TV obsessions—come on, admit it!

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Primula Baggins
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TV obsessions—come on, admit it!

Post by Primula Baggins »

Shirriff note:

This topic has been split off from the "Oh, Just Post Something" topic in Bag End.


Lucky yov! (That was sarcasm, too.)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, Alatar!

I'm here, but my son had his wisdom teeth out this morning, poor kid. He seems to be doing okay at the moment, downstairs eating a chocolate milkshake with a spoon and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (an obsession all three kids developed this summer).
Last edited by Primula Baggins on Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by halplm »

fun obsession... :)
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995
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Post by Primula Baggins »

I love Firefly, from the same writer/producer, but have never really had the chance to get hooked on Buffy. It's in the house now, though (thanks to the kids' obsession and a big sale at Amazon, full-season DVDs for $19.97), and someday no doubt I'll pick it up.

First I have to work off guilt by finishing the five seasons of X-Files I bought myself before chemo and then didn't have the energy to watch much of. They were on sale, too, but not so much. . . . :oops:

It's all good—keeps me on the treadmill.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by nerdanel »

As my sig quotes often enough indicate, I am a huge fan of Buffy, but a bigger fan of Angel (AtS). Haven't yet seen Firefly, though.

I like Buffy as a coming-of-age series that at times asks insightful questions about the nature of good and evil. Angel, though, is the "deeper" and more adult of the two series to me. The philosophical questions it asks are harder, the Los Angeles scenescape it is projected against is grittier than the suburban hellmouth (literally!) of Buffy, and it delves at least somewhat into white/black race relations. To me, though, the piece de resistance is the final season of Angel, in which Angel and his team (Gunn, Wes, Fred, Lorne, Spike, and to a limited extent, Cordy) are offered - and, seduced by the power, opportunity, facilities, signing bonuses, and opportunity to "change the system from inside," accept almost immediately - the leadership of the Los Angeles office of Wolfram & Hart, the evil law firm against which they have been fighting for five seasons. They immediately find themselves trapped between their desire to wage their traditional fight against evil, and their newfound angry, powerful clients, who want them to advance various evil objectives (and might retaliate themselves if they don't). The questions the final season poses deal with just how blurry the line between good and evil can become, and what good people (and, y'know, good vampires) caught inside a system a bit too big for them to change from the inside can do to escape the maelstrom.

As two characters say in Season 4 of AtS, in an episode named "Habeas Corpses":

Wesley: There is a line, Lilah. Black and white. Good and evil.
Lilah: Funny thing about black and white: you mix it together and you get gray. And it doesn't matter how much white you try and put back in, you're never gonna get anything but gray.


The entire series is about fighting to maintain the separation between black and white, and how to find the good when it is lost in a sea of ambiguous moral gray. Good stuff, especially when discussed through an always-compelling plot. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Plus, you know that any show that can get me to sit through 5 seasons - that's 110 episodes, 50 minutes each - of "Attorneys are evil" - has to be pretty darn good. :P The lawyer jokes are endless (and funny).

Cordelia (to Angel, who is a vampire): You were just soulless, blood-sucking demons. They're lawyers!
Angel: She's right. We were amateurs.


(ETA: but the show has nothing to do with *law* per se)
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Thanks for the recommendation, Nel! I hadn't heard that much about Angel before. Plenty of people have told me how smart and funny and brilliantly written Buffy is, though. Looks like I'll have to check them both out.

If you haven't seen Firefly, you're in for a treat. Too few episodes, but wonderfully dark, funny, sometimes deeply moving science fiction with many original touches and a very human core. The movie, Serenity, is a good follow-on.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by superwizard »

I don't really like Buffy but I absolutely adored Angel! Nel that phrase you just quoted was one of my favorites it made me think for hours. Buffy is ok but Angel IMO is much better and deeper. Its darker more serious and a lot more layered. I sure was mad when they cancelled the show!
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Post by nerdanel »

Prim, Angel is a Buffy spinoff; the two series are interlinked (so I imagine that if your kids are obsessing over Buffy, they will want to see Angel.) Angel the vampire plays Buffy's love interest for the first three seasons, and then his story is continued on a separate show. There are several crossover appearances between the shows. Season 1 of AtS and Season 4 of BtVS are happening contemporaneously in Jossverse, as we call it.

Both Buffy and Angel are smart and brilliantly written, and really, picking between them is a matter of personal taste. By all rights, Buffy *should* be my favorite - the lead character is a physically strong, "kickass" female (much to the chagrin of her boyfriends, who are all weaker than she is, even when they are supernaturally strong themselves); her best friend is a far bigger nerd than Hermione could aspire to be (and is a Jewish lesbian to boot!); there is the strong father figure/mentor character I always love; the dialogue is snappy; the characters share my love of inventing random words and phrases; the lead characters are my age; Buffy and Dawn remind me of my sister and me so many times it's crazy; and the philosophical side of the show ain't shabby either. Angel, OTOH, has virtually none of these things (although the dialogue is still snappy and at times wildly humorous) and yet, where Buffy entertains me, Angel entertains me and leaves me thinking, at times for hours.

Supah Fuzzy Wuzzy :P =:), the episode that left me thinking the longest from Angel is Season 2, "Epiphany." I've actually posted - I think on b77, but it might've been here - about how much I love the agnostic worldview that Angel takes up in that episode. ("If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do, 'cause that's all there is, what we do now, today. I fought for so long, for redemption, for a reward, finally just to beat the other guy, but I never got it...All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.")

Far as I can tell, that's...like...the meaning of life, from an agnostic standpoint. :P
Last edited by nerdanel on Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise
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Post by yovargas »

Odd. My roommate got me totally hooked on Season 4 Angel. While I thought it was a really fun, entertaining show, I never found it to be philosophical. Hmm.
I wanna love somebody but I don't know how
I wanna throw my body in the river and drown
-The Decemberists


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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

That may explain why my daughter's fellow 13-year-olds find Buffy to be more fun than Angel. :D They're bright girls, no question, but they're 13.

I've actually heard a lot about both shows; it's hard to be an SF geek, as I most certainly am, without reading a lot about them. And I have seen most of the first season of Buffy, which was before it really took off, I'm told.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by Griffon64 »

Yes, you need Buffy Season 1 to know some back story, but hang on through it, it starts taking off AFTER that :D

I've seen the whole Buffy and it rocks. Have yet to get started with Angel.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Who?
"Among the tales of sorrow there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."
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Post by nerdanel »

Buffy Season 1 is so terrible relative to the rest of the series that I have not been able to sit through it all the way twice. All you need to watch from that is: Welcome to the Hellmouth, The Harvest, Angel, and Prophecy Girl (1, 2, 7, and 12.) Season 2 is much, much, much better and really gets the series under way, but pales in comparison to Season 3, which is where it's full blown awesomeness.

Angel also has a bit of a slow first season - but I'd compare it more to Season 2 of BtVS than Season 1. As between Seasons 2 through 5 of Angel, I couldn't even begin to pick a favorite. I watched those 88 episodes for the first time in 15 days (:shock:), leading even devout, long-time Angel fans to suggest counseling, mandatory institutionalization, and possibly shock therapy. (When I like something, I get obsessive about it. Shortly after (re)discovering LOTR, I read the entire thing 12 times back-to-back. Sue me.) But it took me six months just to watch the first few episodes of Season 1; I couldn't get into it at first. Finally, I took the DVDs with me to Los Angeles during 2L interviewing. There was something really cool about being in the heart of downtown LA, and watching this story that was set in the precise same location, with shots of that very city scenescape. That got me started, but it still took me three more months to finish Season 1. Then, once I started Season 2, I couldn't stop (but it probably helped that there is no valid reason to be outside during a January break in Cambridge in which windchills reach the negative thirties.)
Voronwë_the_Maverick wrote:Who?
:x What are you getting at with that? :scratch:

ETA Okay, I just realized that I'm letting this quasi-closet obsession all the way out of the closet. Ack.
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise
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Post by WampusCat »

I admit I've never seen Buffy, Angel or Firefly.

My only TV addiction is "Lost." :)
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Post by truehobbit »

I've actually watched a Buffy episode recently. :shock:
It had John Ritter as a wife-killing robot. :rofl:
Well, it was fun enough for me to want to watch it all. :)
but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Nel wrote:ETA Okay, I just realized that I'm letting this quasi-closet obsession all the way out of the closet. Ack.
"Ack"? In this crowd? I suspect that most of us have very noisy closets. :D I know I do. I saw Star Wars ten times in the theater the summer it came out, and I have an amazing amount of 1977-vintage loot related to that obsession. Which shortly moved on to, oh, Dr. Who, and X-Files (that one was killed by the pathetic last few seasons of the show), then Farscape, and currently Dr. Who again and Battlestar Galactica (an amazing show, grim and scary and intelligent).

I, uh, do read books, too. :oops:
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by truehobbit »

Is that the new Battlestar Galactica you mean, Prim?

I used to be such a fan of the old one! :love:
Then I saw there was a new one on TV here, but it always was on when I had classes in the evening. :x

X-files is one of my favourites, too. I still feel uneasy switching off the lights after an episode. :wimper:
but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.
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Post by themary »

Joss Whedon is my hero. I love Buffy and I love Firefly even more :love:
...the embers never fade in your city by the lake

The place where you were born
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Post by halplm »

The single best season of television as a whole, of any show, of any time... is Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3.

Granted, not everyone will share that opinion, but I'm fairly confident that if someone coudl be truly objective, it would be right at the top ;)

It has such a wonderful mix of single episode plots tied together with a season long story that is at times subtle, and at times glaringly jaw-dropping. It was a first to taking a story over an entire season and never letting it drag on, and never straying too far from it, while still providing enough uniqueness to each episode to not feel like you're watching a 15 hour movie.

Granted, you could probably watch it as a 15 hour movie and never get bored...

It's been tried many times since as well, but no one has come close... not even Buffy or Angel.

The only other television season that I think accomplished this in even a close approximation was Season 4 of Seinfeld, but sitcoms and dramas are hard to compare ;)

um... who's obsession was this again?
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995
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Post by nerdanel »

halplm wrote:Granted, not everyone will share that opinion, but I'm fairly confident that if someone coudl be truly objective, it would be right at the top ;)

um... who's obsession was this again?
hal and I are once again united in proclaiming a subjective opinion that we share as pretty darn close to "truly objective" fact. :P

PS tinwë, if you're around - that Sue Trashcan lady should get around to writing a book version of Buffy for us to rip apart.
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise
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Post by Erunáme »

How are you watching the new Dr. Who, Prim?
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