5/19/2004 Add a comment

Tonight brings the series finale of Angel, and I'm already mourning the loss not only of my favorite hour of appointment television but of the Buffyverse. I wasn't a fan of Angel at first and I've had issues with it at various times. For one thing, I missed the feminist spark that animated Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And for another, the series had trouble establishing its own tone. But during the five-year run, the series found its own voice. David Boreanaz became a dark, tortured, angsty, and really funny leading man, while the secondary characters, particularly Alexis Denisof as Wesley, grew into their character arcs. I think I'll miss Wesley most of all; his affair with femme fatale and film noir villainess Lilah was a high point of the series. But I'll also miss Amy Acker as geek-girl turned ancient-goddess, J. August Richards as Charles Gunn, the baddest lawyer on the planet, and of course, James Marsters as the other vampire with a soul.)

When Buffy ended, it went out with a bang--with the power of the Slayer transferred to all of the potentials around the world. It was a brilliant extension of the metaphor of the Slayer. We're all slayers, Buffy said, and we all have the power to kick demon ass, whether those demons be bad boyfriends or lost friendships or just a bad final exam. (I'll be sure to apply this lesson to my Federal Income Taxation final exam tomorrow. When in doubt, I'll just roundhouse kick section 1014 and double-punch the realization requirement.) Angel's series finale, I hope, will end differently. While Angel had its own epic moments, it was never about the big sacrifice. Instead, it was about the daily struggle to atone for one's sins, to live up to who you could be, to seek redemption. I'd love to see Angel finally earn his shanshu--but it would be far more appropriate for Angel to keep fighting, to keep working for that redemption, even though it's far away.

And Joss Whedon, who created the fabulous and epic Buffyverse, should know that if he ever makes a spinoff, a TV movie, a comic book, an animated series, a broadway musical, or a fabulous feature movie, whether it stars Sarah Michelle Gellar or the chick that was an extra in episode 4 of season 2, I am SO THERE. Gretchen

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