General Open Thread – TV Shows (2)

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    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion —

    Connor’s and Cordelia’s relationship is definitely rather, how can one say it, iffy at times….

    As to apocalypse(s), the best clues are probably gleaned from the Yeats poem from which this episode gets its title. Such as:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,


    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.

    Anonymous @


    How are you? Doffs cap. Or umbrella, in my case!

    I think you were/are watching Broadchurch 2 & were interested in it?

    I have found more of interest in this series that the last with the double plot, as it were.

    Certain characters annoy dreadfully -such as the defence barrister and Abby, who, to quote her equivalent is a “really horrible person”.

    The penultimate episode (and I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it  -in fact I’m not sure if the whole series aired months ago in the UK) seems to be a ‘dragger’ -though people might argue that the entire programme drags along like a wild beast pulling an elephant.

    Still, it gives me time to theorise, I suppose, about the possibilities of other suspects and the difficult lives these people lead. Trouble is , despite Jocelyn’s troubling life with her ill mother and Ms Bishop’s with her son’s, I really don’t feel a tremendous sympathy for these characters: surviving/dying (Jocelyn’s elderly mother), Ms Bishop’s son’s troubles (the son: not sure what crime he’s been accused of/is he on remand or are they struggling for an appeal to a guilty verdict? -see, either I’m thoroughly stupid or I’ve not paid the slightest bit of attention to the back stories), Joc’s admitting she’s been in love with the newspaper editor etc…

    I find Claire a very strange character: from coy and ‘sexy’ to wilde beaste; turning over furniture and giving back crucial stolen evidence to making absolutely no difference to Miller’s hair!

    Did you notice that? “I’ll do your hair as I haven’t done anyone’s in months” should have been “I’ve never picked up a comb or scissors in my life” as Miller’s hair is always ‘out of control’ much like her life, someone always seems to  gamble on her compassion ‘reserves’, forcing her to go, here, there and everywhere -obviously Hardy has all the sympathy of a lurking hyena and yet she always does as she’s told. Is she a bit in love with him despite her protestations?

    I was concerned as to a few odd (possibly unimportant) points?

    Does it seem obvious that the neighbours in the village where the girls were murdered were all having some affair with each other and if that’s the case why haven’t they (Hardy etc) attempted to re-interview all the parties involved or is that investigation going on elsewhere? Off camera. I’ve learnt one statement on this site (well, many, really and this one was from @jimthefish) and that’s “if it aint on the page it aint on the stage” -so only concentrating on Claire and the murderous looking Lee is probably the only thing that’s happening at this stage; particularly as the “murder investigation has been re-opened” after Hardy returned from the dead, as it were.

    Pippa’s pendant and the photo? Why did Claire really burn the photograph and if Miller had noticed, would it have been essential to burn this and then completely change her mind & give the stolen evidence back to Hardy? What motivated Claire? Anger at Lee’s violence -because he’s pretty much always been a violent/masochistic creature or was it jealousy? Because where is Lisa Newbury? Is she, in France, hence the “I can go back to France almost no-one knows me there.”

    Thorpe’s agricservices: everyone is excited by the bluebell pictures/frame of bluebells and is this suggestive of the ‘affairs’ the couples had which all the people involved knew about, making it a ’60s swingers deal?

    The phone number on Claire’s phone? Why did it take Hardy & Miller so long to make the call to Thorpe? In fact, why didn’t they ring everyone on her contact list? Or maybe they had and I fell asleep! Though they eventually traced the call, did they do anything with this new information, because I thought not?

    The jury was told they only needed a majority -10 in fact? Is this correct? The clerk read “is this the verdict of you all, or a majority?” And a majority is acceptable in a murder trial? What happened to ‘unanimous’?That makes me look completely bloody ignorant of the justice system: I can live with that – for now! (hides temporarily whilst madly tearing at hair & Googling)

    What are your thoughts @scaryb or anyone else who may have watched this series? @janetteb was Broadchurch your thing? @serahni I haven’t seen you on the boards in ages!

    Kindest, puro



    Serahni @serahni

    @purofilion   Still alive and kicking here!  Real life has been extraordinarily busy, this has been perhaps the most hectic Term 1 that I can recall and, to top it off, I’ve been sick for most of it!  On holidays now and making myself feel better by rewatching Tennant’s first season.  “Who” cures all!   I hope you and your family are well. 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @serahni — Ichabod here.  I tried Broadchurch again last week — more courtroom, glum faces — I must be just ruined for normally grim “serious” TV these days.  I ended up at “Fortitude” again, murky and nutty as it is, because at least it’s got monsters!  Sort of.  And scenery that wants to gnaw your face off (those jagged, rocky peaks with snow, wind, crazy people running around but somehow never getting frostbitten (except for the kid with no shoes) or dying of hypothermia.  It’s every bit as unrealistic and absurd as Broadchurch, but more attractive, somehow.  Well, to me.

    Went to see “Kingsman” today because I couldn’t resist Colin Firth looking all fit and alert in beautiful suits, with legs long enough to taking him striding across galaxies — but, of course, he doesn’t.  It’s all ridiculous and weirdly offensive, even, although they tried not to be completely disgusting, until the end when (spoiler, if anybody cares — I don’t, so here goes) the Queen of Sweden (young and pretty, natch) invites our young hero (a smartened up spiv) for some backdoor sex if he’ll get her out of the villain’s underground lockup, which he does, of course, after “saving the world” from crazy Samuel L. Jackson’s scheme to help “Gaia” rid herself of the plague of human overpopulation by electronically unleashing global mutual carnage, except of course for the chosen few who zzzzzzzzzzz.  *burp*

    Even Colin Firth can’t save this squirming, spouting, steaming heap.  But I know who could (well, if *anyone* could)!

    WHERE THE HELL IS MY DOCTOR?  THE WORLD NEEDS SAVING, AND I WANT THE DOCTOR!  At this rate, we’ll all be dead before August of sheer garbage-overload.


    Anonymous @

    @serahni well, bad that you’ve been sick, and real sorry to hear that. Real sorry for that and hope you are able to get better with a dose of Who -ignore my comments on Tennant. Whatever makes your day!

    Good to see you around here. I’ll buy you a drink of hot lemon and scotch with tea. 🙂

    With love,  puro

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Thought I’d redirect the telly chat back over here.

    RE. Angel.

    I think the ‘Fred’ roleplay between Lilah and Wes is very much a power struggle — which is what their relationship largely is. Lilah tries to be the dominant one by mocking Fred and saying how unthreatened she is by her. Wes takes back that power by making her go through with it. I’m not sure she actually gets off on it (she probably does once they’re into it) because she’s clearly thrown by his actions and I think hurt too. As a scene, I like it a lot because it’s very indicative of the sort of constantly shifting power games that people tend to get caught up in when they’re in a relationship.

    And it’s an interesting one too compared to the Spuffy stuff you alluded to because this a relationship between two people with souls. They know better than to behave the way they do. It’s just that they’re being driven by need, insecurity and also by love of sorts.

    Fred is definitely growing up, or rather she is starting to reintegrate herself into life. We definitely start to see more of a strength now and a kind of ruthlessness too (yet another parallel with Wes maybe?). Certainly her relationship with Gunn is well on the rocks now and he’s going to suffer much more than she does over killing the professor. He’s not as tough as he makes out.

    Did you enjoy Spin the Bottle. I think it’s a nice comedic respite in a season that shares a lot of the dark tone of Buffy s6.

    Cordy and Connor is a lot more problematic. Will come to that a bit further down the line.

    Anonymous @


    I did like Spin the Bottle -I watched it twice and thought at first it was a ‘place holder’ and that’s fine. It was rather funny, though, & showed Acker acting those stockings of! The way Angel and Cordy read each other was lovely and testament to their trust and strength.

    Gunn’s attitude to Wes is fascinating…he’s angry, obsessive. Nervous?

    As for Connor? He needs blinds in his lair! Sheesh. His father watching him lose his virginity with his own dad’s love? Who, as a Higher Power saw and felt Angelus’ actions. This would ensure a deeper and more real attachment than even his own relationship with Buffy, I expect? At first it would be impossible for Cordelia to be with him but then eventually, perhaps so. I think they need some connection: he, the man/demon with a soul and she, a demon-ess, a woman, who has ‘seen’ what he’s done and understood it and loves him, for, despite. Being with Connor, I’m not sure it was so wise (I certainly hid my eyes!) for the audience -difficult? What do people generally say? “It was brave”? 🙂

    And for the ‘raining fire’ and Cordelia saying ‘it doesn’t matter any more, we are real, lets do something that proves that”  God: how many times have I heard that? From people, in RL, in films. Generally, it’s the bloke with that kind of strange attraction and ‘need’. Good to see the tables turned (I think) but with a woman eminently trustworthy. Still, I’m not surprised he’s broken hearted. She barely let the guy wake up before “this can never happen again”.

    I like Lilah. Watching her standing in the office as fire rained down, worrying about Wes and looking desperate & frightened, was interesting. She’s kept a certain aloofness to her attitude with the firm, people and demons and as Lilah tries to propel Wes back to her, to see her fail in that, is quite tragic. Or at least, embarrassing. And she plays it just right -I can see now how she was better than Lindsay who was all “grr” all of the time!

    Yes, it’s interesting: the parallels. Giles killed Ben so Buffy needn’t and Gunn killed the professor so the as yet still innocent Fred doesn’t have to. It’s difficult for him -he isn’t Giles, far from it, but he’s growing up uber quick ..and he’s what, 25?

    Now, Wes has saved Lilah and  Connor’s trapped in the 3rd floor conference room. Will Wes save him at his own expense? To end the obvious pain..and mend the relationship…or not….?

    Anonymous @

    *loving him ‘for’ (Angel)  nope didn’t quite mean that. Perhaps loving him for who he really was and how he’d changed -not the physical and obvious Angel Investigation ‘changes’ or the manifestation of this man vampire, but quenching his thirst, his need and doing this daily . And living with the pain of experiencing the realisation he has an eternity to keep ‘helping and doing’ no matter the outcome of the battle. As a high power, I think only Cordelia has the sensitivity, the ‘godliness’ to capture that feeling. A little like our Doctor who can live forever whilst his companions die around him -usually trying to be heroic. Cordelia is one step closer -providing she can tap that knowledge or fore-knowledge and use it ‘wisely,’ says Obi-wan

    I think Buffy and her Scoobies knew this in the end too (that the outcome of the battle isn’t the only element to the fight for life) Willow certainly did. And I think Kennedy understood or grasped this too. So, maybe in the end I’m a bit more sympathetic to Kennedy despite the mishap of the casting (IMO)

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Re. Connor and Cordy. I think people mostly say ‘ewwww’. It was to an extent forced on the production team because Charisma Carpenter was pregnant in RL and they had to find some fast narrative way to explain it.

    Yes, Lilah’s great and, as you say, more vulnerable than Lindsay who was pretty much engaged in a macho pissing contest with Angel. And Lilah can still be bloody ruthless — witness how she calmly dispatches Linwood and essentially neuters Gavin (before his whole zombie phase) at W&H. But Wes is her achilles heel. It might have started off as a pragmatic attempt to get Wes on side for the team but it’s become a bit more than that now.

    Good point comparing Giles and Gunn. And he is going to struggle to carry this death. He’s going to be on an interesting trajectory for the rest of s4 and especially s5.

    Anonymous @

    Uhn oh! AI has Cordy alone with Lorne and poor Angel has to deal with Wes and Gunn, Gunn and Fred and his own blistering anger for Cordelia. “get your act together. Whatever it is, get over it, we’re here for Connor”. We shall see.

    Maybe the creature will eventually smash down the hotel and Lorne and Cordelia will get roasted: a deliberate play? Kill all his confidantes?

    Anonymous @


    best lines so far: “Gavin. Oh, he’s a zombie?”

    “What’s a zombie?” (a teenage fighting turtle from Quoth Tor who wouldn’t know, that makes sense)

    Angel: “they’re slow moving dimwitted things that crave human flesh”

    Con: “like you”

    Angel: “what? No, not like me!”

    I was wondering when we’d get a zombies in a modern city episode. The “I need to get you to safety” is annoying.  But the action-suited up Wes is awesome. Again, I won’t use that word too often! The score in that is majesty. So is the sound editing: the punches.

    Ah, the white room….. It’s like being in Star Trek!

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — there are times when the Fish just has to keep his gob shut. Just be prepared for some twisty, turny stuff….

    The rift between Gunn and Wes is interesting, given that they were so tight in s2. I always felt that Gunn gave up on Wesley that bit too easily in s3, bearing in mind that the man took a bullet for him. I don’t really blame Wes for being pissed off with him. But again, this is something that’s still got a way to play out….

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — yes, Wes now does kickass action hero quite well now. He’s certainly a far cry from the dweeb of s3 of Buffy, although that is still in the mix too. There was some talk that he was considered a serious contender to play Bond in Casino Royale, losing out to Daniel Craig in the end. I can kind of see it too — although he’s maybe a bit too close to Brosnan to really work, and an American which would have made for controversy.

    Anonymous @

    yes, @jimthefish I recall you mentioning him as Bond. I have great delight in telling everybody this. Particularly those who think Craig is wooden and “sterile”

    Right now I’m watching Q and A, an Oz panel show on the ABC where key players are asked the tough questions. At the mo, our education minister wants to completely deregulate the univ system -I had degrees, essentially for free (believing in high tax for this) and would never have been able to do what I do under this system: $100 000 for a simple undergrad degree. Anyway, wildly off topic. Still, can’t get it out of my mind: too depressing. At least a huge apocalyptic monster eating LA is something I can deal with!

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — I’ll not have a word said against Craig as Bond. I think he’s done brilliant work in escaping from the comedy parody the part had become.

    RE. education. I thought Australians already had to pay for their education. And it’s all bad news for higher education these days. Interesting, if long, piece on the Guardian about the Humanities being essentially screwed here in favour of STEM. It’s something I’m in two minds about as I think a greater emphasis on science education is still kind of needed. But in terms of fees at least, here in Scotland students are in a better position than the rest of the UK as tuition fees are not in place and are picked up by the Government.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish, oh no, I quite agree! it’s just that a  lot of people (extended family) were/are quite against Daniel Craig and I waited about a year before seeing his first film and whilst I didn’t much like the 2nd (desert, oil etc..) it was to do with the plot and the interminable length rather than Bond himself – I did enjoy the most recent film particularly, and the first blew me away. It was wonderful to see how Bond himself as a character developed or germinated in that new beginning

    And I know it’s all over Youtube but we all loved Craig’s involvement with the Queen during the Olympics.

    Thank you for the link.

    At this stage, we have HECS  fees which are paid at near zero interest only when a certain, liveable income is reached. They are fairly ‘cheap’ compared with countries such as the States. With dereg, well, its deregulation….anything can happen. Contrary positions abound.

    I didn’t know that about Scotland! I assumed (wrongly) it was the same ‘all over’. Education is like our media -poor and rather scanty. Science definitely needs backing:  “we came out of the cave, we made fire, we walked over the mountain and we looked up at the stars. It’s what we do.”

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — no, no tuition fees for undergrads anyway here in Scotland. It’s one of the things that creates a bit of tension over the border where getting a degree can clock up to 30 odd grand now. But I’m glad that we’ve managed to hold on to the idea of seeing a value in education beyond a purely fiscal one.

    HECS, that was it. Lived and worked in Oz a few years back and studied a distance-learning biology course at Monash. Seem to remember ending up paying for it myself but that there were various fairly reasonable funding opportunities available. It will be sad if Oz follows the unbridled capitalistic approach of both the US and England when it comes to education.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @purofilion and @jimthefish. Fingers crossed this excuse for a government is too ineffective to get their sell off of Australian education bill through. Hate, hate, hate this government and what they are trying to do to this country.

    I was at Uni when HECS was introduced and one of those evil, placard waving students and to make it worse HECS was brought in by a Labor government.. We felt completely sold out.

    “Jim” I read part of that article but got too angry to finish it. The value of a Humanities education is that it fosters the capacity to think, to question, to evaluate information and it nurtures the imagination. All these are vital to a healthy society. Science is also under attack, certainly here anyway. When I started at Uni there was a lake between Humanities and Sciences and that symbolised the antagonism between the two “Schools”. By the time I finished Uni there was a shared sense of truce across the lake because the real enemy was the Economics/Accounting, Human sciences department up the hill.

    Onto Daniel Craig, I have not seen him as Bond but last week was helping Yr 12 son write an essay comparing Goldfinger to Skyfall which gave me a bit of an insight. At the same time I was rewatching Our Friends in the North. If Craig is emotionless as Bond it is choice not due to poor acting. There was no lack of emotion in his portrayal of the doomed character, Geordie.



    janetteB @janetteb

    @Purofilion Sorry I didn’t notice your question earlier re’ Broadchurch. I haven’t watched it but am considering trying Fortitude if only for the location.

    @ichabod Hopefully there is some good television coming your way soon to help ease the long wait until August brings our favourite Doctor back. There is a series premiering, (will be on BBC America) in about a month’s time that I have high expectations of.



    Anonymous @


    The sex between Cordy and Connor has meant this whole, unstoppable thing is happening “oh no, Connor, let me talk to you” when Cordelia kisses Angel and …Gawd I can’t believe I’m typing this…it’s  a bit high school? Connor runs off, Cordy, says “I’m sorry” to everyone. All the time. Meanwhile Connor becomes all macho… So, I’m ignoring this. This isn’t what the show was about. They really keep repeating themselves, there’s no erudition in the research and very little ‘new’ and interesting dialogue. If I’d picked this up mid era I would have laughed it off. But, glad I didn’t and I haven’t. I’m invested in the characters: Someone is bound to die soon, I think. 🙁

    But. We have this major and funny continuity error in Awakening: As they’re walking under the city to find the sword and avoiding the bells and wooden stakes, Wes twists around the ‘corridor’ and then the editors show him doing it again -it’s so obvious. An awful mistake. Mind you, there haven’t been that many to date, so I’ll be forgiving.

    Anonymous @


    Oh Good Heavens

    That whole episode….didn’t happen….It never happened? At all? The guy with all the writing? Isn’t dead? Connor didn’t kick anyone’s ass? There were no corridors and bells? Was there some clue I didn’t catch? Grr. He really is Angelus. Cordy and Forehead didn’t make with the naughty?

    OK. Plaudits. I never saw that coming. I mean why would I? Still, Carpenter’s lines are awful: “Oh my God, Connor?” “Oh my God, Angel?”

    Endless. Soon it will be “oh Angel oh Angel”.

    I’m gonna zip thru this series. It’s like brushing my teeth….but still, nice sneak in….

    Anonymous @


    I’m rather embarrassed. when you said had I seen Spin the Bottle? I thought I had  -but it was a different episode! I haven’t seen it  -dammit. The menu screwed me up -diff to the previous series.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish I’ve changed my mind -again.

    Soulless is outstanding. Boreanaz is as good as Marsters in those early series . He’s mastered it. Totally.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion —

    I think you’ve got to cut Awakening a bit of slack as being deliberately hokey. It’s very much riffing on an Indiana Jones kinda deal, I think and the hokeyness is because Angel is, well, kind of a hokey bloke — remember how much part of him was attracted to the straightforwardness of the warrior life in Pylea? This is the same thing over again. He yearns for tangible, easy solutions that can be grasped and dealt with a la Buffy, not the endless shades of grey he’s had to negotiate in LA.  But it does seem to be rather a lot of  trouble to bring forth Angelus. Wouldn’t it have been easier to get Buffy to drive down from Sunnydale to give him a quickie?

    As to Cordelia, well, Charisma Carpenter is just phoning it in this season really. This was not a happy set at this time and now is about the time it starts to show a little. Carpenter sprung her pregnancy on the production team kind of late in the day and the fact that it meant they had to run around dismantling and rebuilding a story arc they’d been working towards for two years apparently caused quite a bit of friction. There was, so the scuttlebutt goes, a major rift between Carpenter and Joss for many years over the whole thing.

    But stick it out, there’s still some cool stuff to come, including some familiar faces. But I’d agree that it’s the characters that make this season rather than the arc, which had to be knocked about something fierce to accommodate Charisma.

    Yes, Boreanaz has finally nailed Angelus this time around, hasn’t he? I think he was just too young and inexperienced as an actor to really ‘get it’ back in s2 of Buffy and didn’t really think he was a credible enough threat. Here we get an Angelus who truly is a bit more formidable in his unpredictability and viciousness.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    The whole Two Cultures debate is one I’m quite interested in and while that binary opposition is still too prevalent, it has waned slightly I think. But it is still kind of destructive and kicks in in most education systems too early I think. Certainly when I was in school decisions are made about which direction to send you down too soon. It was certainly drummed into me that I was an ‘artsy’ type and shouldn’t bother with science and it wasn’t until I went back and did a second degree in science via the OU that I realised that, no, I actually could do this stuff too.

    And while it’s certainly true that the Humanities does engender an ability to analyse and think creatively, I think there are far too many Humanities graduates (and often in significant positions of power and influence) who could badly use some scientific training. Imagination without a facility for logic or deductive reasoning often leads to faulty analysis and flawed or woolly thinking.  To quote Trousseau:

    Every science touches art at some points—every art has its scientific side; the worst man of science is he who is never an artist, and the worst artist is he who is never a man of science.

    It shouldn’t be an either/or kind of deal. Art/Humanities and Science should inform each other, not compete against one another.

    On Craig’s Bond. I don’t get why people say he’s an unemotional Bond, as Craig has created the most emotive Bond we’ve had since Lazenby. He often seems cold and ruthless but that’s kind of the point. He’s a man deliberately shutting down his emotional responses because of the job he has to do. I think it’s the emotional aspect to him that many of the diehard fans don’t like — they just want the wise-cracking dude in a cool suit and car and none of this boring character stuff. It’s not unlike the stuck-in-the-past ARSE-ites who complain about Who being ‘too much like a soap opera’ or ‘turning into the Clara show’.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @jimthefish I agree absolutely with you on the merits of a rounded education rather than the binary arts or sciences that schools and universities push. My two eldest boys have both tried to do a mix of subjects, Maths, Computing, Drama and English rather to the despair of their school. As they both want to be actors I have encouraged them to do some sciences as well so they are employable. (Unlike their Arts Graduate Mum.) I get the impression that there is a lot less work in Oz for Humanities grads. A lot of the scientists I meet could do with a little grounding in Humanities as well and a lot of the “Human Science” students could do with some exposure to both Arts and Sciences.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb Oh goodie, what’s the oncoming show on the BBC that you’re suggesting might help me not starve to death on a diet of awful TV between now and August?

    @jimthefish Yes, exactly, on how the flash-bang gang of viewers start foaming at the mouth of characters in film fiction actually start showing some *character*, especially *character development*, instead of just blowing things up and running very fast, whether it be Bond or the Doctor or any other iconic protagonist. Though to tell the truth, I think the blow-up-and-run crowd are simply immature, either entirely or just mentally, and it’s useless to complain that they’re being idiotic: what they’re demanding is precisely what suits them at their “age”, however you gauge it. Their anger and bitterness (often on exhibit recently) comes from an uneasy awareness that somewhere out in creative-land, their heroes have grown up and they haven’t.

    I know this well from what happened with Science Fiction when the New Wave tailed off (SF writers, mostly UK males as I recall, reinvigorated a faltering genre for a time by importing “mainstream” techniques like stream-of-consciousness to SF), and was then succeeded by a vastly more powerful and up-leveling influx of women writers in the seventies (my colleagues, gods bless ’em). All the genre needed was to charge out into the previously ignored frontier of the kind of human experience the older writers had simply ignored (for the most part; there were always exceptions): emotional life, family life, social life, human behavior as we observe it rather than as suits a plot about chemistry gone wrong in space — you know, the territory we all live in, but that was considered “soft” and “feminine” by the hard-boils old-school guys, many of whom had come from journalism or placing stories in “Popular Mechanics”.

    Up went the war-cry, in an all-male chorus as far as I can recall, “SF needs to get back into the gutter where it belongs!” Meaning, back into the land of crappy pulp-fiction with one dimensional heroes of derring-do and obligatory “heroines” who needed “real” things explained to them when they weren’t being rescued, screaming, from intergalactic monsters.

    The “Clara Show” whiners remind me so much — and so unpleasantly — of those days . . . I comfort myself with the knowledge of how that has turned out: the smarter, usually younger guys realized what a fantastically more rich field they had to play in once the “other half” of the species moved in and expanded it, and enthusiastically joined the land rush, and out of that we got male SF writers like John Kessel, M. John Harrison, and Patrick Ness, among many others.  Bring everybody in, and everybody benefits — except the ones who just aren’t up to the challenge (see the furor over a possible female regen of the Doctor sometime soon . . . ).

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion  @jimthefish    I do much of my limited TV viewing on Netflix while on the elliptical trainer, and I am currently working my way through eights seasons of House MD. But my Netflix has now added Buffy, so I guess I will give it a try, as the much-admired Hive Mind seems to approve of it. No guarantees that the Buffy-speak and teen angst won’t provide more irritation than other aspects will bring pleasure, but it’s worth a shot!

    @ichabod   @janetteb     Broadchurch has also shown up on Neftlix now, so I will probably give that a go as well, having heard lots about it of course, especially after the “American” version was filmed over in Victoria.

    I will now go to the pub to wax critical about my government and education. You can pop in there if you care to know about it, or indeed, come in simply to have a pint and ignore the cranky Canadian in the corner.   🙂

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus do give Buffy a try! really, I think you’ll love it. From its first I was “its bitch” to quote the absent @pedant. I know the 1st session was still finding its toes but by the second it’s marvellous -there are a few almost dud episodes but I look on them as a fond parent of a toothy, colicky baby -with pride.

    I also have started House . Well, no, I’ve put it on retainer: as I have Angel to complete then Firefly then House. I have no real understanding of the download or Netflix system. So I buy the bloomin’ things which is great when I want to grab an ep and do a crosscheck. But thank God for the sales.


    I realise the kookiness In Awakening was due to the fact it was all in Angel’s head. But I believed it! Every bit.

    Also, I wasn’t paying enough attention when you referred to Carpenter’s pregnancy. I assumed, well, I’m not sure what I assumed: I thought the sex between her and Connor was a thing in and of itself: when you said it was shoehorned in, I didn’t connect it to her actual screen pregnancy.

    When she stabs Lilah, that’s a shock. The Big BAD. CORDELIA? Really?

    But how? She’s a normal being, choses to be a demony creature to continue helping…(but a good guy right?), then  she’s a divine being…and then takes Connor in the Biblical way, but the Stone and Rock Beast has already been born -so exactly when is Cordelia doing the switch/flip?

    This is quite mad. I still love it though -smashing thru the episodes fast.

    I realised I hadn’t seen Spin the Bottle because this is when they’re referring to Lorne having his brain sucked out by W and H. I think.

    Angel’s soulenoscopy is brilliant as you say -he’s mature now and can communicate the deadness and the utter madness with his eyes. Cordelia is…well, not so much.

    I was aware something was up. Normally dressed to the nines, she’s wearing sensible hair and a blue coat -all the time.

    Now, Angel and Darla made Connor and Connor and Cordelia make a baby -but Buffy and Angel ‘make’ Angelus, through the Gypsy curse. Not a baby.


    Arts and Humanities @janetteb Yes, I agree, it’s troubled. I studied some science as part of an arts doctorate (a requirement to ensure we knew what we wanted -but this was the States, not Oz) and surprisingly, being in my mid-twenties, I realised I could actually do it when I only studied Biology in Year 12 and the rest, humanities. I fell in love with chem and physics and almost changed out of the doctorate to medicine! It would have been foolhardy, though. A crush, not love.

    There is a connection between the progress of a society and the progress of its arts. The age of Pericles was the age of Phidias. The age of the Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci.. The age of Elizabeth was also the age of Shakespeare.


    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @jimthefish @janetteb Are we all awake?


    The Bond character here was always a bit vilified by some in my age group. I have a niece -actually, only 7 yrs younger than me, who always hated him and ‘what he stood for which was sexism’.

    OK. No argument would convince her. Thing is, Craig’s particular endorsement  (for me, anyway) is that he’s wry and clever: he’s funny, deep down and as Jim suggests, hides his emotion. He has to. Is that not part of the job?

    With the previous Bonds, particularly Brosnan, there was a happy go lucky quality which was way over the top. One has to look at Craig’s left eye twinkle & his devotion to ‘M’ in the recent episode to realise he’s a warm fella -but I have arguments with the Aussies who simply don’t understand this portrayal of humour. Half of my family are English and so humour is very differently presented: witty, dry, droll, patient: hardly a smile and yet the ‘funny’ is there: you just have to look harder. The Czechs are like that too I notice and the Hungarians. The Poles do smile all the time -which, looking at their history, is difficult to understand!

    Anonymous @


    you were a fan of Lazenby?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — RE. Bond. I’d count On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as my favourite Bond film. I think Lazenby gets a bad rap. He starts off shaky but I’m totally sold on him by the end of the movie. And it has the best Bond girl in the mighty Diana Rigg — not just eye-candy by any stretch and more than a match for Bond — to the extent that he marries her. And that ending. Could you imagine Moore or even Connery pulling that off? OHMSS is a movie that I think the new Craig versions definitely had one eye on.

    I can understand people not liking Bond. You shouldn’t like him. He’s an arrogant, snobbish near-psychopath with borderline rapist tendencies. The first couple of films had that unlikeability to them and Connery did play him as bastard but as they got more lucrative, the hard edges were ironed out and he was cutesified — a process complete by the time you get to Moore. By that time he’s just some GQ-wish fulfilment fop.

    To be honest, I’m more a fan of the books and I like the Craig versions because they do try and use them as their template rather than the movies becoming copies becoming copies of themselves. But as to people liking him, or aspiring to be like him, I always think ‘why? You’re probably so much better than that’. But you’re right about the humour. It’s still there in the character. It’s just so much more subtle now.

    RE. Angel. So, where are you up to then?

    The whole ‘when did Cordelia go evil?’ thing will be explained but it is convoluted and goes back some way. But I don’t think it’s spoilery to talk about how Darla could get pregnant and Buffy couldn’t/didn’t (although I tend to assume that Buffy being a sensible girl was taking precautions.) Remember when Darla was dying of syphilis in s2 and Angel went through The Trial to give her a second chance at life? And that they wouldn’t give it to her because she was already living it? That means that they’d ‘won’ a ‘free’ mystical life that at that point remained unclaimed. Until they did the deed where it was then given a chance to be born. But there’s more to come on this particular line of thought, so we’ll return to it when you’ve got a bit further along.

    @arbutus — do give Buffy a go. I can safely so that I’ve not met a single person who didn’t fall in love with the show after laying aside any preconceptions they might have and giving it a shot. As Puro says, there are some episodes that border on the duff, but a lot fewer than you’d find in many other series and more than made up for in the amount of ‘bloody hell that was awesome’ moments you’ll experience….

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Thanks so much for reminding me of Our Friends in the North, that was a great series (with of course a certain Mr Eccleston as well as Craig).

    @purofilion I get that a lot of people didn’t like Broadchurch II, and I understand why. For me it was all about the reactions of people to the situation rather than being a whodunnit per se. It was about examining what happens to a community first when there is the awful crime of child murder and then when it’s understood that it was indeed one of their own who committed it – but that in  fact could have been any one them in the dock (not because they were necessarily capable of it, but because circumstances could be contrived to make a case against them that would convince their neighbours that they were). Suspicion and division destroying what had been the illusion of a community. I liked the slow pacing of it, and as I’ve said before, they often got the small details right – the little pebble that causes many ripples in the pond.

    But I also understand it waasn’t to everyone’s taste, especially #II

    ScaryB @scaryb


    I’m with you on OHMS but in many ways it’s the anomaly n the series till Craig came along.  I loved Connery’s Bond – it was dryly tongue in cheek enough, and it was of its time – gadgets, sharp suits, fast cars. But there’s a limit to how long you can sustain that in a series before you need some character development, otherwise it becomes a self-parody.

    @arbutus – adding my voice to those saying to go and check out Buffy. (I saw a couple of S1 and quite liked it, but didn’t see enough to get it. Caught up with it properly part way through S2 and got hooked). Great for all the reasons that have been discussed at length on this board (and the last one, haha).

    Education -should be seen as an investment in any country’s future, but very few countries even begin to even understand the term. Mostly it’s about teaching what can be measured, to get to specific outcomes. Interestingly I was reading an article about Finland this week (whose education system seems to buck the usual trends (eg formal education doesn’t start till age 7) and who are proposing a radical reform which does away with the usual “subjects” in favour of a more holistic multi-disciplinary topic-led approach rather than artificially separations.


    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish I’m half way thru Release.

    I would think the suspicious Connor would need Cordy to tell the others about her impending delivery.

    Ah, I now understand how Darla was able to fall pregnant. At some point, I’m thinking Angelus who is frightfully smart should  work out that Cordelia is the big bad…..but we’ll see how….how that was possible for her in the 1st place. I’ve missed something or there is yet something to be revealed.

    A small thing, but having watched some good telly I notice that characters seem to be delivering a line and then stalk off -Wes says something broody and stalks off whilst Gunn responds and then takes off down some corridor to do…something important? Normally, in Buffy, there’d be a line after the so-called last line which would deflect interest in whatever else was happening: someone walking off stage right, as it were. It seems quite odd. A little predictable. Still, the fight scenes are astonishing: this is 2002? Compared with the awful stuff I saw in Twilight in 2009, these scenes are beautifully put together

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — ah, Release. So, you’re well into the little mini-Faith trilogy, which I think is one of the highpoints of this season. I really like seeing Wes and Faith finally getting that Watcher/Slayer relationship that has been thwarted since Buffy s3.

    Good point about the stagecraft. Yes, it is a big old cheat and probably points to shonky writing and/or direction. The execs probably have to take some flak too. Tim Minear, David Greenwalt etc are great and highly talented but they ain’t Joss Whedon when it comes down to it. And again, you’ve got to cut them a bit of slack. This was an extremely stressful year for the Mutant Enemy crowd.  They were making Buffy’s final season, had incredibly complicated and unforeseen issues on Angel. And Firefly was also imploding. But all that aside,  it also serves to reinforce the estrangement of just about every member of Angel Inc from each other at the moment. They’re just unable to really spend that much time in each other’s company at the moment.

    And yes the fights are great. It’s one of the things that separates Buffy and Angel, I think. The fights in Buffy are highly stylised, sometimes overly choreographed and tending towards the balletic. The ones in Angel are much more bone-crunching and painful-looking. Especially the knock-down, drag-out one between Angelus and Faith at the end of Release. Though they do tend to be a bit overly keen on using wires sometimes I think.

    As to the whole Dark Cordelia thing, don’t worry, it will all be revealed. Imminently, in fact.

    Anonymous @


    Yes, I can see the relationships at Angel Inc imploding  -I first thought you meant that the actors themselves were stressed too the max, but you mean the anger that simmers within the characters in story.

    On the general exhaustion of characters, I think SMG looked a bit the worse for wear: sounding permanently stuffed up and fluey ?

    Yes, I’ve just happened on the arrival of Willow, so maybe the fights will die down, or maybe not! We shall see. You’re right, balletic, absolutely in Buffy, but I don’t recall a show at that time having so many fight scenes or at least doing them so well. In S1 it’s quite slow and ponderous and improves by S3. I too noticed the wires, and the slow mo just before them. There seems to be a  kind of deliberate progression or Step 1, Step 2, go to twist and flip and then that character gets tossed into a wall -wires all hidden. Must have been hell on their bodies!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @All    Okay, the Hive Mind has spoken. I will definitely give Buffy a try, once I have seen the saga of Dr. House through to its conclusion!

    Anonymous @


    I’m gonna kill myself!!

    Who is this ‘being’? She aint a Big bad? She seems perfect!! Well, obviously she works for Satan Inc. as she’s removing ‘agency’ or ‘choice’.

    Thing is, if she’s bad -and I suspect she has to be – can I say this, she’s African American and I wonder how that was taken in the day?

    Hell, I know people who believe that as ‘man reduces in sin all those with darker skin will have lighter skin’. You can imagine my surprise -and disgust (not that surprised in the end).

    This is potentially rough stuff but perhaps Cordy can have some bed rest for awhile?

    Shiny people indeed. I feel like I’ve been stoned against my will. Well, that didn’t come out right

    gotta say, this Torres woman isn’t bad at all.

    I’ve been brain washed, although I shouldn’t say that either.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish I’m so close to reading your blog…tempted…but what…4 episodes to go?

    I think I can do this….

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish so before I get told to Pi*s off & shut it,

    I should say that Boreanaz is incredible as Angel in Shiny People: the way he speaks, that soft, lovely/evil mix is quite amazing (my vocab is stunning today).

    I knew nothing of this actor unit I saw an ep of Bones -which I never watched again due to the incessant ads.

    So, it looks like Pure Beauty isn’t Pure at all -which worries me from that other angle  I mentioned before and concerns me -but perhaps I’m noticing the wrong thing.

    Fred is ‘called’. So, the ‘aw shucks’ Texan has spine!

    Anonymous @

    Years ago, when I was investigating churches, one I went to, and stayed for awhile, had a monthly testimony sharing whereby people in the congregation hopped up and shared their belief for the scripture, the prophet and the Church.

    As a consequence, these episodes which remind me so much of that earlier time, are making me uncomfortable -it’s beautifully done and quite subtle. I still have ‘sisters’ of the Church doing drive-bys and giving me a single rose to say “I’m welcome back anytime, providing I want to repent: or not, we can talk about that another time”.

    I hope I haven’t offended you @jimthefish -you may be a member of a church also. But these were, or are, more evangelical churches, not the restrained, polite, much older Anglican or Catholic theologies.

    But, getting back to the story….Fred’s idea of shooting Angel ‘so the truth could be revealed’ (Christ, my language:  it’s so easy to start speaking like that again!) was brilliant. A very smart, quick person: I like this version of Fred.

    Oh, God, they’re having supper nights with non-alcoholic drinks….when will this be over…..

    I’m sensing that Joss is no believer (and that’s fine by me!)…perhaps people don’t see that this entire set of episodes isn’t like any religion that’s real but I’d beg to differ.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — I’m about as far as you can get from a churchgoing type so no offence is possible. I’m pretty sure Joss is of the non-religious persuasion also (remember ‘note to self: religion, creepy’). But I’m thinking that if there’s any satirical intent in the Jasmine storyline then it’s at the more peripheral cult-ey end of the spectrum — the Scientologists and what have you.

    Not aware that Gina Torres’s casting was intended to make any kind of comment either. I can’t help but think that if anyone had a problem with it, then those people are idiots. Like Nathan Fillion turning up in Buffy, she was a refugee from the implosion of Firefly and Joss was just trying to give her a short-term acting gig to make up for losing her regular one. She’s great, stunning, in fact but I always feel slightly wrong for Jasmine (not on issues of race at all but because I’m not sure passive-aggressive beatific is really quite her thing and that she’s much better at kickass Amazonian, as you’ll see if you move on to Firefly.)

    Boreanaz has done well. If you look at him now compared to the callow, barely able to act young bloke we see in Buffy s1, he’s clearly come a long way. He’s never going to be Olivier but over the course of Angel, he’s definitely done some work he can be proud of (as well as some accents he really shouldn’t be).

    Anonymous @


    Ah, good, regarding the Torres, issue, I wondered if there would be people (even those here) who might view her casting as inappropriate -I do not, I think we’ve outgrown that as a society, but it’s hard to get over those feelings -which I thought were inert but perhaps not entirely and that’s another flaw of my own.

    I’m nearly at the very end -15 mins to go in fact and I was hugely impressed by the fact, that short, or long, the Big Bad, as Torres -at least as an idea was great. Everyone being able to ‘be’ her (or vice versa) was a hugely difficult imperative to fight: hearing her voice emanating from everyone, including a child in the back seat was sufficiently creepy but also a flip of the coin when you consider the end of S7, Buffy, where every young girl, every incapacitated person, was a slayer: here, every person was the eyes, ears and sentience of Jasmine.

    She was a simmering toxin; her voice, her looks, her transfigured smile. She brought forth this bright shard of ‘perfect love and goodness’ from that awful gloomy past -originating from the same place that the 1st did: an eroded, damaged, white place covered in volcanic ash with snickety, crouching creatures: as close to a hell I could imagine!

    But then Connor was a reliable initiate for his daughter: from the anomie, inertia, and the stupor of misery (from Q’ toth) into our own digitised lying world (or that’s how he perceived it).

    Like the end of S7 there needed to be a pay off – a loss, and we got that. Both with Connor and Carpenter -the latter  a shame, I think, her ‘moving’ on was flawed. She just lay there for 3 or more episodes, a duplicate of herself evoking the difficulties, the stress of the show and its experiences through this season. And she had given an awful lot throughout this show -a sad way to be remembered. And telly memory isn’t always that vivid. Although reading this Forum, you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise 🙂

    Just as Fred is being introduced to the Dept at W & H, the guy who’d be her second, Knox, looks awfully like the fella that was allegedly ‘sired’ by Spike during his ‘sleeper’ phase and was eventually (after a whole lotta arguing) slain by Buffy?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yes, it’s a shame Charisma’s time in the Buffiverse ends on such a crappy note. But I guess that’s how these things go sometimes.

    The parallels with the mass Slayerage in Buffy s7 are interesting. There’s lots of parallels with lots of Buffy themes here. Jasmine is an evil God, not unlike Glory. You already mentioned the similarities between the Wes/Lilah and Buffy/Spike relationships. And there are others. I think one of the things that is done in Angel is that the writers/producers take the opportunity to pass comment and question themes raised in the parent show. Thus we get the undying love of Buffy and Angel questioned through the lens of his longer, more complex, relationship with Darla — until it’s not longer quite as naive or innocent. We get the question of souls and demonhood put under the spotlight. It’s often a bit like seeing an enthusiastic and engaging undergraduate’s dissertation being torn apart by a kindly but still cynical and ruthless older professor.

    And, yes, that’s Jonathan Woodward, one of the few actors to have done a Whedon triple, appearing in Buffy, Angel and also Firefly.

    Anonymous @


    so I started S5 and it’s wonderful -Mercedes McNab; Spike and no Cordelia 🙁

    But one thing is bothering me – Wes is always in profile, always showing well, a weirdness?

    Is he ill? I called up Mr Ilion (which blew up my idea to hide that I was viewing this) and he took one look at it and said: “he’s paralysed. Yup”.

    Is he?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    That’s well spotted. Yes, Alexis Denisof was suffering from Bell’s Palsy for much of this season and had to be shot from one side only….

    Anonymous @


    OK, wow! My father had it once -for about 3 weeks, observably it anyway. I’m getting the impression Spike isn’t going to be a good guy after all! He’s just made a deal with the dead -the King of the Dead. I can’t imagine “his girl” would be so thrilled to hear that.

    Anonymous @


    OK. Finished it.


    I kid.

    But 9 episodes in…. Amazing ….in that I can’t stop it. It’s good, not outstanding but it’s better than S4 -as for the early series, with the decrepit building, the lack of pay, I liked it (it appeals) -the great big building, the set itself is dramatic but Eve is annoying and keeps showing up looking all smug and Spike has reverted to his nut job ways -maybe he always was but even his English accent’s returned more to the type series 2 of Buffy than  the later Buffy -where in general he was a bit Broody, not so over the top. I don’t expect the series can stand for 2 broody characters. 3 really, as Wes has this dreadful misery cloud hanging over him and the great Knox! Terrific, but not right for our Fred.

    Lorne is superb; they’ve got a lovely niche spot for him and Gunn, is well, just reinforced but as we haven’t seen him in any court room scenes, it’s lost his impact (aside from the 1st one -1st episode? Hell, it was only last night, I should remember but there’s a spell in the air!).

    For someone who has lost his adorable Buffy, Spike wants to boff Harmony in a ‘nooner’. Oh God, really? Well, in way, it’s loads better than the Spuffy angle which was on going and on going…He’s never struck me as that loyal so at least he’s stayin’ true to himself, which in LA might mean something you’d read in a magazine about ‘celebrity and finding yourself’.

    Still, it’s nice but …simplistic?…and I’m not missing Cordelia; I liked her in Buffy but never took to her in the Angel Space all that much: cheesy grin, over tanned; big teeth.

    Well, we’ll see..will miss it when it’s over.

    Aaa..nd I listened to the commentary where joss does indeed talk about Denisof’s palsy! You really can see it -when it’s pointed out. he never looks at the camera; except at the very end where I noticed his left side totally frozen (thought it was the telly at first!)

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — blimey, you’re really caning this one. Yes, this season is, I don’t know quite how to say it, less demanding on the viewer than seasons 2-4 were. By which I mean it’s less arc-heavy, more casual-viewer friendly. Which those season weren’t — when you think about it, it almost qualifiess as one four-season arc. But part of the stipulations by the suits for the renewal of s5 was standalone episodes and a significant budget cut, which is why it’s very reliant on the admittedly impressive Wolfram & Hart set for a lot of the time. So, possibly more simplistic (in a kind of Buffy way?) but not overly so, I’d argue. Besides which, be prepared for a serious game-changer about halfway through.

    Yes, Spike is tricky in this show. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work — that Spike might detract from Angel, what with him having a soul and all. (There’s also the question of whether is resurrection devalues the Buffy finale.) But over all, I think it works. I don’t really have a problem with his nooner with Harmony. I think it was made clear that from Buffy s7 that there’s not much chance of a relationship between them so it’s not like he’s cheating or anything. But in general, I like this Spike who is, you’re right, more similar to the Buffy s2 version but just not evil.

    But the big problem they had in bringing him back was, once again, Buffy. What’s to stop him from running off straight away back to her. His reluctance doesn’t strike me as parrticularly Spike-like. Which is I guess why they brought him back as a ghost initially, so he couldn’t just bugger off to find her. The whole Buffy/Angel/Spike triangle will be addressed later on but Spike does get sufficiently invested in LA to want to stay.

    Lorne is great. I think Life of the Party is a great episode. And foregrounds one of this year’s arcs — that Lorne has an interior life too. He’s not just the happy joker there to fix everything for everyone else while his needs are ignored. It’s pretty clear, of instance, that he’s a wee bit over-reliant on the booze, for example. But yeah, being a Hollywood schmoozer is a great fit for him.

    The first half of the season is a bit Gunn-lite, but don’t worry he’s stepping up very soon.

    RE. Cordelia. I do kind of know what you mean. I always did miss the snarky Queen C of her Buffy days. But I think in seasons 1-2 of Angel, they got a really nice balance of that and of her growing as a person, discovering a sense of responsibility and of empathy. It’s just a shame that the resolution of s4 kind of undid all that good work.


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