Why Angel is a Great Spin-Off: Exploring the Darker Side of the Buffyverse

If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then you’re probably familiar with the character Angel, a brooding vampire with a soul. Angel was so popular among fans that he received his own spin-off show, simply titled Angel. While some spin-offs don’t quite capture the same magic as the original series, Angel proved to be a worthy continuation of the Buffyverse, exploring the darker side of the supernatural world and offering a fresh perspective on familiar characters. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why Angel is such a great spin-off and why it’s still worth watching today.

Exploring the Darker Side of the Buffyverse.

One of the things that set Angel apart from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was its willingness to explore darker themes and take risks with its storytelling. While Buffy dealt with heavy topics such as death, addiction, and betrayal, Angel took things to a whole new level, delving into the seedy underbelly of the supernatural world and tackling issues such as redemption, identity, and morality. The show also had a more mature tone, with a focus on character development and relationships rather than just action and humour. If you’re looking for a spin-off that’s not afraid to take risks and push the boundaries of its genre, then Angel is definitely worth a watch.

Fresh Perspective on Familiar Characters.

One of the most compelling aspects of Angel is the way it expanded upon and reimagined characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The titular character, played by David Boreanaz, was a popular supporting player on Buffy, but his spin-off gave him a chance to shine in his own right. We got to see more of Angel’s backstory and learn about his struggles with his vampire nature and his quest for redemption. Other familiar faces such as Wesley, Cordelia, Harmony, Oz and, Spike also made appearances on Angel, but in different roles, than we were used to seeing them. Some even became series regulars. This gave the show a sense of continuity with Buffy while also offering a fresh perspective on these characters.

Introduction of New Characters.

While Angel certainly made the most of its connections to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it also introduced plenty of new characters that quickly became fan favourites. One of the most notable was Charles Gunn, a street-smart vampire hunter who becomes an ally to Angel and his team. Played by J. August Richards, Gunn was a welcome addition to the show, bringing a new dynamic to the team and providing some much-needed humour in the darker episodes.

Another standout new character was Fred Burkle, a brilliant physicist who was rescued from a hell dimension by Angel and his team. Played by Amy Acker, Fred was initially a shy and somewhat fragile character, but she quickly grew into a valuable member of the team, using her scientific knowledge to help them fight various supernatural threats. Fred’s eventual transformation into the demon Illyria in the show’s final season was one of the most shocking and memorable moments in the series, showcasing the show’s willingness to take risks and subvert expectations. My personal favourite character was Lorne, played by Andy Hallet, a green-skinned empath demon. Who could predict your future if you sang for him. Lorne added a sense of fun to the show.

Wesley’s Evolution.

One of the most impressive character arcs in the Buffyverse belongs to Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, who was introduced as a bumbling Watcher on Buffy the Vampire Slayer but quickly became one of the most complex and interesting characters on Angel. Played by Alexis Denisof, Wesley’s journey from a comedic sidekick to a tragic hero is a testament to the show’s commitment to character development.

At the beginning of Angel, Wesley is a somewhat pathetic figure, still trying to prove himself after his failure as Buffy’s Watcher. However, as the series progresses, Wesley becomes increasingly competent and capable eventually becoming one of the show’s most formidable and ruthless characters. One of the defining moments of Wesley’s evolution occurs in the third series of the show. Believing Angel will kill Connor, Wesley kidnaps him. Which sets up a chain of events that see Angel lose his son. This was a turning point for Wesley’s character, setting him on a dark path that would ultimately lead to his tragic end.

Wesley’s death in the final season of Angel is one of the show’s most heartbreaking moments, but it’s also a fitting end to his character arc. Through his journey, Wesley proves that he’s much more than just a comic relief character or a failed Watcher. He’s a complex and deeply flawed individual who, despite his mistakes and missteps, is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his friends and fight for what’s right.

Angel may have started as a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it quickly established itself as a unique and compelling series in its own right. With its exploration of darker themes and mature storytelling, the show offered a fresh perspective on familiar characters and introduced new ones that quickly became fan favourites. And through the evolution of characters like Wesley, Angel proved that it wasn’t afraid to take risks and push the boundaries of its genre.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Buffyverse or just discovering it for the first time, Angel is definitely worth checking out. With its gripping storytelling, memorable characters, and surprising twists, it’s a spin-off that stands the test of time and proves that sometimes, the best stories are the ones that take risks and go to the dark side.

Both Buffy the vampire slayer and, Angel are available to stream on Dinsey+