Angel

(49 votes, average 4.51 out of 5)
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Comments (32)
  • doctorwho3600
    Glad to see you finally got around to making this, your Buffy honest review was single-handedly what got me watching that show and I appreciate it.
    Glad to see you finally got around to making this, your Buffy honest review was single-handedly what got me watching that show and I appreciate it.
    Though I agree with most of what you said when it comes to the first three series, I disagree entirely on the fourth. Granted the Angelus/Faith/willow returning thing could be easily interpreted as ratings grab and that probably was the reason for their conception, I feel it for the most part added to the show as a whole. Faith received greater character development having to go against a foe she wasn't willing to kill for essentially the first time and her return led into one of the better parts of series 7 of Buffy. Angelus's return was not simply a ratings grab as you implied but also showcased the team having to act without their leader at a time of true catastrophe as opposed to his absences in the past when the audience was simply waiting for him to get his shit together. Furthermore, your point that Cordelia becoming a villain was just a dumb reason to keep her around I find to be completely invalid. You completely skipped over her long and complex arc going from seer->demon->agent of the powers->amnesiac->supposedly fine that made the entire thing plausible to begin with and left this as a legitimate twist rather than the writers making shit up. I agree Angelus taking down the beast was too easy though. Also, you stated that Angel had a tendency to establish strong female characters and never use them, of the three examples you gave for this, two were supposed to be in series six and their lack of presence was simply never rectified to account for the cancellation, and kate Lockley was originally going to have a much more complex arc but Elisabeth Rohm left to be on law and order leaving that impossible.

    Oh and about the comic book series, it only gets bad for a while, plow through the "last angel in hell" saga and things start to improve fast afterwards.
  • RavenStromdans
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    Great review, ERod. I actually like Angel better than Buffy, but I like both shows for very different reasons (although, being both Joss Whedon shows, those reasons crisscrossed from time to time).

    I agree that some of the best female characters were grossly underused; I would have loved to have seen more of Nina and Gwen Raiden in the series. Hell, in spite of the clusterfuck Season Four turned out to be, I wouldn't have minded seeing Faith become a more permanent member of the Angel team, rather than eventually heading back to Sunnydale, but that's as may be.

    Anyway, it was awesome to see one of my favorite series checked out with honest and loving detail, pulling little in the way of punches and giving credit where it's due. I salute you, sir!
  • Tal
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    Lord, I hated the 4th season. Thank Iliria the last season was so good. Particularly Smile Time, which set up the gut punch the next episode so painfully well, and the finale.
    "I want to slay the dragon."
  • unc
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    Good review. Shame you couldn't talk more about the ol' smurfy. Everything about the angry blue ancient was awesome.
  • StripesZB
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    I think I'll always remember one of the most awesome dialogue exchange from season 4:

    Willow: So how did you spend your summer?
    Cordelia: Higher being. You?
    Willow: Ultimate evil. But I got better.

    I love Angel, it's a great show. Thanks Eric.
  • Psychicllamakiller
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    i think the only "dumb reason to keep cordelia around" was the aforementioned ascension to higher being/possession by jasmine subplot, because what in the entire fuck? but other than that, i think you're way too harsh on cordelia - she may not have gotten all that much to do on buffy, but she developed into one of the show's best characters, and charisma carpenter's a lot more than just "not a bad actress"...which is one of the major reasons i hated the stupid season 4 subplot so much. she's a show regular for the first three seasons, a major part of the team for most of that, ultimately becomes one of the best and most fleshed-out characters and serves as the moral centre of the team....and then she turns evil, gets pregnant, murders a bunch of other characters and then promptly falls into a coma and fucks off for most of the rest of the series

    .....how in the....what....why would....

    ...you spend three seasons developing the character from a vain, shallow narcissist into the most moral member of angel investigations, one of the most determined, and, in her own way, arguably the strongest, at least mentally, and it was all leading to a completely left-field demonic possession and then her being unceremoniously dumped from the show???

    you do not treat major characters that way. you just don't
  • grkpektis
    I've seen several interviews where Cahrisma Carpenter admitted that she hated filming season 4 so much that she phoned in being evil on purpose it really damaged her realtionship with Joss for a while. Can you you really blame her they wanted her to have Cooner's baby how can she not phone that shit in. She can play a great villain look at her in Supernatural and Legend of the Seeker.
  • Gamer3427
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    Great review, I've been waiting for this ever since you did an Honest Review of Buffy, and I wasn't disappointed. I will say that oddly enough, while I feel Buffy had better story arcs and stand alone episodes, I much preferred the characters and action in Angel. This makes it a tough decision for me as to which series I like better, as they both had their ups and downs, and both were spectacular overall........

    Although, the one thing I am slightly disappointed by is the fact that you didn't show the Angel dancing scene from season 1, which I feel was one of the funniest moments of the entire series......
  • Uno
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    I never got past the second to last season in this series, so you've managed to inspire me to get through it. Something about Cordelia (sp) being the bad guy just made me want to throw up a little inside. It just makes no sense.
  • Guild Navigator
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    When this series came out I felt it was a bit of a ripoff of Forever Knight. But somehow I managed to watch most of season 1. As the following seasons aired and the parade of characters grew I stopped watching the series but would still catch an episode every now and then. Overall,I´d much rather watch Angel than all these fucking dark n' gritty series based around fairy tales are popping everywhere these days.
  • LordNifty
    First, season 4 sucked: Wesley was made too impressive (slicing a large demon in half... really?), Gunn was made too pathetic, Cordelia's character and performance were awful, Connor was Superboy Prime, Fred's breakup with Gunn and interest in Wesley was far too forced, and from what I understand, the writers of Angel actually didn't have a plan for the overall season storyline. However, I personally liked the episode "Home".

    And ERod: While I understand that you seem to want to make this review spoiler-free, I find it strange that you didn't mention ::spoiler warning:: Wesley's betrayal and Fred's transformation into Illyria. ::end spoiler:: Those were pretty significant events. Also, there could have been some mention of the Gunn/Fred relationship, as well as the Groo/Cordeila relationship. Overall, this review could have used more individual character analysis, but I guess this could help people get into this series.
  • busterkun
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    I had no idea how much hate there was for season four. Personally I enjoyed it a lot. Now I didn't see this show on tv but on net flicks, so that may have ironed out a few of the pacing issues people had. I remember how for a week I rushed home so I could finish watching it. It was like a ridiculous self aware soap opera, with amazing fight scenes. There was no way you could have seen most of the twists coming except for the fact that, spoiler alert, Corrdellia was possessed. Yes her acting was hollow, but it worked. She seemed like she wasn't herself, and guess what she wasn't. I'm not saying people are wrong though it's all subjective. I do however have to agree with the review and say that the last season was some of the best TV I have ever seen. I think the cancellation however was a blessing in disguise. I don't think they could have done the final battle justice with how small of a budget they had.
  • Lazaruss
    I disagree with you BB. I liked season 4 the most. True, Cordelia being the evil mastermind was a dumb thing to do, but i liked it all the same. The evil they were facing had them chasing around not knowing what to do. They were outclassed and out matched in force and brains. And i loved Jasmin as the villain.
  • Rimmer
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    Angel: Hey, Wes. I just... I want you to know I understand why you did it. I know about the prophecies and I know how hard it must have been for you to... do what you did. You thought I was gonna turn evil and kill my son. I didn't. It's important you know that. This isn't Angelus talking. It's me, Angel. You know that, right? Good. SON OF A BITCH YOU'RE GONNA PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID! YOU TOOK MY SON! YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU BASTARD! YOU THINK I'D FORGIVE YOU? NEVER! YOU'RE GONNA DIE! YOU HEAR ME? YOU'RE GONNA PAY! YOU TOOK MY SON! YOU TOOK MY SON! I'LL KILL YOU! YOU'RE DEAD! YOU'RE A DEAD MAN, PRYCE! YOU'RE DEAD! I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU! YOU'RE A DEAD MAN! DEAD! DEAD!



    This is still the most shocking scene I've ever seen in any movie, TV series or book. And yeah, that includes stuff written by George R.R. Martin and such. My heart was beating like a drum when the credits rolled on that episode.
  • Strider_Reborn  - "Repetitve writing style..."
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    There was a point in my life where I use to watch Buffy & Angel Religiously but as I got older I grew cynical toward Joss Whedon's repetitve writing style where He tends to make us love certain characters only to randomly kill them off or hurt them later on in terrible and depressing ways like George R.R. Martin or Robert Kirkman. It was great in my youth but to Quote Foamy the Squirrel:"I watch TV to Escape from reality, not to be reminded of it!" I learned to be less depressed by avoiding all drama in real life and in fiction Just so I can lead a happier life.

    This Article fully represents everything people Critique about Joss. This is the Director of the Avengers Movies Folks!!

    http://tinyurl.com/ yjvfc4m
  • houiostesmoiras  - Reason Angel got cancelled
    Time to be a nitpicky fanboy: The reason Angel got cancelled was basically over a minor misunderstanding and bad timing on Joss's part:

    http://www.blastr.com/ 2013-9-9/little-known- sci-fi-fact-how-whedon- accidentally-got-angel- canceled

    Sorry, but I literally just read that yesterday. Anyway, pretty good description overall, even if I don't always agree with all of your opinions. Makes me want to go back and rewatch the show.
  • bobbi21
    I wasn't a huge fan of Angel. The darla stuff was pretty good but I agree that the stuff with connor and then season 4 was pretty horrible. Season 5 was awesome though. Spike became my favourite character on Buffy and even though this was really a cheap way to get ratings, like you said, he was a great addition.

    And like you said, the ending "cliffhanger" was the whole point of the series. Fight the good fight. I actually like to think they really all died there and ignore the comics since it really brings home the point of that episode, they were doing this knowing it was a suicide mission. Takes some of that away if they lived.
  • leviadragon99
    avatar
    Gonna have to disagree with you on the alleged dumbness of the reason for bringing Cordelia into Angel and (most of those) for keeping her there, having the silver spoon suddenly yanked out of someone's mouth has a way of causing them to re-asses things and try to decide anew what they're going to do with their life, potentially not realistic in those new aspirations as they've been a little sheltered beforehand, trying to reach for or cling to any opportunity they can find, plus she definitely grew into her role (a role which also evolved) as the seasons progressed, it really just seems like you've got some kind of grudge against her dude.
  • EvilAshTwin
    "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine......"
    *dramatic look*

    This scene simultaneously scare the crap out of me and broke my heart. This scene is easily the biggest heartbreaker of the series. I put this up there with Buffy finding Joyce dead on the couch. I think the single biggest disservice you've committed to this retrospective is not mention it.

    I know you wanted a spoiler free show, however in doing so you've glossed over the reasons why certain things happened. Why "Cordelia" was the villain of Season 4. Why Wesley goes from good-hearted comic relief to the uber serious badass in the span of half a season.

    As of 2014, Angel has been off the air for 11 years. I think by this point it's ok to talk about the show in its entirety without having to walk in eggshells in fear of spoiling something for someone who hasn't seen it. Spoiler warnings at the beginning of the show, and again when you divulge into specific information is more than polite enough by this point.
  • MeskalInAcid
    Damn, I completely lost interest in this show after the 4th season. I did try to watch the 5th season, but I dunno, the magic was lost, and I thought I'd watch it later. And that was quite a few years back.
  • MightyDavidson
    I tried to pay attention to the 5th season as well, but I could not get over the idea of them working for Wolfram and Hart. It just seemed to me like something that had bad idea written all over it and that Angel and co were stupid for agreeing to it.
  • Rmeddy
    Even though I agree most season 4 was arbitrary, I love the main villain and the ending, it was really clever and novel to have a villain like that and to go with that ending.
  • cattz
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    Wow, almost exactly the same with our viewpoints, like how much season 4 sucked, while season 5 was sooooo freaking good.

    Hell, I think the only reason I gave Angel a chance was because I saw some of the more random season 5 episodes being re-run one morning and freaking loved them.

    The only thing I disagreed with was using "whats his name" (I know I know) from the 1st season instead of Lorn as the best character really.

    It's just such a shame season 4 was so bad, when season 5 was so freaking good.
  • firefly4f4
    You never did answer the question I really wanted you to answer, the one EVERY Angel fan I know of asks themselves:

    Winifred or Illyria?
  • TheaKaran
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    Illyria was a very interesting character, but personally I liked Wesley/Fred, and I didn't think there was much point to her being in the show.
  • Makiki  - I for one really liked season 4
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    I know it's an unpopular opinion, and I won't say it's without flaw. The whole Connor/Cordy thing was disgusting, and Jasmine's so-called "plan" only makes sense if you view it the way I do. But I liked seeing Faith again, and having Willow drop in made sense.

    What I saw in it was an indictment of religion in general and Christianity in particular. The season-long plot followed the steps of the biblical Armageddon and culminated in the second coming of a "savior." But despite all that it turned out the savior was nothing but a lie, a disgusting fiction that promised peace while it fed on lives. Angel Investigations won by opening everyone's eyes to the truth.

    This is all subtext, and I admit I mostly like it because it supports my personal beliefs. Nevertheless this is why I don't believe it was meandering or random.
  • TheaKaran  - I liked Cordelia, but I generally agree with you
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    You know, I actually liked Cordelia and I think she developed into a great 3D character and developed chemistry with Angel too, I would've loved to see them together. I freaking hated season 4, I thought it was ridiculously stupid and half the time I couldn't even believe what I was seeing. Cordelia as a villain?! Please! And I don't really Connor as a character either. I think it would've been much more interesting if Angel had a daughter, but that's mostly because I hate the Conner/Cordelia shipping that was hilariously bad. She was the closest thing to a mother he had, wtf?
  • Einsam
    avatar
    there needs to be a angel movie just for the end battle
  • WhoDoctorWho  - My Fan Cast For Buffy
    Erod What Do You Think
    Jennifer Lawrence As Buffy
    Emma Watson As Willo
    Andrew Garfield As Xander
    Vigo Mortensen As Giles
    Tom Hardy As Angel
    Ron Perlman As The Master
    Dominic Monahan As Spike
    Brian Cranson As The Mayor
    Derek Mears As ADAM
    Charlize Theron As Glory
    Chrisopher Mintz Plasse As Warren
    I Cant Cast Calab
  • LilacElf82
    avatar
    If you like Buffy and Angel, then you need to check out the TV show Supernatural. I definitely think you'd get a kick out of it
  • SchrodingersCat  - That Soul Thing
    Yeeeah...no.
    If having a soul prevented one from being evil, then there wouldn't be any evil people.
    (if you believe in souls).
    If a lack of a soul prevented one from being good, then we wouldn't be hearing stories in the news like "Hero dog rescues family from burning house, then goes back inside and rescues kittens".

    And besides, isn't the position of most major religions, that you ARE your soul?
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