Angel or Spike?
Spike or Angel? Angel or Spike? No, I’m not asking which one I would like to see Buffy with more. Rather, I’m asking which one do I hate more? I found myself asking this question with a curious bewilderment, mostly because I didn’t have an answer at the time of questioning. And even here now today, I still don’t have a clue which one bugs me the most. They both have had their obvious attributes which have made them both entertaining and yet agitating at the exact same time. Fact is, I can’t truly say I’m for either one at this point. But regardless, let’s check them out and see why neither one deserves the title of most annoying souled vamp.
Now personally I don’t care whether they had souls or not at the time of ticking me off. After all, from my standpoint, they’re the same character. Just different personalities. For this reason, I’m grouping Angelus/Angel into the same bag for this little commentary. They will be the same as far as I’m concerned for this project. Oh, but don’t worry. Same applies for Spike. The evil souled Spike and friendly unsouled Spike will be considered the same entity for this dialogue (and no, that wasn’t a mistake in wording nor phrasing).
So, to get started, how do we decipher between the two? How can we possibly come up with a list of things to mark off and decide which one is more annoying? On the one hand, Angel killed Jenny Calendar which royally pissed me off. On the other hand, Spike insulted the memory of Nikki Wood in front of her own son which royally pissed me off. Ah, yes. The dilemna.
Now, I won’t lie to ya. The fact that Spike killed an Asian slayer put him in the back of the race from the start as far as I’m concerned, but the idea of him rubbing the “art” of killing slayers in the face of their offspring….That’s just something I don’t look favorably upon. So, in other words, his case has pretty much been an uphill battle from the start.
But still, I really liked Jenny Calendar. I’ve heard some people say that Jenny was necessary to kill for the development of the Giles character. My response? That’s pure crap. Looking back, I would have liked it much more had they killed Giles to develop Jenny rather than vice-versa. But hey, I don’t write the show. I just watch and critique it. And the idea that neither of these guys (Angel and Spike…try to keep up) drove a stake through their own hearts in a show or display of remorse makes me hate them both pretty badly.
So, keeping this in mind, I was forced to look toward another means of finding a solution to the question of which one I hate more. This question has been killing me, as you might have guessed. For this reason, I decided to see which one I could relate to with more. Perhaps this would give me a leverage on deciphering which one deserved a “most annoying” category trophy from the series.
I started with pure heritage. Unfortunately, my blood is just as much British as it is Irish. I had trouble finding a solution in that category. So I decided to go with manner of dress. Well…they’re both broody and wear dark clothing. Their hair is a bit different, but unfortunately neither one match my own. So…I went with raw personality.
At this point, I began to make some progress. I think I’m far more like Angel in personality than Spike. I do enjoy sitting in the dark, brooding and writing my next column for this article series as a slave to literature. So my first success was finally underway…I was gaining some leverage on understanding Angel as a character more than I was Spike. But still, I was finding Spike’s temper tantrums a bit more entertaining than Angel’s lessons in how to socialize. In other words, I was getting nowhere again…and fast.
But still, I did find that myself and Angel share a lot of common attributes together. And had it not been for the fact that he had a curse on himself and was a vampire, maybe we’d be more alike than I’d like to think about or admit to. Kinda sad…or scary, whichever.
But I still wasn’t satisfied. So I did what any desperate academic would do in a case like this. I decided to take a silly personality quiz some poor cyber nerd created to see which vampire from Buffy I was the most like. This was sure to give me an answer. And give me an answer it did. After answering 10 rather pointless questions, I came to the conclusion that I am neither like Spike nor Angel. Rather, my attributes were more closely matched to those of Drusilla. Interesting…but not helping me much on my quest.
So, it was time to look back at the series. Which one had annoyed me more over the course of their actions in the episodes themselves? The eternal question which even today has me baffled in confusion. And now I was being forced to search for actions that each had done to cause themselves to win this wonderful award by yours truly. What I found was that Spike enjoys bragging a lot, and noticeably has changed a few of his “stories” from time to time…which is extremely annoying. Whether Nikki Wood “begged for her life” or “really wanted to die” … we may never know. He’s given us both stories in the series. And I doubt the killing happened either of those two ways to be quite honest. Spike isn’t exactly the most “in tune” character to ever grace the show…nor the most honest. But he did have his moments where he wasn’t too unbearable to watch. For instance, the phase of darkness with Drusilla and pre-chip-in-my-head era was something I found to be entertaining. And before he started having sex with Buffy, he was a pretty little amusing vampire to watch and laugh at.
But then the redemption phase hit Spike and I personally never found it believable nor entertaining to watch anymore. This little lifestyle change played into the charade and I now have three more seasons to judge him by. Meanwhile, I found myself enjoying the Angel/Buffy dialogue of the first two seasons, but then found myself wondering why they were still together at all in Season Three. Neither Angel or Buffy seemed really compatible from the start, and that fact became obvious as the season came to a close. Angel’s spin off came along and answered the question of whether or not he should be with Buffy….And that answer was that he shouldn’t be.
And then Buffy gets together with another vampire, repeats the same mistakes, and comes to a completely seperate ending. Throughout it all, we’ve come across the issue of a slayer dating a vampire. It seems Buffy attracted a lot of attention on that note and will probably be best remembered by future students of the craft as the slayer who dated vamps. She had to deal with this issue twice in her life, and as a result came to a point of having to avoid both lovers. Spike and Angel had different ways of keeping their distance from Buffy, but neither one seemed to prove truly successful in doing so. Angel felt he should move out of town. Spike felt he should just move down the hall. But hey, whose judging? Oh, right. I am.
I guess if I had to choose between one or the other I would eventually come to the conclusion that both were entertaining to watch in their own right. Regarding Buffy, neither worked well nor were compatible. Though I truly do believe that Angel beared far more pain than Spike did in regards to this relationship.
Angel, after all, lingers with the memory of turning human and sleeping with Buffy and everything that happened within that twenty-four hour time frame of “I Will Remember You” in his own series. He forces himself, really pushes. Spike, on the other hand, stuck around. He did give to the slayer a bit of inspiration, and he did truly care about Buffy, and he did keep her away from sulking to death at the end. But he still keeps some pretty heavy lies of his own. For instance, saying that he got his soul back for Buffy when he actually left the country just to get back to his old evil ways…rather odd a notion to start the building of a relationship upon. Even at their most intense of moments together, Spike never came clean with that lie. Angel kept his own lies as well, though seemingly for better reasons. Who wants to haunt another person with a memory like his?
When it comes to remorse, Angel showed far more. It took him years to come to grips with himself over the horrors he’d committed. Spike, on the other hand, took a matter of a few weeks. But still, Spike also had to deal with the Apocolypse sooner than Angel did. Perhaps his speedy recovery from feeling sorry for everything he’d done had something to do with that. Or maybe it just had to do with the fact he really didn’t care about anything he’d done…except raping Buffy. The scene where Spike insults Nikki Wood’s memory comes back to mind. So am I saying that Spike annoyed me more than Angel? Seems so, but that’s not completely accurate at all.
Mostly because Spike is a character with more dimension, more charisma and more entertaining quality. Put simply, he has more potential and more angles to work through than does Angel. Though that could probably be most attributed to James Marsters acting ability, the character still stands as something the Buffyverse wouldn’t be the same without.
Angel or Spike? Such a question to ask. And I apparently don’t have a good answer for it. While I could mostly side with Angel on just about every fiber of decency left within myself (which isn’t much by the way), I still find Spike to be more entertaining to watch. Why? Now that’s a real question. Don’t have an answer for it either.
So, I devoted this article to a question without an answer. That sort of takes the fun out of things. Still, it seems appropriate considering how different I may view these characters only a week or so from this posting. It’s a debate one could spend an eternity on and never have a good enough answer to give regarding it.
When it really boils down to it, the question is just flawed. However, I will say that if Angel had never killed Jenny, he might have won this contest hands down. But the fact is, he did kill her. And because he did this, I can’t come up with a “who annoys me more” answer to this immortal question. Do I find Spike drooling over Buffy more annoying than Angel stalking Buffy? Which one is more freaky? Which one is more disgusting? Which one will ever get the clue that they don’t belong with Buffy?
The answer to that last question appears to be neither. And that’s annoying. That’s really annoying. That’s why neither one will ever annoy me more than the other. And that’s why they will always be in a tie for that award for centuries to come.
Angel or Spike? Most annoying? You be the judge. I’m out of time.