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167 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of boxset - not show
To begin I must confess, the only time I have watched Angel..was after it arrived at my door this week in a cute little package. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge "Buffy" fan and own the Chosen Collection (Seasons 1-7). But because I have only recently started watching Angel, this review is for the boxset itself.

Since, I have the Chosen collection, I cannot help...
Published on December 13, 2007 by Jenn

versus
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great show, not sure about the production of this set
I bought this quite recently, although not from Amazon, and have since gone through all of the DVDs. I like to watch DVDs on my computer, and I came across a problem with one in season 5. My computer tells me "This disc is not formatted to play in this region." Now, I understand WMP has some problems with errors popping up about the region of the DVD, but I have selected...
Published on December 14, 2010 by Iggy


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167 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of boxset - not show, December 13, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To begin I must confess, the only time I have watched Angel..was after it arrived at my door this week in a cute little package. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge "Buffy" fan and own the Chosen Collection (Seasons 1-7). But because I have only recently started watching Angel, this review is for the boxset itself.

Since, I have the Chosen collection, I cannot help but compare the two. Angel the series comes in a (obviously) box, with 5 separate DVD holders that layer to make the face of our lovely brooding Vamp-hero-person guy. The sturdiness of the DVD holders caught my eye right off, they are much better than those in the Chosen collection (which were basically bonded with a weak adhesive) The box kinda folds apart, when you lift the lid, a panel falls down so you can see all the DVD season holders, the panel that falls down has a color pic of the Angel Cast. (this is similar to the Chosen collection)

The set includes a color-print booklet that outlines each episode with a short description. Each page highlights 3-4 episodes (the same number of eps. on the corresponding disc) and on the opposite page is a breakdown of the chapters in each show.

The most exciting feature (for me) is the letter from Joss Whedon to the "Angel Fan". A full letter comes folded in a blue envelope in which Joss Whedon discusses Angel, they whys and hows, and highlights some of his favorite moments. In comparison to the letter in the Chosen collection, Angel takes the cake.

The set is a bit pricey, but if you don't already have the individual seasons and like me, have been thinking and thinking that you MUST watch Angel in order to feel like a true Buffy-verse fan, then go ahead, indulge yourself! ;)

Though I am technically a new fan (not even through the 1st season yet!), for this past show, it has already made me laugh and cry. Some old and new faces to fall in love with.

So sit back, and let the dark mysterious stranger that is our beloved Angel entertain you, I don't think he will disappoint, he hasn't me yet!

<3
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245 of 272 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a sequel to Buffy, July 31, 2007
Angel ran an all too short five seasons from 1999-2004, and the now defunct WB network may be defunct in part because of its decision to cancel the show. The story starts out where Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 3 left off, with Angel leaving Sunnydale and his beloved Buffy so that she can have a semblance of a normal life, or at least a normal relationship, which the two of them could never have. The entire series can be divided into three parts, all of which take place in L.A., Angel's new home. I'll warn you right now, there are SPOILERS AHEAD.

The first part consists of season one, and is in monster-of-the-week format rather than the season-long story arcs that Joss Whedon was famous for in Buffy. In season one, Angel starts a supernatural detective agency, "Angel Investigations", with the help of Cordelia Chase, who has moved to L.A. after her family lost all of their money the previous year, and half human-half demon Doyle. Doyle dies a courageous death half-way through the season, and Wesley Windham-Pryce joins the cast as a "rogue demon hunter" who has been fired from the watcher's council for the Faith debacle in Sunnydale the previous year. In this first season he is the same awkward Wesley we saw in season three of BTVS, but that eventually changes. At the end of the season we are introduced to Charles Gunn, a streetwise kid who has been fighting demons his whole life and ekeing out a meager existence on the street. Slowly, he comes to trust Angel and eventually joins the group.

The second part of the series consists of seasons two through four, and is literally one long story arc. Season two deals with the resurrection of Angel's vampire lover Darla, the one who turned him into a vampire in 1753, and whom he killed in season one of BTVS. The ordeal of getting Darla back as a human, and then losing her again when she becomes a vampire once more, drives Angel to the dark side of his soul. He turns against his friends for a brief time as he goes on a crusade of punishing the guilty - Wolfram & Hart - rather than helping the helpless. Eventually he has an epiphany, and returns to his friends and his senses - but not before he and Darla have a night of passion that results in season three's story arc - Darla's pregnancy and the "birth" of Angel's son Conner. Also, at the end of season two the Fang Gang rescues a girl ("Fred") from an alternate dimension - Pylea - which also happens to be the home dimension of Lorne, an empath demon that has been helping Angel and his friends.

In season 3, Angel is adjusting to fatherhood when an old enemy from his vampire past is mystically conjured up - Holtz, a man whose entire family was killed by Angel and Darla when they were both vampires. Holtz uses Wesley's fear of a prophecy that "The father shall kill the son" to get him to steal Angel's son, whom Holtz in turn steals from Wesley. Holtz is cornered by multiple parties who also want Conner, and Holtz takes the infant and jumps into a portal to a hell dimension rather than give up the child. Later in season three, Conner and Holtz both return from the hell dimension. With time running differently in the two dimensions, Conner is now 18 years old, and none too fond of Angel, since Holtz' tales of Angel's cruelty as a vampire have doubtless been Conner's bedtime stories for his entire life. Holtz conjures up a plan to commit assisted suicide and make it look like he has been murdered by Angel so that Conner will take revenge on him. The plan works, and Conner sinks Angel to the bottom of the Pacific in a box, to suffer an everlasting torment of slow starvation.

Season four is the most misunderstood and the wildest ride of any of the seasons. In the first episode, Wesley tries to redeem himself by retrieving Angel from the bottom of the ocean after capturing Conner's accomplice in Angel's imprisonment. Cordelia was made a "higher power" at the end of season three, and she suddenly turns up at Angel's doorstep several episodes into season four, unable to remember anything. The rest of the season is a dizzying blur that involves a mysterious Beast that blots out the sun, the temporary unsouling of Angel so that the gang can question Angelus about his memories of the Beast, another mystical pregnancy that culminates in an evil higher power - Jasmine - coming into the world, and that evil power bringing "world peace" in return for the world's unquestioning worship - until Angel allows people to see Jasmine's true appearance and they run from her in horror. The season concludes with Angel and his crew being given control of the L.A. branch of evil mystical law firm Wolfram & Hart supposedly as a reward for "destroying world peace". Angel agrees to the deal, if in return all memories of Conner's existence are erased from everyone who knew him and if Conner is placed in a "normal" family with new planted memories that involve only his new family, and not his actual past. This acts as a reset for all of the emotional pain of the past three years for everyone except Angel, who retains his memories of what actually happened.

Season five basically stands alone and is the third and final part of the series. This final season returns more to the monster-of-the-week format that was present in season one, largely as a condition of WB renewing the show since the confusing labrynth that was season four had not had stellar ratings. Spike, from the now defunct BTVS, is thrown into the mix, at first as a ghost that is unable to leave the premises of Wolfram & Hart. Later in the season Spike reclaims his corporeal presence, though. The first part of the season is on the light side, as each member of the Fang Gang receives their dream job on a platter at Wolfram & Hart, with all of the resources they could ever ask, and the hope of doing good deeds in a place once renowned for evil. Later though, they slowly discover that is they that are being changed and compromised, not the law firm. This culminates in one great tragedy two-thirds into the season, resulting in the death of one the members of the Fang Gang. In the end, Angel and his crew decide to turn the tables and strike at the heart of the players in the Apocalypse by killing all of the members of an evil secret society. They are successful, but there are casualties among their ranks. The last scene shows the survivors cornered in an alley about to be attacked by Wolfram & Hart's minions. When asked what they should do, the last line of the show is Angel telling the others "Well, Personally? I Kinda Wanna Slay the Dragon." as he swings a sword and we fade to black. The Fang Gang goes out fighting and we never really know what happened to them, and because the actors have long since gone on to other projects, we never will.

"Angel" is adult fare from start to finish, not the teen fare of at least the early years of Buffy. However, Joss Whedon's epic tale of a vampire with a soul and his search for redemption is great television. Angel is not the only character on a journey in this series. Throughout the tenure of the show we watch the shallow and selfish Cordelia Chase change into a brave soul who is willing to become part demon in order to continue on in her mission. We also watch as Wesley changes from buffoonish comic relief into a true rogue demon hunter who has a penchant for darkness that rivals Angel. Charles Gunn changes from the street-wise kid who is proud of being the muscle into someone who is willing to sell his soul to not to return to that role. Even Lorne is not spared, as he changes from the consummate entertainer with an ever-sunny personality into someone who can only find solace at the bottom of a glass of alcohol and loses his heart for the good fight "the moment I found out a girl I loved was going to die".

As far as the specific contents of this package go, you'll be getting all of the 110 original episodes with all of the extra features included in the original DVD sets. In addition, there is supposed to be a companion booklet and a special letter to fans from Joss Whedon.
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206 of 255 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great show about one person's search for the possibility of redemption, August 5, 2007
Warning! Contains major spoilers!

I recently watched a great documentary about the women stunt double's Jeannie Epper and Zoë Bell. The latter was Lucy Lawless's stunt double on XENA, though she is now perhaps best known for her work as Uma Thurman's double in KILL BILL and her amazing work playing herself in DEATH PROOF (she was the New Zealand chick on the hood of the Dodge Challenger). The extras included an interview with Quentin Tarantino and one of the things they asked him was his thoughts on XENA, the show on which Bell first performed (as Lucy Lawless points out, two women portrayed Xena, but only one really got credit). His analysis of XENA was, I think, really profound. The central idea was that Xena was someone who had committed crimes so extensive and so extreme that even though she had turned to the path of doing good, she was never going to be able to balance things. No matter how many good things she did, the bad would still overshadow them. As he puts it, not matter what she does "she'll only be paying ten cents on the dollar." The second I heard this from Tarantino, I realized that he was describing not only Xena but also Angel. If anything, Angel's crimes were worse than Xena's because he not only killed his victims, but also robbed them of their souls. Rarely has television seen such an extended examination of the possibilities of personal salvation.

XENA and ANGEL had one other thing in common. Both were among the most successful spin offs in TV history. Though XENA never garnered the critical acclaim that either BUFFY or ANGEL achieved, it far surpassed HERCULES in both popularity and critical acclaim. ANGEL never eclipsed BUFFY as XENA did HERCULES, but it nonetheless became one of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV. Its cancellation following its fifth season, when it was one of the highest rated shows on the WB, remains one of the most mystifying of the past decade. The fan campaign to save the show far surpassed the successful campaign to save JERICHO this year. And although Joss Whedon has recently announced that he intends to produce ANGEL Season 6 in comic form, just as he is currently undertaking BUFFY Season 8 on Darkhorse Comics, ANGEL continues to be missed by its fans.

One of the many things that made ANGEL so great was that the show not only focused on the central arc concerning Angel, but also featured fully developed arcs for all the major characters. The show was not simply about Angel, but almost equally about the other characters as well. Although Angel was clearly the central character, the show was very much about the chosen family that was created around him. Cordelia, Doyle, Wesley, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, and finally Spike and Illyria managed to form a caring if frequently dysfunctional family. Ironically, the one person who was not able to become a part of that family was Angel's own son, who never really meshed either with the overall narrative or with the other characters.

But at the center of the show from beginning to end was Angel's quest to try and be a force for good despite all the evil he afflicted. He wasn't in the least convinced that he could make amends ("Amends" was, in fact, the title of possibly the greatest of the Angel episodes on BUFFY) and he was pretty much convinced that in the end good might not win out over evil, but something he tells Detective Kate Lockley in the Season Two episode "Epiphany" gets to the heart of the show. Although she never invites him into his house, he nevertheless is able to enter her apartment when he realizes that she has attempted suicide. He helps save her life and afterwards they are talking. He explains that he has to strive to do what is right not knowing if he will be successful, knowing that "there are no big wins." This is similar to the idea expressed in the very last line in the series, when Angel tells his friends, faced with fighting an overwhelming army of evil creatures, "Let's get to work." The whole idea is to not worry about results, but only worry about intent, to make sure you are striving to do good, to not give up or into despair.

It was not a perfect show. It was, in fact, a fairly unlucky show. There were also a couple of ill-advised story arcs. In Season Three there was the absolutely bizarre idea of Angel's son Connor, easily the most unpopular character in the Slayerverse, rivaled distantly by Dawn on BUFFY. Even worse was the decision to make Cordy evil in Season Four. And even worse was the abuse of the magnificent Gina Torres as Jasmine in Season Four. The result was that the last quarter of Season Three (in what was otherwise a magnificent season) and most of Season Four were possibly the worst thing that ever happened on a Joss Whedon show. Even worse than all of this was the brief sexual pairing of Connor and Evil Cordy in Season Four, a sequence that registered as high on the Ick-o-meter as anything ever seen on prime time television. Things were also hurt by Charisma Carpenter's unanticipated leave of absence towards the end of Season Three (which caused some rapid rewriting of several episodes) and her delay in informing Whedon and Co. that she was pregnant in Season Four. This resulted in her being written out of the show, though she did make a wonderful farewell appearance in a single Season Five episode.

But despite the problems with the end of Season Three and the myriad of problems in Season Four, the show never ceased to be less than fascinating. Even Season Four had some marvelous episodes, including the haunting season premiere, the marvelous comic episode "Spin the Bottle," and the three-part Faith sequence in the middle of the season. There were also some amazing special effects in Season Four as well as the Beast, an absolutely haunting Big Bad. The show did manage to rally for a wonderful Season Five, complete with the addition of Spike from BUFFY. By the end of the season Spike and Angel had come to form a great team and had the show returned for another year the show would have become something of a buddy show centered on them.

Speaking of Season Six, we know something of what would have happened thanks to producer Jeffrey Bell, who shared some of the ideas they were developing. There was, for instance, talk of an episode in which Angel and Spike would have undertaken a case that would have required them to go in drag. But the most fascinating arc definitely centered on Illyria. Although the goddess Illyria had taken over Fred's body, supposedly destroying her soul, in Season Six we would have found that this was wrong. Allyson Hanigan would have guest starred as Willow and would have performed a spell that would have allowed Fred to come back. Illyria, however, would not have disappeared. Instead, Amy Acker would have played both characters. When Bell in interviews shared all this my anger at the WB (good riddance to a bad network) reflamed. Wesley would not, of course, have died had there been a Season Six, and I can just imagine the dynamics between Wesley and Fred on the one hand, and an intensely powerful Illyria who had something resembling a crush on Wesley.

Still, the good on the show dramatically outweighed the bad and even at its worst it remained one of the best shows on television. And although one can be angry at it being cancelled when there were still some wonderful story arcs to be told, one can also be grateful that we got five full seasons. It definitely goes on the list of the best shows on television of the past twenty years.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a sequel to Buffy, December 23, 2006
This review is from: Angel - Seasons 1-5 (DVD)
Angel ran an all too short five seasons from 1999-2004, and the now defunct WB may be defunct in part because of its decision to cancel the show. The story starts out where Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 3 left off, with Angel leaving Sunnydale and his beloved Buffy so that she can have a semblance of a normal life, or at least a normal relationship, which the two of them could never have. The entire series can be divided into three parts, all of which take place in L.A., Angel's new home.

The first part consists of season one, and is in monster-of-the-week format rather than the season-long story arcs that Joss Whedon was famous for in Buffy. In season one, Angel starts a supernatural detective agency, "Angel Investigations", with the help of Cordelia Chase, who has moved to L.A. after her family lost all of their money the previous year, and half human-half demon Doyle. Doyle dies a courageous death half-way through the season, and Wesley Windham-Pryce joins the cast as a "rogue demon hunter" who has been fired from the watcher's council for the Faith debacle in Sunnydale the previous year. In this first season he is the same awkward Wesley we saw in season three of BTVS, but that eventually changes. At the end of the season we are introduced to Charles Gunn, a streetwise kid who has been fighting demons his whole life and ekeing out a meager existence on the street. Slowly, he comes to trust Angel and eventually joins the group.

The second part of the series consists of seasons two through four, and is literally one long story arc. Season two deals with the resurrection of Angel's vampire lover Darla, the one who turned him into a vampire in 1753, and whom he killed in season one of BTVS. The ordeal of getting Darla back as a human, and then losing her again when she becomes a vampire once more, drives Angel to the dark side of his soul. He turns against his friends for a brief time as he goes on a crusade of punishing the guilty - Wolfram & Hart - rather than helping the helpless. Eventually he has an epiphany, and returns to his friends and his senses - but not before he and Darla have a night of passion that results in season three's story arc - Darla's pregnancy and the "birth" of Angel's son Conner. Also, at the end of season two the Fang Gang rescues a girl ("Fred") from an alternate dimension - Pylea - which also happens to be the home dimension of Lorne, an empath demon that has been helping Angel and his friends.

In season 3, Angel is adjusting to fatherhood when an old enemy from his vampire past is mystically conjured up - Holtz, a man whose entire family was killed by Angel and Darla when they were both vampires. Holtz uses Wesley's fear of a prophecy that "The father shall kill the son" to get him to steal Angel's son, whom Holtz in turn steals from Wesley. Holtz is cornered by multiple parties who also want Conner, and Holtz takes the infant and jumps into a portal to a hell dimension rather than give up the child. Later in season three, Conner and Holtz both return from the hell dimension. With time running differently in the two dimensions, Conner is now 18 years old, and none too fond of Angel, since Holtz' tales of Angel's cruelty as a vampire have doubtless been Conner's bedtime stories for his entire life. Holtz conjures up a plan to commit assisted suicide and make it look like he has been murdered by Angel so that Conner will take revenge on him. The plan works, and Conner sinks Angel to the bottom of the Pacific in a box, to suffer an everlasting torment of slow starvation.

Season four is the most misunderstood and the wildest ride of any of the seasons. In the first episode, Wesley tries to redeem himself by retrieving Angel from the bottom of the ocean after capturing Conner's accomplice in Angel's imprisonment. Cordelia was made a "higher power" at the end of season three, and she suddenly turns up at Angel's doorstep several episodes into season four, unable to remember anything. The rest of the season is a dizzying blur that involves a mysterious Beast that blots out the sun, the temporary unsouling of Angel so that the gang can question Angelus about his memories of the Beast, another mystical pregnancy that culminates in an evil higher power - Jasmine - coming into the world, and that evil power bringing "world peace" in return for the world's unquestioning worship - until Angel allows people to see Jasmine's true appearance and they run from her in horror. The season concludes with Angel and his crew being given control of the L.A. branch of evil mystical law firm Wolfram & Hart supposedly as a reward for "destroying world peace". Angel agrees to the deal, if in return all memories of Conner's existence are erased from everyone who knew him and if Conner is placed in a "normal" family with new planted memories that involve only his new family, and not his actual past. This acts as a reset for all of the emotional pain of the past three years for everyone except Angel, who retains his memories of what actually happened.

Season five basically stands alone and is the third and final part of the series. This final season returns more to the monster-of-the-week format that was present in season one, largely as a condition of WB renewing the show since the confusing labrynth that was season four had not had stellar ratings. Spike, from the now defunct BTVS, is thrown into the mix, at first as a ghost that is unable to leave the premises of Wolfram & Hart. Later in the season Spike reclaims his corporeal presence, though. The first part of the season is on the light side, as each member of the Fang Gang receives their dream job on a platter at Wolfram & Hart, with all of the resources they could ever ask, and the hope of doing good deeds in a place once renowned for evil. Later though, they slowly discover that is they that are being changed and compromised, not the law firm. This culminates in one great tragedy two-thirds into the season, resulting in the death of one the members of the Fang Gang. In the end, Angel and his crew decide to turn the tables and strike at the heart of the players in the Apocalypse by killing all of the members of an evil secret society. They are successful, but there are casualties among their ranks. The last scene shows the survivors cornered in an alley about to be attacked by Wolfram & Hart's minions. When asked what they should do, the last line of the show is Angel telling the others "Well, Personally? I Kinda Wanna Slay the Dragon." as he swings a sword and we fade to black. The Fang Gang goes out fighting and we never really know what happened to them, and because the actors have long since gone on to other projects, we never will.

"Angel" is adult fare from start to finish, not the teen fare of at least the early years of Buffy. However, Joss Whedon's epic tale of a vampire with a soul and his search for redemption is great television. Angel is not the only character on a journey in this series. Throughout the tenure of the show we watch the shallow and selfish Cordelia Chase change into a brave soul who is willing to become part demon in order to continue on in her mission. We also watch as Wesley changes from buffoonish comic relief into a true rogue demon hunter who has a penchant for darkness that rivals Angel. Charles Gunn changes from the street-wise kid who is proud of being the muscle into someone who is willing to sell his soul to not to return to that role. Even Lorne is not spared, as he changes from the consummate entertainer with an ever-sunny personality into someone who can only find solace at the bottom of a glass of alcohol and loses his heart for the good fight "the moment I found out a girl I loved was going to die".
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indespensable companion to the greatest live-action series ever., August 2, 2007
By 
trashcanman (Hanford, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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So "Angel" is just a spin-off of the legendary "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series right? Surely Joss Whedon just delivered this as some sort of a second-rate cash-in to Buffy's success by focusing on her [...] goody two-shoes vampire ex-boyfriend. So why bother? Well, how about the fact that the show started off damn near as good as "Buffy" and was arguably better when some dimwit at the WB decided to pull the plug after what is easily one of the finest seasons of sci-fi/fantasy television ever to hit the air. Angel is set up as a lonely soul who begins protecting the citizens of the night in Los Angeles from vampires and demons. He quickly meets a friend who speaks of his destiny and mission and then meets a familiar face, Buffy's friend/rival Cordelia Chase, currently pursuing an acting career. The threesome form a small detective agency specializing in supernatural cases and vowing to "help the helpless". Along the way, we find that Angel is to be a major instrument of the coming apocalypse, but it is unclear whether it will be as a hero to save the day or as his super-villainesqe alter-ego, Angelus, to help end the world. Remember, Angel was the worst killer in vampire history until gypsies restored his soul so that he would feel the agony of regret over his past deeds for all eternity. Should Angel lose his soul (by experiencing a moment of perfect happpiness; nice touch, jerks), then Angelus will arise from within Angel and wreak havok once again. But it's not all dark, brooding, and depressing; far from it, the show is actually quite light-hearted much of the time. Like in "Buffy" (and all of Whedon's work, for that matter), character humor is almost always at the forefront. The show veers from kicking butt to causing tears of laughter to breaking your heart as effortlessly as any show ever has.

The first season returned to a familiar monster/metaphor-of-the-week formula, but while "Buffy" focused on teen and, later, young adult issues "Angel" used supernatural metaphors to explore 20 and 30-something issues such as the singles bar scene, corporate exploitation, and street violence. Season one was also predictably full of "Buffy" cross-overs and familiar faces from that show's past and present, but regardless of the fact that this was just an easy way to pull in viewers, the result is nearly flawless entertainment that makes you WANT to watch both shows. In the best example of this, rogue vampire hunter Faith flees from Buffy after assaulting her in Sunnydale on that show and winds up meeting up with Angel's crew the week after in L.A. When Buffy shows up to take her pound of flesh out of a repentant Faith's rear, Angel is forced to step in and confront the love of his life to save his enemy's soul. Viewed along with the Buffy's episodes, you've got a complete and compelling story of my personal favorite character from either show. Season two really hit it's stride by bringing back Angel's vampiric sire, Darla, and eventually her delightfully insane makeshift sister, Drusilla, a victim of Angelus's past transgressions. Angel's battles with his ex-family lead him and the show to very dark places, placing distance between his new family, which now includes an vampire hunting gang leader named Gunn and Buffy's ex-watcher (and former bozo), Wesley. Seasons three and four are filled with brilliance, but take a few turns for the worst when the inevitable kid becomes involved. Teen angst adds nothing to this show in my opinion and puts these two seasons head-and-shoulders beneath the other three. This is not to say that they aren't awesome and absolutely vital viewing for any fan of the supernatural genre, they just aren't of the flawless caliber of seasons, one, two, and five. If you minimize the overwrought Connor-based storylines, seasons three and four are still absolute top-notch entertainment and deliver some of the series' greatest moments, not the least of which is the anticipated return of Angelus, just in time for the apocalypse. Season five is a complete rebirth of the series and, in my opinion, it is the absolute peak of the show that arguably surpasses "Buffy" on many levels. We say our tearful goodbyes to beloved characters and welcome more in their place. Bringing back Angelus's old comrade Spike (now with a soul of his own, muddying up the waters of the old prophecy) was considered a bad move by many, but I've always found the character's snarky humor irresistable. When Illyria, an ancient goddess of formerly all-consuming power, shows up in shocking fashion the result is a consistently intriguing side-story that runs the length of the season and a great new character unlike any I've ever seen. In another example of Joss Whedon's bizarre and brilliant genius, Angel is transformed into a puppet (think "Crank Yankers") and forced to battle other demon-possessed puppets running a children's show. This is easily my favorite episode of the entire series and, like the "Buffy" musical before it, shows just how hysterically entertaining an episode of television can be. So, are you convinced that Angel deserved his own show yet? If not, just trust me and buy this very nicely priced DVD collection. If you loved "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" you will not, you can not be disappointed by "Angel".
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great show, not sure about the production of this set, December 14, 2010
This review is from: Angel: The Complete Series (DVD)
I bought this quite recently, although not from Amazon, and have since gone through all of the DVDs. I like to watch DVDs on my computer, and I came across a problem with one in season 5. My computer tells me "This disc is not formatted to play in this region." Now, I understand WMP has some problems with errors popping up about the region of the DVD, but I have selected it to play DVDs from Region 1, as it should be, and it just does not work. So what's up with that? I took a good look at my DVDs. I noticed, within season 5 at least, half of the discs are copyrighted 2004, and half of them are copyrighted 2008. It looks to me like they have mixed new DVDs with old ones. As a result, it also appears as though they may have mixed up the regions, considering one of them won't even work. Another issue I have: quite a few of my discs have minor scratches on them. Not too much to worry about since it appears as though all the other discs work fine, but I do not expect any scratches at all on a set of never-opened DVDs.
It is hard for me to give a low rating on this set, because the content itself is amazing. Angel was a great show, and it is one that I have watched over and over again dozens of times and I am still not sick of it. However, it bothers me that the Series has been re-released as brand new in 2010, and I have 6-year-old DVDs in my set, including one DVD that won't even play at all.

Let me restate: this review is not specifically about the show. This is my second-favorite show of all time next to Buffy, and I would give the series 5/5 stars. The characters are great, the plots are great, the dialogue is great. My rating of 3 stars is for the poor repackaging of the box set. I have since taken the set back to get a replacement. All the disks work in my new set, but they still appear to be a compilation of different years and there are still minor scratches on a few of the disks. Luckily, the scratches in this box have not caused playback issues, but it is still frustrating to see when someone thinks they are buying something new.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great companion for Buffy: Chosen Set, November 24, 2007
By 
lastremnant (North Carolina United States) - See all my reviews
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If you came to this page you have probably already seen the series in reruns or when it originally aired so your question might be if you should shell out money on this set.

If you already own the Buffy:Chosen set, I can tell you that this is an excellent companion set. It's designed in the same exact fashion. I think it's exactly what Whedon fans wanted and have been waiting for the Angel series. If you already own all the original season dvds of Angel, then this might not be the best deal for you as you won't get much else.

Still, it's a great space saver, very well-organized, and fits nicely beside the Buffy set.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did it have to end?????, November 13, 2007
By 
Scubafiend "scubafiend" (St. Petersburg, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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Oh I wish it hadn't ended so quickly.

I think the other reviews have pretty much covered it, but I had to add my sorrow that Angel only lasted 5 short seasons. It should have gone on at least two more and it would still have been fresh, exciting, challenging, and pushing the envelope.

A note on the full series - unlike the MacGyver series I just bought, they did a tremendous job in the packaging of this set. Very nicely done!!!! The only thing that would make it better would be if a few more seasons suddenly appeared......
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arch Angel, February 28, 2006
By 
Andrew "Radaar" (Chicago, IL, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angel - Seasons 1-5 (DVD)
I believe that Joss Whedon is one of the greatest (and definitely the most underrated) writers of our time. The man is responsible for three of the greatest series of the last decade: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. He helped write Toy Story, wrote and directed the wonderful Serenity (a continuation of Firefly), and is a great comic book writer as well. In his second television series, Angel (which is a spin-off of his critically-acclaimed and cult classic show Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Whedon shows us that he can take a secondary, albeit very interesting, character and develop an entire series around them. It is very rare for spin-offs to be as highly regarded as their predecessors, with Frasier and Angel being notable exceptions. Angel pulls it off, though. Telling a story about redemption, vampires with souls, and life after school, Angel is as entertaining and engaging as its parent series, even if it isn't nearly as known.

*SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*

Prelude

Angel (David Boreanaz)is a 200-year-old vampire who has been cursed with a soul and conscience. Once known as Angelus, he was one of the worst vampires in history. He killed people for the fun of it, and not only killed them, he was a master of torture, both physical and mental. When he killed the daughter of a Gypsy, he paid for his work by getting back his human soul, and he was forced to actually care about the atrocious things that he had done. After about a century of brooding, self-pity, and remorse, he finally hit rock-bottom and was living on the streets in Manhattan, until a benevolent demon known as Whistler (Max Perlich) showed him Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the newest vampire slayer. Angel fell for her, and when the two formally met, a paradoxical relationship developed. But when the vampire and the slayer consumated their love, the unthinkable happened; the curse was broken because Angel experienced true happiness for a moment and forgot about the pain he had caused. He reverted back to Angelus and wrought havoc throughout Sunnydale, California. After his soul was returned, he and Buffy tried living in the same city, but it was too hard, and he decided to leave for Los Angeles.

Season 1

A few months after leaving Sunnydale, Angel has started helping people in Los Angeles, trying to redeem himself for what he did as Angelus. After meeting up with fellow Sunnydale exile Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpentar) and another benevolent demon called Doyle (Glenn Quinn) who gets prophetic visions from the "Powers That Be", the trio decide to set up Angel Investigations, a paranormal detective agency. They help people deal with problems such as demonic possessions, vampire attacks, and ghost hauntings. Working with Kate Lockley (Elisabeth Rohm), a contact at the LAPD, Angel and company try to "help the helpless". Unfortunately, Wolfram and Hart, a conduit to pure evil posing as a lawfirm, tends to cause problems for Angel. The company is an outlet for evil, and it uses a lawfirm facade to legitimate its actions, as well as helping demons, warlocks, and other kinds of villains get out of legal trouble. About halfway through the season, Cordelia starts receiving the visions, which start her on a path that changes her from the selfish valley girl of Buffy to a full-fleged hero, and ex-Watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) joins the team. The season studies adult issues, such as getting your first job, getting your first apartment, and being a start-up business trying to take on a large corporation. While it is more episodic than most of the other seasons, it still is entertaining, and the final episode leaves us with a great cliffhanger.

Season 2

After learning about the Shanshu prophecy, which states that "the vampire with a soul" will become human again after he has redeemed himself, Angel kind of goes into overdrive trying to save as many people as he can. He also hires Charles Gunn (J. August Richards), a street kid who fights vampires, to help out at Angel Investigations. Meanwhile, Wolfram and Hart has resurrected Darla (Julie Benz), the vampire that sired Angel, and they plan on using her to lure Angel back to the side of evil. Eventually, Angel begins to question if the "little" things he is doing are enough to redeem him, and he has a meltdown. He decides that its time to fight a war, and begins a series of massive attacks against W&H, one of which leaves a large percentage of the senior staff dead. In a sense, he become Angelus, but he still has a soul. It isn't until the near-death of a friend that he realizes the true value of the little things. The season ends with the group traveling to a world called Pylea, which is the home dimension of Lorne the Host (Andy Hallet), a demon who had been helping the team out throughout the year. While there, they meet Winifred "Fred" Burkle (Amy Acker), an LA woman who was sucked into Pylea 5 years prior, and has nearly gone insane living in the world where humans are nothing but beasts of burden.

Season 3

Upon returning from Pylea, the gang found Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), one of their friends from Sunnydale, who tells them that Buffy is dead. Distraught, Angel spent 3 months in a temple meditating on the issue. Upon his return to LA, he soon learns that Darla is pregnant, which should be an impossibility. Vampires are infertile, and yet he and Darla have set in motion the events of a prophecy stating that two vampires will give birth to a child. This causes all sorts of problems for the group; Wolfram and Hart wants the child to experiment on while vampire cults think that it is some sort of deity. Possibly worst of all, Daniel Holtz (Keith Szarabajka), a vampire hunter from 1700's England who had run-ins with Angel and Darla, has been transported to the present by Sajhaan (Jack Conley), a time-traveling demon, in order to get revenge on the pair for what they did to his family in the 18th century. Employing a group of people who have also been hurt by vampires, Holtz intends to take Connor, Angel's son. Eventually, things get to a point where W&H, Sajhaan, Holtz, and Angel are all battling for Connor, and Holtz takes the baby to a demon dimension, never to be seen again. Due to Wes' indirect role in the kidnapping, Angel tries to kill him, and he is ostrasized from the group. But a few weeks later, a now teenaged Connor (Vincent Kartheiser) due to the fact that time moves differently in the other dimension, breaks back through the barrier back to LA and tries to kill Angel. Holtz raised him to believe that Angel was a monster (which isn't completely false), and it leads to a great cliffhanger ending.

Season 4

The previous season ended with the group in shambles. Lorne left for Las Vegas, Wesley was cut out from the group, Cordelia ascended to a higher plane of existence, and Angel was sealed in a box and dropped to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, Fred and Gunn (who have no idea what happened to Angel or Cordy) look after Connor (who is responsible for Angel, but has no knowledge of where Cordy is) and teach him how to be a good demon fighter. Meanwhile, Wesley kidnapped Justine Holt (Laurel Holloman), Holtz's right-hand woman and lover, and is using her to find Angel. When Angel gets back to the surface, he kicks Connor out and rejoins Fred and Gunn. After finding out where Cordelia is, they go to Vegas to get Lorne back. Upon their return to LA, they find Cordelia back in their hotel, but with no knowledge of who she is or who they are. Soon, Cordy's memories are returned, Wes rejoins the group, and a monstrous Beast rises up from the ground and nearly kills every member of the group. It effectively takes out Wolfram and Hart, and successfully blocks out the sun. To make matters worse, the gang gets information that says that the Beast and Angelus have some sort of connection, and in order to find a way to defeat the Beast, they remove Angel's soul. Angelus causes many more problems than he sovles, and he is soon on the loose after the Beast's mysterious master releases him. Eventually, the goddess Jasmine, who had been pulling all the strings, is born from Cordelia and tries to take over the world... by uniting people under world peace. By the end of the year, the gang receives a monumental offer from a former enemy.

Season 5

As a reward for ending world peace, Angel and his team are offered complete control of the LA branch of Wolfram and Hart to run any way they see fit. They accept in order to use its infinite resources to do good. Things seem overwhelming, but when Spike (James Marsters), another vampire who has been granted a soul, is resurrected after saving the world in the Buffy series finale, things get much more complicated. Angel and Spike can't stand each other, and for a while, Spike is merely a ghost who can't leave W&H, and thus annoys Angel in order to pass the time. But after becoming corporeal again, the two vampires fight over the rights to the Shanshu prophecy, only to have Spike beat Angel in a fight for the first time ever. Fortunately for Angel, the two were set up. Unfortunately for everyone, the man behind the events is one of Angel's old rivals. As the season goes on, the gang find themselves making comprimises left and right, one of which leads to the death of Fred and the rising of Illyria, an ancient demon who uses Fred's body as a vessel on the Earth. Eventually, the gang learns that tehy have been taken in by W&H, and since they are now only reacting to situations, they are no longer the heroes they once were. This season is also fairly episodic, but the fact that there doesn't seem to be an arc turns out to be the arc (only Joss could pull that off). Furthermore, the relationship dynamic between Angel and Spike helps elevate this season to one of the series' best.

Angel is one of the best series you've never seen. It dealt with very real issues through wonderful metaphors. I love how this show, along with Buffy, was more "real" than most other shows, many of which did not involve demons, magic, and monsters. While it got 5 seasons, it still had a lot of stories to tell, and was cut short. The WB made a big mistake cancelling it (especially considering everything that the show had going for it in its final year), but at least we got 5 great years. If you have never seen Angel, now is the time to redeem yourself and catch up with all five seasons.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Show, Bad DVD's, January 27, 2009
I bought this box set because I love the show but after only having it for a few months the DVD's started to degrade. They have strange prism type squares on the surface on the DVD that makes it unable to play. I've had the box set for a year now I've found three DVD's with that problem that are just useless now.
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Angel: The Complete Series
Angel: The Complete Series by David Boreanaz (DVD - 2010)
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