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Season 1: Demon Nazis & Floating Eyeballs


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#1

Durazo

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 7:05 PM

Hmm, I'm pretty shocked by the Kate hate (there isn't a Kate thread right?). I would have never guessed it had I not read through this thread (and looked around other places because of it). I like the character and the actress. She's got a natural toughness to go with the beauty. I even think she would have been a nice pair for Angel. They had chemistry (at least imo) :shrug:.
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#2

Lila

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 8:51 PM

There's no topic for Kate because she hasn't been on the show for years, and so the topic about her dropped off. It's not a reflection of popularity.
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#3

Durazo

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 9:02 PM

Didn't mean it that way. Just wanted to make sure I was in the right spot to comment.
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#4

CCR

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 4:32 PM

Durazo, there's a non-hateful conversation going on about Kate in the S2 thread. Take a look!

Caught a bit of 'The Prodigal' this weekend and was vastly amused by what a drama queen Liam's dad was. Their problem was really just your garden variety parent/child problem -- he wanted Liam to become a productive adult and Liam (26-going-on-16?) was sure his dad wanted him to fail. We're meant to think they'd had the same argument many many times and finally got bad enough to make Liam leave -- but the dad-actor is so highly animated and emotive I couldn't help thinking "like father, like son!"

Edited by CCR, Jan 5, 2004 @ 4:33 PM.

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#5

nil

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 4:47 PM

Angel's a lot of things, but I don't think highly animated and emotive are two of them... Heh.
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#6

shimi

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:37 PM

Yes, their relationship seemed pretty ordinary as far as parental-child conflict went. Maybe it's just that ME hasn't written the episode but none of the Liam flashbacks I've seen have fleshed him out as much of anything but a butt-head. Still not satisfactory explanation for some of Angel/Angelus' culture love ( the inclination towards sketching, fine arts, etc) for example.
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#7

valeriel

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:51 PM

I got S1 & 2 DVDs for Christmas! *dances with joy* I love the early eps, esp. with Doyle & GoofyWes. Although the Hyperion was cool, I really miss Angel's first place. And watching "I Will Remember You"--sobfest all over again. *wipes away a tear*
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#8

jerry

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 3:25 AM

City of airing today on TNT gave me the chance to see it for only the second time. I like Doyle better this time around. (I seem to like just about everything better in syndication, actually.) How I love vintage Cordelia and Batman-Angel. Never get tired of those spring-loaded stakes that strap to the arms.

Hope somebody's watching S1 with me on TNT, cause otherwise I'll be talking to myself here on Monday. We need our very own Lxndr.
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#9

Lxndr

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 9:58 AM

Well, for those of you who don't know, I bought a one-way ticket through the Buffyverse. I started with FX's re-showing of Buffy a few months back, and now that TNT has started Angel from the beginning, I've decided to expand my experiences. With two buffy's a day, plus one Angel a day, that's a lot of TV to watch. But I'm biting the bullet.

Anyway, I'm mostly unspoiled when it comes to Angel, just as I was with Buffy. I know that "Wolfram and Hart" (from yesterday's episode) eventually becomes a major player, I'm pretty sure that Doyle dies, and I know Cordelia's hair eventually grows shorter. And I think that's it.

Jerry, you do have your own Lxndr. It's me! ;)

So, my impressions on the first episode, "City Of":

1. It feels a bit contrived, right now. A random demon who gets spiky when he sneezes shows up out of nowhere and says "okay, you're helping people now, thanks to my migraines." I hope it catches its stride later.

2. Angel being drunk over Buffy, pretend or not, was a beautiful thing to watch.

3. Why is Angel all-of-a-sudden attracted to blood? Just because of the "I drank from Buffy" thing? I guess I can sort of buy that, but as a vamp with a soul, he at least has the option of drinking from someone and leaving them alive.

4. After watching Buffy Season 4, I've missed Cordy. It's nice to see her back again. And to see she's "grown in the world."

5. Angel leaping into the wrong black convertible was one of the best scenes all night. After that, it's gotta be... "your great house with no windows and lots of curtains and... you're a vampire, aren't you?" "Am not."

6. You know, if I saw someone's battle-gear on the walls, and he said it was the result of relationship issues, I'd be wanting a one-way ticket out of there ASAP. But nooo, she stays until she sees a tiny slip of paper that Angel was too stupid to, y'know, hide or destroy.

7. Waaaaaaaaaaayyy too much exposition on Angel's and Cordelia's backstory. Doyle's wasn't even all that appropriate, since he was telling it to ANGEL.

8. You know, the vampire getting kicked out the window, and bursting into flame before he hits the ground, was really cool. EVen if the effects themselves totally sucked.

9. Y'know, Cordelia does have a point about Angel - 200 years and he never managed to invest and set aside a nest-egg? What a dolt. Which makes me wonder - vampires who DO set aside a nest-egg and get dusted, what happens to their estates? I've got a feeling Russell's went to Wolfram and Hart.
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#10

brave little toaster

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 10:51 AM

Lxndr--the season starts out with a lot of one-shots. Actually season 1 as a whole is kind of heavy on the MOTW episodes, but we do get into a wee arc by the end of the season, and it ends with a great little cliffhanger. The beauty of the re-run schedule is that you'll be in season 2 in no time, and that's when the fun really starts, IMO.
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#11

Sica

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 12:23 PM

Wheee! itīs fun to ssee a fresh look at the series. Welcome aboard lxndr I'll be following your comments *wombles around*
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#12

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 12:45 PM

I'm also excited to see your opinion on season one lxndr. I have been renting the season 1 DVD's via netflix and am slowly getting through the 6 dvds week by week. I am enjoying watching them again (I have followed both Buffy and Angel from the beginning) and of course reading Strega's wonderful recaps. I haven't posted too much because I enjoy reading everyone else's point of view.

Just wanted to say I agreed with everything you said lxndr. I thought they did a good job on the first episode. The exposition did get a little heavy at times, but I just tried to keep pretending that I was a "new" viewer and didn't know anything so I wouldn't tell my tv to shut up. It was sort of amusing to hear Doyle's spin on Angel's story and watch Angel being completely bored as he talked (at least I thought he looked bored).

Just got DVD number 4 in the mail today so can't wait to go watch the 4 upcoming episodes....don't think this is the dvd with Faith's episodes, but I'm hoping cuz I remember loving those!
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#13

Cobalt Stargazer

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 2:53 PM

9. Y'know, Cordelia does have a point about Angel - 200 years and he never managed to invest and set aside a nest egg? What a dolt.


Lxndr, it's best to just not even worry about the question of money when it comes to what Angel's (un)living on. As the series progresses, there will be many, *MANY* instances to wonder where he's getting his funds; starting to question it when you're only starting to watch will only lead to madness.

1. It feels a bit contrived, right now. A random demon who gets spiky when he sneezes shows up out of nowhere and says, "okay, you're helping people now, thanks to my migraines." I hope it catches it's stride later.


Aw, Doyle...and also Glenn Quinn. *sigh* I always thought Doyle was a great character, the much more flawed counterpart to Angel's struggle to be a better individual. Despite the apparent contrivedness of his appearance, I enjoyed his role. And that's *all* I'm saying, in the interest of not ruining anything.
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#14

HexLover

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 2:58 PM

Lxndr get ready to see a lot of familiar faces really soon.
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#15

valny

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 6:36 PM

Hi Lxndr- I followed you over from the BtVS side. Actually, I'm kind of in the same boat as you. When TNT started airing the Angel reruns, I taped them all up to S4 but believe it or not haven't gotten around to watching most of them yet. Can you say procrastination? I've only seen up to episode 14(The Prodigal) So now that you're watching them, I think I'll get my butt in gear to keep up with you- but I'll leave the commenting to you since you do it so well.

The season starts out with a lot of one-shots. Actually season 1 as a whole is kind of heavy on the MOTW episodes, but we do get into a wee arc by the end of the season, and it ends with a great little cliffhanger.

Good to know that, brave little toaster, because I kept waiting for some kind of big story arc but it hasn't happend yet, and like I said, I'll be seeing the episode 15 next.(The Ring) Watching them for the first time, I thought they'd be similar to BtVS with the arc stuff. But that's a no go so far. So now I'm interested in this "wee arc" you speak of. I'm kind of spoiled on some stuff on the Cordy stuff but I don't know if it happens in S1 or S2. I have some other comments on her "situation" in Parting Gifts but I'll save that after Lxndr watches it.
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#16

Kalbear

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 8:01 PM

It's very similar to early Buffy in that regard, with an added oddness of a couple two-parters thrown in for fun. S1 was where they were really trying to get their own voice for a show, instead of being Buffy in LA, and they really don't succeed doing this until Faith comes in, IMO, and when W&H start becoming more of a constant threat to the gang.
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#17

CleaPet

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Posted Jan 11, 2004 @ 12:19 AM

The blond haired brother in The Ring, was he the blond haired, brain damaged brother of Ryan on Oz? And didn't someone mention he was a wrestler in real life?
Huh.

(Not trying to spoil Lxndr, thus no further details of the ep.)

Edited by CleaPet, Jan 11, 2004 @ 12:35 AM.

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#18

East Popcorn St

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Posted Jan 11, 2004 @ 3:01 AM

CleaPet-- Scott William Winters (who turns out to be Dean "Ryan O'Reily" Winters' brother-- no mention of wrestling, though), according to IMDb, did indeed play Cyril O'Reily on Oz and Jack McNamara in "The Ring." I remember thinking the same thing when watching "The Ring," but dismissing it, because the two characters are so dissimilar.


Anyway, back to topic-- I am always impressed every time I watch "City of . . ." and then invariably disappointed with the dullness of the many standalones of S1. "City of . . ." serves as a surprisingly efficient expository powerhouse, really, when you think about the sheer mass of what has gone before that requires at least a cursory explanation for the uninitiated. That it also manages to set up the basic premise for the show, deliver a decent "A" plot, feature two bookending action scenes that are reminiscent of some of the best action flicks Hollywood has produced, and plug Cordy into the story in a surprisingly convincing way makes it especially extraordinary. Pretty good work in just 42 or so minutes.

However-- not to color anyone's perceptions too much in advance of having seen them-- I'm none too fond of some of the many standalones. Like "Expecting" (the main plot point is such a major event in most real people's lives [that sounds a bit stupid, but I'm trying not to give too much away] so to have it resolved so quickly seems decidedly unlike ME-- even at their worst. However, the scene at the gun club is worth the price of admission, IMHO) and "She" (Try telling people you know and respect just how good this show is, and then when they finally sit down to watch it, TNT is airing this episode. And then a few years later after they've finally learned to trust again, maybe you can hook them with something more worthy, like "To Shanshu in LA"), to name a few.

Sadly, I tend to also include "The Ring" among my list of weak standalones. But that's just me-- I've been known to enjoy some grade A crap and detest some downright good stuff, so my opinion shouldn't carry much weight.
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#19

Naxus

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Posted Jan 11, 2004 @ 3:03 AM

The blond haired brother in The Ring, was he the blond haired, brain damaged brother of Ryan on Oz?

Yes. Yes he was.

Good to see you here, Lxndr. I really can't wait to see how you feel about this show as it develops.

1. It feels a bit contrived, right now.

It'll feel that way for a lot of S1. Don't get me wrong, there's some genuinely good stuff here, but along the way contrivance will rear it's ugly head quite a few times. And sometimes laugh at you.

5. Angel leaping into the wrong black convertible was one of the best scenes all night. After that, it's gotta be... "your great house with no windows and lots of curtains and... you're a vampire, aren't you?" "Am not."

I love both of those. The former is funny just because it's Angel, and for the latter the delivery and look on the guy's face was priceless, like he was denying looking at Cordy's chest or something. Although I guess he was probably focusing on her neck.

7. Waaaaaaaaaaayyy too much exposition on Angel's and Cordelia's backstory.

The exposition was really, really heavy and really, really clumsy. I forgive it a little just 'cause it's the pilot, although I do have to wonder how many people were watching that hadn't been watching Buffy.

As far as arc goes, I'd have to say there's none at all in S1, at least not in terms of an actual plot. There are major character intros and some character development, but it's pretty much a bunch of standalones.

Edited by Naxus, Jan 11, 2004 @ 3:05 AM.

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#20

CleaPet

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Posted Jan 11, 2004 @ 2:22 PM

I didn't think the exposition in CoA was clumsy, but then I watched it right around the same time as Conviction. Doyle made me laugh when he told the bum to get a job without so much as missing a beat.

OT: Holy crap, East Popcorn St, I had no idea the O'Reilly brothers on OZ were brothers in real life. Neat.

Edited by CleaPet, Jan 11, 2004 @ 2:23 PM.

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#21

jerry

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 1:22 AM

I'm a big fan of S1. S2-S4 story arcs are okay too, but my chief complaint with arcs has been when episodes are stretched too thin and there just isn't enough happening in an individual episode. In other words, sometimes an arc has felt like a daytime soap, where nothing good happens except on Friday & Monday, so there's a ton of filler. Disclaimer: I haven't watched a soap opera in about 15 years, so maybe they've changed.

Since we've established that Season 1 is mostly MoTW, I'll get back to the point. I don't mind MoTW and I love Season 1. Some of my favorite quotes and moments are from the first season, and She, for the party scenes alone, is a classic.
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#22

East Popcorn St

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 2:41 AM

I should have dislcaimered that aspect of "She." As has been mentioned, DB's and AD's rhythmless gyrations alone make the episode watchable. Still, the stuff between the teaser and the end credits is not the sort of thing that is likely to bring folks into the AtS fold.
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#23

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 12:39 PM

lxndr (and valny), at times, esp. during the early parts of the season, you may feel like giving up on it b/c nothing is happening except a bunch of MoTW episodes. Stick with it, because the show really hits its stride towards the end (with "Five by Five"). It gets even better in season two, where it starts to shed that "Buffy spin-off" feel. And a lot the MoTW eps still shed some interesting insights on Angel, along with entertaining Angel/MoG character moments. And dancing.

1. It feels a bit contrived, right now. A random demon who gets spiky when he sneezes shows up out of nowhere and says "okay, you're helping people now, thanks to my migraines." I hope it catches its stride later.


Re: the showing up out of nowhere: It might help to know that Angel's guide was originally meant to be Whistler. I guess they had problems getting the original actor, so the part was rewritten as Doyle.

6. You know, if I saw someone's battle-gear on the walls, and he said it was the result of relationship issues, I'd be wanting a one-way ticket out of there ASAP. But nooo, she stays until she sees a tiny slip of paper that Angel was too stupid to, y'know, hide or destroy.


Yeah, I thought that part was pretty lame & contrived too. Tracy Middendorf did a good job as Tina though, so I don't really mind this little storyline.

7. Waaaaaaaaaaayyy too much exposition on Angel's and Cordelia's backstory. Doyle's wasn't even all that appropriate, since he was telling it to ANGEL.

Yeah, Joss & Greenwalt even kinda make fun of this part on the DVD commentary. I always fast-forward through it.
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#24

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 2:00 PM

Hey all. I too got the Angel S1 dvds for Christmas, and due to a nasty case of the flu, watched the first two discs last week.

Although I liked the dark Wes of last season, I am now stuck wondering what would have happened had they not had to write Doyle out of the show. I really liked Glenn Quinn and thought that he had a lot of potential.

Definitely too heavy on the MOTW, but after S4 and the crap we have been sitting through lately, Angel-lite is kind of refreshing. Especially Cordy.

And I am not really a B/A shipper, but IWRY had me bawling me eyes out.
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#25

Lxndr

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 8:04 PM

Lonely Hearts:

1. I like the book-ending of this episode, starting and ending with sitting-in-the-dark. And just in this episode alone, Angel has gone to a bar more times than I've been in my life (yes, including college). What does that make me?

2. A butterfly? An owl? A lobster? "It's an Angel!" Forgive me, but that made me laugh. Cordelia's overeager card-passing was great, too.

3. Why DOESN'T Angel get a PI license? It couldn't hurt, no?

4. I see Cordelia still isn't above insulting attractive blonde women and claiming that they're somehow beneath her.

5. I like this Kate cop chick. And it makes sense to have some sort of police contact in vigilante stories, I suppose. Still it feels vaguely cliche, even if they way they meet wasn't.

6. Doyle's attraction to Cordy stopped being appreciated (by me, anyway) the second he started getting territorial. Ugh.

7. Cordelia was in a number of computer classes. I really don't believe she can't type.

8. Angel doesn't have a good saving-people track record, so far. He's okay with his "stopping-the-bad-guys... eventually" score, though: 2 for 2!

9. So vampirism DOES affect apartments, but not dorm rooms (as per Season 4 Buffy). Okay.

10. Yay for all the misdirection and plot twists in this episode. Woo!

11. I loved the whole "we're getting out of here" bit, with the failed silly gadget, followed by the use of the absolutely-normal pistol.

Well, that's that. Episodic shows are good and all, but they don't give as much meat for commenting on. Then again, it's only the 2nd episode in.
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#26

quirkygrl

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 8:21 PM

Lxndr,

Why DOESN'T Angel get a PI license? It couldn't hurt, no?


You'd think wouldn't you? But it begs the question - can a technically dead (okay, undead) person get a social security number or tax ID and apply for licensure? Does one need a last name for that? And what is/was Angel's (Liam's?) last name? You know, when I first started watching AtS, especially during Season 1, I burned a lot of energy and time wondering how Angel manages to maintain a business, buy real estate, get loans for office equiptment, etc., when he's not technically a living person and presumably has no credit rating... Actually, I think Lindsey may ask the same question in a first season episode (can't remember which). Anyway, I figured he had several million Dollars stashed in a crypt somewhere, but I finally just gave up this feckless exercise. You can make yourself crazy.

So vampirism DOES affect apartments, but not dorm rooms (as per Season 4 Buffy). Okay.


OT but, IIRC - Angel had to be invited into Buffy's dorm room in the Yoko Factor.

Oldersis,

And I am not really a B/A shipper, but IWRY had me bawling me eyes out.


Embrace the angst... love a good cry.

Edited by quirkygrl, Jan 13, 2004 @ 7:29 AM.

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#27

valny

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 8:48 PM

A butterfly? An owl? A lobster? "It's an Angel!" Forgive me, but that made me laugh. Cordelia's overeager card-passing was great, too.

I loved that little running joke in that episode too Lxndr.
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#28

brave little toaster

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 10:46 PM

Angel had to be invited into Buffy's dorm room in the Yoko Factor.

Doesn't he in fact tell her he doesn't *have* to wait, but he did so out of courtesy? Or I'm crazy and made that up, but I thought I remembered that from something.
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#29

jerry

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 11:29 PM

As we're starting the show at S1 again, I'd love for anybody that's noticed any continuity errors to mention them as the episodes air. I've noticed a few that will be coming up later in the season, but would like to know what else you've noticed.

BTW, what I meant by 'continuity errors' is the stuff that's in the Buffy Gaffes thread over on the BtVS board, if you've seen it. Things like disappearing and reappearing items, costume changes, and stuff that happens with multiple takes/editing jobs.
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#30

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 11:47 PM

I don't think Angel even legally existed until Lilah threw together some papers for him in S3 so Gavin would leave him alone. I think Fred came up with a full name for him in that season, too.

I liked some of the early episodes, but if you're not a big fan of the MotWs you had better brace yourself because after the first two crossovers there's a long stretch of them until anything really happens and the bad guys make their presence known.
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