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I prefer Angel over Buffy as a show

Ethan Reigns

Oct 14, 2012
During the time both shows were on, the water cooler talk at the office usually regarded the latest Angel episode to be better than the latest Buffy episode. Then why is it that I like the Buffy series better?

I can usually place every Buffy episode in its correct position in the series but I couldn't tell where most named Angel episodes are in the season lineup. The relentless darkness of the Angel show made it seem like Season 6 of Buffy for the first four seasons and only Season five becomes pleasant to watch. In Buffy, we get the overarching theme and Big Bad for a season whereas Angel never seems to know what it is about or what direction it is going. Whereas we always know Buffy is on the side of good, this is never quite as certain with Angel. And the darkness is physical too - most Angel episodes take place at night and are depressing to some extent whereas most of Buffy is in daylight and life doesn't suck as much on a bright sunny day.

If you want to think in industrial terms, Buffy was the "production" show whereas Angel was the "research & development" show that could try out situations that were too outrageous for Buffy. The most successful Angel development was Wolfram & Hart, the interdimensional satanic law firm. Angel makes a number of questionable decisions about who he can trust and whether he is really on the side of good or the side of expedience.

The difference shows up in greatest contrast in their final episodes. In the rise and fall of Buffy, her final episode is littered with deus-ex-machina plot crutches and the competent general of Season 3 is reduced to an irrational tyrant in Season 7, but she manages to destroy the tradition of "one girl in all the world" and the power of the Watchers' Council and spreads the power to a number of girls, allowing some to refuse their duties and live a normal life. In the rise and fall of Angel, the end of the show features the murder of Drogyn and the eradication of the Circle of the Black Thorn, but this unleashes hell on earth in Los Angeles and we see that Angel's failure to do his due diligence about what he is aligning himself with comes back to damage everyone.
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