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4.7 out of 5 stars41
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 August 2004
Although season five's first part was highly enjoyable, the second part is like a good book you can't put down. This is ANGEL at its best. All the characters have developed and grown in plausible directions and blend together to create narrative that is believable (given the fantasy genre) and emotional. The two parter 'A Hole in the World' and 'Shells', is heartbreaking and follows 'Smile Time',one of the funniest and original ANGEL episodes. This juxtaposition makes the sadness of the characters all the more poignant and real. These episodes, the originality of the Buffy/Angelverse and the rollercoaster ending illustrate that this was a series cut down in its prime.
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on 23 November 2003
Wow! This is some season. As you know this is part two of Season Four which is the best Angel Season so far! The Return of Angelus really helps this season, David Boreanaz is amazingly evil, and the death of one of the best and most complex characters leads to the viewer having absoloutly no idea what to expect. However we are priveliged - that really is the only word - to have Eliza Dushku a.k.a Faith back in the fray, if only for three episodes. She injects some much needed ass-kicking into the series and her showdown with Angelus is spectacular. We get even luckier when Alyson Hannigan a.k.a Willow, makes her 3rd appearence in the world of Angel, in order to repeat what she did before, restore Angels soul....
The best episodes include CALVARY, ORPHEUS, INSIDE OUT - the standout episode of the season - and the season finale, HOME which takes the whole series into a new direction and leaves us only anticipating for season five and Angel's 100th episode
The acting is superb - why no Emmys? - especially David Boreanaz as Angelus, Alexis Denisof as Wesley, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia, Amy Acker as Fred and Eliza Dushku as Faith.
Over all a spectacular season, greatly improving on the last with truly awe inspiring storylines and special effects. However if you do plan to buy this I suggest buying Season Four Part One as you are just planted right in the middle of an epic storyline.
All I can say is roll on Season Five....
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on 19 July 2003
Angel as gathered a loyal following over its four-season run, and will now be Joss Whedons flagship show for the 2003/04 season. However, it has attracted just as much criticism, particularly with regards to characterisation.
Season 4 continuously follows on from one episode to the next, meaning that the events are roughly set over a 3-4 week period. This creates a complex, multi-layered story arc similar in style to 24. Although there are some good ideas - and some amazing episodes - the tension and interest is not retained. Season 4 Part 1 is a good example. "Deep Down" is a very good season opener. But the next five episodes are mediocre, due to the fact that the characters are not as fully-realised as their Buffy the Vampire Slayer counterparts. "Apocalypse, Nowish" re-invigorates the show for the rest of this boxset. "Awakening" is particularly good.
Its hard to explain just why Season 4 Part 1 doesn't get five stars. The final five episodes of the set ( episodes 7 to 11 of the season) are some of the best in the entire Buffy/Angel franchise. Others have their moments ("Spin The Bottle"), others are just boring ("Ground State", "Supersymmetry") whilst "Spin the Bottle" is a not-quite-as-good imitation of Buffy's "Tabula Rasa". The lack of character development and believable stories for Cordelia is my biggest complaint. What she does in "Apocalyse, Nowish" is just wrong, purely there for shock value and to add a twist to the tale. The amnesia storyline is poor and the lack of clarification over her between-season hiatus is unsatisfying. This gets only worse over the second part of the season. Sadly Charisma Carpenter will not be a part of the Season Five cast. Draw your own conclusions.
There's plenty of potential, but there is no real sense of chemistry between the characters, and the storyline sometimes just can't hold up. Its a shame, because Angel could be amazing.
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on 29 September 2003
The more 'adult' sister series to Buffy has finally stepped up. Fans of series will already be enjoying the dark stories as Angel struggles in his own personal battle of good and evil, and series 4 was the icing on that cake. The story for this series began with Darla and the birth of Connor, leading to the apocolapyse which started in the first box sets. With shock after surprise after twist after turn, you will be on the edge of your seat with tension. The series is tougher and more violent than ever with almost everyone being beaten within an inch of death, but is still as watchable as ever. Full marks go to David Boreanaz and Alexis Denisof who characters have a chance to different sides to acting. Watch out for both the surprising last four episodes and killer twist in the last episode. Best Angel yet.
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on 17 March 2004
Season 4 split Angel fans down the middle - it's the TV equivalent of Marmite; you either love it or hate it.
I love it.
With this Season Angel truly became a programme for grown-ups. The story lines are complex and we see the characters go to places - emotionally and physically - that are new and unexpected. Relationships between some of the main characters continue to be strained with the introduction of a Cordy/Angel/Connor triangle, Wes' reintegration into the crew and the disintegration of Fred and Gunn's romance. In some ways these relationships are every bit as important as the season baddies, although the writers have made some great choices there. The ending is surprising and promises another totally original season to come.
To pull off the season story arc the performances from the main players had to be top notch and the actors do a great job - my admiration for Alexis Denisof grows with every season.
From the beginning of Season 2, Angel the Series has pushed it's format, made brave moves and refused to patronise it's audience by serving up monster of the week stories with a happy ending. Season 4 continues this tradition and is a fabulous piece of storytelling. I hope you buy it and give it a try.
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on 1 August 2004
If you read my review for part one, you'd notice that IU was quite disappointed with the first half of Angel's last season. One thing I noted was the absence of Charisma Carpenter (I LOVE CORDY!) Step forward episode one of this boxset; 'You're Welcome,' the welcome (do you see what I did there?) return of Cordy, of which I shall say no more...
It seemed that the wirters took a while to get themselves going this year, but as soon as they did, the riskier stories started pumping out, with 'A Hole in the World' and 'Sheels' creating an incredibly poignant (for many reasons) two-parter that sends the rest of the season into an unexpected direction. 'Smile Time' is a brilliant episode where Angel is turned into a puppet, with hilarious consequences. Rather than being a dumb episode, it can be noted as one of those special Buffyverse moments such as 'Hush' or 'Restless' from Buffy, or 'Spin The Bottle' from Angel.
Other surprises will be encountered along the way, including in the amazing finale, which will leave you wanting, and perhaps even needing more. Incredibly emotional, well-written and powerful, Angel ends with a bang, despite the start f the season's time wasting.
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on 5 September 2004
Sci-fi/fantasy fans are, by and large, a whiny bunch. Somedays it seems like every single one of them, whilst clutching the DVDs of their favorite series to their chest, will loudly complain about the fact that their favorite series was dragged out long past its greatest moments (Buffy, B5, X Files) or was brutally cut down before it had time to flower (Firefly, Dark Skies, and inexplicably, Farscape).
Angel, then stands alone as a show that lasted long enough for it to develop and mature, and yet still go out on a high note.
Angel season 5 is, without a doubt, the series' best year. Much has been made of the stand-alone format hamstringing the season's first half. This is completely untrue; if anything caused a problem in the first few episodes it was the rather uncertain introduction of Spike. Fortunately, by the time the second box set kicks off, Spike has found his place.
The new format helps the season out immeasurably. The lack of a massive story arc forces the writing to be more inventive and immediate; and allows us to see the poisoned chalice of W&H from many different viewpoints. Particular highlights include (obviously) A Whole In The World and Shells; but Smile Time ("You wanna talk to the hand?") and The Girl In Auestion deserve a mention just for being so massively, ludicrously funny. The season falters a little post-Illyria, not all the writers seem sure what to do with her, but Not Fade Away produces the perfect ending to Buffy's darker sibling; this was never going to be a series which would end with the heroes riding away into the sunset. In fact, the episode sums up the season in its entirety. Everything, everyone, five years of laughter and violence and blood and betrayal, *everything*, is going out with a bang...
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on 22 March 2006
While many say this was the series' worst season i have to disagree. Ater the arc heavy seasons of 3 and 4 it was a relieve to see Angel going back towards it stand alone episode roots. (Dont get me wrong i thoroughly enjoyed every season of the show.)
Season 5 of Angel saw James Marsters' Spike introduced to the cast and for the first 3 episodes he seemed a bit out off place and under used (as was Andy Hallett's Lorne.) It wasn't until the 4th and 5th episodes that we saw these characters finally come into their own in the show. As a result the first half of the season seemed to have a slow build up.
Thankfully by the second half of the season the characters seemed a lot more comfortale in their new surroundings. The audience were also treated to the resolution of the Cordelia storyline in "You're Welcome." Something which audiences had been waiting for since the end of season 4.
It was perhaps the death of the much loved character Fred that was the turning point of this season. The introduction of Illyria in the last third of the season was something that gave the show a dark turn and also added some new cemistry. Unfortunately the fact that the show was cancelled resulted in the character not being explored to it's full potential. The re-introduction of Christian Kane's Lindsey in the first half was also a very good twist as was seeing him first along side our champions in the last battle.
Angel's last season was one that explored exactly what the last 5 years had been about. Redemption and atonement. The inclusion of the Angel Investigations advert with Doyle (played by the much loved and missed Glenn Quinn) was something that reminded the audience that Angel and co. had drifted away from their mission.
The issue of the triangle between Buffy, Angel and Spike also got some kind of resolution in "The Girl in Question." It is just unfortunate that we couldn't get a true conclusion to this issue as Sarah Michelle Gellar did not appear.
It wasn't until the last 2 episodes that the season finally got to the main big bad. It is possible that this is something that wouldn't have happened the way it did if the show had gto picked up for another season.
Despite this we see how the events of the last few months, specifically the loss of Cordelia and Fred, has taken it's toll on our heroes in the final episodes. They are demoralised and Angel is taking matters into his own hands and distancing himself from his friends. It was enjoyable to watch his supposed turn to the dark side yet it was something that i believe could've been explored more in one or more of the previous episodes. (Possibly instead of "TGiQ")
It was fun to see old and new characters coming together to fight the Black Thorn. The scene in which Wesley died was so heartbreaking to watch yet it was neccessary for one of the heroes to die in order to make the end scene a lot more poinant.
The alley scene at the end was a much darker final scene than Buffy's due to the darker tone of the show of a whole. It was great to see Angel and co. standing defiantly against the forces of evil and doing what they do best. It's safe to say that Angel gained his redemption with the final season of the show. As the ending is left open we are abble to make our own minds up about what happened to our champions but it is safe to say that the odds were stacked against them.
Anyway i'm slay that dragon now.......remember to fight the good fight whichever way you can. You never know until you're tested.
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on 12 September 2003
In this video box set you get the final eleven episodes from season 4 of Angel. This season is without a doubt the best season yet! Angel has his soul restored, The Beast is killed, Faith comes to LA and Cordelia gives birth to an ebony goddess. These are just some of the amazing things that happen to this season.
The video starts with things looking bad for Angel, Inc. Angel's soul is still missing and they still have no idea how to kill The Beast. Things go from bad to worse when Angelus manages to escape. Faith escapes from jail to help capture Angelus and sticks around for three episodes. The whole Angelus storylines comes to an end in the fantastic episode 'Orpheus' (where Buffy's Willow makes a guest apperance).
If that sounds exicting than you will pratically wet yourself when you start watching the episodes after. If you are considering buying this box set I warn you: YOU WILL NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE FIRST PART TO ANGEL - SEASON 4.
It will be very hard for Joss and the rest of Mutant Enemy to make season 5 of Angel better than season 4 (although I'm sure they will). Angel is a great show and you are missing out if you have never seen it.
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on 8 November 2003
What can I say about Angel Season 4? I think WOW pretty much sums it up! Things really do get turned on their head in this awe-inspiring season. I was absolutely captivated by the wonderfully haunting Habeas Corpses...I suppose watching it in the dark kinda notched it up a few on the scare rating! I have yet to watch on from that point but I have high hopes for what I suspect to be the best Season in Angel's history.
I was never really a huge fan of the second and third seasons myself; I thought the more Greenwalt, Whedon et al tried to bring out the darkness in Angel's character, the more they "lost the funny" in relation to the rapid decline of Cordy's cutting remarks and the whole group dynamic of the Angel Investigations crew. Oh how wrong I was! Relationships are more fraught in this season than ever before, but I'm pretty sure that's gonna turn out to be a good thing!
A warning to the timid however; Apocalypse nowish brings an entirely new issue to the issue I'm sure no-one could ever have predicted! Disturbing it might be...but dull it certainly isn't!!
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