Oops. Sorry, Strega
I do think there's the potential to do a lot of interesting stuff with things like Spike, the Shanshu, W&H, and the mindwipe. But I'd like not to wait much longer.
Aside from the lighter tone, the disappointingly boring setting, bad characerization, and the lack of actual, decent plots, one thing that bothers me is how much trouble they're having in balancing the cast. Out of the 9 episodes so far this season, I think only three have featured all the regulars throughout ("Conviction," "Unleashed," and "LotP").
That's one thing I don't like about character-centric episodes, is that by focusing on one character they tend to marginalize others. So far this season, I'd say there have been 5 character-centric episodes -- "Just Rewards," "Hellbound," "LotP," "Lineage," and "Harm's Way." Admittedly, all of those have varying level's of ensemble participation.
Part of the reason I enjoy "LotP" so much is that, despite being a Lorne-centric episode on the surface, it actually gives just about everyone their fair share of screentime (which seems even stranger to me since it's also one of only two episodes so far to feature all three major recurring characters [Harmony, Eve, Knox]). Although I guess the reason for that might be because the "plot" is relatively thin, and there isn't really anything going on except what the characters are doing.
I think "Numero Cinco" also did a fairly good job with the ensemble. Wes contributed. Gunn was there for most of it. Even Spike contributed. Lorne...at least got two scenes. Fred didn't have much to do, but most of the episodes have been fairly Fred-inclusive, so I didn't mind. I'll also throw in here that this episode, sadly, has my favorite fight scene so far this season -- the one between Angel, Wes, Gunn, Spike, and the Aztec demon. What can I say, I'm a sucker for group fights. Which I guess might reveal just how much I care about maintaining the ensemble feeling.
I can tolerate the back-and-forth for the opening eps, but now it's time to restore the balance. Oh, as for Wes...I don't think he's done too bad as far as screentime goes (except for the last two eps), it's just that he never really has anything to actually do. He has no storyline. The same goes for almost everyone else. Fred, despite being prominently featured, doesn't really have a storyline either. Spike seems to have a semi-storyline with the Shanshu. Gunn, so far, has a plot device. Lorne has, well, Lorne has nothing.
I know, I know, individual character storylines would detract from those brilliant A plots and confuse casual viewers. Okay, I'll be quiet now.
Edited by Naxus, Jan 16, 2004 @ 10:01 PM.