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From Mansfieldnewsjournal.com


’Angel’ writers add humor to the mix

By Melissa Scott

Tuesday 7 October 2003

The writers of the WB’s "Angel" must have been given some happy pills this summer.

That’s the only explanation for the 9 p.m. Wednesday premiere. The new season of the "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" spinoff debuted with the addition of some humor, a bitingly sharp wit and a slew of new and old characters, including "Buffy" alum Harmony (guest star Mercedes McNab) and Spike (James Marsters).

At the end of last season, vampire Angel, played by David Boreanaz, agreed to take over the evil law firm, Wolfram & Hart, in exchange for his son Connor (Vincent Kartheiser) getting a chance at a normal life with no memory of his supernatural upbringing.

If only he also could have included the rehabilitation of Cordy (Charisma Carpenter who will show up on NBC’s "Miss Match" on Friday) in the pact.

Cordelia Chase, a series regular of "Buffy" who moved with Angel to L.A., is still in a coma.

Harmony fills the void a bit with her perky valley-girl attitude and superficiality. When hearing of Cordy’s unfortunate condition, Harmony had an almost-emotional moment saying "Cordy was my best friend like my whole life. She’s my role model. How can she." And, then, just like that, it was over. "So, anyway, I really think you shouldn’t fire me and Wes does too."

The show’s new levity comes from outside the series regulars as well.

After focusing on the core cast member’s inner demons last season, the series has turned itself around. The lead characters now head a supernatural conglomerate with a science, research and law division and did I mention the despicably evil clientele.

Wednesday, Angel and gang had to stop client Corbin Frye (Rod Rowland) from dropping "the bomb," which just happened to be inside his son.

On trial for kidnapping, pimping, etc., Frye was going to destroy California and his own child if he was convicted. To save the world, the good guys had to save the bad guy. Talk about a conflict of interest.

But this is just the beginning.

Spike showed up at the end of episode 1 and he and Angel have a bit of a history.

Not only was Spike sired by one of Angel’s gang members centuries ago when Angel was Angelus, the worst bloodsucker of them all, he also was one of Angel’s worst foes after Angel, cursed with a soul, started working for good.

That’s not the end of it, however.

After Angel left Sunnydale, the home of love-of-his-life Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Spike got a computer chip in his head that gave him a migraine if he harmed an innocent and Buffy, feeling confused and out of it after being brought back to life, got involved in a sexual relationship with him.

One thing led to another, Spike fell in love and he decided to get a soul of his own, hoping to win Buffy’s heart.

In the end — that would be "Buffy"’s series finale last spring — Spike died for Buffy in the final battle.

But, can you really kill a vampire ? Apparently not when they’re wearing a supernatural charm that is mailed back to Wolfram & Hart.

In a spectacular display, Spike came out of the opened envelope like he was a genie in a bottle.

Things could get messy with Spike and Angel working together.

The two are opposites, despite being vampires with souls who are in love with the same woman.

And just imagine if Sarah Michelle Gellar can work in a guest appearance during sweeps. I can’t wait.

Next week : What would God do if he was one of us ? Not a lot, according to CBS’ "Joan of Arcadia."