PODCAST: The Incredibles 2 Review! (SPOILERS)

Hey Everybody,

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This Episode Of The World’s Best Podcast has been available for a few days to all of our listeners, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to post it on the site yet. So thank you for your patience! This was a really fun episode that I recorded with Ryan McDonald. We do a full spoiler review of The Incredibles 2, we talk about Shymalan’s Unbreakable Universe and the upcoming movie, Glass, we discuss Jordan Peele’s desire to make a film adaptation of the Gargoyles animated series (a personal favorite TV show of mine), & much more! Listen here at the link below or on The Boston Podcast Network ( pod617.com ), and subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

Spreaker:
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15054448

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000413848893

The Boston Podcast Network: (BUT!!! The new episode may not be up yet on Pod617, But SOON!)
http://pod617.com/worlds-best-podcast/

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Thanks for listening!

-Paul

PODCAST: More Cool News: Halloween, Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse Trailers! & Much More!

Hey everybody!

On this week’s episode of “The World’s Best Podcast”, Paul Sr. and I discuss the new trailers for Halloween, Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse, & Predator, The opening of Ocean’s 8 and the other films in the franchise, the death of Anthony Bourdain, and much more! Listen here, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15021463

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000413489830

The Boston Podcast Network:
http://pod617.com/worlds-best-podcast/

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

TRAILER: Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse

It’s been a big Spider-Man week here at World’s Best Media. I wrote a pretty critical article of Peter Parker as a hero a few days ago, Mike just wrote an article about the Venom movie. Now we have this trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. I think this looks amazing. Even though I just wrote an article shiting all over Peter Parker, I LOVE Miles Morales. The first teaser for this movie was cool, but after seeing this trailer, this movie is on my radar in a big way. Check it out:

Why Spider-Man Is NOT A Hero or (Why Spider-Man Only Works When He’s A Teenager)

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Spider-Man reached a historic milestone this week with the publication of Amazing Spider-Man #800. This was also the penultimate chapter of writer Dan Slott’s celebrated run on the series. For the finale, Slott pulled out all the stops and gave Peter Parker a truly monumental threat to face for his last story arc on the book. Slott’s story has been building to an epic confrontation with Norman Osborn, unquestionably Peter’s greatest adversary.

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I mean, the guy looks so fucking creepy, why cover it up with this shitty mask?
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Christ…. Just awful. He looks better without the stupid costume.

Though memorably played by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film series, I always hated Dafoe’s campy and cartoonish performance as one of comics’ best villains. But that’s an article for another day. In the above mentioned comic book story arc, Osborn has returned to once again torment Peter Parker and everyone around him, but this time not only has he regained his abilities that made him so dangerous as The Green Goblin, he’s also bonded with the alien symbiote worn by Carnage, creating the seemingly unstoppable: RED GOBLIN!

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This is an excellent character design by the artist on the book Stuart Immonen. It’s Norman Osborn juiced up on his Goblin Formula while bonded with the Carnage Symbiote. Bad. Fucking. News. Immune to normal symbiote weaknesses like fire and sound.

Osborn has never been so deadly and his new persona as THE RED GOBLIN  is a terrifying, unstoppable monster. To use a cliché: All the strengths of The Green Goblin and Carnage, but none of their weaknesses. It takes everything Peter has, including the aid of everyone from all the other Spider themed heroes like Miles Morales to semi-reformed villains Venom and Otto Octavius, to bring down The Red Goblin. Hell, even MJ and Aunt May get some licks in. Ultimately, Flash Thompson, Peter’s former high school bully, turned good friend, turns the tide of the battle. Now the military war vet/super hero Anti-Venom; Flash sacrifices himself to give Peter the chance to defeat Osborn.

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Flash Thompson as Anti-Venom. Giving Peter the edge he needs to win the fight.
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Tragically, Osborn has just enough left in him to deal a brutal killing blow to Flash.

With Osborn beaten, Peter takes a moment to appreciate his victory and take in the destruction caused by their fight. When J. Jonah Jameson walks out of the smoke with a gun, intending to finally put an end to the death and misery caused by Osborn. It was far too close this time, Peter didn’t even come close to beating Osborn on his own. It took unprecedented amounts of help and a whole lot of luck to just barely defeat this monster.

Jameson knows Norman will be back like he has so many times before to bring death and horror into their lives. Osborn has killed thousands of innocents, used a U.S. Intelligence agency as his personal kill squad when he became head of SHIELD, started a war with Asgard, and finally he was responsible for one of comic books’ most iconic and heartbreaking deaths: the love of Peter’s life Gwen Stacy.

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Well, he didn’t die. YOU didn’t kill him. He went on to kill hundreds more. How do you think Gwen would feel that you could have avenged her death, but didn’t because you’re a fucking hypocritical coward?

Not to mention the countless other innocent victims that have been caught in the crossfire between Osborn and Spider-Man over the years. He knows Peter can’t and wont do what needs to be done: kill Osborn. But this is a burden Jonah is willing to bear for the young man he once saw as a menace. So, doing what needs to be done, what he believes is right, he pulls the trigger to kill Norman Osborn….

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…. And Peter dives in front of the bullet to save Osborn. Taking a slug in the shoulder for the man who juts killed one of his best friends.    …..Wait…  …Um..  …Hold on a second… ….Ummmm… WHAT?!…. WHAT THE FUCK?!!!!….. WHY?!!!!!!

Because Peter Parker isn’t a hero, he’s a coward. With great power comes great responsibility. Flash Thompson understood that and gave his life for it. Jameson understood by the making the choice to take on the burden Peter didn’t have the strength to. When Peter took that bullet he spat on Flash’s sacrifice. Every death caused by Osborn from this moment on is Peter’s responsibility. Trust me, this is Comics. Osborn WILL be back to kill and maim again, in some form or another.

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Police and their use of firearms is a very touchy subject in this country right now, so I’m speaking hypothetically here. I understand that police using their firearms inappropriately is a serious problem in this county at the moment and I take that very seriously. But stay with me here for a second while I make a quick point, hypothetically in a world where police officers use their weapon in the line of duty only in the situations where it’s absolutely necessary or if  a psychopath is killing people, isn’t it their responsibility to save lives? Even if it means killing the perpetrator? Or what if an officer were defending themselves from an armed and dangerous individual? How is this different than the many times Norman Osborn has murdered people, put lives in danger, and terrorized people over and over again. If the police had encountered Osborn in almost ANY of the senario’s that Peter has, they would have killed him (if they could of course, Osborn is probably impossible for a normal human cop to take down). Peter should have put Osborn down for good a long time ago. If he really believed in dedicating his life to being a hero, he’d have realized that so many of the lives Osborn has taken are on him.

D2CE0547-9214-4780-AAED-2E8E0A4F2E36 I think this is a good time to point out that Peter Parker is a superpowered, masked vigilante whose identity isn’t known to the general public. You and I cant go around taking the law into our hands, but he can. In fact, he does it all the time. That’s what being Spider-Man is. He just doesnt have the guts to kill Osborn and because of his abilities and persona as Spider-Man, this is a crime he could very likely get away with, in a way normal people couldn’t.

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This isn’t the first time Peter has pulled something like this. A few years ago through a convoluted set of circumstances, Norman Osborn became head of SHILED and the Avengers instantly became outlaws. Hawkeye argues that Osborn is insane, homicidal, and cannot under any circumstances be allowed to keep control of SHIELD. Hawkeye thinks the only thing to do, the thing they need to do, have a responsibility to do is kill Osborn. The public doesn’t know that he’s a madman and potentially millions of lives are in danger with Osborn controlling the weapons at SHIELD’s disposal.

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At which point Spider-Man argues that HAWKEYE is the one who’s crazy for even suggesting they kill Osborn and tells the rest of the Avengers that Osborn will inevitably shoot himself in the foot and the public will see him for the monster he really is. Well, how many people will die while you just sit around waiting for this to happen, Peter? In a world where individuals can be classified as a “Person Of Mass Destruction” isn’t it dangerously negligent for Spider-Man to have this attitude? Isn’t this the very definition of “With great power, comes great responsibility”?

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Teenage Peter Parker from Ultimate Spider-Man

This is why I think Spider-Man only works as a character when he’s a teenager. I only read Amazing Spider-Man #800 because it was a milestone issue. The only Spider-Man book I currently read on a monthly basis is Spider-Man which stars the other younger Spider-Man, high schooler Miles Morales. When a teenager sees the world in such morally black and white terms… well, they’re teenagers. What the fuck do they know? I remember when I was 16 I thought good and evil were clear lines and I’d never see the world as a place where thing like “necessary evils” must exist. But of course as I grew up, I changed and so did my view of the world. It almost seems like Peter Parker never grew up. It seems as if he never matured past his childish and naive sense of morality. So when you read a Spider-Man book or see a Spider-Man movie, they tend to be at their best when Peter is a teenager. It’s no coincidence that my personal favorite Spider-Man stories ever told were part of Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man run, which chronicled Peter as he navigated the dangers of super villains and his New York City high school.

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers debate morality all the time, but they’ve never debated the morality of killing murderous, super-powered lunatics. Spider-Man is always talking about how “with great power, comes great responsibility”. But I say Peter Parker is a coward who doesn’t have the courage of his own convictions. Heroes do what needs to be done, they don’t hide behind some bullshit code. SPIDER-MAN IS NOT A HERO. SPIDER-MAN IS A COWARD. Let online onslaught of hate begin…

In all honesty, I’d love to hear your opinions on the points I bring up in this article. Please write you comments below or on our Facebook Page and maybe we’ll read your question or comment on an upcoming episode of The World’s Best Podcast.

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Fuck you, Peter. You deserve everything coming to you.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul

PODCAST: THE BEST F@#KING COMICS FOR NEW READERS!

Hey Everybody,

Have you ever wanted to pick up a comic book or graphic novel, but didn’t know where to start? Well you’re in luck! Because on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Uncle Paul recommends some of the BEST graphic novels to read if you’re COMPLETELY new to comics!

With all of the superhero movie in theatres, deciding what comics to read for the first time can be intimidating. Especially when there are literally thousands of graphic novels out there to choose from. But fortunately you first time readers, the TV shows and Movies have only scratched the surface of all the amazing stories told in the comic book medium. If you’re a long time reader, you might be inspired to revisit some of the classics covered here (or check out one or two of the unexpected picks)!

After the episode links, I put a the complete list of all graphic novels discussed in this episode and where readers can find them! As always you can listen below, on The Boston  Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher or Itunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14964581

ITUNES:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F14964581

The Boston Podcast Network:
http://pod617.com/worlds-best-podcast/

 

As always, thanks for listening and readings!

-Paul

 

Batman: Year One

Writer – Frank Miller

Artist –  David Mazzuchelli

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Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

Batman: The Long Halloween

Writer – Jeph Loeb

Artist – Tim Sale

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Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

Batman: The Court of Owls

Writer- Scott Snyder

Artist – Greg Capullo

Batman Vol.1 The Court of Owls

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Batman Vol.2 City of Owls

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Both Volumes Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. Power and Responsibility 

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis 

Artist – Mark Bagley

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Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

Hawkeye Vol.1 My Life As A Weapon

Writer – Matt Fraction

Artist – David Aja

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Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen – The Omnibus Edition

Writer – Alan Moore

Artist – Kevin O’Neil

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Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

 

Preacher Vol.1 Gone to Texas

Writer- Garth Ennis

Artist – Steve Dillion

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Available: Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, ComiXology, your local comic book store

 

PODCAST: Solo: A Star Wars Story Review (Some Spoilers)

Hey Everybody,

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On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I finally review the much debated new Star Wars film , Solo: A Star Wars Story! Unfortunately, I also forgot to introduce myself at the start of the show! So… I’m Paul Wright! Look, this isn’t easy, ok?!

Ive also included some cool promo images from the movie for your viewing pleasure.

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Spreaker:
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14902919

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000412382091

May The Force Be With You…

-Paul

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PODCAST: Superhero Show Season Finales!

Hey Everybody,

On this Episode, I bring in the old man, Paul Sr. to discuss the season finales of Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, and Gotham. We discuss the big moments of each finale, the quality of the preceding seasons, and where the shows go from here. A few of these shows we really love and have suffered from a dip in quality lately. So we have a lot of hot takes in this one! Including some inside info on how the shows connect to some other interesting projects like the Green Arrow movie that almost was called Supermax, the upcoming annual CW superhero crossover event involving Gotham City and Batwoman, the classic Batman stories “No Man’s Land” “Zero Year”, and more! Also, take a look below the link at some cool new images put out to promote the upcoming seasons of the show’s we talk about in this episode.  Enjoy! Listen here, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher and ITunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14869407

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Review: KRYPTON Season 1 Finale

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I know enough about how television shows work behind the scenes to know when a show is saving its money for something big. You think those dragons on Game of Thrones are fucking cheap?! Well, they ain’t! AND Krypton doesn’t have a fraction of the budget that GoT does. Episode 9 of Krypton’s 10 episode first season had a lot of scenes “in the tunnels” or “in a hidden bunker”, basically sets they already built, dressed up to look like different locations, so they could save all the big bucks for a grand, epic ending. So, I knew this week’s season finale of Krypton was going to be big. I must say the show did not really disappoint.

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Our hero, a Seg-El. Superman’s grandpappy.

I’ve often lamented how DC characters can be done so well on TV and so very, very shitty on the big screen. Krypton is another sad reminder of this.On paper, Krypton sounds awful. I really thought the concept was terrible: “A prequel set on Krypton focusing on Superman’s grandfather.” WHO GIVES A FUCK?! RIGHT? Sometimes it’s great to be so wrong. The show was so much more than the above synopsis and ended up being one of the most pleasant surprises of the first part of 2018.

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Brainiac’s gigantic ship descending on Kandor

The Big Bad of the show’s first season has been Brainiac, who’s been handled extremely well. The casting, actor Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons), and character design were damn near perfect. When your biggest complaint is that you want to see more of a character, they’re doing something right.

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Brainiac gazing out onto the latest piece in his “collection”

As the finale begins, Brainiac has descended on the Kryptonian city of Kandor. The end is fucking nigh. The main character, our hero, Seg-El (played by the oh so man pretty Cameron Cuffe) or just Seg, is doing whatever he can to stop Brainiac. To make matters worse, classic DC space adventurer Adam Strange isn’t the only one to travel from to the past to save the future, so has General Zod (Yes. THAT General Zod!) played by Colin Salmon from Arrow and the Bronson James Bond flicks.

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KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!

Zod wants to prevent the destruction of Krypton and with all the knowledge of the universe, different alien races, and the abilities that Kryptonian ‘s can you develop under a yellow sun under his belt, he wants to usher in a Kryptonian dynasty that will rule the galaxy. This guy is just a fuckwit. Adam Strange had the right idea when he straight up tried to kill Zod the second he saw him earlier in the season. Speaking of Adam Strange…

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Adam Strange tries to kill Zod as soon as he sees him, which is a very smart call. On the left is Lyta, Seg’s on/off girlfriend and high ranking military officer.
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Adam Strange giving Superman’s Cape to Seg in the Krypton version of The a Fortress of Solitude

Adam Strange is just trying to keep the timeline on track. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a great pitch to the his allies currently living on Krypton. After all, their world has to die for Superman to become the greatest hero in the universe. Adam brought Superman‘s Cape with him from the future to give to Seg a little bit of tangible evidence he wasn’t some nutcase. The Cape has been a lot like Marty McFly’s picture of his family from Back to the Future: the more the timeline changes, the more Superman‘s Cape begins to deteriorate and eventually disappear completely. If the past isn’t protected there may be no Man of Steel! Oh, and Zod wants to release Doomsday to stop Brainiac. The shit it hitting the fan here, people!

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Doomsday. Dormant… FOR NOW! DUN,DUN, DUUUUN!

For the most part the characters, both hero and villain, have worked pretty well. The villains in particular have been great. The whole cast is perfectly fine for the first season of a show like this, but there’s definitely room to improve in season 2. Both the heroes and villains are interesting in their own way and certain classic DC characters are adapted very well for the series. Both General Zod and Brainiac are excellent villains in completely different ways. They’re both perfectly casted and I’m hard pressed to decide which of them is more dangerous in the long run. Brainiac is a force of nature, but Zod is… insidious. Don’t get me wrong, Brainiac is scary as fuck. But he’s kind of like trying to use a gunfight to stop a hurricane.

 

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Though it looks like Brainiac, it’s really a vessel he built for his mind to enter and interact on Krypton. The true Brainiac never leaves his ship. He operates almost like a hive mind.

Zod is scary because of his humanity (even though Kryptonian’s aren’t technically humans). He never lies, but he chooses to leave out some pretty important details about his past. By “hiding the truth” he’s able to get the good guys to work with him despite the fact that they don’t completely trust him. Adam Strange is the only one who knows just how dangerous this fucking guy is because Adam knows how deadly and destructive he was on Earth. As I said before, the looks the show has decided on for Zod, Brainiac, and Doomsday are all excellent. The character design and make up work are phenomenal especially for Brainiac. We don’t see a lot of Doomsday in season one. Most likely because they’re setting up Doomsday to be a major threat in Season 2.

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OH FUUUUUUUCK, IT’S AWAKE! DOOMSDAY’S AWAKE! WE’RE FUCKED!

The best part of the series is really how they use the Superman mythology and put their own spin on it. I was pleasantly surprised when certain classic DC characters and stories elements that I didn’t expect, popped up in the series. If they can get the characters as strong as the mythology in season 2, the show could be excellent.

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Van-El, Seg’s grandfather in the family Fortress of Solitude. Van tried to warn Kandor that Brainiac was coming years before, but was considered a heretic and condemned for claiming to have found evidence of alien life.

Seg is a solid hero for the show. You can see pieces of Clark Kent in him. You can see parts of the man that his grandson will eventually become. He has that same selflessness and heroism. Of course he looks like him a little bit as well. But he’s still his own character, I would definitely say he’s willing to do more morally questionable things than his grandson probably would. It’ll be interesting to see where they take Seg’s character in season 2.

Krypton - Season 1
Seg and his maybe new girlfriend Nyssa

The episode end’s on one hell of a cliffhanger. A really phenomenal set up for season 2. The genius of this show is that it’s NOT a prequel, it’s really a time travel show. So the series isn’t bound by the existing Superman mythology and can blaze its own trail. All in all, I think this was an excellent finale to a surprisingly strong first season and I can’t wait for Season 2! As always, thanks for reading !

Krypton – Episode 10 (Season 1 Finale): 8.5/10

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Why ANGEL Was One Of The Best Genre Shows Of All Time

Hey Everybody,

02FB9966-EB24-4774-AB6A-D131D9F74F4FAs the man behind blockbuster juggernauts like Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon rocketed to Hollywood’s A-List with two of Marvel’s biggest films under his belt. With his recent success on the big screen it can be easy to forget that Whedon’s largest impact on pop culture arguably came from his work in television. He’s worked on multiple television shows over the years, but series like the cult classic series Firefly, which was gone far too soon, and of course the game changing masterpiece Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have had a massive cultural impact. Joss Whedon’s influence on the golden age of television cannot be understated. However, I think Whedon’s work of true genius is the criminally underrated Buffy spinoff, Angel.

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It took a little while for Angel to step out of Buffy’s shadow. Though still very good, Angel took a season or two to find it’s legs and become it’s own unique and brilliant show. I would say Season 3 is when Angel really comes into its own. Which brings me to the point I’ll be trying to make in this article, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the most groundbreaking works of fiction in any medium and will be remembered alongside I Love Lucy and The Wire as one of the best television shows of all time. I’m here to tell you: Angel is better.

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This is literally the LEAST creepy photo of Buffy & Angel together I could find. I mean… the guys like 250 years old and she’s 16! It’s fucking weird is all I’m saying!

Before I get into what makes this show so excellent and brilliant, I have to give you the show’s basic setup and how the show came to be. Angel (played by David Boreanaz, you know that guy from Bones) was a character first introduced on Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He was Buffy’s main love interest for the first 3 season’s of the show before getting a series of his own. Angel was a tragic figure right from his introduction and his romance with Buffy was heartbreaking because by it’s very nature it was destined to end in tragedy. Angel was an over 200 year old vampire in love with The Slayer, a girl whose cosmic mission was to kill things just like him. It was poetic in a doomed sort of way.

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18th Century Angel with his vampire Sire (the Vampire who turns you into a vampire), Darla

It’s very important to understand how vampires worked in this universe. Every movie, TV show, piece of folklore has it’s own mythology or “set of rules” on the nature of vampires. In the “Buffyverse” as it’s commonly referred to, people become vampires by being fed on by another vampire, who drinks their blood until they die. But the human also has to ingest the blood of the same vampire during the draining to raise from the dead (so if you just get bit by a vampire you’re not going to turn into one). Once the new vampire raises from the dead, they retain all the memories and certain personality traits of the person they were before. However, they may believe they’re that same person they were before, but their “soul”, their essence, passed on when they died. The thing that rose from the dead is a monster, a soulless demon wearing that person’s face. They have enhanced strength, speed, and senses, but they weren’t so formidable that a well trained human couldn’t kill them. The key word here is SOUL, but I’ll get back to that in a minuet.

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Angel when he turned back into Angelus, in full tilt psycho mode

When Angel turned into a vampire, he wasn’t just any vampire, he was the Hannibal Lecter of vampires. Killing was an art for him. Sometimes he would toy with his victims for months to drive them insane before killing them. Or kill their whole family and leave them alive to suffer. Most vampires just fed on humans, but Angel or Angelus as he was known back in the day, was one of the most evil and vicious creatures to stalk the Earth. For almost 200 hundred years, anyone who crossed paths with him met a brutal death as he walked the world. Until one day he killed the wrong girl and seriously pissed off some gypsies. That’s really a good rule for anyone: DON’T FUCK WITH GYPSIES! Angel killed the most beloved member of their tribe and her people wanted revenge. So they cursed him by restoring his SOUL (remember when I said souls were important?). Now he felt the weight and the guilt of every brutal, evil act he committed and being more or less immortal he had to live with this guilt for eternity. He still had the thirst of a vampire, but now he had the conscience of a human being.

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Another instance of Angel becoming Angelus again. At some point you gotta ask yourself: Is this guy just to much of a liability? Multiple murder sprees aren’t like talking too many sick days.

After wallowing in a gutter of guilt and despair for a hundred years (look I’m not really sure how old Angel is, ok?), he was approached by a demon, but ya’ know the good kind. This demon named Whistler said Angel could keep being a useless piece of shit or he could stand up and help fight the good fight, start trying to making up for all the evil shit he did for all those years. That’s what set him on his path to seek out The Slayer and help her in any way he could, he just didn’t know he’d fall in love with her. The rub is that the curse the gypsies put on Angel fails if he achieves a moment of true profound peace and happiness. At which point he loses his soul again and goes back to eating babies. This and other factors eventually make Angel realize he and Buffy can never really be together, so he moves to LA and becomes a private detective who helps the helpless. That’s the set up for the Angel series.

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Left to Right: Gunn, Fred, Wesley, Angel, Lorne, & Spike

Buffy was a show that was all about metaphor. The monsters and vampires Buffy fought were metaphors for the experiences and hurdles of growing up. The physical demons were an outward manifestation of what people go through in high school, into college, and finally adulthood. Buffy was always the righteous, deep blue hero fighting a very clear evil. If Buffy was Spider-Man, Angel was Daredevil. Angel existed in a world where there weren’t always easy answers and life isn’t a simple, cut and dry choice between good and evil. It was about the grey that most people live in.

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Cordelia with a crossbow

Angel’s supporting cast reflected these ideas very well. The most important people that in Angel’s life are all fundamentally changed as characters from their first appearance to the end of the series. That is of course, if they made it to the end of the series. We all know how Whedon loves to kill off characters and Angel is no exception. Angel’s supporting cast included Cordelia, a vapid aspiring actress who becomes spiritually enlightened with visions that “The Powers That Be…” send her to guide Angel on his hero’s journey.

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Left to Right: Gunn and Fred ( Romantic sparks eventually fly…)

Two characters who join the show a little bit later are: Gunn a former gang member who grew up fighting vampires that preyed on his poor and predominantly African-American neighborhood because the cops didn’t give a shit about people dying in neighborhoods like his.

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Out of all the human characters in the Buffyverse, Gunn is probably the most formidable fighter. Meaning no enhanced strength or speed. Probably the only human who could MAAAAYBE give Angel a real fight.

Fred a girl Angel and his crew save from a hell dimension who’s also a genius mathematician, Lorne a psychic demon (the good kind) who just wanted to run his lounge that catered to humans and demons alike. Buffyverse fan favorite, sometimes villain/sometimes hero vampire, and Angel’s frenemy Spike also makes reoccurring appreances on the show.

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I know he looks lame, but Lorne is a pretty interesting character on the show. I think they made him look kind of goofy because he wasn’t meant to be a permanent part of the show, but was popular enough to become a series regular.
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Spike needs no introduction. He’s the fucking man.

All of these characters change significantly throughout the series as they endure the death, loss, and corruption that comes with trying to change the world for the better in a LA run by demons and really, really shitty humans. Like Angel, they all learn in their own way that you don’t wake up one day to find the battle has been won, good guys don’t always win and bad guys far too often are the ones that come out on top. You can’t stop the machine, it’s war that can never be truly won. But that doesn’t mean you stop fighting. There are always small victories and sometimes the smallest kindness can be a profound source of hope.

All of the characters are interesting in their own way, but no character represents what Angel is all about better than Wesley Wyndham-Pryce (played by Alexis Denisof). Wesley was originally a character that was mostly played for laughs. He was an academic expert in supernatural lore who was useful, but often portrayed as a coward and comic relief. But over time he became one the most badass characters on TV. Through torture, heartbreak, betrayal, and learning to hunt monsters from the most deadly vampire with a soul around, Wesley became one of the show’s coolest and darkest characters. He embodied one of the shows biggest themes, personal and emotional transformation through trials and suffering.

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Wesley has a lot of cool weapons, but his weapons of choice are a shotgun and two berettas

The things he’s been through and the people around him highlight why Angel is such a unique, compelling character. Angel has such a fascinating and unusual motivation for being a hero and it’s at the heart of why I found Angel to be such an excellent series. Angel helps people and fights the good fight because he’s seeking redemption and forgiveness. He knows he’s damned, but he keeps struggling to be better anyway and he doesn’t always succeed. Can acts of good ever really outweigh or make up for evil of the past? Or is that evil always there? A stain on your soul that can never be wiped away or forgotten no matter how much good you do? It’s a timeless philosophical question. Genre’s like fantasy and science fiction allow us to ask these questions in a direct way. Behind the otherworldly and fantastical window dressing of every good science fiction or fantasy story lies a very real tale about what it means to be human.

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Angel has a son who eventually goes on to a successful career in advertising as a partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Price 

Running for five seasons on what’s now The CW, Angel was another Whedon show that felt like it ended too soon. Many cancelled shows, especially at the time, ended on a season finale expecting to come back for another season. So their stories are left without an ending, character arcs and storylines still in play never reached their conclusion. With Angel, each season was better than the one before and Season Five was when the show went from great to extraordinary. It felt like they were just getting started. Fortunately, even though Whedon and his writers were unhappy with the cancellation, they were given the opportunity to end the show on their terms and to give the characters, the story, and the audience the closure they deserved. And what an ending it was… It’s fitting that a show of this caliber should end on such a high note, but the writers crafted the perfect ending in the episodes leading up to the finale. To this day, The Series Finale of Angel is without question the best series finale I’ve ever seen to a TV series. And I’m not alone, everyone I know who’s familiar with the show talks about how incredible the finale was. It would be criminal to spoil the series finale in this article. However, It perfectly encapsulates all the ideas and themes of the show: Sacrifice, the idea that you can’t win the war against evil, but sometimes you can win the battle, and that evil prevails when good (or at least decent men trying to be good) do nothing. All while sending the characters out on a fantastic note. That finale stayed with me for a long time. It’s still with me even today. There’s a lot of truth in the ideas presented on Angel and the finale in particular without question effected how I see the world.

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Unfortunately, Angel used to be available on both Netflix and Amazon Prime, but it’s no longer available on either platform. You can get the show on iTunes and DVD, for some insane reason the show hasn’t been released on Blu-ray yet, but I’ve heard they may release A Blu-ray set this fall. Regardless of how you watch it, I can’t recommend this show enough. Even if you’re not a fan of Buffy, you can still love this show. In fact, I don’t think you really need to see Buffy at all to fully appreciate Angel. I really hope you give Angel a try. As I said before, season three is really with the show becomes great, but the first two seasons have some excellent episodes in there. If the show connects with you the way it did with me, you’re in for a hell of a ride. I revisit Angel every few years and it always remains one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

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That time Angel turned into a puppet. Hey it a weird show, alright?!

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article!

-Paul

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Look, I’m sorry everyone, but… I just needed to include this picture. I’m not proud of it.

 

UPDATE(6/16/18): Awhile back, Tim, who used to be one of our co-hosts, did a solo mini-podcast episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” focused specifically on the Buffy & Angel character: Spike. He had I done a podcast about Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I felt we didn’t give Spike enough attention, so I had Tim do a mini-sode follow up. Spike is one of Tim’s favorite characters of all time in ANY medium. Considering how Spike is such an important character both on the show and in Angel’s life, I thought it would be fun to re-post the mini-sode here as a supplement/bonus to this article. It’s a really fun listen, so enjoy!

-Paul

Bonus Podcast: A Tribute To Spike
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13115375

The True Villain of The MCU?

Hey Everybody,

The guys over at ScreenJunkies, who put out some pretty solid content, made this fantastic video where they argue than Tony Stark is the true villain of the MCU. I gotta say I’ve definitely said similar things about Iron Man in the past. But this is the best breakdown of  why Tony Stark is a pretty big bag of shit that I’ve seen. It’s a very cool video. Once again, thanks and great job ScreenJunkies!  Enjoy!

– Paul