On Angel

Why We Love Lindsey

By Michelle Sagara West

When Joss Whedon spun David Boreanaz off into his own se-ries–to the near universal anguish of Buffy/Angel shippers everywhere–he said that Angel would be a darker show with a less easily defined morality; if Buffy was the tale of coming of age, in which morality and responsibility were of necessity tightly entwined, he wanted Angel to be something a bit more grey.

But it’s hard to do that when you’re building on an established premise, with established characters, in an established world. At best, you leave your watchers wondering about the validity of earlier assumptions; at worse, you end up with inconsistencies that rob earlier shows of strength and merit. Plus, in Angel’s case, you’re trying to build a whole show around someone whose loudest legacy is a good, deep pout.

Still, I watched Angel, partly for the guilty pleasure of Cordelia Chase–whose acerbic personality and total lack of tact were delivered in such an inimitable fashion (and just how much she was missed was made clear to me in the hundredth Angel episode, “You’re Welcome,” A5-12)–and partly because I wanted to see exactly how Whedon and his team would carry through on their hopeful premise.

For the most part, to me, they didn’t. For all the reasons stated above, I don’t blame them: Having established a universe in which the rules were fairly clear vis a vis good and evil, it’s really hard to backtrack without slapping a lot of people in the face. And in the one case where they did  …

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