Well, it has come to an end. Quite the ending it was too. (Spoiler alert, just throwing that in right now) After five seasons of Angel slugging it out with the demons in L.A., it was an interesting, though bad, way to end. I think just to sum up my feelings on the show, it was more fun in the first two seasons and then went a bit downhill as time went on. The characters were at least engaging and it was a nice twist on the Champion being an evil creature turned good. The series has the same problems that Buffy does so I’ll just let you read that blog post. But one of the biggest differences is that it isn’t nearly as campy as Buffy was, especially when Buffy started out.
I did like the first character, Doyle, that they killed off and that was somewhat surprising to have a character like him just die like that. The series was fun for the first two seasons and despite its darker tone to Buffy, still had good comedic laughs and was engaging. The fight between good and evil, a man on the edge of darkness trying to redeem himself and the rest of the characters battling not only their own personal demons, but the exterior ones as well. I liked Cordelia in this show a lot more than I did in the Buffy series and she certainly redeems herself. Wesley’s character…man does he go through hell and back. At the end of season five, he is completely unrecognizable from the Wesley you see in Buffy. Out of all the characters in the show, he had changed the most and it certainly made him an unpredictable character and intriguing.
I’ll admit that I probably enjoyed this series more probably because I sympathize with Angel more than I do with Buffy and because of this, made the show more engaging. Buffy is a slayer that is gifted with her powers from birth and the series spends quite a bit of time showing her bemoan her fate. True, not having a normal life can be hard on a teenager and being forced to be the hero rather than choosing is rather cruel. But compare her to Angel and Spike who choose to be the heroes and it makes her less sympathetic since she’s constantly worrying about the apocalypse to come and wishing it were on someone else’s shoulders. (Though I wonder if she ever figured out that they were a bit invincible, except when she died once…resurrected….never mind, you guys never die, except against bullets. Huh, if I were a demon trying to kill the slayer, I’d just bring a gun, problems solved. I’m going on a tangent aren’t I, ok, bring it back to the point, apologies).
Then…Conner, Angel’s son, showed up and the series took a downward spiral in how fun it was. I should specify that it was when the teenager Conner showed up. Not only did we have two apocalypses with him around, (because apocalypses are just so much fun ;)) the drama just started to overload as the various characters had their various problems to work out and Conner was being incredibly cliche. Even a couple characters described the show as “a turgid supernatural soap opera”. It was just too much.
But my enjoyment dropped between season 3.5 to the beginning of season 5. I think this is because I just did not like arc of that series. That combined with Conner just brought the show down until it was completed. It might also have to do with the fact that it became less about fighting the good fight and more about betrayal and being unable to trust your own friends.
Conner fell into way too many cliches as a character. The teenager cliche, “the world is out to get me” cliche, “I never get my way”, cliche, the truth is hidden from him cliche, just cliche after cliche. I just wanted him gone and thankfully, he was gone for the most part after season 4 ended.
I found the Wolfram and Hart lawyers were interesting at first as a villain, but then just got dull as the series moved on. (Hence why later seasons got less fun). It was a powerful organization to just be evil. No real justification for their actions beyond the usual norm. Vengeance, destroy the world, evil-to-be-evil, etc and so forth were their only motivations. A very uninteresting villain. Granted, there were plenty of interesting villains, but Wolfram…not so much, just predictable.
Still, the show managed to be fun. I still had a few laughs and the action was good. Faith’s involvement was a nice arc. The darkness in the show’s overall plot was well done and avoided being extremely dark, like they could have gone. I’d say one of the most amusing episodes was “The Girl In Question” in season 5. The comedic effort done was excellent and both Angel and Spike had some great lines, but there are so many episodes that I just couldn’t name them all that I really enjoyed.
To be honest, I’m rather exhausted of the Buffy & Angel universe. There aren’t many shows that I go through and am just finished with it, but with this universe, I am. Its the reason I haven’t raced to the nearest comic book store to see what happened after the show cuts to credits at the end, well, ok, that and $$ is a bit tight atm, but who’s counting that ;). I have gotten my fill of the vampire genre and this universe that these two shows were based in. I still hold to my previous statement, these are the best mediocre shows I have ever watched. They very rarely hit a high emotional level like some shows I am currently watching have. They are solid shows in their own right, but I think that we just weren’t meant to be matched together and that hurt my interest and liking of the shows. As I said before, if you like the Vampire genre and everything that comes with it, these are the shows for you, it just isn’t for me but I don’t regret seeing these shows.
So that’s it, my thoughts on Angel, the vampire turned hero. I think based on how much I wrote about Angel in this post I probably enjoyed it more than I did Buffy, but I still consider it on par with Buffy, due to the season 4 arc and my issues with the series as a whole. Hope you enjoyed this post!
-King Isaac Linksr