It’s been 20 years since Angel debuted on the WB, and the cast and creators were just as excited to reunite as the devoted fans of the vampire drama were to hear about their get-together. The series was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff that centered on Angel (David Boreanaz), the brooding, hunky vampire with a soul, continuing his journey toward redemption. Instead of Sunnydale, Angel attempted to find peace and help others in LA.
Other Buffy alumni migrated to the show such as cheerleader-turned-hero Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), former Watcher Wesley (Alexis Denisof), and the bad boy villain/ally Spike (James Marsters). The series also gave us a slew of other lovable original characters that fit perfectly into the Joss Whedon Buffy/Angel universe. Notables included the mousy Fred (Amy Acker) and vampire hunter Gunn (J. August Richards).
“It’s good to see everybody!” said Boreanaz, who immediately searched to find his costars at Entertainment Weekly’s reunion photo shoot. “We just picked up where we were last time we talked to each other.”
Acker was just as giddy and also noted that she’d be open to a revival, especially since the original run ended so abruptly for fans in 2004.
“Every show should be this fun,” she said. “We were so spoiled.”
An Angel spinoff was a risky move that Whedon knew he had to take to grow the character so he would avoid languishing in Buffy’s shadow.
“Buffy is a show about the experience of life,” he explained. “And the experience of life where you go to college and your high school boyfriend sticks around? That show is only about how terrible that year is, and then it stops.”
Because of this, Angel aimed at an older audience and possibly a darker place for storytelling. Buffy writer David Greenwalt explained how the network was a little uneasy about the direction.
“They completely freaked out and they were right because in our effort to go dark, we went a little too dark,” he said. “If you’re gonna go that dark, you have to earn it. So, we shut down for a few weeks, revamped some things and we were off and running.”
Two decades later, and everyone involved is just as excited to reminisce about the series. When talking about the end, it seemed everyone also thought there would be a sixth season. Storylines were quickly wrapped up, and Whedon and his team had to make the most out of the time they were given for a fitting ending. Many fans, however, thought the finale was more open-ended than the creators intended as Angel and the surviving team jump headfirst into a demon battle (there was even a dragon!) as the scene cuts to black.
Diehard followers have been reeling on social media at the images released by EW and the upcoming issue of the magazine, including the EW feature writer herself, Ruth Kinane.
12-year-old me, who had a life-size cardboard cutout of Angel, is dead (or undead?!) right now because my first cover story for @ew is an ‘Angel’ reunion!! Catch it on newsstands tomorrow 🧛🏼♂️https://t.co/HLNZ2l6cmM
— Ruth Kinane (@ruthiekinane) June 20, 2019
“I always hope that people feel the difficulty and possibility of redemption within the show,” said Whedon. “The price will always be high, but if — as Angel says — we’re willing to ‘do the work, it will always be worth it.’”
To read more about EW’s Angel cast reunion, click here.
— Alex Steinman (@AlexSteinman) June 20, 2019