Buffy and Angel

Buffy and Angel, blog post by Aspasia S, Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, vampire, vampires, the slayer, Joss Whedon

I’m a Buffy/Angel fan going way back. They’re shows I reference frequently and re-watch whenever I can. I’m re-watching them now.

Spoilers Ahead

For those of you unfamiliar, “Buffy” is the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the heroine’s name. Buffy (the character) is one of a long line of exclusively female vampire slayers magically imbued with powers like fast healing and super strength. The show started out as an allegory for the trials of high school and got more mature, and darker, as the series went on.

Angel (the series) is a spinoff of BtVS. Angel (the character) is the rarest of the rare: a vampire with a soul. Unfortunately, he loses his soul if he experiences a moment of “true happiness,” which he does with Buffy. If any of you were traumatized when The Doctor and Rose got split up, just know that it was nothing compared to the scene where Angel gets his soul back. Then prepare yourselves for heartbreak #2 when, at the end of Season 3 of Buffy, Angel realizes he and Buffy will never work, so he leaves her for good. He ends up in L.A., starting a new life as a private detective/helper of the helpless. Angel arguably has a better cast than Buffy, and aside from a few hiccups along the way, ended up as the more interesting show (imo).

I’ve just started Season 4 of Buffy (her first year of college) and Season 1 of Angel. Parts of the shows have held up well over time, other parts not so much. Buffy is especially problematic, with fairly minor– but still there– homophobia, fat shaming, slut shaming, token diverse characters getting killed off, and outright sexist dialogue. In one episode Buffy herself says Wesley (an adult man) screams “like a woman,” and compares Xander and Angel to a pair of bickering “old women.” Part of that was the culture at the time. You probably couldn’t find a show in the 90s that didn’t include some cringe-worthy dialogue or storylines. And most of us didn’t even notice. We were steeped in it to the point that it didn’t stand out.

But part of it might also have had something to do with the showrunner, Joss Whedon, who– if you haven’t heard– has had several accusations of bullying/abusive behaviour levelled at him by actors, including some that worked on Buffy and Angel. I believe these actors– they have nothing to gain by coming forward. What sucks for the fans, though, is that Buffy was groundbreaking at the time. A female lead who…kicked ass? What’s commonplace now was new and awesome back then. Whedon claimed to be a feminist, and the fans thought he was an ally. We were wrong.

I don’t, however, think we should give up on these shows because of an association with an allegedly awful person. Besides, Whedon was far from the only person working on his shows, and to ignore everyone else’s contributions is basically throwing out the baby with the bath water. I know I’ll always keep watching. l now notice the problematic and cringey parts, but I’m still here for all the good parts (which are the majority). Because, even after all these years, Buffy still kicks ass.

Were/are you a fan of Buffy and/or Angel? How do you think they’ve held up? Share in the comments…

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Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

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8 Replies to “Buffy and Angel”

  1. Ah, Buffy! 😍

    Totally loved the series! Both it, the plot and the writing were of their time as much as anything now is of the present….. and no doubt in 26 years time viewers will look at what we have now and say “What!?” 😂

    For me, Buffy definitely became darker as it got on and I hated the character of Dawn because we already had the teenage angst in earlier seasons. But, watching it more recently, Dawn became one of my favourite characters because she had her life thrust upon her…. And, like Xander, was more human. The quick wit of the writing and even the comedy is something that made it stand out.

    I watched all of Angel and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as Buffy, I could still appreciate where the story went. For me, the Final season just seemed like it wanted to wrap up and end. The image of Angel and Connor crooning Jasmine with a karaoke song will stay with me forever, bless ‘em!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha– anything that involved Angel singing or dancing was always entertaining 🙂 I have a Dawn and Connor post in mind for later, so I appreciate your insight. Both series also continued in comic book form. I thought the Angel continuation was far better than Buffy’s. I didn’t finish either, though, and now I need to see if I can find the missing issues so I can keep reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great stuff, I look forward to it. 😃

        I was aware of the comics, but never read them myself. You’ll have to do a post about those too, good hunting for the missing issues!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! 🙂 I definitely will write about the comic books (they’re currently packed now, though). Feel free to make requests, if there are any posts you want to see– I’ll do my best 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great throwback to the 90s! I remember catching these on a local TV station every Wednesday night. Buffy was every Thursday evening.

    I’ve read about the Joss Whedon issue — and even Gellar no longer wants anything to do with him. (On a side note, I realized that he directed the first two Avengers films — before the Russo Brothers took over.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I also did some reading about David Boreanaz — and found that he and his wife, a Playboy model at that, dealt with infidelity. Good thing he came clean and they ironed things out.

        Liked by 1 person

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