thought it one of the best seasons of all. Period.
LOl. Mel, tell us how you really feel. I ignored the Sarah Thompson bit. I rather focus on positive instead of negative like say David Boreanaz and Kane on the same commentary together. I thought the beginning was slow but by "Destiny" the season was improving at a extremly high rate. Definitely making space for this on my shelf.
Ah, season 5. A true mixed bag if ever there was one. The show took about half a season to find its sea legs and by that time the WB had pretty much decided to give it the axe. Still, some of the episodes in that second half were some of the best done by Mutant Enemy. With all the new people involved on the commentary end of things, I'm really looking forward to the set....that I can watch "Smile Time" anytime I want.
Have to admit that i totally disagree with Mel too, season 5 for me had a couple of dud episodes but overall was probably my favourite. I consider myself to be a pretty big fan of Angel and i honestly can't say i felt betrayed by it at all.

Admittedly a massive departure from what we were used to but that was hardly a bad thing for me.

Eddy - "Why would I want to buy a complete series box set when I own the entire series already(except season 5) and it'll all be the same content, nothing new."

See that is where we differ. I only own the first four seasons of Buffy and so if i was to buy the remaining three seperately it would cost me almost as much as the complete boxset would. Since i think the complete set is the better option it makes sense for me to go with that.

With Angel there are only two more seasons i have yet to buy so the cost of the complete set should it come out will probably not be so equal. However if i'm going to get myself one complete boxset the it again makes sense to me at least i get the second.

Besides, they look cool ;)
Great commentaries, just what I was hoping for. And almost 9 minutes of gag reel will be fun, too.
For me, season 5 will always be the first half of the story arc Joss and co planned after 'Home'. I believe that had a season 6 actually happened last month, a lot of the "huh" bits that happened in season 5 would by now be starting to make sense. But we will never really know *sighs wistfully*.
Yep, agree with Simon. Season 5 was year one of a two year arc (like seasons 3 and 4), the first year working at Wolfram & Hart, and the second year bringing them down. They were really counting on a 6th season too, with so many stories only just begun, makes me wonder just how much of the last episodes was added or changed after cancellation, were Wesley and Drogyn going to die, would the circle of the black thorn have been introduced so quickly, or would season 5 have ended with us only just starting to find out what they were.

Sad when you realise that had it kept its slot we'd now be 6 episodes into season 6.
Count me in as another voice for Season 5. To me, it was when I totally fell in love with Angel. Season 1 it was still finding its voice, Seasons 2 & 3 were good, but not as good as Buffy, and Season 4, well Connor.....yuck. I almost gave up during Season 4.

But Season 5 was brilliant; it's when we saw it surpass Buffy. So yeah, I'll be first in line to buy Season 5!
Ghost Spike, can't find the link to the article anymore but i do know that one definate change that Joss made to the final episode was Wesley dying, that wasn't originally planned. As far as i know though Drogyn was always meant to be sacrificed.

From what i understand Joss in fact changed very little of the season, deciding that, with a small amount of tinkering, it would make a very good series climax as it stood.
Mal's Gal wrote:well Connor.....yuck. I almost gave up during Season 4.
Funny but I was commenting on that the other day. I'd say your reaction to Conner, in fact the bulk of fandom, is exactly the way you were supposed to react to his character. If I'm a kid raised for 17 years in a Hell dimension with only one other human being who is pumping me up with thoughts of hatred & revenge all the time and I get dumped into the "real" world suddenly and face to face with the object of all that hate, you'd better believe I'd be a prickly pain-in-the-ass as well. That people didn't like or warm to Conner wasn't the result of bad writing or acting, quite the opposite. I'm sorry, we were talking about Angel season 5 where we liked Conner because that was the way he was written.
"6 episodes into season 6",wow, that really hit home,ghost spike.I loved season 5,and with the constraints that were put on them,they did a great job.Will we ever know what JW had in mind for Season6,I have no idea.I just get the feeling,that by the end he had had all he could take of TV for the moment.As for the DVD's i've only got Season 1 and 2 on VHS so i'm hanging on in,in the hope that a full box set will be out this year, On the advertising thingy, i saw, it said, "Angel: The vampire Collections" with a 2005release date.It didn't say if these were character collections,as in the Buffy ones, or a full 5season collection
rainbird those are character collections, last time I heard this is what was going to be on the following DVDs:

"Cordelia - "City Of", "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb", "Birthday", "Waiting in the Wings".

Fred - "Over the Rainbow", "Fredless", "Supersymmetry", "Shiny Happy People".

Gunn - "War Zone", "First Impressions", "That Old Gang of Mine", "Double or Nothing".

Wesley - "Parting Gifts", "Guise Will Be Guise", "Loyalty", "Sleep Tight"."

Do you mean the vampire anthology? Cause I believe thats character 4-episode discs.
Mel wrote:it discards conflicts that Angel's character were based on--can't have sex.....can we talk about that? I always thought that were two scenarios where Angel's curse was broken: 1) when Angel & Darla "conceived" Connor in season 2 and 2) in season 4, when Angel is resouled by Willow. I think it is entirely possible that Angel didn't know he regained the ability to have sex and not wake up with blood running out of his mouth in the morning. Of course both of these possibilites were never really explored but it is what I came up with.
Mel, I agree about Cordy and didn't really like the Wolfram & Hart setup, but thought that there was a lot of beautiful writing in Season 5 starting with "A Hole in the World."

And I was glad that the writers cleared up Angel's ban on having sex (though they actually do that in season 2)...because they leave themselves open to one too many crude jokes if "true happiness" is equated with sex...not to mention it would be silly.
Yay! Lots of commentaries, many involving actors!

Boo! No JM commentary, and after reading reports from the UK con - no JM and DB commentary on TGIQ! (ok I figured they wouldn't do that but wouldn't that be a treat of a bonus feature?)

I loved S5 and I'm definitely looking forward to buying this set.
Woohoo!! I'm definately excited about the S5 release.
in season 4, when Angel is resouled by Willow. I think it is entirely possible that Angel didn't know he regained the ability to have sex and not wake up with blood running out of his mouth in the morning.

I know, I know! I wanted to see that explored both times Willow re-souled him. I could see it would have been problematic the first time because it would have been difficult to have he and Buffy not be together but I think it might have added even more depth to the whole situation.
As I was late to the Angelverse, s5 was the only one that I saw in its regular broadcast. I was one of those who came over with JM from Buffy. And I must admit that I thought the first part of the season was really slow. But, having now seen all the episodes of the series via reruns and DVDs, I can say that s5 is my favorite. I think s6 would have been so much fun, and it would have answered some of the questions not resolved in s5. But, of course, we will never know. I'm really looking forward to this set and to the commentaries, although I would have liked to see JM among those commenting, too. And I would have liked a Smile Time commentary. But that's just picking nits. I'll really enjoy these DVDs.
Angel Season Five is probably my favourite season in the Buffyverse overall, with Buffy Season Four close enough behind to kick it's ass

I love almost every episode in the season ("Unleashed" and "Why We Fight" the only episodes not quite making the grade) but as with most of the comments, i also think that the second half of the season improved on the first

As for the extra's they all seem pretty good. Although I would have preferred to have "Not Fade Away Part Two" included, we can't have everything!

And having just watched "Wrong Turn" with Eliza kicking ass major style - as well as showing her vunerable side - I've gotta say "Please God, give us a Faith series!"
"A Hole In The World" - Commentary by Writer/Director Joss Whedon, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof

Yes!!!! That's exactly who I wanted to do that commentary.

I am disappointed that Joss didn't do commentary for the FINAL BUFFYVERSE EPISODE EVER. But whatever. I guess you can't have everything.

I'm very excited about these DVDs. It will be my birthday present to myself.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-10-31 20:51 ]
I honestly have never been as excited about a box set, my family and I believe that Angel season 5 was the best of the entire run, perhaps equaled only by Buffy season 3.

Not to mention that their doesn't seem to be a dud commentary on the discs, commentaries not only with the writers and director, but also with most of the main actors.

I am praticularly interested in hearing a little from the cast. I wish they had given J.August a commentary track, he is a bit more deserving than Sarah Thompson (Although just because I didn't love her character, doesn't mean that listening to her would be annoying. And she IS a part of the season.)

This is preety much how I wished the set and commentaries would be, with perhaps the exclusion of Joss Whedon in the final commentary being the only real problem.

Other small changes from my wishlist, I wish Charisma would have done the "You're Welcome" commentary, and Vincent Kartheiser done one for Origin, that would have been cool.

One final note, I never viewed the curse as a ban on sex, it was a ban on a moment of pure happyness, it's not like every time someone has intercourse their suddenly the happiest they could ever possibly be.

And the issue was cleared up in season 2, not season 5.

[ edited by rabid on 2004-10-31 20:51 ]
rabid: "One final note, I never viewed the curse as a ban on sex, it was a ban on a moment of pure happyness, it's not like every time someone has intercourse their suddenly the happiest they could ever possibly be."

Yes, exactly. Just as Wes said in "Smile Time" when Angel was freaking out because Nina had a big ole yen for him:
"99.999-ad infinitum percent of the best relationships in the recorded history of the world have had to make do with acceptable happiness."

I think that since Willow used the same curse as the original, the same caveat's applied. No problem, true happiness is a rare thing. Angel found it with Buffy. The chances of him finding it with someone else were/are incredibly slight.
While I never felt the same love for Angel as I did for BTVS, I think season 5 despite a few blips was very strong. Along with season 3 it was my favourite of all.

If only Joss had decided/been allowed to start the arc much earlier in the season
Angel's moment of perfect happiness while having sex was because he was so in love with Buffy. Nina and Darla weren't the loves of his life. Even in the "dream" segment where he is making love to Cordy, his last thought is of Buffy as he turns back into Angelus.
Oh, and back on topic, I thought season five was one of the best for AtS. It had a lot of great moments and episodes and Smile Time was one of the best episodes of the entire Buffyverse.
I just got all saddened, does everyone realise that this is the last Whedonverse TV DVD set to be released for a long while. The next Joss related DVD (which aren't those little character centric DVDs) will probably be Serenity. Just got me more than a little bit sad.

I am uber happy to be getting a monthly comic and films in the future, but it will be nice one day to see another Whedonverse show on the air. I in no way believe that TV is a better medium than film (It's just a different one), but I wish there was someway he could do both.
Can't wait to hear what Amy and Alexis have to say on the commentary for "A Hole in The World."
I hate Season 5 of A:TS, compared to the former season's it was sub-par on dramatic, thematic and production levels. Going to Season 5 from Season 4 was the equivalent of going from BATMAN RETURNS to BATMAN AND ROBIN; only it's more shallow and garish. If Season 5 was meant to be first half of a overarching plot, than Joss really blew. He waisted an entire season on a plot line that could've been squared away in half a season. That's of course, if one ignores the fact that most of the territory Season 5 covered was already touched upon back in the second season. For all it's problems, Season 4 was still the bravest of all the years of ANGEL. The groundwork it lain was either ignored or squandered in Season 5; which aspired to only the lowest common denominator. On a side note, having Sarah Thompson do the commentary track on "YOUR WELCOME" is just plain wrong. She's a weak actress who played a weak character, that served as an example for all the deficiencies of ANGEL 5: The Pseudo-Year. My only other question is whether anyone on the disc will address JW's obsessive desire to shoehorn Spike into everything he does. Whether it's dramatically proper or not.
Ok, this is off topic and has been discussed to death, but I want to throw in my 2cents in about Angel's curse.

In "Innocence," Jenny Calender's uncle (can't remember his name off the top of my head) says that "one moment of contentment" would break the curse. I figured that when Angel and Buffy had sex, that he had become content and had finally made peace with his past because he found someone that he loved that loved him back.
Sex isn't what breaks the curse, as has been said many times here and with interviews with the writers of both BtVS and AtS.

mel, I missed Charisma during S5 too, but keep in mind she had just had a child, Charisma even said that she didn't wan to return to a weekly drama too soon and that she'd like to work on sitcoms because the schedule is less hectic. They could have handled her absence better, but I think it worked in the end. It would have been nice for them to mention her more though.
I think Charisma Carpetner really blew it on the fourth season, whether you agree with what was done with her character or not, her performance was almost painful.

Let's look at the characters and their range.

Angel and Angelus, both of which he does a wonderful job as, he also does an adequate job at playing Liam.

Wesley and Rogue Wesley, from bumbling comic relief to the biggest bad-ass on TV. Both done beautifuly.

Fred and Ilyria, a complete role reversal, and with the acting chops to move from one to the other seamlessly.

Gunn and Lawyer Gunn, both of which J.August did capably.

Lorne and well Lorne, let's face it Andy Hallett was criminaly underused from the outset, given little to work with on an episode to episode basis, he did do drunk and depressed well when he needed to.

Now Cordelia.. and well Evil Cordelia. She was great being shallow, people didn't like the sainthood, and she was absolutely imo dreadful as Evil Cordy.

Heck even Conner pulled off his role, whter the writing was good or not, and then even bettered it when he played happy Conner in season 5.

I just never thought that Charisma had much range as an actress, and have yet to see it prooven, I kind of liked that she was dropped, she had a good role, but change was difficult. When Joss said she no longer had an arc, I almsot believe it, you can do a lott with a character, but not if the actress can't make it believable.
I enjoyed the fifth season, there are some classic Buffyverse episodes in there (Smile Time, A Hole In The World, Why We Fight... just joking).

Can't wait to see the cover art, although it will be weird without Cordelia on the box (I'm assuming they'll change it to Spike).

Speaking of Angel, does anybody else think it would have been a great venue for a Halloween episode, a la Buffy?

Speaking of Halloween, anyone else feel like they've gained fifteen pounds?

I assume that Spike will be on the cover also. I just hope they don't spoil Illyria's coming for those who haven't seen the season on the back of the box, like they tended to spoil things on previous box sets.
From the Season 1 episode where Doyle died to her guest spot on THE DIVISION, Charisma Carpenter has shown herself to be a capeable actress a number of times. While Season 4 was the bravest of all of ANGEL's series, it did have it's problems; one of which was the way EvilCordy was written. When the part was written right EvilCordy paid off in spades - consider the scene where she reconizes the ghost of Darla and then sacrifices the girl. Good stuff, unfortunately the writers many times decided to saddle Charisma with overly campy lines of dialogue. Look at Morgan Freeman in DREAMCATCHER to see what bad writing can do to a great actor. Still, when CC was so uncerimoniously dropped ANGEL lost a certain spark, same with BTVS when she moved over. So it's ironic that people continue to take her for granted.

JW's claim that her character had no arc left was one of the most idiotic things ever spoken. Let's see at the end of Season 4 Cordelia had been raped on a physical, mental and spiritual level. She had been used by the PTB's and her friends now worked for the enemy. Was she still part demon? What were her feelings? Had she truly been allowed to wake up, Cordelia would've been the stranger in the strange land. Yup nothing there. It's all the more glaring with the clumsy shoe-horning of Spike into season 5

I wasn't terribly impressed by Amy Ackners performance in the fifth season. Fred was little more than a plot device in most of the episodes, her death scene had all the subtlety of a 1950's personal hygiene film and I liked Illyria better when she was on STAR TREK. Plus, her outfit looked like something the producers of the Power Rangers would find too campy.

The reason Lorne didn't have much screen time, outside the inherant limitations of his character, is a simple question of money. The cost of putting the actor into make-up prohibited the number of days he could be used.

Of course Spike will be on the cover for the Season 5 box set. His purpose for being on A:TS was the same reason Jar Jar Binks was added to STAR WARS.

ANGEL should've had a St. Patrick's day episode.
misbegotten3, I must say I don't care for your attitude towards Joss. Are you sure you're a fan?

"JW's claim that her character had no arc left was one of the most idiotic things ever spoken."

Maybe you can find a less inflammatory way to express your displeasure. Most of us here don't consider Joss 'idiotic' at all.
IMO Vincent sold all of the Inside Out performance, campy dialog or not, Charisma just came off as bad, her look was good for the slowmotion dragging of the woman however. I still found her performance painful, she came off as an actress trying hard to seem evil, without any self-motivation. She never seemed to get into it. The scene at the opening of Orpheus, her quiet expositional delivery which is supposed to seem seductive, god even her with her special effects eyes using that orb to tempt Angelus. I did not like her performance at all.

Maybe it doesn't speak of her skills as an actress, but she still did a pretty bad job with her material.

And I disagree with pretty much everything else you said, so really what's the point of arguing. James Marster's arc as Spike was one of the most complex in the Whedonverse, comparisons to of all things Jar Jar Binks does nothing but undermine your own argument.

The money situation for Lorne does not change the fact that he was underused, all it does is give some explanation for it. He is still a criminaly underused character, who did in fact have oppurtunities for growth.
Well I'll never get the season 5 hate, it's the favorite of pretty much everyone I know personaly, and easily my fave year of Angel.

Season 3 is close behind.
Joss Whedon? Idiotic? GASP!!! I can't believe I saw those two words in the same sentence. Sure, I can see where you are coming from that he was wrong in saying that there was nothing left to do with Cordelia's character. There was plenty left. But Joss is certainly not idiotic for thinking that. He himself just couldn't see the possibilities certainly had he, Charisma would've been a regular and Cordelia's arcs would've continued. Connor would've just left as a regular as was always intended. James Marsters would've still more than likely come on board the show. No matter what, for WB he and the new setting were the only reasons to pick up Angel for a fifth season.
Thank you Willowy.

Having said that, misbegotten, I do agree that a spark was gone when CC was off the show, but disagree with everything after that. (Especially since I felt that Spike's presence and Fred's transformation to Illyria successfully filled that void for me, because of the strength of the performances and the storyline itself.)

I'm left wondering why you in fact continued watching the show after she left, as it does not seem that you enjoyed anything at all after that point. I am actually curious if you in fact did, with regularity. Certainly different people like different aspects, but I fail to see how Fred's death scene wasn't anything but heart-wrenching to anyone who watched the progression of her and Wesley's relationship and had seen everything that Wesley had sacrificed and lost up to that point, irrespective of whether the character of Fred was your favorite or not.

Frankly, it seems most of your criticism is directed at Joss, the writers, and the creative team, from JW's "idiocy (again, Thank you Willowy), to a perceived Star Trek rip-off, to the decision to bring on Spike. While I'm used to seeing criticism of specific storylines, or actor performances, etc., I suppose I'm surprised that while your opinion of the creative teams' choices seems so low, you chose to keep watching at all. I guess I'm just not seeing what it is you enjoyed.
Bringing it back around to S5, I thought Joss-not-an-idiot! did a great job picking up where Tim's brilliant S4 ep 'Home' left off, considering the massive budget cuts the WB forced on the show during renegotiation for the final season. I think it was 25% of a 2 million per ep budget. Anyone remember for sure? (I used to have that article...) Anyway, they were operating at a reduced budget, so Stephanie Romanov had to go (her asking rate to return, if I recall correctly, was too high). Enter Sarah Thompson, the much more affordable (and wildly unpopular, it must be said) alternative. Eve never could quite fill Lilah's Boracci pumps, but then who could've?

Cordy's absence from S5 was a whole 'nother story. I always figured CC's personal scenario went like something like this, based on my gut feelings and bits and pieces of things I picked up from reading between the lines of every article that came out in print during that time: She found out she was pregnant near the end of shooting on S3; she took a week or so off (during the filming of the so-called MIA eps, where Cordy and Groo scamper off to parts tropical and unknown) to get married. She possibly (I think likely) didn't let the creative team know she was pregnant until shooting started for S4; she wanted more time off, but her contract as female lead required her to work a certain amount. She agreed to stay on to fulfill her commitment (rehiring a replacement not a feasible option), and the creative team worked around her pregnancy, though they were forced to rewrite much of the season's arc-as-established (which I would imagine put them under some incredible strain, stressed the production schedule/budget, and possibly generated a little resentment, whether justified or not). She worked the arc as rewritten but was unhappy with it as it ventured into Connor/Cordy relationship territory; as a result, her performance reflected that dissatisfaction (she said at the time that because of being married and pregnant, she found acting intimately with VK distasteful). She stuck it out nonetheless, and at the end of the season opted not to (or was asked not to) return in the same capacity. (Which may also have related to the money issue.) She made the offer to return for a suitably compelling script; 'You're Welcome', as we all know, was the knock-out result.

Who knows for sure what happened? I admit this sequence of purported events/actions is purely my speculation (with no aspersions being intentionally cast on CC here, in case anyone's stoking up the flame-throwers), but I doubt anyone with inside knowledge is going to show up to elucidate my confusion/ignorance on the subject. The performances that took place during that time are a matter for public record and review, however, and while I adored Cordy in S1-S2, by the time Groo showed up in S3 and she went all white-lighty, I was ready for her character to take a hike.

The idea of Jasmine hitchhiking into this plane via Cordy was pretty genius -- minus the Beast's cluttery sub-plot -- but Cordevil's execution failed in my view, growing steadily more heavy-handed and painful to endure (and if that was due to direction, shame on them), with all the subtlety of a stock Saturday-matinee villainess. After having my full enjoyment of S4 tainted thus, I found S5 a relief from CC's labored efforts at playing evil. 'You're Welcome' was a joyful return to form, and convinced me that it was the way CC felt about the way the role was being written (and whatever else was going on behind the scenes that related to it) that had altered her commitment to the character. Season 5 had its bumps, but overall I think it managed a minor miracle in turning the semi-finale of 'Home' into a valid jumping-off point for what would have been an amazing final S6.

Which I am now really, really missing. I'll be buying S5 when it comes out and wishing/hoping that someday we learn where the story was going to go after that rainy alley blackout.
Actually Wiseblood, I think you right on the money concerning CC. I read somewhere that the writers indeed had to do major rewrites mid-third season. As for the fourth season, CC has said several times she didn't care for the plot line. And though I love CC's work as an actress, I don't feel she was up to par here. Whether she didn't like the writing, the writers didn't like her, or she couldn't quite act the role; the evil Cordy role just wasn't acted very well. As far as Joss letting her go, I seriously doubt it was personal in the least. Joss had to cut the budget to get a fifth season. I think he was being honest when he said he couldn't see where else to take her story arc. And he needed the funds elsewhere on the show. Now, before everyone starts screaming "What about James Marsters and all the other new actors added in season 5?", it isn't the same. CC was a series regular from the very beginning. Her pay would have been must higher than a new actor just starting their first season.

Yes, looking forward to season 5 DVD (and curses the WB there won't be a sixth).
Thannks so much for your plea for less inflammatory language, Willowy. Well done. Ditto Angela. I don't come to Whedonesque to read about how "idiotic" Joss Whedon is. Disagree with his creative choices, sure. Dislike or hate whole seasons, why not? But stooping to harsh inflammatory language isn't what this site is about, imo.

That said, I loved season five and can't wait to have it on DVD. Many of you have done so well explaining why season five had its own greatness that I have nothing much to add at this point. Except, again, can't wait.
Personally, I'm not terribly fond of people voicing their opinions in such an inflammatory way. I'll be keeping an eye on you misbegotten3.
Well - I loved season 5, even episodes that when I first saw them I was a bit dissappointed, when I rewatched them I found them sooo much better than I had thought. Yes the second half of the season was "better" than the first but the whole season is IMO great - and 5 is my favorite season of Angel (with season 3 close behind)

As stated earlier - I only wish Joss had also done commentary on "Not Fade Away" as well.

I am thrilled David has done commentary for "Soul Purpose"

The posting above concerning Joss and the "I" word. How anyone can say, or think that, is beyond me and as mentioned above - that kind of statement is inappropriate, not only here but anywhere.
Passion, I agree. But the Mods know the bear in the woods. They'll deal with it. Lets put that thing behind us and discuss this DVD set. Has anyone a clue with the cover art?
Madhatter, I enjoyed JM's performance in S5 far more than I enjoyed CC's performance in S4 so no screaming from me, but I doubt he was earning any less than she would have. JM wasn't 'an actor starting his first season' - he was/is one of the most popular actors in the Buffy/Whedonverse and, as far as I understand the play of events, signing him on was one of the reasons the WB continued Angel for a 5th season. Unlike Stephanie Romanov, JM could and did draw in the BtVS fans.
Simon, please delete this if it's inappropriate:
misbegotten3 didn't actually say JW was an idiot, s/he said that JW's statement was idiotic. Those are 2 different things.
(Obviously I've procrastinated enough this morning and should hit the pile of contracts I have to review!)
Here’s hoping the “Hey kids! It’s Smile Time” featurette is an hour long! It will be interesting to hear David’s commentary for “Soul Purpose” since he’s the only one of the actors to direct an episode. I anticipate the ones for “Destiny” and “A Hole in the World” the most, but the featurette of “Angel 100” will probably be more bitter than sweet. Everyone seemed so happy in the interviews and pictures from that time. Little did they know…
In a way it qould be quite amusing (and infuriating) if the "Angel 100" feature was made at the time of the party and during the episodes filming, full of comments like "Now we'll get started on the next 100" and "we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the support of the WB and Jordan Levin". All the while with the b*stard himself grinning and stroking a white cat.

Actually on second thought it'd just be infuriating, I'd probably break things.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2004-11-01 18:41 ]
WWBD, as a matter of fact, she was.
Whatever, WWBD. You still can't just come HERE and start Joss-bashing. Newbies, especially, should show more restraint.
Easy there people, lets remained focussed on the subject in hand i.e. this DVD release.
I'm very excited about DB's 'Soul Purpose' commentary. I still find myself amazed he was a first-time helmer for that episode (one of my S5 favorites, and near the top for the whole series) who'd only done a little second camera work in the previous season.

I mean, I know he studied film and all, but book learnin' is a far piece from actually getting out behind the plow, so to speak, and breaking creative ground. And to have both excellently acted and directed the same ep without either role suffering? He should be proud of that accomplishment. I'd love to see him do something else one of these days. Maybe the cop series will offer him an opportunity to direct (and could have been incentive to come back to TV)?

Really, I'll be happy to finally see all the S5 eps in crystal-clear clarity. I have crappy non-cable reception, and the weather was bad all winter. Some eps are so snowy or full of cell tower interference, I could hardly tell what was going on. Whole chunks of missing dialogue and indecipherable expressions! Just having the complete couch conversation between Spike and Angel in 'Just Rewards' (I think) will be a huge treat.
I don't think Joss is an idiot. I believe he happens to be a very talented writer, despite his tendacy to glorify MarySue like characters in most of his work. That said, his comment about Cordy's arc being over was 'not-smart', especially in the face of so much story left. The fact he brought Spike over made all the more obvious, as the character had been incinerated in the final episode of BTVS after going from bad*** villain to 'love interest'. There was no dramatic reason for Spike to be brought over. It was only a marketing ploy to attract BTVS fans who had never bothered with A:TS before then-nothing more, nothing less.

As for CC's performance in Season 4, I to have heard how she didn't care for a role-yet articles and commentary tracks for the forth season explicitly state she was never less than professional. As for heresay and conjecture, I've also heard rumours about people not Joss, but high up in the production staff who went out of their way to make her as uncomfortable as possible during the filming. That people were throwing fits because she wouldn't do something about the pregnancy.

It's understandeably why people like Season 5 so much. It was all safe and unoffensive. It never asked that much from the audience and didn't give much in return. It was cotton candy - all sweet to smell and taste. Once you got it into your mouth quickly melted away to sugar and spit. Maybe as a whole it was a little better than your average television program, but measured begore the higher standard set by ANGEL's previous four years? A:TS Season 5 came up short.

I continued to watch season 5 for two reasons: 1.) because of habit and 2.) because the Cub's blew it in the play offs.

In the end I'll still probably purchase Season 5, because I'm obsessive completist about things like that. Though I find the idea of Sarah Thompson doing a commentary track for the 100th episode offensive.
Doesn't anyone else find not having JM do a commentary interesting in the extreme?

He gave up BTVS7 version of Spike--he forsake the nobler version of heroic Spike for playing him as 'a jerk.' Most actors would balk at such a proposal. They would see it as going backwards. I know I couldn't do it. So he was totally onboard with the game plan for ATS5 and even if I didn't personaly enjoy it; I admire the respect and trust placed in his boss and his efforts toward teamwork.

I, like many, drew the conclusion that they brought the character in for ratings and to please the WB--but then I always suspected that they deliberately 'floated' him in ATS5 outside the first two eps and the fourth one I think--giving him no arc, no story (JM admits he had no story, he was hoping one would develop in ATS6)and I even understand it; perhaps it would be easier for us to adjust to a subordinate more nuetral Spike as we adjusted to his presence in the series. I can understand the logic of that. (Even if I disliked ME for dangling lure with no pay off) So he bites the humble bullet, and still throws down as best he can, and...uh...

...So is this ME admitting he had no real value in ATS5? Outside the lure of viewers that is. That his character was dunsel?
Are they saying Sarah's character was more pivotal than Spikes? And actually, that might be accurate from a storyline point of view. I always felt Spike was just being used as a bait and was being given no value, was deliberately given nothing to do in ATS5 (he was never a doppleganger as JM hoped) and that is what I have been saying for a long time now, only now, perhaps, ME has verfied it by omitting him from this set.

Because condsider the season that introduces such a character, pivotal or not and not to hear from that character? Even if he is's still strange.

This has to beg the next point...uh, how must James be feeling about now? Put yourself in JM's place in ANY work scenario. But especially 'the industry.' I have done theatre and film and I know the gratitude given to you through respect and tokens is often as important as pay. The small but heartfelt thank you note recieved from a director and an inviation to a discussion on the making of the project means almost more than the pay. It is the gesture of respect for work and the artistry of the performer. And it seems JM didn't even know they where taping the commentaries during the Q & A in Oakland I think it was. Yeah, that's right, he said something like...'he would love to do one...' and then someone else in the audience tells him the taping is over and he's like: '? ' Oh. 'Guess I'm not doing one.'

What I'm saying is put yourself in JM's shoes and...uh...if I was James...uh...I'd be feeling pretty bad right about now.

Put all politics and feelings and everything aside...and look at it objectively and subjectively from the context of own personal experiance in the working world...any way you look at it--it's...strange.

[ edited by BforBeth on 2004-11-01 23:20 ]
I genuinely believe Joss when he says he believes Cordy's story was finished, maybe they would have come up with one if she'd stuck around, but at the time he couldn't see one, and the WB were ordering them to cut the price of the show, "You're Welcome" was a great send-off for Cordy's character, and though I wouldn't have objected to her being there all season, I didn't really miss her as there was so much else going on.

Spike, well he's my favorite character so I was glad he was crossing over, but I really do think that had he not been crossing over there's a good chance he wouldn't have died in the series finale of Buffy. How Spike died came from Wolfram & Hart, his death was a plot device to get him there, and keep him there. They had to make Spike be stuck there (at least at first) because there's no way he would willingly stick around with Angel. And Spike added a lot to the show, him and Angel as brothers that didn't particularly like each other,but were forced to work together.

Misbegotten3 said It's understandeably why people like Season 5 so much. It was all safe and unoffensive. It never asked that much from the audience and didn't give much in return. It was cotton candy - all sweet to smell and taste. Once you got it into your mouth quickly melted away to sugar and spit. Maybe as a whole it was a little better than your average television program, but measured begore the higher standard set by ANGEL's previous four years? A:TS Season 5 came up short."
Hugely disagree with all of that (apart from it being better than your average TV program, though it was a lot better). It was just as good as previous seasons (better in my opinion) The first handful of episodes were forced to be stand-alone, The WB wanted new viewers, so the show was forced to make everything clear for a bit (still reckon the addition of a "previously" would have saved from having to go over why they were working there every episode). You're hardly praising the intelligence of other posters here at Whedonesque (if you stick around for a while you'll see that) by saying that the only reason people believe the 5th season to be the best, is that it's the easiest. And if it's only good as a whole (it is good as a whole) how is it that almost every episode had multiple people here calling it the best episode ever, each episode topping the last one, it was a great season.

But yes, Sarah Thompson should not be doing a commentary for the 100th episode, it should be Joss, David, Christian Kane, and Charisma. I'm sure the only reason James hasn't done a commentary is that he wasn't available, there were plenty of episodes that were Spike-centric enough for him to have done one (Just Rewards, Hellbound, Destiny, The Girl In Question). I hardly reckon James will be angry that he wasn't allowed to do one (I reckon they'd have loved to have him do one, Spike sells, you can bet he'll be on the box), it's obvious from comments he's made that he loved being Spike, and he liked having a lighter role in the 5th season after having a huge story for 3 years.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2004-11-01 23:08 ]
Re- Charisma 4th season. I don't think CC was *committed* to playing EvilCordelia. There was an apathy to her performances which to me suggests that backstage politics rather than acting ability had more to say for what happened to her character in s4.

Not sure whether the actress has *range* or not, but she has put in impressive turns on the show- the bed scene in TSILA is one of my personal hearbreakers- more heartbreaking then the ghastly 'WHY, WHY, WHY" deathbed scene of AHitW. Now that was painful- and all for the wrong reasons. I can't believe there are people out there who find that scene moving. Although I loved the character Fred, even I was like 'die already' went on forever and I was totally...unmoved. I hated myself for not crying. Not to mention the fact that I found Wesley's obession with Fred utterly disturbing. His fixation seemed almost paedophilic to me. I know that's controversial but it's just the general vibe that I got.
Angel S5 was actually the first one that I'd watched to any great lengths (I was going through Buffy withdrawals), but I was personally struck by the huge amount of screentime it looked like Spike sucked up - to this untrained eye, I felt like I was seeing a whole lot more of Spike than I was the characters who I presume had been around on the show for years prior. Not being a big Spike fan anyway, I was struck with the thought that if I were really into Angel, I'd be pretty ticked off that he came in and took the spotlight. But again, outsider viewpoint, not tinted rosily with Spikeness.

As to James not being on any commentaries, that does seem strange. He's never appeared anything but completely supportive of both Buffy and Angel, and Joss seems a big fan of James in return ... so perhaps it was just a question of getting the right group with James on the right episode. (*she says, entirely speculating*)
Not to mention the fact that I found Wesley's obession with Fred utterly disturbing. His fixation seemed almost paedophilic to me.

Eh? Do I have the right definition of pedophilic in my head? Or am I mixing up words? I didn't think Fred was that much younger than Wes...

There was no dramatic reason for Spike to be brought over. It was only a marketing ploy to attract BTVS fans who had never bothered with A:TS before then-nothing more, nothing less.

I wholeheartedly disagree. While I kind of concur with DB and JM that they didn't explore the dynamic enough (both have expressed disappointment that there wasn't more Angel/Spike, and more in the lines of what happened in "Damage"/"Destiny" in S5), Spike was a character who fit the AtS themes better than almost any other BtVS character, IMO, and due to his personal history with Angel, was the character best suited for bringing out and illuminating different aspects of Angel's character, some of which had not been explored before. We always knew that Angel deeply regretted his past and spent a great deal of time brooding about his guilt - Spike's presence as another vampire with a soul who handled things completely differently made it clearer what came from the soul and what came from Angel itself, which I thought allowed a much more interesting personal exploration of the character of Angel, as opposed to the mythological implications of a soul vs demon in the Jossverse. Despite the several "Spike-centric" episodes early in the season, I personally think that those episodes went a longer way towards exploring Angel's psyche (especially at a time when he himself was in the kind of broody, withdrawn, pessimistic state of mind that made Buffy so impenetrable at times in S7) and character than they actually cast illumination on Spike's character. Spike faces being pulled into hell in "Hellbound" but it's Angel whose POV regarding redemption and hell at this point is brought out here - he believes they're damned and he's doing good b/c "what else can we do?". Spike gets recorporalized and challenges Angel for the cup of Shanshu, getting his own back, in "Destiny", but at the end, we're left with Angel wondering at his own lack of drive - the fact that he actually lost and that Spike may have "wanted it more".

I could sort of see the argument being made that there's no dramatic reason for Willow or Xander or Giles to be brought over to AtS, much as I like the characters. But Spike? Spike is Angel's Faith. He's the shadow character, the doppelganger. He provides conflict and tension and a differing POV from a similar position. He's also the brother-in-arms, and unlike Faith, he's more of a literal brother/son with a history and past with Angel that no other character on either show (aside from Darla, who's dead, and Drusilla) has. I've honestly never understood the argument that no dramatic or character reason exists for Spike to be on AtS. I understand not liking him on the show, or not wanting him on the show, or not enjoying what they did with him. But to on one hand make the argument that Cordelia had miles of story in front of her, and on the other make the argument that there was nothing that could be done with Spike...I just don't get it.

As for what it "means" that JM has no commentary? I really doubt there's a relative worth comment being made here wrt to Sarah Thompson vs James Marsters. Do they also not value JAR? AH? IMO it has a lot more to do with the fact that the guest stars have a lot more time on their hands than the regulars do, especially if they're between projects on other shows/movies. It's very very cool that DB took the time to do a "Soul Purpose" commentary, and I'm looking forward to it. I love that AD and AA did a commentary as well. But I believe they record these commentaries during the season while they're filming the episodes. My guess is that JM was a bit more busy on set than ST or CK or AB (yay! Adam Baldwin!) were...I'd love to have had a commentary with JM. But I wouldn't read too heavily into the lack of one. JW always has good things to say about Spike, and about James. As does DB. And most of the other actors and guest stars and writers on the show. Besides, I doubt they decided to deliberately slight him or comment on the perceived "relative importance" of Spike on the show by leaving him off the commentary, even if there was some truth to any of these ideas.
Teenes- it always seemed to be like the older man lusting after the young skinny girl. Fred came across quasi-pubescent to me. The implications of "Billy" have a profound and long-lasting effect on my views of Wes/Fred's relationship.
I liked Spike in Buffy but JM played the character slightly 'off' in Angel. I just cou;dn't believe it was the same character. The accent was terrible- and while I like Destiny, for the large part Spike was just a tag along, made to fit the role of annoying but lovable younger brother to Angel.
Just weighing in briefly with my S5 DVD thoughts...
Re: Cordelia/Charisma – She was one of my all-time favorite characters in AtS. I adored her mix of sass/humor and growing maturity. But that just made her dismal character arc in Seasons 3/4 that much harder to take, and by the end of S.4, I was actually glad – despite being such a big cordy fan – that she wasn't coming back. I loved You're Welcome – one of my top 3 or 4 eps of the season – and thought it was a fitting comeback/story wrap for a character whose arc (unlike that of most characters) wasn't worthy of her up till then. The reasons I disliked it have already been cited by many – i found the glowworm cordy to be a shell of the interesting, funny character she used to be, and then Cordevil was even worse – poorly written, badly acted, and I just wanted all the neverending scenes with her and Connor, which all seemed alike, to end. I too have heard all the rumors of friction on the set, but without knowing all the facts feel like none of us can really comment, in either direction – as to whether Charisma was mistreated by the writers/producers or whether she was so erractic and unreliable that she deserved to be fired. Rumors just aren't enough to go on. Storywise, though, I agreed that her arc was pretty much done – i'm just glad they found a good way to give it some closure that was worthy of the character, and to give fans one more peek at the old Cordy.

In terms of the DVD set – very excited. The only thing that would make it better is a commentary on Smile Time. It's exciting to finally – just in time for the last Buffyverse DVD release – see so many actors doing commentaries! I'm particularly looking forward to A Hole in the World. As for James not being on one – i guess it's a bit odd, but only because so many other actors *are* doing them. But in none of the past DVD releases have actors played a major part, and who knows if he was around/available when they were doing them. Also, he really was never quite the major figure on AtS that he was on Buffy (not that Sarah Thompson was either). Anyhow just a rambling way to say I doubt it's something James took offense at. He gets so many accolades from fans as it is, and just inviting him to be on Angel was solid recognition of both his talent and his fan base.

As to S5 in general – count me among the fans. I was very lukewarm for the first third of the season. In fact, I didn't really like an episode until Lineage and Destiny. But then, it took off. There were still a few misfires (Why we Fight?), but also some amazing runs of episodes. Smile Time might be my favorite ever, and I adored Hole in the World, Shells, Origin, Damage, You're Welcome, and, of course, Not Fade Away. I admit – I missed the Hyperion, and it took me a while to adjust to the fang gang as corporate lawyers. But I also really enjoyed the big themes that arose out of that – particularly whether it's ever possible to effect change from within a corrupt system. And the finale was so true to the show's spirit and message. Amy Acker as Illyria was fabulous, and Wes's arc (poor guy) just continued to develop. I wish Spike had developed more of a purpose for being on the show, and some of the themes/plot arcs definitely felt rushed and unfinished near the end, but that was understandable given the short time they were suddenly given to wrap up the whole series.
Overall, I loved it. I'll definitely be getting the DVD, and the special features just make it even more appealing.
I agree with your reasoning, teenes. I especially liked the part about Spike being Angel's Faith. And I too disagree with those that feel that bringing Spike over was marketing and nothing else. (it didn't hoit, though, did it? ;)

Though I would have liked to have seen more Angel & Spike (with the Hoss & Little Joe vibe), I thought he was utilized quite well, although I didn't particularly like the dismissive way he was treated by Angel, Wes, and Gunn. Spike, like him or not, is a powerful vampire. He could have been given a bigger role in the mix, once he was re-corporealized. Kind of reminded me how they pretty much ignored Groo, even though he was this highly trained and skilled warrior. A lot of times, they could have used the extra muscle.
And I too disagree with those that feel that bringing Spike over was marketing and nothing else. (it didn't hoit, though, did it? ;)

Heh, there are those who probably would disagree about it not hurting, given their rampant hate for the character, but yeah it sure didn't seem to! And obviously, marketing did play a part, particularly in the WB's part of it and their marketing push centered around the character before the season started.

I do think that they did fail to capitalize on some of the possibilities of the character (though the dismissive treatment, IMO, was part of keeping Spike as the outsider voice for the first half of the season, and was in keeping with Wes and Gunn following Angel's lead on how to treat Spike), and I do agree that JM's performance of the character did seem a bit off some of the time (and that the accent had slipped quite a bit). But what actually happened with the character in S5 and the dramatic possibilities of bringing the character over to AtS are not quite the same thing. And I do think there was an effort, after the initial introduction and emphasis on the new character, not to let Spike overshadow Angel or AtS. Placing Spike in the younger brother role was interesting, IMO, b/c it gave Angel a different role to play. He was the hero/rescuer/protector so much in the past with Faith, with Darla, with Connor (to a certain extent, when he'd let him be)... with Spike you got someone who was equally powerful who Angel didn't particularly like but had some underlying affection for, who he didn't feel the need to protect or save or be kind to, yet who he couldn't dismiss out of hand or reject entirely either. It was a different kind of relationship than the ones he had had in the past on the show.

As for Cordelia - if the writers wanted to give her more story, I'm sure they could have come up with ideas. But if they didn't, forcing the story I think would have been a bad thing. So as long as the writers see her story arc as ended, it's just as well IMO that they didn't continue trying to fit her in. Unfortunate for Cordelia fans, though.

Forgot to comment on this:
It's understandeably why people like Season 5 so much. It was all safe and unoffensive. It never asked that much from the audience and didn't give much in return.

I pretty much disagree with this as well. While Season 5 didn't do a massive, epic, season-long arc like Season 4 did, IMO it was not safe and unoffensive. Especially towards the end - I still see people debating the morality and heroism of Angel's actions. While I personally see NFA as a hopeful episode, I see people arguing that it was about the loss of hope, about having to become less moral and getting darker in order to fight. We have the concept of an ongoing, underlying, inevitable move towards greater evil and darkness in the human spirit as the apocalypse - a much more insidious and harder to fight force than some massive battle. There's the whole idea of whether you can fight evil from within. The question of motivation and drive and "why we fight" which came up time and time again in the Angel/Spike centric episodes, especially in the early parts of the season. We had a fairly depressed and detached, directionless hero in the early parts of the season, and a driven, seemingly taking a different moral direction hero in the later parts. Angel taking questionable actions like killing Drogyn, taking Lindsey out, and letting some of the "smaller battles" slide in order to take on the bigger enemy - and for a possibly fruitless final stand? There were themes of coming full circle and accepting who you are rather than holding on to who you were throughout the end of the season, with Illyria, with Angel, with the way all the characters except Wesley went back to their roots and accepted where they came from in NFA. Spike embracing his inner William and earning acceptance - finally, after 120 years - that way. Gunn coming through his own trial of moral corruption and compromise and emerging even stronger in who he was and what he believed. Lorne, finding that you *can't* go back to where you started, that time and circumstance does change you. The way that Angel, after all this time striving to overcome what he was, utilized what he is - a vampire - to fight his battle against Hamilton. IMO, while weak on the plot arcs (intentionally), Season 5 was thematically rich. Hardly a season that asked little of the audience and gave little in return. On the other hand, I do think the season was written to be more accessible, so it could be enjoyed on a more superficial level as well as a deeper one. Instead of a season that asked little and gave little to the audience, IMO the season gave as much as an audience was willing to invest in it. Light entertainment if that's all you wanted to take from it, darker themes, character exploration, and depth if you wanted to dig deeper.

Yeah - I guess you could say I liked season 5 =).
Teenes - I'm right with you. Spike was a great mirror for Angel.

Wiseblood - I can't believe it! I thought I was the only one without cable watching Angel with crappy rabbit ear reception!! It's nice to know I am not alone! I can't wait for crisp and clean dvd copies of the episodes.

Season 5 as cotton candy? ... Whatever
Teenes--I like your comments, though how Spike is Angel's Faith (or his shadow, which is what Faith is) is quite different from the Buffy/Faith dynamic. Spike isn't the dark side of Angel, but he does in some ways represent the needs that Angel represses out of his drive to punish himself.

Whew, that sound Freudian enough? But really...loved the dialogue between Angel and Spike and the introspection it brought. Found the the W&H atmosphere depressing after the Hyperion, never really got into the corporate vibe of the season, but still have to admit that for the most part it was wonderfully written. And unlike many people here (hm) I was relieved to see the show *improve* after what I felt was a very disappointing fourth season.

Anyone who doesn't think Cordy had more of an arc should consider rewatching seasons 1-3...and then tell me if you think it makes sense to develop such a wonderful character, who is growing in so many ways, and then kill her off when she's barely 23 years old and her gifts have only started to pay off. "You're Welcome" was a wonderful episode, but I didn't get any sense of "closure" from it. I just missed Cordy even more.
then tell me if you think it makes sense to develop such a wonderful character, who is growing in so many ways, and then kill her off when she's barely 23 years old and her gifts have only started to pay off.
I couldn't agree more – except that for me, it wasn't killing her that destroyed her character, it was the arc from about mid-season 3 onward. Even before Cordy became evil, her character was going in a negative direction. The matronly, mother-of-all, glow-worm cordy was so much less interesting as a character – in my opinion, of course – than the earlier cordy. I'm not saying that Cordelia shouldn't change and grow, as all of them did. Of course she should. i liked many of the directions they took in terms of the visions and the growing maturity they gave her and the challenges they posed, and i'm sure they could have found many other ways for her character to develop and change, just as Wes and Fred did. But somewhere around mid-season 3 – perhaps when she began becoming Superwoman Cordy, and the "champion" who had to mate with Angel – i felt like they took a wrong turn. The character felt extremely one-dimensional, and was much less interesting. Add in the ravaging of the season 4 plot on Cordy (even aside from the bad acting), and I felt like the writers "killed" Cordy, as a worthwhile character, long before she was actually dead. So no, for me it's not that there couldn't have been other arcs, but that the arc they gave her took the character so far past the point of recognition that it would have been a struggle to get it back, and i'm not sure it was worth salvaging by that point. It's not so much that "You're Welcome" gave full *closure*, i suppose, but i was grateful that it gave one last glimpse of the old Cordelia, who i had missed since early season 3.
Also, I think this whole Mary-Sue idealised version of Cordelia has been a bit overplayed by some on here. Yes, the whole glowy powers thing was a bit much, but what did we expect in the aftermath of Connor's kidnapping???- for Cordelia to still remain the tactless, think before she speaks kinda bitch???? Cordelia became a much more wellrounded figure in s3- I think circumstances dictated that she had to be more caring, grounded and sympathetic- especially to Angel whom she had unbeknowingly loved at that point in time. Give the girl a break!

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