The 10 Best TV Pilots
In case you’re wondering why we haven’t put the pilot for Buffy on this list, try rewatching it. It’s good, isn’t it? But whoa, it’s dated, and it’s nowhere near as good as what came after. Whereas Angel‘s first episode, ‘City Of’, still holds up today as a fine piece of telly and one of the show’s best episodes – notably because Buffy did all the hard work for it first, and Angel was already a well-rounded character in a well-thought-out universe. So yay for Buffy, and double-yay for Angel!
This really is a fantastic introduction to Angel’s new life, from the shots of him sweeping down alleyways in his big coat to the slightly doofy side of him that emerges when he jumps into the wrong car, thinking it’s his. Then there’s Cordelia, lighting up every scene she’s in with her optimistic enthusiasm, and Doyle bleating on about destiny and doing good things while at the same time, let’s face it, being a bit of a dick.
It’s all about the juxtapositions, see, and Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt have a blast as they introduce us to a bad guy who’s really a good guy who lives in one of the sunniest places on Earth despite the fact the sun can kill him. ‘Los Angeles’ means ‘City Of Angels’, of course. ‘City Of’ places Angel fair and square in LA noir.