When I first started to watch Buffy, I mainly did so cause I'd read some Buffy crossovers and I enjoyed the idea of a vampire and a Slayer in love...
And for a few seaons, I actually liked the idea of B/A.
As Buffy became my favorite character, I wanted her to be happy, I wanted her to be with the person she loved.
A strange thing though, much as I liked B/A for Buffy's sake, I just couldn't seem to find a reason to like it for Angel's sake. The more I saw of Angel... the less I became interested in the char shown on the show and the more the potential of the char beckoned to me...
Honestly, it wasn't until season five that the potential of Angel was fullfilled, not through Angel strangely enough but through Spike.
Everything that Angel could have, should have been was done through an actor with a much broader range than David Boreanaz ever had. Yeah I know, opinions, subjective by nature, but the thing is that it's unavoidable that James Marsters is a way better actor than DB could ever hope to be. No matter how much DB has improved over the past few years.
I kept trying to like Angel though. I kept trying to see the appeal of him, to enjoy the show for his sake, and for a while I succeeded, halfly. Yet the longer Angel the Series went on, the less I liked Angel and looking back on Buffy as a show, I can't really say I like the Angel we were shown there much either.
I still can't stand to see Angel with anyone but Buffy. Yet it's not because I want him and Buffy together, far from it, but because I can't stand to see him get over Buffy so easily. Actually seeing him with Cordelia pretty much destroyed my last bit of respect for the character, not that I had much left by that point.
I wondered why that was for a while...
Both Spike and Angel are vampires, they're both on a path of redemption and they're both fighting for the side of good.
So what was it about the both of them that made me love Spike and hate Angel?
Then I found this article:
Now I'm not gonna claim it's perfect. It isn't, but it does solve some serious issues of mine.
Let's see, what I think is wrong about it, is that it doesn't give much if any credit to Angel at all... I can't stand the guy, but even I can see that not all his intentions were selfish.
Other than that...
Maybe this article doesn't mention the one thing that really marks the difference between the two. Their role in their respective groups. And how the people around them see them...
Well that and the fact that I really don't think that David Boreanaz is attractive, so sue me... he's just too ... neandertalish for my taste.
I recently read a fic that descibed Angel as the popular football guy that every man wants to be and every woman (supposedly) wants to be with.
And I think that isn't that far off.
Angel's mister popular. All the girls are in love with him... All his friends see him as the great hero, the champion. Sure they fear the part of him that's Angelus, but most of the time they refuse to really aknowledge that Angelus and Angel are actually the same person...
Compared to that we got Spike...
Probably the most fascinating char on tv, for his contradictions alone.
Spike came on in season two as mister cool. The Billy Idol rebel without a cause out for destruction. And though he was fun, he never really interested me all that much, because he was limited. Sure he had a love for Dru which put him above practically any big bad on the show. But other than that I personally wasn't really all that interested in him.
I liked Becoming, it was nice to see glimpses that Spike could be more, that the whole issue with vampires on Buffy didn't have to be black and white. That there could be more with him. Something only confirmed even more when he returned in season three with Lover's Walk.
But I didn't really start liking the character untill season four. The turningpoint for this character as he became the outcast. First by choice, then forced into it...
Maybe it's my fascination for outsiders, my love for characters on a path of redemption... I just loved how we came to realize that Spike's mask of the big bad was nothing more than a pretense to hide his inner William.
I love how underneath all the swagger Spike was still that geeky poet desperate to belong, desperate to be loved.
It's strange really how many right choices that Spike made, being a soulless demon and all. How many times he could have gone wrong, done something, anything to stop his road to redemption and how often even his mistakes forced him even stronger on the way to become not a champion, but a hero.
I can only compare it to Methos from Highlander.
(just skip this for anyone that doesn't know the show Highlander ;-) )
A better devellopped Methos that we actually get to see the growth off. We get to see what it must have been like for Methos to go from being one of the Four Horsemen, to the guy that actually became friends with Duncan MacLeod and in his own way, grew up to become a better person.
Spike is like an acrobat made to walk a thin cord over a ravine, blindfolded, without any form of support. He sometimes stumbled, he made mistakes, but in the end he made it...
Not because he had a lot of friends to help him over it...Aside of Dawn for a while, he didn't really have anyone, not untill the end when Buffy offered him her hand for the last part of the journey.
Compared to that Angel seems weak.
Where Spike made the effort to change, to become a better demon, to become a man, a good man. Angel just made the effort to become a champion. And personally I don't like champions, they fall from their socles to easily.
Like Spike said. He may not be the champion of the people, but he was ready to offer a hand, for no other reason than that he had nothing better to do.
When I see Buffy and Angel together, I see a young woman and the grown man who emotionally destroyed her and then left her to deal with the pieces, returning just often enough to break her apart again every time she started to heal.
With Spike, I see her chance for redemption, a chance for her to find herself and to discover that happiness is not about white knights and children's fairy tales, but about a love that noone can break. About perseverance, about frienship and about passion.
Buffy and Spike have that and more...
Just my opinion of course...