Pick of the Week – July 7-13, 2014

Angel, the spinoff series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has a reputation of being the darker of the two series.  The show’s title character, a brooding vampire cursed with a soul attempting to atone for the couple hundred years of atrocities he committed while he was a soulless demon, tended to be dark, tortured, and…well…brooding.  Oh could Angel brood.

For four seasons, Angel and his friends ran a small detective agency, though which they fought the good fight against the various demons that preyed on the people of Los Angeles.  But then at the end of Season Four, through a sequence of events that would take far too long to explain here, Angel found himself in charge of Wolfram & Hart, the legitimately evil law firm that had been an antagonist of the Angel Investigations team since the inception of the series.

Following this event, Season Five was almost an entirely different show as characters left, new characters came in, and Angel tried to use the limitless resources of Wolfram & Hart to do good for a change and fight from inside the belly of the beast.  Season Five also brought viewers the closest to an all-out comedy episode the show ever produced.

This week’s Pick of the Week is the Angel episode, “Smile Time,” written and directed by Ben Edlund.  Edlund is possibly best known for creating The Tick, which of the funniest superhero comics ever written.  With “Smile Time” he did something no viewer saw coming: he turned our dark brooding vampire hero into a puppet.  If that alone isn’t enough to make you want to see the episode, I will add that the story is very well done with a fun plot and lots of great dialog and sequences. 

And Angel is a puppet.

Seriously, go find this episode.

-Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter