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Rank The Seasons

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  • Rank The Seasons

    This is basically a rip-off of the thread I started on the Buffy forum. Actually it's an exact rip-off.
    Basically put the seasons of Ats in order from best to worst based on your own opinion. For each season list pros and cons (and even if you love the season try and find a flaw, if you hate it find some light; keeps with the grey spirit of the show) for each one. I'm going to count after the fall as a season as it is canonical, endorsed and co-planned by Joss (baring in mind how hands-off he often was during AtS) and finished.
    Once there are many entries I'll tally up a general top 6 which can be added to.
    So here goes:

    1. Season Four
    Pros: Basically it is the big finale of the massive arc stretching back to S2. The plot is perfectly paced telling the most epic story seen in the Jossverse and after this massive unfolding philosophical downer that has been going on since Reprise the show delivers the climactic final statement that the constantly banged-on-about inherent evil of humanity is not what it seems. The Jasmin arc presents a solution to the seemingly unsolvable problem that has plagued Angel throughout the show and in doing so brings the group to the epiphany that free-will is at the core of humanity, not evil.
    Cons: It feels a little sad that this is Cordelia's final season. Also the serialized format stops any clear-cut brilliant episode from emerging.

    2. Season Five
    Pros: Joss really gets hands on here and the show gets smarter and crisper. The arc is thick but subtle and every character is well developed. Contains some brilliant stand-alones and some wonderful arc(ish) episodes. Plus it ended the show with the greatest last moments on TV. Oh and did I mention Spike.
    Cons: It takes a while before any great episodes kick in and all episodes before destiny serve as entertaining yet uninspired filler.

    3. Season Six (After The Fall)
    Pros: Anything that can successfully follow up the brilliance of Not Fade Away is a masterpiece in it's own right but After The Fall goes beyond that. The dialog is spot on with a plot that never once falters keeping the philosophical messages of the show perfectly in tact. It also delivers probably the only wholly-satisfying conclusion to a season Angel has ever delivered proving that non-cliffhangers can work in the show.
    Cons: Plot-wise it's flawless but the fact that none of the bloody actors are there really cripples it when put up against the show. Also I never really liked Urru as an artist.

    4. Season Two
    Pros: Angel begins to come into it's own as a show with Angel's character being, for the first time fully utilized. Also it in many way kick-starts the themes of the entire show and the whole redemption thing kind of fades away culminating in the spectacular Reprise/Eiphany. Plus I really love Darla.
    Cons: There's still a few dodgy episodes amongst the gems. The supporting cast hasn't completely grabbed my attention at this point either which kind of keeps AtS from completely moving on from Buffy. Also while I understand it's dramatic purpose, doesn't change the fact I hate the goddamn Pylea arc.

    5. Season One
    Pros: Well it started everything, didn't it? That alone makes it worth something but it had some great episodes as this season really took the MOTW to it's highest (even on Buffy). Also Wolfram & Hart were a stroke of genius (still are) and although often criticized of lacking any arc there is some really solid character and thematic development.
    Cons: It's incredibly slow for one thing. With virtually no arc watching it as one big go can really grow tiring. Angel is still stuck a bit in broodsville and Cordelia and Wesley haven't really grown out of their Sunnydale personas. In general the whole thing's too overshadowed by Buffy and doesn't really know what it's doing.

    6. Season Three
    Pros: I believe that the middle 3 seasons of Angel are a story in 3 acts.
    Season Two informs us the world is horrible and unpredictable.
    Season Three goes about proving the world is horrible and unpredictable.
    Season Four, after much drama, stumbles upon the epiphane that while not perfect there is beauty in the horror (simply put).
    So if that's the purpose of Season Three it succeeds. It really does bombard the viewer with darkness and drama. The main great thing about this season is that the supporting cast become solid (Fred glues everything together) and the Buffy shadow is pretty much gone.
    Cons: It's just plot twist after plot twist and after so many it becomes emotional exploitation. There's very little substance and while I was hooked the first time round it leaves and empty feeling of no real form just a series of randomly horrible events.
    Last edited by Saro49; 24-02-09, 11:46 AM.

  • #2
    I'll exclude ATF because I haven't had the chance to read it, and because comparing comic books to TV episodes... well, very different media.

    1. Season 5
    Pro: Dark, powerful storytelling, well-balanced seriousness and wit. Oh, and to have my second-favourite character on the same show as my favourite character at last makes it my favourite season of all the Buffyverse, actually. *points to av*
    Con: It is not entirely complete (which is the studio's fault obviously), ending with a cliffhanger. Also, some not so perfectly placed episodes (ike The Girl in Question right before the end).

    2. Season Two
    Pro: Great Darla arc, and finally Angel is explored more in-depth as a character, and shows much darkness without going evil.
    Con: To me, the cast is lacking a bit, it sort of feels incomplete. Gunn is a relatively pale addition (not in the literal sense of course ), and apart from that there are only Wesley and Cordelia left to cmplete the team.

    3. Season Three
    Pro: Fred is a great addition to the cast, as is Lorne, although he ismore a "filler" than an "active character". It feels complete now (see above). Groo's appearance also was nice and amusing.
    Con: The whole Angel and Cordelia romance, it felt so sudden and forced to me. Not entirely happy with the whole Connor thing too. Intriguing idea, but then again... hm, just not sure about it.

    4. Season Four
    Pro: One word: atmosphere. Dark, dark chapter in that story. And unexpected twists. Good characterisations. Faith's appearance and the Angelus arc, big bonus.
    Con: The whole Evil Cordelia thing wasn't so much to my liking, and the Jasmine arc seemed somewhat over the top. Good idea in theory, but yes, didn't really like it so much.

    5. Season One
    Pro: Witty, original, something entirely new. Intriguing choice of Big Bad (not a monster, but rather evil hiding its face behind a law firm).
    Con: Too much MotW, no truly fluent storyline. Also, plain lack of characters.
    Sin is what I feast upon
    I'm forging my crematorium
    Your tomb is waiting here for you
    Welcome to my ritual

    -Judas Priest, Death


    • #3
      Season 5.
      Pros: Compelling, interesting, and dark stories (with a couple of exceptions that need not be specified); Illyria.
      Cons: Dissatisying ending thanks to premature cancellation.

      Season Two.
      Pros: The show has found its feet and presents its first real arc, one that subverts normal TV practices by making the conflict as much between the main characters as their enemies.
      Cons: The interpersonal conflict isn't always convincing.

      Season Three.
      Pros: Darla and Drusilla; Holtz; a solid arc that gives us a lot of great backstory for Angel.
      Cons: Foisted Connor on us.

      Season One.
      Pros: IWRY; Doyle's death; firmly established the Ats brand as a thing to itself without discarding the Buffyverse.
      Cons: Sometimes weak stories; no real arc.

      Season Four.
      Pros: Angelus is good. Then the season removes Connor from title credits status and mercifully ends. Seriously, that's the nicest thing I can say about this trainwreck of a season.
      Cons: Retcons almost everything that's ever happened in the show and, in so doing, robs the characters of their agency and heroism by taking away their power of choice.

      I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
      Addicted to Buffy


      • #4
        How could I forget naming Darla and Drusilla among the pros for S3? *smacks own head*
        Sin is what I feast upon
        I'm forging my crematorium
        Your tomb is waiting here for you
        Welcome to my ritual

        -Judas Priest, Death


        • #5
          I had a whole post and now it's gone. I will post my list with pros and cons another time.

          But where was Drusilla in season 3? She was in season 2 but season 3 had only a pregnant Darla.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nina View Post
            I had a whole post and now it's gone. I will post my list with pros and cons another time.

            But where was Drusilla in season 3? She was in season 2 but season 3 had only a pregnant Darla.
            You're quite right. Dru belongs under S2. Darla can stay.

            I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
            Addicted to Buffy


            • #7
              Yes, sorry. It was meant to say "S2" actually. *double-smack of head*
              Sin is what I feast upon
              I'm forging my crematorium
              Your tomb is waiting here for you
              Welcome to my ritual

              -Judas Priest, Death


              • #8
                Favourite from least favourite:

                Pros: the Angel arc, Darla, Tim Minear, Drusilla, W&H, Cordelia, some amazing episodes
                Cons: some weaker episodes like Happy Anniversary, The Thin Dead Line and the Pylea arc (it?s good but not the way I wanted to end the season)

                Pros: The new sets, Illryia, Spike, Harmony, Gunn, Fred, Wesley, some amazing episodes like Not Fade Away, Shells, Smile Time, AHITW, Damage, You?re welcome, etc..
                Cons: the first half is weird and uneven.

                Pros: The core three, amazing development, amazing opener and amazing finale, good stories
                Cons: She and not having an arc

                Pros: The sense of doom throughout the season, Wesley, Lilah, Fred, Angel, The Beast, Faith, some risks paid off
                Cons: the Jasmine arc is unsatisfying, Cordelia/Connor is boring at times.

                Pros: Darla, Angel?s arc, Wesley?s arc (totally rocks), Lilah, Justine, Holtz, some great episodes
                Cons: A lot more weaker episodes than the other seasons, Provider, Cordelia starts to become dull.


                • #9
                  Favorite to least favorite....

                  Season 1. The beginning. My all time favorite episode is in this season, IWRY. I still cry.

                  Season 2. Darla arc...good stuff.

                  Season 4. Wes and Lilah. Need I say more?

                  Season 6. After the fall. The mini season we needed.

                  Season 3. Wes's arc.

                  Season 5. Illyria is born.

                  Whosoever Shall Call Upon the Name of the Lord Shall Be Saved!


                  • #10
                    Uhhh....I guess I am alone when I put down my list....

                    FROM BEST TO WORST.

                    1. Season 2
                    Pros: Darla, Darla, Darla -- and oh, did I mention Darla? Darla IS AMAZING. Drusilla is great. Angel being bad but not being Angelus. The team FINALLY moving together and really "clicking", especially lovin' the Wesley/Gunn stuff. And, because of the lack of this, I will mention this as a pro for the first few seasons: Good Cordy stuff Great story-arc, and holding some of the best episodes ever like "Dear, Boy", "Darla", "The Trial", "Reunion", "Reprise", "Epiphany", etc.
                    Cons: Some duds like "The Shroud of Rahmon" and I will admit that the end 4-parter kinda fell flat after the Darla arc. I mean, they were very great and fun episodes, but I was hoping we would end the season with Darla

                    2. Season 4
                    Pros: The amazing storyarc. From 4.07-4.15...seriously, that arc was just...mindblowing. Bravo!! Faith's return, Angelus, Wesley that was actually dark, not just pretending to be dark, and amazing episodes like "Habeas Corpses", "Inside Out", "Peace Out", "Salvage", "Relase", "Soulless", "Calvary", "Apocalypse, Nowish", etc. And, I know I'm in the minority here, but I liked Jasmine's arc! I liked her character. She made me think, which is more than I can say for villains like little devil boy in Season 5 or The Master.
                    Cons: I just said I liked Jasmine, but I will admit when I first watched it, I was slightly disappointed after coming out of The Beast arc. Also, some duds like "The House Always Wins" and "Shiny Happy People". And it's a bit dark to be my favorite. But the thing that really dragged it down to #2? That would be two things, actually. 1) Evil!Cordy! I would've been fine with that if she didn't go into a coma after all that, but the way they handled Cordy after "Inside Out" was just plain disrespectful. I was appaled., and 2) "Home" as a season finale? Really? REALLY?

                    3. Season 3
                    Pros: How about the arcs? The arcs are always the best in Angel. "Offspring", "Quickening", and "Lullaby" is just an amazing 3-parter. Holtz is a fantastic villain, and unlike most, I really liked Justine's story. The beginning had "Billy", too, which I loved. It also had the "Father Will Kill The Son" storyline leading to some of my favorite episodes ever like "Sleep Tight" and "Forgiving" and "Benediction". They have lots of solid episodes, and some amazing ones. There was a smaller amount of arc, but still....GOOD CORDELIA! Love the group interactions, all really fun. And the slow advancement of Angel/Cordy should have continued, instead of jumping into it. I also liked Groo. And Lorne. Lorne is cool
                    Cons: Less amazing episodes than my top 2 seasons, and some real crappers Lack of Cordy for a few episodes....umm....Cordy/Angel moved WAAAY too fast. Angel's attitude in "Dad" was a bit that it? That is it? The thing that moved this season down was that it was consistent at a GOOD quality, but not an AMAZING quality

                    4. Season 1
                    Pros: Some fantastic standalones, GOOD CORDY, DOYLE AND CORDY, DOYLE, DOYLE, DOYLE, ummm....GOOFY WESLEY WAS FUN What else? Some amazing standalones...wait, said that. No, I said fantastic, so that was new, AHA! Pretty solid season....oh, great crossovers!
                    Cons: plot It was an extremely solid season, almost no crappers, only a few "I Fall To Pieces", "She", "The Bachelor Party" being the ones that stand out most to me. But, seriously. It was a standalone season. I wanted an arc. I got none. That sucked most of all. Oh, and Doyle was taken from us too soon

                    5. Season 5
                    Pros: There was an arc, ever-so-slightly, Amy Acker did awesome this season. Alexis Denisof did the best with what he was given. All the actors still gave their best performances this season, probably, but the characters weren't given their best performances. Anyways, a final farewell to Cordelia in "You're Welcome", which I will bitch about in the CONS, but I was glad to have Cordy for at least one fraktacular episode That means awesome eppy, btw. Other great episodes like "Shells", "Origin", and "Time Bomb", and an epically awesome finale, "Not Fade Away".
                    CONS: It's underlined, italicized, and bolded because this season pissed me off the most. Now, I really don't want to get into a rant, so I won' least I'll try not to. So....Cordelia. I'll leave it at this: Cordelia, the character, Wesley, the character, and Angel, the character, are the ROCKS of the show. You take away Cordy in the last season...well, you're taking away a third of the show, IMO. The writers were idiotic in taking out Cordelia so early in the game. They even teased us with "You're Welcome"! (which I loved, btw, I just hated her dying). They then replace Cordy with Spike even though he was dead before Cordelia on Buffy! His story was on Buffy, but he comes to Angel, and sidelines 1/3 of the show's story!!!! Spike was used as comic relief...HELLO. CORDELIA. Secondly, the gang working for W&H did NOT work for me. I missed the Hyperion. Sometimes, working for the bad guys work. Like, "Dexter". You are conflicted. With this, I wasn't conflicted. It was like, bluntly saying, "I work for evil, but I'm good!"....I though Joss did grey? No? Oops, wrong show I guess. So, they shouldn't have worked for Wolfram & Hart for so damn long. And then Joss decides to kill every girl on the show....? Um....what? Cordelia and Fred BOTH die, both within 3 episodes of each other...did Joss get really mad then? He then replaced Fred with Illyria, just as he did with Cordy and Spike, but we don't even know Illyria, and we are supposed to care about her as much as Fred? I hated losing Cordelia so much, and then I lose Fred? Wha-wha-wha-WHAT? Okay, this is turning into a rant. I'm really sorry. I'm trying not to do this, I really am! So, then, their "arc" for this season, which I admit they kinda with Drogyn? What about the Deaper Well? What? I'm...confused. And then the Black Thorn. Obviously thrown together on the fly, which I don't blame the season for, seeing as they were about to get canceled, I just blame Angel for not caring about season finales, as shown in previous years with stuff like "Tomorrow" and "Home" I think if they had a better and more complete arc they wouldn't have to throw the Black Thorn together on a moments notice. Okay, I'll stop now. I have more complaints but I'm tired and I know people will find countless things to disagree with in my post as it is That's my rant.


                    • #11
                      1) Season 5
                      Pros: This, more than any other season of Angel, has what we call "the Whedon touch", from the flavour of its humor to the flavour of its drama, and transforms what was, in my eyes, a good show to a great show. The advent of Illyria's character and her arc with Wesley (exemplified in "A Hole in the World", "Shells", "Time Bomb"), Spike's incorporation to the show and his love/hate dynamic with Angel ("Destiny", "Damage"), Lindsey's unforeseen return ("You're Welcome", "Underneath"), the Black Thorn arc ("Origin", "Power Play", "Not Fade Away"), all contributed to what, in the end, comes to resemble an epic, Shakesperean tragedy, as Maggie has pointed out in the past. Bonus points for finally making Connor likable, and finally giving Gunn an arc worthy of his character and his actor. It's probably my favourite season in the whole 'verse after Season 5 of Buffy.
                      Cons: Some very badly-written and pointless standalones, especially in the beginning of the season: "Just Rewards", "Unleashed", "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco", "Why We Fight", and more.

                      2) Season 2
                      Pros: Angel becomes a darker, more existentialistic, and much more compelling character than the run-of-the-mill hero he was in Season 1. His arc with Darla, with all its flashbacks and plot twists and resolutions and epiphanies, was vital for the audience, or, at the very least, for me, to understand and sympathize with him. (It certainly helps that, in this poster's opinion, Darla is the best leading lady the show has ever had, and Julie Benz plays off David Boreanaz in a way no-one else can.) Drusilla's addition is very welcome, too, as is the Hyperion hotel, and as is the separation of the Fang Gang, which makes us appreciate their dynamic all the more. The quality of the episodes is a testament to those excellent creative decisions ("Are You Now or Have You Ever Been", "Darla", "Reunion", "Reprise", "Epiphany", etc).
                      Cons: The campy, Xena-esque Pylea arc is like a huge unwashable stain on the season, especially because of its bad placement. And the season has some yawn-worthy standalones besides ("Judgment", "The Shroud of Rahmon", "Blood Money", "Happy Anniversary", "The Thin Dead Line").

                      3) Season 4
                      Pros: Very tight plot structure, and probably the highest quality-episode rate out of all the Angel seasons ("Spin the Bottle", "Apocalypse, Nowish", "Habeas Corpses", "Long Day's Journey", "Awakening", "Soulless", "Calvary", "Salvage", "Release", "Orpheus" all in a row). Wesley's character development and his relationship with Lilah were definite highlights of the show, as was Faith's brief stint as the protagonist, and, say what you will of Jasmine, but she was a really well-acted and innovative villain, if nothing else.
                      Cons: Evil Cordelia and Angsty Connor were by turns icky and cheesy on their own, and ickier/cheesier together. Charisma's pregnancy obviously derailed a major storyline of the season, and it showed not only in the badly-structured possession arc, but also in the weak season finale.

                      4) Season 3
                      Pros: Darla and her struggle with her pregnancy (if only because evil pregnancies hadn't yet become utterly banal in the show), which led to a lot of great acting (on Julie Benz and David Boreanaz's part) and some deep ruminations on the human condition. Holtz, who was a very sympathetic and relatable bad guy ("Nemesis", to be more fair to him). The turning-point in Wesley's amazing character arc ("I had my throat cut and all my friends abandoned me").
                      Cons: Cordelia's character went wildly off-track here: ripping off Buffy then falling for Angel then turning into a demon then developing this saintly and vastly out of character altruism then Ascending... it was obvious that the writers didn't know what the heck to do with her character anymore. Also, the Angel/Cordelia 'ship may have started on the right foot (late Season 2), but the writers eventually stopped playing to its strengths and started (unsuccessfully) parrotting Angel/Buffy, with its Kyrumption and its "fated" quality and its star-crossed lovers. Has to be added that the Angel-Connor "Prodigal Son" arc was hit-or-miss, and "Tomorrow" was the worst season finale in Buffyverse history.

                      5) Angel: After the Fall / Spike: After the Fall
                      Pros: Brian Lynch has a great sense of humour, and hits all the right emotional cues (Issue #16 of Angel: After the Fall, anyone?). Illyria's arc is a joy to read, especially for fans of her character and her relationship with Wesley like yours truly, and the two big revelations in Issue #4 of Spike: After the Fall and Issue #14 of Angel: After the Fall were gutwrenching (in a good way). Gunn's arc was very interesting, too.
                      Cons: Two-dimensional medium, with varying quality of art and more-often-than-not hideous colouring, so it's majorly handicapped against the televised seasons. Besides that, there are too many characters (which, naturally, led to some of them getting shortchanged, most notably Lorne, Nina, Wesley and Spike), too many weak pay-offs for promising plot-twists, and no larger thematic structure; Emmie once made a very astute observation that Angel: After the Fall makes you feel, but it doesn't make you think.

                      6) Season 1
                      Pros: The crossovers ("In the Dark", "I Will Remember You", "Five by Five", "Sanctuary").
                      Cons: Everything else. Seriously. There has never been a more pointless, directionless, humorless season in the Whedonverse.
                      Last edited by Enisy; 27-02-09, 05:56 PM.

                      (set made by Francy for me)