Recently a friend, aware that I have an interest in all things Buffy, asked me if I'd ever watched some show called Bones. He asked this because it stars David Boreanaz, whose major claim to fame is his role as Angel, Buffy's (first) vampire boyfriend. I had to reply that I had not, and could have added that I had no particular interest in ever watching it.
I wasn't even that into David B. when he got his own spin-off; anyone with any sense knows that Angel was infinitely inferior to Buffy. There are so many reasons for this, the first being that Angel lacked both the sparkling repartee and the psychological complexity of BtVS; it was pretty much just a crime show with a vampire doing the detective work. Secondly, Sarah Michelle Gellar might not be the best actress in the world, but she's still more talented than David B, and thus better suited to carry the weight of an entire series. (If you don't believe me, just watch "I Only Have Eyes for You" from Season II of BtVS--I could hardly bear the way DB overacted when he was possessed by the spirit of the school teacher murdered by her teenage lover.) He also didn't age that well; I admit I thought he was very hot when he first showed up as Angel in the very first episode of BtVS, but it wasn't long before he got all thick and jowly, which was odd and unfortunate, given that his character was supposed to be eternally young.
All of which is to say, I endured rather than enjoyed Angel; I watched it because as an academic who does Buffy studies, I needed to know how the story played out--until Season Five when Spike joined the crew, that is--then I watched it because Spike was on.
encouragingly, has a female lead who a) isn't costumed in a cat suit and b) is supposedly some genius forensic anthropologist. But uh-oh, she is relentlessly patronized by Buffy's former vampire boyfriend, who has morphed into a studly overprotective cop for this series. "I'm not letting you out of my sight until we determine the identity of the killer!" he declares. "I can take care of myself!" the genius forensic anthropologist protests angrily. I see where this is going, and nod off. When I come to, sure enough, there is the genius forensic anthropologist, on her knees in an abandoned warehouse, bound, gagged, whimpering, bleeding sweetly from her forehead, fetchingly chained spread-eagle at the wrists. She is being menaced by a psychopath who is of course about to cut her up alive and feed her to hungry dogs. Buffy's vampire boyfriend saves her just in the nick of time. No matter how much booksmarts a chick has, she's never gonna escape the chained-on-her-knees-in-the-abandoned-warehouse scene.
I try to imagine Buffy's stud boyfriend chained on his knees in an abandoned warehouse, getting saved by the genius forensic anthropologist, and laugh myself back to sleep.
The thing is, in BtVS, Angel the stud boyfriend WAS chained up in an abandoned warehouse/ church undergoing renovation/ derelict mansion, and it was a Buffy, a mere slip of a teenage girl, who saved his studly ass--time and time again. The humor and drama to be mined in such a situation was one of the things Joss Whedon was going for when he created BtVS--along with a matter-of-fact assertion of female power and capability. All of which is one more reason Joss Whedon rocks and one more reason I won't watch David Boreanaz in a show not written and/or created by said JW.