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Arguments against Bangel that annoy you #2

Antho

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Here is the new thread guys ;)

Lasts messages :
@Mr. Pole said : I dunno. I just wonder why that is the only thing that is really mocked. Every relationship she is in there's that melodrama, but Bangel was the only one mocked for it, thus, lowering it beyond everything else in much of the audiences' eyes.
@EarthLogic said : Good question. I guees it's because of the 'forbidden love' angle: the fact that their situation is more extreme than others - no sex because perfect happiness equals Angelus reign of terror. Whereas Buffy's other relationships were allowed to kind of play through because the physical intimacy wasn't fraught with such far-reaching consequences. If Angel hadn't left and they'd found a way to make it work, I think the relationship wouldn't be seen as that overly dramatic - or at least, to have moved past the dramatic phase - because they would have been able to relax into an easy dynamic.
[B]@dcai0830[/B] said : I think because of Joss’ feelings on the issue especially early on.

@EarthLogic maybe you want rewrite your message ;)
 
Last edited:

Antho

Scooby
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Montauban (France)
I have to say that it amuses me that we had so much to say that we filled an entire thread! This is obviously scientific evidence that people make a lot of ridiculous arguments against Bangel. :)
But this thread is great because it allows us decompress all these criticisms. I'm glad I found people who see things as me !
 

EarthLogic

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Black Thorn
@dcai0830 said : I think because of Joss’ feelings on the issue especially early on.
I reckon S8 proved his feelings on the issue remain the same...

Anyway I think there are some things that need to be pointed out r.e. melodrama. Firstly, the word 'melodrama' tends to be used as a perjorative term, not just with regards to Bangel within fandom, but in general conversation. Pointing out a person in fiction or even in real life is being melodramatic implies they are behaving with excessive and unnecessary heightened emotion.

In film studies, melodrama has become a more complex and legitimate area of study over the years. Scholars have pointed out that melodramas' historical association with popular culture (for a long time looked down upon as a subject for academic study) and largely feminine forms of storytelling (female-centred, enjoyed mainly by women), links back to its use as a criticism/term of abuse. Christine Gledhill pointed out that this was linked to the popular association of melodrama with the feminine: it was often posited as antithetical to realism, associated with sentimentality and sensationalism (feminine), as opposed to the 'authenticity' and 'truth' (and therefore masculine concerns) of realism.

"Twentieth century critics have taught generations of students to equate popularity with debasement, emotionality with ineffectiveness, religiosity with fakery, domesticity with triviality, and all of these, implicitly, with womanly inferiority. (Jane Tompkins (1985), Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, quoted by Christine Gledhill (1987))"

It is part of a wider and long-standing historical devaluation of feminine forms of literary and cultural expression, but it's really interesting when you think about this in relation to Buffy. Of course there's way more to the study of melodrama than I know or can explain here (I'm just working off stuff I've researched today)*, but if we take film melodrama at its most basic level to be defined by expressive style and concern with personal relationships and emotional conflict, then we can see that it's just not just Buffy's own relationships which have had elements of melodrama- the show itself thrives on it. Its use of gothic fantasy and horror as metaphors for life experiences necessitates melodrama because those elements almost always provoke heightened emotions and require heightened character reactions to deal with them. Angelus wouldn't be so terrifying if Buffy could simply to get upset, then angry and then throw him out, as one might to do to a normal human douchebag. Higher stakes mean more intense emotions. The way the show counterbalances this is by undercutting these moments with sarcasm and humour.

If melodrama is concerned with the relationships between characters then anytime BtVS foregrounds its domestic elements and interpersonal relationships whether it's romantic, platonic or familial, it is melodrama. If you think about it, this makes S6 the most melodramatic and soap-operaish given what happens in the absence of a concrete Big Bad: depression, father-figure leaves for no good reason, hate-sex, 'drug'-addiction, failed wedding, attempted rape, double shooting, revenge murder. It's basically Eastenders. (I honestly think if I showed this season to my mum - who has watched a lot of Eastenders in the past - she'd agree).

But Buffy succeeds because it blends melodrama and realism - in fact, it uses melodrama-via-fantasy as a way of dramatising a deeper psychological realism. So I'd argue that the presence of melodrama throughout Buffy is actually part of its subversiveness as a feminist text. It takes a dramatic form traditionally characterised as feminine and uses it to achieve a better emotional authenticity and truth. And it does this my appropriating and blending it with a range of other popular genres. By making Angel (and Riley, Xander, Giles, and Spike - all of whom at different point embody different forms of masculinity) a part of that, it articulates the emotional trajectory of their narrative arcs through a stereotypically female mode of storytelling.

So I'd say when people call Bangel melodramatic, rejoice! It means the show is doing something right!

*I'm no expert on film melodrama, so what I'm suggesting here is quite generalised, but here are a couple of the links I used if anyone wants to get a better idea of the topic: What is melodrama?

Melodrama - Cinema and Media Studies - Oxford Bibliographies

----------------------------

Returning to Bangel, what might be an interesting exercise for us all is to actually look at their scenes together and see if any (I can definitely think of one!) can be viewed as objectively 'melodramatic' in the more critical/perjorative sense? If people are up for that I can make a thread.
 
W
WillowFromBuffy
Great post!
BuffyNvrForgets
BuffyNvrForgets
Wow! You really know what you are talking about! Great post, very well done. Thnks for sharing!

Mylie

Scooby
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
2,098
Age
33
I reckon S8 proved his feelings on the issue remain the same...

Anyway I think there are some things that need to be pointed out r.e. melodrama. Firstly, the word 'melodrama' tends to be used as a perjorative term, not just with regards to Bangel within fandom, but in general conversation. Pointing out a person in fiction or even in real life is being melodramatic implies they are behaving with excessive and unnecessary heightened emotion.

In film studies, melodrama has become a more complex and legitimate area of study over the years. Scholars have pointed out that melodramas' historical association with popular culture (for a long time looked down upon as a subject for academic study) and largely feminine forms of storytelling (female-centred, enjoyed mainly by women), links back to its use as a criticism/term of abuse. Christine Gledhill pointed out that this was linked to the popular association of melodrama with the feminine: it was often posited as antithetical to realism, associated with sentimentality and sensationalism (feminine), as opposed to the 'authenticity' and 'truth' (and therefore masculine concerns) of realism.

"Twentieth century critics have taught generations of students to equate popularity with debasement, emotionality with ineffectiveness, religiosity with fakery, domesticity with triviality, and all of these, implicitly, with womanly inferiority. (Jane Tompkins (1985), Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, quoted by Christine Gledhill (1987))"

It is part of a wider and long-standing historical devaluation of feminine forms of literary and cultural expression, but it's really interesting when you think about this in relation to Buffy. Of course there's way more to the study of melodrama than I know or can explain here (I'm just working off stuff I've researched today)*, but if we take film melodrama at its most basic level to be defined by expressive style and concern with personal relationships and emotional conflict, then we can see that it's just not just Buffy's own relationships which have had elements of melodrama- the show itself thrives on it. Its use of gothic fantasy and horror as metaphors for life experiences necessitates melodrama because those elements almost always provoke heightened emotions and require heightened character reactions to deal with them. Angelus wouldn't be so terrifying if Buffy could simply to get upset, then angry and then throw him out, as one might to do to a normal human douchebag. Higher stakes mean more intense emotions. The way the show counterbalances this is by undercutting these moments with sarcasm and humour.

If melodrama is concerned with the relationships between characters then anytime BtVS foregrounds its domestic elements and interpersonal relationships whether it's romantic, platonic or familial, it is melodrama. If you think about it, this makes S6 the most melodramatic and soap-operaish given what happens in the absence of a concrete Big Bad: depression, father-figure leaves for no good reason, hate-sex, 'drug'-addiction, failed wedding, attempted rape, double shooting, revenge murder. It's basically Eastenders. (I honestly think if I showed this season to my mum - who has watched a lot of Eastenders in the past - she'd agree).

But Buffy succeeds because it blends melodrama and realism - in fact, it uses melodrama-via-fantasy as a way of dramatising a deeper psychological realism. So I'd argue that the presence of melodrama throughout Buffy is actually part of its subversiveness as a feminist text. It takes a dramatic form traditionally characterised as feminine and uses it to achieve a better emotional authenticity and truth. And it does this my appropriating and blending it with a range of other popular genres. By making Angel (and Riley, Xander, Giles, and Spike - all of whom at different point embody different forms of masculinity) a part of that, it articulates the emotional trajectory of their narrative arcs through a stereotypically female mode of storytelling.

So I'd say when people call Bangel melodramatic, rejoice! It means the show is doing something right!

*I'm no expert on film melodrama, so what I'm suggesting here is quite generalised, but here are a couple of the links I used if anyone wants to get a better idea of the topic: What is melodrama?

Melodrama - Cinema and Media Studies - Oxford Bibliographies

----------------------------

Returning to Bangel, what might be an interesting exercise for us all is to actually look at their scenes together and see if any (I can definitely think of one!) can be viewed as objectively 'melodramatic' in the more critical/perjorative sense? If people are up for that I can make a thread.

Very interesting! Thank you for researching this and sharing it with us.

The one scene I can think of is « when you kiss me I want to die » which I’ve always found riduculous but that’s part of its charm, and I’d argue Bangel’s charm. I’m all here for the mocking and I love the self-awareness.
 

EarthLogic

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Black Thorn
Very interesting! Thank you for researching this and sharing it with us.

The one scene I can think of is « when you kiss me I want to die » which I’ve always found riduculous but that’s part of its charm, and I’d argue Bangel’s charm. I’m all here for the mocking and I love the self-awareness.
That's the scene that springs to my mind too. Funnily enough Joss was the one who loved that line when it was suggested. I think in terms of language and metaphor it is setting up some interesting things with the yoking together of kiss/die. It foreshadows their lovemaking in 'Surprise' where obviously Angel's kisses bring her to orgasm - la petite mort. Ironically though it's Buffy's kiss - which initiates their lovemaking - which will cause Angel to lose his soul and figuratively 'die' ('Your boyfriend's dead, schoolgirl'). Then in S3 Angel's bite - his vampiric 'kiss of death' will bring her both to orgasm and near death.

Of course, you put that line into the mouth of a 16 year old in love and it's going to sound nothing but melodramatic. It's just about saved by that layer of significance it acquires by this being a show about slaying vampires.
 
Mylie
Mylie
Agreed!!

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Messages
4,043
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Texas
Black Thorn
I reckon S8 proved his feelings on the issue remain the same...

Anyway I think there are some things that need to be pointed out r.e. melodrama. Firstly, the word 'melodrama' tends to be used as a perjorative term, not just with regards to Bangel within fandom, but in general conversation. Pointing out a person in fiction or even in real life is being melodramatic implies they are behaving with excessive and unnecessary heightened emotion.

In film studies, melodrama has become a more complex and legitimate area of study over the years. Scholars have pointed out that melodramas' historical association with popular culture (for a long time looked down upon as a subject for academic study) and largely feminine forms of storytelling (female-centred, enjoyed mainly by women), links back to its use as a criticism/term of abuse. Christine Gledhill pointed out that this was linked to the popular association of melodrama with the feminine: it was often posited as antithetical to realism, associated with sentimentality and sensationalism (feminine), as opposed to the 'authenticity' and 'truth' (and therefore masculine concerns) of realism.

"Twentieth century critics have taught generations of students to equate popularity with debasement, emotionality with ineffectiveness, religiosity with fakery, domesticity with triviality, and all of these, implicitly, with womanly inferiority. (Jane Tompkins (1985), Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, quoted by Christine Gledhill (1987))"

It is part of a wider and long-standing historical devaluation of feminine forms of literary and cultural expression, but it's really interesting when you think about this in relation to Buffy. Of course there's way more to the study of melodrama than I know or can explain here (I'm just working off stuff I've researched today)*, but if we take film melodrama at its most basic level to be defined by expressive style and concern with personal relationships and emotional conflict, then we can see that it's just not just Buffy's own relationships which have had elements of melodrama- the show itself thrives on it. Its use of gothic fantasy and horror as metaphors for life experiences necessitates melodrama because those elements almost always provoke heightened emotions and require heightened character reactions to deal with them. Angelus wouldn't be so terrifying if Buffy could simply to get upset, then angry and then throw him out, as one might to do to a normal human douchebag. Higher stakes mean more intense emotions. The way the show counterbalances this is by undercutting these moments with sarcasm and humour.

If melodrama is concerned with the relationships between characters then anytime BtVS foregrounds its domestic elements and interpersonal relationships whether it's romantic, platonic or familial, it is melodrama. If you think about it, this makes S6 the most melodramatic and soap-operaish given what happens in the absence of a concrete Big Bad: depression, father-figure leaves for no good reason, hate-sex, 'drug'-addiction, failed wedding, attempted rape, double shooting, revenge murder. It's basically Eastenders. (I honestly think if I showed this season to my mum - who has watched a lot of Eastenders in the past - she'd agree).

But Buffy succeeds because it blends melodrama and realism - in fact, it uses melodrama-via-fantasy as a way of dramatising a deeper psychological realism. So I'd argue that the presence of melodrama throughout Buffy is actually part of its subversiveness as a feminist text. It takes a dramatic form traditionally characterised as feminine and uses it to achieve a better emotional authenticity and truth. And it does this my appropriating and blending it with a range of other popular genres. By making Angel (and Riley, Xander, Giles, and Spike - all of whom at different point embody different forms of masculinity) a part of that, it articulates the emotional trajectory of their narrative arcs through a stereotypically female mode of storytelling.

So I'd say when people call Bangel melodramatic, rejoice! It means the show is doing something right!

*I'm no expert on film melodrama, so what I'm suggesting here is quite generalised, but here are a couple of the links I used if anyone wants to get a better idea of the topic: What is melodrama?

Melodrama - Cinema and Media Studies - Oxford Bibliographies

----------------------------

Returning to Bangel, what might be an interesting exercise for us all is to actually look at their scenes together and see if any (I can definitely think of one!) can be viewed as objectively 'melodramatic' in the more critical/perjorative sense? If people are up for that I can make a thread.

tumblr_m08d73tf6c1qz5stv.png


Lol.

No but seriously interesting stuff! It would be interesting to open a thread in general boards re melodrama. I’m sure Bangel would make the cut many times over but people might find other examples not buffy/Angel related.
 

crazysoulless

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Messages
1,099
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Las Vegas, US
Every relationship in the verse has issues or drama but Buffy always gets blamed.

Fans: Buffy is a bad driver.
Reality: Buffy took the written test at 16, didn't pass her first try, took and passed the driver's ed class, her mom told her she would consider Buffy getting her license when she's 17, on the day Buffy turned 17 she asked her if she can get her license but her mom doesn't want her to, the next school year Buffy asked her again and her mom refused to let her, in Band Candy she drives for the first time but another driver was UIMC (under influence of magic candy) and hit her, Joyce made Buffy pay for the damages, in Something Blue at 18 Buffy told Riley she and cars are "unmixy things" and he says she just had bad experiences with them and says he'll take her out driving (a metaphor for her sex life), in Who Are You Buffy drives the Watchers Council van from out of town back to Sunnydale, in Listening to Fear Buffy drove her mom and sister home from the hospital, in I Was Made To Love You, Buffy asked, "Do you want me to pick Dawn up from school?" indicating she was going to drive to the campus and back, in Him Buffy drove to the school, in Time of Your Life Buffy drives a flying car for the first time and Melaka tells her she "drives like a spaz"
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Messages
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Texas
Black Thorn
Here is an argument I don’t understand:

“The Spuffy relationship is always evolving but the Bangel relationship is stagnet, doesn’t change.” This is the basis of the “not as interesting argument.”


I guess the argument is that on the show Spuffy went from Enemies, to f*ck buddies, to umm whatever was going on in S7. In order for this argument to make sense I suppose you have to be of the mindset that Spuffy as a relationship starts long before Buffy or Spike even realizes it. Because you could argue that no relationship exists until s5 when Spike has his revelation dream at which time they were already reluctant allies.

But really for the majority of Spuffy it was pretty much the same.

Spike: you love me you want me
Buffy: no I don’t
Spike: yes you do why won’t you admit it? Why do you keep coming back to me, etc
Buffy: I’m using you
Spike: I’ll show you
Buffy: hmm maybe I do have feelings for you....

It was a push and pull for Buffy to come to the “realization” that she actually liked him. Because God forbid a woman would know and understand her own feelings.

And compatively how is it that the Bangel relationship isn’t also seen as progressively changing?

At first Buffy doesn’t know or trust Angel, she falls in love, learns to trust him just when he loses his soul and they become enemies. The love of her life is now her greatest enemy - that’s a big change.

Upon his return, she and him attempt a friendship. They work together but find it hard to just be friends. They break up all together. Then they come back together until he leaves her.

They set out to complete their missions separately but always a connection remains.

So, strangers, trusted allies, lovers, enemies, friends, loves, exes, distant comfort, regret, fellow warrior for the Powers - that relationship has always had a number of different dynamics. At root of all of those different facets is love they seem to continue to share, but that makes it no less evolving.

Can you imagine Angel standing up to Buffy in Sanctuary in Season 2 for example? No way. Their relationship is not the same in S2 to s3, and obviously not in s4/AtS s1 either.

I can’t help but think that what fans are really saying is that they appreciate Spuffy because the relationship was born from an antagonistic place and progressed to a partnership. And somehow that seems to be their personal brand of tea. That’s fine. But it’s an over simplification to say that this alone makes that relationship dynamic where as Angel and Buffy was always the same.

And you know what - the whole I was bad and now I’m not will you love me thing in Spuffy is kinda over - go take a look at the comics. There isn’t much else to go unless they throw some significant extraneous obstacle into the mix of the ship. Outside forces keeping them apart. What relationship does that remind us of? Oh that’s right Bangel!
 

RomanticSoul

Frell Me
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Here is an argument I don’t understand:

“The Spuffy relationship is always evolving but the Bangel relationship is stagnet, doesn’t change.” This is the basis of the “not as interesting argument.”
One of the many problems I have with Spuffy is that it never worked when they were their real selves. Both had to change in order to pull of the relationship and get them together. If a person can't love the other for who they truly are then the whole relationship isn't real. In the case of Buffy and Spike that also meant shortcuts or character transplants.

Spike literally wakes up from a wet dream and thinks he's in love with the enemy.
Buffy comes back from the dead a shell of her former self, now broken down enough to let a monster screw her.
Spike literally kills himself (by getting a soul) because Buffy won't love him as he is.
I don't even recognize the Buffy of S7 as Buffy.
And that continues into the comics, I don't recognize that girl.

It's not their relationship that evolves, that's a side effect of the characters being changed to get the relationship going.
 
BuffyNvrForgets
BuffyNvrForgets
Yes, this is SO TRUE. I hate it when writers throw away good characters and make them unrecognizable, just to accomplish one silly goal.

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Black Thorn
If a person can't love the other for who they truly are then the whole relationship isn't real.

The counter argument, which is often cited is, Spike REALLY knew Buffy because he had 'seen her at her best and at her worst'. I know its subjective, but I think Buffy was at "her best" during Seasons 2&3. Spike wasn't really around for those seasons.

And Angel saw Buffy depressed in s5 (Forever) and in their s6 off screen meet up. So its not like Angel never saw Buffy sad or depressed. It's just that he couldn't stay to help.
 
Jam
Jam
The words from that speech in 'Touched' are objectively nice, I guess, but it does not fit with their relationship...

Jam

Pepper spray is just so passé
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Canada
Whenever I hear the argument that Buffy and Angel hardly smile around each other and are always unhappy, I always think of this moment from 'Graduation Day':

tumblr_oayiygY2Fk1vyyotno7_250.gif

(gif made by me)

Angel is – quite literally – on his death bed in this moment and so little needs to be said because Buffy's mere presence is enough to make him smile.
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
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Messages
4,043
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Texas
Black Thorn
Whenever I hear the argument that Buffy and Angel hardly smile around each other and are always unhappy, I always think of this moment from 'Graduation Day':

tumblr_oayiygY2Fk1vyyotno7_250.gif

(gif made by me)

Angel is – quite literally – on his death bed in this moment and so little needs to be said because Buffy's mere presence is enough to make him smile.

Whereupon they shall be directed to @Mylie 's gif of some great "Angel smiling at Buffy" examples:
https://did%3D4a5c9bb33b71d17e4c3fdbf0844d63721a42df98%3Bid%3D169946564336%3Bkey%3DITC3l3fu7pUtWTNzbINOxw%3Bname%3Dmrsgordo84
Angel's "Buffy" smile is unique. He doesn't smile like that with anyone else.

Now one of you talented gifer-ettes go forth and make a Buffy gif set because you know our girls light up like Christmas around Angel. The argument that Angel doesn't make Buffy happy is ridiculous.
 
Mylie
Mylie
You know I still want to make that gifset! I just don’t have much time lately :(

Jam

Pepper spray is just so passé
Joined
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Messages
248
Location
Canada
Now one of you talented gifer-ettes go forth and make a Buffy gif set because you know our girls light up like Christmas around Angel. The argument that Angel doesn't make Buffy happy is ridiculous.
They're kind of old and clearly have a very similar theme, but I know of two:
https://did%3Dca83019c958761eb23043b039a7cbc4ff4707f62%3Bid%3D88107646868%3Bkey%3Db_eL9ZKy0gxhF8nosWVbFg%3Bname%3Dveronicamars https://did%3Dda39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709%3Bid%3D115518850193%3Bkey%3DQN9ccKir9F8tXgMMF-iusA%3Bname%3Dbuffyangeldaily
 
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
These are great! Thanks!

RomanticSoul

Frell Me
Joined
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Messages
2,337
Location
Germany
Whenever I hear the argument that Buffy and Angel hardly smile around each other and are always unhappy, I always think of this moment from 'Graduation Day':

Angel is – quite literally – on his death bed in this moment and so little needs to be said because Buffy's mere presence is enough to make him smile.
That reminds me of the Bangel video 'First Love ' by RobinsRevenge. In the middle of the video there is a whole quick flash segment with looooots of B/A smiling at each other. So many that I was baffled because I didn't think they smiled that much back then...
 

Mylie

Scooby
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
2,098
Age
33
That reminds me of the Bangel video 'First Love ' by RobinsRevenge. In the middle of the video there is a whole quick flash segment with looooots of B/A smiling at each other. So many that I was baffled because I didn't think they smiled that much back then...

Yes, I think that's the video @dcai0830 once made a status about and I had the same reaction! Though I already felt that argument was bullshit, but the video confirmed it to me. And now I just laugh whenever I see people say that they never smiled around each other.
 
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