There have been a handful of television shows over the years of which I consider myself a true fan. What exactly does that mean? Well, though for some it means going to every convention and collecting as much related paraphernalia as possible (I would certainly do that kind of thing if I had unlimited funds—I’m just a fan of too many things to be utterly devoted to each), for me it simply means loving a show so much that I go back to it again and again, rewatching the entire run of the series every few years. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of those shows.
So, in celebration of Buffy Summers’ 34th birthday this month (the TV incarnation was born in 1981), I thought I’d count down my TOP FIVE FAVORITE BUFFY EPISODES, which is actually a pretty daunting task considering how many good ones there were. But here goes.
5. The Zeppo, S03E13
I wouldn’t say Xander is my favorite character in the show. In fact, there were times when I downright hated his attitude (though I later came round to thinking he was the most level-headed of the Scoobies). But I love this Xander-centric episode that deals with him feeling left out of the group as the rest of the gang tries to stop some kind of impending (and unspecified) apocalypse. In the end, Xander ends up saving everybody, all by his lonesome.
4. Two To Go/Grave, S06E21/22
Yeah, I know. Technically, it’s two episodes, but it’s the two part season six finale, so I’m counting it as one. Probably one of the most emotionally taxing episodes of the entire series, it’s where we start to understand just how vicious Joss Whedon can be (even though Whedon didn’t write or direct these eps, he surely had his hand in developing the story). I really loved the whole bait-and-switch aspect of these episodes, how all season the “Big Bad” had been Warren and his cronies, but in the end, surprise, it’s actually Dark Willow. And I love—LOVE!—how the only person who can save her is Xander.
3. Restless, S04E22
I’m normally not a fan of “dream sequence” episodes and things like that. But if you have to do one, this is the way to do it. In Restless, Buffy wanders through a surreal dreamscape, chasing down The First Slayer. The imagery and surprises in this particular ep are downright beautiful. And Giles’ “Exposition Song” kills.
2. Once More with Feeling, S06E07
Yes, the musical episode of Buffy. When I first heard they were going to do a musical episode, I thought, “Huh?” But no television show has done it better since. What really makes this one great is the quality of the musical numbers. It kind of blew me away. The actors’ voices aren’t the greatest (with the notable exception of Anthony Stewart Head), but it still manages to work in a big way.
1. Hush, S04E10
The Gentlemen are, without a doubt, the creepiest monsters that were ever on Buffy. And, imo, some of the creepiest villains of any television series or movie. That’s right, I went there. Combine that with the brilliant device of there being hardly any dialogue in this entire episode, Hush is one of those eps that I’ll just go back and watch every so often (even when I’m not working my way through the entire series for the umpteenth time). Because it’s that good.
So, there you have it. My Top Five Buffy Eps. I know it’s kind of a silly blog post, but I hadn’t updated in a while, so I thought I’d just throw this up for the heck of it. Picking my favorite episodes was kind of a hard thing to do because there are so many good ones. If you haven’t ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, what are you waiting for?
In whatever alternate universe where fictional characters are real, I hope Buffy Summers is having a nice birthday. Although, in the series, whenever Buffy’s birthday rolled around, something terrible always happened, so maybe there’s not much chance of it being so nice. But here’s hoping this year is different. 😉