I'm under your spell

4.18. Shiny Happy People, Airdate: 04/09/03 (WB, 8/9c).

Praise be Jasmine! Thou art the Greatest, the most Gracious and most Beautiful! Gather for praying, people, let the love flow in! Don't let there be a place for evil in your hearts. Jasmine is the love, and the love is Jasmine.

Or at least something like it. An evil goddess making such prominent use of love - cute idea, isn't it? Though, to be honest, sectarians do it all day. This week, I am especially keen on your feedback. What did you think of this week's "Shiny Happy People (SHP)?

Was it clear that Jasmine is evil? I think yes. I said it last week and I am not afraid to repeat it. Why? Comes with the "do what I say and don't ask questions" part. Everybody went in smiling mode and Jasmine did the fairy dance - it was obvious, that there was something wrong with her. Well, all things that happened before were even clearer signs of something evil coming and one simple "birth pain" explanation wasn't enough to wipe out all doubts, was it?

SHP surely was funny, but the whole "Jasmine could be good" part had a forced smile on it. Is Fred crazy or is she the only one seeing who Jasmine really is? I go for the latter, and I guess, most of you do. Wasn't that what we expected? Yes, it was. And that means: no surprises, and no surprises means: no exciting show. Though I was disappointed by SHP, the dialogues were hilarious and the actors fun to watch - well, after all, we're talking about AtS here and even if it wasn't as good as I had hoped for, it still was above TV average.

There's one thing I absolutely loved about this one: All Jasmine said, sounded exactly like she was a sitcom mother. I enjoyed seeing this "average sitcom" compared to Angel - with all that "If you both love her, it should bring you closer together, not drive you apart" talk. Yeah, could have been Carl from "Family Matters" who said that. Remember the show where Angel was desouled and he dreamed it could be as easy as getting an enchanted sword and slay the Beast? Pretty much something like "That's how others would have done it, but we won't." Or now, when Cordy seemed to become a higher being, but then wasn't part of the Charmed Ones, but the mother of Evil Jasmine? Somehow I get the feeling, AtS is more focussed on making fun about other shows than to focus on its own story-telling. Yeah, I liked it this week, but I hope, there will be a time, where AtS is just AtS and doesn't try to show how smart it is.

This week, Jasmine went into detail and once again made it clear that even the big gathering of Angel and Darla was part of the masterplan to give birth to her. It seems as if she was trapped somewhere (can you say "heavenly dimension"?), and that being born was the way to go. The pre-credit part was one of the worst I've ever seen on AtS. When Angel said, he has to be punished, it reminded me of Glory's minions, and I got that icky rehash feeling I try to avoid. The post-credit part was much better, and I really liked to see Fred in action - even when threatening to decapitate Lorne wasn't very cute (we've all seen his head talking to Cordy in season 2).

It isn't clear yet how Fred could defeat Jasmine, but hurting her doesn't seem a problem. When the vampire attacked her, she had blood on her arms almost as long as Angel does when he's wound. Next week's ep is titled "The Magic Bullet" - let's all pray, that Fred doesn't find out, it's a magic bullet that is needed to break Jasmine's spell.

Jasmine was boring to watch - I know, most of you didn't like Glory as much as I did, but I think, it would help Jasmine if she took Glory's "Being an Evil Goddess And still Being Interesting 101". At least, she knew how not to be boring.

That's it for now. An "okay" episode of AtS this week. Marvellous actors and funny dialogues slightly outweighed the bad pre-credit part, Angel wanting to be punished, a boring goddess and no surprises. What's your opinion? Is Jasmine an agent of the FE? Or is it some corporeal incarnation of the FE? Or is it an enemy to the FE? What's your guess?

Shortcuts: AtS 4.18. Shiny Happy People

What happened?
The Child, who at the end was named Jasmine, proved to be able to cast a spell on everybody making them worship her just by looking at her - even the whole gang. Everyone? Not quite so. Some bystander attacked her, because he didn't see her radiant beauty, but a monster instead - same did Fred later on: a rotted face being eaten by worms. Fred tried to talk to Wesley, now they believe, Fred's evil and they want to kill her. Fred's on the run, trying to figure out what to do, while Jasmine is attracting all of LA via TV, and likes Jasmine flowers.

Topics addressed?
SHP was a rather slim edition of AtS. Jasmine is rising, Fred's humanity's last hope, that's about all that happened.

Any strange things?
Where's Gwenn? Why did they introduce her when they have as little use for her as they have? She's such a fascinating character, and I hope, she'll help Fred fight the goddess. When Willow was there, she seemed to be at good terms with Fred. After all, it was Fred who called her in Sunnydale. It would be strange if Fred didn't try to contact her now. Where did Angel get his new shirt from? The one with the golden stripes? If you know the store in LA, please drop a line!;-)

Was it good or not?
Weeeeeell, it was okay. Three stakes out of five.

What do you hope for?
Now it's Fred's turn. That's really something I am looking forward to. Well, and I hope, next week will be a BtVS week, too. You never know with UPN this season.

Feedback (updated frequently)

Jasmine: Carl, always the first to drop a line, says, Jasmine is boring, but not the worst villain on AtS. That's a title reserved for Evil Cordy. He suggests, however, that Jasmine is closely connected with the FE, but not the corporeal incarnation of it, since there shouldn't be one, because the FE is the source of all evil and hence not corporeal. If it was, you could defeat it, but you can't, as the Eye said on BtVS, but you could cut it off from its energy sources (can you say "Tom's review of 7.15. GID"? Yeah? How often?;-)). Ver Angel: Laura writes, it's a shame that the series is called Angel and Angel isn't doing much good this season: first, he's Angelus, now he's one of Jasmine's minions. Well, she has a point, but what are you going to call it? Connor - The Easily Deceived? Lorne - The Demon who sung too much? Gunn - The Quest for the Mission? Perhaps, you could name it after Wesley, after all, he did a lot this season.

Who's going to fight? TreeHugger says, Fred's aligning with Cordy and Gwenn. Lars writes, Fred will figure out a way to break the spell at least for the gang and they'll fight together.

More exposition: I promised to put those who wrote to me and said, they liked SHP, into some sort of "loyal fan" corner. Well, it's about time I do. Here are this week's loyal AtS fans: Diane, Erin and Cristina. Let's hope there'll be more next week.;-)

Tom Ahrendt


Thanks to: Brachnu for offering free web space, for listing my review.

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