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"You get the Watcher. You get the mom. You get the little Scooby gang. What do I get? Jack squat."
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April 18 2004

EW review gives "Angel" a "B" "It's sad that for a show with so much complex talent on and of screen, we'll never be able to watch it group up." Registration Required.

Ken Tucker gives a decent and thoughtful review. Although he heaps plenty of praise on the show, he also finds some fault. For example, he describes the show as a "teenager suffering an identity crisis."

The "B" rating, however, is undeserved. Ken Tucker gave "Wondefalls" an "A-" while another EW writer gave "Charmed" a "B+". Also, I should mention that there is a discrepancy. In the actual magazine they give Angel a "B", but on the webpage, it's a "B+".

Is this rating for a specific episode? I haven't read the article, but I can't understand the whole "teenager" thing. Except, maybe, if he's refering to Harmony, but I'm gonna assume he's not.
No, the rating is not for a specific episode. I wouldn't even say it's just for this current season either because he refers to all five. When he calls the show adolescent, he means that "Angel" in an effort to distinguish itself from "Buffy" has changed appearances several times, "What began as a vampire noir morphed into a sci-fi wig-out, which in turn became the current supernatural law-office series". I agree in some respect that Angel has taken some time to find itself, but I'd argue that it has done just that this season. He also calls the show "wildly uneven" which I completely disagree with since I think this season has been its most consistent.

[ edited by mai on 2004-04-18 16:19 ]
yeah angel did change a lot, its a shame it took five years to get where its at...............
I wouldn't say "changed" as much as "developed," but I guess I can see what he would mean. Except, I don't know what "sci-fi wig-out" means, but I don't think Angel was ever that. And Angel Season 5 is a lot more than a "supernatural law-office series."

The only drastic shift was to this current season in "Conviction," which I have to admit bothered me at first. But after seeing most of the rest of this season, I cannot complain.

I really don't get how Charmed can be placed on the same level as Angel though.
Maybe the B for Charmed cause it stands for what the show is based on ... boobs (both real and fake and I'm not just talking about the people running the show).
Obviously I wouldn't read and post on this board if I didn't love Angel and BTVS. It just amazes me that so many people just don't GET these shows. I find myself getting all kinds of looks like I've lost my mind yet again when I talk about these shows and their brilliant metaphors and strange characters.

I completely agree, Invisible Green and RavenU (by the way, both of you write very well!) that Charmed can't even be placed in the same league as Angel.
All this talk of "Angel" having never found itself...how it changed so many times only to get out from under the shadow of "Buffy" really annoys me.

"What began as a vampire noir morphed into a sci-fi wig-out, which in turn became the current supernatural law-office series".

I don't know about anyone else, but that's why I loved it so much. I'd sooner praise the show for finding so many different ways to reinvent itself each season then knock it for failing to find an individual identity, which I have no doubt it has. It's such a silly comment to make, especially when "Buffy" made so many similar changes:

What began as a freak of the week coming of age slayfest morphed into a story of self discovery in a college setting, which in turn became the orphaned daughter family drama, which finally became the slayer boot camp.

And while I agree I've always thought of "Angel" in the back of my mind as the spinoff to "Buffy" I can honestly say I haven't at all this season.

Also, I'm not sure what a "sci-fi wig-out" is either, lol. I see...we've resorted to name-calling have we? Well...Ken Tucker is a TV-critic wig-out. Awwww, snap!
Nice post, WalrusSAS!

And although Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer certainly have gone through many changes, which may seem drastical to the occasional viewer, the changes about about as naturally and realistically as the changes the characters go through.

In life we go through all sorts of changes. And you know all those kids you were friends with when you were seven? How many of those are you still good friends with? Probably not many, if you're like me.

And Charmed has certainly gone through a lot of changes also, though I can't comment on the recent seasons. I will admit that the sudden loss of Shannen Doherty was very gracefully handled, which really surprised. (In fact, that's probably one of the few times I was actually surprised by Charmed. The first season had the whole cop angle with Andy and Darryl (then Andy was killed off). The second season was like a dating show--should Piper go out with Leo or the neighbor guy? Better genre ideas actually started to develop in the third season, the first season to truly have a story arc. Um, I've actually almost completely forgot the fourth season. And after five episodes of the fifth season, I realized I needed to stop watching.

IMHO, Charmed deserves a B-. I can't understand anything higher than a B or less than a C-. It is a highly entertaining show with a talented (and yes, very attractive) cast.

Oh, one more thing while I'm rambling about Charmed:

No TV show has ever had worst guest stars than Charmed! Oh my God! Do the casting directors know what acting is?

[ edited by Invisible Green on 2004-04-18 09:20 ]
WalrusSAS - I'm guessing that the "sci-fi wigout" might refer to the brief Pylean interlude at the end of season 2 and beginning of 3 (while Fred adjusts to LA). It was pretty StarTrekky compared to the rest of Angel.

But I totally agree with you. I never knew where Angel would go next. If I got bored with one plotline or dramatic trend, it would change 8 episodes later. This is reminiscent of the classic series "Wiseguy," which doesn't suffer from the same critical backbiting. Such is the critic's relationship with fantasy.

[ edited by DaveW on 2004-04-18 04:42 ]

[ edited by DaveW on 2004-04-18 04:42 ]

[ edited by DaveW on 2004-04-18 04:42 ]
Hey Invisible Green turn off your italics :)

As for the "No TV show has ever had worst guest stars than Charmed! Oh my God! Do the casting directors know what acting is?" Maybe you best have a look at their list of guest stars cause at least 80% of them have also been guest on Buffy and/or Angel - so what was that about the guest stars acting abilitiies, although it does go to show the weakness of the writing and directing of the show, if you think these same guest did a bad job on Charmed but a good job in the verse.
Armin Shimerman - Principal Snyder - was a guest star on Charmed. As was Bruce Campbell. I know, I know, he wasn't on Buffy. But one could wish and, hey, it's Bruce Campbell! lol Their performances all boil down to writing and directing, as RavenU pointed out.

I'll admit, I still watch Charmed. But it doesn't amount to anything more than cheesy hour-long fun. Pure mindless entertainment. But I've learned to appreciate cheesiness and bad stories long ago. I'm a rare breed, I'm sure. Regardless, I typically couldn't tell you what happened last season let alone last week. It's definite filler.

WalrusSAS - Great point about Angel reinventing its identity each year, and that being a factor that draws us to it. I agree completely but couldn't word it as such. It certainly keeps things feeling new, as well as real. Things in the real world don't remain constant for too long, so why should they on TV?

Personally, I've never been one to simply think of Angel as the spin-off to Buffy. I've never fully thought of it as mama-show and baby-show, I've just felt they were part of the same story in the long run. They're two different shows, but tied together. And being that they're different, one is neither superior to the other. They may have elements that are superior, just as they have weaknesses as well.

They're their own world, not just a set of shows.
Okay, so Charmed's had a few good guest stars. I remember Julia Lee (Chanterelle/Lily/Anne) was in an episode. Also Jennifer Sky (the title character on Cleopatra 2525, also one of the hyena chicks in "The Pack" ; she's a face you'd recognize) was in one. But Charmed has had some of the worst acting on TV.
I'm going to have to agree with that, in part. I'm sorry, but I don't care how many great guest stars a show has, whether they're borrowed from the Buffyverse or not. But, as soon as Evan Marriot, AKA Mr. Joe Millionaire himself, qualifies as a guest "star" on a show like "Charmed," that pretty much lowers the standards of not just the show and the network, but also of our civilization in general. No offense to anyone who likes "Charmed." I however, can't stand it. And to put this into perspective, in my life I learned to appreciate a show like "Melrose Place." That Michael was so smug....

By the way, I love Sarah Michelle Gellar, but unless I'm forced helplessly into some kind of "Clockwork Orange" situation, I'm never going to see "Scooby-Doo." I honestly don't think I would survive. However...."Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" is another story altogether. Call me crazy...but any movie with Ruben Studdard in the cast, spells "q-u-a-l-i-t-y" to me.
He faults the obviousness of Illyria as the Big Bad, but hasn't it become apparent in the past couple of eps that she's not the Big Bad. She could be, but it seems like they're going down a different--and much more interesting--road.
He also says that Illyria may or may not kill Fred. (You can now read the article at that Niue site.)
Charmed a B+? Maybe he was referring to cup size?
Wouldn't the cupsize be at least a D or DD?

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