Thursday, October 24, 2013

Angel, Mr. Hyde and Vampires

Let me just say right off the bat, I am not a fan of vampires. [Pun totally intended.] I've never been into the whole vampire craze. Not in the 80s when it was driven by Anne Rice or in the 90s when it was, again, driven by Anne Rice and not in the time since when it's been driven by Twilight and True Blood and almost everything else. Seriously, I hate that whole noble vampire thing, all that tragic, romantic bullcrap that vampires have become. Give me my vampires evil..., so I can kill them.

And that's probably why I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Vampires are evil, and we spend our time trying to kill them.

Well, except for Angel. And, well, Angel is a show I like even more than Buffy. That sounds like a conundrum, doesn't it? I mean, Angel is full of all of that tragic, romantic shhhtuff. I realized why recently that I'm okay with Angel. It's not a vampire story. Not that he's not a vampire, but that's not the kind of story it is. It's a Jekyll and Hyde story. I love Jekyll and Hyde stories.

The central conflict in Angel is man vs himself, specifically Angel vs the demon inside him. It's a story about someone seeking redemption. It just so happens that he is a vampire, but that's not the driving force of the story. It's that ongoing conflict that Angel has with himself that makes the series interesting. Good vs evil bits. Whedon does a great job with it, but you should still read Stevenson if you haven't done it.

Speaking of vampires, I appreciate that Jim Butcher has kept his vampires evil. We're gonna give Thomas a pass, because there's something else going on there. Since I'm not all the way caught up yet, I don't know if it's been revealed or not, so don't go saying anything.

None of this is to say that I haven't written my own vampire story. A short one. But he was evil, so it's okay. It was just kind of to make a point.

And all of this to say that next week is going to be vampire week here at StrangePegs. There's a new vampire story I need to review and, let me just say, it's fantastic! No, I mean it. But more on that next week. Also, in the spirit of Halloween, I'm going to tell you all about how to be a vampire. And, maybe, there'll be other stuff. I'm not quite sure, yet, what all next week will have in store for you, but there will be vampires, so stock up on garlic.

20 comments:

J.R. Pearse Nelson said...

I also love Angel! I love most of Joss Whedon's work. Have you watched Firefly? That's my major regret about Whedon's career -- he wasn't committed enough to that story. It's AWESOME. I wanted much more.

Intrigued about the vampire tale that's drawn your attention. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We get vampire training? Nice.

Jess said...

I never got into Buffy or Angel, but I know lots of people are die-hard fans. Sounds like you've got some fun posts coming up!

Elsie Amata said...

I wasn't a fan of vampires until True Blood came along. Now, I'm a bit tired of them. Even True Blood has run it's course. I'm much more into zombies!

Rusty Webb said...

Vampire Week! Yeah, they hold very little interest for me too. Although I did like the first three Anne Rice Vampire books quite a bit. And I do like Buffy and Angel. BUT... I think of it like BBQ. I never, ever crave BBQ, or want it... but whenever I visit someone, and they've made some, I'm like, 'OMG, this is amazing!'

So, that's me with Vamps I guess. There's probably some holes in that analogy somewhere.

Arlee Bird said...

Halloween is almost here! I'm coming up with my own theme for the week. It won't be about respect and numbers though--that one sucked me dry.

Then again, I might get rejuvenated over the week-end with a fresh infusion of new blogging blood.

I liked Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter. That one was kind of fun. The TV shows about vampires are beginning to disturb me. I haven't seen any of them, but the commercials are hard to miss.

Lee
Check out my interview with viral blogger Liza Long
Tossing It Out

Briane P said...

A new vampire story, you say? It's good? WELL, I WILL CERTAINLY BE WAITING FOR THAT.

I'm looking forward to you parsing out vampires. I think this'll be fun.

Remembering Grace said...

I so loved Angel. I loved Buffy, too, but Angel was so much darker, and better. No happy endings for anyone on that show. :)

L.G. Smith said...

I'm not a vampire fan either. Haven't seen any of those shows you mentioned. But, surprisingly, I did watch the UK version of Being Human, and I loved it. It's very campy and funny sometimes, but also really intriguing to see a vampire, werewolf, and ghost try to hold onto the last remnants of their humanity while being tugged deeper into their new identities.

J E Oneil said...

Vampire week, huh? Sounds interesting. I'd like to see what kind of vampire story you like. It should be a good one.

Missed Periods said...

Don't tell me you didn't love "Lost Boys"!

Andrew Leon said...

J.R.: What happened to Firefly wasn't Whedon's fault. He was so committed to it, though, that he got a movie deal out of it and wrote some comics set in the world after the series got cancelled.

Alex: Sort of, yeah. You thinking you need to be a vampire ninja?

Jess: I am hoping so.

Elsie: I'm not into zombies, either. The current iteration of them just doesn't work for me.

Rusty: As long as you're not the BBQ, it's probably okay.

Lee: LOL You've got me beat on the puns. I think my bat flew away.

I'd kind of like to read that book, but the movie didn't quite do it for me.

Briane: Vampire parsing... that sounds like it should be a thing.

RG: I think he actually wrote the 6th season of Angel as a comic series. I might be mis-remembering, but I don't think so.

L.G.: I think I made it through about 4 episodes of that before I couldn't take it anymore. It just made me groan too much.

Jeanne: Oh, it is. It is.

MP: Oh, man, how did you know that? Actually, I did love The Lost Boys. Probably still do. I've been wanting to watch it again, recently. But, still, the vampires are bad in that.

The Armchair Squid said...

I don't know either show. I've seen the Buffy movie but not the show. My teaching partner's a huge fan. Once we're through with Battlestar Galactica at our house, I'm going to lobby for Buffy.

Andrew Leon said...

TAS: I'm assuming you mean the new BsG? Just stop watching it now. It's so bad and only gets worse the farther along you get. Buffy, on the other hand, only gets better the deeper in you go.

Lorena said...

I agree with you in your annoyance with turning vampires into romantic heroes. The part that intrigued me the most about Edward Cullen in Twilight was his inner struggle (monster vs. man), but there was so little of that. I always wished there would have been more flashbacks about his past. There was room for so much (this is why, too, I was disappointed when Meyer stopped writing Midnight Sun. By then I believe she'd grown more as a writer and his POV was way more interesting that Bella's). On the same token (and previously written) we had Rice's Louis de Pointe du Lac, who was the epitome of the melancholic vampire who struggled with his (new) nature. I loved that. Too bad vampires have become so common and stereotyped.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I like my vampires evil. Unless they're Angel or Spike, in which case I like them complicated.

Andrew Leon said...

Lorena: Yeah, the leading men vamps are all so "oh, it sucks to be a vampire" and all the other ones are all "humans are for sucking!" Until they fall in love, and they all seem to fall in love these days.

S.L.: Spike is the one that I like for complications. Angel was too straightforward for complications.

Lexa Cain said...

Thank you very much for your goo wishes on L.G.'s blog about my cover reveal!

I completely agree about vamps. Except for Angel and that girl from Underworld, the only good vamp is an evil vamp. My faves are the ones from 30 Days of Night. Those were scary!

The Armchair Squid said...

Totally disagree re: BSG. We'll definitely give Buffy a try before long.

Andrew Leon said...

Lexa: I have not seen 30 Days, although I think I wanted to. I'll have to look at it again. I mostly did not like Underworld.

TAS: Well, how far in are you? Because the farther you get, the clearer it becomes that they never had any sort of plan.