Because Popes practically ruled the Western world from ancient Rome to the "screw you" spirit of the French Revolution, the supremacy of the Catholic church is reflected in, among other things, weird, obscure holidays.
Since 1608, today, October 2, has apparently been the day to honor The Feast of the Guardian Angels (according to the BBC, who probably had to Google it first). The belief that each soul is assigned a guardian angel who watches over you for your entire life, after which the winged stalker escorts you to heaven, has become a common trope in pop culture. While TV's Touched by an Angel, Highway to Heaven, and the Hallmark Channel have depicted earnest, wholesome angels as divine intermediaries between humans and an unknowable, all powerful deity, today we're more interested in angels who scheme, swear, and screw like humans.
Darren Swimmer, executive producer of the fan-favorite fantasy series Shadowhunters, notes, "What's interesting is that throughout the history of angels on TV, they've always remained somewhat elusive and ineffable. They're not easy characters to pin down. And since you didn't used to have darker angels on television, so people tend to want to gravitate to edgier material because it's something different."
That's not to say that the idea of angels being closer to us lowly humans than some divine god is new. In Thomas Aquinas' 1485 Summa Theologica, he relegated guardian angels as the lowest rank in the hierarchy: a characteristic we love to explore in the form of TV angels who show their stupidity and lack social grace and maybe even sin? From the comedy of NBC's The Good Place and TBS' Miracle Workers to the dramedy of CW's Supernatural and the trio of current series adapted from Neil Gaiman's oeuvre of mythological mindf*cks, we love to watch these angels sin.
Ranked from most to least wholesome, our favorite angels are:
2. Good Omens: Aziraphale (Michael Sheen)
Though self-convinced that he's a doctrine-obeying angel, Aziraphale's prim, proper, and painfully British personality belies the fact that he likes the danger of Earth and living amongst us sinners. For instance, the bookish angel happens to be best friends with the demon Crowley (David Tennant), who joins the angel on his quest to disobey his superiors in Heaven and find the Antichrist in order to thwart the apocalypse.
Sure, he gets points for rebelling against Heaven, but that's mostly because his superior is played by Jon Hamm, who could tell most of us to lie down in front of a supped up lawn mower and we'd do it before he could stub out his cigarette.
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