If you can’t get enough of vampires and demons, then dim the lights and binge-watch the otherworldly world of “Angel.” Starring David Boreanaz, this spin-off of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” features all the furious fights but with a darker atmosphere.
Year it began: 1999
Where it can be seen: Amazon; Hulu
Who’s in it: David Boreanaz; Charisma Carpenter; Glenn Quinn; Andy Hallett; J. August Richards; Alexis Denisof; Amy Acker; Elisabeth Röhm; Stephanie Romanov; Victor Kartheiser
Typical episode length: 44 minutes
Number of episodes: 110
Brief plot description: Angel, a formerly vicious vampire now tortured by a soul that drives him to do good, fights demons in Los Angeles. Running a detective agency that specializes in otherworldly threats, the usually solitary Angel learns to work with others.
Why it’s worth watching: Although it will always live in the shadow of its sublime parent show, Angel offers some strong fantasy programming. Straddling the line between camp and horror, “Angel” creates a world where alienated individuals somehow find ways to work together for a greater good. Boreanaz anchors the show with his performance as Angel, projecting both the alpha-male gloom that is his trademark and a deadpan humor that brightens the shadowy show. A number of fine performances add charm and originality to the brooding Angel’s detective team. Glenn Quinn is riveting in his role as the half-demon Doyle, whose painful visions of distressed individuals guide Angel; Andy Hallett offers a wonderful performance as Loren, an empathic demon whose ability to read people’s emotions while they sing creates many comedic karaoke situations; and Amy Acker delivers a striking turn as Winifred Burkle, a bright-eyed but nervous genius who goes through a sublime character transformation. Excellent recurring characters enliven the show’s human and demon worlds. Elisabeth Röhm is fantastic as the intense police detective Kate Lockley, while Stephanie Romanov’s cheerfully evil lawyer Lilah Morgan embodies the profound wickedness of a deeply evil law firm. Fans of “Buffy” will be happy to know that key characters from Sunnydale play vital roles in “Angel.” Charisma Carpenter’s Cordelia Chase is one of the most vibrant members of Angel’s agency, while Julie Benz and Juliet Landau haunt Angel’s “Los Angeles” as the deliciously malevolent vampires Darla and Drusilla. In the fifth season, James Marsters helps the show end on a strong note by playing the inimitable punk-poet vampire Spike.