So I watched a bit (by a bit, I mean several episodes) of Buffy and Angel over the weekend. I’m up to season five of Buffy and two of Angel, watching them in the order suggested by this fabulous website (if ever you’re unsure of how best to watch these shows, why not give it a try this way? It’s working pretty well for me so far.) and I’ll warn you now, if you don’t want spoilers you probably shouldn’t keep reading.
I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THESE SHOWS WITHOUT GIVING SPOILERS SO PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE, IF YOU’RE DOING THE BUFFY/ANGEL THING AND DON’T WANT SPOILERS, SKIP THE SECTION BETWEEN THE TWO PARAGRAPHS OF BOLD TEXT.
There. Duty done.
Buffy’s mum is getting recovering from her brain tumour op leaving Buffy free to stop worrying for a tiny bit. Except Spike, being Spike, takes her to the den where Riley is getting himself bit for kicks. Now . . . I found Riley boring and a bit 2D until this season. Finally (!) he started to call Buffy out on her me-me-me attitude and make plain that he’s worth more. I finally (!) started to like him because flaws like going to that den for his jollies really appealed to me.
Spike, I’ve always loved. Getting a bit of the background on how Drusilla found him and what he was like before she sank her teeth was wonderful and I hated Buffy all the more for pulling out that ‘You’re beneath me’ line. I really wanted to smack her in the mouth.
But Spike isn’t the sort of character who needs my protection. Hell, I should be running like hell in the other direction if he ever showed up because he’d eat me sure as smile at me. Well . . . maybe not with that chip in his head but you know what I mean. So why do I fancy the pants off him?
And Angel? He left Darla and Drusilla in a room with all the top brass lawyers in Wulfram and Hart, knowing full well it would be a blood bath. I LOVED that. I don’t know what happened yet (next episode tonight!) but I know it’s not going to be pretty. And, when Cordy, Gunn and Wesley called him out on that, he fired them all! He’s going dark and I love-love-love-love (!!!) Angelus. I could debate, all day, whether or not he and Angel are the same person, but that’s not what this is about. Angelus is FAR more interesting than Angel. Because he’s ‘bad.’
SPOILERS COMPLETE. 😉
. . . then I look at ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ and ‘On A Knife Point.’ There’s one character I can’t name (certainly don’t want to give you spoilers for these stories!) but this person is awful. Truly terrible and I adore writing about them. I love the manipulative agenda of this character and the way everyone around them is sucked in, whether they want it or not. Strength doesn’t matter: this character just has a skill for moulding people around them into anything they want and playing them like a lute. What I love most, however, is watching the transition from blind, selfish wrong-doing, to wrong-doing with a higher purpose to selfless do-gooding (is that a phrase?) with a hint of bad on the side.
This character is my absolute favourite. Even over several others that you might expect I like more. So what gives?
What is it about the villian that we love so much? Or is it that we love to hate? What is it about the Jokers, the Steerpikes, the Dr Evils, the Loki’s of the fantasy/book/film world that we love so much? Why do we root for them?
Well . . . I haven’t done a series for a while, so I’m going to spend some time talking about this. I’m going to break down why these ‘bad guys’ are so appealing to me as a writer, reader and consumer of movies.
Stay tuned folks. This should be fun!