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"I'm not cheap, I'm just old."
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October 21 2006

What to watch at Halloween? Buffy of course! TV Guide picks the classic Buffy season 2 episode 'Halloween' as one of their favourite All Hallow's Eve tv specials.

Tough call between that episode and 'Fear Itself'.

I think 'Halloween' is more family friendly which is probably why TV Guide picked it. I love that episode, because who would have thought that Xander's short time as a soldier would echo down through the years?
I dunno, I think "Fear Itself" is a better halloween ep if only because of the punchline at the end. It's one of the best I've seen. Then again, I'm the kind of person who thinks of jokes at a funeral (this honestly happens to me, I've always thought it was a problem, but since Joss also suffers from it, it's okay, right?).

...who would have thought that Xander's short time as a soldier would echo down through the years?

Xander is the reason it would be a toss up for me. Halloween gives Xander a mystical power (military knowledge), while Fear Itself deals with his lack of power relative to the rest of the gang. How Xander relates to the rest of the group has always been my favorite Buffy topic because he is the oddball of the group. His powers only lasted from Halloween to the end of season 3.
"Halloween" has the virtue of its title, but "Fear Itself" has a funnier payoff (OK, I'm easily amused).

Personally, I prefer to show "Hush" around Halloween, because it's the only episode that ever actually frightened me.
. . . I'm the kind of person who thinks of jokes at a funeral . . .

Caleb, did you ever see the classic Mary Tyler Moore Show episode about the death of Chuckles the Clown? It was all about this sort of thing. And, IMO, hysterically funny.. But I was just a kid. . . .

And Maeve, I agree about "Hush" being the one that frightened me, but I really liked "Halloween" for some reason. Maybe for the relatively trivial reason that Spike is in "Halloween" but not in "Fear, Itself." When it comes to Spike, I can be extremely trivial and superficial and fangurlish and, well, you get the picture.
I'm not a big fan of South Park, but that one with Korn and the corpse was brilliant. I'd have to pick it over the BtVS Halloween episodes.
Great! I love that episode. I agree with the choosing, it is a little more family friendly. Fear Itself is pretty scarey. Being later in the season, it may be a little hard for new viewers to know what is going on (so, Willow's a witch?, why is Xander so upset?, Wooah, Oz is growing hair). In Halloween, the writers throw out that a) Buffy is secretly the slayer b) Spike is bad c) Willow is shy...from there, it's just a fun Halloween story. Excellent episode!
I always liked Fear, Itself better as a Halloween ep, because even though it does have the great punch line at the end, it has a much stronger horror movie feel throughout. As well as Giles with a chainsaw.
I like Fear, Itself better, mainly because Buffy as a helpless noble woman always makes me wanna chuck stuff at the TV.
I would actually like to have a tape of all the "Halloween" episodes from Buffy, I did record "Pangs" to be rewatched every Thanksgiving!
While "Haloween" introduces a nemesis from Giles' past, and our Scooby Gang in unlikely roles, "Fear Itself" gets the edge only because of Anya as a bunny AND Giles with a chainsaw. Also, let's not forget a Big Bad who.....well, see for yourself.
I have to speak up for "Halloween". "Fear Itself" never did much for me,maybe because I don't like horror. So though I love Chainsaw Giles and Bunnyphobic Anya I'm going to point out that the introduction of Ripper in Halloween made Chainsaw Giles able to exist. Then there was Spike and Dru, Willow coming into her own confident strength, the great little tease of Oz, Cordelia in a cat costume (for the boys in the audience) and Buffy realizing "It's good to be me." I love the reminder that the romantic ideas we have of the past just don't hold up under real scrutiny. "Fear Itself", though I understand the points it is making about fear, just did not have as much depth for me as "Halloween" did. Oh yeah, and best of all, it was funny. "She couldn't dress like Zena?" Love that line.
Love 'em all, wanna watch all of 'em (including the South Park episode "Spooky Fish" and others) for Halloween. "Hush" is the Buffy that scared the crap out of me, but I just watched "Halloween" again, and its simplicity is majorly effective, while "Fear Itself" not only made a great point about the nature of our fears, it has one of the best uses of the word "tacky" ever.

Wait, if I watch all of these episodes for Halloween, would that mean that I have the "fantasy-prone personality disorder" mentioned on the other thread? 'Cause that would be very Halloweeny in itself...
It's a shame Angel only did the one, that was a blast and some of it was chilling esp. Gunn and Lorne's conversation about the no sleep thing. Dunno if Joss ever intended to do one for Firefly, but Bushwhacked is such a creepy episode and very suitable viewing for Halloween.
Although I do prefer "Fear Itself" as a spookier Hallowe'en episode, next Saturday we get to see "Hallowe'en", "Hush" and have a OMWF sing along in Vancouver. Can't wait!
Fear, Itself is easily the best Halloween ep for my money - it's one of my favourite episodes ever, certainly outside of the obvious dozen or so anyway. It's scary (second only to CwDP, I think) AND absolutely hilarious. Especially Giles in, like, every scene he's in. The hat, the chainsaw, that dangly halloween decoration...

"Halloween" is damn good too though. Also, I'm glad everyone seems to think it's between these two episodes - "Band Candy" seems to be really popular so I thought that would get a lot of mentions, but I think it's really overrated.
OK, after all this talk, I'm watching me some Buffy tonight, and in this order....Halloween, Fear Itself, and Hush. I miss my Buffy!!! The best damn television show evah!
Hush is the scariest episode but Fear Itself had some moments. Buffy in the basement with the hands was pretty good.

But Halloween has everything. Really funny episode, Scary Spike, Creepy Dru, Cordy the Cat, the whole concept was really a great idea.

And all the Willow stuff was priceless. Especially her interactions with Giles. His reaction when she pops up in the Library! I would love to see some of the other takes of that. It kills me every time.

And "the ghost of who exactly?"

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