December 7th, 2019

S4, Buffy desert, ep restless

Posting meme: Top 5 Buffy eps for kimaracretak

In the talking meme, I reserved Saturdays for stuff I've been reading/watching/listening to, but I don't really have anything to share on that front this week, so we're moving on with the talking meme posts, since I already had this one prepared.

Top 5 Buffy eps for [personal profile] kimaracretak
This is 100% a list of episodes that fall in that sweet spot of "I love this episode and have watched it a lot" and "I think this episode is good." Not featured on this list are episodes like Pangs (a comfort watch for me, but the plot, oh dear) and Beer Bad (cheesy as hell, but I love it so). If I just wanted comfort watch TV, probably this entire list would be S4 standalone eps, maybe with a couple of the cheesier S2 eps for flavor. Nor do I have Hush or I Only Have Eyes For You, which are Very Good but which I don't tend to rewatch.

Onward, in no particular order!

Fool for Love – The ep that made me fall in love with the show, which in turn got me into fandom. If it weren’t for this episode of television, I probably wouldn’t be in fandom at all. I honestly can’t fathom where I would be instead as a person. Fandom has meant so much to me in the past 11 years. Um. Anyway: the porch scene KILLS ME. The subway fight is fucking stellar. All the Spike backstory, and his bragging in the present contrasted with his humble beginnings (and terrible wig). One of my very favorite eps of TV.

Once More With Feeling – This is not a perfect hour of television, but you know what, it feels perfect anyway. It’s so dense, encapsulating the entire season in one ep (and I can’t fathom introducing someone to the show via this ep, for that reason). My unpop opinion is that Spike’s song is not great, except for the bridge (I know I should go / But I follow you), which guts me somehow every time. My favorite song is probably Walk Through the Fire, which seems like such a cheat, but all that tension gets to me in the best way.

Restless – One thing Joss Whedon has generally been really fucking great at is dream sequences, and this is just a full episode of this incredible dream-logic, full of commentary on the show, hints at the future, surreal symbolism, and obscure callbacks. One of my favorite bits is that sequence where Xander wanders through a bunch of the show’s different sets in one long take, which they could do because of course those sets all share walls.

School Hard – A classic, and IMO the ep where the show deliberately jettisoned the overburdened mythology of S1 and began, as Spike says, something new. Also, Spike and Dru are iconic.

Lie to Me – It’s so hard to choose a best episode of S2, but for me this might be it. It’s the full meal deal: pathos and comedy (the vampire groupie club!!), shades of gray and a disconcerting lack of moral absolutes, all summed up by that stunning last scene with Giles and Buffy.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)