thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2004-05-25 20:19

Fandoms I Have Loved 6: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Today I realized I was more than halfway through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Or, actually, I realized my Best Beloved was, but more on that later.) What better way to celebrate my approaching familiarity – or, rather, acquaintance – with this fine series than by writing a Fandoms I Have Loved for it? Sure, some people might say you should get to know the whole canon before, you know, writing about it or summarizing it for others. Those people would be wrong. Obviously.



BtVS is my newest fandom, as of April 2004, and the most threatening one I've ever tried to enter. Sure, LotR is complicated, but I've read the books, I've seen the movies, and I know how to find Gondor on a map. And I've never seen The Sentinel or Due South, but those were easy to go into blind – just a few characters, some minor changes in the universe. Nothing big.

Buffy, though, is a whole other deal. Seven sprawling seasons (plus a spin-off), characters coming out of Joss Whedon's nose on a daily basis and changing every week, and complicated plots and story arcs galore. It's like trying to learn about Christianity armed only with a Bible in a language you don't speak, a children's illustrated guide to the saints, and a Quaker hymnal.

My early sallies into the Buffyverse, then, were total failures. I rebounded off its +8 Mystical Shield of Confusion every time. And then my Best Beloved selflessly, nobly volunteered to watch the damn shows, summarize the characters and important plot points, and talk me through some of the episodes. I would then, at least in theory, grok the basics, and I'd be able to read the fan fiction to my heart's content.

This proved to be, shall we say, a challenge. I think if we'd known at the start what we were getting into, we wouldn't have done it. There was a time (for example, all of April) when I thought I'd never understand the Buffy Mystique. Hell, there was a time when I thought I'd never understand our dinner conversations again. And let's not talk about some of the more embarrassing facets of those conversations, like the argument we had just after I watched the pilot about whether or not Xander had a thing for Buffy and Willow had a thing for Xander. (Turns out he does, and she does, but I still don't see how I was supposed to get that from the pilot.)

So perhaps I am not the right person to be guiding innocents through the Buffyverse. Actually, I'm sure I'm not, but I'm also sure that I'm going to rush in where slayers fear to tread.

-The Characters-

BUFFY SUMMERS is a petite blonde and the eponymous vampire slayer, which means that she has mystical martial powers and a magnetic attraction for trouble. She saves something – the city, the world, the universe, her boyfriend, her manicure – every week, and dies from time to time. She has a remarkably improbable fighting style, an enviable collection of stakes and holy water and weapons, and the world's most clueless mother. (Even my parents would've noticed if I spent every evening sneaking out of the house to fight evil; I mean, the bloodstains and bruises would've eventually tipped them off. Not to mention my obsession with crosses.)

If you've read Harry Potter, then think of Buffy as Harry, except she uses her fists and feet instead of her wand, and she's skilled with stakes rather than broomsticks.

WILLOW ROSENBERG is a medium-sized redhead desperately in need of a wardrobe makeover. She's good at research, academics, and the dark arts (i.e., witchcraft). She has an impressive collection of psychological scars, a mean way with a computer, and the world's most inattentive parents. (Her parents wouldn't notice if she actually got killed by a vampire. On their bed. On videotape.) Willow starts out having a crush on Xander and then goes through an Oz period, but eventually she decides she's a lesbian and develops a girlfriend. Or so I hear. Apparently that happens after season three.

If you've read Harry Potter, Willow is Hermione with straight red hair. (And if you're now picturing Hermione as a lesbian, [livejournal.com profile] switchknife has got some excellent recs for you.)

XANDER HARRIS is tall, dark, and geeky; he's prone to wearing loose shirts carefully selected to conceal the hours the actor playing Xander spends at the gym. He's good at getting into trouble, getting donuts, and getting lost. He is possibly the world's champion at coping with danger, fear, loss, and sadness via repression and snarky remarks; he could go back in time, spend all of World War I in the trenches, watch close friends die of gangrene in his arms, suffer from mustard gas poisoning, become completely shellshocked, and get whisked back to Sunnydale only just in time to save his own life, and two hours later he'd be defining the Somme as "an excellent place for tanning" on a history test he'd fail.

If you've read Harry Potter, Xander is Ron with dark hair, worse grades, and a slightly keener sense of humor.

RUPERT GILES is Buffy's Watcher, at least until mid-season 3; what, precisely, that means is a question that has not been satisfactorily answered yet. Something to do with orders and research and training and the Council of Watchers. And English accents. Anyway, Giles is a British librarian with a remarkable collection of books on the occult. He's possibly the only adult in Sunnydale still paying attention (to anything), so it's sort of inevitable that he'd end up with a lot to worry about. (And he's lucky he's the only adult paying attention; if another one was, that one would be asking a lot of uncomfortable questions about the amount of time Giles spends with certain students, and the appropriateness of his relationship with them.) He wears glasses and tweed coats, as all Brits do on American television, and he has a History that apparently involves hooliganism, demon-summoning, and a BDSM-intensive relationship with a chaos lord named Ethan Rayne.

ANGEL is a vampire with a soul, and he never lets anyone forget it for an instant. He walks with his shoulders slumped from guilt and gloom, generally aiming for invisibility but only achieving moodiness. He's sort of like Louis from Anne Rice's vampire series, only somehow less compelling and more Neanderthal. But if he's ever, even for a moment, happy (translation, apparently: if he ever has an orgasm), he becomes...

ANGELUS, who is also a vampire, but who doesn't have a soul and who therefore is a lot more fun than when he's Angel. He's not just a psychotic killer, he's a psychotic killer with panache. And a fantastically twisted sense of humor. And an excellent command of sarcasm and irony. The Vampire's Vampire, if you will.

OZ becomes a werewolf early in the series, but really, that's about the best anyone who attends Sunnydale High can hope for. (The worst being a slow, torturous death, followed by a slow, torturous undeath as the slave of someone with revolting personal hygiene.) Aside from the three nights a month he spends wearing tufts of fake hair, false teeth, and just generally the world's silliest wolfman outfit, he's actually pretty cool. With his intelligence, calm, horrible sense of style, and tendencies to play guitar and take it easy, he's my favorite character in the Buffy world, though running a close race with Giles.

CORDELIA CHASE is sarcastic and has excellent fashion sense, although her outfits tend to vary from "soccer mom" all the way through "high-class whore" without ever stopping at "high-school student"; she ends up fighting evil despite her honest belief that the bad guys have better taste and cooler friends. She's the archetypal popular girl until Buffy 'n' Co manage to drag her down to their level. That's such a shock to her system that she is obliged to leave Sunnydale with Angel.

SPIKE is so heavily featured in FF that you'd think he was the star of the show. He wasn't. But during his appearances on said show, he perked things up to an enormous degree. His motto: "Less ritual, more fun." His self-assessment: "Love's bitch." (Entirely true. He's initially paired with the vampire Drucilla, then with assorted living human females, but in FF he's mostly got Xander writhing in his wicked, deviant hands.) Late in the series there was some nonsense with an anti-violence microchip in his brain, and later still he got a soul, and then he went crazy, and then he died. Probably. Which is proof that Whedon and Co never really had a clue what made their show popular or what the hell to do with the characters after season four.

-The Plot-

In a single episode: Something strange is happening in Sunnydale. Giles and Willow engage in frantic research. Buffy fights. Xander gets hurt, kidnapped, or shoved around. There are interludes of humor (yay!) or romance (barf, especially if it's a moody sequence involving Angel with his shirt off). The good guys triumph, and then celebrate by sitting around a picnic-type table on the high school lawn discussing what they've learned from this. It's sort of like an experiential ropes course, actually, only with more supernatural elements and more wisecracks.

Over the course of a season: At least one popular character experiences a 180-degree personality and moral reversal. A major evil threatens, possibly through that very same character, and is defeated. Someone dies. There is drama and doomed love and enough angst to fill three medium-sized poetry slams. Also some humor. Thank god.

Helpful Information for the BtVS Newbie


-If You Don't Know the Canon-

In case you're not comfortable relying solely on a summary written by a woman who has seen almost a dozen episodes out of the first three seasons (and if you aren't, wow, I'm in awe of your sagacity), here are some real resources. You know, ones that are written by people who know what they're talking about.

Crack Van's Buffy Summary, by [livejournal.com profile] ethrosdemon. This is probably the best resource if you're planning to jump right into the FF without any of that canon nonsense. This features pictures of the main characters, including some I haven't mentioned here (Dawn? Who is this Dawn of which you speak?), and season-by-season guides. Really, all you need to know to read the FF is right here, and there's lots more links in case you've got an unsatisfied hankering.

The Buffy Cross and Stake. If you'd like to get into things a bit more obsessively, this would be a good starting point. This features episode guides, cast rosters, character listings (including characters I've never heard of and so could not mention above), and just lots of general informative goodness.

Buffyworld. Another site for the obsession-inclined. The format's a little annoying, but it has a wealth of information, including transcripts of all the Buffy and Angel shows. (We won't even get into Angel. Mostly because I haven't.)

-Where to Start with BtVS FF-

Actually, I can't tell you where to start. I can only tell you where I started. I'm hoping that anyone who makes it this far who knows more about the fandom will contribute helpful links to other stories in the comments, so that newbies, if any, will have something besides my questionable guidance going for them - 'cause in this fandom, they'll need all the help they can get.

In any case, all I have to offer is the first stories I bookmarked in this fandom, back when I was still fighting with the pilot episode and hoped FF would help.

The Story That Involves Amnesia: Throwing Shapes, by Anna S., [livejournal.com profile] eliade. Spike/Xander. I read this one before I'd ever seen a minute of the canon, and I liked it because it was fun and funny. I continue to like it for those very same reasons. Plus, Anna spoiled me with the way she wrote S/X; I like them best when they're light-hearted and witty, and it's all her fault.

The Most Accessible Story in the Fandom: At a Glance, by Dira Sudis, [livejournal.com profile] dsudis. Spike/Xander. All you need to know to enjoy this one is that Spike's a vampire and Xander's not. Oh, and you should probably understand that becoming a vampire is hard on a human, what with the whole soul-loss thing and all, so if you love a human you probably don't want him to become a vampire. But this is just a really nice, touching long-term love story, and that's understandable no matter what the canon is.

Grim and Grimmer: Modus Vivendi and the alternate ending Ars Moriendi, by Wiseacress. Spike/Xander (look, is it my fault every author I read in the early days was into Spike and Xander?). This was my first real look at what BtVS does so well: sharp-edged, well-written stories that are dark and grim and compelling. And it's still one of the best long stories I've read in the fandom, not to mention an excellent introduction to Xander Harris. Don't go into "Ars Moriendi" thinking it will make things all better, either. It makes things much, much worse.

At Last, a Story That Doesn't Involve Xander: Company in Hell, by [livejournal.com profile] wolfling and [livejournal.com profile] mpoetess (no link for her, sorry). Spike/Giles. This one is set during one of Buffy's periods of canon death (she comes back; death doesn’t stop you in this universe). And Giles is feeling, well, rather down as a result - this is the darker side of Giles, right here. But I suspect this is how Giles would have to be feeling to have sex with a vampire. Which Spike is. In case you'd forgotten.

And a Story That Doesn't Involve Spike: Full of Grace, by [livejournal.com profile] wax_jism. Xander/Oz, which makes an odd sort of sense – they're both more or less human, and they're both actual teen-aged high school students. Works better in my mind than this fandom's usual teenager/ancient vampire mix. And I like the portrayal of Oz, here, who knows what to do even when he has no idea what he's doing, so to speak. This is fairly close to Oz how I see him, though I didn't know that back when I read this; I read this before I met the canon version of Oz.

[identity profile] umbo.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 20:47 (UTC)(link)
You know, I absolutely *detested* Angel when he was on Buffy, and refused to watch the spin-off for years for that reason. Then I watched a crossover ep with Faith and kinda got hooked, and I eventually discovered that while I really like Angel on his own show, and Buffy on her own show, I can't *stand* the two of them together--this even holds true for the couple times Buffy showed up on Angel. And while I hold these views perhaps a little more strongly than some fans, I don't think I'm completely alone. Which is my way of saying, when you get to that point, you might want to give Angel a try--because I think it actually is a better all-around show (although I loved Buffy in its latter seasons).

Just my opinion, of course!

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 21:15 (UTC)(link)
Well, actually, the odds are good that we won't be watching Angel, 'cause it isn't available at the library, and it's kinda hard to commit to buying the whole series without having seen at least an episode or two. But it's good to know I won't necessarily hate Angel in AtS just 'cause I hate him in Buffy, which means if I ever do get the opportunity, I'll watch an episode or two. And encourage BB to watch the whole series.

[identity profile] thete1.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 20:52 (UTC)(link)
Mad Poetess = [livejournal.com profile] mpoetess

Authors you should read:

[livejournal.com profile] kita0610, [livejournal.com profile] moireach, [livejournal.com profile] debchan, [livejournal.com profile] spike21, [livejournal.com profile] obsessedmuch, [livejournal.com profile] mimesere... lots of others, really. Those are the ones off the top of my head. :D

Kita, bless her, also has my favoritest archive for the fandom in Campfire Tales (http://www.ficbitch.com/campfiretales).

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 21:16 (UTC)(link)
Many thanks for the Mad Poetess info (updated), and many, many thanks for the recs. Yay!

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 20:54 (UTC)(link)
I adore you even more, if such a thing is possible. Still PMSing. Need more FF.

I rebounded off its +8 Mystical Shield of Confusion every time.

Ha ha ha ha ha *gasp* *wheeze* ha ah ahaha hahaha hah ahah aha ahha.. *choke*

Yeah. Just about like that. Man, I have never seen a full ep of this show and I still read fanfiction for it, but sometimes it really throws me. There are, however, many tasty long gothic BDSM epics in this fandom, and you knwo I'm a sucker for that stuff. Speakign of which, I read something you recced in Buffy the other day - something by Anna S - and loved it, so thanks.

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 21:19 (UTC)(link)
Glad you liked it. Hope it will bring some light to the PMS-filled darkness, so to speak.

(PMS continues to rage here unabated, but am now in the throes of minor illnessy-type thing as well. Fever. Aches. Inability to stay vertical for more than two hours. Thank god for the almost-entirely-finished FIHL that I have lying around, or I'd have nothing to post at all.)

Anna S. kicks ass. You should probably read all her stuff. Or almost all her stuff. Her abandoned WIP is wonderful and good and then WHAM there's a brutal, horrible rape and Blair is all covered with scars and humiliation and horror. It was way too much for me. Consensual beatings? Fine and good. But rape? No. Just, no.

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-05-25 21:53 (UTC)(link)
Yeah. Cannot cope with the Bad Stuff. I need me some happy endings, some closure. I didn't read any of your misery recs. You say, dark, angsty, I say, no thankee.

Have been easing into Due South. The whole double-Ray and random wolf thing throw me a little. And I don't have a Mountie uniform fetish. But so many good writers in that fandom! And it is practically tradition that I adopt new fandoms when deadlines loom. Is how I self-destruct my life.

*goes off to read more fic*

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 08:30 (UTC)(link)
New fandoms are also my self-destruct method of choice. My plan is to adopt them at a furious pace, so that sooner or later I will run out of fandoms, and then I will have to, you know, do whatever it is that people who don't read FF do. Shampoo my carpets or something.

The double-Ray thing confused me when I started in the fandom, too, and I was seriously thrown by the whole lip-reading-in-five-languages half-wolf thing, but I got over it. Because, as you say, there are many, many good writers in that fandom. And - you'll like this - a lot of BDSM fic. (For reasons unknown, many due South and The Sentinel writers are convinced that immediately after the guys admit their mutual passion they will plunge into a long-term relationship that will involve handcuffing each other to lighting fixtures on a nightly basis. And, in dS's case, moving to Canada.)

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 09:51 (UTC)(link)
It's all those handcuffs lying around. Gives a man ideas.

I like your plan. Adopt them all! Then we will be free! *hums "we shall overcome" quietly*

Heh. Carpet shampooing, here I come.

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 19:08 (UTC)(link)
Quite right. Because if you've got the handcuffs, might as well put them to good use, right?

Good god. This theory explains, in retrospect, a frightening amount about my sex life.

And I think there might be some sort of flaw in my logic - adopt them all, and then we will be free - but I'm far too busy flirting with The Man From UNCLE to identify them. Join me! Join me in every fandom! Together, we can conquer the fannish world! Or universe! Multiverse! Whatever!

*sings a rousing rendition of "On, Wisconsin" with numerous appropriate word substitutions*

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 19:42 (UTC)(link)
It doesn't explain nearly enough about mine, but Mr. V. (short for Mr. Vanillapants, if that gives you a clue to the issue here...) is a remarkably . . . unhandcuffy. . . mate. We have them. I think they are still in their wrapping, in my sad, lonely toybox with all the other toys I used to love to play with. Cry Cry.

I'm willing to join you in any fandom - I, of course, am a big RPS freak too, so I have more fandoms than you do, really (nyah! nyah!). I will seduce you to the Dark Side yet, missy. I am really really hoping I don't pick up a new fandom that will interfere with RL around my wedding - I want to be fully in RL for that, and when I get really sucked into a new fandom it truly takes over my brain. So, no new fandoms after June 15. Until at least mid-July.

I don't think I've ever heard, "On, Wisconsin", but I will be there in two days so I will ask around, see if anyone can fill me in.

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-27 18:45 (UTC)(link)
Well, my motto has always been: it only takes a few extra minutes to securely chain your loved one to an immovable element of your living quarters, and if it makes her happy, those minutes are worth it.

I'm thinking we should all get you some lovely BDSM fics as wedding presents. Where does one go to get things of that kind? Are you registered with a writer somewhere?

(Note: you will not suck me into RPS. You won't, you won't. I have so few remaining standards, and I cling to them with such pathetic pride. You would not rip them from my bosom, would you? Wait, who am I kidding? Of course you would. But I shall be steadfast. I shall!)

And you have too heard "On, Wisconsin." You must have, because everyone has. Everyone. I don't even know anyone from Wisconsin and I've heard the damn song. But if you insist on maintaining that you haven't, there's a version on this page (http://www.50states.com/songs/wisconsin.htm) (click "listen to MIDI"), which has the distinction of being the tinniest version of the song I've ever heard. And there's two versions on on this page (http://www.badgerband.com/music/onwis.html), neither of which sound much at all like the song I know. But the less traditional one (http://www.badgerband.com/songs/on_wis_marching.mp3) is vaguely more familiar. Vaguely.

And if that's not enough to tempt you, ask yourself this: how many football fight songs (not to mention "the finest of college marching songs," according to John Philip Sousa) and state songs mention badgers? Not nearly enough, I think you'll agree. But this one does. (And now we need to find one that mentions wombats.)

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-05-27 20:13 (UTC)(link)
I PROPOSED TO YOU!!! (http://www.livejournal.com/users/makesmewannadie/86740.html) WHAT DO YOU SAY OMG?

Listened to awful tinny MIDI. Never heard it. But hey, badgers! I could get behind that. Badgers are cute.

If I could register with writers, you know I would, though Mr. V. is not happy about slash and so they probably would not make for good wedding presents. I so envy you the charm and helpfulness of your BB, who sits through Buffy to help you read more fic.

As for RPS, is best if you like teh kink. Because there is lots of it. Some damn good writers are mainly with the RPS. But you have more than enough to keep you busy. Divide and conquer: You take all the DC- and Marvel-verse fanfic, and all the videogames I haven't played, and I'll take all the RPS.



[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-29 00:20 (UTC)(link)
I love you and I have said yes yes yes. Because you are a wonderful human being. And we are long-lost mystery relatives, after all: clearly, it is meant to be.

I'm no longer sure how I feel about the kink. I used to be pro some kinds, anti other kinds. And I had very definite opinions on everything. (Usually along a continuum. For example - Bondage: god, yes. Dom/sub stuff: Mmmm. Yes. Pain: depends. Serious pain: um, probably not. Humiliation: Definitely not. Permanent scarring and lots o' blood: absolutely not.) But last night I found myself reading a series of BtVS stories with, shall we say, a heapin' helpin' of kink, including serious bloodplay, torture, oxygen deprivation, and, if I don't miss my guess, actual (though temporary) death, and I was just thinking: hmm. It did nothing for me one way or the other, and that sort of scares me, actually. Has FF corrupted me for all eternity? Worse, has FF corrupted me in such a way that even things I would previously have found pretty revolting now don't bother me provided the author conscientiously followed basic English usage rules?

Better steer clear of the serious kink while I've still got a standard or two left, is my conclusion. Divide and conquer it is, then.

And Mr. V is a party pooper. I mean, really - no handcuffs? Dubious about slash? The man just doesn't know what's good. (Why, yes, I am the arbiter of good, thank you for asking. I think I inherited the position after my great-grandmother died, but I will have to check the forms and get back to you on that.)

So you are hereby invited to come marry BB and me. We will be delighted with the slash reading, and the slash writing, and the loud arguments about explicit slash in public places, although BB still gets slightly embarrassed about that last one, just so you know.

[identity profile] fanofall.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 10:55 (UTC)(link)
Please check your e-mail. There's a ginormous surprise for you.

[identity profile] virtualinsomnia.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 13:45 (UTC)(link)
Getting into the Buffy world, eh? As one who's been there for a while, I'm honestly not sure whether to congratulate you or pity you. Much goodness awaits, but also much really, really bad stuff. Like groan-worthy bad.

Somebody already linked [livejournal.com profile] obsessedmuch but I have to second it, seeing as Lar's one of the best BtVS/Angel writers around, IMHO.

I would also have to agree with somebody else who mentioned that Angel the show is actually the better of the two. I think because all the characters are adults and not in school, so it can be much darker without having to worry about the kiddies. The plots are consistently much more complex and involved and the show isn't afraid to cross the line into grey areas where things aren't always outlined in black and white. And Angel himself is actually a likeable character on his own show, thank god.

Plus, you know, some of the slashiest characters ever are on that show. Lindsey McDonald, for instance, is a guy who's just incredibly yummy and snarky and *so* getting it on with Angel offscreen. *g*

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 19:02 (UTC)(link)
I'll take congratulations and pity, thanks. The fannish combo plate!

Because, yes, I've encountered the bad. Not that there isn't badness in every fandom - even in the tiny fandoms I cherish for their overall quality, I sometimes find something so bad it's enough to make me weep openly and curse the darkness and so on. But BtVS manages to contain both works of startling, thank-you-god quality and works so bad that where they pass nothing ever grows again.

I'm hearing a lot of good stuff about Angel. My question: is it good enough to be worth buying on DVD sight-unseen?

[identity profile] virtualinsomnia.livejournal.com 2004-05-28 03:52 (UTC)(link)
Well, my advise? If there is absolutely NO WAY of seeing some of the eps first, then just think of BtVS. And then think of it a little darker, a little more grown up and a little more willing to dabble in the grey areas. With lots of David Boreanaz (sp?), which I admit can be a double edged sword at times, and some fabulous Cordy snark. Does this sound good? Then I'd buy season one (you can usually find it for around $40 or so if you try) and try it out. And if you hate it? That's what used DVD stores are for, my friend. *g*

Season 2 is really the best season, but you can't really start there. You have to start at the beginning. Sadly, season 1 is a bit disjointed because they lose a main credits cast member about half way through (I'm assuming this isn't a spoiler by this point, since it happened ages ago, but I won't elaborate with names just in case...) due to RL issues that couldn't be helped, and so they had to replace said character with someone else to round out the cast. But it's still pretty good, regardless. And it leads up to S2, which is hands down my favorite. (Lindsey! *twirls*)

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-29 01:15 (UTC)(link)
Hmmm. Well, as far as I know, there is no way we can see any of the eps first. But BB is considering (though resisting) the idea of buying S1 sight unseen. (I think the urging of all you lot is helping some.)

Lindsey seems to be everyone's favorite character. What is it with this guy? (I'm ashamed to admit that until a few weeks ago I thought Lindsey was female. Shows what I know.)

[identity profile] virtualinsomnia.livejournal.com 2004-05-29 05:18 (UTC)(link)
What's so great about Lindsey? Well, he's pretty (http://www.christiankane-maverick.com/gallery/magazines/christiankane007.jpg). Not to mention, he's also extremely pretty (http://www.christiankane-maverick.com/gallery/magazines/christiankane010.jpg). Plus, there's always the pretty (http://www.christiankane-maverick.com/gallery/angel_deadend/de11.jpg). And the pretty (http://www.christiankane-maverick.com/gallery/angel_fivebyfive/fbf1.jpg). And finally, when all else fails, you can always fall back on... you guessed it... the pretty (http://www.christiankane-maverick.com/gallery/angel_510/lindsey.jpg).

And if that's not enough? There's also the fact that he sings and plays guitar (http://www.christiankane-maverick.com/gallery/angel_deadend/de595.jpg) deliciously well.

And then... when all else fails... there's the snark. And the slashiness. And the moral ambiguity. And just the general yumminess.

There. I trust that I have sufficiently made my case? ;)

[identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 16:23 (UTC)(link)
I've never been much for Buffy fanfic, because when I got into Buffy I found some of the worst stories ever written. They were so bad that it was a year and a half before I was lured in Smallville fanfic. And as a show, I've found myself generally satisfied by the stories onscreen, so I didn't feel a need to go looking for independent interpretations. Still, now that it's over, I might just have to take a look. The lure of BDSM epics looms in my mind.

I watched Angel first, and then got into Buffy, and when I wanted to find out the backstory I read all the episode summaries at the Buffy Cross & Stake. Ah, the good days of slacking at work. Then a friend loaned me the early seasons . . .

Also, later seasons of Angel clarified that "true happiness" does not equal "orgasm"; "th" = "sex with Buffy" apparently.

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-26 18:56 (UTC)(link)
Take a look at BtVS. Yea, verily. We must all acquire all the fandoms we can, for it is right and just and, well, misery loves company.

Not that we are miserable in the BtVS fandom. No. Not as a general rule, anyway, provided we are careful about what we read. We would not advise you to go reading at random though, unless you have a strong stomach and are out of reach of sharp implements.

But, seriously, there's BDSM epics up one side of this fandom and down the other. Ask [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie about this; she beards said epics in their lairs on a pretty regular basis. Plus, she has good taste, and is my long-lost mystery relative.

Thanks for clarifying the "true happiness" question. So Angel can have sex with anyone but Buffy, and can be sort of vaguely happy, or even pretty darn happy, as long as Buffy isn't involved? That's, well, let me just say that if I ever cursed someone with my dying breath, I'd want said curse to be a bit harsher than that.

On the other hand, it explains how he's survived all those years without being happy. Because happiness is a sneaky beast, and sometimes it just pounces on you without warning - you just wake up one day and you're really, really happy and you don't know why. And I once thought, hey, if that happened to Angel, before he could even remind himself about the People He's Killed and the Harm He's Done, poof!, no soul, and he's off doing harm again. But sex with Buffy isn't really the kind of thing that just happens if you aren't paying attention; I can see how due diligence could've kept Angel from doing that. Except, of course, for the one time. Oooops.

[identity profile] virtualinsomnia.livejournal.com 2004-05-28 03:57 (UTC)(link)
Actually, it's not specifically "sex with Buffy" that does it. But sex in general doesn't always do it, no. The line's a bit blurry, but basically "sex with someone you REALLY love" will get the soul pretty much every time.

And they also played with drugs inducing a "false" state of perfect happiness, if I remember correctly. That was... interesting. ;)

[identity profile] thefourthvine.livejournal.com 2004-05-29 01:12 (UTC)(link)
And they also played with drugs inducing a "false" state of perfect happiness, if I remember correctly. That was... interesting. ;)

Huh. That does sound interesting. When was this? And who was doing the playing? It doesn't sound Angelesque, somehow, playing with the soul curse.

I still sort of want to know what happens when Angel wakes up happy for no reason. But, hey, he's gloomy enough - maybe it never happens. I'd love to see his score on the Beck Depression Inventory. Or his mood diary:

1931 - 1971: Depressed.
January 4, 1972: Very depressed.
January 5, 1972: Severely depressed. Contemplated suicide, but decided wasn't worthy of it.
January 6, 1972 - 1984: Angsty. Considered taking up hobby - knitting? self-flagellation? - but was concerned would improve mood, so did not.
1985: Oppressed by visions of doom and feelings of worthlessness. Read Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Envied title character. Felt guilty about actions of Angel. Also Alec, though do not share name with him.
1986 - 1991: Depressed and angsty.
1992: Depressed. Sat in the dark and stared at crack in wall shaped like a stake. In late November, shifted gaze to ceiling. Ceiling dirty. No more than I deserve.

[identity profile] virtualinsomnia.livejournal.com 2004-05-29 05:23 (UTC)(link)
*dies laughing*

Oh. my. god. That was brilliant!!!

*wipes tears from eyes*

Hehehehe.

Oh, and the "drugs inducing a false state of perfect happiness" thing? That was in S1 Angel, if I remember correctly. Though he did not take the drugs himself (because, being somewhat boring, he just wouldn't do that), somebody else slipped them into his blood or something. Been a while since I've seen the ep, so my memory's a bit hazy.

[identity profile] wolfling.livejournal.com 2004-12-07 22:49 (UTC)(link)
Yep, s1 Angel ep Eternity. Drug was slipped into a glass of wine.

As for the curse thingy -- there's a scene in s5 Angel (beginning of Smiletime) that discusses exactly what breaks -- or doesn't break -- the curse. A scene IMO that was about five seasons late in coming but it was nice to finally see.

I would vote for yes, Angel dvds are most certainly worth buying sight unseen. It's an incredible series and isn't afraid to go really dark at times. Season 1 is less arcy than later seasons but it still has some wonderful moments. (My favourite season is season 4, but I have favourite episodes from every season).

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-06-03 20:57 (UTC)(link)
*snork*

[identity profile] norah.livejournal.com 2004-05-27 00:56 (UTC)(link)
No kidding. I think I might do a long multifandom post after the master's thesis of BDSM epics. But people recced me several in the comments here (http://www.livejournal.com/users/makesmewannadie/80148.html) - quality varies. And wolfshark recced me some more (ww.livejournal.com/community/voteworks/11395.html?mode=reply). Quality, again, varies, but < lj user="wolfshark">'s were consistently better than the ones I got from the random commenting.

[identity profile] apatheia-jane.livejournal.com 2005-06-25 20:47 (UTC)(link)
omg - u have to get the last season of Angel. There's Spike, & Angel gets turned into a puppet.

I skipped seasons 3-4, got sucked back in when Faith showed up, lost it again, then stuck around for the last season.

Featuring lines like "I have no problem spanking men" and "Angel? You're a wee little puppet man!"

Plus, Spike & Angel spend hours bickering over who would win in a fight between cavemen & astronauts. I love how they make each other regress. Plus, they hold hands while strolling through a moodily lit graveyard. And omg the flashbacks! Apparently, the love's bitch thing with Spike started when Angelus rejected him back in ye olde times. There's the bit where Angelus shoves him up on a table, stradles him, & informs him that "don't get me wrong, I like the ladies, but lately, I've been wondering what it would be like to share the company of men" (paraphrasing from memory, & remember this is in horrendous Irish accent). My brain was for some reason overdubbing this with orc yells of "manflesh!" which was a little distracting.

[identity profile] moonarf.livejournal.com 2006-01-21 23:06 (UTC)(link)
I wouldn't watch the angel series. They killed off their best character in the 9th episode (but if you really want to, you could sign up for blockbusters online thingee and you could order it and watch it and keep it as long as you want and you can order other stuff too so...). Spike didn't die in the Buffy series until the very last episode, and he comes back in AtS. And as far as the Giles thingee goes he was suppose to give Buffy some sort of test thing where he hypnotizes her and drains her of all her powers and then locks in her in with a super evil vampire who kills her or she out brains him, but he chickens out (not that that's a bad thing) half way through and tells her. So the council fires him.

Sorry if I repeated anything anybody else said, didn't read the comments. I love Oz too, I actually know this great (well, I think it's great but I'm not exactly the pickiest person around) little site that's ff about his life after he leaves Buffy, you might have already seen it but just in case. http://uk.geocities.com/joannabuk/MonicoIndex.html