Monday, October 5, 2009

The Face of an Angel

Magnet # 55:  David Boreanaz as Angel Photo

Material:  Metal, Paper, Mylar Shell

Purchased By:  Me

It was on this day back in 1999 that dreamy David Boreanaz broke free from a supporting role on the hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer to star in his own spin-off, Angel.  The first episode aired that night on the now-defunct WB network.  I'm not sure it would make for the best show to get you in a Halloween mood.  While it did feature creatures like vampires, werewolves, and demons, it just didn't try to be creepy the way Buffy did and I don't think it ever had Halloween-themed episodes like its predecessor.  But it was a good show nonetheless.

The story centered around Angel, a vampire over 200 years old with something no other vampires had - a soul.  This compelled him to atone for the atrocities he committed as Angelus, one of the most notorious vampires in the world.  Back then, he was said to be "a demon with the face of an angel," and he amassed the body count to prove it.  But he crossed paths with gypsies and they cursed him with a soul, making him suffer for the wrongs he'd done.  At the beginning of the show, Angel set up shop in Los Angeles, forming Angel Investigations with a team of friends to help save helpless victims from supernatural threats.

The show lasted five seasons.  It started strong, got even better by its second season, but by the fourth season, it wasn't that great.  There were some shark jumping moments there, and I even stopped watching the show.  But that was also the year Buffy ended its run, and once it was over the show's producers imported fan favorite character Spike, played by James Marsters, to Angel and made a few moves that shook the show up.   By doing so, they added new life to Angel and gave it a great season.  It was particularly fun to watch rivals Spike and Angel go at it, often with humorous results.  These guys couldn't agree on anything, including whether cavemen or astronauts would win in a fight.  So it was a pretty ugly moment when the WB cancelled the show.  Anybody could see it was on an upward trend, but I guess that didn't matter to the suits.  What angered me most came later when the WB aired Angel alongside shows like Buffy and Dawson's Creek to celebrate its best moments on its final night before joining with UPN to become the CW.  I thought they should have featured a show they didn't brutally abandon, like Gilmore Girls or Felicity (they didn't cancel that one, right?).  Talk about adding insult to injury!

These days, Angel's story continues in comic book form.  He's done plenty since the show's conclusion.  If you're interested, check it out at your local comic book shop.  As for the actors, they've scattered across other shows and networks, but all of them have found new roles on television.  And - aww! - there's been the birth of a Buffy baby.  Yep, Angel's Alexis Denisof and his wife Allison Hannigan, who met on the set of Buffy, where she played Willow, had an all-Buffy baby last year.  I realize other cast members have become parents as well, but not with fellow cast members.  As for Boreanaz, he's starring on the hit show Bones, playing a character who's almost a complete departure from Angel, except that they're both the heroic type.  It's a fun show that's worth checking out if you haven't already.  Of course, if this post has piqued your interest, all Angel episodes are available to purchase on DVD.  You can also check out some of the show for free at http://www.hulu.com/angel.  Happy viewing!

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