How to Watch Buffy and Angel on Netflix or DVD

This blog is for people who are going to start watching or re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the spinoff series, Angel at the same time. My guess is most people would be doing this on Netflix as that is the premium way of dispensing old TV these days. There are many crossovers between both these series. Back at the turn of the century, both shows played on the WB. Through the podcast interviews we have done on Big Bad Buffy Interviews, we have since learned that both series were filmed and written from the same location. Crossovers were easy to come up with, but are hard to enjoy now. The series are meant to be watched in order. Here is how you do it.

Step 1: You start with Seasons 1-3 of Buffy.

I have to let you know that Season 1 of Buffy is a little rough if you are starting it for the first time in 2017. Their budget was low and they are not up to par. Be patient and it gets there. Season 2 is the best season of television ever, so it makes up for it. Season 3 is really good and you are so in love with all the characters that you would go anywhere the writers wanted you to go. At the end of Season 3 is when the viewing get tricky.

Step 2: Rotate between Season 4 of Buffy and Season 1 of Angel; continue for 2 years.

There has not been few things that actually use the benefit of weekly television viewing. Mostly because networks do not care about making TV fun, they want to sell soap. But back in 1999, the WB network did something really fun. Their Tuesday night schedules were given over to Joss Whedon. So Tuesday’s at 8 PM was Buffy and 9PM was Angel. The writers being very creative used this to their advantage. So they do a couple crossovers a year where the story starts on Buffy and ends on Angel. Some of them are short little clips and some are 4 episode story arcs. So if you don’t follow this rule, the shows will not make sense.

You watch Season 4 Ep1 of Buffy, Season 1 Ep 1 of Angel.
Then Season 4 Ep 2 of Buffy, Season 1 Ep 2 of Angel. Continue for 3 Seasons. The pay off will be high.

Step 3: Watch 2 eps of Angel Season 4 then proceed to Buffy Season 7.

Remember when I said that networks don’t care about fun? Well of course they messed this up in the final season of Buffy. So you follow the rule that is laid out in step 2 all the way from season 4 of Buffy until the beginning of season 7. Here they played Angel one time twice and messed up the rotation, even though the end of Buffy and the end of that season on Angel are highly intertwined between a major reoccurring character which I will not give away.

So you start Season 4 of Angel by watching 2 episodes of Angel, then you start Buffy Season 7 and go back to the rotation of Buffy then Angel. Watch Season 4 Ep 1,2 of Angel. Then Season 7 Ep 1 of Buffy, Season 4 Ep 3 of Angel, Season 7 ep 2 of Buffy, Season 4 ep 4 of Angel, etc. That should keep you on the path. They key is that you have to finish Angel Season 4 before you watch the Final Buffy.

You might think this sounds like a lot of work. But can you think of another show that ever had this many crossovers and each show informing the other? It is what makes Joss Whedon an entertainer. He was given a creative chance and he took it. I suggest you follow the “Scott Rules” because this will make the Buffy/Angel universe feel very real and you will then understand why people are still in love with this show.

Make sure you listen to Big Bad Buffy Interviews the podcast where David Bushman and I are interviewing the writers, directors and actors of the series.

Scott Ryan is the author of thirtysomething at thirty:an oral history, the managing editor of The Blue Rose Magazine. For more information click here.

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