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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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May 01 2012

20 things we love about Angel. SFX Magazine says "It became a phenomenal series in its own right: chock-full of laughs, drama and plot twists so relentlessly twisty it ended up as a completely different show than the one it started out as (something even Buffy didn't really accomplish)."

Though I tend to identify more with BTVS, I believe Ats was successful because it had more freedom. Almost everyone is a fresh face (even Cordy and Wes become rewritten) allowing a blank page for writers to freely write for. Ats also liked pushing it's limits: the more adult, dysfunctional, and taboo, the juicier the entertainment.

Nice to see the magazine-love for one of Joss' babies.
So good to see AtS getting some much deserved love. It seems to get overlooked and often forgotten when the media discuss Joss shows. And it is my favourite of all of those.
Same. It always makes me happy when other people turn out to love it too.
I had not watched either Buffy or Angel until they were over. Started with Angel because loved David in Bones, then had to get the first 3 seasons of Buffy to see where Angel started. Fell in love with Spike and he is the only reason I stayed with Buffy for the last 4 seasons, but the hardest I cried was in the do you want me to lie to you scene with Wes and Illyria/Fred. Was so surprised that the scene I will always remember was not with Spike. lol
I never could warm towards Angel too much, untill the fifth season, wich is one of my favourites in all the whedonverse.

And i dont know why. I enjoyed the four precedent seasons, but i never really... I never felt Joss voice in it. Sure, he was hands on fully, i guess, but it felt to me like a Joss themed piece made by someone else. In many moments i felt it lacked the humour (not taht it didnt have plenty of it... but diferent) that could ground the melodrama and the drama in his melo became a bit too much for me, shrewing its believability a bit.

I still like it, and admire it, its a great show, but i dunno... I love all of Josses shows and comics, but this one... I never really got into it that much.
So glad they focused on Angel, it really just doesn't get enough credit! 5 seasons is a lot for any show but maybe it just never fully got out of BtVS's shadow. But even now, if Buffy is on Logo and Angel is on TNT at the same time, I'll usually switch over to Angel, which is weird....

I don't love S.5 like so many others do, though. I think it's the lack of Cordy and drastic change of overall tone. I think the show really shines in S.2, what with all the Darla drama and fun.
Like with Buffy, Angel's strongest seasons were in the middle. The Darla arc, specifically The Trial/Reunion/Redefinition were what hooked me into the show for the long haul. Other favorites include the character of Holtz, dark Wesley, Angelus' return, and the existential themes that came into major play, especially towards the end of season 5. I'm annoyed that Spike could be brought back after Chosen, but obviously, I'm thrilled he was there. He injected some much-needed humor into Season 5, and the Angel-Spike relationship is arguably the best thing in the Buffy/Angelverse.
Can we take a moment to acknowledge the whining shared by Dawn and Connor?

No because that's not what we do here - Simon

[ edited by Simon on 2012-05-01 17:33 ]
It's also a testament to Angel's differentiation from BtVS that his series finale only featured the strongest fighters left standing, whereas hers still had the core cast from Day One. But that makes more sense; Buffy's legacy is defined by her friends and support system, which a slayer is not meant to have, while Angel's immortality means he keeps fighting the good fight while his people, inevitably, die around him. His team can and should evolve.
I really liked this article but have to disagree with one thing: Pangs was lackluster? Pangs was fantastic! Joss even said that the cavalry riding their stolen bikes across the park was one of his favorite moments in the whole series.
Second that in retrospect Pangs is almost the better hour to I Will Remember You. Loved the Angel episode.more back in'99 but I just always hoped someday we would come back around to IWRY.
@Darkness: And i dont know why. I enjoyed the four precedent seasons, but i never really... I never felt Joss voice in it. Sure, he was hands on fully, i guess, but it felt to me like a Joss themed piece made by someone else.

Precisely why it not only gets overlooked, but also precisely why it's my favorite of not only Whedon's shows, but my all-time favorite series.

Whedon stepped on board (mostly) full-time for season 5 and it became a shadow of its former self, almost Buffy-lite which explains why so many fans who prefer Buffy seem to favor season 5 of ANGEL more than other seasons.

I hated the fact that it was so Buffy-like in tone because it felt like it abandoned all of the key elements that made the show deliberately different from Buffy. At the least it preserved some of its trademark darkness and satire.


ANGEL thrived because of David Greenwalt, Tim Minear, Jeff Bell, Mere Smith and others. Problem is, If it's not Whedon's name but one of the other writers it seems to be considered less-than good by the fans because their love of Whedon overshadows appreciating the work of others in his crew.

No wonder fans often ignore ANGEL. Hell, even Whedon does most of the time in interviews.
I would hardly call Angel season 5 "Buffy lite" that's selling it a bit short. But yes, I am a bigger BTVS fan than Angel fan and my favorite season of Angel is season 5. I don't think Whedon ignores it on interviews, he just isn't asked about it as much.
NL197 said,

Problem is, If it's not Whedon's name but one of the other writers it seems to be considered less-than good by the fans because their love of Whedon overshadows appreciating the work of others in his crew.


I prefer Buffy to Angel. However, I don't think season 5 is Angel's best. And I don't appreciate your assuming you know why I like something. How do you know what's in people's heads? I love Joss as much as anyone else, but I'll also readily admit when he hasn't done his best work, such as most of the Buffy season openers. In any case, it seems to me Buffy/Angel fans hail the writers in general much more than any other fandom I've ever seen. They seem to be pretty darn good at it, in fact.

/rant over
I think the Supernatural fandom also know and love their writers and give them lots of credit.

I liked season 5 of Angel best, because it had Spike, hated s4, did not like that arc at all.
I dont think Angel season 5 felt like Buffy at all; and if it did, it did as much as Dollhouse and Firefly. It felt more Jossy in general; but thats not why i like it. If season 1-4 were masterpieces without Josses input, then, hell, i would adore them. I dont love things because Josses name is on it: at best, i love Joss because the things that i love have his name.

A problem that i think also Angel has in terms of being ignored, more than any Joss involvement at all, is, i think, the fact that it is a spin-off, and a spinoff of BUffy, Whedons probably most famous and legendary show: thats not an easy place to be. Spin-off are not always well regarded, and spin-off of such famous shows even less.

Unless your Frasier.
While I like BtVS, I simply ADORE AtS, and now I am very glad to see some deserved love for it. Always Buffy, Buffy! Even the comics have its banner! They were different shows, which shared a common origin but later originated different world and mythology. Many fans make a distinction between the Buffyverse and Angelverse...

And it's true, AtS was more a creature of David Greenwalt (and later Tim Minear) than of Joss Whedon, and this explains a lot about his difficult to 'catch' Angel. You can clearly see it in s5, in which he was more involved..and also explains why so many fans of the show really didn't appreciate s5. And they didn't forget the assassination of Cordelia Chase and the inclusion of Spike, who appeared in AtS just one time in the first season.

So, I'd say thanks to David Greenwalt and Tim Minear, who gave us a wonderful show.
Fair enough, rehabber. Not a Supernatural fan, so not familiar with the fandom.
@guidedby:

I don't know what's in people's heads but I do read this site and others often enough to get the impression that with a show like ANGEL which had the least amount of direct involvement from Whedon, it's easy, too easy in fact, to notice why it's overlooked with the exception of the one season which Whedon had the biggest hand in mapping out, which is of course season 5.

I could say I don't appreciate you assuming I was talking directly to you when I wasn't, but...well never mind.
NL197 and aradia, I very much agree with your comments. And although I love aspects of S5, I think that 'Buffy-lite' is a very apt moniker.

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