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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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Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 – Who is the Killer? We’re Logging Every Clue on the Murder Board

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Who Is the Killer on 'Only Murders in the Building' Season 2?

Only Murders in the Building season 2 carries the torch of the first season, putting a unique spin on the murder mystery genre.

The killer, who is most likely also the person framing Mabel, Charles, and Oliver (who are all persons of interest) likely won’t be revealed until the final episode, but we’re creating an online murder board to keep track of all suspects and possible clues hinting at this person’s identity.

Join us — and the characters who attempt to solve the whodunnit on their podcast via new weekly episodes that air every Tuesday on Hulu– as we theorize who is responsible for the latest murder at the Arconia!

*Cue the theme song*

 

Victim: Bunny Folger

Her Last Words: 14 and Savage

Cause of Death: 8 stabs wounds

Murder Weapon: A knife that was found in Charles’ apartment and a knitting needle

Place of Death: Mabel’s apartment

 

 

Possible Suspects

 

Alice Banks

Played by Cara Delevigne, Alice slides into Mabel’s DM’s shortly after she lands the front page of the tabloids as “Bloody Mabel.” The art artist collective owner invites Mabel to a gallery opening in an attempt to cozy up to her and get her to open up. Maybe she just sees past Mabel’s flaws, but considering the whole mystery hinges on a missing painting by the artist Rose Cooper (who also died a mysterious death), we simply cannot rule it out. Maybe she wants the painting… maybe she wants Mabel. Honestly, maybe Rose was Alice’s mom who was murdered by Charles’ dad, her lover, and Alice is trying to get revenge on him by getting close to Mabel.

Alice admits that she’s been lying about her rich upbringing, so it begs the question — what else is she lying about? And when Mabel sees her reenacting Bunny’s murder in the name of “art,” it definitely comes off as obsessive, even if she isn’t the killer. 

 

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is playing an exaggerated version of herself who just moved into Sting’s former penthouse. She’s a fan of the podcast — almost to an obsessive point — who wants the rights to it so she can turn it into a streaming service series and channel her inner Jan. You need a murder mystery in order to have a successful podcast… and then a show, I’m just saying. Plus, I have to believe that there’s a reason the series included her character! 

 

Uma Heller

I’m sorry to do this to you Uma, but there’s no one that knew Bunny better than her best friend. She not only knew about the painting, but she knew its worth. Maybe jealousy got the best of her?

 

Nina Lin

We don’t know much about Nina other than the fact that she’s the New Board President. Howard says she has wanted the gig for a long time, which gives her motive. And he also warned the trio not to be fooled by her “maternal glow,” comparing her vibe to Rosemary’s Baby instead.

We learn a bit more about Nina in the third episode as she gets into a heated altercation with Bunny. Nina and Bunny seemed to be on good terms with the former training the latter and passing on her Board President wisdom and duties. Nina seemed like a star pupil worthy of taking on the title, but when Bunny suddenly had a change of heart during her “retirement party,” things got pretty ugly between the women. Nina told Bunny the only reason she was Board President was because of her mother. She called her a “selfish, self-important, stuck in the past relic,” which is, well, harsh. When Bunny told the “power-hungry baby bumpy bitch” that she wouldn’t let her “get away with this,” Nina seemingly threatened back with “I won’t let you stop me.” The altercation happened mere hours before Bunny was accosted in her home.

On the fourth episode, we find out that Nina was hoping to modernize the Arconia with some kind of space pod, a plan Bunny would never agree to. However, when she goes into labor later in the episode, she mourns Bunny’s death hoping that she was around to meet her future child. She then tells Charles to find the murderer and give her a few minutes alone with them! There’s always the possibility that she’s acting, but a woman in labor strikes me as someone who will tell the truth. 

 

Jarred

Nina’s baby daddy is kind of at the top of our list of suspects. He has a stake in modernizing the Arconia, he gains from removing Bunny and making Nina the Board President, and he would have all the blueprints to the Arconia, which means there’s a possibility he knew about the tunnels. 

He also seems to come from wealth, so there’s a chance he could’ve been an art fanatic and wanted the artwork from Bunny. Who knows, maybe he was even Bunny’s secret child who came back to get what was his and when she refused, he decided to kill her.

 

Leonora Folger

Killing your own daughter is certainly cruel, but crazier things have happened. Leonora wasn’t really phased by her daughter’s passing, but she was very interested in finding her painting. She even came with the original bill of sale in order to retrieve her prized possession. Yes, she’s technically blind and can’t cut a piece of cheese to save her life, but it could’ve all been an act. And there’s also the whole affair with Charles’ father that she casually mentioned after informing Charles that she knew exactly who he was this whole time. She clearly knows way more than she’s leading on. 

 

Cinda Canning

If she’s devious enough to blatantly steal a podcast, she’s not above murder. A murder suspect has to benefit from the crime, and Cinda sure does! By giving the Arconia another murder victim, she deepens the mystery and secures herself a compelling season.

 

Ursula

I don’t ever want to think badly of Ursula, but she was really suspicious when angrily throwing out a random box of documents and looking around to make sure there weren’t any witnesses. What’s she trying to hide? This couldn’t have been a routine dump.

 

Rose Cooper

Yes, she supposedly went missing in the ’50s and is believed to be dead, but no one ever found a body. There could be so many unknown twists and turns about her identity that we have yet to discover. What’s her true connection to all of this? Or is Rose Cooper actually Leonora?

 

Oscar

Mabel’s sort-of ex. What happened to him? Why are they moments away from the friend zone? Are we to just believe the streamer couldn’t get him back this season, or is there another reason he’s staying away… I don’t know, maybe like framing your girlfriend and her friends for murder?

 

Oliver

While I don’t actually think that Oliver has what it takes to kill Bunny, the truth is that he had a deep hate for her, at one point even calling her a witch. Furthermore, he did mention that Bunny would “die at the Arconia,” so he’s slightly suspicious. It could also be why he’s gunning for the team to revitalize the podcast and clear their names. Of course, he was also on the rooftop celebrating his podcast success with Mabel and Charles, so the odds of him being the killer are slim.

 

Lester

Bunny was a lot to handle, so it’s safe to say that as Board President, she harped on Lester quite a lot. We saw a brief scene where she called him “useless” as she belittled his work ethic and even said she would have him fired. 

 

Howard

Howard is a longtime Arconia resident who could definitely know about the secret passages. He strikes me as an allergy sufferer, and Lucy, who laid eyes on the hooded killer recalled them sneezing as they made their getaway through the tunnels. Howard also tried to divert attention to Nina by saying she has a violent streak and explaining that she will “cut a b**ch.” It’s possible that he’s the brains behind the whole operation because he wanted to get rid of Bunny.

 

Detective Kreps

We know one thing for sure — he’s definitely Glitter Man. Okay, maybe we’re not certain of it, but the glitter on his neck seems to indicate as much, though, it’s possible he also just came into contact with the Glitter Man. Either way, GM seems to be working with the killer, so this puts a huge question mark above Kreps, a man we’re supposed to be able to trust. Shady law enforcement, who would have thought? Who is Kreps working for? Why? And why did he want Bunny killed/Mabel, Charles, and Oliver framed? 

 

Jonathan

The new sub-letter on Howard’s floor arrives at a questionable time. We also find out that he’s allergic to Howard’s cat as he experiences a sneezing fit. Is it possible that he’s the murderer even if he wasn’t the one chasing Lucy through the secret tunnel during the blackout. We can’t rule him out just yet. 

 

READ ALSO:

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Premiere Review – Bloody Mabel

Only Murders in the Building Review – Framed (2×02)

Only Murders in the Building Review – The Last Day of Bunny Folger (2×03)

Only Murders in the Building Review – Here’s Looking At You (2×04)


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Hulu

Internet Reacts to ‘Prey,’ Hulu’s Most-Watched Movie

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Internet Reacts to Hulu's Hit Movie 'Prey'

Hulu’s new action-thriller, Prey, a prequel to Predator, has been deemed a breakout hit.

The film starring Roswell, New Mexico’s Amber Midthunder as Naru is set in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, centuries prior to the 1987 original film. 

Naru is a fierce warrior who “has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains.”

When danger lurks nearby, she aims to protect her people from the prey that ends up being an evolved alien predator.

People have loved the film so much, that according to Variety, it’s Hulu’s most viewed project — among TV and movies — logging the most viewing hours ever in the first three days.

Disney opted to forgo a theatrical release, choosing a streaming release on August 5, but based on the reviews and comments from fans, they may want to rethink that strategy. Turns out, plenty of viewers would pay to watch it on the big-screen again… it was that good!

Here’s what the internet is saying about it:


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Big Sky

Everything We Know About ‘Big Sky’ Season 3

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Everything We Know About Big Sky Seas 3

ABC’s Big Sky was a breakout hit when it first premiered in 2020, but since then, it’s become a fan-favorite drama as we follow the brilliant detective work and crime solving of Jenny Hoyt (Katherine Winnick) and Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury). 

The serial has found success with its mystery-of-the-season format. It’s not entirely a procedural, but adding a new case each season allows the series to capitalize on the familiarity of old characters while enticing fans with brand-new cases and a rotating cast of players that bring mischief and chaos to the otherwise picturesque town. 

Season 3, specifically, is getting quite an upgrade with some heavy Hollywood hitters! 

And as the premiere date inches closer, we’re breaking down everything there is to know about Big Sky Season 3.

 

What Will the Show Be Titled?

Big Sky is being dubbed Big Sky: Deadly Trails to reflect the season’s theme! 

 

Who Will Appear on Big Sky Season 3?

The season will see the regular cast return.

  • Katheryn Winnick as Jenny Hoyt, an ex-cop turned deputy detective
  • Kylie Bunbury as Cassie Dewell, the private detective running the show at Dewell & Hoyt investigation agency
  • Dedee Pfeiffer as Denise Brisbane, an employee of D&H that provides comedic relief mostly 
  • Jesse James Keitel as Jerrie, an employee of D&H and Ronald Pergman’s previous victim
  • Omar Metwally as Mark Lindor, a deputy marshal and Cassie’s significant other
  • J. Anthony Pena as Deputy Poppernak, Jenny’s partner in the sheriff’s office who also serves as the right-hand/comedic relief. He was upped to series regular this season
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Tonya, a local waitress-turned-crime associate (and Ren’s right-hand woman) who has been upped to series regular this season

Possibly returning:

  • Logan Marshall-Green as Travis Stone, Jenny’s on-again-off-again working undercover to avenge his former lover
  • Janina Gavankar as Ren Bhullar, the daughter of a drug lord who is expanding business into Montana. Her storyline wrapped up but it’s possible she’ll be around considering Jamie-Lynn Sigler was upper to series regular for the season
  • Anja Savcic as Scarlet Leyendecker, Ronald Pergman’s girlfriend who did the right thing by giving Phoebe over. Her storyline felt wrapped up, but Scarlet has a way of popping up again and again as a recurring mystery
Big Sky Season Finale Review Catch a Few Fish Season 2 Episode 18

BIG SKY – ÒCatch a Few FishÓ Ð In a struggle between head and heart, final resolutions are made as Jenny works to find Travis before he reaches a dangerous point of no return; meanwhile, Ren and Jag find a new familial bond and decide together how to handle their father now that heÕs crossed a serious line. After receiving a startling surprise from Scarlett, Cassie changes the course of her quest for justice forever. Later, with Tubb out of commission for the time being, a new sheriff comes to town; and after getting fully acquainted with Cassie and Jenny, it seems like he may just stick around for a while É on the season two finale of ÒBig Sky,Ó THURSDAY, MAY 19 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Anna Kooris)
KATHERYN WINNICK, JENSEN ACKLES

Any New Faces Coming to Town?

Helena, Montana definitely seems like a popular place to spend your time as this season will welcome some famous stars who will be involved in the deadly new mystery occupying Jenny and Cassie’s time.

 

Reba McEntire as Sunny Barnes,  a “successful backcountry outfitter with a secret history of missing customers.”

Jensen Ackles as Beau, the freshly appointed sheriff after sheriff Tubbs’ shooting. We met him in the Big Sky Season 2 finale

Henry Ian Cusack as a tech exec named Avery

Luke Mitchell as play Sunny’s son Cormac

Anirudh Pisharody comes on vacation from New York with his girlfriend looking for a wilderness adventure

Madalyn Horcher the other half of the young couple from NY looking for a good time in the wild

Seth Gabel as Walter, a recluse living in the woods

Rosanna Arquette as Virginia “Gigi” Cessna, Jenny Hoy’s charismatic and fast-talking mother. “She’s a world-class scam artist who used childhood Jenny in her grifts, much to present-day Jenny’s resentment. Gigi has an uncanny ability to charm her way into people’s lives and then disappear without a trace. When she returns to Helena to pull her latest con, Jenny catches onto her and mother-daughter must work through their difficult relationship.”

 

What Can We Expect?

The official description via the ABC press site notes: Reba McEntire and Jensen Ackles step into the world of “Big Sky” on its new night, bringing with them a new mystery to unravel as the mercurial matriarch of an established local family and the new sheriff in town, respectively.

 

Big Sky Season 3 Trailer

 

When Does Big Sky Season 3 Premiere?

The crime thriller will be moving to a new night — Wednesday. It will premiere on September 21, 2022 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. 

 


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