Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

A few weeks ago, me and Patrick finally concluded our Buffy, the Vampire Slayer marathon. That's 144 episodes over seven seasons. We began in Fall and went very few days without finishing the day watching an episode of the beloved show (the third full time experiencing them from start to finish). Next year, it'll be Angel's turn, but now I feel quite prepared to provide some best-of lists for the show.

Best 10 Episodes
1. The Body (Season Five) - Joyce Summers is found dead on Buffy's couch. The camera doesn't stray from Buffy's devastated, shocked face as she tries to revive her mother, imagines what such a rescue would be like, and telling her younger sister the news at school. I can never watch it without crying.

2. Once More With Feeling (Season Six) - The musical episode was awesome, with all of the music written by Joss Whedon himself. Me and Patrick listen to the soundtrack often and man, how can you not love this?

3. Hush (Season Four) - Much of the episode was silent, in response to critics marveling at the show's unique dialogue. Tara first appears here among some of the freakiest monsters the show has ever beheld.

4. Who Are You? (Season Four) - Faith returns to Sunnydale looking for revenge, and switches bodies with Buffy. She begins the episode poking fun at herself in the mirror, mocking the previous owner of her body by saying "You can't do that. It's wrong." As she lives Buffy's life, experiences real friendship and what could have been, she's singing a new tune by the end of the episode repeating "You can't do that. It's wrong," and truly meaning it. Faith is one of the best characters ever, and she really shines in this one. It really illuminated both Eliza Dushku and Sarah Michele Gellar's acting chops as they switched characters.

5. Becoming (Parts one and two) (Season Two) - The season finale of the epic second season of Buffy finds the title character killing her ex-boyfriend at the moment he regains his soul, sacrificing the one she loves and sending him to Hell, to save the world.

6. The Gift (Season Five) - Another finale. In this one, Buffy battles for the life of her younger sister against the goddess Glory, ultimately realizing what gift she has to offer the world and her loved ones.

7. Doppelgangland (Season Three) - A sequel to the fan-favorite episode The Wish, in which the characters are seen in an alternate reality based on a wish made by Cordelia Chase (in which Buffy never came to Sunnydale), Willow's evil vampire double is pulled into this reality, causing plenty of mayhem and comedy.

8. Innocence (Season Two) - Buffy deals with the repercussions of losing her virginity as her boyfriend Angel acts cold toward her. The first "excellent" episode of the show.

9. Family (Season Five) - Secondary Scooby Tara deals with her relatives' arrival in town, wherea she performs a spell so that her friends won't see her demon manifestation on her upcoming birthday and be forced to return home. She is officially accepted into the group in a touching scene.

10. New Moon Rising (Season Four) - Oz returns to Sunnydale, having mastered the wolf-part of himself, only to find that Willow has moved on.

Episode I appreciated more this time around: Selfless (Anya dishes out murder as she returns to being a Vengeance Demon)

Best Seasons of Buffy
1. Season Five (Big Bad: Glory; Key Episodes: The Body, The Gift, Family)
2. Season Three (Big Bad: The Mayor, Faith; Key Episodes: Doppelgangland, Graduation Day (Pt. 1 & 2), The Wish)
3. Season Two (Big Bad: Spike, Drusilla, Angelus; Key Episodes: The Becoming (Pt.1 & 2), Innocence, Passion)
4. Season Four (Big Bad: Adam, The Initiative; Key Episodes: Hush, Who Are You?, New Moon Rising)
5. Season Seven (Big Bad: The First; Key Episodes: Conversations With Dead People, Chosen, Selfless)
6. Season Six (Big Bad: Depression? Nerds? Willow?; Key Episodes: Once More With Feeling, Seeing Red, Grave)
7. Season One (Big Bad: The Master; Key Episodes: Prophecy Girl, Welcome To the Hellmouth, Angel)

Top Ten Characters of the Buffy Universe (including Angel)
1. Buffy Summers
2. Cordelia Chase (pictured)
3. Willow Rosenberg
4. Rupert Giles
5. Faith
6. Anya
7. Tara McClay
8. Spike
9. Winifred "Fred" Burkle
10. Drusilla

Character I appreciated more this time around: Andrew

Top Ten Villains of the Buffy Universe (including Angel)
1. Faith
2. Angelus
3. Spike
4. Drusilla
5. Illyria
6. Glory (pictured)
7. Lila Morgan
8. Darla
9. Harmony
10. The Mayor

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