When I first saw this season on TV I thought it was really good but I had my problems, mostly Angel's "relationship" with Cordilia. On re-watching this season is so much better. So much happens this season and at a break neck pace much of the time. Good plots with inteligent and engaging villians (Holtz and Lilah Morgan are standouts) keep the season moving in great directions. The characters grow and evolve in interesting and often unexpected ways. Alexis Denisof as Wesley is a incredible especialy this season; the character is: versitile, multi layered, deeply good, yet hoplessly confilcted. David Boreanaz as Angel also does a great job; his happy times give context to his misery, and make him a more complete character insteed of staying as some two dimentional Buffy boy toy. Another great thing is the action, no other show (even 24) has action as good as "Angel" and this is the season where great attention started really coming into all the fights giving almost every episode a good action center piece; the fight at the begining of the episode "A New World" is better than any fight I've seen on any other show, on this show it's merely one of many greats. All this is great by itself, but this season is also perfect setup to the best season I've seen on TV Angel season 4.
The picture and sound are a hell of alot better on the DVDs and the cinematic feel of this show is something that makes full use of the higher quality. Watching this in syndication it's show in Full frame, but the show was intended to be seen in Widscreen as a result sometimes faces are halfway off the screen during the syndication showings. Buffy was intended to be seen Full frame, but every Angel season except the first season was shot Widescreen.
Ranking "Buffy" and "Angel" seasons I rank this up there on level with "Buffy season 2" but just under "Buffy season 3", it's better than any other "Buffy" or "Angel" year except of course for what came on "Angel" afterwards. Sure there is no episode like "Becoming" but the overall year is much better than "Buffy season 2" so it evens out. One of the problems with almost all action shows is they hold way too much back over each season, so they can have mega episodes here and there; on Angel the events aren't held back which quickens the pacing, and makes the overall show much better.
I own the R2 DVD so I don't know if there'll be more special features on the Region 1 DVDs, but here's the list of what I got:
Commentary for "Billy" by Tim Minear and Jeffery Bell
Comentary for "Lullaby" by Tim Minear and Mere Smith
A very funny deleted scene from "Birthday"
Featurette on Darla
Really good series outakes reel
Commenary on "Waiting in the Wings" by Joss Whedon
An almost too funny to be believed deleted scene from "Waiting in the Wings"
A fairly banale season overveiw featurette
A funny page to screen Featurette
Some good screen tests for both Amy Acker, and Vincent Kartheiser
And a pictures gallery
Overall some really good extras. I'd have liked some more commenataries, but the deleted scenes alone more than make up for that.
Some naysayers might insult this year without ever watching it on DVD, with how much of an improvement the DVD's make they can't judge in a way that is even remotely fair.