Angel (TV Series 1999-2004) – The Complete Series on DVD
Angel – Season One
He’s hunky, he’s brooding, he’s a do-gooder, and he was Buffy’s first boyfriend. Angel, the tortured vampire destined to walk the earth with a soul, got his own series after three seasons on Buffy the Vampire Slayerand did what any new star might do: he moved to L.A. (the City of Angels–get it?) and set up shop. Angel (co-created by Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon) finds the titular vampire (David Boreanaz) as a kind of supernatural private investigator, fighting evil one case at a time and, like his ex-girlfriend, keeping the world from getting destroyed by vengeful demons and such. This first season features guest appearances by various Buffy characters, including werewolf boy Oz (Seth Green), rogue slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku), deliciously evil vamp Darla (Julie Benz), and Buffy herself (Sarah Michelle Gellar), all of whom helped get the show off and running in style.
Angel – Season Two
The second season of Angel, saw the cult vampire show finally stand on its own from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, assembling all the members of the show’s core cast, transferring the action to a fashionably run-down L.A. hotel, and bringing in a few Buffy characters from Angel’s history to further establish the moody vampire’s own mythology. Moving their Angel Investigations to posher digs, Angel (David Boreanaz), Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), and Wesley (Alexis Denisof) were soon joined by street fighter (J. August Richards)–-and by street fighter, of course we mean demon street fighter. But just as this group was solidifying, up popped Angel’s old love, Darla (the fantastic Julie Benz), freshly arrived in L.A. from a hell dimension… just in time to be turned into a vampire again by her old cohort, Drusilla (Juliet Landau), and lure Angel into abandoning his newly formed team.
Angel – Season Three
In the third season of Angel, the titular vampire with a soul was forced to stand alone thanks to the (temporary) death of his beloved Buffy and her show’s move to a new network, with no crossover between the two allowed. He returns from seeking peace in a demon-haunted monastery to find the L.A. Angel Investigations team fighting supernatural crime in his absence. Fred is still haunted by the nightmare dimension from which they rescued her; Cordelia’s visions get ever more painful and debilitating. The schemes of the evil law firm Wolfram and Hart become every more imaginative and dragon lady Lilah Morgan becomes even more of an enemy when lusting after Angel. Unbelievably, Darla, Angel’s vampire sire and lover, turns up, pregnant with his child and is tortured by inexplicable motherly feelings as well as a raging thirst for human blood.
Angel – Season Four
As the fourth season of Angel, starts, everything is still as we left it: Angel has been sunk to the bottom of the sea in an iron box by his inexplicable and vindictive son Connor and Cordelia has been summoned to higher realms to await orders. Gunn and Fred are left in the Hyperion Hotel, unsure about what has happened to their friends, and Lilah is working hard to seduce Wesley to the dark side. In the first few episodes, some of this is resolved but it’s almost immediately replaced by far worse crises: prophesies of doom accumulate more rapidly even than usual in this wonderfully gloomy show and a horned rock-like beast rains fire on Los Angeles. This last year is Angel’s most tightly dramatic season yet–with a story arc of surprising intensity punctuated by the show’s usual wit and sexiness.
Angel – Season Five
Lives were upended–and some co-opted–in the fifth and final season of Angel, as the denizens of Angel Investigations found themselves taking on one of their scariest endeavors ever: corporate life. After making a literal deal with the devil (or something distinctly devil-like), Angel (David Boreanaz) moved his team from their crumbling hotel to the high-rise digs of law-firm-from-hell Wolfram & Hart, his reasoning being they could better fight the forces of evil from the inside, and with more resources to boot. Clever maneuvering or easy rationalization? Not a few members of Angel’s team accused him of selling out (as did a number of viewers), but as with most of the show’s previous four seasons, Angel somehow took a dubious premise and mined it for gold. And with one core cast member gone (Charisma Carpenter, whose Cordelia was immersed in a deep coma), it seemed as if the show, from within and without, would suddenly fall apart–that is, until Angel’s longtime nemesis Spike (James Marsters) showed up, fresh from his sacrificial roasting at the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Let the vampire games begin!