Friday, October 05, 2007

Spuffy pt. 1

So for the past couple weeks I have been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from start to finish. I'd caught episodes here and there when it went syndicated but never really got into it, I remember a good friend of mine being really obsessed with Angel, but I never found him terribly attractive so it wasn't much of a motivator to watch :P

So anyway, I finished it last night. Overall, it really was a good series. Natureally the last season was a bit weak, but they always are, it's why they're the last. It made me like Seth Green even more than I did before, I wish he hadn't decided to pursue other areas so quickly, his character was a real asset to the group. I'm also glad I'm not the only one who fell in love with Spike and thus he was able to stay on the show (originally he was going to just be killed off like other villians). Also, James Marsters (who's on Smallville now) really is quite the actor, there's always a few of those on TV, and he's definitely one of them, Spike originally was a pretty straight forward character, but they went all over the place with him later on and James didn't miss a beat. Almost makes me want to watch Angel and Smallville just to see his further work.

Naturally, I didn't agree with everything they did with this series. The Spike-Buffy relationship was drawn out in season six for no good reason, and I truly don't think Buffy ever came to terms with how she felt about Spike, or at least, it wasn't resolved enough for him to believe her. That, I found quite frustrating, and hypocritical in her character (and there's nothing I hate more than writers making a character a hypocrit to fit a storyline). She could have loved him, and she should have, after everything that happened between them.

The X-Files ending was more satisfying in that respect, they gave us what we knew should come for Mulder and Scully. Buffy didn't quite do that, I mean, yah, she said she loved him, but he didn't believe her and she didn't drive it home that "no, really, I do" which would have been ok, or made him run upstairs with her and not die (or apparently let his soul get stuck in this amulet thingie he was wearing according to the Angel plotlines). Also that she couldn't love him before he had his "soul" I found rather suspect. She knew all about his past, this demony thing he called up in his bad days even commented on how much affection there was between Spike and Druscilla, and how normally he would kill both of them for having such "humanity" about them. And the stuff he sang to her in the musical episode should have proved it beyond a doubt. (btw, musical episode, totally awesome, probably my favorite one, too bad Seth Green's character missed it) Vampires are capable of love, and as Anne Rice was obviously a huge influence on Whedon's construction of vampires (Spike was very very Lestatish and Angel very Louisish and plus she is sort of the authority), I am going to go with her universe on this one. Of course it will be an obsessive and over the top sort of love, but they can feel it.

Anyways, certainly his soul gave him a better understanding of the humans around him and such, but it shouldn't have been necessary for her to care for him in the first place, and when he went and got it, that should have been enough for her. But apparently it wasn't. After having us on hold for two and a half seasons about them I thought that was rather lame. Also randomly killing off him and Anya and not any of the others was rather lame. Either a bunch of them should have died, or none, half assed things like that annoy me.

So yah, on concluding the series these are my thoughts :P Now, where's my bleach blonde badass vampire to love? :P

From the comments to the original post:

tel_jagin wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2006 08:39 am (local)
Buffy never loved Spike. She was just using him to fill void in her life. Buffy develops an affection for Spike by the end, but never love. Never what she felt for Angel. Spike comes to understand that once he gains his soul and a with it a basic understanding of what love is.
jadeserenity wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2006 08:43 am (local)
Which is what I'm bitching about :P

I could add on a rant about I don't see what's so fucking special about Angel too :P

tel_jagin wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2006 08:58 am (local)
Angel is special because his love for Buffy is more selfless and real than Spike's. Spike is in love with Buffy, in a passionate sense. But Angel's love transcends that. Angel loves her enough to realize that he is a destructive influence in her life and that he needs to let her go.

If you ever get the chance you should watch the Angel episode "I Will Remember You". It's a beautiful expression of Angel's true selfless love for Buffy.
jadeserenity wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2006 03:31 pm (local)
Oh yah, he loves her. He loves her so much that he goes into a obsessive psychotic rampage as soon as his curse is lifted, which is lifted, when he has sex with her, how transcendent :P

Versus Spike, who comes to love her even BEFORE he has a soul, and whether it's rooted in attraction and passion, well, most love is, imho, and obviously Angel's is as well since, again, SEX was his one moment of "true happiness." I would also note here that the "best night of his life" for Spike was the nights they spent cuddling, not all the times they had sex.

For all the above reasons I find Angel's love very very suspect. For all we know, the curse on him, which gives him a soul, didn't even give him HIS old soul, but just a conscience in general, and even when he was human he wouldn't have cared for Buffy. I also find it rather telling that what Angellus says he hates about Buffy was that she made him feel human, and this is what pre-soul Spike sings to her that she also makes him feel and that he loves her for it. Angel's love is just all to artificial feeling for me, and he's a brooding, whiny, shallow man to boot, so, I just can't stand him in general.

Course it also goes into some of the things I don't like about Buffy. I mean, I'm sorry, but after the whole Angellus thing, I would have gotten over that kid. He's not her one true love, he's her FIRST love, and while I understand perfectly well what those mean to a person, gimme a break, it doesn't stay with you through two other serious and complicated relationships, that's just pathetic on her part.
tel_jagin wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2006 08:52 pm (local)
If you watch Angel, you will find out that sex alone does not provide the true happiness needed to lift the curse. And we find out that human Angel would have loved Buffy the same.

In my mind, it's Angelus/Angel dichotomy that makes Angel's love for Buffy so pure. Angel realizes that his true nature is a danger to Buffy. Angel's humanity gives him the strength of will to transcend his true nature and the selflessness to truly prove he loved Buffy by letting her go.

Spike, on the other hand, is a much more selfish and morally ambiguous character. He is more focused on his own feelings and less on what is in Buffy's best interests. All of his apparent efforts at redemption are ultimately selfishly motivated and aimed at winning Buffy's favor. But he did not possess the level of self-awareness to realize that his relationship with Buffy was destroying her and any future relationship would do the same.

Spike feels romantic love toward Buffy, but he doesn't feel real love toward her (affection and concern). He feels Eros, but not Agapē. Only at the very end of season seven does Spike feel any rational love for Buffy that is not totally based upon self-interest.
jadeserenity wrote:
Oct. 12th, 2006 09:42 pm (local)
You call it Angel's humanity, I call it the curse, and there is no proof there is anything genuine in it at all. I haven't watched Angel because I find nothing interesting or very redeeming in Angel's character, so while I admit I might not have the whole scoop on him, my entire point comes from what we learn about him on Buffy :P

If Spike went and got his own soul back through trials, I would think the older and wiser Angel could have done the same, thus nullifying the whole issue of the curse. When he found out Spike HAD done this, he could have done the same, at the very least, if Buffy is such his true love.

All people are selfish. Buffy, Spike, Angel, all of them act selfishly throughout all the seasons. If Buffy wasn't so wrapped up in herself she could easily have been happy with Spike. Probably not forever, and perhaps not in some overblown romantic brooding way that she seems to like, but still. She even shows us this in the invisible ray episode, where she is imo the happiest we see her the entire series, because she can have what she wants with no consequences. What she continually fails to realize is that despite being destined for certain things, most of her life and happiness is in her own hands, and she could have whatever she wants.

Saying he doesn't have her best interests at her a man she deserves, a man with a soul, to say that is purely self serving is like the old arguement about altruism, is it truly altruistic if you get pleasure out of it? I never subscribed to that theory. Just because if she does fall in love with him he is getting happiness too doesn't change the fact that he is trying to be a man he feels is worthy of her love. That is commendable, no matter if he stands to gain from it too or not.

I agree that he feels more affection and less lust at the end of the series. But to me, his love only deepens, it doesn't become love later. To relate it simply as eros versus agape is over simplifying what love is and how it functions in people's lives.

In the end, you said it yourself, Angel's TRUE NATURE is a danger to Buffy, and wants to drive her mad and then kill her. That's his true nature. Spike's true nature is still vampiric, but even in this state, in his vampirey way, he loves Buffy, he is willing to die or kill for her, he sobs like a baby when she dies, he is willing to die not only to protect her but her sister as well, and he loves her for helping him feel/remember his humanity. That's his true nature. I would rather have -that- for myself.

1 comment:

  1. I only read the first couple of paragraphs of this post because I'm doing the same (watching Buffy in its entirety from the beginning) but am still only on season 3. Can't wait to read the rest, though! :)


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