If you believe in Christian theology, Angels in America has the potential to be a powerful religious allegory ... or, possibly depending on your denomination, a dangerously blasphemous parody. If you reject Christian theology, this HBO miniseries depicts the elaborate fever dream of a dying man. Whichever way you take it, it is absolutely captivating.
Angels in America is the story of Prior Walter (played by Justin Kirk). Recently diagnosed with AIDS, Prior is visited by an angel. This angel informs him that he is a prophet and charges him with the task to halt the world's progression towards the End of Days. As he grapples with this revelation, he must also deal with being abandoned by his lover and with the devastating reality of his disease. Throughout he is heart-wrenchingly human, and one of the most lovable characters imagined.
Angels in America started it's life as a play, and it shows. The complex and meaningful dialogue, the heart-stopping imagery, the sweeping storyline all recall the the grandiosity of the theater and help the message transcend the usual banality of the small screen. As in the theater, most of the actors play multiple roles. Such talents as Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Mary-Louise Parker, James Cromwell and Emma Thompson lend the show major star power.
So, regardless of the beliefs you hold or the beliefs you think you hold, add Angels in America to your Netflix queue. It is a rare and beautiful spectacle that must be witnessed. If only for the witty repartee.
Prior: [wrestling the Angel] I will not let thee go, except thou bless me! I will not let thee go, except thou bless me!
The Angel: You have prevailed, Prophet... Now release me; I have torn a muscle in my thigh.
Prior: Big deal. My leg's been hurting for months.