"I Am An Angel"

A review by Jenni:

For some reason, I'm kinda scared to watch this one.  Also, I'm back to Friday night viewing.  Saturday morning just seemed weird.  And... for the first time in a long time... I'm watching and reviewing whilst drinking warm chocolate milk... NOT a heavily caffeinated beverage. 
What I love about this episode:

I do appreciate them doing an episode about how a show touches people.  It's proof that they recognized and accepted responsibility for the message they were putting out to us.  Not that I ever doubted they did but still, nice to see it.

It's sure interesting to see what a disaster TBAA coulda been!  I love Andrew but am not sure I'd wanna watch a show involving him participating in slugfests on air planes.  And that CGI or whatever ladder cracks me up.

I think, back when this first aired, I was kinda offended and felt like us fans were being made fun of.  Now I'm old enough to realize... some people are flipping crazy and poking fun is a coping device.  I'm sure some of the more "out there" reactions were hard for the actors but I highly doubt they ever acted like Guy!  Especially with that flight attendant.  Mr. Dye was a gentleman by all reports.  And I think it's very refreshing that, while Guy totally sold himself as being an angel (ahem: book title), the real actors were very modest.  They're human and know it.

Guy's fun to watch.  Whatta slime bag.  TBAA doesn't often highlight just plain jerks.  Sometimes they're a nice change from the truly frightening Deans and Carls of the world.

Ha.  Tess' new name is Mariah.  According to the channeled angel Gordon.  Love it.  The whole angel mediumship thing is a part of angelology that does cause me concern.  One once told me that angels of death didn't exist because they were frightening.  Okay... if they don't exist then how do you know they're frightening?  I didn't even believe in angels of death at the time but she lost me there.  Although, to be fair, I went in not believing her so she had a lot to overcome.  Although I do believe in talking to the angels, channeling is another story.  They'll make contact if they're meant to IMO.

"Miracles happen every day."  Nice lil quote from Monica to Ryan.

"No one finds real peace through a lie."  Another from Monica to Ryan.  I'm thinking on it.  I'm not sure I agree 100% of the time.  But for the most part, I agree.

The heated words between Ryan and Val are difficult to hear and see.  That's one of the things I think is so devastating about losing a member of a group like a family: grieving with others who are grieving.  Because no one is at their best and everyone is hurting so deeply that sometimes hurtful things can be said.  The writers and actors do a great job of showing that painful reality.

Aww.  Ryan's room makes me nostalgic.  My room growing up had slanted ceilings like that.

To be honest, I think Guy was doing okay with what he was telling Mickey about his mom in Heaven.  I thought it was touching.  And I think that's when Guy's heart started to thaw.  It was sweet.  It reminds me of stuff my parents would say when a pet would die.  I'm not sure I see much harm in that sorta talk.  Although he does lose me when he starts off about the condo.  I think he just got carried away.

"Saying good bye begins the healing because saying good bye makes it real."  Monica again.  I agree.  Although I think "begins to make it real" would be more accurate.  But I like this scene because it stresses the importance of ritual.  While funerals often aren't pleasant to go to, I do think they're a big part of the process of healing. 

Mickey packing his hand print paperweight for his mom really gets a person.  Although not as much as when he finally tells her good bye and "See you later."  My gosh...

I like that Guy had to face his fear of heights in order to help Mickey.

I love that the mother's big message via Andrew is to put milk in the tomato soup.  It's just such a motherly thing: she wants her boys to have their soup as they like it.

And then Val kisses Mickey and is all affectionate.  Just like Ryan wished for her to be.  Aww.

And I love Monica's and Andrew's sense of humor with those sun glasses.  :-)

What I didn't love about this episode:
Okay... I do think the angel convention is a bit over the top.  But Monica equating it to worship all around is ridiculous.  Nobody who is not just being ornery thinks Trekkies worship Shatner or even Capt. Kirk and they have huge conventions with goofy merchandise.  Similarly, I doubt anyone was worshiping Andrew, Monica, or Tess.  (I do sometimes pray to Andrew and Monica for intercession but of the Apostle and mother of St. Augustine variety... not the TV angel ones.)  Everyone deserves to have fun and act goofy at times.  And sometimes a girl just wants to dress up...  Monica probly doesn't get the appeal since she gets to dress up in flowy dresses all the time.  The line would have worked better for me if placed after the channeling scene.  Otherwise it just looks like a put-down on nerdiness.  Nerds are cool.

Guy offering to give Mickey a boxed set of the show just makes me think of how we don't have a full TBAA boxed set...  Grr...

Tess just disappears about half-way through the episode and it's kinda weird to me.

Lingering questions:
So... would the angels not support telling kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy?

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Andrew is so much more appealing than this angel dude...

"Hail to the bus driver, the bus driver, the bus driver man!"  Had to be sung.  But that's all I remember.  And it's probly a good thing as I think the lyrics get mean.  ;-)

Andrew certainly is a good listener and it's so sweet that he offers to listen to the lil guy.

"Tell me something..."  Andrew seems to say that a lot.  I need to start incorporating that into writing him.  It's so him.  Always wanting to hear people out.

And now Mickey is talking about how the angel on TV comes back from Heaven every time so he thinks his mom might, too...  And that is my cue to go take a break.  So I did dishes and now I'm back.  That innocent statement hits on something I've been wondering about.  On one hand, I'm comforted seeing Andrew walk into that golden light, looking happy.  Cause it makes me think that John got to do that for real.  And when we lose someone, we generally have to imagine such a triumphant, joyful scene.  We don't often get such a clear image of it.  That's amazing.  On the other hand, I wonder if seeing Andrew do that only to then watch another episode and there he is again is feeding into this lingering sense of this all being unreal.  I mean I know John is dead.  I'm not in denial.  But sometimes it doesn't seem real still.  And I wonder if all those shots of Andrew going Home only to turn back up on Earth is part of the issue.  Either way, I can't stop watching.

Andrew catching Mickey is as awesome as I remembered it.  :-)

He's doing it again.  He crouches down, right level with Mickey.  I love that.  Andrew did such a good job of making sure he was always on people's level.

"She lives in the presence of God and that is the most beautiful place you can imagine.  And that's also where she needs to stay."  That's what Andrew tells Mickey about his mom.  And that's what I need to remember about John and all the others whose deaths I've grieved.  Sometimes I find myself going over what happened.  As if, were I only to find the clue, they would come back and it would be like it never happened.  But they're Home.  And I need to leave them there.

He's just adorable and perfect when he tells Mickey to hold on to all the good memories of his mother.  He says it with such understanding of what Mickey is feeling and such assurance.

Andrew's so insanely beautiful in that scene that I ended up with, like, 40 screen shots from that scene alone.  Yikes.

Random thoughts:

Music: There's some sort of ethereal muzak at the convention.

The boys live in Dufur, OR. 

Uh oh.  From Monica: "This is not an angel, this is a man."  So should I stop using "man" for Andrew?  I thought he was both.  Maybe not...  Eh.  He's a man.  I think the Bible uses "man" for male angels at points.  Good enough for me.

The "A" in the convention's logo looks a lot like TBAA's.

I just realized I watched/reviewed this exactly 10 years after it aired on March 11, 2001.  There was a winter storm watch that night, apparently.  Thankfully not now!

Scenes Hallmark cut:
 -THC cuts a scene that's not a huge deal.  I think it exists only to further stress Guy's alcoholism.  After Monica wakes him up, they show him ambling out of the hotel and squinting at the sun.  Monica gets him settled into the car.  He tells her to wake him when they're there and passes out in the back seat.

-After Guy is "kidnapped," the next segment opens with him running down a road.  He sees a cop car and waves them down and says he's been kidnapped and "dramatically escaped."  The cop lets him in and they drive off.  At no point do you see that it's Aunt Val until the following scene which is where THC starts the segment.

-Grr.  They cut a bit of Andrew's scene after catching Mickey.  It doesn't go right to commercial after that.  Andrew says "Hey, Mickey."  Mickey asks Andrew what he's doing there.  Andrew says "Well, today is not a good day for you to go to Heaven" and lifts his eye brows in that very-Andrew way.  Then he sits Mickey down and tousles his hair.  Then Guy approaches which is where THC resumes.

Further on down the road...
Yep, decided I have to watch one more.  Not gonna head into the office tomorrow with "Winners" being my last TBAA of the week.  But I had to move to the couch.  Getting really sick of my puter chair.

Gah, Guy is such a sleaze and phony.  What a creeper.  I would sincerely hope no human would be stupid enough to have his behavior taint their view of angels.  Monica's bad behavior didn't taint my view of angels and that's a more direct correlation. 

I'm frankly a lil bothered by the goofy music they play when Guy slaps the flight attendant's behind.  Sexual harassment isn't an amusing plot point.  It's a crime and an affront to basic human kindness and decency.

Monica and Tess are apparently uninformed about the concept of conventions.  While some of these people are clearly screwed up with their priorities, having a con does not equate to worship.  My siblings have gone to various ones and I'm pretty confident they don't worship the characters from Firefly or Buffy.  If folks wanna Cosplay as angels then whatever. 

Monica's and Guy's exchange at the autograph table after Ryan leaves is a lil weird.  Up til then, Guy seems to be trying to keep his jerkhood from showing in front of fans.  But there's a lady right there waiting to get her book signed!  She seems oblivious but based on the volume of their voices, I can't imagine she didn't hear.

I definitely like that they show Aunt Val locking up her gun.  Good for her!  And that staircase is so pretty.  I love my house but I do sometimes wish it had an upstairs.  I kinda miss that.

I just forgot how I make tomato soup...  It's been so hot that I haven't made any in a while.  I know there's something extra I put in.  Ah.  I think it's a dollop of sour cream.  But I'm trying to not use sour cream any more...  I've swapped it out for hummus.  Hmm...

Honestly, I'm not sure Guy's concept of Heaven is that screwed up.  I wouldn't have gone with it but it's not completely out there.  A lot of people I know think we'll all get dream homes and for some I guess that would be a condo.  And who doesn't want a waterfall?  My point being, lotsa people's take on Heaven probably sounds goofy to others so it's hard to say what the "normal stuff" he coulda shared woulda been.  Guy's a certifiable jerk but it is a lil disingenuous to ask him to act as his character and then get mad when Mickey buys into it.  What did Ryan think was gonna happen?  What did Monica think was gonna happen?

Guy needs to watch Pippin

Sigh...  I love Andrew in this scene where he tells Mickey about his mother.  I love how he uses the word "get/got."  He makes it so clear that he's honored and happy to do his job.  And he's so compassionate and sweet and the way he gets down to Mickey's level... he's awesome.

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(The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)