Tue. May 21st, 2024

List Challenges sent me out another list of lists, some of which were intriguing. One, called Have you read more than 6 of bbc’s 100 books?, was the worst kind of clickbait, but I clicked anyway. Geez, never mind 6, I’ve read over 40 of these suckers! Challenge accepted and completely pulverised. Another one, called This or That, TV Edition, was a nice idea. You choose one of two similar TV shows. There were some good combos, like The Munsters vs The Addams Family, The Monkees vs The Partridge Family (this could have worked with The Brady Bunch, too), Buffy vs Charmed (no contest there, though I am partial to Alyssa Milano), Bewitched vs I Dream of Jeannie, The Jetsons vs The Flintstones, and so on. Then there was a list of New York Times Book Review Best Books Since 2000. It had some good reader development picks for the discerning reader, and I liked that it combined fiction and non fiction titles. But, not surprisingly, it was a bit US-centric, and there were glaring omissions. Dave Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything should have been there, for one. As it was, I’d only read three of the books. Naomi Alderman’s The Power, Bob Dylan’s Chronicles Vol One, and Graham Robb’s Rimbaud. What, no James Patterson?

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I watched a dvd I put together a few years ago that I called Angel, The Early Years. It was another piece of research for that rebuilds/edits blog I’m working on. Every now and then either the Buffy or Angel TV shows would do a sequence highlighting some past incident involving one or more of the vampire characters. The first time they did this was in the second season episode of Buffy called Becoming Part One, where we finally got to see some tantalising glimpses into Angel’s past, including the moment when Angel (or Liam, as he was called back then) was turned into a vampire by Darla. But it left us curious, wanting more of this back story. What was Spike like before he was turned? How did Drusilla and Spike and Angel and Darla all come together, and what adventures did they get into? Eventually most of these question and more were answered in both programs. At some point I realised it was about time someone put all these flashbacks together and made a special compilation of them. And that’s what I did, that’s Angel, The Early Years.

I must say it was quite a challenge collecting and assembling all the scenes in their right order. And joining the different scenes together seemlessly involved some fancy editing, especially with the audio, which would often carry through to another, very different scene set in the present. But I eventually got it all done and came up with one hour and forty minute’s worth of the Darla/Angelus/Holts/Drusilla/Spike/Angel back story. Watching it again now, I have to admit, because the compilation was a patchwork of many disparate elements culled from many different contexts, not everything worked. Certain sequences did not flow well when put together, and things like costuming and accents and hair pieces, etc, could be variable, to say the least. But ultimately I think it works, and watching the whole thing again was quite a satisfying experience.

There are other story arcs that can be stitched together with Buffy and Angel. Another I made was the Faith Arc, following her direction from bad girl slayer then jailbird in Buffy through to her prison escape and redemption in Angel. What a journey that character has been through!

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