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:
6. Supernatural: Castiel (Misha Collins)
The longest-running sci-fi/genre series in American television, Supernatural will soon premiere its 15th and final season on the CW network. Angel of the Lord and fan favorite character, Castiel, joined season 4 as the warrior seraph who rescued Dean Winchester from the depths of hell. In his tenure on the show, he's also become possessed by Lucifer, a human drug addict, a brainwashed angel zombie, a human who's lost his mind and lives in a mental hospital, and God 2.0 (shown above). He's also been known to watch porn and gets laid surprisingly often.
Supernatural's executive producer Robert Singer noted, "We've always expected negative feedback to our version of angels, but that hasn't happened at all." Fellow producer Andrew Dabb added, "There was no groundswell of people being offended, and I think it's because we have always tried to base every one of these angels in some sort of Biblical context. Our approach is we don't want to use the same cookie cutter for our angels."
For his attempts to become the new God and enslave all of humanity, we dub him the baddest angel on TV.
- To J.K. Rowling and "Supernatural": Queer-baiting Is Wrong - Popdust ›
- TV Knows about the Afterlife: 5 Reasons You Wish You Were Dead ... ›