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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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 are adult enough that parents may want to preview before letting older tweens and young teens watch.
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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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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