On sunday, I watched episode 22 of season 5 of Angel. Its taken a while to get through it all, mainly because I've had breaks, because Angel is hard to digest in one whack.
Season 1 starts off, its great, you get the feel, its similar but different from Buffy, its got this whole 'dark city' thing, like Gotham, going on. But then (spoiler alert) Doyle dies. And things shift a bit, Wesley turns up, yet he and Cordelia's relationship has totally changed, and he and Angel see face to face, and it is further from Buffy than before. And the rest of season 1 fits in with season 2 and 3 quite nicely. They all follow the same pattern, the same rules, the same logic.
Then the 'shanshu' stuff gets a bit weird. The idea of a pre-destined fate is already an issue in Buffy, and now they're saying that prophecies can be made up? And also, that this prophecy, be it about Angel or about Spike, cannot be denied because someone signed a piece of paper. They basically shit all over religion and say that instead of a God or deity, its some lawyers up there, finding loopholes in contracts and negotiating life and death.
And Connor is a weird one. Like, it makes sense to bring Darla and Angel's stories back together, after years of separation and a soul in the way, but the story development of Connor as a teenager, and Cordelia, and then her demon-possession business and all that stuff... It gets a bit too controversial to believe. Its like they saw the parallels with the bible, and wondered how far they could replace 'divine' with 'demon', and the whole 'a few deaths for the greater good of all mankind' notion, which Angel then destroys, and despite being the protagonist, you do feel a bit like he's the bad guy.
And the last season does too much with too little time, so some issues are just swept right over. Like Eve, and the whole 'creation of the senior partners' business. Like she's the child of a virgin mother, yet is sent to earth to keep order and control within what the partners want, and spy on / sneak around Angel and co, trying to figure out what the Higher Powers are up to.
But I did enjoy it. Its entertaining, it's funny and it's human. The seasons are too long, and the chronology doesn't fit with Buffy, which is annoying, but it does all make sense. The only thing that bugged me the most, as often does with Joss Whedon, is the fact that he left his old cast alive, and killed off / sent away the new kids. The end isn't exactly happy, but it there was ever more to come, its just Angel and Spike (and Illyria) who could have survived.
Best moments? Andrew, Angel and Cordy getting it on, the episode when Buffy is dating the Immortal, and all the little in-jokes and quips. And spike saying about the existence of half-robot-half-humans - "you think people don't have sex with robots? happens more often than you'd think".