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February 13 2005

In Memoriam - Angel - 1 year ago, the cancellation. It would only seem fitting and fair to commemorate one of the darkest days in the verse with a thread of remembrance for a show we all felt ended its run just as it was getting started.

And it all started with reading the article from zap2it, an interview with David Greenwalt which confirmed the worst of our fears the WB was ending Angel. Thus ending an almost 10 year run on Joss created shows on network TV. At the time I was just starting to feel slightly optimistic about the chances of its return. Before then, heck even before the series began it's 5th season I had a strong feeling it would be it's last. All the sign post were there from the beginning though from the network. Very little publicity for the show, no reruns of the fourth season over the summer months for those who may have been suffering from Buffy withdraw. Or a chance for those who may have missed a few episodes or had come to Buffy late and never really watched it, a chance to catch up with Angel. Buffy had ended it's run by choice the previous May, which was another grieving period we as a fandom were just coming to terms with as far as it's departure. I wish I could write more at this time but the wound even though a year old still feels fresh and perhaps need some more time to heal and anyway salt water on a key board not always a good thing. Anyway I just want to express my feelings for a show that because of its uniqueness will always hold a special place in my head and heart. I also want to thank whomever it was that invented video recording devices, such as VHS, Tivo, and especially DVD. Through there inventions have given us a very special gift of being able to carry on with are enjoyment of such brilliant programming long after it leaves the network airwave and becomes subjected to Syndication episode hacking. Thankfully 2 days from now we will once again be able to relive what we have lost with the added bonus of Special features and commentary from those involved whose hard work and dedication over these many years I deeply appreciate. For without them to entertain me, I would have to do the job myself and there's no way I want that job I'm far to put it politely, picky. So thank you Joss, David, the cast, the crew, the writers, the directors, the Kraft service table, and everyone one else involved in bring us outstanding quality entertainment, I fear we may never see again on network TV except perhaps in 1 or 2 poor substitutes. You entertained me and for that I send this thank you it's not much to offer but it's the most powerful sentiment I can give to you. Because a show touched my life and made such a profound impact that you will never be forgotten, unless of course I get Alzheimer then all bets are off.
Well said, RavenU. Re-reading the zap2it article brought back so many feelings from last year. I still remember the jaw-dropping moment when I stopped by this board on the 14th to catch up on what was happening and discovered the news. I went into shock. I was preparing that weekend to head off to a major professional conference the following week, and throughout that conference I kept thinking about the cancellation. Of course there was nobody I could talk to about my feelings -- my colleagues would think I was absolutely nuts -- but I did manage to get to my hotel room that Wednesday in time to watch "Smile Time," which was, of course, brilliant. And, of course, in its critique of those who pull the strings, it helped target the very people who were the focus of fan outcries. I subsequently wrote my postcards, sent my first-ever fanmail to the actors to thank them for fleshing out the characters and giving me hours of quality entertainment, etc. in what was, as we know, a futile attempt to resurrect the series. I would love to have more, and I would love to share other fans' enthusiasm over the promised comics, but I'm not a comics enthusiast -- even for Joss's (sorry, Joss). I'm very happy for FX and TNT reruns of Buffy and Angel, and I have my DVDs to keep me company. I await with mixed feelings my Angel DVDs this week -- mixed because of the bittersweetness of them.

Thanks to Joss, ME, cast, and crew for so many joyful hours of quality entertainment. And thanks to all at Whedonesque for providing welcome refuge in my year of mourning.
Well said, RavenU. Well said. The only gratification I get is that the WB is now doing so poorly. But truth be told, I'd rather have Angel back. I'd even be willing to forgive the WB their transgressions. I know that isn't going to happen at this point, but can still dream.

TV has been so blah without Joss and his extrordinarily talented cast and crew of people. JJ Abrams helps somewhat, but as talented as he is, he doesn't go as far as Joss would go. I don't feel as connected to his characters. It is wonderful that he has hired some of the Mutant Enemy writers, though. He knows talent when he sees it. One of the differences I see in JJ & Joss is, Joss really knows how to make you care about his characters and care about what happens to them. I don't know how he does it, but he really is amazing. I remember watching season 1 of Angel for the first time. I had no idea that Doyle would die in episode 9. When it happened, I was shocked and I cried so much. I can't think of a single character on Lost that would make me cry if they died, and I am really enjoying Lost.

On Tuesday, Angel season 5 will be released. And it will be the last of the TV Whedonverse DVD's to buy. I'm very sad. I do look forward to seeing Serenity and I'm sure the DVD for that will absolutely rock! But I would still like more weekly stories from Joss. I'm selfish that way, I guess. I will take what I can get, though. I really need my Joss fix. So whatever else I may do tomorrow, I will take time to watch "Hero" again and remember the real people that Joss gave us. Joss is truly my hero.

I would also like to thank Joss, ME, cast, crew and the many others involved for the many years all of you dedicated to TV telling us your stories. And thank you Joss for giving us Serenity to look forward to. I know I am not alone in just how grateful I am that you're in the world.
During the saving Angel campaign, somebody posted on one of the boards:

ďArt is a service to mankindĒ

This always stuck in my mind, because it so beautifully summarized everything about Angel.

Thanks to absolutely everybody who was involved in the show!

This brings back so many memories. When I read of the cancellation I spontaneously burst into tears. But Iíll be forever ludicrously grateful for what we had. Thanks for providing a forum where I can say that without feeling foolish.
Well spoken, RavenU.
What can I say at this point that's not already been said? I think we're all having the same general thoughts currently.

We, as "Angel" Whedon fans in general, have suffered a great, great loss. We all know where we were when we heard the news of the cancellation; we all remember that flickering bit of hope we carried for so long that "Angel" wasn't gone; we all can still taste the devastation when we finally admitted to ourselves that, at least in some aspects, "Angel" was over.

There's not enough thanks in the world for Joss, the actors, producers...everyone who ever contributed even a tiny bit to "Angel's" makings. They gave us so much. It was never "a tv show" to us..."Angel" was, truly, part of us. And when we lost it, we felt the loss like we would a family member...or a close, close friend who'd been there with us through so very much.

None of us, no matter how hard we matter how many tears we shed, now matter what we say or do, can EVER truly make people who were not a fan of the show understand the relationship we have with it. "Angel" fans, as a whole, have been scoffed at for taking all this so seriously...but, you know, it doesn't bother me like it used to. We're here, together, sharing the loss of this close friend; supporting each other; understanding each other; being here for each other like a family. A family that I'm proud to be a part of. I doubt anyone here cares if they understand us or not.

So as I sit here, tearing up from the past memories of our lost loved one rushing back to me, I take solace in that fact that while reality shows and cheap comedies may have won the the end, Angel always won the apocalypse.
I guess I'm one of the fans who took the cancelation hard, and get annoyed when I sometimes watch the dvd episodes, and think WB, one more season, just one more season. Like David B said, it was the studio's responsibility to support the show after the studio asked to make changes to season five, they were made, budget was cut down, but the show was kicking ass still, so it's annoying, the ratings improved, considering the flop they have the mountain now, it wasn't if one more season of angel was going to ruin their network, those network executives pfffff. And I guess the annoyance won't really go away until hopefully there's a Angel return in some form, probabley movie.

A year it has been, but I still get angry from time to time about the way the show was treated.

But the fan campaign, saving angel and everyone involved in that, made me feel a bit better, that there's so many fans who've enjoyed the 5 seasons, some shows hardly last a full season or two seasons, normally a show seems to wind down at the end of a 5th season, like we've covered alot, but for Angel, it just never seemed enough, probabley because it just happens to be one of my favorite shows of all time, it's got everything, humor, action, suspense, great characters, well written.

Friday the 13th last year was the worst friday the 13th I ever had, and hopefully ever will.

It'll take a bit more time, but I'll eventually feel content for 5 seasons, and a angel movie later would be nice, the fans have battled hard, and I hope they are rewarded with a return of David B in the raising the angel bar higher project!!
I've been dreading this day because it's devastating that everyone's voices were ignored by the network. And we were so loud.
When Buffy ended I understood - when Angel ended all I could feel (and still feel) is gypped. Angel's ending was premature. The WB was just plain dumb to cancel the show. As mentioned earlier the only consolation is that the WB's ratings are in the toilet. I have never truly hated a TV station before but I sincerely do hate the WB.

In a day or two I will have season 5. I am excited as I loved the season and can't wait to see it again with a sharp picture, commentaries and extras, but I am sad knowing this is the last installment of Jossverse TV...there are no more seasons to buy, and there should have been at least a 6th season of Angel.

Whedonesque is wonderful - it warms my heart to read everyone's posts. It makes me feel better to know I am not alone with my sadness of losing this show. I'm sure Joss will Wow us again with Serenity, and who else knows what other great things will come from him in the future, but I will miss the wonderful TV shows.
I am so looking forward to getting the Season 5 DVD's , but, I know as I'm watching them the finality of it all will hit hard.

I am thankful to all involved in the creation of Angel, for giving me a show that I am so deeply passionate about.

I am angry and frustrated at those who ended the SHOW before the end of the STORY.

Today, on this anniversary, I'm mainly just sad.
It's so sad. We never be able to see how the final battle plays out. All we can do is hope that someday we know how it ends.
I was crushed when I heard about the cancellation. I will never forget that moment when all my co workers officially thought I lost my mind because I had tears in my eyes over a T.V show.
It was a horrible day, and on its anniversary I still feel the same. It was just wrong.
So I plan on getting my DVD set Tuesday and having a full Angel Season 5 marathon.
There is at least some comfort in knowing that with a fan base like this, the show may be over, but will never be forgotten.
Well what's ever said and done, trying to save the show was our fandom's finest moment. So to who ever was involved in the campaigns, thank you.
Oh dear, bitter memories .I couldn't believe how upset I was , I spent the day wandering around muttering "it's just a TV show. get some perspective" Well twelve months later I still have no perspective . If the world was a fair place and the WB weren't stupid we'd all be gearing up for the season 6 finale now

even my season 5 DVD's can't make up for the sheer injustice of it all.
It was a sad day when ATS was cut down in it's prime and it still makes me angry, one year on. I shall always be grateful to Joss, his writers, actors and everyone else involved in making this wonderful show. At least we didn't let it's passing go unnoticed !
It's amazing how, one year later, I can still remember exactly what I was doing when I saw the news. I was setting up my first LiveJournal account...figured I'd come to Whedonesque to see if there was more spoilers or promo pictures or anything...and there was the link to the zap2it article. still stings as much right now as it did then. And in the months between the announcement and the airing of Not Fade Away, this fandom really showed me what it was to band together in the name of something we all love. The campaigns, the food drives, all of it, extraordinary. We may not have succeeded in keeping the show on the air...but we DID show the industry that fandom can make a difference.

I'll watch my Angel DVDs with pride, and a little bit of sadness for what was lost, tonight.
I found out on my birthday and was so stunned...couldn't tell my wife for several still rankles amazingly...just so wrong.

You are right, Simon, it was a grand effort, the results be damned...kind of like the freeze frame as one of television's finest ever creations came to an end...
In rememberance of Angel perhaps over these next couple of days we can let the PTB know that we are still here and we have not Faded Away by going to search engines and do a search on Angel or perhaps an 'In remberance of' Donation to the Angel Food Drive campaign that is still going on at least for a little while longer.
That's a great suggestion RavenU. I think the worst thing about the post-cancellation period has been seeing how unnecessary and ill-advised the cancellation was. I thought about that this week while watching "Wonderfalls." It was a wonderful show that was never given a chance. But even though we were able to watch five seasons of "Angel" it's hard to believe the WB couldn't see continuing a show with a strong fan base, and at least some recognition, for another year or two wasn't a surer bet than an untried series. "Angel"'a syndication would likely also have provided new viewers for the new episodes had they just been a little more patient.
"I've been dreading this day because it's devastating that everyone's voices were ignored by the network. And we were so loud."

I feel your pain charisma...we were so freaking loud! I wrote angry postcards to Levin until my hand cramped and then i wrote a billion more to different big-names trying to bring awareness to the cause. I believe in that sense, we did succeed because at least we got our voices heard. i think our show went out with a bang and we went out with a yell. maybe next time we can beat 'em. screw Levin.
Excellent idea, RavenU!
I've howled my grief from the rooftops for one year now, so I won't bore you all with reiteration...but I just had to post agreement with yourlibrarian's statement. Especially the line about "untried series".

Although my heart sings that the WB is doing poorly since they canceled Angel, its a bit of a double edge. They canceled it for what? For nothing. Nothing.

All their big plans to get rid of the 'aging' show with, and I'm literally cringing as I say this, FRESH! new programming (the sole purpose being to haul in that coveted younger demo), has fallen flatter than the skull of a WB exec.

Angel's demise didn't result in anything but heartache and bitterness from a loyal and devoted fan base. Great fucking decision there, idiots.
There's a sadness in my heart. I'm not sure how to express it, but fortunately there are others here more eloquent than I.

Nice suggestion regarding Angel's Food Drive. A great bunch of gals let me help them with that campaign and in July they're presenting a nice big check to the Foodbank.

All the campaigns were awesome! I'll never forget the mobile billboard or the pics of the Angel and Spike dolls at the rally. Especially the one of the two of them pissing on the WB sign. LOL! We may not have saved our show (yet!), but we did make a difference.
Although we didn't save the show, we did everything possible to do so. It was indeed our finest moment. Last summer Julie Benz came to a con and said that one reason she had really wanted to attend was to thank us for our love and passion for the show. It helped them feel better. And considering all that they have given us, I am so pleased that we could do this one small thing in return.
As others have already said, coworkers looked at me like I was a bit insane when I learned of the cancellation. I was devastated then , and am still devastated now. I cried when I learned of the cancellation, I was a big mess at the end of Not Fade Away, and I will be proud of my DVD collection Tuesday, but devastated all over again at the same time. I've got nothing eloquent or insightful to say. WB execs are a bunch of idiotic asses.
The Angel bar tab is on me, free drinks for everyone, a toast to the rise and fall of Jordan Levin. And to the prospect of Angel returning in some form in the near future, and Joss returning to tv as well.
I agree with Passion that what hurt the most was that the show wasn't just cancelled, but cancelled prematurely. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch. It still hurts, a lot. Thanks for this little thread to allow for a little venting and commiseration on the first anniversary of that incomprehensible decision.
The cancellation hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt deeply wrong at the time and it still feels wrong. I startled myself awake the other night thinking about what season six might have been. Wisps of Illyria storylines were dancing in my head. I guess my subconscious was gearing up for the dread anniversary. It was one big beautiful story that was meant to go on longer - damnit, Levin and the others committed a crime against narrative. Thank god for fellow Whedonesquers and our shared appreciation for the late, great Angel.

And much appreciation from me still to the save Angel campaigns. What a magnificent effort.
I agree with everything yourlibrarian has just said. It was a sure thing that the reruns on TNT would have brought in a new fanbase and they did. I had never even heard of Buffy or Angel until one Tuesday night I was flipping through the channels to see what was on and I saw this huge demon thing. Myself being a lover of anything sci-fi, stopped and wathced. What was is you ask? It was the episode "Rain of Fire". It captivated me so I pulled out the TV Guide to see when it came on again. I found out it came on Monday through Friday at 4 PM and on Tuesday nights at 10 PM. The next day I turn on the TV and Waiting in the Wings was on, that episode is what really got me hooked. I went out and bout season 1 and 2 on DVD the next weekend. Anyway after all that rambling I just did my point was that the WB cancelled Angel 5 months after sending it into big time sydication on TNT (they show 11 Angel episodes a week). They never gave it a chance to develop a bigger fanbase. All my friends and most of my family have come to love Angel almost as much as I do. Angel was not given its fair chance. Screw the WB, Screw Jordan Levin, I hope the WB never recovers. I hope if Angel does come back it is not to the WB, perhaps HBO as Joss stated so long ago. Also the WB are a bunch of plagerizers (sp?) there is going to be a 7th Heaven musical tommorow and tonights episode of Charmed was called Carpe Noctem also. They have nothing better to do but cancel good shows and keep shit shows on the air for 8+ years.

P.S. "Fresh new episodes of "Summerland start next week. YAY!!!

[ edited by ShotgunWes on 2005-02-14 04:39 ]

[ edited by ShotgunWes on 2005-02-14 04:40 ]
I'm still devastated about Angel's cancellation, so much so that it's hard for me to talk about. A crime against narrative, for sure. There should be penalties.
I only got into the Whedonverse in December 2003, and the first day I started looking for Whedon-related news online was the day the cancellation was announced. Yeah, not fun.

My views on the Save Angel campaign are mixed. For one thing, it was absolutely amazing to witness the level of dedication and cooperation brought about by this cause, and the incredible things they did. On the other hand, it also cemented for me the futility of these fan campaigns; if *this* campaign failed, then I just can't have much hope for any other show-saving attempt.

Think the bigwigs have noticed all the Angel fans dancing on their new shows' graves yet?
The only things that helped were the voices in this room. Thanks.
Oh, the misery of Valentine's Day last year ... I remember how I was up all night after reading the news here late on the 13th. Crying in front of the computer for hours, finding myself rocking back and forth, sick to my stomach and almost immobilized with grief, and the next day my husband and I (who lost nearly as much sleep trying to comfort me after I finally came to bed) were to visit friends out in the county. We went as planned and I pantomimed my way through the afternoon, but I was numb and felt like something had been broken inside. (My heart, of course.)

It's silly to feel so strongly about a TV show. It's silly to care so much for people that don't really exist. What's not silly, and actually extraordinary, is the way these characters on this particular show came to make me feel somehow more alive -- more awake to possibilities in my own life, and more aware of how precious and fleeting our time on this planet is. More grateful for being here, not dead, not cursed, and able, in the face of Angel's situation and comparative guiltfulness, to let go of a thousand stupid, small, accumulated past sins that had weighted me down (that fundamentalist Xstian upbringing will do it to you every time). When I say that watching Angel and using it as a tool to examine and heal myself saved me thousands in therapy, I'm in no way exaggerating.

For all his early mistakes, Angel had finally stared getting his priorities straight by the end. He was learning to let himself love, to trust, and to have faith in others. He might have signed away his Shanshu, but I believe he was closer to being human than he ever realized by the time they all went to face their fate in the alley. He never gave up, and that's something the fandom took to heart. There's a bit of Angel in all of us, and thinking back on what made me care about the show makes me want to be a better person in the world; I'm more willing to fight for the things I love and believe in now, and if it's silly to admit that a TV show about an ensouled, cursed vampire helped kindle that fire in me, then so be it. I found a wonderful online community of like-minded souls that has brought endless hours of entertainment and enlightenment and some great friendships that span the globe. That's a hell of a return on a weekly hour's-worth of tube time!

By Black Friday, I'd been lurking daily on WHEDONesque for close to a year; five days later, I joined. I wrote letters to studios and TV stations and networks, but I never wrote a letter to Joss, thanking him for everything. I just couldn't put my feelings into words. I still can't. But Joss? Thank you. Just ... damn. You know? And thank you, too, for continuing to share your dreams. They inspire and help so much more than you can know.
ah yes. that was a fun pre valentines day gift. i managed to keep it to myself, and not tell all of my friends until monday. no sense ruining their plans, right? the end of buffy was sad, but at least the writers had warning that the show was ending, unlike angel. the worst part of the cancelation for me was watching a show that has story arcs that usually use a whole season to really tell the story, and you could tell by how hurried they were towards the second half of season 5 that this just came out of nowhere. i want to know what the original season would have been like, and what next seasons arc was going to be. i also heard rumors of the return of Oz and Andrew. Andrew and Ilyria on the same show, damn you WB! i want to see that!
and of course to add firefly (which i saw on DVD not long before the 13th, and was all angry about.) and wonderfalls, and dead like me. it's like every show i like gets cancelled! i guess i should stick with csi's or cop and lawyer shows. no shortage there.

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