Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Angel: He's got soul, but he's not a soldier

I'm getting glimmering glimpses of why people are fans of the TV show Angel. I'm a little frustrated to admit that the show hasn't yet grabbed me yet as thoroughly as I'd hoped it would. But I'm sticking with it, because I've enjoyed and admired the other works Joss Whedon's been involved with, and I've seen enough signs of The Good to want to see more.

Just finished Angel Season One tonight, you see. I powered through the last half of the season these past few days (taking advantage of not working this week), and next I'll borrow Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 5 and finally watch it with the knowledge of what went on in Seasons 1 through 4 of that show; and after that, I'll borrow Angel Season 2, which ran at the same time as Buffy Season 5. (For those who didn't follow either program, Angel is a Buffy spinoff. Characters went between both shows.)

I got this vibe from Angel's first season of the characters not quite being twentysomethings, which they chronologically or at least spiritually are (for those who haven't seen it, Angel is a two century-old vampire who was turned into a vampire in his mid-20s), but as high school-age people playing "slightly older person" dress-up. I kept feeling a not-quite-grown-up feeling, which wasn't what I'd expected. I'll chalk that up to the show finding its legs during that first season. I've seen a few episodes from later on: I know it became more comfortable with itself, and more consistently amusing (I've seen "Smile Time," which is an episode that SHOULD NOT WORK BECAUSE THE BASIC IDEA'S RIDICULOUS but somehow it does), and I still think that the show promises to be one I'll really, overall, like a lot. (I tried getting into it when Season 2 was first on the air; I got to watch some of Buffy Season 5 at that time, too. I found the Angel continuity harder to get into, so I concentrated on Buffy. But digressed, I have.)

The arc for the character of Cordelia, I know, shows that "needing to grow up" thing: she's the youngest main character, if I read things right, and does a lot of maturing through the course of the show. She got more interesting and nuanced as Angel went on, just as she clearly grew up over her years on Buffy.

And I liked Gunn immediately when he showed up: gleefully playing with an already meaty role, whether in the dramatic moments of helping young people fight vampires or funnier but still dramatic moments (e.g. "Wow! Evil white people do have a Mecca!"). Was he going to be a main character when the show first introduced him?

I share yendi's annoyance with the cop character who Elisabeth Rohm played: she simply never clicks with the rest of the ensemble, like she's in a different show.

So. Eventually I'll watch that second season, and see what happens. Multnomah County Library has been good to me. Thanks for letting me borrow these, Library!
Tags: firefly/whedon

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