The Angel series finale aired last night, and I believe my brief love affair for network television ended as well. Joss Whedon set the bar high, and I don’t think we’ll be getting anything that good for awhile (except on HBO).
I used to mock Buffy watchers in college until my roommate sat me down and made me watch one. I was hooked from then on, eventually converting my skeptical wife as well. When Angel became a spin-off, I didn’t have high hopes; spin-offs usually do badly. This show was around for a lot longer than I thought, and no other show constantly surprised me as much. Beloved cast members died or turned evil, evil characters came back to search for redemption, and through it all, there was an amazing sense of humor in the darkness. There was actual growth and depth to these characters, and you never knew if they were going to be bumped off or not because if you die in a Whedon show, youíre really dead; you don’t come back.
If Buffy was all about growing up through high school, Angel was about finding your place in a very crappy world. That is probably one of the reasons I loved it so much as I was going through that same journey myself being right out of college.
This season found the team trying to change the system from within, failing miserably, and the grim realization that their last sacrifice won’t amount to a whole lot in the greater scheme of things. The Toronto Star has an excellent write up on the series finale, and goes more into why the show was great.
In a semi-related note, Christian and I were flipping through Joss Whedon’s new comic project, the Astonishing X-Men. After so many years of re-launches,”all-new, all-different” storylines, and an on-going fascination of characters’ pervert suits/costume changes to facilitate a crappy toy line, we both decided that sometimes, even with great art and a proven writer, it isn’t worth it.
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