24 January 2007

The BIG Debates, Part Dos

Over at FFb, they've picked one of those topics for debate that you aren't supposed to ever pick because the debate will be so heated and potentially so divisive, –US foreign policy over Israel/Palestine. Tmcd is getting piled on again, and I won't enter the debate becuase he and I have previously held enormously-long email debates on this topic. Each of us did little to convince the other.

Thus, let's make it a BIG debate week, shall we? I'll pull out another one of those taboo topics that everyone has a deep-rooted position on, one that could be scandalously controversial. Is it Abortion? Nope.

It is:

Angel vs. Spike
Who was/is the best boyfriend for Buffy and why? And yes, if you wish to argue (insanely) for Riley, that's fair game too....But remember, play nice: no ad hominem arguments and no personal attacks!

Future posts: 'Changing the Narrative' and 'Foregiveness'.


john said...

This isn't really a debate since it is clear that there is only one right answer (although I have momentary sympathies for Riley):

What did Angel ever really do for Buffy? He's kind of a lost drifter in Season One, slinking around, cryptic, unhelpful, a slightly deranged. He's marginally better the next year, but then turns evil half way through Season Two. He's not really there in Season Three, in terms of being emotionally present. I'm hard pressed to see what the positive points are for Angel, apart from the fact that he was Buffy's high school infatuation. But for some Gypsy curse, he would have been trying to kill her.

Spike, on the other hand, would have defended Dawn to his death in Season Five even without a soul for Buffy. He likes good TV and has solid relationships with Buffy's family, Dawn and Joyce. He has much more in common with Buffy, while still being a good compliment. And unlike Angel, he has a soul by choice rather than happenstance by Season Seven.

Clearly, if those are the two choices, Spike is better than Angel.

Lilita said...

For quite a while I liked Riley, and I think my eventual semi-dislike for him came from his association with his prof more than anything else.

As for the eternal Angel/Spike debate, I'm going to have to go with Angel, even though the points John raises are quite valid. However, the tipping point for me is Spike's quasi-rape/sexual battery of Buffy, perhaps one of the most viscerally affecting and nigh unto unwatchable scenes in the series. Is Spike the more entertaining character? Certainly. But Angel's the better beau, for reasons of domestic violence alone. Call me old fashioned: I think Buffy likes her vampires soulful from the get go.

Also, Angel's leather jackets are always much more suave and no self-respecting Sunnydale slayer ca always been seen hanging around with a post-punk peroxide Brit, now can she?

Transient Gadfly said...

Spike. Duh. Anyone who disagrees with me is automatically a big stupid moron asshat.

Daniel said...

Aw, Riley was so cute though, wasn't he? But far too normal. I mean, both his ego and masculinity took a bruising by Buffy, and this actually troubled him! Haha! He SO didn't get it.

Angel and Buffy were/are/will always be soulmates. But they both tend to rebel from being in a healthy, happy relationship, and so they were just too perfect for each other -- like, really *too* perfect, it could never be. With one another, they were too equal and too honorable, and they had to put their nasty little dark side away. And then the ideal becomes monotonous.

Spike and Buffy were a little less emotionally sophisticated, but a little more real. They could be mean to each other, they could have hot, rambunctious sex, they could love/hate, and, most importantly, Buffy was a better person and a more stronger person than Spike, so there was a certain INequality that they both found satisfying in a relationship. Spike needed Buffy in order to actually be and do good, and Buffy needed someone who actually knew first hand what it was like to be her worst enemy, because that's the only way, in the relationship, both parties could truly understand why Buffy always comes first. The world, you see, depends on it.

Rebecca said...

well: der. The show is, as we all know, really not at all about Buffy or Angel but about Spike's transformation. everyone knows this, even if you don't know it. deep down--totally true.

and I disagree about the leather coat: Spike's glory is that he is an independent thinker, perceptive, loving, and generous (his relationship with Drucilla is the best example of this) and that independence is in some ways summed up by his semi-goth look: goths are characterised by hard-shells that barely cover the soft, emotional inside. Angel is way too trendy.

I see the point about the violence. But (and not defending rape/domestic violence here) I will put forth that violence is the way Buffy and Spike operate in their work and love lives. Doesn't forgive Spike his attack on her. But does it require us to recontextualise it? I'm not sure.

Lilita said...

Just want to remind us that Spike's "symbol of his independence" semi-goth coat was in fact actually a "symbol of his kill" taken from ANOTHER SLAYER. Which is, I'd say, more creepy than softly emotional.

I wonder, does part of the urge to pick Spike stem largely from the urge to reject the narrative that wants us to pick Angel and instead be cantankerous? 'Cause I'm willing to admit part of my urge to pick Angel comes from my love of the love narrative, of course!

buffy summer said...

everyone knows i'm just cookie dough. we can't have this debate until i'm done baking.

David Boreanaz said...

all u angel hataz is whack angel is teh dopest fly Buffy have ever u r jealous cuz angel has his own dope show which none of u ever had specially spike cuz he sux

Frances said...

I can't contribute to this debate, not knowing the issues.

But I wanted to wish someone a very happy birthday and this is the open thread. So, Sam, I hope you're having a great birthday (though with the time difference it's nearly over by now). And best wishes for the coming year!

tenaciousmcd said...

Happy Birthday, Sam!

I've got no opinion on Angel and Spike. Because Buffy sucks. Just kidding. I've never seen the show. But I thought for a moment that it might be fun to wage war on two different blogs.

Number Three said...

Everyone knows TMcD doesn't have the wherewithal to wage war on two blogs. Our latest intelligence indicates that he can barely keep his rancor resupplied on FFB.

Happy belated birthday, Sam. Hope all is well in England. Er, Welshland. No, not quite right. Wallachia? It will come to me.