Season 4 of Angel. What was Joss Whedon thinking?

One of the worst seasons of a television series I have ever watched.

angel

Earlier this year I went back and re-watched Angel from the very start. Back in my teens I tuned in weekly to watch two hours of Buffy and Angel on a Friday night. I was at college when season 4 of Angel began. I remembering thinking it was bad. I remember thinking Cordelia’s character had been ruined. Because I didn’t enjoy season 4, I stopped watching Angel and apart from being aware that James Marsters joined the cast for season 5, I knew very little about what happened to Angel after the finale of season 4. The show got cancelled, and after what the writers did to the fourth season, I’m not sure how they even managed to get a fifth.

As a grown woman I sat down and watched seasons one to three again and loved them, for the most part anyway.  I was impressed that almost ten years later, the series didn’t look aged. The storylines were exciting, the characters felt like friends. And even though I knew I hadn’t enjoyed season 4 the first time round, I thought watching it with fresh eyes and at a different stage of my life might allow me to see something new and appealing. I was wrong.

The writers destroyed Cordelia Chase, and with the annihilation of her character, they lost my respect. I’m far from the only one who feels appalled by how the writers betrayed Cordy and feels totally grossed out by Connor and Cordelia’s relationship. “The Assassination of Cordelia Chase” by Jennifer Crusie is a great article.

Another thing that irked me was Angel removing the memories of Connor, an unforgivable act in my eyes. He took away the last year and a half of his friends’ lives, all that growth, all that change. How would viewers watching season 5 even know what to make of each character? Wesley, who for me changed the most, would be the hardest to judge how different he would be without Connor’s existence. He stole Connor, betrayed his friends, was in turn cast aside, struck up an unhealthy sexual relationship with Liliah, loved Fred, warred with Gunn, found Angel at the bottom of the sea, battled Jasmine. Who is he now, without all that pain and life experience that led him to the tough, take-no-prisoners impressive man of late season 4?

Angel violated each and every one of his friends, not to even go into what he did to his own son. The Connor sharing dinner with his fake family is not real. Connor who suffered because of one lie after the other is now a lie himself. All thanks to his own father.

The writers, as far as I could see, backed themselves into a corner that season. Next time I decide to re-watch Angel from the beginning, I’ll go to the end of season 3 and pretend the show stopped there.

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For fans of Angel, what did you think of Season 4. Did season 5 improve at all? Can you remember being utterly disappointed by a TV show you once loved?

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Friday Music – The Hanging Tree & more

These songs have been stuck in my head all week, so I thought I’d be kind and share them with you. :)

“The Hanging Tree” – performed by Jennifer Lawrence. When this haunting song played in the cinema last weekend during The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One, I got goosebumps. The scene was a powerful one and this music definitely stirred the emotions. When other voices join in at 1.46 – I get shivers.

“Like I Can” – Sam Smith. I love every song this young man has released. I’ll be picking up his album for Christmas.

 

“Something New” – Girls Aloud. The fun, upbeat tempo makes me want to dance every time I hear it.

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What have you been listening to this week?

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There is a House in New Orleans – Goosebumps Galore

I remember hearing this song a lot as a kid. “House of the Rising Sun” was probably on every single one of my dad’s 60’s mix tapes. He’d play them when we were in his car on trips around the country or on his then, state of the art music sound system.

Even as a child, I felt the presence of something out of the ordinary, a note of something other.

The version by The Animals is my favourite, but even when I hear covers, I still get that “hairs standing on end” vibe. Does anyone else get a supernatural type feeling when they listen to “House of the Rising Sun”?

Eric Burdon’s growly voice is awesome and sinister or maybe that should be awesomely sinister!

I also enjoy Muse and Lauren O Connell’s versions.

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Are you a fan of “House of the Rising”? Do you hear something a little creepy in it? Do you have a favourite version?

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Under the Desert Moon by Emma Meade

My first published novel, Under the Desert Moon, is on sale for $1.99 at the moment from Amazon.com

For some reason the price has only dropped on the US site because Amazon is a mysterious place….

Under the Desert Moon is dear to my heart. It’s the first full novel I released into the world and I wrote the original draft one summer after I finished a year of college in Galway. If small towns, vampires and coming-of-age stories appeal to you, read on.

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utdm17 year old Erin Harris spends her time daydreaming, hoping to escape her small town life in Copperfield, Arizona.  When a movie crew arrives unexpectedly to shoot a vampire film over the summer, Erin’s small town world changes forever.

Erin is positive she has seen the star, James Linkin before in a thirty year old TV show.  He hasn’t aged a day. How is this possible?

Erin is determined to find out, but how will James handle the scrutiny of an all too intelligent teenage girl?

 

Customers in the US can get it at the sale price on Amazon.com

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What to Watch this Halloween: Part Two

hhPart One covered Hocus Pocus, Buffy, Ginger Snaps, The Conjuring and The Skeleton Key. Today I’ve got – 

The Lost Boys

lostLet’s visit vampire infested Santa Carla where The Lost Boys reside.

Jason Patric and Corey Haim are uprooted by their newly divorced mother to the Californian seaside resort, where Patric takes a shine to the beautiful Star. Little does he know he’s about to be initiated into a group of biker vampires led by Kiefer Sutherland. Corey Feldman is on hand to put a stop to the vampire shenanigans, and watching he and Haim team up to destroy the monsters is always amusing.

Possibly my favourite vampire film.

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Trick ‘r Treat

trick treatYou get four (well, sort of 5) stories for the price of one here. Trick ‘r Treat is a Halloween visual delight. There are pumpkins, lanterns, trick ‘r treaters, costumes, a party atmosphere, lots of spookiness, quirkiness and darkness. The stories are set in the same little town with characters crossing over into each tale. The theme: obey the traditions of Halloween or pay the price.

Anna Paquin from True Blood plays an innocent virgin.  Her sister and friends are shopping for sexy Halloween outfits and urge her to choose someone to be her first, mocking her inexperience. Dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, she walks through town alone, unaware of being followed. Then we have the creepy school principal who likes to poison kids who break jack-o-lanterns. Next up is a trip to an abandoned quarry where a bus load of kids drowned some years back.  The children go there this Halloween night to leave offerings in the form of lanterns, but they get more than they bargained for.  And lastly, we find out what happens to grumpy old men who don’t participate in the fun of Halloween.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street

nightmare elmNow you’re ready for the scariest monster of them all, Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

“One, two, he’s coming after you. Three, four, better lock that door.” Well, you know how the rhyme goes. I must have been thirteen when I first watched this in my cousins’ house in County Limerick. If my parents had known what I was watching, they would not have been impressed. The black and red jumper wearing baddie likes to hunt down the teenagers of Elm Street in their nightmares. If he gets you in your dream, you die for real. I dare you to fall asleep after this.

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The Blair Witch Project

blairStruggling to get some shuteye? It’s time for The Blair Witch Project.

What can go wrong when three young people enter the woods to shoot a documentary on the local legend of the Blair Witch? Lose the map, and turns out, a lot. Every day the trio spend lost in the woods leads to more distressing incidents, like rocks being left outside their tent at night and strange noises. If you like shaky camera, found footage type films, give this a go. It’s seriously creepy.

Blair Witch brings me back to being a teenager and watching it on the big screen on Halloween night through my fingers.

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Enjoy “People Are Strange” from The Lost Boys

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There you have it. It might be hard for me to fit all these films in this weekend, but I’ll give it my best shot. Happy Halloween everyone. Whatever you’re doing, heading out to a costume party or staying in and chilling out, I hope it’s a great night for all.

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