Buffy The Vampire Slayer Vs. Angel: Which Show Is Better?

How does the spin-off compare to its sire?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Mutant Enemy

It's been 25 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired its first episode and changed the face of TV forever. Running for seven seasons of supernatural drama, the series was nothing short of a phenomenon, and with its success it managed to give birth to a spin-off, Angel, that ran for five seasons of its own.

All these years later, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the show that people label one of the greatest of all time, a major network success with quality that justified its popularity, whilst Angel -- moodier, darker, and altogether harder to digest as a whole -- is often left to the side.

But is this assessment fair? Is Buffy the Vampire Slayer really better than Angel?

Well, that's exactly what we're here to find out. Picking apart each show, assessing their characters, writing, and the strength of their themes and consistency, the following article will pit both Buffy and Angel together in a battle to decide which of the small screen fantasy dramas is the best of the best.

With that in mind, and a quick warning about incoming spoilers, let's begin...

10. The Protagonist

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Mutant Enemy

Both Buffy and Angel take their names and the brunt of their drama from their eponymous characters. A poetic pair -- one a slayer destined to fight the forces of darkness, the other a vampire cursed with a soul and forced to atone for his past atrocities -- they each soar as compelling TV protagonists.

That being said, Angel is definitely the weak link here, despite his obvious strengths. Desperate to right his wrongs and combat the world he once relished as a remorseless killing machine, Angel is a complex, brooding figure who nonetheless becomes a touch boring after a while; his crusade veering into repetition.

Buffy Summers, on the other hand, never suffers such setbacks, instead grappling with her own demons (literally and figuratively) in a way that becomes all the deeper, more personal, and, despite the increasing darkness of her often traumatic life, incredibly entertaining.

Buffy has her own problems, of course, particularly during season six when the writing became too dark for its own good, but even then the Slayer's humour, resilience, and overall heroism makes her a much more engaging protagonist than her former undead boyfriend.

Winner: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


I get to write about what I love, so that's pretty cool. Every great film should seem new every time you see it. Be excellent to each other.