Review of Dark Angel

60 minutes

Dark Angel is an American cyberpunk science fiction television program, created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee, which ran from 2000 to 2002 on the FOX network. The show starred Jessica Alba as Max, a genetically-enhanced supersoldier spliced with feline DNA who searches for others of her kind, while trying to lead some semblance of a normal life.
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by Sdemane
Oct 19, 2015 9:51PM EDT
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Okay, this is a great show....for one season. I hold this up as a great example of really excellent early-aughts programming. It's self-aware, not too trope-heavy, and out on a mission to paint some elusive world that is only truly complete in the mind of its creator. The result is hilarious, messy, and awkwardly character-heavy in a way that makes it impossible to chart out arcs into the indefinite future. Which is probably why season two went off into the deep end of what? Who knows? Dark Angel was cancelled after its second season in favor of Firefly, which I can't particularly blame them for, though I'll always recommend Dark Angel first.

I'll just review season one. Go watch it. Is that enough of a review? Consistent, but not contrived, worldbuilding. A will-they-won't-they arc that has realistic extensions. Thought-provoking political insinuations, especially in the immediate wake of 9/11. Episodes address police brutality, racism, chronic illness, disability, income inequality. But they do it with style. Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly do a great job of playing off each other -- they're both powerful in their own way, they're both prickly, and they're just trying to figure each other out. Against a post-apocalyptic backdrop that's uncomfortably close to home, that makes for pretty compelling television.

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