Thursday Open Thread: Buffy or Angel?

It’s summertime, which means coming up with some good open threads (and remembering to put them up) is going to be tough. In fact, if you have any ideas, be sure to let me know. But for today, let’s go with an oldie but goody, a question that I constantly debate in my own mind:

Which series was better: Buffy or Angel?

Yep, it’s a Whedon faceoff, and it’s a tough question. One the one side, there’s always that argument that spinoffs are never as good as the series that proceeded them. And Buffy had some fantastic, iconic episodes — “The Body.” “Hush,” and “Once More with Feeling,” for example.

But then again, Angel had incredible ongoing story arcs and really took the show into a darker place (that, too, could be argued, given season six of Buffy). And hey, can you really argue with a show that turned its own leading man into a puppet?

Honestly, they’re both two of my favorite series, and when I debate this on my own, my answer changes every time. So which is your pick? Which series was better? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: Buffy or Angel?

  1. Having seen a number of Buffy seasons, but perhaps only one or two episodes of Angel, am I qualified to vote? Buffy is pretty good; it’d be hard to beat it I imagine.

  2. If I had to choose one series to watch, I’d have to go with Angel, but I suppose it’s mainly due to my age when I started viewing it. Buffy dealt with high school and college through to young adulthood. Angel started out in the adult world. I started watching these shows after I was out of college, so I found Angel to be a much more relatable show. Another positive that Angel had is that the writing and pacing of the show was set immediately due to Buffy, which had a somewhat weak first season, having already done all of the initial struggling for it.

    Of course, without Buffy, there is no Angel, so I guess that would easily define Buffy as the better series. Still, though, I’d rather watch Angel if given the choice.

  3. Yeah, JC, you’re kinda stuck at a disadvantage. The episodes of Angel that you’ve seen are all in the first season, some of the more “monster of the week” episodes, so I don’t think you can make a real judgment on them. But you can try!

    The themes of the two series are very different, as you point out, CS. I think that’s why sometimes I like Angel more. I start thinking about the various prophecies and how they (if they) played out. Buffy certainly has some strong points, but sometimes…

    Yeah, I just can’t decide.

  4. I actually watched all 12 seasons of both shows just this past fall (for the first time!), and so I’m a little biased in voting against Angel because by the end, I was kind of sick of the whole thing.

    That said, I honestly feel like some of the plot twists of Angel just got weirder and weirder—the show stopped being about Angel’s ability to live a dual existence, and all about the magicks and powers-that-be (Cordelia?!?!). That took some of the heart out of the show for me, although the puppets episode is definitely one of my all-time favorite episodes of television.

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