Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ebb and flow of marathon TV watching

Spent the weekend watching Angel the Series from Season Two episode 16 "Epiphany" where Angel sleeps with Darla but doesn't lose his soul to Season Three episode 4 "Carpe Noctem" where Angel's body is taken over by an old man.

That's 11 episodes of about 45 minutes each. All this while carving on my pottery.

I also read the liner notes from the DVD box set. Basically Joss Whedon says that they spun off Angel, but didn't really have an over arching theme like Buffy did. So they made it about anything and everything.

In this marathon watching, I liked Cordelia more and more. The pain from the visions are getting worse, and leaving physical marks on her, yet she's not willing to give them up. They give her a purpose and she wants to help the people in those visions. She's afraid that if she gives up the visions then her friends at Angel Investigations won't want her around. That a long way from the shallow vain girl at Sunnydale High School.

The side trip to Pylea was cute if a little cheesy. Fred's the precursor to River, the smartie who's a little scrambled in the brain pan. Cordelia's made princess, which she enjoys, of course, being restored a bit to her Queen C status of her Sunnydale days. And the Groosalug turns out to be quite the hunk and they fall in love. Still, in the end she gives it up to go back to our dimension.

In various episodes, people's loyalties are tested: Gunn between his old gang and his new gang; Angel fires Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn, goes dark but not all the way to Angelus, then comes back; Harmony comes to LA; Cordelia's tests have been discussed above; and even Lindsey makes a choice and leaves LA and Wolfram and Hart.

However, Lilah's still got a rival, Gavin Park, played by the gorgeous Daniel Dae Kim.

I'm liking this marathon watching and may try to do it with Lost, Battlestar Galactica, or Heroes. I've been reading reviews and recaps of those shows on Television without Pity or just other places. One of the benefits of marathon watching is that there's not a week in between each episode for me to wonder what's going on, how will it be resolved, or to nitpick because the next episode is immediately available and I get the answers soon enough. Plus the amount of info and details in the sheer volume of episodes pushes out the dumber details and what I'm left with is the overall arc of the story and character development.

I read the recap of this week's episode of Heroes on IO9 which was very snarky and read the comments too. The recap was pretty negative and some of the commenters said that it was excessively negative, as if the recapper was looking for things to complain about and not also discuss the good parts.

I think the general trend towards snarkiness makes it harder for shows because there are people out there who do write negative (and funny) reviews that can drown out the better reviews. In marathon viewings, the ups and downs of a show even out.

That's what I did with FlashForward. I went about 3 weeks without watching, then watched 3 episodes in a row on Hulu.

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