Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Type: Spin Off
This has got to be one of the most unlikely TV success stories of all time. Buffy The Vampire Slayer started off as an almost okay horror/comedy theatrical film. The film was generally thought of as a failure. So it was sort of a risk when the new WB television network decided to take a chance on a TV version. I mean not only was it a box office dud, it was a box office dud owned by 20th Century Fox, a company with its own competing network.
But give it a shot they did. Buffy creator Joss Whedon had been unhappy with the way his Buffy theatrical script had been interpreted. He hadn't meant Buffy to be a mindless comedy with bits of horror thrown in. He had meant it to be intelligent and funny and to take its horror elements seriously. He made sure that in the TV version they stuck to his vision. In the TV show the horrors would be used as allegories to real teenage problems. As a cheesy funny example, when the character of Oz found out he was a werewolf, his girlfriend Willow consoled him saying it only happened when there was a full moon and she herself was a bit of a monster a few days out of the month.
In the movie, Buffy was a Los Angeles high school senior who had discovered she was The Slayer, the one person in the world whose job it is to guard the world against vampires. Buffy, however, was not a typical Slayer. She was a spoiled cheerleader who found her world turned on its ear with her new mission. As time passed she also grew up a lot, learning that the school geeks and losers were actually people too.
The series picked up after the movie, reworking some of its plot elements. As the series started, Buffy was now a sophomore instead of a senior. Buffy and her mom had had to move from Los Angeles after Buffy was expelled for burning down the school gym (Hey, it was full of bloodsucking vampires okay?). They moved to the California town of Sunnydale. Buffy was hoping to maybe, well, quit the whole slaying thing. As it turned out however Sunnydale was built on a hellmouth which attracted all sorts - not only vampires but demons, witches, werewolves etc... Buffy also found that the high school librarian was a Watcher, one of those who train and guide the slayers. Also on the scene from the first episode was a mystery man named Angel with whom Buffy soon fell in love.
As it turned out though, Angel was in fact a vampire. But a good vampire. Angel had in fact been quite an evil vampire until he killed a gypsy girl whose family placed a curse on him which restored his soul to him. Vampires may look like the people they were in life and have their memories but in fact they are not those people but only souless bodies - except Angel. With the return of his soul came the return of his conscience which also meant the return of guilt and remorse for every vile act he had ever committed. Once cursed, he spent all his time trying to repent, to earn forgiveness and regain his humanity.
All was well for a time. Buffy and Angel were an item, the baddies got theirs'... Until Buffy and Angel finally consummated their relationship. Only after they had made love was the rest of the gypsy curse discovered. If Angel ever experienced true happiness, which he did making love to Buffy, he would again lose his soul. So in the ultimate case of a guy turning into a jerk after sex, Angel literally turned evil. Eventually his soul was returned to him but not before he, evil Angel (Angelus), put Buffy through many trials and tribulations (such as tormenting and murdering her friends). With the eventual return of his soul and the consequence of his actions dealt with, Angel still had his curse to deal with. Knowing he could only be Buffy's platonic "friend" and realizing he couldn't handle that, Angel packed his bags and moved to L.A. and his own series.
As Angel, the series, began it found Angel fighting dark forces in the City of Angels. His mission was to protect the lost and helpless in the night. He soon hooked up with a half demon named Doyle who had visions of people in trouble and one of his, uh, pals from Sunnydale: Cordelia Chase. Cordy was a stuck up rich girl similar to how Buffy started out. She eventually became one of the Buffy gang but without losing her snotty ways. After graduation from High School and with her parents no longer rich, Cordy had moved to L.A. to try and make it as an actress.
Soon the three had opened up a detective firm to help lost souls. While Angel just wanted to help people, Cordelia figured if they would have to help some rich folks along the way and, hey, why not charge them and make some scratch.
Angel was put on the WB right after Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a combo. With that in mind, regular two hour crossover events were a natural. The first found Buffy coming into possession of a ring that would make any vampire immune from any harm - even from the sun. She had Oz take it to Angel in L.A. Angel soon found himself fighting his old friend/foe vampire Spike for the ring. Spike had Angel tortured for the ring's location to no avail. In the end, Spike lost and Angel destroyed the ring, fearing it might distract him from protecting those lost in the night if he could walk in the daylight.
The next crossover started on Angel with Angel's friend Doyle having a vision of Buffy in danger. The next week found Angel over on Buffy's show secretly protecting her from the shadows without her knowing it. Okay, he was stalking her. He didn't want her to see him and open up old wounds. He just wanted to protect her, which he did. In honor of Thanksgiving, the show had an angry Native American spirit of vengance killing people left and right. Only Buffy had trouble with the idea of slaying this spirit whose mission was sort of just. His people had their lands stolen and were killed by the white man. In the end, survival was more important though and Buffy killed the spirit while, unknown to her, Angel fought the warrior's compatriot spirits outside, helping to ease the attack on Buffy. In the end, one of Buffy's friends accidentally let slip that Angel had been hanging around. Leading right into part 2 on Angel.
The angel half of the night found Buffy coming to L.A. to scold Angel for his stalking behavior. They wrestled over how impossible their situation was but then... Angel ended up regaining his humanity. He became fully human with a pulse and everything! He and Buffy could be together! Hurray! Of course we at home know this is doomed...
By the end of the episode, Angel had realized that his being human would eventually get Buffy killed. She was already altering her behavior to protect him and being a human he had no ability to help her. Through supernatural means, he had the past 24 hours erased. He would play out the day again, changing events so he would not become human. Only he would remember the original day and the happiness he sacrificed.
I must say, Buffy and Angel continue to impress me. The "It never really happened" plot is dangerous and can make for bad TV. It becomes too easy for writers to stage major show changing plots only to cop out by saying that due to X, Y and Z it never really happened and the episode has no impact on the show whatsoever. By having Angel retain his memory of events though, it took what could have been a cop out and made it powerfully dramatic. The poor bastard!
The crossovers continued. Even though there can be only one Slayer, there ended up being two. When a Slayer dies a new one is activated. Well, in the first season Buffy was clinically dead for about a minute leading to a second Slayer coming into the world... who then was killed. And that lead to yet ANOTHER Slayer: Faith. Faith was a bad girl Slayerwho strayed into being a force of evil. Angel and Buffy tried to steer her back to the path of light but failed. She ended up in a long term coma. When she awoke (after Angel had moved to his own series) She set about ruining Buffy's life by swapping bodies with her. It backfired though as she realized that being good guy Buffy was really great. Eventually forced back into her own body and feeling doomed to being evil Faith fled to Los Angeles where she tormented Angel and his friends (a group that now included her former Watcher Wesley). She actually was hired to kill Angel. She tortured and abused them all but what she really wanted was for Angel to kill her and end her pain. He wouldn't. He set her on the road to recovery, protecting Faith even from Buffy's wrath. In the end Faith went willingly to prison for the crimes she had committed where she would start trying to pull her act together.
Then there was an elaborate non-crossover crossover. On Buffy, Buffy bribed one of her show's regular vampire villans, Spike, into telling her his life story (Spike had had a electronic chip placed in his head that made it impossible for him to harm people and so was not on Buffy's hit list). Worried about her own mortality she wanted Spike to tell her how he managed to kill 2 Slayers over the course of his afterlife. Then on Angel, Angel also had an elaborate flashback detailing the early years of his life as a vampire. Given that he and Spike had been friends, many pieces of the story from Buffy locked in with Angel's, often having whole scenes repeating with a different spin on it. On Buffy there was a scene where Angel growls at Spike and talks him out of seeking victims down a certain road. It just seemed Angel was grumpy and annoyed with Spike. The second time through we see that by this point Angel had been cursed with his soul and was trying to save innocent people he knew were hiding where Spike wished to go while at the same time not wanting to reveal his new... condition.
The next few crosses were in the grand scheme of things rather minor. One of the girls from Buffy's High School class, Harmony, ended up becoming a vampire and eventually also wandered over to L.A. Cordelia and Harmony had been friends and, unaware of Harmony being a vampire, Cordy tried to hang out with her old friend. Even when the truth came out Cordelia held out hope Harmony could still be her friend. Unfortunately Harmony could not overcome her vampire instincts for evil and betrayed Angel and company to a vampire cult and eventually ran off with the cult. Then after Buffy's mother died, in not only one of Buffy's best episodes but one of TV's best episodes, Angel came to Sunnydale to console her.
Another important character to move from Buffy to Angel was that of Darla, the vampire who sired Angel. Given that she had been killed by Angel in a first season episode of Buffy and had blowed up real good into a puff of dust the odds of her popping up for a cameo seemed, well, remote at best... or so you would think. She returned to play an important role in the Buffy/Angel universe. Lets see if I can make this brief. Angel's enemies, the lawyers at Wolfram and Hart brought Darla back from the dead at the very end of Angel's first season. Only they had, as it turned out, brought her back as a human in the same condition she was in just prior to becoming a vampire. Unfortunately that condition included having a terminal stage venerial disease. Angel meanwhile had been trying to turn Darla back to the side of good and right. When he found she was going to die he faced a huge physical trial in order to try and win her a chance at a full healthy life. He won the test but was then told Darla's condition could still not be fixed. Darla assured Angel it was okay. He might not be able to save her life but his courage had saved her soul. For about a minute. Immediately after telling Angel this, the lawyers from Wolfram and Hart burst in with Angel's old vampire "buddy" Drusilla and proceeded to forcibly make Darla back into her old evil vampire self.
Disillusioned by the entire thing, Angel turned dark and instead of going out to help good people Angel began violently punishing evildoers trying to get rid of all evil from the Earth. His vendetta ended when his evil lawyer foes shocked him by pointing out he could never get rid of all evil since it was at some level part of all mankind and could not be done away with entirely. Disillusioned again, Angel sought out comfort in the arms of the now evil Darla. The made with the freaky vampire loving. Given that whenever Angel experiences true happiness and that up till now that had meant doing the wild nasty, viewers feared Angel would lose his soul and go evil again. Luckily for all concerned it seems there is a difference between sex that equals true happiness and miserable "I need to at least get my ya-yas happy" sex with an ex.
But that was not the end of things. Despite vampires being unable to procreate, Angel and Darla did. Angel had impregnated his one night stand. Much much later it was explained that since Angel had passed the already mentioned test and that the reward could not be given in the form of saving Darla, it was given in the form of him being able to knock up his evil ex. This actually sorta makes sense since it did give Darla a chance to have something good come from her. While still evil, as long as Darla was pregnant with her baby which was not a vampire and did have a soul, she sort of had a soul as well by proxy. She felt love for her baby and wanted to protect it. But she also realized that the minute she gave birth she would lose her "proxy" soul, turn bad and try to kill her child. To keep this from happening, to protect her baby, as she was about to give birth, Darla staked herself. The baby fell to the ground as she dissolved (again) in a big puff of dust. Even after that Darla returned yet again later on as a ghost. With her son being lead down an evil path, Darla appeared to him to try and and appeal to him to not do the horrible things he had in mind. I'd say more but that's a looong story.
Then, finally, at the end of the 2000-2001 season came one more minor and maybe the last crossover between these shows. The end of the season found Buffy throwing herself off a tower to her death to save the world. Meanwhile, over on Angel, Angel and the gang were on a interdimensional adventure. They came home full of good cheer which was immediatley crushed when they found Willow waiting for them with tears in her eyes to tell them the bad news. Angel's season ended with Angel understanding without WIllow saying a word. He looked at Willow anxiously said, "Buffy," and the picture went to black.
That is likely the last full fledged crossover there will be for some time. While working on the 2001-2001 season, the makers of Buffy were negotiating with the WB to get a bigger budget. Things didn't go so well. In the end Buffy moved over to the UPN network which was partly owned by the studio that made the show and was also willing to pay more money for the show. But while the WB let Buffy go, they held onto Angel. With the shows on two separate networks and some animosity in the air, new crossovers seemed unlikely. For quite awhile after the network change there was only one almost cross. Both shows did need to deal with Buffy's death and her eventual resurrection. So on Angel there were passing references to Buffy and Buffy made a comment or two about Angel. When Buffy came back from the dead, Angel received a call relaying the news and Buffy then found out he had been told. Both shows made clear one week that Bufy and Angel headed off to meet at a point somewhere between Sunnydale and L.A. (and somewhere between UPN and the WB) for a private meeting. Both shows picked up the next episode after the meeting with both Angel and Buffy refusing to discuss what happened. We will likely never find out what happened at that meeting.
So all the cool crossovers stopped... until Buffy's seventh and final season. For Buffy's last year Joss Whedon had planned a huge epic storyline involving a bad guy bent on destroying all present and future Slayers. One problem. When last seen Faith was over there is Angel's neck of the woods. Being a Slayer they kinda needed her back over on Buffy. Despite the two shows now being on different networks, somehow Team Whedon was still allowed to go crossover crazy! My guess is the folks at the WB figured why not? It was Buffy's last year anyway. Not like they were hoping to cross promote something with a future. Or maybe Whedon and company just said, "Screw ya'll! We're doing it!" Either way the result was a huge mess of very important crossing over.
Angel's plot that year involved a hidden evil who seemed to lay one evil scheme inside another inside another to keep the good guys baffled as to what was going on. This is the same plot that had Darla and Angel's son Connor turning down a bad path. (He was also at this point now a full grown young man. It's a looong story.) One of the results of all this evil plotting was that Angel and his friends purposely removed Angel's soul, turning him back into the evil Angelus. His soul was placed into a container which, when smashed would return Angel's soul to him. Only, ooops, the bad guy stole the container! Desperate for help Team Angel called Sunnydale and enlisted the help of Buffy's resident witch: Willow. At the same time, needing someone capable of killing Angelus if it came to that, they also broke Faith out of jail. The combined efforts of Willow and Faith managed to return Angel his soul. While things were still bad for the heroes on Angel, with their boss's soul restored things were under control enough for Faith to head back to Sunnydale with Willow.
Back in Sunnydale, Buffy was preparing a legion of potential future Slayers to do battle with the dark forces of The First, the first evil to come into the world, a character introduced seasons earlier who had driven Angel to despair and the verge of suicide. A now rehabilitated Faith helped Buffy and the gang in this huge fight. Again, I'd get into details but we are talking about a season long epic arc.
In the final episode of Buffy, Angel once again returned to Sunnydale. Having defeated his own hugely evil villain, Angel's life had taken a few dark twists. To save his son, Angel was forced to give him up and let Connor forget him entirely. To make that happen he had been forced to actually go to work for the people he hated: Wolfram & Hart. But as a side benefit, WR&H had also given Angel an amulet that would aid Buffy in defeating The First. Returning to Sunnydale, Angel gave Buffy the amulet, did some smooching with her, and then was sent packing. Buffy explained if they failed to defeat The First they would need Angel to lead a second attack. Yeah, sure. Anyway, the task of using the amulet was given to Spike. Yes the same Spike who earlier was the evil vampire. At this point he was still a vampire but he had fallen in love with Buffy. Knowing that without a soul he might eventually do her harm (he had previously tried to sexually assault her in a twisted frustration) Spike had purposely had his soul returned to him. Before leaving Angel became miffed at no longer being the only vampire with a soul. The amulet could only be used by a champion with super strength and a soul. That meant Angel or Spike and, well, Angel had his own show so he wasn't really expendable. And as it turns out he would ahve had to be. In the final huge battle with The First, Spike was filled with a blinding bright light which shot out through the amulet laying waste to all the evil before it. As everyone else fled, Spike stood firm, destroying The First's center of evil as that very same light consumed and killed him as well. Evil was defeated, Sunnydale was destroyed utterly and Spike died a heroic death... sorta.
The thing is, after the final episode of Buffy, a deal was struck to make Spike a new regular cast member on Angel. So Spike jumped from UPN back over to the Why Bother Network... err... I mean the What Bums Network...uhhh... maybe I'll stick with calling them the WB.
Sorry. A bit bitter towards the What Babies Network. But I'll get to that later. The same season Buffy ended it seemed like Angel might also go off the air. But Joss Whedon and his cohorts came up with such a unique new direction for the show with Team Angel taking over Wolfram and Hart. The pitch was basically what if the folks at Greenpeace got the chance to run one of the companies they were trying to fight and had a chance to try and fix things from the inside. The WB bought the idea and gave the show a 5th season.
Season 5 was filled with a number of smaller connections back to BTVS. Right off the bat there was Spike. It seems Spike got his soul back just in the nick of time. While his body was destroyed at the end of Buffy, his soul got sucked into the magic amulette. Seems the folks at Wolfram and Hart might have figured Angel to use it. Then they would have had Angel for sure. As it was they got Spike. And as a result... so did a much annoyed Angel. See, Spike was a ghost and for some reason the amulette would not let him leave L.A. The good news for Angel was Spike couldn't fly off to romance Buffy. The bad news was Angel was stuck with Spike's incorporeal ass.
Also popping up again form the old gang was Harmony. It turns out that since her last appearance on Angel she had figured out she sucked at being a bad guy. Needing to do something with herself she had gone to work at Wolfram and Hart as a secretary. Wess picked her out of the steno pool to be Angel's secretary figuring, everything considered, they could use a familiar face. Only... was it just a chance accident Harmony happened to be in that steno pool??? Hmmmm... Well, for the majority of the season Harmony served as goofy comic relief. At one point she was framed for villainous behavior. Angel set down strict rules of behavior for his staff to ensure no evil behavior. Those breaking the rules would get the axe... kinda literally. Poor Harmony had to prove her innocence or get retired permanently.
Mid season what had happened on the Buffy finale took on importance to Team Angel. They encountered a crazed girl they at first took for a demon. In fact it turned out she was one of the legion of new slayers. The only problem was that this girl was horribly abused as a child and suffered from severe mental and emotional problems. Even worse, Slayers all inherit past memories of dead slayers. Think of it like them getting a big mental filing cabinet they can open and look through if they so choose. Only, this slayer wasn't mentally in control. So instead of those memories being tucked away, they were all just loose and blowing all around making her even crazier. Add in Slayer strength... it's a bad combination. And back to good news/bad news for Spike. The good news is that by this time he had been restored to a fully solid vampire with a soul. The bad news is crazy slayer halucinated him as the man who abused her as a child (she did have memories of Spike from the slayer memories and it all got kinda confused) and it vengence she - yikes - cut off his now solid arms. Lucky for Spike Wolfram and Hart had a really good medical staff. The irony was that Spike couldn't sit back and feel unjustly attacked. He hadn't hurt this girl but he knew he had hurt others in similar if not worse ways. Karmically he kinda did have it coming.
Since this girl was a Slayer, Angel called the Scooby gang for an assist. At this point we finally got an update on the Scoobs. With a zillion slayers to train and the Watcher's Council kaput, they were all busy finding, looking after and training all the new slayers. With such a big task the Scoobs were actually all living and working in different areas of the world. In a way they had been forced into being a sort of corporate organization just like Team Angel. Kinda depressing to think of the friends all living apart, growing apart.
To help Angel out, Buffy sent as a representative Andrew. Andrew was one of the "Nerds Of Doom" - 3 geeks who tried to become super villians and destroy Buffy. In the end they failed but did cause the pointless death of Willow's girlfriend Tara which then caused Willow to go insane and almost destroy the world. Eventually two of the Nerds Of Doom were killed. Andrew was captured by the Scoobs while still trying to be a force of evil. He started out as their prisoner but eventually he decided to join them and become a force for good. He was still a geeky weenie but he was their geeky weenie. By the time he showed up on Angel he was fully one of the gang.
Production-wise he might have been chosen to represent the Scoobs simply because the bigger name Buffy actors couldn't or wouldn't appear. Plotwise he was the perfect choice. He was still the geek. Team Angel used him for help but no one took him seriously. They treated him like a comic relief twerp. Turns out that was part of the idea. At the end of the episode Team Angel takes the crazy slayer into custody only to have Andrew tell them he's taking her with him. Slayers were Buffy's business and she wasn't having one detained by a demonic evil law firm. Team Angel laughed off his attempt to take the girl. Well... until an army of slayers appeared to back him up. Team Angel was in for a rude surprise. They might have taken over Wolfram and Hart to turn it around, but to outsiders it looked like they might have changed sides, joined the dark side. Andrew informed Angel. "We don't trust you anymore," and then took the slayer away.
Now a side point here. Many people watched this episode and said, "That's crazy! It's Buffy. She should know to trust Angel. It makes no sense." It actually makes perfect sense. First off, Angel has gone bad before. Set that aside though. Buffy like Angel is now in charge of a massive organization. Her prime objective is to protect her slayers. Also keep in mind Buffy is a pretty severe type. She doesn't take any responsibilty lightly. In season 7 watching over just a small group of potential slayers she got so caught up in duty that her own troops kicked her out for going over the edge. Now she's in charge of tons more girls on a world wide scale, all the girls full fledged slayers. Buffy be about as tightly wound as possible. Would she want to trust Angel? Probably. But given her duties she wouldn't ever take that chance.
Finally, Buffy put in 2 semi-appearances during season 5 of Angel. Sarah Michelle Gellar didn't appear but Buffy did. First Angel dreamed of Buffy while in a halucinatory state. All the audience saw was the back of her head. They also dubbed over some lines of Sarah Michelle Gellar dialogue stolen from episodes of Buffy. The weird thing is that you would assume they would build the scene so that the dialogue they stole fit the scene. You know, so it would maybe seem like Buffy was really there. But Buffy's lines seemed almost like random non sequitirs. I mean he WAS halucinating so that would kinda fit but... come on... try and make it fit a little.
Now Joss Whedon did want to do a full fledged crossover with Buffy at some point. Well before the end of the season the WB announced that they would not be renewing Angel. They announced this early so that Joss Whedon would have a chance to build to a proper series finmale and tie up all the lose ends. With the end definitely coming, it made sense to bring Buffy in so that she could help close out Angel just like Angel came over for the end of Buffy's series. Sadly scheduling conflicts kept Sarah Michelle Gellar from ebing able to appear. There was some talk of again just showing a body double for Buffy but having the main crossover character be Buffy's sister Dawn. But Michelle Tracchtenberg alsd could not appear. In the end the role of Scooby rep once again fell to Andrew. The plot had Angel and Spike running off to Italy on a job for the law firm. It also just so happened that they discovered Buffy was also in Italy and that she was involved in some way with an old foe of theirs called The Immortal. Way back The Immortal had beaten and humiliated them both and then had seduced their women, Darla and Drusilla. Now he was after Buffy?!?!? Their primary mission to recover the head of a very important demon (Would that be a V.I.D.?) soon fell by the wayside as they both attempted to find and snuggle up to Buffy. The closest they got was seeing her at a distance dancing in a club. In the meantime the head they were guarding was taken for ransom and discovered that Buffy was with The Immortal by choice. Turns out he is actually quite the charmer. Buffy's absense actually din't hurt thew episode as the point became Angel and Spike bickering with each other over her. They even argued over who had saved the world more often. My favorite moment was Angel taking credit for saving the world when he turned evil and Buffy saved the world by stabbing him and sending him to hell. Spike was floored, pointing out that he himself had teamed with Buffy to stop Angel so it was really his save and that Angel had helped by being stabbed. Angel, very intently insisted he had told Buffy to stab him... with his eyes, he had told her. In the end both the super-vamps were shamed by nerd Andrew lecturing them to get over Buffy already. One or the other might get her one day but for now GET OVER IT!!!
I am impressed with how the crossovers between these shows were handled. Back when Happy Days and Lavern Shirley would do this kind of thing, the plot would start on one show and then move to the other as a solid story. That meant if you just watch one show or the other, you were screwed. And when the shows went into syndication it got ugly. Happy Days would have to slap on a new ending to explain why the show stopped mid plot and all. With Buffy and Angel though the producer's have been smarter. Even though they stage these two parters, they do it in a way that each half is a self contained story with enough summary info on what happened on the other show that you don't get lost. Very impressive.
A final note to an already long page. Why am I so angry at the WB. Is it because they cancelled Angel? Yes and no. It's not simply that they cancelled it but the circumstances around the cancelation. It was cancelled at a time the show was receiving greater praise from critics than ever and greater and greater attention from fans. It was even performing reasonably well in the ratings. The WB's reason for axing the show seemed to center on the show having peaked in some way advertising sales-wise. So it wasn't cancelled because it wasn't popular. It was cancelled because they thought another show could make them more ad dollars. That just... pisses me off. To me that's the network saying, "We really don't care what you the audience wants." Of course that's assuming I believe their reason for cancelling the show. And I don't fully buy their reasons. The fact is I made a bet years early that the series would be cancelled exaclty when it was.
Here's the deal. After Buffy's 5th season, Joss Whedon pulled a power play on the WB trying to get a bigger budget for the show. The WB balked and Joss moved Buffy over to the competing UPN Network. There is no way that didn't chaff the WB's butt. Right then you know they must have wanted to cancel Angel simply to spite Team Whedon. Oh, but wait. They couldn't really do that. See, UPN had promised that if the WB cancelled Angel they would pick it up too. So if the WB tried to cancel Angel out of spite all that would happen would be that they would lose 2 shows to the comptition. So instead they renew Angel for a 3rd season, in my opinion, out of spite making crossovers between the shows pretty much impossible (Noooo!!!). At the end of the 3rd season they STILL couldn't cancel Angel. UPN had renewed Buffy and, once again, if The WB dropped Angel, odds were UPN would pick it up. But seaosn 4 for Angel was season 7 for Buffy. Buffy's final season. Once again, The WB really couldn't afford to cancel Angel. Buffy was leaving UPN. That meant they had a hole in their schedule and a load of sad Buffy fans. If The WB dropped Angel UPN would likely snap it right up. So The WB renewed Angel for a 5th season.
Now here's where it all goes to hell. At the end of Angel's 5th season, Buffy had been off the air for a year. For UPN the bloom would be off the rose. Buffy for them was old news. Odds were they wouldn't necessarily jump right in to save Angel. The WB could safely kill off Angel without fear of the competition reviving him. As luck would have it they cancelled the show while it was stronger than ever so it wasn't some hollow victory. It was as painful and sad which is just what you want if you are looking for revenge.
Now all of the above is speculation. I don't have any super secret memo from The WB saying, "Let's screw Angel over!" But, again, I did call when it would be cancelled three years before it happened. And the stated reasons for the cancellation are as weak as I have ever heard. So there weren't enough ad dollars coming from this established vampire series which had a rabid fan base. That show isn't what The WB is looking for anymore. Hmmm. Odd then that they would turn around and consider reviving Dark Shadows, a soap opera centering on a vampire. Seems an odd move. Unless of course you're hoping to actually keep the same viewers who watched Angel, keep their spending dollars going to the advertisers while ditching the production folks who ticked you off. Then again, they did decide against picking up Dark Shadows so what do I know? Maybe they did cancel it for the weak and odd reasons they claim. Even if that is the case, to me they are still sending the message that what their viewers want is not important. Even when fans mounted one of the largest "Save Our Show" campaigns ever they didn't care. So to me they are The Why Bother Network. You don't care what I watch, I don't care what you show. Setting aside anything I might have to watch for the sake of this site, I will take my leave of The Why Bother Network. Give it a try! It's fun for thw whole family!
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