On the bright side, my weird hours allowed me to chat with the wonderful (and like minded :) scarlettfish.
So, why do I feel as I do? Let me dissect...
OK, I admit it, I will miss having a Joss show on air next season (that's assuming Angel doesn't get a repreive and Joss doesn't have something else in the works). I also think it's deplorable that The WB (as well as the other networks) continue to cancel quality shows and give us crap in it place. Charmed and One Tree Hill were renewed? Nuff said.
On the other hand, let my play devil's advocate for The WB. While ratings for Angel are up this season, I think they expected more of an improvement with the addition of Spike and Smallville as a lead in. David's contract is up for renewal. We know that means he'd be asking for a big pay hike. Which, in turn, would lead the other actors to ask for more. Once again, the show would become very pricey to continue with very little return for The WB, a network struggling at the moment.
Now, what of David and Joss? Joss has gone back and forth (as he does with so many other things) on whether Angel would be back. In one interview I read, he even hinted that this was it folks. I'm just not sure the enthusiasm is there any more for creator and star and you can't have 'Angel' without them. The only individual I see gung ho for this gig to continue on seemingly forever is James. If he couldn't force himself to do it before, he's now faced with finding new work. Just please don't let that mean he'll devote his time to his music. :(
And speaking of James/Spike, he was both a blessing and a curse to the show. Without the return of Spike, there would have been no fifth season of Angel. A season that, in my opinion, is considerably better than last and will allow the show to exit on a high note.
But, Spike has never fit in. He's the square peg (not in the interesting way he was on Buffy) being pounded into the round hole. They've tried to make him fit and after watching thriteen episodes, it ain't working.
Spike's relationship with Buffy didn't 'ruin' him, it was the character's salvation. I never realized just how important it was until he transitioned to Angel. She gave him purpose, meaning, and growth. She allowed him to belong. Was he a core member of the Scoobies? Never. But he was always near by and with good reason.
Let's look at how connections, history, and necessity are formed on Joss shows. Sure, we have the core characters at the outset of any show, in this case, Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Willow on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel and Cordy on Angel. But, think of the rest that became regulars. Spike, Tara, Anya, Wes, Gunn, etc. were all guest stars/reocurring characters when they began. Joss allowed the actors/characters to grow on screen before determining their importance, their destiny, and how they may work themselves into storylines (Hell, Spike was supposed to die during WML, Pt 2).
But, Spike wasn't allowed such a natural progression on Angel. He *had* to be there and he *had* to be in every episode whether his presence was warranted or not. That's not to say there haven't been some steller episodes in which it was both fascinating and necessary that he be around ('Destiny' and 'Damage' immediately spring to mind) and given his history with Angel, having Spike make guest appearances seemed like a wonderful idea. Plus, didn't really care for the fact he was dead. :p But, making him a series regular struck me as a mistake from the get go and I stick with my original assumption. Take him out of 'Why We Fight' or even 'You're Welcome' and what difference does it make?
And what has this meant for Wesley, Gunn, Fred, and 'Hey! I'm Still Here!' Lorne? Nothing. As in nothing is being done to develop there characters. Sure, there is Gunn's brain dump, but it's taken more than half a season to finally become an issue. Point is, if not for "We have to write some Spike scenes" mentality I think the other actors wouldn't have gotten short shrift and we'd have seen some amazing character moments.
Now for my final thought - baby's ruin a show. First there was Conner than there was Jasmine. I know Conner has his fans, but as soon as Darla showed up knocked up, I felt we were in trouble. And while I don't fault for a second Charisma getting pregnant, I do blame the writers for choosing to write it into the show, creating Jasmine, and giving us the most mind boggling (not to mention riddled with inconsitancies) retcon of all time.
So, I sit here tonight (early morning actually) and feel quite fine with all this. We have our DVD's and a wealth of stuff discuss for years to come. For me, the show has run it's course, it's time to move on.
I actually had a whole other post planned out involving the nitwits I work with (short version is I'm not a "team player"). Since everything else has gone not as expected the past twenty-four hours, my change in plans should be of no shock of me.
Miranda, can I guess what will be the topic for chat discussion tonight? ;)