Mr Light wrote:
I always preferred Angel over Buffy. A superior show in every way! And once you get past Season One, it was consistently good too. S2-5 had very few stinkers in it. Can't say that about Buffy!
Season one had its merits too. The opener was a bona fide debut and subverted one or two clichés (He desn't save the girl, doesn't stop short of killing the villain etc.) and the rest of the season had highlights like the Faith two-parter and To Shanshu In LA
(David Greenwalt on feverish top form.).
As for the comparison, my ten Desert Island DVD Packages would include Buffy
season three and probably season four. Angel
seasons two, three and five would probably follow shortly on the list, along with Buffy
had some truly visceral and Shakesperean moments in season two, but arguably it was season three that saw the show really come into its own as a dramatic entity. Just as the premise of Angel
is the transition from "adolescence" to bona fide adulthood, the first episode of season three represents a significant rite of passage for the show, symbolised by Angel dealing with the death of Buffy. As the season progresses, we venture into pretty deep territory, covering universal themes of identity, self-definition, love, betrayal, friendship, loyalty, alienation and morality. It has perhaps the best character arcs of the entire franchise - Angel's fatherhood, Cordelia's maturation, Wesley's martyr complex, Fred's kooky-to-badass transition, Gunn's integration to the mainstream, the revelation of Lorne's innate decency etc.
Really, though, I don't see the two shows as having been in competition but rather as complementing each other. At ther respective bests, they're both wonderful in very different ways.