Thursday, May 20, 2004

Farewell, Angel

Last night's series finale of Angel struck me as a bit disappointing. Not horrible, but not Joss's best work. The ending disappointed me a bit, but less so the more I think about it. Senor coconut in the TWoP forums put it best I think:

It's the Blackadder ending, people. Blackadder IV ended the same way. The main characters stepped onto the battlefield and we all assume they die. I suspected Joss would just kill off everyone.

That entire season of Blackadder took place in a trench during WWI, and ended as the Allies made a desperate push across no-man's-land. The characters knew that they stood a good chance of dying in what was about to come. (Realize that this show was a comedy, not an adventure-drama like Angel.) That episode ended with them climbing the ladders to the surface and rushing across, then the sound of gunfire, and the whole scene faded to sepia. It was a wonderful ending that really characterized the heroism involved in such an act. Whether or not any of the individual characters died in the big rush or not wasn't really important. It brought

What I don't like about the Angel ending is that it was much more unclear. I think that Joss was trying to pull a Blackadder, and show how Angel and the gang all went out in a blaze of glory, but I don't think that came across well. Couple that with a few disappointing things in the finale (oh, by the way, the Apocalypse is being orchestrated by a shadowy society that we're only going to tell you about in the second to last episode; oh, that ancient prophecy that Angel has been pining over for several seasons, we're just going to brush aside; etc.) and the fact that this has been a fairly weak season overall, and it wasn't the best ending. So it's probably good that Angel is ending now, rather than trying to draw it out for another season.

Anyway, Joss has a lot on his plate right now, and better things to do than write for a small-time TV show. Go Firefly!

1 comment:

David said...

It looks like the season of Black Adder to which you refer was in 1989. However, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, written by William Goldman, was released in 1969 and ended exactly the same way — with Butch and Sundance running into an ambush and freeze-framing to the sound of gales of gunfire. So it would seem that both Rowan Atkinson and Joss Whedon owe a tip of the hat to Mr. Goldman (even though Angel didn't end with any visual or sound effects).