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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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February 14 2009

Five years ago today - the cancellation of Angel. Back on Friday 13th 2004, news broke late on the West Coast that Angel had been cancelled. What followed in the days and weeks afterwards was a huge effort to get the show back on the air. It was one of our fandom's finest moments.

Never cared too much about Angel. Other then the episode "Smile Time" (which is brilliant) and episodes where Illyria is in..

Didn't care for Angel in Buffy eighter.
I hope it's not too unlucky that Dollhouse is premiering not only on a Friday the 13th, but on the anniversary of Angel's cancellation. That's weird that it was also on a Friday the 13th. Spooky!
I loved Angel. Sometimes more than Buffy (except for Giles, heh). Right now me and hubby are working our way through the boxset again.

I wasn't part of the fandom when it was on the air, but I sure wish I was! Dollhouse is the first time we'll experience Whedon 'live on tv'!
I cried and cried. I had just become a Whedon fan, and Angel s5 was the first season I had watched week by week. I wasn't yet a member of Whedonesque, but this was the place I heard about the news. I was devastated. And, even though I had not yet been able to join, I had lurked long enough to feel part of the community, at least vicariously. What a terrible weekend that was. But at least I was in good company.
Well hope springs eternal, and I'm hoping that starting tonight Fox will 'own' Friday nights, that T:SCC and Dollhouse will beat out all their competition. Where will we look for the 'overnight' numbers for that? I also hope that there are so many views of Dollhouse on Hulu that it becomes their most watched show.
It could happen.
I thoroughly enjoyed Angel, which is ironic considering I didn't like his character while on Buffy. He was in the way of Xander, the one I identified with. :-) The show was like a superhero comic epic series and Greek mythology rolled in one, with amazing stunt work as a bonus.

As far as friday nights, I'm glad the T & D combo is here. Up to now, the only thing on Friday's remotely watchable was wrestling (shudder).

[ edited by OneTeV on 2009-02-14 01:05 ]
I remember how very confused I was reading that press release. I'd thought Angel had, like, Friends numbers. I didn't get ratings back then.
Where will we look for the 'overnight' numbers for that?

I like Tvbythenumbers though they may not show up until Monday (never checked it on the weekend before, seems better to spend work time doing that sort of thing ;).
It's been five years already! Sheesh! Time really goes by fast! I always liked Angel a lot more than Buffy. My cable didn't carry the WB until Angel started, so I didn't see the first three years of Buffy when it aired. About Angel's ratings, if I remember right, Angel's ratings went up when the last episodes aired.
I loved AtS! I was devastated when it was canceled. I Still haven't seen anything to replace that in terms of quality.
I loved Angel then and I still love it now. One of the best shows ever. I was so proud of our fandom and the good works we did trying to save the show. Even though we didn't save the show - we still accomplished many good things ... the food banks and blood bank drives to name just two.
Marc at pifeedback said he would post ratings tomorrow.
That was such a heartbreaking time to be a fan.
I was so proud of our fandom


Me too. It was such a privilege to be part of the fandom at that time.
I wasn't part of the fandom when it was on the air, but I sure wish I was!

Exactly the same with me. Although a part of me is glad I didn't have to go through the heartbreak of Angel and Firefly cancellation. It was painful enough coming to the last episode on the DVD and realising that there was no more.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2009-02-14 01:41 ]
I was a BtVS and (less so) AtVS fan before the cancellation, but not really in the fandom when Angel was cancelled - the end of Buffy really propelled me into Angel, and its cancellation really propelled me - indignantly - into the online fandom and my discovery of Firefly/Serenity.

But I essentially missed the "Saving Angel" campaign, and I had pretty much stayed offline for most of my Whedon'verse viewing before that - except for looking up the names of songs and actors & writers. I mostly didn't want to find out anything at all about the shows while I watched them. (That was then. ; >)

"We will follow Angel to Hell... or another network" is a great slogan.


ETA: Jeez - maybe I can get a mindwipe and then get re-programmed with some decent typing skills. While I'm at it, curly hair and a faster metabolism. Thanks!

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2009-02-14 01:51 ]
Easily my least favorite TV memory. Angel is my favorite show and it STILL hurts to think about it ending.
Bloody hell. Five years?

I was absolutely destroyed by Angel's cancellation. Sure, I loved both shows, but Buffy went at the right time - seven years is a good run.

Angel was at its peak, though. Those last 11 episodes absolutely hit it out of the park every time, to the point where I thought I'd never see anything better on TV in my entire life. Two years earlier, I'd never even considered watching TV as a hobby. Now, five years after this sad news was announced, I realised that watching that show raised by own expectations as a viewer - I reckon a lot of viewers have struggled to find a show as good as Angel in the time it's been off the air.

It was a classic bad cancellation, just like Firefly or Veronica Mars. Look at the season five numbers now, and compare them to the kind of figures The CW gets for Reaper, Smallville or whatever else. The difference is minimal. Creatively speaking, cancelling Angel is probably the most defective move by a broadcasting network in history.

The whole thing...stank. Having season six in comic book form is a great gesture to fans, but if you could have a choice between that and the TV show, you know there'd only be one option.

Anyway, bye Angel. I still didn't bother getting over it in the past five years, which is almost definitely unhealthy.
Whedonesque just exploded with new members and interest when news of the show broke. I think that was the pivotal moment when we took off as a site. There was so much passion in trying to save Angel.
I remember that day perfectly. Woke up early on February 14, very excited that I just turned 13, went on the internet...."Angel Cancelled". Worst-birthday-ever.
I never got into AtS, to me it felt like betrayal when that show was announced as a spin-off. Then again, I posted on the Buffy board (non-linear one) and was all about Buffy those days (I remember a Troll and UK schools *laughs*)
Although a part of me is glad I didn't have to go through the heartbreak of Angel and Firefly cancellation.

I was just thinking this the other day. I kind of wish I had been there, especially for Firefly, but I guess there's an upside - I didn't have to be left hanging suddenly, I knew there were only 14 episodes/5 seasons going in. Here's hoping I don't get to learn what cancellation feels like for a good long while :)
I'd been a BtVS fan from the beginning (watched the movie when it came out, watched the TV series from ep. 1 as it aired), but AtS didn't work for me at first. We watched the first season, but stopped watching after that (it felt too episodic, unable to figure out what it was about). Some time while S4 was airing, though, a friend persuaded me to get back on board, and I started watching my way through someone's videotapes (that sounds so quaint) and instantly fell in love with the series. I'll always be a Buffyista first and foremost, but I actually think the average quality of AtS 2-4 is as high as any three season run of BtVS. By the time S5 started, I was back watching it as it aired, and, admittedly, I had some real problems with S5 (back to being episodic, the Spike-the-friendly-ghost thing never really worked for me etc.), but cancellation was still such a knife in the chest.

And then after the cancellation, the damn Illyria arc took off and the whole show really started to rock again--which just twisted the knife that much more. It was hard to believe that just a little while ago we'd been thinking "wow, we could have three Whedon series on TV!" and suddenly we had none.

Long live Dollhouse, Lords of Kobol (and Fox).
I remember that Friday and the disbelief when the news was first leaked and the shock when it was confirmed. The way the fandom tried to save the show was amazing.
I was a part of the fandom back then, but I had yet to catch up with Angel. I had seen the first season, but that was all, so I didn't get the painful impact until about a year later when I finally watched all of it.

Firefly, however...that shit I had to live through. Ugh. I don't want a repeat of that with Dollhouse. I don't think I could take it.
Angel was always my favorite of the Joss shows. I was heartbroken when it was cancelled, and it took me a while to fully accept it. Now, five years later, Joss is creating a new TV show, Cabin in the Woods is going to start filming soon, and David Boreanaz is on Bones which has turned out to be a show I enjoy every week. While not all of our actors and writers have seen the successes they deserve, I like where we are now and where we are headed. Plus, we got five years of a great show, and lots of shows these days don't even get to the second season.

I don't expect to love Dollhouse immediately, but I am looking forward to it. My greatest hope is that it has as good a chance at reaching the masses in terms of "genre" shows as Lost and Heroes.
I, unfortunately, wasn't really big on any of Joss' shows back then. I'd occasionally watched Buffy and Angel, but I wasn't really big on TV in general, and I didn't really understand the shows beyond the action and the funny. Somewhere in high school, one of my teachers told me about Firefly, and then once I fell in love with that, I went back to Buffy, and then Angel. I'm really looking forward to experiencing one of Joss' shows as it airs, with Dollhouse, and I'm hoping it can live up to his previous work.

[/rambling]
Wow, that was five years ago....
That day was one of my worst.

It sounds silly but originally Angel the series enraged me. I was watching Buffy from day 1 and Angel was my favorite character, but once he broke her heart and got his own series it felt wrong (i was very young then.) I turned over for 1 minute for the Angel premier and Angel was there holding a crying blond girl, i nearly threw the remote through the screen and ignored the series till years later when i was left alone in another city at a friends place with just a t.v. for entertainment. I could either watch wrestling or Angel so i decided to see what Angel was up to. It blew my mind because all my forgoten friends were there, it was a scene where Angel, Gunn, Wesley, and Cordelia were having dinner at a fancy resteraunt and i just got it from the second i tuned in again... family. I caught up and Angel became my favoirte show. I had no membership here but visited the site daily to keep current. I'll never forget the day it was cancelled either, it was one of the cruelest moments i spent just staring at the monitor. I watched the finale and was once again heartbroken, but i knew i would never forget what Angel meant to me and how brilliantly it shined for that all to brief period.

Sorry for unloading like that but this is the one place i feel its safe to do so. I clearly have not gotten over it still but im so grateful this site exists and that Joss is still putting out work and im very optimistic about all future whedonesque projects. I will not forget Angel or all the wonderful fans who posted their love for it as well. Everyone who posted about it back then helped me make it through and i will be eternally grateful for that so anyone who use to post here back in those days you have my thanks. :)
I had just started watching Angel at the begining of s5...it still hurts. :(
It is shocking (almost as shocking as my silvering hair that needs to be colored again soonish) that it's been five years. I still had shows I enjoyed, but when Whedon went off the air, a piece of my heart went too, and a certain heaviness set in. Back then, I was still lurking here and detoxing from the Bronze experience, so I don't even have a comment in the old topic to look back fondly on. I love Angel almost as much as Buffy, just in a different way.

In some interesting synchronicity as we set out on another new Whedon adventure, I started watching re-runs on TNT again very early in the morning before work. And this morning's was Faith in a fight in the prison yard, pre-Wesley's visit to ask for her help. Seemed like a very good omen to me.
It's sort of fitting actually to have Joss's new series premiering on the anniversery of his last show on the air ending.

I remember,I was in a Buffy chat when the news broke and actually brought the news of Angel's cancelation to the chat as it hit.
Five years on...and by Joss it still hurts.

I'll never forget the efforts that our fandom went to in trying to save Angel. The food drives, postcards, moving billboards, cakes for the cast and crew, turning up to the network to protest etc. I naively thought the cancellation decision would be reversed simply by our sheer love of the show.

Is it enough to know the network conceded they made a mistake. No, it's bloody not. There were still SO many stories left to tell- though thankfully we're getting them in comic form.
What was the crappy excuse WB gave for cancelling "Angel" again? They wanted soemthing "fresh" or some dumb crap like that.
I just recently finished watching Angel (I cried at the season finale, and I never cry at movies or TV). I really wish I had watched it when it was on, though I do love my boxset. Frakin' network executives, always ruining everything...
Five years ago. That terrible, horrible night. I found out the news late on the 13th, when I logged on here after coming home from an evening out. It felt like an A-bomb went off in my chest; I remember sitting at the computer, going cold, then numb, and actually sobbing in grief -- sounds coming out of me that I'd never heard before, tears, snot, everything. It utterly ruined that Valentine's Day, as if an actual death had occurred. I couldn't believe how affected I was, how sad I stayed for weeks: TV wasn't supposed to be this powerful, like something that exerted an actual force upon me in the physical world. It's just silly little pictures on a screen, right?

I was hooked by Buffy from the moment my boyfriend (now husband) turned me on to it at the end of S2, but there was and is something about watching Angel from the beginning that touched me like nothing else on TV ever had.* The whole, ambitious, sweeping arc of it -- the redemption angle, the deep psychology and emotional bonds among Angel and his cohorts, the depths of pain, the occasional piercing (and fleeting) joys ... it was so starkly drawn and yet so rich at the same time. Operatic in scale, unabashedly bold in scope, startlingly nuanced, addictive as hell, and populated with characters I adored. I still miss it to this day; I mean, I've never been able to bring myself to take down the show's RIP notice off my member page.

At that time, I had been lurking on W'esque for about a year, slowly transitioning over from the Angel's Soul Spoiler Board. The outpouring of love and activism that everyone showed here for Angel was incredible, and mind-blowing to experience and watch manifest. I met some really cool people through it, both online and in the flesh. It meant a lot to have this place to come to, where I knew there were others who felt the same way. (Like the day Lennon was murdered, it took a particular understanding of what had been taken away to give the event the gravity it felt like it deserved.) Then there were the "Save Angel" postcards I wrote -- I forget the number, but at least a couple or so every day for more than a week. The words just poured out of me. It was cathartic, even if Jordan Levin never read a single one.

In the midst of that, I ended up joining here on the 18th. (Almost my 5 year anniversary, wow ...) That decision has worked out for the awesome so far. :)

If nothing else, loving Joss's work will remind you that what means the most to you, you can (and in the natural course of things, probably will) lose -- so there's no time to appreciate it like the present. Carpe Diem Jossem!

*With one exception: The original Star Trek, which rocked my 5-year-old world in the '60's and later got me through a family tragedy, puberty and high school.
We're Not Gonna Take It (actually we are)
several rants enlosed:
i was infuriated over the cancellation of angel. most of my favorite shows were cancelled, angel was the one that hurt the most...i wrote a big tirade about how idiotic the manuever was in every concievable way, logical or not. Veronica Mars, Firefly, G VS E, Carnivale, those were awesome shows, it's not unlike just getting into a band right before they break up, but when a show is cancelled it's the equivalent of the label forcing them to break up.

the peril of tv, is that it is such a collaborative medium, you need writers, you need a cast, you need producers to fund it, and you need a crew to shoot it, but none of that will matter if narrow-minded programming execs have no idea what they have or how to market it. they think they have to be competitive, when really they're just promoting homogeny, trying to get other shows and network's viewers instead of focusing on trying to reach the people who would actually watch their shows, (to make an analogy, it's like the democrats trying to win republican votes when they should be trying to get new voters)

Fringe, Lost, Dexter, Californication, Mad Men, Weeds,
(big love's alright but i don't really care for it)
and now Dollhouse, I think they prove, esp. if you want to throw in Battlestar Galactica and the terminator show, how far we've come, the success of these shows should be viewed as a kind of wake-up call for tv networks, there's tons of talent out there, and take our words for it, we're dying to hear from them. I think they're finally catching on, we want mystery and insight, we don't care if it's ripped from the headlines and we don't want their 'so-called' reality.
When it happend I had just started to get into the online Joss fandom as living in Sweden has its drawbacks when it comes to instant Joss-tv axess.

I first heard the news on the old, and great, Succubus Club radio show and was devastated. I never liked Angel as much as Buffy but it still was a living kicking connection to that 'verse. Painfull loss. Having it bloom into greatness after the horrible 4th season just to be cancelled.
Just finished watching Season 5 again with a friend, it was such a joy to re-experience it, but the equal amount of sadness. I think the ending is so fitting, in a way, but with such mastery of storytelling shining through in that last season, I don't doubt for two seconds that the next season would have taken my breath away too.

And like some others, though I loved Buffy dearly Angel was the place I went for my character growth and my emotional attachment. It was breathtaking and beautiful to see Wesley change and grow the way he did, and to see Cordelia evolve so far from the original character sketch in which she began.

Angel = missed and appreciated.
I remember my best friend being devastated, 5 years ago.

Since then she has lent me dvds and now I too am devastated, retrospectively.

Since I didn't get the chance to say it back then: Angel was amazing.
I remember the cancellation vividly and it still bites. Went through all the stages of grief many times.

Whilst I loved BtVS and Firefly, AtS has the special place in my heart. I still miss it and haven't found anything that comes close.
Angel stabbed in the back in its finest hours :(
I wasn't around at that time, but I can only imagine how sad a day it must have been.
Also, it's really nice to see Simon, who seems always very pessimistic towards fan-campaigning, commemorate a fan-campaign. I think we as a fandom like to campaign, even when it's pointless, because that's our way to express our grief...
Depressing to see those old Whedonesque comments from back then.
Also, it's really nice to see Simon, who seems always very pessimistic towards fan-campaigning,


Because usually they never have a hope in hell of achieving anything. The Angel campaign was the last one that did have a very slim chance of working.
Man. Thinking about it, it’s just like yesterday. First, I was desperately hoping it was a mean F13 joke. Soon enough, I was so hurt, so angry --- and then I was at awe of the fandom --- then helpless pride set in along with the unique sensation of drinking in every remaining episode from that announcement out (sprinkled with hissy WB resentment). We still fought. We know we might not win. But, we knew we'll always have hope, the fight was worth it to the end--- and knowing us *wink* the end is still here not yet.
LIke so many others I can't believe that was five years ago. I remember feeling like I had been hit by a hammer in the chest after I had innocently tottled on over here to check the day's news.

Storycide. I'll never get over it. There was so much potential for the next season, already so many big ideas swirling around. And it was the last Whedon show on the air. Then, poof! All gone.

Thank god there was whedonesque to see us through it.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2009-02-14 18:44 ]
I was too young to watch Buffy and Angel when they aired but I got into them around 2004/2005. I'm kinda annoyed I wasn't born earlier so I could enjoy them with other fans during the shows' runs. I saw the last season of Angel, found out about the cancellation and felt murderous.
Both shows have had a massive impact on me - I'm still uber-obsessive so I was ecstatic when the comics came out.

But I still haven't forgiven WB for that and never will!
Angel means so much to me. The character, the themes, the story. I started watching when my friend showed my Are you now or have you ever been. Before that I had sneered at it. Rubbish I thought. Not after seeing that episode. I was hooked. Ever since I have been a fan.

The show got me through tough times and through good times. There are times I can even remember my first time seeing certain episodes. Nearly all my friends loved it and we would watch it together - although I was a little more fanatical:)

The cancellation really affected me. And almost ruined Valentines lol...I held it in till half way through the meal until I told me then girlfriend. Poor girl. I am sure the last thing she wanted to hear on Valentines was me goin on about Angel. But she was used to it:)

I too joined in the fight to save it. Although I am across the Atlantic I did what I could. Of course to no avail. But we all did Angel proud. Fight the good fight:)

Of course now we are lucky that the characters live on in comics. Of course it is not the same....nothing can replace the show...but it is wonderful to have these characters still in my life...still fighting.

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