If you like Buffy, you will love Angel.
Not many spin-offs work (remember Joey??) but Angel took a small, rather insipid vampire-love-interest and made a very cool detective noir series. David Boreanaz grew some acting cahunas and with a carry-over of BtVS regulars Cordelia and Wesley Wyndam-Price, the new show was like Buffy for grown ups.
And so begins my countdown to my top TV shows – they are in no particular order but I am adding them as I (re)watch. First on my list has GOT to be Buffy. Joss Whedon’s show about a preppy blonde cheerleader who inherits super-powers and the legacy of the vampire slayer should not have worked I mean who watched a show called Buffy – right? But this series was mesmerising. Cool and witty dialogue, amazing character arcs intertextual references that reward pop culture freaks (like me) and probably the best female role ever written (ok, River in Firefly is pretty damn close).
Although it’s essential to watch Season 1 to get the right introduction to the characters (Whedon consistently refers to previous arcs and episodes, there are no shortcuts), S1 has some pretty terrible standalone episodes. Don’t judge the entire show by this small, 12 episode season, but watch it through because things get a whole lot better in S2 (as a reward, David Boreanaz as Angel is absolutely gorgeous in this season).
Season 2 begins to expand both the characters and the buffyverse and becomes quickly addictive. Watching Buffy battle her demons, both real and metaphorical is TV at its best. S3 – S7 are all also excellent viewing although S5 has come under attack for being too dark – personally it’s one of my favourites. Seven full seasons of Buffy will keep you viewing for a while – be sure to come back and leave a comment. I love to hear from Whedon Lovers.