Angel… David Boreanaz
Cordelia Chase… Charisma Carpenter
Doyle… Glenn Quinn
Wesley Wyndham-Price… Alexis Denisof
Charles Gunn… J. August Richards
Winifred “Fred” Burkle… Amy Acker
The Host… Andy Hallett
Connor… Vincent Kartheiser
Spike… James Marsters
Genre: Supernatural, Action, Fantasy, Horror, Comedy, Satire
GUNN: You wanna give us your evil law firm? We ain’t lawyers!
FRED: Or evil. Currently.
— “Home” (04.22)
This spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring most everybody’s favorite vampire-with-a-soul, Angel, sees the leather-clad one’s search for redemption take him to Los Angeles, where he helps the helpless alongside some fellow Buffy imports also in need of redemption, and a few new friends besides. Not only does Angel expand of the universe’s mythology in many new and interesting ways, it takes us to alternate dimensions (“Numfar, do the Dance of Shame!”) and pointedly explores the darker side of humanity under the guise of the demonic. Plus, there’s karaoke. And robot ninjas!
Why It’s Must-See: It’s that rare spin-off that, at times, surpasses the original.
UST Factor: Very high. VERY.
Cancellation: This cancellation was very weird, given that the show had mostly improved in ratings across Season 5. On the other hand, having the group take over their evil nemesis law firm at the end of Season 4 did make things tricky, because while the change turned out to be utterly awesome, how to explain to a non-Angel-phile that the show went from supernatural crime solving to some kind of paranormal legal drama? Network execs clearly didn’t get it any more than this hypothetical dumbass.
And Then What? In addition to the canonical IDW comic series After the Fall, not to mention its multiple spin-offs, there are also Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 (etc.) and Angel and Faith comics.
Fan Collective Noun: Fans of Angel are certainly Whedonites, in the Kingdom of Buffonia, but sadly do not have a moniker all their own.
Fandom Hall of Fame: It is nothing new, or even remarkable, for a fan to get a tattoo related to their favourite show on their body. But the guy who got a tattoo of Puppet Angel from “Smile Time” (S05E14) on one arm, and then on the other got one of Puppet Angel vamped out? Amazing.
Notable Merchandise: There is an enormous assortment of action figures, Christmas tree ornaments, and, well, everything a logo can be printed onto. There are also card, board and a Role Playing games, because, of course.
On the Page: There are dozens of Angel novels, hundreds of comics and several weighty explorations of the show’s deeper themes, such as Five Seasons of Angel: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Vampire. A monthly magazine ran from 2003 – 2005, and then was incorporated into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer title.
Did You Know? In total, eighteen actors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer reprised their roles on Angel, but no character originating on Angel ever made the opposite trip.