Turns out this week is ten years since Buffy and the Scoobie game signed off the air.
While some of my friends in high school were hardcore fans, I didn’t watch the show while it aired. About two years ago, I decided to rectify this – partially in research for one of my many writing projects.
I ended up watching the show over the course of a few months.
Overall, this Joss Whedon classic is fun, nerdy, with enough gravitas and character to keep you absorbed in the world. I find the 6th season uneven and too dark for me, despite some great moments. However, if there is any show to match the careful blend of silliness and scariness the current Doctor Who has, it would be Buffy The Vampire Slayer (though Buffy tends to be more adult).
In celebration of the show, I present my top Buffy episodes.
*Disclaimer: I have not watched Angel or Firefly yet. These are on my long to-do/watch list.
Out of respect for those going to watch on Netflix, I suppose a SPOILER ALERT is due, but I find that silly for a show that is having its 10th anniversary of its final episode.
Season 2, Episode 16: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Down on his luck in love, again, Xander uses a love spell to make Cordelia jealous of him. However, the spell backfires, and Xander finds all girls mobbing and chasing his studliness. A very fun, silly episode.
Season 2, Episode 22: Becoming: Part 2 – Did I mention SPOILER ALERT?
At the end of Season 2, Angelus (The bad vampire form of Angel) is wreaking havoc and preparing the End of the World. Buffy teams up for the first time with Spike and attempts to restore Angel’s soul. At the last moment, she must sacrifice Angel to save them all. It’s a heart-wrenching, dramatic moment, and is part of why I favor Angel and Buffy over Spike and Buffy.
Season 3, Episode 9: The Wish / Season 3, Episode 16: Doppelgangland
Cordelia wishes Buffy never came to Sunnydale, and ends up in an alternate reality where most of the Sunnydale students are vampires – including Xander and Willow. Later, Vampire Willow is accidentally transported to the main dimension, leading to a comedy of errors between real-world Willow and Vampire Willow. Both are fun episodes, allowing Alyson Hannigan to show multiple dimensions. Neither episode ends well for Vampire Willow.
Season 3, Episode 22: Graduation Day: Part 2
This is the most epic graduation ever.
It is always fun when a show is still in limbo – not knowing if it will have another season – and so the showrunners decide to do an episode that can both serve as a season and series finale. Many epic things happen, almost all gamechanging for the show, and all of Buffy’s high school class rises up for one final battle against evil.
Season 4, Episode 17: Superstar
There are several one-off episodes taking the perspective of a minor character and spinning a different structure on the show. In this episode Jonathon, a fellow alumni of Sunnydale High, uses a spell to turn himself into a superstar. He is everything and everyone, and all love him. It is always fun to have a slightly-alternate reality where the main characters act off their normal patterns. This episode is a bunch of silliness wrapped in one exciting package.
Season 6, Episode 7: Once More, with Feeling
Speaking of silliness…
While I don’t have this episode memorized, as some of my friends do, this episode is amazing. It is a pre-cursor to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog (which, if you haven’t watched, you need to). This musical episode reveals important plot points, moves the story along, and makes me giggle.
Also, Mr. Whedon, will the Avengers 2 be a musical?
Season 7, Episode 22: Chosen
How could I not mention the final episode of the entire series?
A series finale which satisfactorily wraps up the entire show is rare. This episode provides an epic battle, kills off major characters, and then destroys the entire town of Sunnydale. It is bittersweet, but mostly victorious. It is a great end to a great show.*
*There are also comic books which continue the show, but I prefer to end here.
Season 4, Episode 10: Hush
If there is any episode that comes close to the terrifyingness of Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels, it is Hush.
These distorted, floating creatures are the stuff of nightmare. Also, the writers and actors stepped up to the challenge of having almost no dialogue for the entire episode. It is frightening and fascinating. Do not watch alone. Do not watch in the dark.
Happy 10 years everyone!
What is your favorite episode? What do you miss most about Buffy? What show do you think is the best heir of Buffy’s vibe? Are you hoping Sarah Michelle Geller gets a decent television show in the near future? (The one she’s in with Robin Williams slated for next fall does not look promising.) How awesome was Giles as Uther in Merlin?
Once again, check out the Summer Movie Bingo page to participate in an awesome challenge.
Other Fun Buffy-ness: