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April 13 2007

An After Ellen blogger's top 10 Buffy episodes. An interesting list with some obvious ones and some less so.

Some good choices. The Killer In Me is a very underrated episode. Adam Busch just blew me away with his acting, he was incredibly good.
I have no doubt that those are some of the writers favourite episodes, but obviously she is also writing for a gay female audience - so those episodes are about the gay content and the queer reading as much as they are about them being great episodes. You can almost chart Willow's change in sexuality in those ten episodes!

Great list.
being a chick who lives with a chick i'd have to say i agree with pretty much all 10 of those.

except maybe the Willow/Kennedy episode. ew.
Interesting list, can't say I agree with the choices, beyond the obligatory OMWF, Hush and Tabula Rasa. No Restless or Fool for Love? Bah humbug :)
Substitute Bad Girls and The Killer in Me with Who Are You and Innocence then that's pretty much my top ten (for today anyway).
Yeah, I quite like 'The Killer in Me' too (not too sure about the rest of her picks though, apart from the usual suspects). Sometimes the acting in bodyswap episodes can come across as very affected (ED playing Buffy in "Who Are You ?"/"This Years Girl" has some fairly obvious 'emulation of mannerisms' parts for instance) but Adam Busch was really pretty good. I also liked Kennedy 'accepting the metaphor', showing she was willing to step into Willow's world when previously she'd been (fairly aggressively) pulling Willow into hers.

Curious about 'Halloween' from a lesbian perspective though. Obviously Willow makes with the hotness so I can see that attraction but one of the pre-dominant features of the episode is 'damsel' Buffy, not exactly the poster-child for female empowerment. Guilty pleasure maybe ? Or just complete irrelevance ?
I always love to read other fans favorites. Only thing that would HAVE to be on the list for me...Becoming. Oh yeah.
Pretty good List. Gotta agree Shey: "Fool for Love" in particular, and "Restless" are right up there for me, too. Also, "Conversations with Dead People."
I gotta say, 'The Killer in Me' squicks me. Something about it just ain't right. Could it be Kennedy?

Saje, I've always felt Halloween demonstrated that the 'damsel' thing was like, so 19th Century and that awesome gals these days don't need to be all simpering and weak etc. I think Buffy sorta needed to go through that to work out she didn't ever need to BE like that. Plus, there's the balance of Willow's increasing confidence, exemplified by her decision to leave the sheet off at the end. And so many killer lines! "That's nice, Willow. And you went mental when?" Ah, I love that episode. Also have you *seen* Hannigan in that leather thing? *fans self*

I reckon ED is pretty good at doing SMG in 'Who Are You/This Year's Girl' - she doesn't get nearly as much screen time as Faith-in-Buffy does, I always wished she had more to do, so she could sink her teeth in a bit more. No pun intended.
I loved watching some of those clips. The Halloween one, Giles reaction to Ghost Willow, those five seconds are among my favorite moments in the series.

But for some reason I thought Buffy's acting in that clip was atrocious. It never bothered me before but it bothered me today.

The list picked all great episodes except the Killer in Me. The acting from both Alyson and Adam was excellent, but I just couldn't get past the bratty Kennedy thing. I guess I just don't like the bratty thing, it took a while for Cordelia to grow on me too. But Cordy was funny along with being nasty, Kennedy was just bratty and a bit dull.
I need to rewatch The Killer in Me. It doesn't stand out as a stand-out episode for me. Not only am I now curious to pay more attention to Adam Busch's acting, but I'm also interested in rediscovering the details--currently very hazy to me--about the Amy revenge plot.

As for the list, mine would include the usual gold standards (Hush, The Body, OMWF--almost in any order in the top 3), minus all of the lovely Willow/Tara-centric eps favored by the blogger, minus also Restless, which is not mentioned but is often included in fans' Top 10s, plus Passion, Prophecy Girl, and The Prom.
She's got some good choices; I'd agree The Killer in Me is the weak link in her chain. The loudest of echos for the Fool for Love love. It may be my single favorite ep. Not necessarily my choice for best but it's way up there.

Have you guys heard of the book "The Enlightened Bracketologist"? I was listening to an interview with the author and that inspired me to do "bracketology" with all the episodes of Buffy. Not an effective system for ranking but for determining your No. 1, it's a fun way to kill some time.
That's an interesting list. I don't agree with including 'The Killer in Me', I always thought that was a really weak episode.

It's cool that she included Halloween. I've always loved that episode, but personally it wouldn't be in my top 10, maybe top 20 though.
Saje, I've always felt Halloween demonstrated that the 'damsel' thing was like, so 19th Century and that awesome gals these days don't need to be all simpering and weak etc.

Yep, agreed that's the 'message' BUT I think to a certain extent 'damsel' Buffy is presented as being cute as well as simpering and oh, so incredibly annoying. Basically (to wear my inner caveman on my sleeve for a bit ;), my feeling when I see her in 'Halloween' is about one third attracted, one third annoyed by her and the other third disgusted with myself for being attracted in the first place. I think it's kind of the 'Riley factor' in that it'd be nice to be the hero and rescue the damsel every now and again (the roles may not be worthy or admirable but they are simple) and I was wondering, do gay women have those kinds of thoughts when they see her ?

Probably not PC to admit but I reckon part of being an astronaut is accepting the caveman within ;).

And ED was good but I think SMG was better. There's a bit when ED is trying to convince Giles that she's actually Buffy and she pushes her hair behind her ear in the manner of SMG. Thing is, it's too mannered i.e. it looks, to me, like someone doing an impression of someone else rather than flowing naturally. It's a rare mis-step though in an otherwise great pair of eps.
Saje, I don't quite see your connection between a lesbian perspective and female empowerment. It's quite easy for a lesbian (or indeed a woman) to simply enjoy a funny episode where Buffy is a damsel in distress because that is one of the reasons why it is funny. And if you do want to bring female empowerment into it, then Willow is the one who takes charge in the hour of need (cue classic Cordelia line "who died and made her the boss?").

SMG in Who Are You is quite frankly awesome and I'll forgive ED her hair pushing for her delivery of the question "what's a stevedore?".
So what is everyone's top 10? I love reading those and Ill provide mine...

1) The Gift (Incidentally, this has my favorite speech ever from Buffy, but its not the end speech--that ranks number 3 behind the speech from Bring on the Night--its the speech Buffy gives to Giles about choices--Buffy is just raw, emotional, and heartbreaking in that scene and I love it--her crisis in season 5 is some of Joss's best work because its not a gimmick episode, its just a character analysis built around the character and the story and I think its his best work. The Gift is the epitome, to me anyway, of what I love about BTVS. Well done SMG, NB, Joss, and the whole gang...)
2) The Prom
3) Becoming
4) Passion
5) Helpless
6) The Zeppo
7) Nightmares
8) Prophecy Girl
9) Graduation Day
10) Spiral (I know this one is weird, but the last three episodes of season 5 are wonderful, they are an existential crisis put right up there on the screen, both from Buffy and Dawn's perspective, and there is something wonderful about how the hero overcomes it in The Gift)

I also think SMG did great in Who are You but so did Eliza, they both had the other down really well.

I am all kinds of positive today, who knew!
1. New Moon Rising
2. Family
3. Hush
4. The Body- greatest ep ever written, but still not my fave
5. Dopplegangland
6. Restless
8. Halloween
9. Triangle
10. The Gift
Never could pass up the chance to give my own top 10 list. :)

1. Becoming
2. Enemies
3. Graduation Day
4. The Gift
5. Amends
6. Normal Again
7. Lovers Walk
8. Prophecy Girl
9. The Wish
10. Chosen
Well, something about the page - probably the You Tube embeds, combined with my computer/net connection - makes it impossible for me to completely read the subject list. But, as others are doing it, I'll happily contribute my own (and opine that SMG's performance in Who Are You? was one of her Emmy-worthy moments):

1. Once More, With Feeling (I don't know that I could ever single out one top favorite episode, but I'll start with the ones I've watched the most, and maybe list a few I haven't seen mentioned yet)
2. The Body
3. The Gift
4. Restless
5. Becoming Part Two
6. Beneath You
7. The Prom
8. Grave
9. Band Candy
10. Pangs

And that leaves out so many, like Who Are You?, Fool for Love, Lessons, Selfless, Hush, and so many, many more... It'd actually be easier - and much shorter - to make a list of worst (worst being a relative term, of course) episodes...

[ edited by LKW on 2007-04-14 15:55 ]
Today, my list is...

1. The Body
3. I Was Made To Love You
4. The Wish
5. Surprise/Innocence
6. Normal Again
7. Becoming
8. BBB
9. Hush
10. Dopplegangland

And it never includes The Gift or Restless, which figure prominently in many lists.

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