Angel was one of Buffy’s primary love interests in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The vampire with a soul was portrayed as a dark and mysterious figure who assisted the Scooby Gang and gave Buffy cryptic warnings from the shadows about the evil entities in Sunnydale.
Buffy and Angel shared an epic and tragic romance before the vampire departed the Hellmouth to forge a new life in his spin-off series, Angel. Angel is a fan-favorite in the Buffyverse but there are problematic elements to his character that wouldn’t fly today.
10 The Age Difference Between Angel And Buffy
The vast age gap between Angel and Buffy is one of the more uncomfortable aspects of their relationship. Buffy is 16 when she meets Angel in Season 1. Angel was turned into a vampire when he was 24, though he is technically 241 years old when he starts a relationship with the Slayer.
Angel is older than Buffy as a human and a vampire. The drastic age difference in their romance would never fly in today’s era.
9 Stalking Buffy Before She Moved To Sunnydale
It is later revealed in the show that Angel’s feelings for Buffy predate her move to Sunnydale. The vampire with a soul first encountered the Slayer while she attended school in Los Angeles, watching her from a distance as she struggled with her new identity.
This makes the age difference between the couple more disturbing as Buffy was even younger when Angel first decided he loved her. He continues to stalk the Slayer after she moves to Sunnydale, though Buffy quickly confronts him. Today’s audiences have moved on from the dated, problematic idea that stalking someone is romantic.
8 He Fell In Love With Buffy Before He Knew Her
Angel and Buffy’s romance is widely regarded as a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers. Like in Romeo & Juliet, Angel fell in love with the Slayer at first sight, despite not knowing or ever speaking to her.
It could be argued that Angel loves the idea of Buffy as opposed to her personally. Buffy represents his redemption and an opportunity to be a better person. Loving someone because they can “fix” you isn’t exactly romantic by modern standards.
7 His Toxic Relationship With Buffy As Angelus
Buffy and Angel sleep together for the first time in Season 2. This has dire consequences for the Scooby Gang as Angel loses his soul after experiencing a moment of true happiness and reverts to the sadistic Angelus.
Angelus wastes no time tormenting Buffy and her friends. The evil vampire attacks Buffy, murders Jenny Calendar, and almost kills the Slayer in an epic duel before he is re-souled. This toxic element of Angel’s relationship with Buffy would likely be considered inappropriate by modern audiences.
6 Making Decisions For Buffy & Taking Control Of Their Relationship
Angel could be overbearing during his relationship with Buffy. He recognized he was toxic for Buffy, yet continued to stay with her. When he departed from the series in the Season 3 finale, it was after he dumped Buffy during the Mayor’s Ascension without saying goodbye.
Angel meant well, but he chose the worst moments to break up with Buffy. The vampire disregarded Buffy’s choices and tried to make her decisions for her, believing he knew what was best. Not cool in the 21st century.
5 His Treatment Of Drusilla
Angel committed countless acts of atrocity during his days as the soulless Angelus. One of his most deplorable crimes is his torment of Drusilla. The vampire stalks Dru, murdering her family before driving her to a convent where he continues to torment her.
Angelus eventually turns Drusilla into a vampire after driving her to insanity. He does this to ensure she suffers for eternity as an immortal, demonstrating toxic and abusive elements that many of today’s viewers wouldn’t be able to get past, especially for a romantic lead.
4 Buffy Didn’t Trust Him During The Beginning Of Their Relationship
Buffy admits in Season 2 that she doesn’t trust Angel, despite her romantic feelings for him. Angel has a soul but he is still a vampire, Buffy’s mortal enemy. Buffy is wary of her boyfriend, and with good reason.
She herself recognizes the problematic elements of her relationship with Angel. Her distrust of him is a red flag that would not go ignored by viewers nowadays.
3 His Bloody History As Angelus
Angel is regarded as one of the good guys in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but he still has a bloody history. As Angelus, Angel killed and tortured hundreds of people. The evil vampire has a notorious reputation for being one of the most despicable killers in vampire history.
Angel tries to atone for his actions after he is re-souled and spends his time throughout Buffy and Angel seeking redemption for his past. Nevertheless, this is another unsavory part of Angel’s story that wouldn’t fly today.
2 Murdering His Family
One of the worst crimes Angelus committed was the murder of his family. Angel, originally known as Liam, awoke as a vampire and under the tutelage of his sire Darla, viciously killed his younger sister and his parents.
Angel’s history is littered with murder and loss. This bloody history of familicide is another reason why his relationship with Buffy could be considered toxic by modern standards.
1 His Creepy Introduction In Season 1
Angel first appears in Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a mysterious figure who stalks Buffy and sporadically offers her ominous advice. Buffy herself comments on the creepiness of Angel’s presence, despite the instant chemistry between them.
Angel’s enigmatic entrance in the narrative portrayed him as a tall, dark, and handsome love interest for the Slayer. Nowadays, however, his unsettling presence and cryptic warnings would be off-putting for a lot of viewers.
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