Much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer before it, I was late getting into Angel. And much like I caught up to Buffy thanks to FX running two episodes a day, I got my daily dose of Angel on TNT going through whole seasons in less than a month before catching up with the new airings on the network. Angel started out as just an extension of Buffy, not really noteworthy in itself the first couple season, but finally came into its own and truly because better with each passing seasons and that is why it is this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.
Please note this isn’t a post to try to capitalize on the annoying impotent vampire craze that is going on now (in fact it just shamelessly ties into a much bigger post being released this coming Tuesday, so be sure to come back then), because let’s face it; the title character was the least interesting on the show. The show was slow to start when it was just Angel, Cordelia and Doyle. But it finally hit its stride when Angel moved into the abandoned hotel and recruited what would end up being his core group by the end of the second season when Fred join Gunn, Wesley, Lorne in the cast.
And as good as that core group was in the beginning, the show went into overdrive in its fifth and final season. This is when Angel Investigations arch-nemesis Wolfram and Hart decided to give them the keys to their LA office for Angel to run and his buddies to get their own niche in the company. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that the season was the first in which creator Joss Whedon only had one show on the year and just came of a season that saw Buffy end and Firefly prematurely canceled.
The last season also saw the inclusion of comic relief courtesy of Harmony, a former classmate of Cordelia turned vampire as Angel’s receptionist at Wolfram and Hart. Not that the show needed more comic relief because even though Angel was routinely considered darker than Buffy, Buffy never had an episode as whimsical as when Angel got tuned into a puppet. And as tentative as I was as first as Spike joining the cast, it ending up a good thing if only for the astronaut vs. caveman debate. Not the mention the final season also saw a post-Firefly, pre-Chuck Adam Baldwin as the liaison to the Senior Partners.
But of course just when the show turned on its after burns in terms of creativity, the show got canceled. Yet somehow, the series finale with the gang opening up the gates of hell as repercussions of assassinate the Circle of the Black Crown was a satisfying ending in its ambiguity, and frustrating at the same time.