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on 11 May 2015
Season four of Angel continues a tradition of excellent story telling with great performances from the cast and intriguing twists and turns in the elaborate plots from the writers. The special effects are of the highest quality and make the impossible seem real with great make up, sets, props, camera work and a stellar cast to boot. Joss Whedon's team are like a family who gel perfectly to create a big budget movie feel on a T.V. program level which is no mean feat! I have been a fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel since the inception of the shows because the shows have something for fans of all ages. The show deals with social issues like poverty, inequality, discrimination, corporate corruption, heroism, exploitation, terror, self reliance, charity and other philosophical endeavours and uses the context of monsters to play out ethical scenarios in a humorous, heart warming, dramatic and in depth manner. Many people knocked the shows until they actually sat and watched and episode and most of them changed their minds because of the overall quality that Joss Whedon and co had achieved and became fans themselves. In a time of "Reality T.V." Angel and Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs are a perfect way to spend a rewarding evening at home with friends and family enjoying top notch entertainment that is intelligent and thought provoking. If you are tired of sub standard T.V. treat yourself and your loved ones to Angel DVD sets that will bring you pleasure for many years to come.
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on 20 July 2017
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on 27 March 2017
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on 9 March 2004
If you've read some of the other reviews posted here you'll have gathered that season 4 split Angel fans down the middle - it's the TV equivalent of Marmite; you either love it or hate it.
Personally, 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 2 March 2004
Season 4 is very different from previous Angel seasons. There aren't any real stand-alone episodes this time around, it's a bit like watching a very long (and very well-made) film.
The crew have outdone themselves this time around with fantastic make-up, props and special effects. The atmosphere of the sets and the lighting are better than ever before.
I don't want to say much about the story for people who haven't seen it. I watched the season without reading any spoilers and I was constantly surprised and amazed by the turn of events. The storyline is excellent and very deep. It raises philosophical and religious questions towards the end while remaining fun to watch.
The last episode mirrors the opening one in a very surprising ending. There was a lot of controversy amongst Angel fans about the ending when it first aired. However, looking back it makes perfect sense.
The regular cast were all great throughout but it's the guest star Gina Torres who shone as the best villain ever on Angel with brilliant acting. The excellent Eliza Dushku made a comeback as Faith, Alyson Hannigan guest starred as Willow and the story was somewhat linked to events in Buffy Season 7.
I would recommend Angel Season 4 to anyone, even people not familiar with Joss Whedon's universe will find something to hold their interest.
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on 16 April 2009
Angel was the best series on television, and I felt such regret when it ended. If you're reading this, chances are that you probably feel the same. However, because it was never the fans who deserted Angel, Joss Whedon himself personally supervised an official (and canonical) Season 6 in full colour graphic novel format. It's called Angel: After The Fall and it continues the story as it would have been had Angel continued. The drawn likenesses are spot on and all the action, plot and humour of the TV series has been captured perfectly. As someone who never buys comic books, I bought the first volume Angel: After The Fall: After the Fall: After the Fall v. 1 (Angel (IDW Publishing)) hesitantly, but it's fantastic, it really is, and if you want to find out what happened after that fight in the alleyway - the official story as told by Joss Whedon - then you must buy this. Find out what happens to Angel, Gunn, Spike, Illyria/Fred, Wesley, Lorne and also Gwen, Nina and Connor. Hope you don't mind that this isn't a review of TV series as such, but I hope you've found it helpful.
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VINE VOICEon 18 December 2006
One word of warning (ok a few words!) do not watch this season if you have never seen Angel before, it will only confuse and frustrate you. Things will make more sense if you watch the whole series in linear order. This season is only enjoyable if one understands the circumstances surrounding the events that take place within the season; therefore prior knowledge of past seasons is very important. But anyway, on with the review!

Season 4 of Angel was probably the most ambitious and complicated piece of story telling they attempted on the series. Essentially season 4 is a movie stretched over 22 episodes (there are very few stand alone episodes); obviously there are both good points and difficulties in doing this.

The good being the level of detail and character development that comes with executing such an ambitious season, but equally it does suffer in that if you miss an episode it does get rather confusing and the story arc can grow rather tiresome after a certain point; namely Cordelia and Connors contribution, but maybe that's just me.

Despite the negative aspects, if you have the time and patience to watch it you will be greatly rewarded; for the level of continuity running throughout the season and past seasons is lovely, especially if you are an avid viewer, it's like being rewarded for the observance when watching past episodes.

Season 4 does unfold at a steady pace and almost every episode ends with a mini cliff-hanger to help hold ones interest; and believe me it does what it says on the tin. One way to explain the complicated story arc is to break it up into sections: the first section is about resolving the events of the end of season 3, namely finding Cordelia and Angel... which thus leads to the Beast arc, which leads to the Beasts Master, then to Angelus and Faith, then onto Jasmine the `happy shiny' Goddess, and finally the resolve of Connor in the last episode `Home'.

That's the basic season plot (though obviously I didn't give much away), this stretches across the entire 22 episode run and despite having so much continuity and detail to tie in it was handled well by the writers, on the whole this season is very good. Although season 4 is the darkest season which can grate slightly, as one does get tired of having so much angst constantly hanging over the group, but what keeps us going is the knowledge that season 5 is amazing and that season 4 is an entertaining story, even if it is long. Just remember the first viewing of this season is always the best so enjoy it!

Highlights of the season include: `Orpheus' which allows us into Angels mind and sees Willow making a return to L.A to restore Angels soul, while episodes like `Players', `Apocalypse, Nowish', `Spin the Bottle' and `The Magic Bullet' all provide good solid story telling.

8/10 Not the best season, but not the worst: the continuity and creativity of the story is both epic and imaginative, well worth watching.
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on 5 October 2007
Following on from the distilled brilliance of series 3 (to my mind the finest series of Buffy or Angel ever to hit our screens) I guess the writers of Angel thought they needed to do something grand and impressive to top it; so far as the grand and impressive part is concerned they succeeded, but not without losing some of the magic. This series, more than any other of Angel, is dominated by one story arc which occupies almost every episode from episode 7 (Apocalypse, Nowish) onwards, and although this storyline is both engaging and exciting, it would definitely have benefited from a few more stand-alone episodes, both to break up the dense plotting and to perhaps provide some light relief from the all-encompassing darkness of the main arc.

It's obvious that the writers still have what it takes to write a good stand-alone episode, as Spin The Bottle (it's telling that this is Joss Whedon's contribution to the series) is one of my all-time favourites, but others are practically non-existent (apart from maybe Players) once the main arc kicks in. Don't get me wrong, however; the arc provides some of the most impressive and exciting "plot" episodes of Angel's run, my favourites being Soulless, Orpheus and The Magic Bullet (where Fred gets a welcome chance to take centre stage).

The character drama is another slightly weak point for me in this series, as the whole Cordy-Connor thing, while essential to the story arc, is also rather irritating (though believable, at least from Connor's point of view), and the downturn in Fred and Gunn's relationship (starting from the episode Supersymmetry) is well-written but difficult to watch, and typifies the underlying feeling of frustration which pervades this series.

I ought, however, to draw special attention to the brilliance of Alexis Denisof in this series, as for my money there is no greater achievement in the Joss Whedon canon than Wesley's tragically convincing descent into darkness; to look at the excessively uptight and rather clownish figure who arrives in Sunnydale in Buffy series 3 (a version of Wesley brilliantly resurrected in Spin The Bottle) and then at the tortured husk of a man who's made his mistakes but been unfairly punished for them one would hardly believe they were the same person, and yet never once did I question the writing or the performance which got us from one to the other.

Looking back on what I've written thus far I realise that it sounds as though I don't really like this series, which is not the case at all, as it's still an excellent addition to the Buffy/Angel cannon with some classic episodes and a gripping central storyline.
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on 3 February 2008
Cordelia has gone above and Angel has descended deep below. For three months Gunn and Fred have searched fruitlessly for their lost friends, accompanied by an impulsive and violent Connor. Lorne has all but lost contact with the group and Wesley has fallen further into darkness and into the arms of Lilah Morgan - his once sworn enemy. And so begins Angel's darkest and most exciting season so far.
Season four begins with a few episodes which are essentially just to get the group back together and set up for the main plot of the season, this set up period could have been pointless but is in fact extremely necessary since from episode 7 onwards this is just one massive story-arc with little or no separate stories within the episodes themselves, making a good set-up badly needed. This mega-arc is focussed around a demon called 'The Beast', an incredibly tough and dangerous enemy who vastly outstrips all other Angel opponents so far and completely changes the nature of the game since he is apparently immortal and extremely good at mass murder. That our heroes can't simply find The Beast's weakness and bump him off at the end of the first episode, in fact they get their collective ass handed to them every time they even try, makes him much more threatening and intimidating than previous enemies. Every episode of the mega-arc ends on a cliffhanger and it all hangs together like one massive episode, this works especially well on DVD and is very rewarding to those fans who've seen all the previous seasons.
As well as being heavy on the story arc season four ups the anti in terms of both action and in just how dark the series gets. There are plenty of action scenes as always in Angel, but in season four there's regular use of matrix-esque slow-motion to highlight the excellent choreography and just make things look much much cooler. The slo-mo effect is used regularly but always purposefully, it's well placed and never overused, enhancing the levels of excitement in the action massively.
In terms of darkness the season really goes an extra stretch compared to previous installments in the series, with all the characters being pushed further and harder than they can cope with: Wesley is now a violent and tortured character who has no problem torturing innocents or using other methods that are well over the moral line that he once saw and respected so clearly, Alexis Denisof does a fantastic job with the character and really makes you feel for Wesley whilst still being repelled by just how far this once comical and morally upright man has fallen; Angel spends the whole season watching his world fall apart and he grows further and further from those he loves and is forced yet again to confront his darkest impulses; Fred and Gunn are strained in their relationship as they try to come to terms with losing their friends and their disowning of Wesley at the beginning of the season, and by the end Fred finds herself realizing she's no longer the person she used to be, that she has lost something of herself in her involvement with this world of violence and fear, Gunn meanwhile has lost all faith in his own role as simply 'the muscle' and struggles with the rest of the group treating him as such, by the final episode he's a completely changed man, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Even the chirpy Lorne has a tragic splinter strongly wedged in his heart by the time those last credits role, no-one is left uncorrupted or unscarred.
Season four contains some of the most tragic, exciting, scary, dramatic and surprising episodes of the entire series. It easily outstrips the three previous installments and provides a huge reward for continuing fans of the show. It can be sad, funny and thrilling in equal measure, but Angel Season Four never for one moment stops being one of the most stunningly enjoyable things you'll ever watch.
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on 17 March 2004
Whilst Angel Season One is more than likely the best introduction to this show, Season Four is arguably the best...
Full Stop
With the emphasis on high drama, and a surreal, almost Dynasty like soap opera air to the proceedings Angel outrips his origins and proves he is a worthy successor to Joss Whedon's original vision.
Forget Buffy. She's gone now.
Angel offers a darker, more sophicticated and adult interpretation of the eternal struggle of good against evil. The show consistently blurs the lines of what just is truly good; of what is evil; leaving the viewer in the position of making that distinction for themself.
Looking for a show that challenges your preconceptions?
Then look no further.
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