Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Doing Your Mom And Trying To Kill Your Dad… There Should Be A Play.

Angel Season 4 Part 1

Yes I am still watching these, although at a very, very slow rate.

Angel was always a much darker show than Buffy but in its fourth season it became truly grim and the humour, while still present, started to become somewhat out of place. As in earlier seasons the plot is quite well done on the larger scale. The main storyline, in which L.A. is menaced by a seemingly invincible Satan-like demon is nicely intertwined with the dangling plot threads from the end of season 3, namely the arrival of Angel's teenage son, Cordelia's mysterious disappearance and Wesley's involvement with the show's perennial bad guys, the law firm Wolfram and Hart.

The grimness of the season is in part due to the hopeless nature of the heroes' battle against the big bad, who despite Angel and Co's best efforts persists in doing unpleasant bad guy type things such as blocking out the sun, making the sky rain fire and your standard general slaughter, but mostly the sad, depressing mood comes as the constant messing around with the main character's relationships done in the last season bears fruit, leaving the heroes mistrustful and resentful of one another. Lots of nice angsty character development ensues.

The highlight of the first half of the season comes at the end, when the heroes, out of desperation, are manipulated into transforming Angel into his evil alter ego Angelus. This cheerful, maverick psychopath is a smart addition to an already tense scenario and revives what was starting to become somewhat of a miserable, depressing plot arc. It's disappointing that we didn't see more of Angelus during the show's run because he's a great character. While I understand that the writers didn't want to overuse him, I think there still should have been more of him (other than in this season he only shows up in one episode in season one, and in flashbacks in season two), as his evil deeds are the basis for the whole backstory behind the show.

Despite the writer's numerous missteps this show continued to be worth watching, it's just a pity that the same could not be said for its parent.

P.S. Even though I'm a bit late with this news some of you may be interested to know that season eight of Buffy is in the works, as a comic series.

No comments: