The Film Studio Says: A centuries-old vampire cursed with a conscience, Angel (David Boreanaz) has left the small California town of Sunnydale and the only woman he ever loved to take up residence in the City of Angels. Between the pervasive evil and countless temptations lurking beneath the city’s glittering facade, Los Angeles proves to be the ideal address for a fallen vampire looking to save a few lost souls and, in turn, perhaps redeem his own by restoring hope to those locked in a losing battle with their own demons. Angel’s solitary existence is disrupted when he crosses paths with another Sunnydale escapee, Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), who has come to Los Angeles with high hopes of living the glamorous Hollywood dream. A struggling actress who isn’t afraid of anything except someone not recognizing her as the talented soon-to-be-star that she is, Cordelia finds L.A. and the path to stardom to be rockier than she anticipated. The two discover that they need each other: she for a protective hand in a dangerous city, and he for someone with a little moxie to keep him afloat. They are joined by Doyle (Glenn Quinn), a disreputable spiritual mentor who has been sent by The Powers That Be, a mysterious and powerful force trying to make things right. A half-human, half-something else altogether whose charge is to keep a balance between good and evil, he will guide Angel on his path to redemption, although he would generally rather be at the racetrack. Doyle’s vision provides very little information beyond a name or face, so it is up to Angel to reach out to people, become involved in their lives to learn how, why and from whom they need saving. No longer can he simply hide in the shadows; Angel needs to connect with people and let them into his heart to show that there’s hope in this world – and hope for him.
The Good: Angel is often dismissed because it is a spin-off from Buffy. It’s unfair. Angel is darker and more raw than its parent show. Angel is in L.A. protecting the mortals from all the evil that lurks in the night. His detective agency is out of the ordinary with the vampire running the show and Cordelia as his sidekick.
It might have been hard for Angel’s series to make it on its own during the first season as many of the Buffy contingent show up on his turf. It’s all marketing and apparently it worked.
Good extras with wonderful commentaries, interviews, explanations as to characters, and crossovers. If you are interested there are scripts and fun features.
The Bad: Depending upon taste, some Buffy fans dislike Angel and this series. Others find it a nice addition to their Buffy collection. It might occasionally be too angst riddled.
Frankly: Angel is fun to watch. It’s not as fun or as well written as Buffy, but don’t write it off.
+ charlie craine