30 Days of Buffy: Day 14
Favourite Male Villain: Angel(us)
I kind of pre-empted this one with yesterday’s post, I know, so it should come as no surprise that if I love Faith’s and Angel’s mirrored arcs and Faith’s my favourite female villain, Angel(us) would be my favourite male one. Truth be told, there are some other awesome male baddies (Ethan Rayne, anyone?) but I like Angelus because of what he represents.
That is, in season two as we all know, Buffy loses her virginity to Angel and he promptly loses his soul, and turns evil. He represents the figure of the seducer, the man who seems charming until his conquest is complete, and then he goes bad. It’s a thing that happens, and when I watched Buffy’s heartbreak it’s a heartbreak I’ve felt too.
Beyond that, the character of Angelus is just kind of fun, in a twisted, horrible, killing-everyone-you-love kind of way.
Angel’s own show explores the dynamic between his soulless and ensouled selves much more thoroughly than Buffy does, of course. What interests me there is that Angel and Angelus aren’t really so different; there’s a marvellous quote someone wrote about Angel, which is that “Angel is fundamentally an evil person trying to be good,” and I think this captures him perfectly. Lots of people, in both shows, try to argue that he’s a hero, he helps the helpless, blah-di-blah but he really knows that’s not the true him; it’s a façade he has to maintain, hour after hour, day after day, because it’s right, but it’s not him. Angelus is simply who he becomes when he stops pretending.
I don’t like him as a person particularly, either soulless or ensouled. (To be honest, even ensouled he’s a real dickhead.) But as a character he fascinates me, which is why he gets to claim this title today.