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"Put the rats back in the maze, Topher. Before one of them bites you."
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June 20 2006

'Best of' Release for Buffy. reports on a September release of 8 episodes throughout the series.

An odd assortment, in my opinion. Nothing from Seasons Five and Six.

Well, if it's supposed to be "Curse of the Hellmouth" I don't see why some episodes like "I only have eyes for you" which are focused on supernatural problems aren't featured. Like most of these releases, I think they're pointless if you own the series. But to each his or her own I suppose.
I guess I support the endless repackaging of "Buffy" if it brings new viewers in. Keeps the interest alive and all that. Lord knows I adore "Buffy" and don't wish it soon forgotten - or ever forgotten. That said, how about a "Chosen" collector's edition treatment for "Angel?" Sometimes I get tired of "Angel" not getting the "Buffy" treatment. How about some "Angel" repackaging? "Angel" slim sets? "Angel" anything?

Rant over. The "Best of" is an odd selection, I guess, but if the minds at Whedonesque have engaged in lengthy discussions as to what constitute the best episodes of "Buffy" and we can't make up our collective minds, I'm not sure who really can. I wonder who chose these.
It's a pretty solid sampler for new viewers, if that's their intent. I'm sratching my head at the choice of "Same Time, Same Place", as it's a weak ep relative to the rest of the set.
Holy hell, that's going to confuse people. Imagine watching 'The Wish' right after 'Passion.'
I get the theme of the set. It's episodes when the scoobies were changed and not themselves. It's not really a best of collection, but more of a theme collection.
That is a weird collection. I wonder if anyone even buys those "Best of" sets.
SpikeBad, you're right, there is a theme going there. Hadn't noticed that. Weird choice then, if they're planning on marketting this as a good place to start with Buffy, seeing all the episodes where no one is acting normally.
You could pick 8 episodes at random and it would be a fine selection. I mean we are talking about Buffy here, right?
This has been out for a while. I got it in New York last fall.
alexreager, I dunno, to each their own, but despite loving the series as a whole, I bet I can think of eight episodes that wouldn't have shown the series in the best light to people sampling it with a "Best of" set.
"You could pick 8 episodes at random and it would be a fine selection. I mean we are talking about Buffy here, right?"

I Robot You Jane, Doublemeat Palace, Where The Wild Things Are, Go Fish, Empy Places, All the Way, Inca Mummy Girl, and Older and Faraway. Imagine that set...
I liked most of "Older and Faraway", thought it was one of Drew Z. Greenberg's better outings (he had a few good ones but did some real mediocre stuff for the most part and then went on to produce more mediocrity and flat-out badness on Smallville). Got a lot of love for "Go Fish" for a lot of little reasons and I just thought it was a quality monster-of-the-week bit of cheese too, plus I appreciated the "break" from all the Buffy/Angel angst for that one ep in the last third of Season 2.

I might be one of the few folks in the fandom who really liked "Where the Wild Things Are". Obviously not as much as the best of Season 4, but I think it lined up with a lot of the "okay" of that year.

Never got the hate over "Inca Mummy Girl". It's got Oz, a tragic villain, and Xander eps got rare later in the series so I value nearly all of 'em pretty highly (but also 'cause most were either well-written and often hilarious). And...I dunno. Just liked it. Season 2 was shaping up nice at that point. I think "Some Assembly Required" may've been the only big problem I had with it up to that point.

I see you picked one as well, but I'd be putting more Season 7 eps in there as the worst 8 of BtVS. My entire Worst 8 might even be all select episodes from Season 7.

Again, to each their own. It's fun to look back though. I just realize I couldn't comment on "I Robot, You Jane" though because it's been ages since I've seen it. Maybe time to borrow my friend's Chosen DVD collection and finally marathon the series.
(no, not until one of us have all of Angel on DVD as well. C'monnn, Angel-series-set!).
Kris. I'm curious as to your worst 8, if you could muster up a list.

My least favorite episodes that come to mind are Marti Noxon's Wild at Heart and New Moon Rising. Both of Oz's last outings made his character depressing and in my opinion uninteresting. I did not enjoy how he left the show. Those two episodes were a little too high on the melodrama scale. I like the metaphor of having to slay Veruca, the cheat beast, but the whole episode was like "oooo, oozzz come to the wolf siiidde.'

And you know how Willow says the thing with Xander isn't the same (the makeout/hurting Oz) implying that what Oz did was worse...I don't know about that. Oz pulled this girl wolf into his cage so she wouldn't kill anymore people. They had sex as wolves when Oz cannot control his actions. Anybody else have any thoughts on this bitty?
While it's silly to believe any two fans will pick the same eight out of all the wonderful episodes, it's great they are doing this because of places like Netflix and Blockbuster. Most people won't bother to rent 7 discs but they'll try a sampler and we'll get new fans. The did this for Xena and I think it helped.

Of course one could argue this is half a decade too late :(
heh, The dark shape. Try watching Passion right after Halloween! Now that would be pretty jaw dropping. Really though, its wrong to watch any of the Buffy episodes out of order unless you're only watching a few episodes. You can only do this "tell me the best episode so i can skip the crappy ones" thing with sitcoms and procedurals or other shows that lack character development. A show like Buffy changed its characters so much that if you view a random episode from season 3 and a random episode from season 4 then you will be completely in the dark.
A lot of the early monster-of-the-week episodes get flak, but the only two I don't like are Out of Sight, Out of Mind and Killed by Death, and neither of those are particularly unbearable. All the other ones everyone hates on (Some Assembly Required, Inca Mummy Girl, I Robot, You Jane, Go Fish, et al) I really enjoy them. The monsters are just plain silly, but they have such great character interaction and hilarious dialogue.
Whats funny is that those episodes arent even my worst episodes. Those are episodes I just dont like, but I do make a distinction between bad episodes and episodes that I dont enjoy. For instance, I dont enjoy Empty Places but it could have been a good episode if things had happened afterwards.

I think the worst 8 episodes are (in order): Empty Places, Doublemeat Palace, Seeing Red, Never Leave Me, Dirty Girls, All the Way, First Date, and Inca Mummy Girl. So in the end, there are many season 7 episodes!
20th. Century. Fox. Milking. The. Buffy. Franchise. Yet. Again.
I like the earlier Monster of the Week episodes almost universally (okay, maybe not Some Assembly Required). They're not as good as the best episodes of course, and they're campy, but. . .they're fun, and sometimes that's enough for me. I like Doublemeat Palace, in the same vein.

My least favorites? Where the Wild Things Are, Seeing Red, Empty Places, and, umm, 7 other episodes from the middle of season 7 that I can never tell apart.
I'm with Kris on Inca Mummy Girl. I quite like it. Maybe I'm just sentimental, but I found the romance between Xander and Ampata quite touching. And there's Willow's jealousy. I love her "Well, I didn't choose yet" line. Plus the parallels between Buffy and Ampata, even if those are rather crudely signposted by calling Ampata "the chosen one". Finally, any episode with Alyson Hannigan in an Eskimo costume can't be all bad.

I'm surprised no one's commented on the inclusion in this set of The Pack, as that's another episode that tends to be voted one of the worst. Certainly not a great episode, but I enjoyed the portrayal of Pack-Xander.

I'm reluctant to call any episode the "worst", as none of them is actually bad. But I Robot You Jane, Teacher's Pet and Some Assembly Required would probably be my suggestions for least good.
Having just rewatched seasons one and two again may I humbly suggest that Bad Eggs is the worst episode ever, by a long, long way.

As others have noted, I Robot You Jane and Some Assembly Required may have appalling plots but are redeemed by some cracking dialogue exchanges.

And what is the problem with Older and Far Away? Is it Dawn?
I Robot You Jane, Doublemeat Palace, Where The Wild Things Are, Go Fish, Empy Places, All the Way, Inca Mummy Girl, and Older and Faraway. Imagine that set...

Yep, that's sounds pretty damn good to me. I like all of those episodes. In fact, two of them would probably make into my Top 10 favourites. Oh, wait, that's not what you meant, is it?

In the end, it's each to their own, I guess. We all like what we like. Personally, I can't get my head around the concept of "bad" Buffy episodes because I think they all have something great to offer, but that's just me.
20th. Century. Fox. Milking. The. Buffy. Franchise. Yet. Again.

Yep. Which is why, on some of my postcards, I mentioned the still-growing fan base wanting new Buffyverse stuff as well as always enjoying what Fox had already put out there. Not exactly the wording I used, but I tried to make it complimentary while trying to point out to them that this is still a money-maker for them and could be even more so.

I mean, I just don't get why they keep doing stuff like this, but can't seem to understand that the more of the Buffy franchise they have, the more they stand to make. Oh well. I refer you to another post here somewhere that refers to where they must keep their heads. . . .
I'm surprised no one's commented on the inclusion in this set of The Pack, as that's another episode that tends to be voted one of the worst.

Really? From similar discussions like this on other boards I'd have said it crops up more in the 'best of S1' than any 'worst of' lists.
I like this set. I myself was brought in to the Buffyverse with a best-off airing, so I know this sort of thing can bring in some new fans.

On the least favourite discussion and the being suprised, I like the episodes on this box alot. The Pack, Passion, Go Fish and ofcource Hush are favourites of mine. I also love the mentioned Inca Mummy Girl and Some Assembly Required. I find it suprising Smashed, Wrecked and As You Were aren't mentioned in a least favourite discussion. Too obvious maybe? On the top of my head, those tree, along with Bad Eggs and Forever are my least favourite episodes.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2006-06-21 17:15 ]
When I try to think of least favourite episodes I automatically concentrate on MOW episodes. For me those are almost always inferior to more arcy episodes.

As others have noted, I Robot You Jane and Some Assembly Required may have appalling plots but are redeemed by some cracking dialogue exchanges.

Oh well, it's been a while since I've watched those, and I must have forgotten about the dialogue. I'll give them another try...once I've finished my current year-long BuffAngathon (254 episodes at one episode per day or less).
Definitely an odd selection. I think we all could choose a better selection of episodes.

Even odder, though, is the price. $30 for 8 episodes? It's not all that much more for a full season these days, and occassionally they go on sale too!
20th. Century. Fox. Milking. The. Buffy. Franchise. Yet. Again.

*sigh* When will they realize that they could milk the franchise far better by... *ahem* making more. They'll turn down Joss for the three Buffy-verse movies, and then turn right around and repackage a couple episodes at an attempt to make more money?

All the real fans already own these episodes in their proper places on the season sets (or Chosen Collection). Give us something we don't already have.
To those who bought the Best Buy "Curse of the Hellmouth" DVD last year? How exclusive is the "Buffy, the Fear Inside" featurette? Does it contain new content? Or is just interviews recycled from the season box sets?
Simon, I was going to say "don't these repackagings have new featurettes" and then you mentioned it. That would probably be why people who already own the seasons/collection keep buying these.
I don't this this set includes any extras.

I seem to recall a recent discussion about the comic book world "selling out" the old chronology of a comic title (like Wonder Woman and Justice League) just to have an opportunity to re-launch and slap a number 1 on the cover for a 20% sales spike for a week. At the time, I compared it to Fox repackaging Buffy in new ways to squeeze a few more nickels out of fandom. Everyone jumped on me saying the comic book companies need to make their money and that Buffy sets always include a little new content. I was amazed that people were actually defending Marvel and DC's less than savory actions.

To those that said I would not see people grumbling (in this exact situation), I say "scroll up".
alexreager - I think you just invented my new obscenity:
I feel it has a slightly obscene yet sort of obscure ring to.

I like that! Thank you.
Actually alexreager as I recall (and I may well be wrong ;) your analogy in that thread was that renumbering comics is like selling repackaged Buffy sets but with a few extras. Some disagreed with that on the basis that renumbered comics series are still entirely original in content (OK, maybe sometimes origin stories or early classics are re-used but with new writer/artist teams) whereas repackaging the same Buffy sets (even with one or two new extras) is basically reselling the same content over and over.

(that said, I also like 'scroll up' as a pseudo-obscenity, "Would the real com-plain-ers please scroll up, please scroll up ..." ;)

If this is aimed at new viewers aren't there some fairly large spoilers included ? I think something like the first few episodes and maybe some carefully vetted later stand-alones along with a decent length behind the scenes feature with interviews, clips, maybe some bloopers etc. is the best way to get new viewers. It would present the show as fun and give a good idea of what it's all about without spoiling later seasons or losing the impact of great episodes because the viewer doesn't know all the back-story. Plus, if it was reasonably priced i'd buy it just to lend out.
Yeah Saje, I'm busted. It was some goofy analogy that just didn't work. Peace love and harmony.

Hey, I just had a great idea for a new show about Harmony...can you guess the title?
Come on, stop trying to milk us dry. If you're gonna do that, give us something new like extended episodes or maybe new commentary tracks or something. Just don't take content we already have and plaster a spiffy name on it in order to get us to give you money, that's just low.
I don't mind new packaging as long as they don't put any new stuff on the DVDs. I hated the Chosen collection - it cost less than what I paid for the individual sets when they came out and had extra features. Grr!
I find it suprising Smashed, Wrecked and As You Were aren't mentioned in a least favourite discussion. To obvious maybe?

I like Smashed and Wrecked. As You Were isn't the best, but its not in my worst column either. But then again, I'm one of those who loves Season Six.
My best 8 are as follows (in no particular order):

-The Freshman
-Once More, With Feeling
-The Zeppo
-Fool For Love
-School Hard
-Prophecy Girl
Remember, these are the same clowns that released part two of 'Becoming' in a DVD set awhile back. Go figure.
While I understand it annoys those that already purchased the season sets, things like the Chosen Collection are far better than repackagings like this one. Lowering the price and adding more features (similar to the Farscape Starburst editions) is a fantastic way to bring more fans into the fold, or to get those on the fence to finally buy. I was glad cause I only had the first two Buffy seasons and it was a cheaper way to get the rest (and finally not have to deal with those road-map-folding box-sets.) Anyway, that one appears to not be available anymore (so soon? Glad I caught it when I had the chance!)

Then the starter set also makes sense to me. Get people intro-d to the Buffyverse without making them shell out too much, and allowing them to get the price off of the full set should they decide to upgrade. (Sadly the first season is the weakest... but the Joss-wit was enough to hook me from the get-go, campy as the episodes were.)

This one, on the other hand, is just a random bunch of episodes at a much higher per-episode price than the season sets. What's the point?
FOX has to be run by idiots!!!! They are brazen enough to milk the franchise and yet too stupid to see that new offerings could bring them so much more revenue....hint...hint...Spike Movie, and then more movies.
Interesting you like Smashed and Wrecked Killinj. I have been rewatching Buffy with some friends, we've just seen Once More with Feeling monday, and I was thinking of skipping those, but now I'm curious and want to see them again.

Dolphin Tamer, I like your list. Quite similar to what I guess my own list would be. I like the list includes the really good 'smaller eps' like The Freshman, Earshot, and The Zeppo. They're great and not listed enough. Fool For Love however I don't like that much. The Spike part is great, fascinating, and I love it, but Riley and the lameness of the Scoobies ruins the episode as a whole for me.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2006-06-21 17:34 ]
The studio does this repackage thing because it practically costs them nothing to do it where producing a new Buffyverse project does.This is pennies for them to produce and they probably feel there is low risk of losing money.It's the studio mentality.

It's sort of the same deal with networks doing so many reality shows vs. scripted series.Reality programs cost very little to produce where scripted shows they have to pay actors,writers,the building of sets and so on.If a reality show flops,they lose little money where a regular series or movie they take a bigger loss.

It's easier and cheaper for them to just repackage episodes then produce new Buffyverse.That's also why they produce comics and books.It cost much less then producing a on-screen continuation and still makes them money.

Unless your a large mainstream hit that could be a big draw and earn big box office,the studio just dose not want to take a financial risk.It's why the 24 movie is being fast tracked by Fox while producing more Buffyverse is not being done.

It's also why things like Family Guy and Futurama are brought back.Animation,and specifically that type of animation, is easier and cheaper to do then live action.

Firefly was unusual and Serenity was probably considered very risky and experimental by all the studios watching Universal taking the risk on the project.

I'm sure that if Serenity had done better at the box office and been a big financial hit in theaters,you would be seeing Buffyverse movies being green lighted so fast,our heads would be spinning.Other shows such as Wonder Falls,which was being talked about back before Serenity came out,would be getting movies as well.Every studio would be jumping on the bandwagon.

Also keep in mind,what studio your dealing specifically with.20th Century Fox are known for being low risk takers with their assets and tight on the buck.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-06-21 18:35 ]
I'd just like to say, Bad Eggs is hilarious. Sure, it has one of the worst, silliest MOTWs in the whole series, but there's so much hilarious dialogue. And I love the Gorch brothers. Too bad Lyle Gorch never returned after Homecoming.

I agree with AnotherFireflyfan that some reissues are not without merit. These new slimpacks for Buffy should attract a few new people. I know I only completed my set of X-Files DVDs because of the slimpacks. And those Starburst DVDs finally give me an opportunity to get into FarScape.

Still, this DVD is just brazen milking. If it brings in new fans, more power to it, but I think those new fans would have been better off just taking a chance on Season One.

[ edited by alpha5099 on 2006-06-21 18:57 ]
Worst 8? Well, there is always something--"crackling dialog," for example--to redeem even the least interesting, occasionally wince-inducing episodes from the canon. Go Fish starts strong, but can't survive a very bad second half. I wouldn't include Inca Mummy Girl in the list of 8, given the charm of Willow's eskimo suit and the surprisingly touching heartbreak we (or maybe just I) feel for Xander and even Ampata. Quite possibly the indisputable worst episode is I Robot ... You Jane. I haven't seen anyone mention Phases, Weight of the World (Knights of Byzantium? Spontaneous catatonia? Eeek!), Triangle, or Hell's Bells yet, so let me throw those in for your consideration.

And what's wrong with Seeing Red?
I love Triangle. The Willow/Anya/Xander interaction is great and Olaf was gut-busting funny. One of Jane's best episodes.
"And what's wrong with Seeing Red?"

Uh oh. Dive for cover!

Liking Smashed a lot. Tons of character development and people/vampires trying to figure themselves out. Wrecked was just okay. As you Were and Seeing Red I also liked. I am also a fan of season 6, however.I like Triangle for a lot of reasons. Hells Bells kills me to watch, but it is a good episode in the same way that The Body is.

Just as others have said, all of the monster episodes mentioned above were not my favorites, but in each one there is some moment that I just love. Bad Eggs has Buffy crawling out of the mama monster after having killed it from the inside. Like the Gortch brother that was left, if you didn't believe Buffy was someone to be reckoned with before, you should after that. There is something like that in every episode.
I also think this is a strange combination of episodes...once again, and will not help newbies understand the Buffyverse.
I get the theme of the set. It's episodes when the scoobies were changed and not themselves.

Good call. At first glance, the collection looks almost random. The Changed Scooby Theme breaks down, however, with Fear, Itself. Better choices would have been Tabula Rasa, Something Blue, A New Man--heck, even Beer Bad (I know I'm supposed to hate Beer Bad, but I just can't. In fact, I kinda love it.)

I love Triangle.

Hmmm. I'll rewatch it. I just remember thinking it was a bit lame. The comedy, not counting Olaf's great baby-eating lines, felt a little too broad and forced.
but in each one there is some moment that I just love

That's true - even Bad Eggs has this: "Can I just say... gyuhhhh?" "I see your gyuhhhh and raise you a ngyahhh!".
LOL, Beer Bad is in my top 25 and I love Triangle. Really interesting stuff...
Now I can't stop thinking about Changed Scooby eps. They keep coming: Earshot, Him, Gone, Normal Again, Once More With Feeling, the trio of Dark Willow episodes that close out S6, Superstar, The Killer in Me, Ted, Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered, I Only Have Eyes for You, Band Candy, Gingerbread, Who Are You, Buffy vs. Dracula, The Replacement ...

Now THAT would be a collection!
even Bad Eggs has this: "Can I just say... gyuhhhh?" "I see your gyuhhhh and raise you a ngyahhh!".

Is that how you spell those words? Thanks!
"Changed Scooby" episodes reminds me of a favourite category of my own: actors playing a character other than their usual one. For SMG this would be: Princess (Halloween), James (I Only Have Eyes For You), Scarred Buffy (The Wish), Faith (Who Are You), Buffybot (various eps), Asylum Buffy (Normal Again). I'm counting episodes where Buffy is possessed, but not episodes where she is merely in an altered state (like Beer Bad), though I realise the distinction is not entirely clear. I've included Scarred Buffy and Asylum Buffy, because they're from alternate realities in which Buffy was a very different person.
Wanna bet their choices have nothing to do with anything but the cost to license various material on each episode like any popular music in the soundtrack? Whatever is cheapest was put on there.
the Groosalugg RE: Smashed, Wrecked

I was thinking of skipping those, but now I'm curious and want to see them again.

Love them or hate them, these 2 episodes are important. I happen to love them, but I'm also a huge season 6 fan. Season 6 is definitely tops in my "8 Favorite Buffy Season" list!

My Worst 8 Buffy episodes:
The Pack
I Robot You Jane
Doublemeat Place
Where the Wild Things Are
Go Fish
Some Assembly Required
Inca Mummy Girl
and the only Buffy episode in the entire Chosen Collection that I actually skip over now, Teacher's Pet.

I just inspired myself to rank the Buffy season from best to not-as-best: 6, 3, 5, 7, 2, 4, 1
More difficult than I thought, but considering I really, really like season 1 and it's at the very bottom of the list, what more could I ever ask for? Thanks Joss!

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