Friday, September 10, 2010

Angel’s End

Last night, I finally finished watching the entire 5 seasons of Angel .

Overall, I have to give the series a big thumbs up.

Mind you, it did have its share of misfires. But in the end, I have to say that the “good” far outweighed the “bad”, to make an enjoyable summer’s viewing.

Even though the series has been cancelled for 5 years now, I still don’t want to give away TOO many spoilers, but I WILL try to give my brief thoughts on each season.

Be warned, however: If you don’t want ANY spoilers, best stop reading now.

Season 1

At the start of the show, we find Angel, now living in Los Angeles, meeting up Cordilia, who has also escaped from Sunnydale. Along with their new friend Doyle, they start up a detective agency to “Help the Helpless”.

I found this start-up season pretty uneven. For every good episode, there was an equally dopey one to go along with it. After Doyle’s surprising death halfway through the season, I DID find that the show really started to find its footing, particularly when Wesley joined the cast.

Season 2

Season 2 finds the crew abandoning their office as their base of operations, and moving into the old run-down Hyperion hotel.

I thought that for the most part, this season was about as hit-or-miss as the first, but the inclusion of the Darla storyline really started to get the show grounded and provide a good, ongoing story. Plus, Julie Benz is one hot bitch.

I would rate this season higher, if it were not for the abysmally stupid finale, which sent the group embarrassing themselves in the demon-world of Pylea. I could barely sit through those final episodes.

Season 3

I felt that this was where the show really started to hit its stride. It is also, not surprisingly, where the show went from mostly campy, to very, very dark. The Connor storyline, that dealt with Angel’s child being kidnapped, and Wesley betraying the team, really surprised me with how good it was.

It was during this season that I REALLY started to see just how amazing an actor Alexis Denisof is. He really blew me away with some of his more dramatic moments. He was hands-down the star of this show for me, and in my opinion has proven to have more talent than the rest of the cast combined.

This season was probably my favorite, and one reason why was the OUTSTANDING finale, which found Connor, thinking his father killed Holtz, putting Angel in a coffin and burying him at sea.

Season 4

The show picked right up from where it left off, with Wesley saving Angel and the group beginning to put themselves back together again. I thought this season was stellar, as well. Between Cordelia turning evil, Connor’s angst, and Jasmine the goddess trying to convert the world, I found this season to be great fun.

Season 5

I’ve heard a lot of praise about season 5, but except for some shining exceptions, I just didn’t see it.

Angel and his posse take over the evil law office of Wolfram and Hart, and try to use its power for good. I LOVE the concept, but I just felt that it was executed sloppily. Perhaps it’s because that the show was unexpectedly announced as cancelled early in the season, forcing Joss Whedan to go into hyper drive in an attempt to finish the story before the year ended, but the stories just seemed hastily executed to me. I guess my biggest problem with most of it was that many major plot points were just not explained all that well. They routinely mentioned things that had barely been touched upon. I kept going back through my Netflix queue to make sure I hadn’t skipped over an episode.

That said, I thought that the Illiria storyline was excellent, and I found the final episode, to be every bit as dark, depressing, and just plain AWESOME that I had heard it was.

So, that’s it. I’m glad I finally watched it, completing my immersion with anything having to do with Joss Whedan, who, while I wouldn’t go gay for, I just might give him a slap on the ass to show him my appreciation.

As you might remember, this summer I vowed to get through both Angel, and The Wire, in its entirety. The Wire is taking me slightly longer than expected, but I’m almost done with season 4 and moving along nicely. The show is the shit! I’ll report on that one when I’m done.


Cocaine Princess said...

I watched the entire series of Buffy but for some reason never could get into Angel.

sybil law said...

I think I pretty much agree with your review of Angel.
Never seen the Wire. I can barely keep up with the shows I watch now!

Jill said...

So for those of us with not much time and who don't sit well through entire episodes much less series...start with season three you say?? ;-) :-) :-)

Verdant Earl said...

See, the thing to remember about Season 5 is that it wasn't what Joss actually wanted to do. He found out halfway thru (I think) that the show had not been re-upped. So he had to work overtime to try to tie up loose ends (not always successful) and make the finale he wanted to make. It was great (the finale), but it felt extremely rushed to me. The Buffy finale is still better. Same with the final season. But I did love the last 6-7 episodes of Angel Season 5. I would have liked more of that.

Marlene said...

My 19 year old absolutely lived for this show. Of course, that may have had something to do with the fact that she's madly in love with David whatshisface.

Faiqa said...

You are CLEARLY taking crazy pills. Season 4 was crap and Season 5 ROCKED! And my opinion matters more because I've watched all five seasons, like, twenty times.

Heff said...

Oh, I'm sorry....

I thought the post title was "Anal End"

(with NO edu regarding this post, stepping out - not so gracefully...)

meleah rebeccah said...

You know, I don't think I have ever watched that show. I used to watch Buffy, but I never did see Angel.