Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Character Review: Lorne

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Read at your own risk if you have not watched one or both television series. In this series of character reviews, I will strictly be writing about the characters from the television series, not the 1992 film.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

A good joke has the ability to lighten the mood. When a show is particularly dark, comedy is needed to break up the darkness for both the characters and the viewers. On Angel, the comedy came by way of Lorne (the late Andy Hallett). Given the name of  Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan at birth, Lorne comes from a warrior clan who are constantly battling against the forces of evil and have a serious distaste for humans.

Among his kind, Lorne was unique. He enjoyed art and music and preferred to spend his time doing anything but training for battle. After being sucked to Earth via a portal (the same portal that sent Winifred” Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker) to Lorne’s home dimension of Pylea), he opened a karaoke bar. Instead of using his innate mystical gifts to hunt prey or fight, he used them to read the emotions of those who sung on his karaoke stage.

Lorne reluctantly joins Angel Investigations, initially preferring to do his part as a neutral third party. But Angel (David Boreanaz) has a way with words and before he knows it, Lorne is part of the crew. While living and working with Angel’s team (and taking care of Connor (played as an adult by Vincent Kartheiser), Angel’s newborn son), he discovers that the hotel they call home is bugged.

A brief stay in Las Vegas turns into a nightmare when a crime lord threatens to kill innocent people unless Lorne uses his abilities for less than honest means. In the final season of Angel, after the team takes over running Wolfram & Hart, Lorne is put in charge of the entertainment division. But all is not what it seems.

After Fred is murdered and Illyria takes over her body, Lorne’s normal cheerful disposition turns dark. Disgusted with the way that his world and his friends have changed, he walks away for good.

To sum it up: We all need a good laugh. In the world of Angel, where darkness and death were sewn into the narrative, Lorne provided a laugh, a one-liner and a moment to just breathe. As a character, the audience remembers Lorne because of his ability to make the audience laugh. That is why we love him and why we keep going back to this character time and again.


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed Book Review

In our culture, therapists have achieved a unique status: part confident, part best friend and part confessor. But what happens when a therapist needs to see their own therapist?

This is the premise of Lori Gottlieb‘s new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. At the start of the book, Ms. Gottlieb had what appeared to be it all. A happy and healthy son, a solid career as a therapist and a boyfriend who was as dedicated to her as she was to him. Then her boyfriend broke up with her and she decided to see a therapist for her own needs.

Blending her professional history with patient profiles and her experience on the other side of the couch, the book is a novel approach to human relationships and the need, when it occurs to seek out a therapist.

Among the books I have read about mental health, this book is certainly very different. I like that in revealing that she sought out a therapist for her emotional issues, Ms. Gottlieb has shined a human light on an industry that in which is often seen differently from the outside.

I do have to warn that the book is a little slow at points, but overall, it is a good read and well worth your time.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

While Kendrick Castillo and Riley Howell Stood Up, Many of Our Politicians Quivered In Fear

A hero is one who puts the needs of others over their needs.

Kendrick Castillo and Riley Howell are heroes in every sense of the word. When gunman entered their respective schools and started shooting, Castillo and Howell ran in the direction of the shooting instead of running to safety. They gave their lives in service of their schools, saving the lives of their fellow students.

While these young men stood up against gun voice, many of our politicians quiver in fear. Instead of doing their jobs and protecting our young people by enacting common sense gun laws, they allow these shooting to happen while repeating the standard response of “thoughts and prayers”.

They accept money from the NRA and other special interest groups without question, but when our children die in school because of guns, their response is as weak as a limp noodle.

We have a Presidential election coming up next fall. I have a challenge for the Democrats who are running: come up with common sense gun control laws. Don’t just say what you think we want to hear. Tell me, as a voter, how you will protect us from gun violence while respecting those who are responsible gun owners.

Our children and our future depends on it.

Thoughts On The Met Gala

Every spring, in New York City, celebrities gather at the Met Gala. Wearing clothes that would only be seen on the red carpet on or on Halloween, the purpose of the Met Gala at New York City’s is to Metropolitan Museum of Art is to raise money for the Anna Wintour Costume Institute.

This year’s theme was Camp: Notes on Fashion.

Granted, the purpose of this event was to raise money for the museum, but in watching the coverage, I found the over the top-ness and the look-at-me and look-at-me idea of this event appalling.

Especially the cost of the outfits.

The nipples on Cardi B‘s outfit alone cost $500K. We live in a world in which so many have to choose between paying their rent/mortgage, buying food, medicine, paying for their children’s clothes, etc. $500K would go more than far in providing financial assistance to those whose financial situation is more than precarious.

Many of my regular readers know that I often write about Hollywood and celebrity news. Most of the time, I appreciate the work and effort that it takes to create a movie or a television show. But the Met Gala turns me off and makes me think twice about the blind devotion that we all have with Hollywood.

Thoughts On The Redemption Project with Van Jones

We all make mistakes, that is part and parcel of being human. But what happens when that mistake leads us to jail and years later, we have to look at the people who were affected by that mistake?

That is the concept of the CNN program, The Redemption Project with Van Jones. The premise of the program is as follows: host Van Jones tells the story of a victim (and/or their family), the perpetrator who was jailed for their crime and their face to face meeting years after the crime was committed.

I have watched the first two episodes and I have found the program to be compelling and worthy of an hour of watching television. When we make a mistake, the first step is to admit that we made it. First steps are often the hardest to make, especially when that mistake leads one person jailed and another person (or their family) forever affected by that mistake.

The theme of the show is restorative justice, leading to a conversation with the person convicted of the crime and the person and/or their loved ones who were affected by the crime In the two episodes that I have watched, I have seen a spark of hope. While there is no way to go back in time and undo what has been done, both parties walk away with a sense of peace, perhaps a little understanding and a human connection that goes beyond the general idea of a victim and a perpetrator.

I recommend it.

The Redemption Project with Van Jones airs on Sunday night at 9pm.

Throwback Thursday: Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best (2011-2013)

Any woman who has shopped for a wedding dress knows how stressful and complicated the process can be.

Say Yes to the Dress star and bridal gown expert Randy Fenoli wants to make that process less stressful and complicated. In 2011-2013 program, Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best, Fenoli helps women find their perfect wedding dress while providing theme based top then tips for the bridal gown search process.

There comes a point when spin offs become ridiculous or an obvious ploy to extend the life and the brand of a television program. Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best is not exactly horrible, but it feels like it is stretching Say Yes to the Dress just a little too far.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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