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I don't understand Bangel

S

SpikeRocks

Guest
I saw the "I don't understand Spuffy" thread, and felt inspired to make this one.....Bangel shippers, please try to explain Bangel to me, I just. don't. get it. 🤷‍♀️ What are the positives of this relationship and this dynamic, which somehow outweigh the negatives? And maybe provide some specific examples/dialog, because when I flash through Bangel scenes in my head, I can't easily find a redeeming one (in terms of like, any kind of "end-game" "OTP" sense). It only registers with me as a teenage-nonsense-melodramatic-first-love, and I can appreciate it as that, but I get the sense that Bangel shippers find it to be much more than that....

The one Bangel scene that I connect with is when Angel shows up after Buffy's mom's funeral.....
And the one Bangel scene that pulls feels from me, is the one minute they have before the day is swallowed in IWRY (but even this ep, to me, is not a plus in their relationship column)

Thank you!! 😘😘😘
 

Athene

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Sineya
I see 16- early 20s as pretty much being in the same chunk of life which isn't to say there's no difference but I can't see the logic in Buffy being this kid in season 3 but a full grown woman in season 5 that suddenly makes any feelings she has legitimate because growing up isn't like that. If Buffy were like 12-15 I'd get that it probably would be melodrama. But anyway it's the story that's told in Buffy Season 2 that makes me a Bangel. I don't mind if they're OTP or if they don't end up together I like that Angel leaves and goes to LA and grows as a character. Sarah's acting sells the whole thing in every scene with or about Angel. For me that is :)
 
S

SpikeRocks

Guest
I see 16- early 20s as pretty much being in the same chunk of life
I think the older one gets, the more chunks/periods of life do blend together....but when I really think about it, the "me" every 2-3 years is always quite different from the previous version.....and your environment when you're a teenager (friends, relationships, responsibilities, priorities, etc), vs your environment after high school is drastically different and is probably one of the biggest periods of change in one's life.....bridging adolescence to adulthood

I can't see the logic in Buffy being this kid in season 3 but a full grown woman in season 5 that suddenly makes any feelings she has legitimate because growing up isn't like that
I mean, isn't Buffy written that way? Buffy S1-S3 is hardcore an adolescent in how she's written and portrayed....Buffy S4 is trying to gain her legs at no longer really having "permission" to be an adolescent, and more being expected of her....Buffy S5 gets hit hard with "adulting", which continues into S6, and she's still new to adulthood in S7. But anyway, Buffy S1-S3 and Buffy S5-S7 do register as notably different to me.....child and adult

If Buffy were like 12-15 I'd get that it probably would be melodrama
I think Dawn said it best to Riley: "Everything with [Angel] was like the end of the world." Apocalypses aside (bc she's not referring to those😄), this is sort of the definition of melodrama

I like that Angel leaves and goes to LA and grows as a character
I agree :)
 

Athene

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Sineya
I really think about it, the "me" every 2-3 years is always quite different from the previous version.....and your environment when you're a teenager (friends, relationships, responsibilities, priorities, etc), vs your environment after high school is drastically different and is probably one of the biggest periods of change in one's life.....bridging adolescence to adulthood
Yeah you are different every 2-3 years I just think starting from 16 onwards the difference becomes less. Like 12-14 big difference, 14-16 big difference but at 16-18 there's a difference but less so, then 18-20 even less so and that's as far as I've got lol. Buffy is maximum 22 when the series ends and even in the high school years she has more responsibility than most her age so like how at 19/20 she grew up a lot due to having to mother Dawn at 17/18 she was also pretty grown up for her age.
 

The Bronze

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Black Thorn
It only registers with me as a teenage-nonsense-melodramatic-first-love
You've got to be wearing a big set of blinkers when watching to come to that conclusion. They're separated by numerous external factors and if those were removed permanently they would both jump at the chance to have a relationship. Whether it would work or last is anyones guess.
 

Priceless

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I think I'm in the minority of Spuffy fans who actually don't see a problem with Buffy and Angel's ages. It is a tiny bit unsavoury when she's 15 and he's staring at her in her bathroom, but they don't get together for another two years. I think of Angel as early 20's in Season 1/2 (he looks older in S3 & ATS so I can't think of him as young in those seasons). The age of consent in the UK is 16, so maybe that's why it doesn't bother me.

I find Angel quite dull in BtVS and he only comes into his own in AtS when he's given characters to play - there's only so much you can do with 'brooding hulk' to keep the story going. I think that's why Angelus is so exciting in BtVS because he's so different to Angel, but in AtS he's not that interesting, because Angel has become more interesting.
 
Puppet
Puppet
Two years is being generous, they start dating less than six months after Buffy's 16th birthday.
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Yeah I agree. Also DB's acting range improves significantly as more time passes on
S

SpikeRocks

Guest
I need some examples of how this is a good relationship and/or rooted in something real that I can get behind.....any scene, or dialog, or episode theme, relationship lesson/growth, I mean anything......help please! lol
 

WillowFromBuffy

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It's not about the end-game. It is the impossibility of it that makes it compelling.

It is the same with Spuffy. It was never depicted as a long term thing until the comics.
 
S
SpikeRocks
So for people it's just about the tragedy, and not that it's a mirror of a truly good relationship with a lasting foundation?

WillowFromBuffy

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Joss is an absurdist and that really shows in the two main characters, Buffy and Angel. You have to create meaning wherever you can, even if nothing is certain and everything is likely to end sooner rather than later.
 

Bluebird

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Black Thorn
I need some examples of how this is a good relationship and/or rooted in something real that I can get behind.....any scene, or dialog, or episode theme, relationship lesson/growth, I mean anything......help please! lol
You've pointed out lots of reasons why you don't like it, but a lot of those reasons are why Bangels exist. So I don't think there's any answer that will satisfy you if you're not willing to put yourself in others shoes.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Great point
S

SpikeRocks

Guest
I mean, is it possible to talk about how this is a good relationship, if we take out the compelling nature of the tragedy/doomed aspect of it? Or is that the only reason people are Bangel?
 
Britt
Britt
Take a step back. None of us knew where Bangel would end up in s2 when we started the show. There HAD to have been buy in to them as a couple BEFORE any of that. Otherwise, the second half of s2 DOES NOT WORK. So no, it's not just the tragedy aspect.

AstridDante

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Buffy and Angel had some really romantic scenes in show and they are both champions in their own way. I can see what Bangel shippers like. For me though I think teen Buffy had changed a lot over the course of the show and she had a more challenging layered complex love with Spike.
 

spikenbuffy

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Well, I'm a Spuffy fanatic but I love Bangel, I would say it's the fascination that Buffy had for Angel. Buffy always looked Angel like she only had eyes for him (like Willow & Tara had !! ). SMG really convinced me with her acting. She had that look towards Angel.
Buffy & Angel also shared a bond & connection due to the loneliness. Buffy who was a teen with responsabilities of saving the world and the lonely cursed vampire who doesn't really belong in the world.

But yeah me too, because of the nature of the doomed relationship, I've always felt that it was screwed but I would also say that if Angel got shanshu, I would be happy for Buffy & he as an endgame ship. Though Buffy would always be the slayer who risks her own life so I don't know if that could work.
 
S

SpikeRocks

Guest
Yes, if Angel wasn't a vampire and Buffy wasn't a slayer, it would take a lot of the magic out of it. They'd probably be a sweet couple, but there wouldn't be much of a story left.
I guess I always figured with the Bangel following that there is, that they saw much more merit in the relationship that just its doomed tragedy......
 
S

SpikeRocks

Guest
Buffy & Angel also shared a bond & connection due to the loneliness. Buffy who was a teen with responsabilities of saving the world and the lonely cursed vampire who doesn't really belong in the world.
It's interesting you bring that up, because one thing that hasn't registered with me is the notion of their "instant and enduring connection".....they're differences and disconnect always seemed much more glaring and prominent
 

white avenger

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Yes, if Angel wasn't a vampire and Buffy wasn't a slayer, it would take a lot of the magic out of it.
Plus, it would make Angel, a physically 25 year old man, either a child molester, a statuary rapist, or both, considering the fact that Buffy was a minor at the time.

My interpretation of the Buffy/Angel romance in the early Seasons of the show was that it was the Harlequin Romance relationship, with the shy young virgin being attracted to the older, more experienced lover with the dark, mysterious past, the outlaw turned good guy type character. It defied all the norms of polite society and was doomed from the very start by the Romeo & Juliet story line (except for the fact the fact, of course, that R & J were about the same age. Buffy and Angel would be more like Juliet and Romeo's grandfather)

Invariably, whenever Angel and Buffy were together, bad things were sure to happen. Of course, the same thing could be said about Buffy with Parker, Riley, and Spike, so at least the poor girl has that one consistency in all of her relationships, which is why I am now a hard line Joan/Randy shipper.
 

TriBel

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I need some examples of how this is a good relationship and/or rooted in something real that I can get behind.....any scene, or dialog, or episode theme, relationship lesson/growth, I mean anything......help please! lol
It's not rooted in the real - it's rooted in the socio-imaginary. It's rooted in Romantic Love (capital R; capital L). It's rooted in patriarchal assumptions of what men/women should aspire to (a normal life)*. It's Romeo and Juliet with more teeth. It professes to be timeless and universal but it's not. It's symbolic (hence the Claddagh ring as opposed to Spuffy real hands). It's rooted in the past (in more ways than one). To paraphrase Whedon, "it's a great love story". I think it's okay as far as it goes but it's not forward thinking...it's not oppositional. Even without "the curse", It can't move forward without becoming something else. I'm not knocking it. Do I think it's a good relationship? It is for some people...in the same way some politicians, some political ideologies are good for some people but not for others (love is political - small p). Without the vampire element, it's safe. It maintains the status quo. It's not visionary - it's not messianic. It won't change the world but it's not fundamentally bad. It's a plaisir ("pleasure") not jouissance ("bliss")...probably in the fullest sense. Spuffy is messianic (in the sense that it changes the world) and speculative.

Two quotes from the philosopher Slavoj Zizek (he can be perverse and he's counter intuitive but it's food for thought:

“If you have reasons to love someone, you don’t love them.”
“The one measure of true love is: you can insult the other”

*Isn't it First Date when Spike's given up on the idea of a crypt with a white picket fence that she tells him to stay. He tries to get her to give a reason but she doesn't know. The second quote - doesn't it kinda summarise her chat with Amanda in Potential?

@white avenger may have a point.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
Taking love advice from Zizek, no thank you, lol. Maybe Spuffy is more intellectually interesting but Bangel is more what most people would choose/want(?). I myself would rather have other options if asked to choose
S

SpikeRocks

Guest
but it's not fundamentally bad.
I guess I'm wanting to learn more, how it's not fundamentally bad.......because when I view it, it is indeed fundamentally bad lol. Take out the supernatural, take out the vampire/slayer/soul curse doomed aspect (I mean, all those things are usually used as vehicles anyway to touch on conflicts/dynamics/etc. true to real life)....and just take into account these two people and their relationship. What are the merits? What do they do for each other/how do they work/what do they do right? I'm genuinely curious on what I'm missing lol
 

WillowFromBuffy

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I think it is important that they aged Angel up on AtS, because David was starting to look older. On Buffy, his cover was community college student, which I think makes most people understand him as a good deal younger than 26.
 
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