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July 27, 2003
OPINION
Popular Demand
by Daniel Erenberg

For weeks Iíve been getting e-mails from the rampant Angel fans out there that have been clamoring for articles about their beloved show, and, in a way, Iím one of them. Iíve been wanting to prolong the wait for my articles about Angel because Iím anticipating writing loads of them for Slayage this year. Buffy is over. Whatís next? Angel, of course.

Meanwhile David Boreanaz is spending the summer filming as a villain the fourth Crow movie (Iím a fan of the first and the first alone) and a Dido music video. This fall he returns as Angel, the greatest male hero on television today.

Iím under the impression that Angel is a show thatís gotten significantly better each year. After season three I was spouting out the opinion (note the word opinion) that if season four gets any better than it is going to be an all-time television classic. Well, I think season four did get better, and now Iím saying the same thing about season five. And I think season five will be better.

Not only does season five have Joss Whedon firmly taking the mantle of show-runner, but it also has season sevenís greatest Buffy writer Drew Goddard migrating to the writerís room one floor below. In addition to that, the guest cast of Angel has been greatly bettered with the addition of the great actor that played Holden in last yearís ďConversations With Dead PeopleĒ (whose name escapes me at the momentómaybe something Weber?) and the returning Stephanie Romanov. The regular cast has been enhanced too with the addition of the uber-brilliant James Marsters somehow reprising his role as Spike despite the fact that he sacrificed his life in the Buffy series finale. So high on this cast addition is the WB that James Marsters could be found in the Angel section of their website only two weeks after the end of Buffy at the start of June. Joss Whedon will be writing and directing the season premiere for the first time since season oneís ďCity OfĒ, and Boreanaz, the impossibly beautiful Amy Acker, the best actor on television Alexis Denisof, the hilarious Andy Hallett, and the captivating J. August Richards get better every year.

The only drawback to season five at this point seems to be the lack of Charisma Carpenterís Cordelia Chase in the opening credits. Word has it that there are plans to remove her from her coma by the end of the season, but she absolutely wonít play an important part in the events of the season. The other guest cast fact Iíve heard is that there are plans to have Vincent Kartheiser, an actor whose work I was really beginning to enjoy towards the end of the fourth season, return in ďone or two episodesĒ. This idea intrigues me, especially considering what occurred to the character of Connor at the end of season fourís finale ďHomeĒ.

As for the writing staff, it worries me that co-creator David Greenwalt, my favorite Angel writer Tim Minear, and the awesome Mere Smith all wonít be back this season. However, I think this will be offset by the increasing role of Joss, the addition of Ultimate Drew, and having Tick creator Ben Edlund full-time this year.

Season five is shaping up to be an epic work of brilliance. Joss has said that theyíre looking at a more stand-alone episode approach as opposed to the very ongoing story lines of the last two years. This could be great if handled well. It really worked in the first seven episodes of Buffy last year, and it worked to really good effect in season one of Angel. Using the approach that they took in season one of Angel with a bigger and better cast (and the tech and info of Wolfram and Hart at their disposal) could be a really good move for the show. It looks like a creative renaissance, but I hope that they donít lose some of the better ongoing plot threads, like the ever-present Wesley/Fred/Gunn love triangle and just what went on with Gunn in the White Room at the end of last season.

In fact, the dangling plot threads were beginning to pile up towards the end of the year:
There were the two I mentioned in the last paragraph
Remorse over stopping World Peace
Gunn cheating on Fred with Gwen Raiden (is she coming back?)
Connor becoming an All-American teenager
Cordelia and that coma
Fred and the new boy in her W+H department
Wesley dealing with his feelings for Fred versus the re-emergence of Lilah into his life
Lorne figuring out his role in the group
Angel himself left crying over the exit of his son and major love

You see? There are loads of things to deal with this season, and I think a stand-alone episode format might be just the way to do it.

Thereís also the question of just which Buffy characters are going to head over to Angel this year. Itís already been confirmed that Mercedes MacNab (or however the Hell you spell her name) is returning to the Buffyverse as ditzy vampire Harmony Kendall. Joss has also been throwing around the idea of Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, returning in one of the three sweeps periods. Joss has also said that heíll be working with Alyson Hannigan and Tom Lenk until theyíre both dead.

At this point, who knows? Will season five build on season four? Will it be better? Time will tell. And thank the Lord that we have the time, because if Angel had ended at the close of season four---I donít know what Iíd have done for article ideas-- or for television for that matter.

And everyone give a warm welcome back to our resident webmaster Bec. Hope you enjoyed your vacation!

Daniel Erenberg lives in a gothic-looking house in a suburb of Long Island shrouded by trees and darkness. His backyard is so overrun with shrubbery that he can't plant flowers in the soil. He's penned articles for numerous magazines (and a couple of websites for free). Currently, he's writing his first novel, entitled People That I've Long Since Forgotten. He's also written two plays, Little Room and Dystopia and a screenplay called Youth Or Consequence. He lives a fairly happy life alone and hankers constantly for the hour of eight P.M. to nine P.M. on Tuesday nights. You can contact Daniel on daniel@slayage.com.
Latest Comments

All u people that hate Angel sucks ! cause it's the best! so fuck all of u that hate Angel!

Posted by: Mandy on April 24, 2004 06:43 PM

Angel sucks.

It used to be wonderfully witty and entertaining. Now it's just awful. The writing is terrible and the acting, ugh, the characters aren't fun to watch anymore. The show lost it's appeal a while ago, but now, it's just BAD.

Shame.

Posted by: Tang on April 21, 2004 10:04 PM

when dose Angel hit Australia's T.v's and what times please.

Posted by: sherrie on October 25, 2003 02:41 AM

Apologize for the late response. I agree with JoeMama on the whole Connor/Cordy business. No Cordy didn't "force" herself on him BUT the fact is Connor was a MINOR. I believe it is still against the law to have sex with a child. We never really got a definite answer of just how old he was when he dropped in so to speak from wherever he was. If we did, I missed it. If I had to guess, I would say 16. That would have made him about 17 at the time. Fact is he was underaged. Legally he wasn't an adult. I have serious doubt he was 18 when the incident with Cordy happened. I was absolutely disgusted and very disappointed with the writers doing that with Cordy's character. What were they thinking?!?

Posted by: Janine on September 1, 2003 10:59 PM

If we are talking about Angel season 5 cleaning up the dangling plot threads from previous seasons, why not have it work out a few of the loose strands from Buffy. There were 2 demons/monsters/nasty things that I always wanted to know more about, and see more done with in plot lines. Both D/M/NTs are from Season 5 episode 22.
1 - the flying dragon that was released into Sunnydale from the portal opened by Dawnís blood. Whatever happened to it? A voice-over commentary from the Season 5 DVDs suggests that the writers wanted to deal with this dragon in season 6 but didnít have the budget, so no follow-up story. Still, seems a big loose end. A flying dragon on the loose? Even for California that would be considered weird.
2 Ė the 2 things with white goat horns on their head, also released into Sunnydale by portal energy seemingly ripping open the fabric of this universe. What was their fate? These guys seemed to be major creatures of the Hellmouth, high ranking critters of evil power, looking mighty fierce and nasty, and capable of doing severe damage. Worth an episode, or more, I always thought.

Posted by: daryll on August 25, 2003 01:45 AM
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