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Angel the Series: Why The Series is The King of Found Family Shows

Angel the Series/ The WB

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Spoilers for the entirety of “Angel the Series” below

Angel the Series

Angel the Series Season 5

Everybody wants to be a part of something; a team, a club, a gang, a family. It’s human nature to want to connect to others, and yet rarely in life does a person happen upon that perfect blend of acceptance and love that they seek.

But we can find it on television!

There is a long history of television shows that feature “found families,” better known as groups of people that aren’t related by blood but through experiences. These groups bond over time and create close-knit units that resemble a family.

There are many examples: Cheers, Friends, The Office, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, crime procedurals like Law and Order, even Scooby-Doo! All of these are series about a group of people who find each other and create that perfect unit that understands and accepts you in a way that you can’t find elsewhere; a place where everybody knows your name.

Cheers/NBC Universal

Cheers NBC Universal

I find, however, that as ironic as it may seem, found family shows rarely reflect the nature of what actually being a family means. I suppose this is only natural considering the escapist nature of many of these shows, but still, sometimes I find shows touting the values of family without diving into what it really means to be one.

These series show internal conflicts and arguments within each group to test the limits of their bonds. Sometimes characters disagree with each other, lie to each other, or say hurtful things, but an overwhelming amount of these conflicts get resolved with an apology and a hug.

Buffy exemplifies this idea several times throughout its run, most notably at the end of its fourth season. The core group of friends, Buffy, Willow, and Xander have a huge argument, but soon after come together and hug it out. A few scenes later they, quite literally, become one greater being to defeat the big bad of the season heavily symbolizing the nature of their relationship. They are stronger as one unit, and they will always be there for each other.

Our real families don’t always get along this well or reconcile so easily. These series provide ideal units that always stay together when their limits are tested, but real-life families don’t just test the limits of their bond, they break them. Therefore, the harsher a show attempts to break a family apart, the further a show can dive into what it actually means to be one. No show breaks limits like Angel the Series.

Angel, like so many other found family series, takes a group of outcasts and brings them closer to each other through their adventures and experiences until they consider each other family.

Angel, a vampire with a murderous past who is attempting to redeem himself after gaining a soul, is at the center of the group. He hires Cordelia, an aspiring actress, Wesley, an expert on all things mystical, and Gunn, a vampire hunter from the streets, to help him fight monsters and save lives in the city of Los Angeles. As their adventures progress, they create the standard television “found family” (which will eventually also include Fred, a brilliant scientist, Lorne, a demon who can read your aura when you sing, Angel’s son, Connor, and Spike, basically Angel’s vampiric brother).

Angel goes so far as to make this overt by having Angel claim he is Cordelia’s family at the end of season one, with her returning the sentiment in the closing moments when she urges Angel not to be embarrassed for drinking some blood in front of her; she doesn’t judge his vampiric needs because they are family. They’ve had their ups and downs, sure, but in the end, they are there for each other.

Angel

Angel Season 1 “The Ring”

That is until Angel fractures the family by kicking everyone out of his house. Angel is separated from the group for half of the second season, and when he does finally apologize and return, he is only allowed back into the group if he agrees to take a secondary role to Wesley.

While Angel is forgiven, the way he broke their trust isn’t forgotten and several comments are thrown at Angel regarding his lack of familiarity with the current unit. From this point onwards, Angel never fully regains Gunn’s trust as a friend, and due to Wesley’s position as the new leader, he and Angel have a building conflict that erupts when Wesley, trying to avoid a terrible prophecy, kidnaps Angel’s newborn son, Connor.

The series continues to push these people into situations where the absolute worst parts of them aren’t just exposed but personified. After the kidnapping, Angel doesn’t just threaten to kill Wesley, he attempts to. Gunn commits murder against Fred’s wishes, breaking her illusion as to who he is and what he is capable of. Connor, after growing up in a hell dimension and developing many personal demons, drops his own father into the ocean in a metal crate.

The team willingly releases Angelus (Angel’s murderous past self) to help them defeat an all-powerful beast. This series has a much less overt “we are family” message, and instead develops a subtle allusion to the fact that these people consistently use their demons to solve problems.

Angel

Angel Season 5 “Power Play”

And who better to let your demons loose on than your family? There are moments that happen between families that are so ugly we’d only ever let them be seen by our families. Sometimes these actions lead to apologies, often they don’t, and even more often those apologies lead to the cycle repeating. Angel may be a show about literal demons but the parallels we can draw to our own lives make it a series that anyone can relate to, especially those audience members who have wished their families were a bit more perfect.

Angel himself wishes his family was more perfect. While at the bottom of the ocean (he’s unable to die due to his vampire superpowers), he passes the agonizing time by fantasizing about the perfect family dinner, which includes him and Cordelia happy, Gunn and Fred together, and Wesley back at the table – he’s sharing a meal with the people he loves. It is a scene directly out of any other found family show. But here, like in reality, this family is a fantasy.

Angel

Angel Season 4 “Deep Down”

When Wesley pulls Angel out of the ocean, there is no reconciliation. He drops Angel off with the rest of the group and immediately retreats. When Angel comes face to face with Connor, they argue and fight, and the scene ends with Angel saying, “I love you, Connor. Now get out of my house.”

None of these scenes feel good to watch. Unlike so many other found family shows, Angel doesn’t provide its audience with the comfort of family, but the reality of it. It doesn’t always feel good to be part of your family or the one you’ve chosen. Families get angry and livid. After all these events, the characters in Angel harbor feelings towards each other that bend quite a ways away from love. Some of them not only dislike each other, they actively can’t stand one another. Trust isn’t a given, and they hit each other much more than they ever hug each other.

Angel

Angel Season 4 “Soulless”

Yet the love and commitment within this group prevails. Despite Angel threatening to kill Wesley if he returned, Wesley still spends months searching the ocean for Angel. Angel still loves Connor while knowing that Connor wanted him to suffer for eternity. In the final season, the team still accepts Gunn after he makes a decision that results in Fred’s death. The acceptance of these crushing low points and the choice to love in spite of them is what separates Angel’s family from the rest. The past is never forgotten, and in many cases not even forgiven, but this only proves their strength as a unit. Despite the disastrous team they have made and despite the wedges that have driven them apart, they still stand together. If none of those horrible conflicts could tear these people apart, well, nothing can.

Audiences, myself included, watch these found family shows for escapism. We enter a blissful place where everyone is loved and conflict pushes people closer together instead of pulling them apart. Angel reminds us that’s not how real life works. Sometimes we make each other suffer.

By not pandering to our fantasy, Angel creates a refreshingly realistic portrayal of family and proves how powerful your own family unit can be even with all its imperfections, providing a better perspective on the families we have in real life. This is why Angel is the king of found family shows.

The final scene of the series shows four people, most of whom at some point have tried to kill each other, standing side by side in the rain. They aren’t a perfect unit and they aren’t about to become one being, proving how strong their bonds are. Instead, they are four flawed individuals with their own goals, own beliefs, own morals, and own reasons for being there, who still choose to stand side by side in the rain, ready to fight and die together.

Angel

Angel Season Five “Not Fade Away”

If that’s not a family, I don’t know what it is.


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9 Shows That Need to Be On Your Radar for 2022

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9 Shows That Need to Be On Your Radar for 2022

It was bittersweet saying goodbye to plenty of shows in 2021, but the plus side is that it made room for a handful of new shows that are gearing up for their highly-anticipated premieres. 

There are plenty of shows that we’re excited about, but since it’s too much for anyone person to take in, we’ve condensed it to a list including the best of the best. 

These are all the shows already garnering and generating buzz in 2022 — even before they’ve premiered. 

Check out our list of shows (mostly new, but also a few final seasons) that should be on your radar:

 

How I Met Your Father – Hulu

Fans of How I Met Your Mother can re-live all the magic with a new group of friends with Hilary Duff at the helm. It’s also giving us some Younger vibes, so call it the best of both worlds. 

The gender-reversed comedy premieres Tuesday, Jan. 18 with the first two episodes and then on a weekly basis.

 

House of the Dragon – HBO Max

Even if the final season of “Game of Thrones” left a bad taste in your mouth, don’t worry, the prequel is here to serve as a palate cleanser. Set 200 years before GOT, it’s based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood and focuses on the a civil war within House Targaryen. There is no premiere date as of yet, but that hasn’t stopped us from holding our breath.

 

BEL-AIR – Peacock

Revivals get a bad rap, but they aren’t always terrible. We’ve seen success with Saved by the Bell and Roswell, so fingers-crossed that Bel-Air, a comedy reimagined as an hour-long drama, will deliver in the same way. Will Smith has signed on for the project alongside the original creators. Jabari Banks stars as Will, a young man who moves into the gated mansion of Bel-Air in modern-day America, and explores plenty of conflicts and biases. It has been picked up for two seasons prior to the premiere on Sunday, Feb. 13 with the first two episodes and then weekly episodes.

 

Ozark – Netflix (Fourth and final season)

We’re crossing the finish line on Ozark this year, which is arguably a good thing because I don’t know how much more my nerves could handle. And the end is likely something the Byrde family definitely wants after getting too wrapped up in a messy situation with the Mexican cartel. Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Julia Gardner all make this series an intoxicating binge from beginning to end, even if the fourth and final season is split up into two parts with the first half arriving on Netflix on January 21.

 

She-Hulk

Disney+ saw massive success with their Marvel shows, so it’s not a surprise that there’s a palpable excitement for She-Hulk starring Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, a lawyer who has one small favor to ask: don’t make her angry. She’s the less-angry-but-just-as-green cousin of Bruce Banner, the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, who is expected to make an appearance. No premiere date has been announced yet. 

 

Inventing Anna – Netflix

Shonda Rhines is making her mark on Netflix with a series based on the true and shocking story of fashionable grifter Anna Delvey who faked being a German heiress to scam New York New Yorker’s into thinking she was a German heiress. Ozark’s secret weapon, Julia Gardner, works miracles as Delvey. The cast also stars Scandal’s Katie Lowes and Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox. This is a can’t miss limited series that hits Netflix on February 11. 

 

Lord of the Rings – Amazon Prime

This is a big one for fans of the LOTR films! The television adaptation is a prequel set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and features an ensemble cast — both new and familiar — as they confront an evil unlike ever before in the Second Middle Age. It will make its mark on Amazon Prime on September 22.

 

Stranger Things – Netflix

We’ve paid our dues waiting to catch up with the residents of Hawkins, Indiana. Only this time, the action will take us to California and Soviet Russia (because, yes, Hopper is alive — spoiler) as the group of friends tries to stop the supernatural entities of the Upside Down once and for all. A premiere date (for the fourth and possible final season) announcement is likely on the horizon, but our money is on late spring or early summer. After all, we’ve waited long enough!

 

Obi-Wan Kenobi – Disney+

Disney and Star Wars go hand-in-hand, and with the success of the recent The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian, it only makes sense that they would dive into Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi. The series is set a decade after the events of Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith. In a real treat, Ewan McGregor will reprise the titular role, while Hayden Christensen will return as Darth Vader. No premiere date has been announced.


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Editorials

13 Year-Defining Shows You Have to Watch Before 2021 Comes to an End

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13 Year-Defining Shows You Have to Watch Before 2021 Comes to an End

2021 was a great year for television!

With several streaming services providing top-notch content alongside primetime, there was always something buzz-worthy gracing our screens. 

9 TV Shows We’re Sad to Leave Behind in 2021

And while it was hard to narrow down the best offerings of the year, there were some shows that defined the year. 

These are the shows everyone was watching and everyone was obsessed with!

Check out our list and let us know if there’s a show you’d add!

 

Only Murders in the Building – Hulu 

When Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short come together, shenanigans (and murders) are sure to follow. These murder mystery aficionados pursued a murder in their own building and turned it into a groundbreaking podcast… and more.

 

Squid Game – Netflix

Move over, Tiger King. This Korean drama took the world by storm and kept viewers on the edge of their seats as contestants engaged in deadly versions of beloved children’s games. 

 

Money Heist – Netflix

After five action-packed seasons, Money Heist took its final bow, but not before delivering several jaw-dropping twists. Did the Dalia mask wearing gang manage to pull off the biggest heist in the world?

 

The Chair – Netflix

Sandra Oh spearheads the drama about the first woman of color as the head of the English department at a prestigious university. 

 

Sex/Life – Netflix

Is there anyone who didn’t watch Netflix’s steamy Sex/Life and oogle Adam Demos’s package? A suburban wife goes down a fantasy memory-lane, which reconnects her to a past lover. 

 

Loki – Disney+

Another Disney+ film – post Avengers: Endgame – follows the adventures of Tom Hiddleston’s character Loki, Thor’s adopted brother and god of mischief.  

 

Ted Lasso – Apple TV+

The comedy’s second feel-good season explores the reason behind soccer coach Ted Lasso’s (played by Jason Sudeikis) kindness and its effect on everyone around him. 

 

Yellowstone – Paramount

If you’ve been hearing more and more about Yellowstone, that’s because everyone and their parents are obsessed with the Western drama about the Dutton family, a powerful family of ranchers. It even spawned a prequel titled 1883

 

Maid – Netflix 

The limited series focuses on a single mom’s willingness to survive as she who works as a cleaning lady to escape an abusive relationship and create a better life for her daughter. 

 

La Brea – NBC

In a TV landscape that doesn’t favor post-apocalyptic, supernatural dramas, La Brea found its groove and a dedicated audience. A sinkhole opens up in Los Angeles that transports a group of people to 10,000 B.C. A father’s quest to find his family fuels a rescue mission and reveals a deeper connection. 

 

The Other Two – HBO Max

After Schitt’s Creek comes The Other Two, a comedy about two siblings hailing from former SNL head writers . Cary and Brooke are both looking to find their big break, and find their lives turned upside down when their younger brother becomes a viral sensation instead.

 

Cruel Summer – Freeform

A teen drama set over three summers in the 1990s explores a young girl’s disappearance and how it affects the rest of her small-town.

 

WandaVision – Disney+

The mini-series and sequel to Avengers: Endgame finds Wanda Maximoff and Vision living their ideal lives in the suburbs only to find that not everything is as it seems.

15 TV Couples that NEED to Get Back Together


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Coffee Table News

When Do All Your Favorite TV Shows Return After the Holidays?

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TV characters that need to get back together

After you celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year, it might seem difficult to find something to look forward to. 

But a brand new year means that all of your favorite TV shows are back from the dreaded hiatus!

New shows, old shows, and hit shows will be making their way onto your screen to provide hours of entertainment!

Here’s when and where you can reconnect with your favorite TV characters:

 

FOX

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022
8 pm NEXT LEVEL CHEF (series premiere)

MONDAY, JAN. 3
8 pm: 9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 3 premiere)
9 pm: THE CLEANING LADY (series premiere)

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 5
8 pm: I Can See Your Voice (Season 2 premiere)
9 pm: NEXT LEVEL CHEF (regular time slot premiere)

THURSDAY, JAN. 6
8 pm: JOE MILLIONAIRE: FOR RICHER OR POORER (2-hour series premiere)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9
8 pm (5 pm PT): Call Me Kat (Season 2 premiere)
8:30 pm (5:30 pm PT): PIVOTING (series premiere)

9 pm: Bob’s Burgers

THURSDAY, JAN. 13
8 pm: JOE MILLIONAIRE: FOR RICHER OR POORER
9 pm: Call Me Kat (regular time slot)
9:30 pm: PIVOTING (regular time slot premiere)

SUNDAY, JAN. 30
10 pm (7 pm PT): MONARCH (series premiere)

TUESDAY, FEB. 1
8 pm: The Resident
9 pm: MONARCH (regular time slot premiere)

 

 

ABC

TUESDAY, DEC. 7

 9:30-10 pm: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY

SUNDAY, JAN 2

10 pm: The Rookie

MONDAY, JAN. 3

8 pm: The Bachelor

TUESDAY, JAN. 4

9 pm: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY

9:30 pm: black-ish

10 pm: Queens

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 5

8 pm: The Goldbergs

8:30 pm The Wonder Years

9 pm: The Conners

9:31 pm: Home Economics

10 pm: The Chase

THURSDAY, JAN. 6

8 pm: WOMEN OF THE MOVEMENT

MONDAY, JAN. 24

1o pm: PROMISED LAND

WEDNESDAY, FEB 23

10 pm: A Million Little Things

THURSDAY, FEB. 24 

8 pm: Station 19

9 pm: Grey’s Anatomy

10 pm: Big Sky

 

THE CW

FRIDAY, JAN 7

9 pm: Nancy Drew

TUESDAY, JAN. 11

8 pm: Superman & Lois

9 pm: NAOMI

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 12

8 pm: Legends of Tomorrow

9 pm: Batwoman

THURSDAY, JAN 13

8 pm: Walker

SUNDAY, JAN. 16

9 pm: Two Sentence Horror Stories

MONDAY, JAN. 17

9 pm: 4400

THURSDAY, JAN 27

8 pm: Legacies

MONDAY, FEB. 21

9 pm: All American: Homecoming

SUNDAY, MARCH 6

8 pm: Riverdale (new night)

WEDNESDAY, March 9

8 pm: The Flash (new night)

9 pm: Kung Fu

FRIDAY, MARCH 11

8 pm: Charmed

9 pm: Dynasty (new night)

 

NBC

MONDAY, Jan. 3
8 p.m.: Kenan
9 p.m.: That’s My Jam

10 p.m.: Ordinary Joe

TUESDAY, Jan. 4
8 p.m.: American Auto (time period premiere)
8:30 p.m.: Grand Crew (time period premiere)
9 p.m.: This Is Us

WEDNESDAY, Jan 5

8 pm: Chicago Med

9 pm: Chicago Fire

10pm: Chicago PD

MONDAY, Feb. 21
8 p.m.: American Song Contest
10 p.m.: The Endgame

THURSDAY, Feb. 24
8 p.m.: Law & Order

FRIDAY, Feb. 25
8 p.m.: The Blacklist (new time period)

FRIDAY, March 8
10 p.m.: The Thing About Pam

TUESDAY, March 15
8 p.m.: Young Rock
8:30 p.m.: Mr. Mayor

 

CBS

SUNDAY, Jan. 2

8 p.m.: The Equalizer
10 p.m.: SWAT (new time period)

MONDAY, Jan 3

8:30 p.m.: Bob Hearts Abishola

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5
8 p.m.: The Amazing Race
10 p.m.: Good Sam

THURSDAY, Jan 6

8:30 p.m.: United States of AI

9 p.m.: Ghosts

9:30 p.m.: B Positive

10 p.m.: Bull

FRIDAY, Jan. 7
8 p.m.: Undercover Boss

10 p.m.: Blue Bloods

MONDAY, Jan. 31
8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT: Grammy Awards

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2
8 p.m.: Celebrity Big Brother

WEDNESDAY, March 9
8 p.m.: Survivor

 


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