Friday, July 15, 2011

Buffy Blogthrough: 1.7 "Angel"

Most mornings, to warm up my brain I write & edit 150 words — a TV episode, movie, news item, or whatever. Now that I've got Lady Hotspur watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I've decided to post these exercises so you & she can enjoy them too! 
1.7 “Angel”
broadcast: April 14, 1997
writer: David Greenwalt
director: Scott Brazil

Despite its ugly score and the uncharacteristic gunplay at its climax, “Angel” is the first episode to suggest the level of storytelling that Buffy would reach. That's not just because it's the first to complicate the slayer/vampire relationship, to delve into backstory, or to kill a major character. It's not the minor moments like Giles' hospital conversation with Joyce. Partly it's that the driving metaphor is more than a “teen social issue” this time around, it's one actually freighted with stakes (Angel must get over his ex before he can date someone new). Geller's portrayal of Buffy's calf-love for her Byronic stranger makes shocking the otherwise predictable revelation that he's a vampire. Then there's the episode's portentous final beat, where her kiss literally tortures him. Best of all, the episode shows characters who grow and relationships that change, which is why Buffy finds its voice with “Angel”.

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