But my biggest issue with the article is neither of the main arguments. It is, rather, that the title is misleading. This article is not about vampires becoming "weak" - it's about male vampires becoming "weak". It makes sense to focus such an article on Spike and Angel - they are, after all, the two most significant vampires in the 'verse. But they are not the only significant vampires in the verse.
Drusilla, for example, who never gets redemption, who never stops being scary, is mentioned only in the context of discussion of Spike. The article says of this romance: “So Spike always had his pouty, tragic side, and the Spike/Drusilla romance culminates in an episode where Spike tells Buffy and Angel that he's love's bitch, but he at least he's man enough to admit it. And that's great stuff. Yay.” Yes, you heard that right. The Spike/Drusilla romance culminates in an episode where Drusilla does not appear.
Drusilla is at least mentioned in the article. Another character, far more relevant to the topic at hand, doesn't even seem to exist where the article is concerned.
The article says: “Angel is an engaging enough character that it hardly matters that his romantic chemistry with Buffy was always negligible. When he got his own show, he managed to go five seasons without having a really compelling love story — first he moped over Buffy some more, then he had a fairly low-key flirtation with Cordelia, which got nipped in the bud when she was whisked off to Heaven. And finally, he had a sweet, fairly easy-going romance with Nina the werewolf, which was nice precisely because it wasn't made into a huge saga. Angel is good at being a tormented hero, but as soon as you cast him as the lover, he starts to seem just petulant and all wet.”
Five seasons without a really compelling love story.
I mean, I agree about the lack of chemistry with Buffy, but...
Who was the first vampire we meet on the show, a terrifying monster who makes the first kill of seven and five seasons of vampires? Who was the first vampire to use the word "love" to describe their feelings for another being, a season before Spike set foot in Sunnydale?
For that matter, who was the first soulless vampire to express any kind of love or sympathetic emotions?
Here are some of the words the article uses to describe humanized vamps: “Weak”. “Wimpy”. “Kittenish”. “Sympathetic”. “Heart throb”. “Emo”. “Moping”. “Tormented”. Most of them come down to: not sufficiently masculine.
So Darla, who starts unambiguously evil, reveals the she feels affection for another being and then is killed by him, who unexpectedly comes back in human form, acting first as her old, evil self, and then succumbing to her soul. Darla, who is turned back into a remorseless vampire just as she decided she didn't want it. Darla, who ultimately sacrifices herself to save her son, who she declares the only thing she and Angel did right together (what was that about no compelling love story?). How does she fit in here?
How can you have a conversation about the weakening of vampires in the Buffyvese without acknowledging Darla?