Inching closer to the top show, the third spot goes to…ANGEL.
Spun off from the popular cult series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel followed the adventures of the vampire with a soul. His mission was to help the helpless in the dank, seedy city of Los Angeles, an area I am quite familiar with. Along with battling actual monstrous demons and vampires, the titular character must also contend with his personal demons as well, repenting all the horrible crimes he committed during his reign prior to the events of Buffy. Along for the ride are a couple of allies, which expands as the series progresses. One of them being Cordelia Chase, the shallow, vain, self centered popular girl from the parent series.
Why should you watch this show?
Like its companion series, Angel successfully blended multiple genres into one show: horror, drama, gothic neo-noir, and comedy. All of this can be attributed to one man, Joss Whedon. His ability to create deft, three dimensional, fully realized characters and an intriguing storyline can be contributed to its popularity. Though the season initially struggled to find its footing, it eventually picked up as the season progressed and a more streamlined, serialized, overarching storyline was established that would eventually separate itself from the Buffy universe and in turn, made it one of the best shows that improved with every season, even, dare I say it, slightly better than its parent series. The one thing that established itself from Buffy was the look of the show. Showing the seediness of LA, the show naturally took on a dark environment and hue with the camera stock, and the way the show was shot is reminiscent of a film noir, but updated to modern times.
The dark tone of the series is evident with the ever evolving characters and multiple storylines. If you are familiar with Joss Whedon’s works, then you are familiar with his trademarks. With this show, it was no exception. The acting was superb and the writing was spot on with all the Whedon flair, especially with the dialogue. If you’ve never seen or heard of Angel, I suggest you start off with Buffy the Vampire Slayer first in order to fully understand the history behind the character.
Tune in to my next installment as I reveal the canceled December show (as mentioned in Part 1)!
NOTE: The entire five seasons are available as an interlibrary loan. Click on the links above to go directly to our catalog.