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Best and Worst of Buffy

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Here's the place to rank and discuss our favorite and least favorite aspects of the series.

 

Let's start with this one: How would you rank the seasons from first to seventh? No ties allowed...I'm kind of sadistic that way :) 

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Bump S1 over S3, and it's like you read my mind,  Jazzy24!  

 

Well, okay, I have to make a rather noticeable gap between S4 and S5, since S5 is IMO clearly an early indicator of the Hell that was to follow.  But, on first viewing, I didn't mind it so much.  After all, it's not as if Joss was going to actually hook up Buffy and Spike, blatantly steal from himself, and essentially invalidate the B/A story, right? Right?

 

[Percy-voice] I'm challenged, okay? [/Percy]

 

But still, essentially my order, cosmic gap included.

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Season 5

Season 2

Season 6

Season 3

Season 1

Season 4

Season 7

 

I'd have made 5 and 2 a tie if I could, but since no ties are allowed, I'll give 5 the edge. :)

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3, 2, 1, 5, 4, [test patterns, infomercials, In the Kitchen with David, scrambled movies on old cable channels you didn't pay for, my own reflection when the TV is off], 7, 6.

Edited by Earl Is Dead
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Season 6 is my all time favorite because of Buffy and Spike. Period. I love them unapologetically. Sure there are a  few episodes in that season that I didn't really like and have never watched again but overall --- Season 6 still has my heart.

 

Season 4 is my second favorite. Buffy goes to college and Adam the Frankenstein man still rank right up there for me.(I mostly ignore Riley)

 

Season 2 is great because we are introduced to Spike. ;-)

 

Season 3 and 5 were pretty good. Season 1 was ---well still finding it's footing. 

 

Season 7 had some good moments. Upon reflection I didn't mind it as much as some people did.

 

But yeah. Six will always be my favorite. I mean --it's got the musical! it's got Buffy and Spike!

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I love that we've all given different answers so far! BtVS really is in the eye of the beholder :) I have to shyly confess that I really don't like S5. I totally understand why others are impressed by it, but it just doesn't work for me. In its own way, I actually find it just as depressing as most find S6 (Joyce's serious illness and subsequent death, Buffy dropping out of college to become a careworn quasi-parent to Dawn, Dawn in general and the fact that her presence led to less Core Four interaction, Riley becoming 'dark' before leaving and Buffy blaming herself for his departure...etc.) I didn't enjoy Glory, I dislike the Anya/Xander relationship, I vastly preferred Spike in S2 and S4, Tara/Willow do nothing for me...yeah, suffice it to say S5 just doesn't do it for me, and I've really tried to like it as much as most do!  

 

My order:

 

S2

S4 (so many of the best standalones of the series IMO, and I actually like the mytharc more than most do)

S1 (In some weird way I find this even more rewatchable than S4 and find the Scoobies and their relationships at their very most lovable in this first season, but it's also kind of dated, clunky and cheesy and lacks some of the layers of S2-S4.

S3 (I loathe the Xander/Willow 'tryst' with the fire of a million blazing suns and hate Faith, so despite my fondness for the mayor and a few individual episodes, this one is definitely not a favorite of mine.)

S6 (Embarrassingly enough, I actually think the trio was a good big bad. I also think Buffy's depression was really well depicted, albeit sometimes difficult to watch. Sadly, I liked little else about the season, though I still like it a bit better than...)

...S5 

S7 (which...ugh. For your own sanity, don't get me started!)

 

Here's another 'best of' question: What are your 10 very favorite episodes of the entire series? 

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I liked season 6 being so dark, I liked Buffy dealing with her depression.

What I didn't like is Buffy being degraded in that piece of shyt of a relationship with Spike. I liked Spike also but season 6 forever killed any love I had for him and season 7 made sure I could never like Spike again with the love fest that he got by the writers and all the unneeded focus. Also I did like that Buffy had humans as her main enemies in season 6.

And my all time favorite episodes would have to go something like this.

1. Becoming 1&2

2. Halloween

3. What's my Line 1&2

4. Innocence

5. Surprise

6. Prom

7. Graduation 1&2

8. Reptile Boy

9. Some Assembly Required

10.Earshot

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I'd love to hear from y'all whether you watched the show during its original run or binged on it later. I'd be interested to see if there's any connection between that and which seasons people prefer. I can imagine that the darkness of season 6 could be a lot more oppressive if dragged out over 20 weeks as opposed to being blasted through in a week.

 

As for favorite episodes:

 

1) The Body - My pick for all-time greatest single episode of TV
2) The Gift
3) Passion
4) Becoming
5) Hush
6) After Life - I love, love, love this episode. I think it's one of the really underrated episodes of the series. I'm don't really love where the rest of the season eventually ended up going with Buffy/Spike, but they have some beautiful moments here. The "every night I save you" speech is one of my favorite moments from the show.
7) Once More With Feeling
8) Lover's Walk
9) Surprise/Innocence
10) The Prom - "I had no idea that children, en masse, could be gracious"

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Seasons

 

1. Season 4 - It was just pure fun.  I'm one of the few that liked Riley, so his introduction doesn't hurt the season.  I loved the Initiative, we finally got to see that that the government knew what was going on and was trying to stop it.  Now granted, they were playing in an area they knew nothing about, but I still loved it.  There were also so many great episodes.  The overall arc went downhill with Adam, but the episode quality was second to none, and the characters actually got to have fun.

 

2. Season 3 - The arc was better than season 4, and it included my favorite episode ever in "Graduation Day 1&2", season 4's episode quality beats it.

 

3. Season 2 - The arc was better than season 4, but not better than season 3.  Episode quality wise it had some clunkers, whereas with seasons 3 and 4 I loved every episode.  "Inca Mummy Girl", "Reptile Boy", and "I Only Have Eyes For You" aren't the strongest episodes, despite some good moments in those episodes.

 

4. Season 1 - There are clunker episodes here, but I've got to cut it some slack due to being the first season, and everyone taking time to find their characters.  But then you've got episodes like "The Pack" and "Prophecy Girl".  Those 2 alone are enough to put it in the 4th spot.

 

5. Season 5 - When the downfall started.  I wasn't a huge fan of "The Body", I know I know.  I'd rank it as maybe my 3rd favorite of the season, at best, behind "Fool For Love" and "The Gift".  There were just too many clunker episodes.

 

6. Season 7 - It gets the nod over season 6 only for the Big Bad countdown in "Lessons".

 

7. Season 6 - Despite having my favorite episode from season 6 and 7 in "As You Were", it was worse on a whole than season 7.

 

Episodes

 

1. Graduation Day 1&2

2. Hush

3. The Wish

4. Becoming 1&2

5. Prophecy Girl

6. Fool For Love

7. Pangs

8. Innocence

9. Earshot

10. The Initiative or Doomed

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Episodes?

 

1. Innocence (perfectly heart-wrenching, great acting, major impetus on five separate romantic fronts, a rocket launcher, and Angel gets his balls kicked so very hard.  What's not to love?)

2. Passion (rip my heart out some more, why don't you, Joss?  A little heavy on the forced jokes in Act I, perhaps, but so many beautifully painful scenes, especially in the tag)

3. Prophecy Girl (ah, if only David B. was able to keep up with Sarah and ASH in the "I quit" scene…he tries, but he's clearly a step below.  But easily the best season finale ever)

4. Becoming, Part 2 (not that this isn't good, but Whistler needs to die in a fire, the Spike/Joyce "awkward sitting" scene has never, ever done a thing for me, and the redemptionistas' insistence on hijacking the "I wanna save the world" speech makes me twitch a bit now.  Too much Spike overall, now that I think about it;  I don't really mind the character at this point, but he feels a bit disproportionate in the ep.  And it wouldn't have hurt for Buffy to kill ONE of the fucking vampires, at least…I love Drusilla, but let Buffy get her revenge for Kendra as a shocked and devastated Spike beats a retreat, perhaps?)

5. Döppelgängland (Four Willows, can't beat that!  Lots of great stuff for everyone, down to Percy and Alphonse the vampire.)

 

6-10 are some mixture of Welcome to the Hellmouth, When She Was Bad, Halloween, Lie to Me, Bewitched Bothered & Bewildered, and Revelations, I'm thinking.  (Yes, that's six eps for five slots and I'm too lazy to decide who doesn't make the cut right now.  Choices wants to get in that group, because I love me some Buffy/Willow, but probably doesn't deserve to be there, which makes it #12, I suppose.) Joss's later-season stunt eps tend to rub me the wrong way, and get worse as they go on.  I like Hush, but I honestly believe that Reptile Boy is a better episode, and will defend that position in depth.  And I once ripped The Body a new one, but good, in TWoP's poll thread…"this episode is like watching TV with the test pattern on" was, I think, the climax.

 

I mean, I'd still rate it over That Stupid Musical Episode, but that's a low bar, IMO. So half a Top 10 is better than none, right?

 

ETA:  Becoming, Part 1 should also be a candidate for slots 6-10, so that pushes Choices down to at least #13, maybe #14 behind Fear, Itself.  Let's face it, after the Top 5, I'm at sixes and sevens.

Edited by DAngelus

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Seasons:

2, 3, 1, 4, 5, 7, 6. When I think of "Buffy," I think of seasons 1 - 4.

 

Episodes (in no particular order):

1. The Puppet Show: Buffy Classic. It's so fluffy. That extended ending. It also squashed my childhood fear of Sid the Dummy from Goosebumps.

2. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: The part where mothereffing Angelus ripped Xander out the window and then it cut to commercial made me run to my mom shaking. And forget about Drusilla rescuing him and then wanting to kill him herself. Petrified. Some truly frightening moments for a comedic episode.

3. Enemies: So stunning and cool to see Faith and Angel(us!) team up, with an epic twist that confusingly actually made me feel bad for Faith even though she was evillll. Though I adore her now, during the original airing of season three, I felt much the same way about Faith as Buffy did: Intimidation, Distaste, and a vague sense of envy.

4. Earshot: I had to wait to see this one and was so mad because I'd already missed the first half of season 3 thanks to my grandparents' cable provider dropping the WB. (Thank you, Buffyguide!!!) But it turned out to be worth the wait, and Buffy's speech to Jonathan still resonates with me to this day.

5. Fear, Itself: Funny ("Whatcha got in the basket, little girl?" "Weapons."), great continuity, some of that stuff creeped me out, and it had Zach from Power Rangers in it.

6. Forever: That ending. I was so shocked and moved when Buffy suddenly let down her guard and had hope that she'd see her mom on the other side of the door. I think that that scene and the one where Buffy was washing dishes with the radio way up from Listening To Fear hit me harder than any scenes in The Body.

7. Tabula Rasa: Hated Willow's "Magic is drugs mmkay" storyline but I loved seeing the gang somewhat carefree for a bit, everyone being terrified of vampires, Anya and Giles, and I don't care; I thought the shark demon was hilarious. And the song "Goodbye to You" really got me at that age. I had that album haha.

8. Amends: Cheesy ending but doesn't pull punches about how vile and decidedly unromantic Angelus was. The first time the whole "vampires as sexual predators" subtext really occurred to me. I also enjoyed Faith clearly loving Christmas but being embarrassed about it and coming over to Buffy's with her "crappy" gifts for Buffy and Joyce and eating like an animal. It definitely piled on more of those conflicting feelings about Faith.

9. Becoming Part 2: All of it was so amazing and badass and tragic. I almost couldn't handle it. I cried. Effing Sarah Mclachlan.

10: Welcome to the Hellmouth: First episode I ever saw, and I fell in love. I liked everybody except for Cordelia, and then liked her too for her hilarious "Excuse me, I have to call everyone I've ever met, right now" after Buffy almost killed her. The cliffhanger ending still frustrates me whenever I watch that episode, even though I know how everything turns out years and years later.

 

And I was one of those original run watchers from elementary school through high school. I can't believe that just going through the episode titles on Wiki can nearly overwhelm me with nostalgia.

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It's been a while since I've watched, but my order would be

 

3

2

1

4

5

 

 

 

6 (Sux)

7 (SuxMore)

 

Episodes:

Hush

The Wish

Hush

Dopplegangerland

Hush

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Favorite episodes....

 

Once More With Feeling

Band Candy

Doppelgangland

Tabula Rasa

Graduation Day 1 & 2

Witch

Phases

Prophecy Girl

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I started at Season 6, just after emerging from my tumultuous 20s and a very bad relationship. So it resonated with me at the time, and I have a soft spot for it. I caught up on the other seasons by binge-watching that summer, and I was blown away by what I had missed. The first season was slow to get started and the arc in season 5 never worked for me, but S4 had some real stand-outs and 2 and 3 were pure magic. I was super excited to watch Season 7 in real time with the rest of the world, and I was so horribly let down that I won't even acknowledge it as part of the same show.

So my list would be:

 

3

2

4

6

5

1

.

.

.

Some other show that featured Kennedy.

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Grr..lost the original message...So angry..

Anyways, coming out of lurkdom for this. (Hello! :Þ) I didn't start watching Buffy until about 2006-2007. Really surprising, as I was a huge SMG fan dating all the way back to Swans' Crossing and All My Children. What really sucked about coming so late to the show was not getting to interact on the forums with you guys over at TWOP and even more was spoiled on pretty much EVERYTHING. The only thing that ever shocked me was "I'd like to test that theory..."

Seasons:
2--This to me was what the series was about. The Core. Humor. Angst. Despair. High School. Some of the best epis of the series.
6--Maybe because I binged, I didn't get the depression that everyone loathed/suffered through. Also, a Spuffy fan. The chemistry was there from the beginning. There was plenty of humor in there, between OMWF, Tabula Rasa, Life Serial, Older and Far Away..
3-Would have possibly been second, but wasn't a fan of Faith. See season 2. Still the classic Buffy.
5--Disliked Dawn more than Faith. Grr....They had some really good stuff in there too...uuugh, Dawn...("getoutgetoutGETOUT")
4--Surprised myself while ranking. I thought this would have been third, but no. Didn't mind Riley, but wasn't a fan of the Initiative, Kathy, Parker, Veruca, Kathy..so yeah..
1--Too short to be above any of the others--the show was getting its feet--loved the Pack, the Puppet Show, Prophecy Girl, OoSOoM--liked all the others with the exception of Teacher's Pet and Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
(clowns, roaches wasps, tight spaces--all things I'm afraid of)
(Grand Canyon)
that other "season"

 

Epis:

1. "Innocence"--one of the best two hours on TV (the other is "Everybody's Waiting" from SFU). Buffy goes all out with a Bazooka, Oz joins the scoobies, Buffy gets older and "let(s) it burn," the post-coital scene is perfection, she gets him good in the donger. "Our job sucks!!"

2. "Intervention"--words cannot express my love of the Buffy-bot. She cracks me up and I'm sure SMG had a blast playing her. Plus, a pre-cursor to Spuffy! "That's what it's all about." "WHAT is THAT and WHY is its hair that color?!" "It's not Bob Barker, you scabby morons!!" "How is your money?/Fine, thanks for asking!"

3. "OMWF"-my go-to epi when sick or exhausted. Sweet is my favorite 'verse minor demon. They can sang!! 

4. "Fear, Itself"--the last ten or so minutes from when the gang starts hearing Gachnar until the credits are one of the funniest moments of the series. Zack from "Power Rangers!,"  the ending, Anya in the bunny suit, did I mention the ending?? This exchange: Xander: Hail, ye olde... varletty... thou. Willow: I'm Joan of Arc. I figured we had a lot in common, seeing as how I was almost burned at the stake. And plus she had that close relationship with God.Xander: [to Oz] And you are...?Oz reveals a name tag saying "GOD"]

Xander: Of course.Wish I'd thought of that before I put down my deposit. I could've been God.Oz: Blasphemer...

5. "The Gift"--as much as I loved S6, this would have made an amazing series finale. Can I just say I lose it every time Spike breaks down in sobs when he sees Buffy's body? The beginning reminds me of classic Buffy.  Also, the return of Joel Grey! Unpopular opinion: I was sad to see Ben go. :( "The Slayer's a robot! Did everyone else know the Slayer's a robot?!"

6. "I Only Have Eyes for You"--weird, I know, but I love it. The ending with Buffy and Angel. Gah. Great guest stars: Katherine from the National Lampoon movies! Merdith Salenger.  Poor Meredith. I hadn't seen her since "Dream a Little Dream," and they couldn't get her name right? "You stink of lies." "Pathetic little no-life vegan." (note: I'm vegetarian)

7. "Something Blue"--even before I was a Spuffy fan, I loved this. Sooo many great quotes: "Stop that. Whatever you're doing. You smell of fruit roll-ups." "That's alright, I have more scotch." "The English Undead Patient." 

8. "Lover's Walk"--SAT scores: Buffy's a genius! The Return of Spike! Willow and Xander are busted!! The look on Angel and Buffy's faces when Spike reminisces on him and Dru killing a homeless man on a bench. One of my favorite relationships in the 'verse: Joyce and Spike! Spike making faces behind Joyce's back to rub Angel's face in it!! "I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it." "Oh my God, is this some sort of residual werewolf thing? This is very disturbing."

9. "Hush"--genius. no fave quotes, obviously, but the classroom scene. If only I could get that for my wall. ;)

10. I can't decide between "Becoming Pt. 2" (self-explanatory), "Forever" (to me, more powerful than "The Body"), and "The Puppet Show" (Siiiiid!!)

 

How about least faves?

1. "Empty Places"--are you kidding? If Joss didn't have so much going on, I don't think he would have EVER let this crap get on the air. This completely went against seven years of genius, and forever left me with a bad taste in my mouth on Dawn, Willow, Xander, Anya...(I refuse to acknowledge the Potentials,and they always gave me a bad taste in my mouth)..

2. "Bring on the Night"--where it all started.

3. "Gingerbread"--the kids were both annoying and yet scary..MOO..really, Joyce?

4. "Bad Eggs"--**shudder**

5."Beer Bad"-'nuff said

6. "Teacher's Pet"--again, I say, "zzzzz"

7. "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date"--Owen=zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

8. "Wild at Heart"--they ruined my Oz

9. "Touched"--still bitter after "Empty Places" and none of them deserved sex after that

10. "Chosen"--THAT'S how you end it?!??!!?

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2. "Intervention"--words cannot express my love of the Buffy-bot. She cracks me up and I'm sure SMG had a blast playing her. Plus, a pre-cursor to Spuffy! "That's what it's all about." "WHAT is THAT and WHY is its hair that color?!" "It's not Bob Barker, you scabby morons!!" "How is your money?/Fine, thanks for asking!"

 

Super underrated episode. One of the funniest episodes of the whole series. "Angel's lame. His hair grows straight up, and he's bloody stupid."

 

 

 

How about least faves?

1. "Empty Places"--are you kidding? If Joss didn't have so much going on, I don't think he would have EVER let this crap get on the air. This completely went against seven years of genius, and forever left me with a bad taste in my mouth on Dawn, Willow, Xander, Anya...(I refuse to acknowledge the Potentials,and they always gave me a bad taste in my mouth)..

 

Yes, this. I like season 7 more than you do (I was surprised by how much I found to like when I rewatched it a couple years ago), but "Empty Places" is such a colossal misstep that I can't believe it made it out of the writers' room. That last scene is the worst scene of the whole show, just a complete betrayal of all these characters. 

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2 - a couple of standalones were clunkers, but overall it was brilliant.

3 - Faith & The Mayor kept the season powered through some dodgy plots.

1 - Always has a special place in my heart!

4 - more hits than misses but things like "Hush" are fantastic.

5 - "The Body" is the standout here but I don't remember much else from an episode perspective.

 

Have only seen two episodes of S6 (the first, which made me stop watching - I don't like a show that disrespects its heroine enough to show her dessicated corpse in her coffin), and I've had "Once More, With Feeling" inflicted on me.  I saw the last episode of S7 because I heard Angel came back (and boy was it rubbish).  So they're both off the scale somewhere at the bottom.

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Hi everyone. I haven't posted much here yet but I've been following the re-watch. It's been a bit since I've watched the full series, though I've watched some during the recent re-watch, so this may take me a while to get it all out.

 

I started watching Buffy live during season 5 out of boredom. Friends had told me I'd love it since it first came out, but I disliked the movie so much that it took me that long to give it a chance. I binge-watched re-runs on FX at the same time as watching s5 live, and probably started with that somewhere in the middle. I video-taped FX's two daily episodes but missed a few episodes here and there, which probably took me a year or more to catch be completely up-to-date with the show. I just threw out all my old VCR tapes last year. :|

 

So, anyway, I think because of the way I watched it, I liked Spike from the start, and really enjoyed going back to the earlier episodes to see how everyone got to where they were in s5. It was really cool to watch the cast develop into the characters that I had grown to love already. But, I bet my opinion of the different seasons, episodes and characters would be much different if I watched from the beginning.

 

Favorite seasons: 2, 3, 5, 4, 1, 6, 7

 

Like I said, it's been a while since I've seen it, but I don't think I hated season 7 as everyone (here and elsewhere) seems to. I remember being annoyed with it as it aired, and would delete the middle third of it from my brain if I could, but it had its moments (Heh, I just remembered Him; what a fun episode. And Storyteller and Conversations with Dead People were also good in my opinion. And a s7 episode even makes my top 5). I really hated being spoiled for Spike to move on to AtS before the Buffy finale aired.

 

As far as episodes, here it goes:

 

1. Once More With Feeling - probably my favorite episode, or at least top two. It's just so much fun, the songs are clever and I enjoyed the beginning of Buffy/Spike even if I didn't always like where the storyline went. I have the soundtrack on my iphone and sing along, loudly.

 

2. Becoming Parts I/II - I still enjoy the stuff with Spike and the ending still makes me tear up. Dru/Giles is a notable part too. It's just such a great progression from the buildup over the second half of s2.

 

3. Selfless - I'm a huge Anya fan and love nearly everything about this episode. Flashbacks to Olaf and the bunnies. And wow the OMwF flashback gets me every time. I just enjoy Emma Caulfield so much as an actress in the whole series, though that never translated to her other projects for me. I'm glad she got this episode to shine. I thought they were going to kill her at the end for sure.

 

4. Surprise/Innocence - so much has been written about them that I'm not sure what I can add. Innocence especially is top-notch SMG acting "I'll just let it burn" paired with the TV movie/song: Wow.

 

5. Hush - I would probably show this as a stand-alone episode to introduce someone to the show. So many classic moments, real creepy-ness and I didn't hate Riley yet.

 

6. Restless - I love the absurdity of it and the glimpse into slayer history. Also, Harmony.

 

7. Fool for Love - I'm not sure I could call myself a Spike fan and not enjoy this episode. As horrible as the flashbacks in this show can be, they really work in this episode for me. It was tough to choose between this and Lover's Walk. It could go either way, depending on my mood that day.

 

8. Doppelgangland - I thought it was in my top 5 until I actually started ranking the episodes. It cemented my love for Willow and gives us more Anya. The Wish was pretty awesome too, but I like this re-visiting of the concept better.

 

9. Something Blue - Joss always knows when to add levity, and it works really well here. I also feel so bad for Willow while enjoying the humor of the situation - a real strength in a good Joss series.

 

10. The Body - Not close to my favorite episode but possibly the best Buffy episode. It's too real and SMG nails it. Anya's speech is a bit too naive, but it still works for me. Overall it shows the emotional depth that Joss & co. can achieve.

 

10. The Gift - It was my first season finale seen live and wow was it effective. I love the opening nod to less complicated times of the show; the planning and preparation for battle; Spike's speech; Buffy's speech; her friends' reactions to her death; and the tombstone. 

"the hardest thing in this world... is to live in it."

 

Yes, that's 11, but if I was going to cut something else out it would have been a lighter episode, and for me they're important to mention. BtVS does drama so well but when both the comedy and the drama are working, it's at its best.

 

Notable: Prophecy Girl - just out of my top 10 but wow, when Buffy says "I'm 16 years old. I don't wanna die" it would have sealed my love for the series if I actually watched it in order.

 

Lover's Walk. So much to like, apart from the Xander/Willow stuff. Plus, it has one of my favorite Cordelia lines (re: SAT scores) "What, I can't have layers?"

 

Thanks for letting me pass an afternoon at work with some fun Buffy reminiscing.

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1. Innocence (perfectly heart-wrenching, great acting, major impetus on five separate romantic fronts, a rocket launcher, and Angel gets his balls kicked so very hard.  What's not to love?)

This episode had two of my absolute favorite bits of directing, in anything, ever.  The sequence where Buffy cries herself to sleep, dreams of the funeral where Angel tells her 'You have to know what to see', wakes up and marches into school, then throws Ms. Calander across her fucking desk - extraordinary directing, even for Joss.   Ditto for the sequence where they pack up and go to meet The Judge - the energy, the elegant panning shots.  So well done.

 

Some episodes of Buffy have begun to show their age but this one is simply a master class in writing and directing.

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Favorite Seasons:

2

3

4

1

5

 

S6 and S7 are tied for last, though sometimes one edges out the other. I rewatched Season 7 recently and found it at least somewhat more enjoyable because there is at least an illusion that things are happening and plot is being progressed, even though none of it makes any sense. S6 doesn't have that, but at the same time I sort of get what the writers are going for with the characters, even though I think both their intentions and results are terrible. S7 is just a complete mess both character-wise and plot-wise, to the point where I often found myself asking "Why?" or "since when?" As in, "Since when is there a seal at the Hellmouth, since when does magic work that way, since when does Dawn speak freaking Sumerian?" 

 

It's impossible for me to pick one favorite episode or even do a top ten that I think would accurately convey my feelings, but rewatching through the first five seasons, I found myself strongly feeling that "Out of My Mind" was the worst episode of the whole show up to that point, though it was quickly topped by "Into the Woods." You can see why S5 ranks so low for me. I do enjoy everything from "I Was Made to Love You" on, and I rewatch "The Gift" a lot, even though the plot holes in that one are nearly as bad as the ones in Season 7 ("Since when was Dawn made out of Buffy? Since when was Olaf a troll GOD?" "Why hasn't the gang used the Dagonsphere at all this season up until this point? Buffy knew it was supposed to repel Glory before she even met Glory!") But the thematic and emotional content of the episode works so well for me that I can still enjoy it greatly. 

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I liked season 5 a lot.  It had a strong main story arc and I liked how it ultimately brought the gang and Giles close together again, something that was really missing in season 4.

 

I've always enjoyed the lighter and sillier episodes of the show, like Something Blue, Fear Itself, The Zeppo, and Doppelgangland, as well as Once More with Feeling.  Fool for Love was a great episode, The Gift was the best of the season finales with that powerful closing moment, and Restless was very entertaining, though I always thought it was out of place as a season finale and should have been in the middle somewhere.

Edited by Dobian

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I just finished watching the entire series over the last 3 months (which I've done maybe six times since it went off the air) and finally realized that I turn to the series when I'm experiencing significant stress or some upheaval.

I find the familiarity of it comforting, while at the same time finding new things I missed (still!) and new interpretations of the stories and themes. And aside from references to technology of the time the series holds up amazingly well.

I only started watching after it went off air and was nowhere near being a youngster, yet it really resonated with me. I wonder if this allows me to love the series as a whole, with no real complaints. I must say the bitterness some people have for turns the series took shocks me. But I didn't experience it in real time or at a super impressionable age. For me it's all good.

That said, while I can't possibly form a top 10 list of episodes, there are a few things that don't do it for me.

Glory - good grief that actress was awful. I turn off the sound whenever she is on screen.

Potentials - I like the idea in theory but most of the actresses and much of the writing for them was clunky.

Angel - the tragic impossible love angle just didn't play for me most of the time. I keep wishing Buffy would just move on. Also, while the two did have chemistry, DB's acting makes me cring sometimes.

(I'm sensing a theme here.)

Edited by solea
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On a different ranking note, my favourite one-off characters from the show:

10. Sunday. Wish she lasted longer, but maybe it's for the best so she didn't get tiring. Best season opener baddie, for me!

9. April. She may be a robot but I still felt so sad for her I get a little choked up everytime I watch I Was Made To Love You.

8. Nancy Doyle. Her side-eyeing, sneers and Buffy's rivalry with her is hilarious, however brief.

7. Sheila Rosenburg. I know, she's totes awful, but I love Gingerbread and MOO and I just enjoy watching her awfulness.

6. Ted. Just so great. Totally see what both Joyce and Buffy sees.

5. Gage. From bully to Buffy's puppy, I just enjoy them together during Go Fish. Plus Wentworth Miller, drool.

4. Cherry Pie Lady. I know, I know, it might be an irrational love but it's love nonetheless. Perfectly silly for the Twin Peak-ness of Doublemeat Palace.

3. Zachary Kralik. Sooo effectively creepy. I can just feel the terror when Buffy's alone with him in that house. A lesser villain would've really weakened the episode.

2. Cassie. Just breaks your heart, doesn't she?

1. Gwendolyn Post. Played to underhanded bitchy perfection by Serena Scott Thomas. Can you imagine if Glory would've been like this? How awesome would that have been!

I really do love the bitchy one's, don't I?

Honorable mention: Richard, Buffy's date from Older and Far Away. Purely for physical reasons, obviously.

Had Kathy not appeared in two eps she would've placed second, easily. That's probably an UO!

Edited by joelene

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When I think about ranking episodes, I have to differentiate from the ones I think are "best" versus the ones I re-watch the most. The best list would look something like this:

 

Hush

The Body

Once More with Feeling

Becoming I and II

Surprise/Innocence

Restless

The Prom

Earshot

 

Whereas the list of episodes I watch most often is more like:

 

Once More with Feeling

Doppelgangland

Something Blue

Tabula Rasa

Halloween

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

 

I guess I tend to go for the comedic/lighter episodes when I just want a one-off. And given that Season 5 is one of my favorite seasons, I really don't re-watch it much. I love the narrative arc of that season, but it doesn't really have many standout episodes (excepting The Body).

Edited by stagmania
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On a different ranking note, my favourite one-off characters from the show:

 

 

I like this idea!  My favorites, in no particular order...

 

1. The Gorch Brothers - The two of them just cracked me up, especially the scene where they are watching Angel and Buffy making out (Why is Angelus about to make me blush LOL)

 

2. Sunday - I loved her snarking on Buffy and her own henchman.  I wish we would have gotten to know her better.  I was always curious how long she had been a vampire.

 

3. Percy - I don't know if he was really considered a one off character but I didn't think we got to see enough of him.

 

4. Miss Kitty Fantastico - I seriously loved that kitten and wish they would have kept her around.

 

5. Cassie - That episode broke my heart.

 

6. The Lord of the Dance - Once More with Feeling is one of my favorite episodes and I floved how he called Buffy on her gloominess.

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Had Kathy not appeared in two eps she would've placed second, easily. That's probably an UO!

 

I just watched those episodes again today and Kathy cracks me up. When she finds Buffy's weapons bag and just shakes her head, mumbles and then shrugs it off makes me laugh every time.

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3. Percy - I don't know if he was really considered a one off character but I didn't think we got to see enough of him.

 

Percy's in five episodes (Döppelgängland, Earshot, both parts of Graduation Day, and Doomed), and they thought about making him a regular.  That's a lot of work for a once-off, IMO.

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Seasons

 

3: Great arc, my favorite big bad, and just a consistently good batch of episodes (the only stinker in the bunch IMO is Beauty and the Beasts, and even that one compares favorably to some of the episodes from later seasons). In addition to a great arc, there are so many classic standalones (The Wish, Band Candy, The Prom, Earshot) and underappreciated gems likes Homecoming and The Zeppo.

 

4: College reset rejiggered the group dynamics in an interesting way (Buffy/Giles, Buffy/Willow, Xander/Scoobies, Spike/Scoobies) and the Initiative storyline was (initially) very compelling. I also feel like this season featured some of the sharpest writing and comedic moments (Something Blue, Pangs,  Living Conditions) and creative breakthroughs (Hush, Restless). Even though I gave the edge to Season 3, this is the season I'm most likely to be in the mood to rewatch.

 

2: Epic story arc with Angelus. Standalone episodes are campy fun, but not as strong as seasons 3 and 4.

 

5: This season feels the most like an "arc" to me. That said, I didn't care for Glory as a big bad, so the number of eps spent on the overarching storyline (Glory, the knights and the key) drags this season down a bit. What it does have going for it is possibly the most poignant season finale (The Gift) and some real gems like Fool for Love and The Body. (I also love Triangle, Crush and Intervention.)

 

6: If I could split this into two mini-seasons, the first half (or, really, third) would be ranked much higher. As it is, it's firmly in 5th place. The highs were very high (OMWF, Tabula Rasa), but the lows... oof. I even hated the season finale. I didn't mind - and, in fact, was kind of intrigued by - the dark tone, but all the characters became unlikeable/unrelatable by the end of the season. Except Giles. 

 

1: Campy fun, but the show was still clearly finding its feet. Even the season's pinnacle - Prophecy Girl - doesn't hold a candle to a lot of the later episodes. But, it's still watchable. Unlike...

 

7: What is there to say that hasn't already been said? I enjoyed Conversations with Dead People, Selfless, and the last 10 minutes of Him. Seriously. It was such a weird sensation watching this as it aired - the show was just so unrecognizable, so inexplicably bad. I've seen most Buffy episodes more than 5 times. Over a decade  later, I still haven't recovered enough to watch season 7 a second time.

 

Episodes (not necessarily the best, but these are some of my favorites)

 

1. OMWF

2. Fool for Love

3. Hush

4. The Prom

5. Tabula Rasa

6. Doppelgangland

7. Becoming 1/2

8. Restless

9. Something Blue

10. The Gift

11. Bargaining 1/2

12. The Zeppo

13. Earshot

14. This Year's Girl / Who Are You

15. Living Conditions? Triangle? Argh, so many to choose from...

 

Here's my ranking of the season premieres/finales

 

Premieres

6

4

3

2

5

1

7

 

Finales

2

4 (I'm treating Restless as the finale, even though Primeval is the end of the arc)

5

3

1

[huge gap]

6

7

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S3: Although it's not my favourite version of the Scoobies (I really couldn't take much Cordelia and this was also the season of Wesley, god save us from his nonsense), this was the season where everything coalesced perfectly - the actors had nailed their characters, the writers had a great plan for the year, fab villain, great side-stories that feed into the main arc, the singular eps are exceptional... it really was firing on all cylinders in S3.

 

S5: For all the reasons I've outlined above, S5 is my second favourite. It just wasn't quite as perfectly streamed as S3, with a few duds along the way (Into The Woods, Shadow anyone?). And Glory was introduced far too early. I loved her, don't get me wrong. But she was sitting around with her crusty minions for far too long doing nothing, which made her seem inept and less threatening than she should have been.

 

S2: The season where Joss realised what they could do. It was such an eye-opener and it kicked the show into an entirely different league. But again, the first half had a few clunkers (Some Assembly Required, Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy) and it also had the most random momentum-killing episode to ever grace the second half of a Buffy season. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Go Fish.

 

S6: Contrary to popular opinion, I've always thought this was one of the better years. Was it the most fun? Nu-uh. But that's almost what I loved about it. I grew up with the show. When S6 came along, I had hit that early-twenties feeling sorry for myself, real life is hard stage and S6 was all about that. It made sense to me. I didn't rewatch much S2/3/4 that year. I was all about the depression lol. It's an essential part of growing up, and I think S6 is an essential part of the overall Buffy journey.

 

S4: Lots of funny episodes. Probably the highest concentration over the whole show. But it doesn't make up for a whole host of unsympathetic new characters, a boring main villain, a romantic lead with the charisma of a rusty bicycle and a main arc that some fanfics have actually improved upon. That's scary.

 

S1: Yes, it hooked me at the time but in hindsight, while the writing was there and the characters were fresh and loveable, holy canoly the production values were terrible and the over-abundance of monster of the week stuff (and the monsters themselves being ridiculous - preying mantis lady, Robbie-the-Robot, invisible Clea DuVall) was just too silly. When I tell people to watch Buffy, I always tell them to just get past S1 because while there were flashes of greatness (Angel, PG etc.), it is more of a chore to get through than it should be.

 

S7: It's sad that it's the worst IMO. The idea wasn't bad - Buffy sharing her power, passing the mantle - but the execution was not good. At all. Bits worked - the Spuffy stuff, the beginning up until CWDP, the uber-vamps - but the rest was just so tired. The actors, the writers... everyone seemed tired by that stage. There was far too little Scoobie interaction. Far too little Giles/Buffy bonding. Far too many potentials sucking up the screen-time. I get why; they had to make us care about them. The problem was we didn't, and they wasted the last half of the last season of Buffy giving us scenes with unknown characters having sleepovers while the characters we'd loved for years were all in separate scenes bitching about each other. That's not cool. 

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My list goes like this:

 

Season 2 - Will always be the best for me. It's the one I had taped on VHS and rewatched over and over again. Good times!

Season 3 - Has probably the best overall arc. I loved the Mayor and Faith. 

Season 1 - Was a blast, so funny and light and it's so nice to go back to it and see that. And the finale is still one of my favourites. 

Season 4 - Best standalone eps of the series.

Season 5 - I always liked Spike, and this season has a lot of good Spike moments.

Season 6 - As most of you have mentioned, has some pretty good episodes, some pretty awful episodes. Very uneven. I think this is the finale I disliked the most.

Season 7 - I don't think I ever rewatched this one after it was done. It had a good start, but I didn't like the potentials storyline at all. Watching this mess at the same time as Angel season 4 (my absolute favourite Angel season) was such a letdown.

 

Favourite eps:

Apparently I'm a sucker for two-parters. Welcome to the Hellmouth, What's my Line, Surprise/Innocence and Becoming are all up there. 

As far as standalones, The Wish, Hush, Something Blue, Tabula Rasa and OMWF are the ones I rewatch more frequently.

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What if you could save just 3-4 episodes from each season, no ties allowed?! These are the ones you find yourself rewatching most often which, as we've covered above, are not always necessarily the episodes you objectively think are "best" :) 

 

I think I'd go with...

 

S1: Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, The Puppet Show and Nightmares (a sadly underrated gem, IMO---some nice emotional beats and a cool premise in addition to the usual S1-ish moments of joy and humor) (Prophecy Girl is great, but too sad for me to want to watch with as much frequency) 

 

S2: Halloween, Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered and...(*ducks*) Go Fish 

 

S3: The Wish, Gingerbread (can you tell I love the random standalones more than is normal?!), Doppelgangland (I normally LOVE the series' funny episodes and watch them far more than the more serious arc episodes, but for some reason Band Candy just doesn't do it for me) 

 

S4: Something Blue, Hush, Restless

 

S5: (Interestingly, I enjoy fewer episodes from this season than any other---including S6 and S7! I had trouble finding even three that I'd want to save) Fool for Love, Family and Triangle

 

S6: Once More with Feeling, Tabula Rasa, Normal Again 

 

S7: Selfless, Him, Conversations with Dead People 

 

S1, S2 and S4 had by far the most that I was eager to save!

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S1: same as you have, ASF

 

S2: Halloween; Lie to Me; Becoming (Part 2); and Killed by Death if we're not including DVD commentaries; if we are, then Innocence.

 

S3: Once again, same as you have, though I'd add Consequences.

 

S4: Fear, Itself; Hush; Restless (with commentary); Something Blue

 

S5: The Body (with commentary); Intervention; Triangle

 

S6: Bargaining (part 2); Tabula Rasa; and I can't think of a third, no matter how long I stare at the episode list. It's not that I hate season 6, but I think I have to get into it and watch it through, rather than watch standalones.

 

S7: Same Time, Same Place; Conversations with Dead People; Empty Places (mostly b/c I'm a Faith fan and I like her here)

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I love that we agree on so many of these! So you know that now I'm going to make you pick your 3-4 LEAST favorite from each season, right?! Again, these are just the ones you're personally most likely to skip, not the objectively "worst" :) 

 

S1: Angel and Prophecy Girl. Angel stuff in general doesn't affect me like it used to, and I picked the objectively terrific PG only because it saddens me too much to watch it as much as I do the others! (Gah---this is surprisingly hard, as I actually love at least certain scenes and moments from even the comparatively sub-par S1 episodes. I picked only two since this is a much shorter season)

 

S2:  When She Was Bad (if I want to see the less lovable sides of Buffy, I can tune in to later seasons :) Seriously, like PG, this is a very good episode that I just don't personally enjoy watching); What's My Line, Innocence (too angsty and upsetting at this point despite being beautifully acted) 

 

S3: Dead Man's Party, Helpless (I'm way too attached to the Giles/Buffy bond to watch this one), The Prom 

 

S4: Wild at Heart, The I in Team, Goodbye Iowa, Where the Wild Things Are (Hmmm...this is interesting for me, because while I really, really love some of S4, there are more episodes than expected that I would happily skip at this point in my rewatching "career"!) 

 

S5: Shadow, Listening to Fear, Into the Woods, Blood Ties 

 

S6: Smashed, Wrecked, Gone, Seeing Red

 

S7: Potential, Dirty Girls, Touched, End of Days (Can you tell that I like the first part of S7 much, much more than the rest?!) 

Edited by amensisterfriend
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I'm wondering whether this will be easier or more difficult...

 

S1: The Pack, definitely; probably Teacher's Pet, as well; possibly either The Harvest or Angel, mostly because S1 BtVS Darla is just so over the top (with the exception of her first scene, which was brilliant)

 

S2: Ted (watching someone not be believed about another person's horribleness makes me wince just thinking about it; it's really hard for me to rewatch); possibly Inca Mummy Girl (with the exception of the line 'Not her, the Eskimo.'); that's all I can pick for S2, honestly. If forced to choose, though, I might be less likely to rewatch something like Reptile Boy.

 

S3: Beauty and the Beasts; The Zeppo (I think I have noted in UOs why I don't particularly like watching this ep.); Homecoming

 

S4: Where the Wild Things Are (I cannot even with that episode); Wild at Heart (too painful); I almost never rewatch Living Conditions, but I'm not really sure why, outside of general disinterest in the plot; probably Goodbye Iowa (get over yourself, Riley)

 

S5: Buffy vs. Dracula (I like the idea, I just never enjoyed it as an episode); The Body (without commentary; it's just too heavy and silent and long to rewatch); Into the Woods (unless for some reason I want my blood pressure to spike with rage); The Replacement (clever idea but I feel like this was that point where they were running out of ideas about what to do with Xander)

 

S6: Dead Things (I have read good defenses of this episode but the bleakness of it, even in the name itself, is just unrelenting); Life Serial (the sequence of Trio tricks actually seems like it takes forever); Gone (b/c of the interminable social services subplot); probably Wrecked

 

S7: Beneath You (the dog dies and everything goes downhill from there); Get it Done; Lies My Parents Told Me (UGH, too much rage; can't rewatch); either Touched or End of Days (I can't even remember the difference between them; maybe lets go with the one where the Guardian shows up and is killed 20 seconds later-- don't even know which one that is).

 

I think this actually was a bit easier, in the later seasons at least.

Edited by damngoodcoffee
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I think this actually was a bit easier, in the later seasons at least.

 

For seasons 3, 5, 6 and 7, I actually had trouble narrowing it down to just 3-4 I wanted to ditch :) 

 

 

 

The Pack, definitely;

 

Parts of this are really hard to watch, but I have a weird soft spot for it because 1) the final few minutes of this episode are among my favorites and 2) this was the episode when I first realized that Nicholas Brendan is a better actor than I'd given him credit for, and even/especially when the writing for his character was shaky, I remained consistently impressed with his acting throughout. 

 

 

 

Homecoming

 

Yeah, I don't especially like this one either, but then there are only four or five S3 episodes I DO really like. 

 

 

 

Buffy vs. Dracula (I like the idea, I just never enjoyed it as an episode);

 

Agreed! If we were doing episodes that fell most woefully short of their potential, this one would definitely have made my list. 

 

 

 

The Body (without commentary; it's just too heavy and silent and long to rewatch);

 

Ugh, yes...I've already rambled on the UO thread about how overrated I find the Body, so I'll spare you a retread. 

 

 

 

Into the Woods (unless for some reason I want my blood pressure to spike with rage);

 

Hee! I'm with you, though I've found there are quite a few episodes which accomplish that same feat :) 

 

How about your favorite relationships of the series---these can be platonic, romantic, familial, potentially intriguing dynamics you wish you'd seen more of, etc.?!  

Edited by amensisterfriend

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It's interesting, because when I talk about the relationships I love on the series, I'm really only talking about the first 4 seasons. Beyond that I think the relationships on the show in general really suffered.

 

Buffy and Giles: While I don't like what they did with Hank in service of it, the Buffy/Giles relationship was a favorite from the very beginning.

 

Actually, you know what? Giles and everybody, except probably Faith. I really like how he played off of the rest of the scoobies, including Willow, Xander (though I wish they had done more with that- that's a relationship I wished they had gone into more), Cordelia, and Anya. Even Spike.

 

Faith and the Mayor. I could watch them all the time, honestly.

 

Buffy and Willow. From the time when they first met and Willow asks if she should move, I really loved their friendship. I do think it was a little unbalanced at times, but a)Buffy is the main character, and b)real friendships are like that. Overall I think they were two particularly well-done characters, and I liked the way they played off one another, even if the way they did that wasn't always healthy and even though I didn't always like them.

 

Buffy/Xander/Willow, particularly in the first couple of seasons (things like the dramatic scene in the talent show from s1 immediately jump to mind).

 

I loved Willow and Oz for what it was, when it was, but at least part of that is because of how much I liked Oz. I go back and forth about how I feel about their relationship in retrospect when I think about Willow's whole arc, but he was just such a great presence on the show and I liked them together.

 

I liked the potential in Xander and Cordelia, even though I never really thought he deserved her (it was the same issue I had with his relationship with Anya; he always seemed to want to put the women he dated down, like he half didn't even want to be with them; it bothered me comparatively less with Cordelia than it did with Anya, because Cordelia took a lot less of Xander's crap and had more of a sense of self than Anya did). Still, they had good chemistry and contributed to the show being fun to watch.

 

Spike and Dru in the first half of S2; I love that she was referred to as Spike's 'sometime paramour' by Giles, and just all their scenes together were wonderful.

 

Angel and Buffy; this could be for a number of reasons, because there are a lot of technical things I actually don't like about the relationship (the whole vamp/human age difference and violent murderous past issues--which also holds for Xander/Anya--compounded with her being so young when they started dating; him keeping things from her; etc.), but either because SMG played Buffy with such self-possession or just because I was so young when I first watched it, I never felt a real power imbalance here; I have always had a soft spot for Angel even though I totally get why a lot of people really dislike him and how manipulative he can be.

 

I think one of the reasons the later seasons suffered is because of how much everyone was kind of paired off: in season 4 it was Buffy/Riley, Xander/Anya, Willow/Oz then Willow/Tara; in s5 it was Buffy/Dawn after Riley left, then in s6 it was Buffy/Spike with some Dawn, but still X/A and W/T (s7 I'm not even going to touch because it was all over the place). Aside from some very small moments like Anya and Tara having a talk about computers/the internet in possibly season 5 (also Triangle gave us some Willow and Anya), there weren't a lot of moments where different people got to interact, and that was detrimental to the show, IMO, because the relationships in the first 3 seasons showed how many different areas of potential there were.

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It's interesting, because when I talk about the relationships I love on the series, I'm really only talking about the first 4 seasons. Beyond that I think the relationships on the show in general really suffered.

 

Right there with you :)

 

Buffy and Giles: While I don't like what they did with Hank in service of it, the Buffy/Giles relationship was a favorite from the very beginning.

 

Same here! If we had to put them in order, Giles/Buffy would be at the top of my list. And Xander/Buffy might actually come next, or at least tie with Buffy/Willow. I know some disliked that Xander was judgmental of her, but I actually like the way Buffy and Xander tended to challenge each other's less-than-optimal choices and behaviors. Even when they drove me or each other crazy,  I never doubted that they really cared about each other a great deal. I think that as two people more driven by emotion and instinct than the more intellectually oriented Giles and Willow, they 'got' each other in certain ways that others couldn't. Whenever I rewatch, I realize that I just really, really love a surprising number of their scenes. And I probably sympathize with some of Xander's annoying jealousy-driven behavior more than I should, because I was also "best friends" with someone I was in love with back when I was Xander's age, and it really, deeply sucks :)  

 

Oh, and despite my frequent annoyance with Willow, I nearly always adore Willow/Buffy for the reasons you noted. So often on TV we're just kind of told that two females are 'best friends' when all they do is awkwardly trade exposition with each other, but with Buffy and Willow you really felt that BFF-y chemistry. 

 

I could not agree more re. wanting even more Xander/Giles and for Giles to gradually come to respect Xander's contributions a bit more. I would actually love  fanfic that explored the Giles/Xander dynamic more...G-rated, purely platonic fanfic :) 

 

For some reason, Willow/Xander was the Core Four relationship I loved least (though I still liked it!), even pre-tryst. 

 

I really enjoyed S2's Spike/Dru. I'm not a Faith fan, but I totally agree about loving the Faith/Mayor interactions. 

 

While rewatching S4 today, I had the random thought that I would have enjoyed more of a Tara/Anya friendship---two very different personalities, both of whom were Scooby gang outsiders. 

 

It's funny that none of the romances make my list anymore, but it's pretty common for me to feel like most shows' romantic relationships are less awesome and more frustrating than friendships, familial relationships, frenemyships, etc. 

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---By the way, does anyone want to do favorite to least favorite series finales?! Despite my comparative meh-ness on much of S3, I think Graduation Day may be my favorite...or Becoming. Or Prophecy Girl. Or Restless. Or...hmmm. I know I'm ranking S6's last, but other than that I'm not yet sure! 

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Heh--I like the spacing, Andy Smith :) 

 

I'm still unsure about the finales, but I think maybe I'll go with:

 

1. Graduation Day

2. Becoming

3. Prophecy Girl

4. Restless (slight points off for not being so much a finale as a separate episode) 

5. The Gift

6. Chosen

7. Grave 

 

Oh, and Big Bads:

 

1. The Mayor 

2. Spike/Angelus/Dru 

3. The Master

4. The Trio 

5. The Initiative/Adam

6. The First

7. Glory 

 

...Hmmm, the above just reminds me of how much better I think many of the standalones are than the show's major arcs, though the Mayor WAS awesome. And Spike/Angelus was both snarky fun and at times genuinely menacing, though it felt erratically paced and protracted to me. 

 

Heh---anyone looking at just this post would assume S3 is my special favorite. I must like it more than I think I do :) 

 

And a new challenge: Which 5-10 episodes do you find the funniest? 

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Amensisterfriend, I would post my lists for finales and big bads as well, but honestly I think they'd look just the same as yours. I remember having a conversation after an undergrad class about favorite Buffy big bads (as you do) and I said the Mayor, and the two people with me said Angelus and Glory, respectively, and even at the time I remember being like, Glory? Really? Okay then...

 

I will say that the order of the second list would have changed for me if Professor Walsh had been kept alive and she was the big bad of that season, when she was a badass psych professor and scholar and head of the Initiative, rather than simply 'mother' who watches Riley 24/7. Her being killed off was definitely a failure of that season for me.

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I love that we're often on the same proverbial page, damngoodcoffee :) 

 

Here's a random one...

 

Widely loved episodes I'm weirdly meh about: 

 

When She Was Bad (just unpleasant for me to watch in a later season-ish sort of way)

Innocence (now that I know the reveal, it's just too much of an angstfest for me to watch!)

Band Candy 

Choices

Fear Itself 

Something Blue

Hush (I remember LOVING this episode, but a recent rewatch made me agree with those who find it a tiny bit overrated, as well as...) 

...Restless

Fool For Love (and most of S5 in general, for that matter!) 

Tabula Rasa 

Conversations with Dead People 

 

Widely Unloved Episodes that I Adore...or at least like :):

 

Teacher's Pet

I Robot, You Jane 

Some Assembly Required

Inca Mummy Girl

Bad Eggs

Go Fish 

Gingerbread

Harsh Light of Day 

Beer Bad 

Superstar 

Him 

Edited by amensisterfriend

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Widely loved episodes I'm weirdly meh about:

 

The Zeppo

Fool for Love

 

...it's not that I don't technically think these episodes are good episodes. I just don't necessarily agree with what I feel the show is trying to tell me. Which does not need to be something that destroys my enjoyment of an episode, and I will still rewatch FFL, but overall: meh.

 

Once More With Feeling- I think it's perfectly nice and was quite a feat. I just don't think it's as amazing as I often see it described as being.

 

Normal Again- I don't know how widely loved it is, but I feel like it's a pretty popular ep. But the idea that Buffy had spent time in an institution felt like a retcon to me and the ending of her in the institution felt like a cheap trick, so ultimately I'm pretty meh on this one as well.

 

I don't know that aside from CwDP there are many eps in S7 that are widely loved, but I've seen people discuss 'Help' in a positive manner, and though I like the actress that episode is just completely boring from beginning to end for me. Also was not a fan of Storyteller.

 

Widely Unloved Episodes that I Adore...or at least mildly dislike :):

 

I think a lot of ours on this list will be the same as well. I pretty much love S2 straight through, so I never get when people really don't like some of those episodes. Also I am big into fairy tales/folklore, so I loved Gingerbread, and that's just conceptually and doesn't even touch on the lovely Cordelia and Giles interaction in that episode. Him I just cannot with, but I do understand calls that the tone of it harkened back to S1 BtVS. Other than early season stuff... I have a bit of a soft spot for Family, even though I don't think on anything close to an objective scale it's a good episode.

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