Buffy spin-off fights new demons in L.A.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Angel is a bad vampire turned good who now devotes himself to battling evil beings.

Positive role models

Built around a character seeking redemption for his past heinous misdeeds, Angel is a surprisingly moral show, with its main character a vampire who's trying to do good and fight against his evil impulses, a concept that may resonate with teens. Characters show growth over the life of the show, and learn from their actions.


Supernatural meddling results in invisible punches and the like. The vampires' enemies are menacing, scary-looking creatures.


Characters date, but there's no implied nudity or too much beyond kissing. Some implications of homosexual relationships. The vampire myth is traditionally a very sexualized one.


Mild: "Damn," "hell," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while even grade-schoolers may enjoy the horror-movie aspects of this series (a spin-off of the hugely popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer), its mature themes make it a better fit for teens. Monsters and other creepy-looking baddies make frequent appearances on the show, and some storylines (an implied homosexual romance, for example) are adult enough that parents may want to preview before letting older tweens and young teens watch.

What's the story?

In ANGEL, a spin-off of cult phenomenon Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the titular vampire (Buffy's ex) takes on Los Angeles' dark forces -- including other vampires, demons, and even lawyers. David Boreanaz plays Angel -- who, as Angelus, was one of the world's most evil vampires. Having seen the error of his ways, he founds Angel Investigations, whose two-part mission is to protect those who can't defend themselves and to help lost souls find their way. Working alongside him are Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), a former classmate of Buffy's who's moved to L.A. in search of fame and fortune; Allen Francis Doyle (Glenn Quinn), Angel's trusted friend; and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof), a self-described "rogue hunter."

Is it any good?


Angel has all the ingredients for a successful TV drama: attractive Gen-X characters, interesting storylines, and enough (mostly) innocent romance to keep both teen viewers -- and their parents -- happy. Still, the show's themes of redemption, its noir undertones, and the callous acts that some of the unprotected fall victim to makes the show best suited for teens and up.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about mythological creatures -- like vampires. What are their traits? What's their role in folklore? Why is pop culture so fascinated by vampires, from books to movies and TV shows? What does this series have in common with its "parent," Buffy? What sets it apart? Why do you think it never got as popular as Buffy did?

TV details

Cast:Alexis Denisof, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz
Networks:Syndicated, TNT
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byx3_9106 April 9, 2008

My favorite show I've ever seen.

It doesn't matter that this show never gained as much popularity as "Buffy" did. In my opinion, "Angel" was better-but that might be because I'm into darker themes than "Buffy" traditionally carries. The main character, Angel (go figure), strikes me as an admirable guy. For one thing, as he's trying to atone for years of wrongdoing, he refuses to take the easy way out in multiple situations. This, among other values displayed throughout the five seasons, teaches a very positive lesson that outweighs whatever problems the show might have.
Adult Written byJulia from Sweden September 19, 2011

Not as good as Buffy - The Vampire Slayer, but then again what is?

A little too much violence, too little drama. But Angel makes me want to watch again just because the supernaturals are so darned funny. As always with Whedon, it keeps getting better in every season.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Adult Written bythe fallen November 7, 2008

the best vampire story over

i like angel form buffy but when he started his owen show i was in for one fun ride the only thing i did not like about was it had to end


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