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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic drama
Okay so we all know that Angel was always going to have a hard job living up to the expectations set by Buffy, and okay so it isn't quite as good. That certainly doesn't mean that this series isn't superb in its own right. Set up in L.A. we have Angel (David Boreanaz) running his own detective agency with the help of Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (the sadly...
Published on Dec 8 2002 by Mr. B. G. Fowler

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3.0 out of 5 stars Off to an OK Start
The first season of Angel lacked the power behind Buffy. It survived solely on the Buffy corss-overs and plot continuations from Buffy. Other episodes were weak and lacked the potential from its parent show. There were a few inspiring episodes however, such as Hero. But the first season of Angel sets up what is to come. Wolfram and Hart is introduced, which will later...
Published on June 2 2004 by exarphion


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic drama, Dec 8 2002
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
Okay so we all know that Angel was always going to have a hard job living up to the expectations set by Buffy, and okay so it isn't quite as good. That certainly doesn't mean that this series isn't superb in its own right. Set up in L.A. we have Angel (David Boreanaz) running his own detective agency with the help of Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (the sadly deceased Glenn Quinn). It's a lot darker than Buffy, or at least it was when Buffy was still in its fourth series, and some would argue Buffy series 6 to be even darker than Angel. The main theme is obviously redemption and what we have here is probably the closest to the kind of monster-of-the-week, no story arc material that Joss Whedon and David E. Greenwalt have ever done.
To say this isn't as good as Buffy is kind of a cop-out, because there are some absolutely superb episodes here. In particular there is I Will Remember You, an absolutely heartbreaking episode in which Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Angel are reunited, but only for a day and of which only he will carry the memory. There's also In The Dark, the closest the show has got to something that's really disturbing, in a horrible torturer character. This episode also sees the crossover of Oz (Seth Green) and Spike (James Marsters), with probably just about the funniest speech that has ever come out of Spike's mouth starting the episode off. What will really get your attention though is the stunning, spectacular two-parter where we see Faith's (Eliza Dushku) return in Five By Five and Sanctuary. Both shows have always shown an amazing tenderness to this character that is practically abnormal among other series, with Faith being presented as a real person rather than your typical bad guy. After a fairly close-to-the-bone torture scene who can say that they didn't feel a slight shiver down their spine as Faith pounded on Angel's chest begging him to kill her. This is drama of the best kind, this is chracterisation of the best sort, heck this is TV of the best sort.
The rest of the series seems to have a main theme of redemption and lost souls in, appropriately enough, the City of Angels. Worth pointing out are Lonely Hearts (which introduces the compelling character Kate Lockley - please can we see a return of her?) and Rm W/A Vu, in which Cordelia buys a new house only to find it's haunted. Hero is one of the most tragic episodes, in which Doyle sacrifices himself to save his friends, something that has grown magnificently in poignancy since the tragic death of Glenn Quinn, who plays Doyle, recently. After that we get to see the reappearance of Wesley (Alexis), a character which Angel has done wonders with considering the almost universal cringing that accompanied his role on Buffy that has now turned him into a character with surprising depth. Given his chance to sparkle in the Exorcist-riff I've Got You Under My Skin he really pulls it off, especially given the hint at his relationship with his father that has been threatening to bubble over ever since. Angel is also capable of pulling a CSI clinical crime like investigation in the utterly compelling Somnabulist, perhaps the most underrated episode of the series, in which one of Angel's 'pupils' comes back to haunt him. The last two-parter to end the series is also entirely gripping, with the first obvious signs of what was to become Angel's major threat, lawyer's firm Wolfram and Hart. This is action drama of the highest quality that isn't afraid to get some genuine emotion in there at the same time.
Angel series 1 is a show that's trying to find its feet, and it finds them. Now in its fourth series, season 1 shows the foundations that made it nearly as popular as the cult phenomenon of Buffy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is strictly on the episodes only!, June 30 2004
By 
Ervin Griffin (Bluefield, WV) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
I don't own this set but I have seen most of the episodes of Season One! This is what I am basing my rating on:
- City Of... - This picks up where Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Three leaves off with Angel coming to L.A. and meeting up with a half-human/half demon named Doyle and a familiar face in Cordellia Chase from BTVS.
- In the Dark - Excellent episode which continues the feud between Angel and former ally Spike! This also shows Angel out during the daytime for first time that I can recall!
- The Bachelor Party - This sees Doyle nearly get killed at the hands of his ex-wife's fiance!
- I Will Remember You (Guest Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar) - The most heartbreaking episode on either BTVS or Angel and a bittersweet chapter in the Buffy/Angel romance.
- Hero - The final appearance of Doyle. Ironically and tragically, the actor that played him died two years later from a drug overdose. RIP.
- Parting Gifts - Cordellia gets a new power while Wesley Wyndham-Price from BTVS shows up and joins the team after a brief encounter with Angel.
- Expecting - Cordy suddenly gets pregnant!
- The Prodigal - An old protege from the past returns to kill Angel.
- The Ring - Angel goes undercover into an illegal fight ring.
- Eternity - A struggling former child actor tries to seduce Angel into making her a vampire but instead unleashes Angelous!

- Five by Five - Rogue Slayer Faith is hired by Wolfrham & Hart to eliminate Angel.
- Sanctuary (Guest Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar) - Buffy hunts Faith to settle a score (see Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 4 for the reason)
These are the episodes that I have seen. But, I did enjoy them so I am certain that the others are of good quality as well. On a personal note, I will probably purchase this item soon myself just for "I Will Remember You" alone! While I am more of an action guy, this heartbreaker even had me nearly in tears! Its that powerful and it is one of Sarah Michelle Gellar's best performances as Buffy in my view! Season one is worth the money!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Kick Off of a Superb New Show, June 26 2004
By 
Mr. Bey (Riverside, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
I started off as a Angel fan before I got interested in Buffy and I have to say that Angel is so much better. All of the cast members are all really interesting and the show is great. David Boreanaz portrays the dark and mysterious Angel and Charisma Carpenter does a wonderful job playing Cordelia. Cordelia makes a huge change from being really selffish to really caring about other people. I was really sad when Glenn Quinn's character Doyle died and sadly he died as well. He was really great but his character wouldn't have worked well with any of the other characters yet to come. Alexis Denisof replaces Doyle with his character Wesley who made a brief appearance on Buffy before joining the cast. J. August Richards comes in two of the last three episodes to introduce Charles Gunn who would join the cast next season.
Buffy played by Sarah Michelle Gellar makes two apperances on Angel as well. Her first appearance in I will remember you was much better than her breif role in Sanctuary. James Marsters and Seth Green also make appearances in the third episode In the Dark. Eliza Dushku also appears in Five by Five and Sanctuary.
Overall I would say Angel started off great and they really took off in the seasons yet to come. It's too bad they cancelled it but maybe UPN will pick it up instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic drama, June 21 2004
By 
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
Okay so we all know that Angel was always going to have a hard job living up to the expectations set by Buffy, and okay so it isn't quite as good. That certainly doesn't mean that this series isn't superb in its own right. Set up in L.A. we have Angel (David Boreanaz) running his own detective agency with the help of Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (the sadly deceased Glenn Quinn). It's a lot darker than Buffy, or at least it was when Buffy was still in its fourth series, and some would argue Buffy series 6 to be even darker than Angel. The main theme is obviously redemption and what we have here is probably the closest to the kind of monster-of-the-week, no story arc material that Joss Whedon and David E. Greenwalt have ever done.
To say this isn't as good as Buffy is kind of a cop-out, because there are some absolutely superb episodes here. In particular there is I Will Remember You, an absolutely heartbreaking episode in which Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Angel are reunited, but only for a day and of which only he will carry the memory. There's also In The Dark, the closest the show has got to something that's really disturbing, in a horrible torturer character. This episode also sees the crossover of Oz (Seth Green) and Spike (James Marsters), with probably just about the funniest speech that has ever come out of Spike's mouth starting the episode off. What will really get your attention though is the stunning, spectacular two-parter where we see Faith's (Eliza Dushku) return in Five By Five and Sanctuary. Both shows have always shown an amazing tenderness to this character that is practically abnormal among other series, with Faith being presented as a real person rather than your typical bad guy. After a fairly close-to-the-bone torture scene who can say that they didn't feel a slight shiver down their spine as Faith pounded on Angel's chest begging him to kill her. This is drama of the best kind, this is chracterisation of the best sort, heck this is TV of the best sort.
The rest of the series seems to have a main theme of redemption and lost souls in, appropriately enough, the City of Angels. Worth pointing out are Lonely Hearts (which introduces the compelling character Kate Lockley - please can we see a return of her?) and Rm W/A Vu, in which Cordelia buys a new house only to find it's haunted. Hero is one of the most tragic episodes, in which Doyle sacrifices himself to save his friends, something that has grown magnificently in poignancy since the tragic death of Glenn Quinn, who plays Doyle, recently. After that we get to see the reappearance of Wesley (Alexis), a character which Angel has done wonders with considering the almost universal cringing that accompanied his role on Buffy that has now turned him into a character with surprising depth. Given his chance to sparkle in the Exorcist-riff I've Got You Under My Skin he really pulls it off, especially given the hint at his relationship with his father that has been threatening to bubble over ever since. Angel is also capable of pulling a CSI clinical crime like investigation in the utterly compelling Somnabulist, perhaps the most underrated episode of the series, in which one of Angel's 'pupils' comes back to haunt him. The last two-parter to end the series is also entirely gripping, with the first obvious signs of what was to become Angel's major threat, lawyer's firm Wolfram and Hart. This is action drama of the highest quality that isn't afraid to get some genuine emotion in there at the same time.
Angel series 1 is a show that's trying to find its feet, and it finds them. Now in its fourth series, season 1 shows the foundations that made it nearly as popular as the cult phenomenon of Buffy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good spinoff?Wow., June 15 2004
By 
Billy Bill "B." (Montréal, Québec, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
I'm a huge Angel fan.I believe it to have surpassed Buffy later on.(Mostly because season seven of Buffy was mediocre).Anyway,Angel's first season is NOT GREAT.But it is pretty good tv.The cast is too small and it's filled with an insane amount of monster-of-the-week episodes but it's good.Angel and Cordelia,especially,are likable characters.Never cared too much about Doyle.He died too quickly.Wesley is a better character for me.Kate is one of the few bad characters on both Buffy and Angel but she left before the second season ended,anyway.I should probably mention that the first season suffered from way too many cross-overs with Buffy.With the exception of the amazing Faith episodes,they all feel like stupid gimmicks to make Buffy fans interested in Angel.Still,in the end,the last five episodes transformed Angel into a great show for me.Many say the second season is where the show really took off but for me it did with the last five episodes of season one.Wolfram and Hart became an integral part of the show,Gunn was introduced and the wonderful Darla came back.I should probably mention that Wolfram and Hart is a wonderful idea with some great characters such as Lindsey and Lilah.I don't know what this show would be without the law firm.I'm mostly talking about the end of the season because,let's face it,the first seventeen episodes are nice but not anything special.Basically,a good first season but wait until season two.With season two,Angel began to compare with Buffy.And with Season three,it became a better show.Buffy season six is actually a great season but I prefer Angel season three while Buffy season seven sucks compared to the amazing Angel season four.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Off to an OK Start, June 2 2004
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
The first season of Angel lacked the power behind Buffy. It survived solely on the Buffy corss-overs and plot continuations from Buffy. Other episodes were weak and lacked the potential from its parent show. There were a few inspiring episodes however, such as Hero. But the first season of Angel sets up what is to come. Wolfram and Hart is introduced, which will later take over as the big bad for the show. However, the reason why this season lacked is possibly because it didn't have a big bad, or an overall villain for the season. However, this is still good for any collection, and there are a few episodes that are astounding. Season One stars David Boreanaz, Charisma Carter, Glenn Quinn, and Alexis Denisoff. The episodes from the first season are:
City Of
Lonely Heart
In the Dark
I Fall to Pieces
Rm w/ a Vu
Sense and Sensitivity
The Bachelor Party
I Will Remember You
Hero
Parting Gifts
Somnambulist
Expecting
She
I've Got You Under My Skin
The Prodigal
The Ring, Eternity
Five by Five
Sanctuary
War Zone
Blind Date
To Shanshu in L.A.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Angel is trying to stand alone, June 2 2004
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
After he left Buffy and the gang alone is Sunnydale after the 3rd season, Angel is now trying to stand alone in LA. Ironically, there are a lot of visitors from Sunnydale in this season, including Cordelia who ends up working for him after he saves her from a vamp in the very first episode.
Spike and Oz pay Angel a visit in the third episode In the Dark. Buffy is in two episodes: I Will Remember You and Five by Five. I Will Remember You is my favorite episode of the whole series because it is every Buffy/Angel shipper's fantasy come true. And Faith is in two episodes: Sanctuary and Five by Five.
This season introduces Wolfram and Hart, which is pretty much the big bad all five seasons this show was on the air. Lindsey McDonald is introduced in the pilot episode City of as a nasty lawyer for them, although he quickly becomes a fan favorite. Lawyer Lilah Morgan isnt introduced until the 16th episode of the season The Ring.
This episode is compiled of many stand alone episodes, which I usually dont care for, but it all seems to work in this season.
Characters keep coming in and out. The show starts out with Angel, Cordy and Doyle and by the end of the season the gang consists of Angel, Cordy, Wes, and Gunn.
Some highlights of the season are Sense and Sensitivity, which is very comical with some great lines, I Will Remember You, which I already mentioned, Hero, which is a very heartbreaking episode, She, only because of the hilarious dancing of David Boreanaz and Alexis Denisof, and Five by Five, the confrontation between Faith and Buffy is priceless.
All in all, a good start to a great show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's My Birthday! Hooray!, May 25 2004
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
I love! love! love this show! It's a wonderful thing to see a spin-off that successfully creates a unique world where the characters have evolved and matured and are ready for totally new experiences. The humour and action here are more extreme than on Buffy, perhaps because this show focuses on the darkest of the Buffy-originated main characters, Angel, the vampire. In this season Angel discovers skills he had not explored before. That's a big deal for an old immortal, and a big hoot for old fans of Buffy. If your favorite part of Buffy was the depth and darkness of the multi-layered demon characters and the often sarcastic, always funny, tell-it-like-it-is Cordelia Chase, then you will love this first season of Angel. If you are not a Buffy fan, but you enjoy psi-fi/fantasy/detective/action/comedy/drama shows...wait, are there any others like this? hmm...well... There was Forever Knight, for those of you who remember that. But, that got cancelled, and Angel has a more fleshed out bunch of characters to fill storylines, better sets and more advanced special effects. The stories in this season are outrageous, in the good way. A great first season to own too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great spinoff, April 16 2004
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
When Angel was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I tended to share Xander's feelings about him. Frankly, he just didn't seem that interesting when he wasn't evil, and surely he wouldn't be evil most of the time on his own series. But I wanted to see the series Angel anyway, mostly because Charisma Carpenter (who was always hilariously evil on Buffy) was also going to be on it. I was not disapointed. I like Angel (the character) much better now that he isn't simply used to whine about how he can't be with Buffy (though there is still some of that this season). This series begins with Angel relocating to LA and meeting up with Cordy (who aspires to be an actress) and Doyle, a demon who gets visions of people in need of help. Immediately, I liked him. Who wouldn't like an Irish demon? Anyway, this series begins with mostly standalone episodes, and some people argue that the show was still trying to find it's path and that these standalone episodes are of poor quality. I tend to disagree. While the season long story arcs are good too, there was nothing wrong with these standalone shows. All of them (with the exception of "She" which is notable for one scene involving Angel dancing, but otherwise is among the worst I've seen on either Buffy or Angel) are of high quality. Not quite midway through the season, Glenn Quinn (Doyle) gets written out and replaced by Wesley Wyndem-Pryce. At this point, all three of the regulars are characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While they are all good characters, it now seemed Angel didn't have a true identity of it's own. Indeed, I would say that's the one problem with this season. For one thing, it's best viewed with Buffy Season 4 (there are several crossover episodes) and some of the action may be confusing to those who haven't seen Buffy before (since all of the main characters came from Buffy and had backstory established there). Still, the series would eventually come to stand on it's own, and even if it doesn't here, that won't stop you from enjoying Season One. In fact, if you're already a fan of Buffy, it may enhance your enjoyment. You'll get guest appearences from Faith, Spike, Oz, and the Slayer herself. Not too shabby.
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4.0 out of 5 stars dark knights and dancin' fools, April 4 2004
This review is from: Angel:S1 (DVD)
Two images dominate the first season of ANGEL: The first (later to be caught as the final image in the show's credits) shows our titular hero-- a vampire with a soul who fights for good in order to atone for past sins--staking two vampires and stalking off into the night, his long leather duster swirling behind him. Framed by a dirty, shadow-strewn alley, Angel seems the embodiment of Raymond Chandler's noir detective, "down these streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is not himself tarnished nor afraid....He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry that you ever saw him." The second, quite different image is distinctively UN-proud, as Angel imagines himself dancing at a friend's party. David Boreanez, who plays Angel, is shown doing...well, the dorkiest dance ever, full of arhythmic arm movements, regrettable hip sways, and a positively marmaduke-like tongue flapping through his lips. Flashing back to reality, Angel says, completely deadpan, "I don't dance." Somewhere between those two images-- the first full of epic darkness and danger, the second oozing humorous satire-- lies the tone of this BUFFY spinoff's first year. It's far more "stand-alone" in its episodic structure than the next three years will be, and there's clearly a lot of feeling around going on, as co-creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt and their cast try to figure out the beat of this new song they're playing. I give it four stars because there are still an extraordinary number of high-quality episodes on display here (particularly those involving Angel's first partner, Doyle), and because I think it's fascinating to watch talented people go through creative growing pains in public. ANGEL has often been treated like that dorky dancer at the party-- you smile politely, eke out a wan compliment or two on its behalf, and quickly try to find the cool kids at the TV party (Dawson, is that you?). Its network, the WB, never quite knew what to do with the show, changing its airtime several times and eventually canceling the program despite an uptick in ratings. Even fans of BUFFY have sometimes treated ANGEL like the stepkid, the Dawn of the Buffyverse. This is a shame, because ANGEL, even in this slightly less focused first season, has always offered as much bang for the buck as Buffy (and, in seasons two and three, surpasses its parent in quality). After reaching a perfect closure to its first, high-school based half, BUFFY saw the departure of three seemingly minor figures at the end of season three-- Cordelia, the sarcastic school princess, forced to work as a secretary after her parents were indicted on tax fraud; Wesley, the oafish Watcher who generally caused as much trouble as he prevented; and Angel, of course, Buffy's paramour/arch enemy. OK, that last one is not minor, but really, his Buffy storyline was pretty much wrapped up. He moved on, as did the other two, winding up in LA, where he opened a supernatural detective agency and, aided by Cordelia, Wesley, and the mysterious, vision-prone Doyle, fought the demons and lawyers (but I repeat myself) Chandler never would have dream ed of. Yes, it sounds goofy. So does BUFFY, if you boil it down to a couple of sentences. So does the SOPRANOS. And the SIMPSONS. And the WEST WING. And THE LITTLEST GROOM. (OK, that last one I'll give you). It's not about plot, it's about execution, and in the hands of Whedon and Greenwalt, two of TV's best writers, ANGEL blossoms, as Boreanez, Charisma Carpenter, Glenn Quinn and Alexis Denisof all flesh out potentially hazardous stereotypes (Carpenter, in particular, is a comic delight) and help to tell stand-alone tales of tremendous adventure, horror, humor and grace. Grace is the most important quality, both for Angel, the character (seeking redemption) and ANGEL, the show (offering a spirit of generosity to character and genre rare for TV). The result is perhaps best summed up by Raymond Chandler, if we imagine him speaking of television shows: "If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in."
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Angel:S1
Angel:S1 by Michael Lange (DVD - 2003)
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