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December 10 2005

Buffy Post-Mortem: The David Fury Interview. David Fury talks Buffy, his role on Angel, the final season and the cancellation.

As someone named Damon, I must point out that the co-creator/EP on Lost is not DARREN Lindelof, but DAMON Lindelof.
I guarantee that, if we waited as we normally did, by the time May had come around they would have picked up Angel.

That line breaks my heart a little...
It's nice to see someone involved with the show talk about the cancellation like this. Great interview!

Did anyone else note that the interviewer seemed to be pushing a lot of negative Season 5 views... I was under the impression that it was well-liked by most of the fans.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-12-10 02:29 ]
Yes, rabid. I was puzzled by them trying to paint a negative light on Smile Time, a episode universally loved by the fan base - even on TWOP.

Its a good interview though. Confirmed some things I had heard during that year (13 episode order, Sarah/Joss).
I just love Fury's description of Season Six set in a post-apocalyptic L.A. wasteland . . . *shivers*

That was a pleasingly in-depth interview, although the typos and whatnot were a tad distracting. Good to hear from DF himself.
Cool. Been waiting for this interview for months.
The Sarah/Joss conflict is a bummer, but the interview on the whole was great.
I just love Fury's description of Season Six set in a post-apocalyptic L.A. wasteland . . . *shivers*


As opposed to the *pre*-apocalyptic wasteland that it is now... :~P

No no, LA's great. For real. Wouldn't live anywhere else.
Even though I've never been to L.A., I like that description. Road Warrior Angel would have been an interesting direction and since Joss is going to write a BUFFY comic that's canon, maybe he'll do the same for ANGEL and that will be the setting.

Hopefully we'll get that Spike movie and they'll at least have to tell us how Spike survived.

This is probably the most revealing and interesting interview I've read with someone involved in the Buffyverse. We got some great insight in this one. I am sorry to hear about the rift between Sarah and Joss, but it's a testimony to both of them that they could work through it and keep creating consistently great episodes.
awesome interview!
I got a question though, not sure if I'm saying this right but if "not fade away" was unchanged for the finale, would they still had killed off Gunn and Wesley?
Great interview. Some interesting thoughts on a lot of topics. Man, Joss was trying to do something good for the people working for him with trying to get an early renewal and it sure backfired. The moral is clear: don't be nice to people or be worried about their well-being. I'm gonna live by it;-)

(Nah, just kidding. I think...)

And the Sarah/Joss thing sadly seems to coincide with Freddie Prinze Jr's claims that Sarah really quit the show because she 'wasn't thanked enough'. I'm with Fury here though: Buffy made them both great, let's face it. It was a great partnership and I think on a creative level they both respect each other (they certainly always say so) but it's still sad to hear.

I'm always split on the whole post-apocalyse idea of Season 6 though. I just always liked the idea that this took place in 'our' world and this would take that out of it. I also wonder what it would've meant for the other characters in the buffyverse. What happened to Buffy and the others? How far in the future would it have been? Would it have been just LA that was a wasteland? Or the entire world? Never quite sure what they mean by all of it.

Well, moot point now anyway.....

I got a question though, not sure if I'm saying this right but if "not fade away" was unchanged for the finale, would they still had killed off Gunn and Wesley?

Not sure about Gunn, but Joss definitely had plans for Wesley in S6. Illyria would've turned into Fred more and more I think and the emotional stuff that came with that would've been a big arc for Mr Wyndam-Pryce. Something like that.
It was just an unfortunate thing that they made the decision so soon. I guarantee that, if we waited as we normally did, by the time May had come around they would have picked up Angel. I can guarantee that.


Ouch! That stings. But you know, I don't necessarily disagree with that statement. Not that I blame Joss or anything, it's just the cut throat nature of the business that is network TV.

But oh, what could have been? Sigh.
Was on my way out the door when posting my initial comment. LOVED the interview :) One of the best I've read in a long time.
That was one of the best BtVS interviews I've read all year, with the exception of the Joss interview that went on forever and talked about everything (I believe it was linked here orginally, great interview if you can still find it). I enjoyed how Fury pushed back with his defense of S5 every time the interviewer brought up the negativity. This one opened my eyes to many things in the 'verse that had me wondering for the last few years.
Interesting that Joss wasnt all that involved in Angel apparently
Wow, that was a great interview. I had never heard about this post-apocalyptic season 6 of Angel before and it certainly sounds cool. As others have mentioned I wonder if they will keep any of this for the Spike movie or any other possible Buffy-verse movies?

I was also quite surprised that the pilot for the Buffy animated series is being shopped around again. I had to check the date for the interview over again as I thought animated Buffy had long been dead in the water.
Yes, totally feeling that negative vibes about season 5 from the interviewer. Weird. Sad to hear about Joss and Sarah's issues, but it just goes to show you how incredibly professional and talented they are. I never heard about any of this until after Angel was over. Very sad story about the cancellation. Joss was just trying to look out for his peeps. What a major back fire! Makes me think lots of "if only...." Wonderful interview with DF! Very in depth! Thanks for posting, Jackal!
Always understand that when a member of the staff (even me) gives their perspective of events, that's all it is. Their perspective.
Understood, Boss. How's your screenplay coming along?
Great stuff from Fury here. He is always willing to till it like it is and not give you the company line on things which always makes for good reading.

The article's negativity about S5 is annoying. I mean who has problems with Smile Time. It may be the best loved Angel ever. I've found that interviewers from these smaller sites sometimes let their personal issuses seep into the interview which can get kinda weird.

Hey, I just saw that Joss posted above me. Cool.

[ edited by Unitas on 2005-12-10 10:34 ]
Always understand that when a member of the staff (even me) gives their perspective of events, that's all it is. Their perspective.


Yes, and when we bitch and moan over might-have-beens, it's partly because we like the bitching and moaning and might-have-beens. Your fans like drama, for some reason. Weird.

I'm going to see Serenity for the second time tomorrow night at an AAFES theater! I'm serene.
Awesome interview. I really wish Angel would have continued because Season 5 was just excellent.

Hey Joss? What is your take on the you and Sarah thing? We love her but she never even gave us a commentary on the DVDs. Just wondering is all.

Seriously good interview.......and Oz needs to return.
Joss said:

Always understand that when a member of the staff (even me) gives their perspective of events, that's all it is. Their perspective.


Yes, Joss, I was thinking that after I posted the comment. None of us can know what went down behind the scenes, so it's unfair to rush to judgement. I should know better.

Good to hear (read) from you, Joss. If you're still reading, please (somehow) find a way to finish the stories you still want to tell concerning the Buffy/Angelverse, whatever they are. I know they've probably changed a bit (or a lot) since you finished the Angel series. I just weep for the stories you wanted to tell for those characters. (Wesley!Fred!Illyria!)

I was thinking about the final season of Angel the other day, about Wesley's entire arc and how powerful it was, and how meaningful it was and still is to me, and I realized that my favorite Wesley story is the Wesley/Fred/Illyria arc, and that my love for it surpasses Wesley's season 3 story. I discovered that season 5 is my favorite season after all, full of tragedy and loss, for both Wesley and the fans themselves. Is it possible to bring back Wesley? Oh, but that's such a tricky concept. I still want him to have a happy ending.

ETA: I just came back from seeing Serenity for the 10th time tonight with the PDX Browncoats and noticed something I'd never seen before. And now I feel stupid that I had no idea who Che Guevara was, but that's ok. Just more learnin' I need to do. Wow, that movie is pretty darn inspiring. The crowd loved it too. Lots of flans in P-Town, for sure.

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2005-12-10 11:59 ]
Hey Joss do you know if the UK and Aussie Serenity features will be later put on a U.S. Special Edition DVD?

And what is more likely to be filmed first, Wondy or Goners? Most assume Wonder will come out first but I read that the Goners script is already done and it would be neat to see more original stuff from you before the rest of america (aka the unitiated peons we feel sorry for) learns how to spell your name right :)

[ edited by eddy on 2005-12-10 11:04 ]
Wow, can you imagine if they had stuck with just 13 episodes. We never even would've met Illyria. I'm so grateful for that.

The thought that there could've been a sixth season if they had simply waited for the pickup is killing me right now, though. ;_; But you can never know those things beforehand.
Can we stick to the post topic, please, instead of bombarding Joss with questions.
Will do. Still curious why David left 'Lost'. Think I know why, but wanted to ask. Also wondering if David is still talking to Drew Goddard?
Great interview. Probably one of the most insightful I've ever read with a Buffy/Angel crew member. David Fury is an excellent writer, and I was glad to hear his take on how everything went down in the end, and of how Angel would've been had it continued.

Oh, how I long for the post-apocalyptic S6...

And, I've just gotta say...

Hi, Joss!!!
I'd just like to point that the interview was conducted in September 2004 and not 2005, so the Lost references etc will be a bit out of date.
That was one of the best BtVS interviews I've read all year, with the exception of the Joss interview that went on forever and talked about everything (I believe it was linked here orginally, great interview if you can still find it)


Could you be a little more specific on the date of this interview, RobG? 'Cos I don't remember it, and if I start to scan all Joss' interviews linked here, I'm going to drown! ;)
Sorry Caroline. and 2004, hm I was wondering why there were no references to 24 in there. That makes his comments about Lost Season 2 very funny.
What I found most interesting about the interview is that itís surprisingly forthright. Itís possibly less true of tv writers than of, say, actors or sports-people, but most of the interviews you read are intentionally fairly bland. And, in a case like this, itís a tough line - what one person sees as giving an honest answer to a question might seem to someone else to be airing dirty linen in public. For example: if I recall correctly, Joss has repeatedly refuted the notion that he was less than fully committed to ĎAngelí, and so for Fury to state that he wasnít all that involved is...interesting. I could certainly sympathise with Joss if he felt that there was stuff here which he feels a little awkward about - although, typically, his comment to this thread is totally classy and diplomatic.

Oh, and, Le Comite (I can't do your second 'e' right - apologies) I think the interview RobG is referring to is this one.

[ edited by Caroline on 2005-12-10 17:08 ]
Fantastic interview! Really great read!

And thank you to The Man Himself, Joss Whedon, for posting and backing me up on something i've said a number of times both here and at other forums. No matter who gives an opinion on any situation, that is only their personal perspective on that situation and should be taken as such, rather than cold, hard fact. I've said for a very long time, as long as i've been aware of online fandom as a matter of fact, that people are too quick to judge based on insufficient information and half truths.

Having said that, reading David's "perspectives" is always entertaining and i certainly don't doubt for a minute that what he says is what he believes to be the case. It's just that nobody, outside of those directly involved, can know everything about everything that goes on, be that regarding whatever went down between Joss and Sarah or whatever led to the cancellation of Angel.

Besides, this is the television industry. There is no such thing as a "single truth", just a whole heap of opinions. :)

Again though, great interview and, regardless of perspective, it will always be a great shame that we didn't see a sixth and seventh season of a truly amazing television series.
Simon, I thought that was an old interview somehow. Has it only just made it's way online?
Yes its only just made its way online.
I don't doubt for a second Joss's comitment to Ats. The fact that he wasn't there 24/7 is hardly suprising considering what else he had on his plate. The CEO of GM doesn't wander the production line every day telling everyone how to do their jobs, the man at the top hires good people, plots a course and let's them do their job while getting involved when needed.
Great interview. One: somehow it bemuses me to see DF stating one of his fave characters to write is Spike considering the furor some of his comments re: the character had unleashed amongst the fans. But it's all cool now.

2: I love ATS season 5. It's my favorite season of the show, for one simple reason: Illyria. I hate to say it, but I can't ever care about a show unless I have at least one character I love unreservedly. Pre-Illyria, I felt varying shades of affection or boredom for all the characters, and something special for Dark!Wes, but I fell hardcore in love with Illyria. She's one of the examples of what BtVS did best: intro a char and make me fall for them. Spike, Oz, Faith and Tara are all prime examples of this. I get agitated and bitter at the lack of Illyria in my future.

also, "Smile Time" is genius! (because it is Joss + Ben Edlund, which is like genius-plus!)

[ edited by dottikin on 2005-12-10 16:42 ]
Great interview. While obviously David Fury can only provide his own take on things, he seems to have given us a nice insight from what I can tell. And with regards to Sarah/Joss; his comments seem pretty fair to me (although obviously only the two people involved can really know the truth). It seems that they've rubbed each other the wrong way on occasion, but I don't doubt for a second that there's a more than healthy dose of respect there too. Pretty great going after such a long working relationship really.
I'd just like to point that the interview was conducted in September 2004 and not 2005, so the Lost references etc will be a bit out of date.
That makes more sense with the references to the Buffy animated series, as Joss had mentioned some time this past fall in one of the many Serenity interviews that the animated series was pretty much dead right now.

Season 5 is pretty much my favorite season of Angel hands down. But the thing with Buffy and Angel fans is how different everyone's opinion is and some people's favorite season is someone else's least favorite. To each their own.
Excellent interview, one of the best I've read in long time. The part about Angel's cancellation is the biggest shocker to me - even though it may not be the whole story. Still, it makes me wonder.
Cool interview. Maybe Fury crossed the line (a bit) in revealing things he shouldn't - but he didn't say anything fans didn't know or suspect before.

It's frustrating to realise that we could still watch AtS now unless... - but, hopefully The Spike movie will eventually pan out.

Little nitpicking: Fury's wife' name is Elin, not Ellen. And the person who canceled AtS is Jordan Levin, not Jordan Levitt.
Could you be a little more specific on the date of this interview, RobG? 'Cos I don't remember it, and if I start to scan all Joss' interviews linked here, I'm going to drown!


I believe it's this interview that ran in the Sunday Oregonian on Sept. 25th, written by M.E. Russell.
Hey, dottikin, email me. I have some questions about your Illyria love. :)
David Fury interviews are always fantastic to read, because he's an angry ex-X-Files writer - so he tends to end up saying too much.

That said, his honesty I find refreshing - for example, not wanting to write for Buffy Animated because the pay would suck - well, yeah. I get that.

I hope Joss realises this is an old interview, so the comments reflect the age slightly.

I don't think anybody should be shocked over the cancelation of Angel - we all know when Jordan left The WB, the landscape with regards to Angel had changed. I still think Joss did the right thing - the cast and the crew deserved to know if they needed to go job hunting early on.
Top notch intervumagation. Thanks for posting it, Jackal.
Ah, post-apocalyptic Season 6. If I could only switch to the parallel universe where we got that season. I heard it is somewhere to the left of the "World of Shrimp."
I have trouble accepting DF's theory of why Angel got cancelled. So the network heads were peeved that they were being asked for an early pick-up? Well, they're the folks in charge, they've got nothing to prove, they would've just said "We'll get back to you." It doesn't seem very viable that they'd let their concern for the bottom line - ratings and advertising - get overshadowed by something so petty and personal. I'm thinking they thought Angel wouldn't make them money, or they wanted to refashion the network somehow, or SOMETHING to do with the bottom line.
Ouch! That's what I get for not checking out the date. Good catch, Simon.

Nevertheless, still an excellent interview with Uncle Fury. Thanks for catching this post, Jackal.
Um, pardon me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the date on the interview read ďThis interview was conducted in September, 2005;Ē as in just a few months ago? Why all the talk about it coming from last year?
David Fury interviews are always fantastic to read, because he's an angry ex-X-Files writer - so he tends to end up saying too much.

I think you've confused Fury with Tim. David didn't write for X-Files. He's just angry in general.
Agree, Ronald_SF. The network seemed quite determined to cancel Angel. For reasons I don't expect to ever know.
Love the interview! I'm glad that he enjoyed writing for Spike. Wish I could see him or any of the other writers write for Spike again, you know, in say a Spike movie! Who at 20th Century do I need to beg for that to happen anyway?

It seems, though, if his theory about the WB were correct, then in May they could have just changed their minds and offered Joss & Co the opportunity to do a season six. Or, perhaps changing one's mind something network executives are incapable of doing.
i like interviews and all but i never just accept what is said as fact. interviews are interesting and, when they are concerning BtVS, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity, i hope that they are informative. no matter who it is though, i never just read what they say and go "oh, so thats all the facts then". people always say some things and leave other things out, not always to intentionally mislead others, but thats just how people are. i do it to, when i am telling a story or whatever, i leave some things out to get my point across and add things here and there to fill out the rest, just to make it a little better and cohesive. though, to be honest, i kind of read Joss interviews and statements and accept those as facts, i cant help it.
so you know what you have to do Joss? just one time, lie completely in an interview or something. tell them that you like to keep beagles heads in jars (lots of good things come in jars) or something. something to that effect, just so that i dont accept absolutely everything as fact. actually, you already kind of make those weird statements, so i guess there is nothing you can do to make me not believe you. oh well, i know that must suck for you. :)
Oh, Allyson. I am, in fact, deeply retarded.

For some reason I was convinced Fury wrote for The X-Files (but you are right, he did not). I've no idea why.

Stark - they got the date on the page wrong.

Ronald_SF - Fury's story about Angel's cancelation makes perfect sense (and I believe it is also true). At the time, The WB had two big pilots in development in a similar area (which were later filmed, and rejected). At the time, Levin said 'no' to more Angel (likely wanting to redirect the investment to other projects in development). Then, by the end of the season he'd left, the pilots went nowhere, and The WB would likely had picked Angel back up had they been able to.
Dhoffryn, please capitalise your sentences where appropriate, it will make your posts easier to read.
gossi, you may be deeply retarted, but we love you anyway. Please speak your mind.
Madhatter - are you my dad?!
I pretty much agree with EdDantes on almost every point.

It's sad to hear of the rift between Joss and SMG, but it happens, and at least they seem to respect each other professionally, and they certainly had a great partnership. I think that both of them should be grateful to each other, because both contributed so heavily to Buffy, and it was a really interdependant thing that worked so well. I hope in time they will appreciate each other more. Perhaps they just didn't realise how the other felt slighted.

But of course, as Joss has pointed out, anything we ever read is in someone else's perspective, and even as I write this I realise how little the audience ever finds out about what actually goes on "behind the scenes" but that's just my uninformed opinion from the POVs I have heard. I think the best solution would be for Sarah and Joss to have an epic battle set in the Buffyverse, and see who emerges the victor. ;) Honestly I love both of them so much for their amazing work so I don't care about anything in the past as long as both of them are happy and successful.

I'm also unsure about the potential Angel season six ideas, certainly I would have loved another season even if it was all set underwater, but it does sound kind of strange, and more removed from our world. I definitely could see the gang on the run and Joss upsetting the status quo a bit, but not that much. Wasn't much of season four an apocalyptic wasteland anyway?

I do think it would have been fantastic to see Fred manifest in Illyria and be able to keep this fascinating new character whilst seeing more of such a beloved character, and I think they probably wouldn't have killed Wesley off at that point, as they had planned more genuine Wesley/Fred interaction.

I always had the impression that Joss wasn't as involved in Angel as Buffy. He definitely have ultimate control over all his shows and guided things along the way, I think generally the Angel writers were more left to their own devices and certainly Joss has written only a small number of Angel episodes in comparison to Buffy. But that isn't neccessarily a bad thing, it just made the two shows different, and I don't think Angel suffered from that, really, it was just a different show.

Eesh, and I didn't realise until just now how this article is a year old, I guess some of the stuff might be a little out of date. But it was certainly entertaining.
Though production had wrapped and it may have been difficult why when The WB decided they weren't going to air Lost In Space and Dark Shadows didn't they offer to pick up Angel, or at least a spinoff, from the sounds of it it was going to be all new sets again, so them having been destroyed wouldn't really be a problem.

Maybe I just like to see someone pure evil in all of this, might I'm still convinced Jordan Levin just wanted to cancel Angel, and wouldn't have anyone talk him out of it. And Joss coming to him was just what he needed, "that guy thinks he can ask me for a little insurance, for the sake of the show and for his crew... how dare he!"

Interesting interview, still gets me angry and upset to read about season 6.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2005-12-11 02:04 ]
I'm guessing here, but if Joss had been told the show was going to be cancelled and then he told the writers/actors/crewmembers, then I'd imagine that by May, many of them would have gone out and found other jobs. So even if the WB had turned around and said they wanted another season, I'm not sure how easily that could have been done.
I pretty much agree with EdDantes on almost every point.

Always a sure sign of deeply-rooted wisdom;-) (*Ducks before wife whacks him on the head*)

I always had the impression that Joss wasn't as involved in Angel as Buffy. He definitely have ultimate control over all his shows and guided things along the way, I think generally the Angel writers were more left to their own devices and certainly Joss has written only a small number of Angel episodes in comparison to Buffy

Yeah and when Firefly came around, he was really spreading himself thin. Makes you wonder how it would've gone with Angel S6 since Joss would be off making Serenity for most of the year. Or was that a year later already? I'm so confused on time lately.

Also why does it take a year for an interview to come online anyway? Was it printed in a magazine first?

And hey at least the WB has admitted that cancelling Angel was a huge mistake. (no surprise as most of their new shows either never got off the ground or got about half of Angel's ratings. Morons) About as cold as comfort gets, but still...
It's refreshing when an interviewee is as frank as Mr. Fury was here (and don't call him Frank). His comments on the role money plays in his career choices (e.g., comics vs television) were particularly interesting as I think we fans sometimes hold our heroes as being above such mundane considerations.

I always enjoy the behind-the-scenes stories, be they fact or perspective, especially those that have a direct bearing on the stories we are ultimately told.


I think the best solution would be for Sarah and Joss to have an epic battle set in the Buffyverse, and see who emerges the victor. ;)

Am I the only one to flash back to Harmony and Xander fighting in slow motion?

No offense meant to either combatant, of course ;)

[ edited by Ubqtous on 2005-12-11 03:15 ]
I'm guessing here, but if Joss had been told the show was going to be cancelled and then he told the writers/actors/crewmembers, then I'd imagine that by May, many of them would have gone out and found other jobs.

Possibly, but the reality was that in May many of them were still available and up until then Joss was encouraging fans to "keep making noise" to bring the show back.
Great interview, very, very interesting.

I love all that stuff about Angel S6.
And what about that alternative Buffy ending and Fray?
It could be very cool.
Hey, look at that. I managed to swing a membership so that I can finally comment on all this stuff (thanks, Caroline!).

First off, thanks to everyone who read the interview (all the interviews, for that matter). I appreciate all of your thoughts, even those that are pointing out my proofreading errors (which, I believe, have all been corrected). ;)

Secondly, to address some of your points. The fact that the interview is a year old boils down to one thing and one thing only - I suck at time management. That and the fact that life has gotten in the way more often than not. Some of the interviews were posted in a timely manner, and some just weren't. In most cases, I tried to remove any really time-sensitive stuff so that they sort of stand on their own, but in some cases I left certain things in because I thought they were interesting from a trivia perspective. I love reading old interviews because they put you in a certain time and space and hindsight is 20/20. It makes for fun reading, sometimes.

As for the negativity, out of the many people I know and those that I've interacted with during and since Angel's run, a good number of them have expressed a twinge of disappointment with the fifth season's direction and felt suspect of episodes like Smile Time and Hellbound and Why We Fight and Life of the Party. Some of them believed the gimmicky nature of these stories (Angel on a sub in 1942 and Spike just happens to be there, too) to be a ratings grab. Some thought it was just creative burnout. Personally, I really liked Season 5 and Smile Time has always been my fave episode of that year. Unlike Buffy, Angel didn't just challenge the characters, but the whole structure of the show, time and again.

So, that's essentially where that comes from. Also, you often get a more interesting dialogue going when addressing the criticisms instead of making it a big lovefest and David didn't shy away from any subject so it just kind of went that way.

At one point, I actually had Joss lined up for the Post Mortem and I was going to ask him all of these questions. He had to back out because there weren't enough hours in the day at the time, but I ended up asking those questions to Jane Espenson and David because they were the only other people involved with the interviews who had ringside seats to all of this.

Anyway, thanks again for reading. All of you here at Whedonesque are the reason I keep trying to post these interviews. I'm looking forward to chatting with y'all!

[ edited by mike jozic on 2005-12-11 06:43 ]
And thanks again for posting, mike!

Without stirring up that old hornet's nest, I will politely disagree with your statement beginning "Unlike Buffy . . . ". While there wasn't a direct analog to the season-long arc of AtS Season 4, I think Joss and the other writers did constantly come at BtVS in new ways to challenge the viewers' understanding of the show.
s for the negativity, out of the many people I know and those that I've interacted with during and since Angel's run, a good number of them have expressed a twinge of disappointment with the fifth season's direction

I'm surprised to hear that since my experience is pretty much the other way around. From everything I've seen and heard and read, AtS S5 seems the most loved. Frankly the only people I've come across that truly disliked it as a season were the ones who had a strong personal dislike for Spike and hated that he joined the show. But I take it that's not what you're talking about.

felt suspect of episodes like Smile Time and Hellbound and Why We Fight and Life of the Party. Some of them believed the gimmicky nature of these stories (Angel on a sub in 1942 and Spike just happens to be there, too) to be a ratings grab. Some thought it was just creative burnout.

That though surprises me even more. Now I don't see Smile Time as a 'jump the shark' episode myself but I can understand that to some people it may look that way. But really they did crazy concepts like that pretty much since Buffy S1. I can see Life of the Party having a bit of "Something Blue" in it, but there have been many episodes where the characters come under magic spells and act different, lose their memories, etc. (Halloween, Something Blue, Spin the Bottle, etc.) I'd say it was almost traditional by then.

But those others you mention (and yes I know you said it's not your opinion) are probably the strangest examples of suspect episodes in terms of ratings desperation or creative burn out. I agree that Spike and Angel meeting on that Sub was, as coincidences go, a little out there, but at the most I can consider that a weak element. It hardly translates into the whole episode being 'a desperate ratings' sign. How does a dubious coincidence in a script suddenly rate a 'suspect' stamp? I don't think it's one of the stronger eps of the season but there were those in every season of Buffy or Angel.

As for Hellbound, one may like it or not but how is that in any way an episode that shows creative burnout or a grab for attention?? Really baffling.

So, that's essentially where that comes from. Also, you often get a more interesting dialogue going when addressing the criticisms instead of making it a big lovefest and David didn't shy away from any subject so it just kind of went that way.

That is certainly understandable. Too much of a suck-up feel doesn't make for good interviews. But sometimes trying to provoke more interesting answers by going the other way can stimulate too much of a defensiveness that also doesn't help. Fortunately this interview on the whole wasn't like that but it got near it a little here and there.

Having said that, let me also add it was a good interview overall and I really enjoyed reading David's thoughts on those matters.
I found that his favorite episodes were largely among my least favorite in season 5. I thought "Hellbound" was weak (and the Nina/Angel angle never took off for me, at all).

But for all the weaknesses in the season (and it has them) what redeems it is the passion that so clearly went into its second half, with beautiful writing and what amounts to a cry from the heart about the nature of existence in our world. Each character had a moment to shine, and they all went down fighting.
I thought that season five was generally one of the most loved seasons of Angel. Personally I did think it was very impressive on the whole, and although there were a few episodes throughout which I did not care for, such as Life of the Party, Why We Fight or The Girl In Question, I still thought the season as a whole was really strong and although I loved season four, I thought the new direction and style of the show was really fresh and interesting.
I personally love season 5 more than any other, and I like both the first and second halves of the season. But I have heard quite a few people complain about the first half of season 5 because of the somewhat silly standalone episodes.
I must admit that i wasn't a massive fan of the standalone nature of the first third or so of the episodes of season 5. It just wasn't the style i expected from a Whedonverse show. Individually, there were some episodes that i adored (Conviction, Hellbound and Lineage being great examples) but the flow of the season didn't kick in for me until Destiny aired and the season arc truly began.

The thing i love most about Whedon shows is that they don't dumb down for the audience. You are expected to have watched the previous episodes of the series and if you haven't then that is your own fault. Beyond the "previously on" section of each episode no attempt was normally made to explain why someone or something that way that it was.

Unfortunately, this changed a little in the early episodes of season 5 of Angel. How many times did we hear the forced "exposition" dialogue kick in? Every week one of the gang would give the "why did we come to Wolfram & Hart again?" speech so that somebody else could explain it to the audience. Every week Gunn would come out with some random legal fact during a conversation just so that it could be mentioned yet again about his "brain upgrade" for the sake of new viewers. In seasons past that would never have happened, you would just be expected to know why things were the way they were.

Of course, we always knew that all of this was an attempt to please the WB and make the show easier on the casual viewer but that doesn't change the fact that it wasn't what we expected from Angel. That is why i think the early part of season 5 is focused on as being relatively poor.
Is anyone else happy that S7 of Buffy didn't end with her jumping through a portal and being sealed off??? I know, I am!! Also thanks mike jozic for posting and clarifying things for us.

That was a great interview, I enjoyed it. I'm also glad that the 100th episode of Angel featured Charisma, it's one of my favourites from the season, and it was really cool to have the old Cordelia back, sans demon baby.

p.s Nice to see your still lurking Joss. ; )
The majority of online fandom I interact with about Angel is on Television Without Pity. There, thoughts on season five probably run pretty dang close to 50/50, with some loving it and some hating a lot of it (the Wolfram & Hart setting, the stand alone episodes in the first half of the season and Spike's inclusion among the varied reasons). Now among my friends, everyone loves season five. That being said, I do know it has its detractors, but still, the writer looking at it from only the negative standpoint was odd, since I'd say that ultimately the majority of fans (and certainly critics) felt it was great. Personally, I think season five was terrific and I have a hard time choosing between that season and season four as my favorite and it makes me sad to see a lot of people declaring they love one of those seasons and hate the other, since to me, they both kick ass in different ways. BTW: I felt Why We Fight was a pretty crap episode, and my least favorite of the season. I had no issues with the "gimmick" of it, or the WWII setting and Spike being there (for the most part I LOVE the flashback episodes), I just thought it was pretty boring and poorly done. But Smile Time is freaking amazing; One of the best episodes ever and I don't know a single person who doesn't love it! The concept was pretty out there, but so was doing a musical Buffy and both these shows proved they could make some really crazy stuff work. You're Welcome is exceptional and Not Fade Away is The Best Series Finale Ever IMHO. And I think from Destiny on, taking into account a couple of lackluster episodes here and there, the show was just kick ass that season.

I do think Fury is (sadly) correct about the fact that the show would have been renewed ultimately, if Joss hadn't asked for a final decision early in the season and they had made their decision in Late May per usual. But that's one of those sucky situations you can never predict beforehand.
I've heard the negativity comment enough that I decided to go and reread the whole thing over again to see if I did, in fact, make a downer of an interview. After looking at it again, I'm of a mind to say that I didn't.

I mean, sure, we were discussing a show that was cancelled before its time under less than ideal circumstances but we were also celebrating it and the people who worked on it.

I would encourage you to read it again and note the positive side of it, like David's comments regarding working with Joss (missing the whole gang and not having enough Joss time), how bad situations often turned into gold for them (the opportunity to make "Thank You" with Charisma), and how much he loved working on both of these shows.

These are the comments that linger in my mind when I think of chatting with David. That and the Season 6 post-apocalypse LA that never was. ;)


[ edited by mike jozic on 2005-12-12 06:04 ]

[ edited by mike jozic on 2005-12-12 06:14 ]
Hello again Mike, I thought David said a lot of nice things about Joss.
Possibly it wasn't so wise to speak publically about any kinds of conflicts or missunderstandings between SMG and Joss, or his opinion about Angel's cancellation.
That being said though, it is a fairly oldish interview, and I do believe other people were quite vocal at that time about situations and conversations.

I thought it was a very enjoyable interview. Nicely done!
Gentle posters may wish to know that Tim Minear has some thoughts on this matter.
I never did trust that Goddard fella.
It's nice seeing Tim come to Joss defence, or put his own spin on it. I'm just unsure that he needs it? Maybe I need to re-read everything...but was there any Joss angst or blame about Angel being cancelled on the net because of this interview? Cause, that'd be just stupid!
There was a little bit of it in that thread before Tim posted.
Fantastic spot, Simon. Tim Minear's show was picked up for pilot development! Woo. This I like.
Simon, thanks for the link to Tim's comments. Very interesting.
Woohoo for a new Tim show being picked up. Also interesting that Tim, Joss and Goddard were having dinner with Brian K. Vaughan. Not gonna speculate but a collaboration between those fine gentlemen would be awesome. My vote is for Brian (or Drew, or both) to write the Buffy comic after Joss ;)
In my addled and very tired state this morning, I put the Tim Minear stuff in this thread. I've now created put it on the front page.
To be fair to David and most of the people who've posted in this thread, I don't think anyone blames Joss. He was doing a very caring thing and trying to look out for his people, and I personally don't think they would have picked up Angel if he had asked later.
Ah, my first post. Another opportunity to put my foot in my mouth...

Okay, whenever I do an interview, I try to be truthful, candid and accurate. And much of the time I fail, which is why I don't do interviews anymore. (Hell, I barely remember giving this one. It was fourteen months ago!)

To paraphrase Joss' post, it's just one writer's perspective. It's also careless narrating on my part and, for that, I'm hugely sorry. So please allow me to set the record straight:

Joss was ALWAYS extremely involved with ANGEL. It was his show. His voice and sensibility. Stories either came directly from him or were cleared through him. My comment had more to do with missing his day-to-day presence in the writers' room during the show's last two seasons, when I was added to the staff. Obviously, this was during FIREFLY, the final season of BUFFY, and the development of SERENITY. The man was busy running the universe. Yet he still managed to break stories, write and direct episodes, and guide the direction of ANGEL through the entire fifth season.

My anecdote about Joss trying to get an early pick-up was also not accurate, I left out the altruistic part of the story: Joss did not want his writers to lose out on job offers from other shows if ANGEL wasn't coming back. The prior year, some writers turned down offers, and could have ended up jobless if ANGEL was cancelled. Joss didn't want that to happen. He didn't think it was fair to them to wait to know if they had a job for a sixth season. It was stupid of me to suggest the show would have been picked up if we had waited. The truth is the WB was going to cancel it no matter what. It was too expensive for them.

More apologies to come...
Hey, it's only David Fury! How cool is this place???

Thanks for clarifying things, David. I think most of us had pretty much already filled in the blanks and guessed most of what you have said but it was nice to hear it from you, all the same.

You do realise that now you have posted once at Whedonesque you are obliged to grace us with your opinions as often as possible? I mean, they did warn you about that? Right?

Or you could just do what that Whedon guy does and pretend to lose your password all the time! :)
Mr. Fury, Don't worry about it. We figured as much. Don't know if you read over here very often but I think you will find we are a pretty intelligent bunch. And understanding and modest to a fault.
Ah Mr Fury, nice of you to join us. Thanks for helping to clear things up and no need for apologies I'm sure. As you say it was your perspective and it was a very interesting read.
Welcome Mr. Fury. Thanks for posting.

I thought the altruism angle was in there, just not spotlighted with stars and arrows.

I am sorry to hear that you are not doing interviews any more, but I am sure we will all forgive you for that if you just stop by here now and again to give us your take on things. ;-)
Thank you for posting, Mr Fury. Welcome to Whedonesque.
Welcome DF!

Allow me to boost Whedonesque as a place where, no matter how inelegant one's (for which read "my") comments, inaccurate one's chronology, or muddled one's thinking, our fellow members will tear you to shreds with only the greatest courtesy and respect.

I did enjoy reading mike's interview with you. As newcj said, Joss's good-hearted intent in seeking an early cancellation warning came across loud and clear in your words.
Thanks for posting here Mr. Fury. I honestly thought that it was a great interview, but I appreciate you coming on here to clear it a little bit. I also thought that you made Joss's positive intent clear in the interview, but Joss' full involvement on Angel is good to know :).
David - there's always an interesting question in interviews: if you don't say enough, the point won't be properly understood. Say too much, gone too far. This interview went all over the tightrope, but you never fell off either end completely, which is good.
DF Personally I don't think you have anything to apologise for. I thought it was a great interview. If you're copping flack about an interview from that long ago....*takes deep breath and says no more*

Nice to see you posting. :0)
First Joss, then Tim then David. I'm feeling a bit under the microscope, here. ;)

Like I've said before, I never thought that the interview came off overly negative or David's comments as inflamatory in any way. It's possible that, as Tim pointed out, certain subtleties evident over the phone didn't come through right in the text.

To be honest, I thought there would be more flap over the Season 6 that never was than what has actually caused all the buzz.

Anyway, it's nice to see David coming on and clarifying things, regardless.
Thank you for the kind, welcoming words.

Okay, one more quick thing I'd like to rectify:

When I say in interviews, "we came up with..." Or "we decided...," what I mean to say is Joss (or Tim or Jeff or Marti or David or somebody else) "came up with" or "decided" something and I was there to nod.

That's what I do. I nod. Or make faces. It's a gift, really.
"It's a gift, really."

And one that just keeps on giving.

Totally o/t so apologies to the mods, but I'd personally just like to thank you for Destiny. Damn but I love that episode. :0)
Oh, you writer guys! You're all so cute! Well, just the Mutant Enemy staff. Nobody else. All those other tv shows? Pfooey!
"Thank you for the kind, welcoming words."

Not a problem, David. Kind words to the Mutant Enemy writers are what we Whedonverse fans do best!

Well, that and also organizing massive Save Our Show campaigns with varying degrees of success. That seems to be becoming quite a necessary talent of ours as well, unfortunately!
Thanx for coming on and clarifying things David. To be honest tho, I didn't read that as you complaining at all. Although I can see how people would.
This maybe a Whedon-centric site, but we love your stuff too. Really!

mike jozic , I dunno how all this got so big so fast? Even with all the halla-balloo, it was still an interesting article.

I think a lot of us have this image in our heads of you writers sitting around the table all laughing and being creative, while Joss humps the sofa. No, I'm joking ( a little). I imagine you all sitting around being amazing, and Joss sticking his head thru the door and just blowing your minds with some little idea or bend he has on the story. Maybe our little dream was ruptured for a moment? Either way, it's fantastic to see how much you guys all care about each other still.
Wow this interview did even cause more rumpus than i thought it would.
But welcome here Mr. Fury! Hope to see you here more often!
Modesty becomes you, Mr. Fury. However, I have tried sitting in meetings and only nodding or making faces while other people came up with all the ideas, and it never got me a seat at the cool kids table. Since you have been playing with some very cool kids for a while, I am going to assume that either your nodding and making faces must convey an enormous amount, or else you are doing your share of the idea type stuff while talking and ...oh yeah...writing. When it comes to BTVS and Angel, I personally feel like there is plenty of gold to give each of you quite a nice sheen without taking away from Joss or anyone else.

I love Joss's work so much that I follow him into genres that I truly dislike. In my mind, one of his amazing talents is the ability to find, recognize and hire fantastic people in all areas. Although I would be very proud to be sitting in the room nodding, I doubt that many of the talented people that Joss hires actually do that very often.

Yeah, I sound like a kiss-ass, but its only a part-time position. I'll be back to my old self any minute ;-)
Lifts head from sickbed..

Fury! Cool! So, so, welcome.

*crash*
Wow, Fury posted. I totally missed that. I've been way too busy the last two days and now I'm trying to catch up.

Welcome, Fury!

Joss and Fury in the same thread, I can hardly stand it. So cool.
It makes me want to cry like a baby. A hungry, angry baby.

*nods head*.
Awww, it's such a treat to read recent postings from Whedon, Minear, and now Fury! Who knew an old interview would create such hoopla? However, I'm glad because it drew the writers out to grace us with their presence.
Welcome Mr. Fury. And I totally agree with killinj. Hell, if this creates a response from The Fury himself, perhaps we should start photoshopping naked photos of Joss so he has reason to come on again! Unless some of you have already done that. ;)
Who needs to photoshop?

Ok. Before everyone emails me for copies, I'm kidding!!!!
*Also lifts head from sickbed*

Welcome to Whedonesque David, although I guess everyone else has summed that up already. Thought I'd put in my two cents with a welcome though.

*Head lolls back on to sickbed as I take my final breath and give up my body and soul* (The giving up of the body and soul may sound a little dramatic - and also a little 70's Pornographic - but I assure you, I am that ill. You may all pray for me)

Cough.
It's an embarrassment of riches! Joss, Uncle F, and Tim all posting in the same week - what a cool xmas present!

Keep this up guys, and Whedonesque is going to get a big head!

Er...
Tim posted?


Well, yes. Only not here. So no kudos to us for that one . . .
Really interesting interview. I do hope David Fury relents on his not doing interviews any more, though, as that one was great.

And an honour to post on a thread with posts from both David Fury and Joss.
I say kudos for us SNT...kudos, kudos, and even more kudos!
No reason, just feeling a little merry is all.

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