BTVS was always the more popular and ground-breaking show, plus spin-offs are rarely as popular as the original. Still, I've come to enjoy "Angel" more for the following reasons:
1. More interesting main character. 240-year-old vampire cursed with a soul on a quest for redemption is more interesting than "hot blonde woman deals with frustrations in school and in her love life"
Matter of taste. Personally I find Buffy more interesting and far more relatable. Even though Angel is a really interesting character to analyze. But Buffy, especially since season 5, became one of my all-time favorite characters.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you're not a woman?
2. Better setting. Supernatural detective agency vs. high school, college, or wherever. Plus L.A. vs Sunnydale
Again, not to me. I've never worked at a detective agency, but I've been to high school and college, and Buffy's story is way closer to me.
3. Wolfram and Hart as series-long over-arching antagonist vs villains of the season on BTVS
Undecided. On one side, there are advantages to having one antagonist. But Evil Lawyer Firm is just about the most cliche, easiest-to-hate villain one could possibly think of. Personally, I prefer Holtz, far more interesting as an antagonist.
Not all of Buffy
's villains were great, but many of them were, and Buffy
's storylines were more versatile with villains that mirrored the season's theme: from the Master as the evil patriarchal figure embodying Buffy's problems with father figures and tradition; Angelus, Spike and Dru for the season that was about emotions, romance and sex; a politician and another father figure in The Mayor (by himself one of the best villains ever) and Faith as Buffy's doppelganger; a vain hellgod and her human 'brother' in a season about family; followed by a trio of nerds playing at being villains who seem harmless until you realize they really aren't - and of course, Willow finally showing the dark side that was always there beneath the sweetness. Season 4 had the weakest villain because there was the weakest connection to the main characters and their issues, and the First in season 7 could have been great but unfortunately didn't make sense in the end (I'd still take it over AtS Season 4 villains any day).
Besides, Wolfram and Hart wasn't even always the antagonist, in season 4 it was Jasmine and the incredibly boring and cliche Beast. Plus Angelus again, but so much lamer than on BtVS.
4. Angel is more adult and darker in tone. By avoiding the high school setting, Angel was able to tell more adult-relevant stories, plus avoided the drift from a mid-series shift in settings after graduation from high school on BTVS. Angel was also grittier and more noirish in tone, with a darker message of the "no big victories" and that the fight against evil is always going on
Yes, that was the idea of AtS in the first place. But 1) why would a show have to tell exclusively adult-relevant stories? Being a teenager is a big part of human experience. 2) what is wrong with having a shift after leaving high school? That's one of the things I like about BtVS. It reflects the experience of growing up. It seems like you want your shows to be the same in tone all the way through.
And I'm not sure that AtS was that much darker or more adult than BtVS seasons 5-7.
5. Angel at its weakest(perhaps season 3 or 4 depending on your view) was better than BTVS at its weakest (season 6)
I couldn't disagree more, on two accounts:
a) If you consider season 6 BtVS's weakest season, we have a disconnect immediately since I think it's one of the best (together with seasons 5 and 2) and my personal favorite.
b) I don't think that AtS on its weakest is better than BtVS on its weakest. BtVS's weakest season is 1, the show was still finding its footing, but I'll take it over AtS season 4 any day. I'd also take BtVS season 4 and season 7 over AtS season 4 any day. (Maybe over AtS season 5 as well, it has some great stuff going for it but it also is infuriating in many ways.)
Giles, Willow, Xander, Oz, Tara, etc. vs. Gunn, Fred, and Cordelia? no contest)
At least we agree on something.
had much more interesting and better developed characters. I find almost all the characters on Buffy
interesting. On Angel
, I'm interested in Angel, Darla, Wesley...Cordelia is OK until they started turning her into a saint in season 3, and I don't care either way about Fred and Gunn, while Lorne was a fun character but never properly developed.
Now let me list a few more reasons why I prefer Buffy
was by far the more innovative and experimental show. It mixed genres better and it played with the narrative format in episodes like Hush, Restless, The Body, Once More With Feeling, Conversations with Dead People. Angel
was by comparison a straightforward noir story.
had better humor, much wittier dialogue and was more fun overall.
-The lead character of Buffy
is inherently a more groundbreaking and interesting hero by virtue of being the unexpected and unconventional hero - a woman, a teenage girl, a blonde ex-cheerleader who quips and likes fashion and shopping and at the first glance is absolutely not someone a traditional narrative would cast as a hero.
By contrast, the protagonist of Angel is a brooding, tall, dark handsome man in a long dark coat who saves damsels. Speaking of which...
is a show that plays and examines gender roles in deeper and more interesting ways than any other I can think of. Angel
, on the other hand... really doesn't. It's very traditional in that respect. A man is the hero, women are there to be emotional support or femme fatales or damsels or trophies for the boys to fight over... and to be fridged
, which brings me to:
- What seasons 4 and 5 of AtS did with its female characters was really atrocious. Buffy
was more female-oriented but still had great male characters and great character arcs for men as well (Spike). Angel
disposed of its main female characters in the most demeaning ways possible until it was completely a boy's show at the end. Doyle and Wesley got great heroic deaths; Cordelia and Fred got their agency completely taken away and got possessed, violated in all sorts of ways and left for dead, just to draw some reactions from the men. I cringe at the "my boys" scene. A Hole in the World
was the most egregious example of Woman In a Refrigerator.
- The Powers That Be and the big retcon of season 4. No, thank you, I don't like shows where a bunch of things are supposed to have been manipulated by higher powers. If Buffy
is Shakespeare, Angel
is a Greek tragedy, with gods looking down and playing the character's strings. And those are just not my cup of tea.
- Angel had the worst episode of Buffyverse ever, The Girl in Question.
Angel is to Buffy as DS9 is to TNG, in a lot of ways. And seeing how DS9 is my favourite Trek, I agree with you.
No, it's really not. For that to be true, the following would have to be the case:
- BtVS to be a non-serialized show like TNG. No, it was a very serialized show, except in season 1 and part of season 2. AtS was also rather non-serialized in season 1.
- BtVS to have a lot of bland characters and just a few interesting ones, and AtS to have all its main characters and a bunch of recurring characters wonderfully developed. No, in fact I think it's more of the opposite.
- BtVS to have no character development except for one or two characters. Hell no
- AtS to have more good actors than BtVS. Again, no.
- BtVS's female characters would have to be boring and traditional, while AtS would have to have a great balance of great male and female characters.
I'm curious how is BtVS:AtS = TNG: DS9 to you, except for the fact that AtS is a spinoff and that there were some crossovers?
S6 is my favourite season of Buffy, though, despite all it's flaws. And posibly my second favourite Buffyverse season, after AtS S2. Go figure.
Probably because I think it's the darkest and least formulaic season of Buffy.
Season 2 is my favorite season of Angel
by far. Too bad it ends with the Pylea arc which really doesn't fit and ruins the structure, if it had ended differently it may have been the best season of both shows.