Angel, “Becoming Part II” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
This was before I knew that often times dead doesn’t stay dead. This was before I had the internet to turn to for any kind of casting reassurance. I thought Angel was really really dead and gone. Forever. And to make matters worse, he went in the most heartbreaking way possible: killed by the love of his life moments after his soul was restored. I probably spent the summer sending angry letters to Joss Whedon for doing the unthinkable and making me hate Buffy Summers. But not really.
I’m currently watching the fourth season of The IT Crowd and I just finished watching Summer Heights High and both Moss and Ja’mie are amazing, but I’m going with the Paul Rudd produced Party Down here. I’m not obsessed but I really really like it. It’s dry and funny and seems to feature some Veronica Mars actor each week and I love love love the cast and characters. Especially Martin Starr and his portrayal of angry “hard sci-fi” writing geek Roman. The show’s been canceled but (as long as Lizzy Caplan lands on her feet somewhere else) I actually think that’s fine with me. I prefer things to go out on top rather than drag on for four more watered down excess seasons.
Easiest question of the whole lot. Buffy was definitely my first television love. It was the first show I needed to watch. The first show I talked about at school the next day. The first show I cried over. The first show I invested any part of myself in. It was the only show ever whose posters adorned my bedroom walls. (Ok, it was one poster. And it was Angel.) Buffy, Kendra and Faith (oh my god, I loved Faith) were my trifecta of awesomeness. Angel was my imaginary boyfriend. Vampires were so cool. Yeah, I was young. Young enough to believe in happy endings and naive enough to think writers could never let me down. Ah, television was wonderful. And then Dawn appeared out of thin air and Buffy and I broke up. And it was nasty and heartbreaking and I never even saw how the whole thing ended and I still wonder what was and what could have been.
Oh gosh, sometimes I can’t remember what happened last week let alone remember an episode of television I saw three, five or eight years ago. But I do remember this episode of Battlestar wherein the fleet is being attacked by the Cylons every 33 minutes and they must resort to heartbreaking and morally questionable measures to survive. And I remember it because I truly felt it. Like, ‘I just shit my pants and I’m having a heart attack’ felt it. It was depressing and hopeless and human and beyond tense and everything else that it needed to be in order to reel me (a sci-fi cynic) in.
“Through the Looking Glass,” Lost (Season 3 finale)
I was never a huge fan of Lost but I’ll be the first to admit that this was a very solid, touching and surprising episode. The Charlie storyline was good enough to rank this as one of my favorite Lost episodes, but obviously what made this an “OMG WTF?” season finale was the ending reveal… “This is not a flashback, it’s a flash-forward. They’re off the island!? OMG, WTF!?” No, this wasn’t your run of the mill cliffhanger finale, it was a true game changer that reframed the entire show and, of course, led to an entirely new set of questions.
Men who look really good in suits? Check. Lots of awards? Check. The gorgeous, magnificent, fabulous and flawless Christina Hendricks? Checkmate. I promise, one of these days, when my seemingly endless Netflix queue dries up, I’ll finally get around to actually watching this.
Look, deep, insightful, transcendent television quotes (as few and as far between as they may be) are lovely but they’re just not practical. My brain can’t and doesn’t retain them and I’m not about to go thumbing through the internet annals to recover them. Therefore, for my own sanity’s sake, I’m sticking with terse and effective. And integrable. So, as sinister and awesome as, “You are the harbinger of death Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end.” sounds, it’s not useful to me in everyday life like “I want to go to there” is. God love Liz Lemon and god love food.
[Also: “How rude!” (Stephanie Tanner, Full House) and “Frak” (Battlestar Galactica)]
So many annoying characters, so little time. Can we just rephrase this question to “worst character ever in the history of the world”? That’ll do. I loathed Dawn with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns. There’s no point in even getting into specifics here because I hated everything she was and everything she did to the show. She completely and utterly ruined Buffy for me and at the time it was unimaginable that anything could be capable of such a thing.
[Also: Kate Austen (Lost), Owen Hunt (Grey’s Anatomy), JD (Scrubs), Mr. Schuester (Glee)]
This prompt made me realize that there are not a lot of shows that I stick with until the end and consequently I don’t have a lot to choose from for this. No matter. The Six Feet Under finale is the best television finale ever. If this isn’t already a fact then it should be made one. It’s a brilliant ending that fits perfectly with the theme of the show. And as an added bonus the use of music at the end is unparalleled. Art, meet art.
Buffy + Angel = Bangel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel)
I shipped Buffy and Angel long before I knew what a ship was and I loved them with a teenage intensity that will never be duplicated. They took Romeo and Juliet’s whole star crossed lovers thing to new heights. He was dark and brooding and handsome and mysterious and tortured and complicated and really really old and a vampire. She was young and immature and burdened and conflicted and innocent and heroic and a vampire slayer. Things never looked good for them. Then they found out they couldn’t have sex without summoning the apocalypse… I think I picked the wrong couple to root for.
[Also: Sawyer and Juliet (Lost), Booth and Brennan (Bones). All the rest are weird and/or out of left field… Like Starbuck and Leoben on Battlestar or Christina and Jackson on Grey’s Anatomy.]