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Angel as a TV show Good or Bad or just ok ?

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  • Angel as a TV show Good or Bad or just ok ?

    Since Chipperish have finished Ats. It got me wondering what people here think of Angel the show. Good or bad or just ok. Lani's comment that its Highs were high but its lows were low is interesting. While Kelly Jones called it a great First Draft but needed rewrites. I think the show had to deal with some contradictory stuff. It's meant to be the broody loner Vampire, yet he has a big group of friends, so that doesn't really work.


    While this is generalizing and not completely accurate. For me as a show Angel could have great half seasons but never keep that quality throughout.

    Like the first half of Angel S1 (The great Somnbullist aside) is mediocre but the second (the awful Expecting and She aside) is really great particularly the Faith episodes.
    The first half of S2 is arguably the best run of either show with the Climax in Reunion. The second half is just ego self indulgence by Joss with the whole Pylea nonsense.
    S3 has Darlas death and the birth of Dark Wesley but the rest of the season is ......
    S4 could combine both good and bad in the same episodes. One example is The Faith episodes which had Faith and she was great but they also had Angelus and he was awful.
    S5 the first half Destiny and Damage aside is so so yet kicks into gear with Fred's death and Illyria.

    While BtVs could exist without Ats Could Angel as a show exist without BtVS ?

    Anyway what are other people's thoughts on the show ?

  • #2
    I'd agree with Lani, the highs are high but the lows are just awful. I like the show, and some episodes I absolutely love, but overall I don't think it's as great as it could be. It was very lucky to have been a BtVS spin-off, in that it had a ready-made audience of fans and I think it could have suffered without that.

    It suffers from having a very taciturn lead character. Here is a man (vampire) who broods a lot, who doesn't speak about his feelings, hides away from the world etc. etc. He's very handsome, could be describes as charismatic, but he's not a great watch. That's why he has to have a great cast who are emotional and empathetic and, frankly, lively As a character Angel improves, but the more he opens up, the more watchable he becomes, the more the rest of the cast suffers. Especially the female characters, who eventually are only used to showcase male pain.

    Still a good show, with some amazing characters, especially Cordy (and I know some of you love Wesley, so . . . ) But Gunn and Lorne were never central and never given enough to do. Fred could have been more interesting than she was.

    Good show, some great moments, but one that I will always list as one of my favourites because it continues the story of BtVS characters. I like it the same way I like the comics - more Buffyverse is always a plus.

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    • #3
      I'd say okay show but I only watched it for its connections to the buffyverse.


      “I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”

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      • #4
        I liked it. If I don't like something, I switch it off and forget about it (Lost after the first episode; Breaking Bad after three seasons; Jennifer Jones halfway through S1; Runaways after S1). I don't think in terms of "good/bad" episodes. If I like a series I'm prepared to find something good in every episode.

        Could Angel as a show exist without BtVS ?
        Don't see why not - although you'd probably need a couple of episodes explaining the back story. It probably wouldn't have been as popular had it not been a BtVS spinoff. As @Priceless says, it had a ready-made group of fans.

        I watched both when they first aired and I can't remember which I preferred. I like Angel's ensemble cast more so than Buffy's (with the exception of VK who I don't like - period. He's got a very smug face that cries out to be slapped).
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Priceless View Post
          I'd agree with Lani, the highs are high but the lows are just awful. I like the show, and some episodes I absolutely love, but overall I don't think it's as great as it could be. It was very lucky to have been a BtVS spin-off, in that it had a ready-made audience of fans and I think it could have suffered without that.

          It suffers from having a very taciturn lead character. Here is a man (vampire) who broods a lot, who doesn't speak about his feelings, hides away from the world etc. etc. He's very handsome, could be describes as charismatic, but he's not a great watch. That's why he has to have a great cast who are emotional and empathetic and, frankly, lively As a character Angel improves, but the more he opens up, the more watchable he becomes, the more the rest of the cast suffers. Especially the female characters, who eventually are only used to showcase male pain.

          Still a good show, with some amazing characters, especially Cordy (and I know some of you love Wesley, so . . . ) But Gunn and Lorne were never central and never given enough to do. Fred could have been more interesting than she was.

          Good show, some great moments, but one that I will always list as one of my favourites because it continues the story of BtVS characters. I like it the same way I like the comics - more Buffyverse is always a plus.
          Regards the Lead being broody and Taciturn. You're not wrong. Though the original format of the show with a Victim of the Week that Angel Saves and Monster he kills is more designed for that. More an Action rather than Acting role, when they changed the format of the show to being about Angel's own journey that is when it was changed. They enlarged the cast with Gunn (who they didn't know what to do with for awhile) and Fred then Lorne/Connor and Spike

          - - - Updated - - -

          Originally posted by TriBel View Post
          I liked it. If I don't like something, I switch it off and forget about it (Lost after the first episode; Breaking Bad after three seasons; Jennifer Jones halfway through S1; Runaways after S1). I don't think in terms of "good/bad" episodes. If I like a series I'm prepared to find something good in every episode.



          Don't see why not - although you'd probably need a couple of episodes explaining the back story. It probably wouldn't have been as popular had it not been a BtVS spinoff. As @Priceless says, it had a ready-made group of fans.

          I watched both when they first aired and I can't remember which I preferred. I like Angel's ensemble cast more so than Buffy's (with the exception of VK who I don't like - period. He's got a very smug face that cries out to be slapped).
          To be fair to VK he has been very open that he thought his character was a failure on the show and that Spike did a much better job.

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          • #6
            Regards the Lead being broody and Taciturn. You're not wrong. Though the original format of the show with a Victim of the Week that Angel Saves and Monster he kills is more designed for that. More an Action rather than Acting role, when they changed the format of the show to being about Angel's own journey that is when it was changed. They enlarged the cast with Gunn (who they didn't know what to do with for awhile) and Fred then Lorne/Connor and Spike
            You see I'm not convinced that Joss Whedon would have agreed to make that 'motw' action hero show, without any depth. That isn't his style at all. Or if he did sign up for such a show, he had plans from day one to expand the universe and create something bigger and better than that.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Priceless View Post
              You see I'm not convinced that Joss Whedon would have agreed to make that 'motw' action hero show, without any depth. That isn't his style at all. Or if he did sign up for such a show, he had plans from day one to expand the universe and create something bigger and better than that.
              He did he says it on the City of Commentary while admitting Angel saving the girls in a dark alley scene is the antithesis of Buffy.
              On the Overview he says it was the episode Eternity when he gets its and there not making anthologies

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              • #8
                All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




                * Angel is a great show compared to other TV shows. I don't understand how any BtVS viewers could consider Angel a bad TV series.


                * It's simply fact that Angel couldn't exist without BtVS. It was only greenlit to make Joss Whedon happy. The only reason Charisma Carpenter is second lead is because David Greenwalt created Angel the character and wanted Cordelia Chase as second lead. After Doyle, the main 3 characters are always BtVS characters: Angel, Cordelia, Wesley and then Angel, Spike, Wesley.

                Angel S1 had BtVS guest stars such as Buffy, Spike, Faith, and Oz.

                Angel S2 had BtVS guest stars such as Drusilla.

                Etc.


                * There's simply too much BtVS backstory for Angel to exist without being a spin-off. The only reason we care about Angel is because of Buffy/Angel. And Buffy/Angel was in the zeitgeist and popular culture.

                When Faith appears, we know who she is given Eliza Dushku's career since being on BtVS is that she played Faith.

                The Shanshu Prophecy thing is about Buffy/Angel. Angel/Cordelia couldn't actually happen because the Angel viewers wanted Buffy/Angel. The whole Jasmine thing is largely simply to appease the outrages of Angel given BtVS: Angel/Darla, Cordelia becoming more powerful than Buffy and Willow, Cordelia becoming a higher power, Angel's hotel while Buffy is desperate for money and Spike is living like a homeless person, etc.

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                • #9
                  I don't think it ever had the recipe to be as good a show as BtVS, although it has its moments. It really suffers from the standard spinoff problem of being constricted (or choosing to ignore) by inconvenient aspects of the original's canon. The most important of these is probably the public obliviousness established by BtVS. Vampires hiding behind authority figures to get away with sneaky crimes? Sure, I can buy that. 99.99% of the public failing to notice that vampires are overrunning large swathes of L.A. and publicly getting dusted by street gangsters with stakes on their pickups? Nope. People get hysterical enough over inner-city drug dens, let alone vampire nests.

                  If you view Angel outside the greater B-verse lens, it's not as ridiculous. The early seasons' depiction of a semi-lawless city is at odds with the plummeting crime rates of the era, which has always made the "Angel constantly has to fight muggers/demons/rapists/whatever" aspect of the show feel silly to me. OTOH, the idea that Lawful Evil entities could be using the supposed forces of good as their cover to dominate an outwardly-normal city is creepy. When the writers use that angle, it makes for some interesting antagonists, like Lindsey and Lilah.

                  Maybe the series' biggest gift is giving actors who did great but brief work on BtVS more screen time. Alexis Denisof was as good as most Emmy nominees; Eliza Dushku made me care about Faith for the first time; Julie Benz and Juliet Landau also make the most of their characters' tragic backstories and pitch-black comedy. And, of course, you have the talented newbies like Christian Kane.

                  The leads were... less-great. While David Boreanaz was competent enough to paint Angel's major character shifts in broad strokes, he couldn't deliver the multiple emotions and nuance that SMG brought to Buffy. Charisma Carpenter never seemed to find the balance between Cordy's character's fake and real emotions, either. James Marsters did his best with an iteration of Spike that the writers seemed determined to make unrecognizable from his BtVS days.

                  Overall... Meh? There are a handful of great episodes, but most of them lack rewatch value.
                  Last edited by ghoststar; 16-01-20, 02:44 AM. Reason: Stated most significant example of change from BtVS canon

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ghoststar View Post
                    I don't think it ever had the recipe to be as good a show as BtVS, although it has its moments. It really suffers from the standard spinoff problem of being constricted (or choosing to ignore) by inconvenient aspects of the original's canon. The most important of these is probably the public obliviousness established by BtVS. Vampires hiding behind authority figures to get away with sneaky crimes? Sure, I can buy that. 99.99% of the public failing to notice that vampires are overrunning large swathes of L.A. and publicly getting dusted by street gangsters with stakes on their pickups? Nope. People get hysterical enough over inner-city drug dens, let alone vampire nests.

                    If you view Angel outside the greater B-verse lens, it's not as ridiculous. The early seasons' depiction of a semi-lawless city is at odds with the plummeting crime rates of the era, which has always made the "Angel constantly has to fight muggers/demons/rapists/whatever" aspect of the show feel silly to me. OTOH, the idea that Lawful Evil entities could be using the supposed forces of good as their cover to dominate an outwardly-normal city is creepy. When the writers use that angle, it makes for some interesting antagonists, like Lindsey and Lilah.

                    Maybe the series' biggest gift is giving actors who did great but brief work on BtVS more screen time. Alexis Denisof was as good as most Emmy nominees; Eliza Dushku made me care about Faith for the first time; Julie Benz and Juliet Landau also make the most of their characters' tragic backstories and pitch-black comedy. And, of course, you have the talented newbies like Christian Kane.

                    The leads were... less-great. While David Boreanaz was competent enough to paint Angel's major character shifts in broad strokes, he couldn't deliver the multiple emotions and nuance that SMG brought to Buffy. Charisma Carpenter never seemed to find the balance between Cordy's character's fake and real emotions, either. James Marsters did his best with an iteration of Spike that the writers seemed determined to make unrecognizable from his BtVS days.

                    Overall... Meh? There are a handful of great episodes, but most of them lack rewatch value.
                    Which episodes are the ones you consider of rewatch value out of interest ?

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




                    * Angel is a great show compared to other TV shows. I don't understand how any BtVS viewers could consider Angel a bad TV series.


                    * It's simply fact that Angel couldn't exist without BtVS. It was only greenlit to make Joss Whedon happy. The only reason Charisma Carpenter is second lead is because David Greenwalt created Angel the character and wanted Cordelia Chase as second lead. After Doyle, the main 3 characters are always BtVS characters: Angel, Cordelia, Wesley and then Angel, Spike, Wesley.

                    Angel S1 had BtVS guest stars such as Buffy, Spike, Faith, and Oz.

                    Angel S2 had BtVS guest stars such as Drusilla.

                    Etc.


                    * There's simply too much BtVS backstory for Angel to exist without being a spin-off. The only reason we care about Angel is because of Buffy/Angel. And Buffy/Angel was in the zeitgeist and popular culture.

                    When Faith appears, we know who she is given Eliza Dushku's career since being on BtVS is that she played Faith.

                    The Shanshu Prophecy thing is about Buffy/Angel. Angel/Cordelia couldn't actually happen because the Angel viewers wanted Buffy/Angel. The whole Jasmine thing is largely simply to appease the outrages of Angel given BtVS: Angel/Darla, Cordelia becoming more powerful than Buffy and Willow, Cordelia becoming a higher power, Angel's hotel while Buffy is desperate for money and Spike is living like a homeless person, etc.
                    Sorry Mike I'm not sure what you mean. Are you saying that the Jasmine arc is to appease fans for doing Angel/Darla and making Cordelia powerful ?
                    Also what has Spike being homeless and Buffy desperate for money got to do with it ?

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                    • #11
                      I know we've all seen it before, but I think POTN is pretty eloquaent on why we should watch this show.

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                      • #12
                        Vampires hiding behind authority figures to get away with sneaky crimes? Sure, I can buy that. 99.99% of the public failing to notice that vampires are overrunning large swathes of L.A. and publicly getting dusted by street gangsters with stakes on their pickups? Nope. People get hysterical enough over inner-city drug dens, let alone vampire nests.
                        I don't have a problem with that. Joe Public being oblivious to the horrors happening in front of them is part of the Noir detective tradition the series draws on. In fact, I find it more unbelievable in Sunnydale.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          So much happens in plain sight that people choose to ignore, for whatever reason.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                            So much happens in plain sight that people choose to ignore, for whatever reason.
                            I think it was Georg Simmel in Metropolis and Mental Life who points out that if we worried about everything that happens in a city we'd go bananas (he didn't quite put it like that but you get my point). The basis of relationships in a city is different than that of a small town (Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft - I'm not quite sure what SD is but it's not LA). If your neighbour of 15 years disappears in SD you should notice. If your neighbour on a short term tenancy in LA disappears you don't. You probably never even met them 'cos you both work different shifts.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Personally I'd say great.

                              I think that what holds Angel back is that it's often times judged for being a spin-off to Buffy instead of being judged as a show in it's own right.
                              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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