Keeping Up With the Cullens - Episode 8, pt 4
I don’t think Angela is “born to be a vampire,” first and foremost. Angela is integrated into her circle of friends, she’s the daughter of a pastor, and she has little brothers, right? I think that’s canon that she had twin brothers? So it would be much, much harder for her to leave that all behind, even for love. I think she’d share a lot of Edward’s attitudes and beliefs about vampires and that would scare her. I don’t think she’d be afraid of Edward hurting her, but she might be worried about her ~soul.
The first book would probably be pretty similar, except Angela’s relationships with everyone else would be more developed and I don’t think she’d just toss everyone aside for Edward.
I think Angela is who SM intended for Bella to be like. I think in SM’s head Bella is just as kind and sweet and loving and good as Angela. I don’t think the ‘show’ matches the ‘tell’ on this and I actually find Bella to be kind of shallow and selfish—which is FINE, flaws are good in a character—but it’s irritating that everyone reacts to her like she’s this selfless martyr when she’s really just as petty and shallow as the other girls. I mean the minute she meets Eric she writes him off as a greasy-haired chess club type and ALL she talks about re: Edward is his beauty. That’s an average teenage girl, not an extraordinarily nice and deep one. I think Angela is the unusually nice girl that Bella was supposed to be, and SM doesn’t realize that to a lot of people, Bella just doesn’t come off that way because of her narration.
I think Jessica and Mike are perfectly average teenagers. I don’t think Jessica is unusually catty or mean and I don’t think Mike is some kind of sick sexual deviant. He’s a teenage boy with a crush. He’s going to have sexual thoughts. And the thing is: he NEVER acts on them, so what’s Edward’s problem? Sure, Mike is annoyingly persistent, but he only ever asks Bella out. He doesn’t follow her home or watch her sleep or dismantle her truck or kiss her against her will. And he’s a good friend to her in New Moon and welcomes her back when he totally doesn’t have to. Edward and Jacob’s behavior is far more problematic than anything Mike Newton does. And Jessica? Bella suspects Jess is only using her for popularity-by-proxy, but Bella uses Jess all the time too. She obviously doesn’t like her much but she still goes with her to pick out dresses (really just wants to go to a bookstore and ditches Jess and Angela) and invites her to the movies (just to get Charlie off her back). So, I mean, it goes both ways. Pot, kettle.
Lauren is kind of a bitch in that she just hates Bella for no reason. Rosalie and Leah have reasons; Lauren is just jealous of all the attention Bella the new girl is getting and the fact that Tyler likes her. But again the fact that this teenage girl who is guilty of nothing but petty gossip is vilified and punished (that whole thing with the modeling scam has no baring on the plot but SM said she “had fun imaging this one”) but you’ve got vampires with substantial amounts of blood and death on their hands it’s just like, oh, it’s okay, they’re really good people!
And honestly? Lauren and Jess being bitchy to Bella in New Moon after she hasn’t talked to them in months is more than fair. Bella is all like, “Oh Jess has gone over to the Dark Side.” Yeah, because you ignored her for months, then invited her to the movies out of the blue, then stood in the street like a complete crazy person and almost approached a strange group of men you thought might have been dangerous. She has every right to not want to hang out with you anymore, Bella.
I don’t really have any strong opinions about Eric or Ben, other than that movie!Eric (who is a combo of the two) drives me crazy. As much as I am not a fan of Bella or Renesmee, it’s Eric who makes me want to tear my hair out in the movies. I don’t know what it is, but that whole “La Push, baby, La Push” and just about everything that comes out of his mouth just grates on me. lol.
I think Angela in Bella’s position would have been really interesting, and perhaps it the story I actually wanted to read. The fact that she’s a pastor’s daughter would mean that she wouldn’t be able to dismiss the soul stuff as Bella did. Bella’s not religious. Bella doesn’t worry about this stuff. But Angela, coming from a religious household, would probably hold a lot of the same opinions Edward did. I honestly think they might be a hell of a lot more in synch on issues like sex, marriage, children, vampirism and honestly? Angela is nicer than Bella. Angela is the thoughtful, kind, shy girl that Edward thinks Bella is because he can’t read Bella’s thoughts.
I think Angela would, like Bella, be able to see that the Cullens are basically good people trying to do the best they can with their circumstances, and she could look past their vampire status and befriend them, sure. But I think the issue of becoming a vampire herself, no matter how much she may love Edward, would be a much harder obstacle for Angela to overcome. For Bella’s it’s kind of an adventure. She wants to be Superman too, she says. I really don’t think Angela would see it that way. I mean, look at Carlisle, a pastor’s son, and how he still struggles with whether or not it was right to “doom” the others to this life. He hopes they retain their souls and have a chance at Heaven, but even he says it’s a long-shot.
Jessica would probably handle it more like Bella. It would be exciting and romantic and an adventure rather than this great sacrifice that might doom her immortal soul. I think the Cullens’ beauty and wealth and whole lifestyle would have appealed to her, but she wouldn’t take Edward’s crap. She’d tell him off for watching her sleep and she wouldn’t have opened the window in Eclipse after he disabled her car. I don’t know that Edward would have ever fallen for her, though, unless like Bella he couldn’t read her mind.
re: the blood issue in BD, I don’t know. The problem with that is that while it might seem like an obvious answer, it actually doesn’t make any medical sense. Yes, a baby gets nutrition via the mother, but the baby doesn’t “eat” what mom eats. The mother processes whatever food and the nutrients are passed to the baby via the mother’s blood through the placenta. Bella’s (human) body would not really be able to digest or gain nutrition from blood and so wouldn’t pass anything on to Renesmee. So it makes sense to me, in a way, that Carlisle, Edward and Rosalie didn’t think of it. Medically, it makes no sense. It only makes sense in a sort of ~mystical, supernatural, magical~ way, as if blood has some magical property that is passed on (somehow). Jessica might have sarcastically suggested it much in the same way Jacob did; I don’t know that Angela would have thought of it though.
That’s a good question. They’d have to be involved from New Moon or Eclipse rather than the last 5 pages of Breaking Dawn. I mean what on earth was the point of even including them, just the “well the Quileutes aren’t technically werewolves?” Does anyone think the Volturi would actually care about the technicality? They are creatures that can kill vampires—the Volturi would want to wipe them out no matter what.
As for how they would get involved in the story, maybe it’s something that could have included the human kids. Bella jokes how if Angela were a witch she could join the party too. What is Angela were bitten by a Child of the Moon? Or if Mike was? At the end of the day the human characters are pointless and have no bearing on the plot, this could have helped with that maybe.
I would have played up his role as chief of Police. I never understood why she made him a police officer, let alone the CHIEF, if his role in the story is to be COMPLETELY CLUELESS. If she wanted him to be dumb and oblivious, the LAST job he should have had was a cop.
So I think he would have had a more central role in the mysterious deaths in the area, investigating them. That would have been more prominent. He would have been suspicious of the Cullens eventually—Billy was outright prejudiced against them and it annoyed Charlie and he dismissed it, but after enough weirdness you’d think he’d start to take Billy’s warnings seriously.
And I still think that in Eclipse, the “Riley” and “Bree” characters should have been human kids from Forks. It would have given the human characters some purpose in the story, would have given Charlie something to do (investigating their disappearances) and would have made their deaths so much more poignant and tragic. Imagine if “Riley” were Mike Newton? Or if Bree were Jess or Angela? Maybe then Bella would have understood the brutal realities of the vampire world…
You know what SM should have done? She should have reused some of her own characters. She had this habit of inventing new ones instead of using the ones she had.
For example, Riley and Bree. Clearly we are supposed to feel bad for them for being used by Victoria. But we don’t know Riley and Bree until their death scenes so why should we care? Why couldn’t the “Riley” and “Bree” characters have been some of Bella’s friends from Forks? Or one of her friends’ siblings or something? Can you imagine how much more upsetting Bree’s fate would have been if she were Jessica or Angela or Jessica’s little sister or SOMEONE we actually knew from the earlier books? What if poor Mike were the “Riley?” Plus then you’d have some local disappearances to up the drama, and Charlie would have something to do related to being a cop! In the end Mike, Jessica and even Charlie had virtually nothing to do with the plot—this could have changed it!
Another idea is that instead of making Irina the bad guy in BD, why not have Jasper’s creator MARIA rat on the Cullens? I don’t really buy that Irina saw Renesmee, freaked out and told the Volturi without consulting her family or confronting the Cullens. But I would buy Maria doing that. She has no loyalty to the Cullens at all. Maria is shrewd; she knows that Volturi aren’t happy about that whole newborn army thing, but maybe by informing on the Cullens (and giving Aro the excuse he needs to wipe them out), she could redeem herself in the Volturi’s eyes and perhaps get Jasper back, “Leave the Cullens, they’re doomed, join me, Major!”