IHAF is exactly what it seems like … ok, maybe it isn’t the easiest to decipher acronym. It stands for “I Have a Favorite.” The purpose of these little articles is so I can talk about other things that I love. I try to keep IHAO to my first true impressions on things to review, but IHAF will let me chat about something I absolutely love and just want to share with you all. Everything I talk about on an IHAF will be something I grade A+++. With all that said, here we go …
I Have a Favorite (television show) ... Angel
For the past few weeks, I’ve been going from episode one through the entire show with my wife, who hadn't seen any of it other than an episode here or there on syndication. We just finished season 3. It is always a little hard to share something you love with someone you love, because if they don’t like it … well, that doesn’t matter, because she likes it a lot. :D
Angel is the spin-off from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It became its own show very quickly without Buffy, though, and a stronger one, in my opinion. The show starts as a take on a “dark avenger” Batman style hero, with Angel helping save people from the dark things in LA. It slowly starts to delving into deeper ideas, though, as the line between what is “evil” and what is “good” gets blurred. In the first episode we are introduced to a villainous law firm of humans, sure, but most already are fine with the conceit of evil lawyers. But soon, we find demons who need saving, humans who aren’t what they seem, and Gunn, a man who is just as powerful and competent as our vampire protagonist.
It quickly became a very character driven, arching story show that never held anything back. The arching stories are amazing, and the show never shied away from doing something difficult and letting characters go through difficult journeys. I love the show, absolutely.
We are actually about to get into my least favorite season with my least favorite new season regular, which is what prompted me to talk about Angel. Even at the lowest point of my favorite show, I am remembering all the things I love even in those terrible low points. At Angel’s lowest, it is still stronger than most shows. I compare it to shows like Supernatural or Buffy, and it shocks me to see how little fluff or pure episodic episodes there are. Every story, every episode, it has a point and a purpose furthering the plot and the arcs of these characters. Fred, Gunn, Cordy, Wesley, Angel, Lorne, all of these are full fleshed out characters. They never become flanderized, like Sam has in Supernatural or Charlie has in It’s Always Sunny in Philedelphia.
How should I feel? I'll just do all the feelings and see which one sticks.
Talking about how good a Whedon show is may seem pointless, but I really do think that Angel doesn’t get enough attention when it comes to being an amazing show. Buffy, while good, even possibly great, never delved into the story strengths that Angel did, and its characters were nowhere near as full and complex. Firefly, while fun, is basically a series of standalones since it did not have a chance to get going. Dollhouse, while very very good, also didn’t hit its stride until it got rid of its episodic nature, which it never could truly shake. If Angel has missed your radar, I definitely would suggest you give it a look.