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September 27 2007

"Worst. Episode. Ever". 'Beer Bad' features in this "worst episode of our favourite shows" article.

The only good moment in that episode is when Willow tells Parker after he comes on to her, "I tell you, men have not changed since the dawn of time!"..followed by three cave guys that prove her point, ans she says "see?" Yay, Willow!
Buffy is treated badly by a love interest at college (like most college kids at some point) and nurses her wounds with too much beer (like most college kids at some point), turning into a total neanderthal (like most college kids at some point). In Buffy's case, the transformation is literal. She literally becomes a cavegirl through warlock-cursed beer, which means she loses her hairbrush and the articles of her sentences. Get it? It's a metaphor! So, kids, don't drink beer when you're away from home for the first time - especially if you're doing it to escape your problems - or your hair will look terrible.

I think that's what we were supposed to get out of "Beer Bad." God knows I didn't learn anything else.

That's the mission statement of the show (or one of them). Growing up, fears and problems become real-- monsters, vampires, whatever. It's in like, I'm going to say, every episode?

If they didn't like Beer Bad, that's fine. But trying to make that point makes me think they've never seen any other episodes of Buffy.
I still feel this is just an underrated episode.
I love most episodes from Jane, but Doblemeat Palace is still the weakest one in my ranking.
OK, I have to say that I thought Beer Bad was a really funny ep. How could you not love SMG's dead-on "Daryl Hannah in Clan of the Cave Bear"?
"Beer Bad" is not the worst episode ever of BtVS. In my ever-so humble opinion that distinction belongs to "Bad Eggs".

And whatever you think about it, SMG must have a whale of a time making it.

"Gutter face."

[ edited by moley75 on 2007-09-27 11:31 ]
My hands down pick for Worst Ever BtS episode is Go Fish. I'd just started catching an episode here and there, and that one almost put me off staying with it.
Happily, I can think of very few BtS eps that aren't worth re-watching. Even Bad Eggs had the redeeming quality of John Ritter's marvelous, against-type turn.
I Robot... You Jane... It's a episode about Willow dating a computer virus... Enough said...
But...I liked Beer Bad. That was one of my favorite episodes of that season. I mean come on, Cavewoman Buffy? How can that not be cool? ;)
Shey, "Ted" is the episode with John Ritter, "Bad Eggs" is the one with, well, bad eggs.
I agree, always considered "Beer Bad" a light hearted episode that had a few good moments. Still smile when caveslayer Buffy clubs Parker over the head while he tries to explain. And I adore the soundtrack 'Adagio' by T.H.C. used in this and "Wild at Heart", I still listen to it often.

No, not the best episode, but I enjoyed it far better than "Doublemeat Palace".
Beer Bad was awesome!! It's one of my favourite eps in Season4 (my favourite season of Buffy).
It's one fantastic and hilarious ep which never fails to cheer me up. I thought it was spot on. The higher-up-the-economic&intellectual-food-chain college boys turning into dumb neanderthal men? nice!
Yeah and the moral of the story wasn't 'don't drink beer' they totally missed the point.
To convince that it's the worst ep they need to do better.
"Beer Bad" is heavy-handed, but there are a lot of worse episodes. Like, I'll probably never sit through "Where the Wild Things Are" ever again. Or "Doublemeat Palace". Or "Bad Eggs". Whereas Beer Bad is worth watching.

The site isn't wrong about its other worst episodes though. Kudos to them for figuring out that Heroes worst episode was its first season finale.
beer bad is rubbish... it probably is my least favourite, so I think they got it right.

come on guys, the central premise is that beer is bad, shocking :X and watching people pretend to be cavemen is just always embarassing, no matter what it's for, but buffy's so much better than that :(
Well it's more "over-indulging in beer is bad" (with which who that ever has can disagree ;) ? I've nothing against 'Beer Bad' personally (OK, it is maybe a bit heavy-handed), some nice lines, good Xander stuff and the Buffster proving she's hero through and through, no matter how many layers of civilization you peel away. "Teacher's Pet" and "Go Fish" were worse IMO.

(apart from anything else, crinkly haired Buffy ? Schaaaawing ;)
"Beer Bad" isn't bad. It's good. Nay, awesome. I love that episode. It's fun. Sure, the results of the transformation aren't logical, but it's frickin magic, so who cares? "Beer Bad" isn't bad. Beer is.
moley75 .... I knew that ;=) Someone had just mentioned Bad Eggs & I got my brain twisted.

Where the Wild Things Are is another ep someone mentioned that is IMO a far better pick for Worst Ep than Beer Bad. Which BTW was not about drinking beer being bad, hello. Unless you count beer plus warlock bar owner's "special added ingredients".
I like "Beer Bad". It's a funny episode, especially because of Sarah. Yay for 'foamy' beer!

No there are worse ones out there, like Doublemeat Palace, Killer in Me, and Gone.
"Beer Bad" isn't bad. Beer is.

Whoa, easy there tiger, them's fighting words ;-).
Beer... fffffoooaaaammyyyyy.

I mean honestly, who can resist SMG drunk-faced and in need of a hairbrush, huh? One of my favorite episodes, just because of the acting and the lines.
At least Beer Bad is funny. In my view, worst eps ever are usually the ones that are just plain boring. Like the one with Kindertod.
Far from the worst, "Beer Bad" is the first Buffy episode I ever watched. It still didn't suck me into the series -- that went to "Fool For Love", a few months later -- but it'll always have a special place in my heart, when I realized that maybe this show that everybody in the damn world seemed to love just might have something to it.
I wish they'd take it back- 'Beer Bad' was awesome!

I've long been not quite as enamored of 'The Pack' and 'Go Fish'.

But it's 'Where the Wild Things Are' that actually made me want to poke out my eyes with the nearest pointy object.
Anyone who thinks Beer Bad is literally about beer being bad is failing to take away anything less than a very basic literal interpretation :P
Buffy is about many things. One of those things is silly fun and this episode delivered.

Bad eggs now that episode was a bit of a bad egg! I mean the whole episode is about how eggs are bad! ;)

Beer Bad always leaves me wanting a cold one!

For worst eps I'd volunteer a large chunk of anything out of season 1.
Kudos to them for figuring out that Heroes worst episode was its first season finale.

Amen. And I'll side with Bad Eggs as my least fave I think, though I Robot is thumb-wrestling with Bad Eggs over whose cuisine reigns supreme.
My worst episode was Chosen, simply for the fact that it was the last one.:)
I agree it's one of the weaker eps, though Buffy conking Parker was a great moment.

Has anyone mentioned the weirdness that all the guys transform (i.e. get prosthetics), whereas all that changes about Buffy is her syntax and her hair?
Personally, I gotta go with "Gingerbread." Although "Bad Eggs", "The Pack", and "Go Fish" are also contenders, like others have said.
I really disliked the one with Riley and his wife - As You Were (I had to look it up). That was the first time I found myself actually saying an epsiode of Buffy was bad. Sure, Doublemeat Palace wasn't great, but I didn't actually think it was actively bad. I quite like Beer Bad, personally (though, of course, there are many better).
Um, wasn't "Go Fish" the episode in which we saw Xander in a Speedo?

No, I cannot dislike that episode.
with the exception of season 5 i think there was a bad ep in every season - imho, this is the list: "i robot, you jane" (1), "bad eggs" (2), "gingerbread" (3), "beer bad" (4), "doublemeat palace" (6), and "first date" (7)... mostly just xander's story in that last one though... these are the ones i generally apologize for when i'm introducing the show to other people - especially "i robot" because it's in the first season.
^^ good point, also wentworth miller, yum ;)

and I don't get the dislike for bad eggs, I liked that one... but where the wild things are, gross, I do not need to see that thank you *vomit*

[ edited by charliethebloody on 2007-09-27 14:20 ]
I suppose it's a relative thing, and there are some epsiodes I enjoy more than others, but I haven't found an episode of Buffy I thought that sucked and make a point of avoiding.
Xander was the only redeeming factor in "Go Fish", which is why my choice for the worst episode has to be "Doublemeat Palace". It did have some moments ("Because even a bad Buffy episode is a good one.") but the general atmosphere of the episode was just depressing. As for "Gingerbread" I quite liked it...

[ edited by Valerie on 2007-09-27 14:27 ]
I don't get the Where the Wild Things Are dislike, but to each their own and as stated, bad eps of Buffy still have plenty of things to like. There are great jokes, scenes, and character moments in eps that overall aren't so great.
Beer bad isn't bad, at all. And Beer isn't either, Vince. It's a funny episode, it has Oz, the last scene with Willow and Parker is great, Xander: says "mon girlfrere". What more do you want.

The Pack actually is one of my favourite episodes of the entire series. Lot's of Xander. And he's all dark. And the Principal get's eaten, and it's about the friendship between Xander and Willow. It's just great.

Where the Wild Things Are isn't bad either, it has a lot of my favourite Spike scenes ever, like the wonderfull scenes with him and Anya, trying to rob her and them talking at the party : "You know ... you take the killing for granted." They make me laugh every time. And then it also has Spike talking himself out of saving Buffy and Giles singing. How can that be possibly be the worst episode ever?

And Xander isn't the only good thing about "Go Fish". It also had Willow interrogating Jonathan. Can't call that a bad episode either.

So, there's tons of great stuff in almost every episode. Still I have some nominations for worst episode ever: Bad Eggs, Forever (how can people not hate that one?) and Smashed & Wrecked, that Willow and Amy storyline is by far the worst in the whole series.

Also I don't agree at all about the office. I loved the first three eps of the Office US. And how can you not love an episode containing this wonderfull tirade?
Dwight Schrute: Excuse me, I'm sorry, but that's not all it takes to be a hero. A hero kills people, people that wish him harm. A hero is part human and part supernatural. A hero is born out of a childhood trauma, or out of a disaster, and must be avenged.

Well, at least they got Heroes right.
"Inca Mummy Girl" anyone?

Still, I'd rather watch the worse of BtVS any day than reality television.
I dunno, the worst episode of Buffy is a whole lot better than the best episode of a lot of other things. Me, I liked "Beer Bad." It ain't perfect, and there are a lot of much better episodes, but I can't think of a single episode I'd flat out refuse to sit through again.
Beer Bad, Doublemeat Palace, Go Fish and I Robot, You Jane would all be in my bottom ten, along with Reptile Boy and Some Assembly Required. For me Bad Eggs is funny enough to escape that fate. There's a few from season 6 and 7 that probably deserve to be in there, but I never know the names of the later episodes as well and season 7 especially just blends together (not in a good way).

Where the Wild Things Are was fairly bad (for BtVS), but with Buffy and Riley mostly out of the picture, the episode actually gave a lot of screen time to the rest of the cast, which made a nice change. I know that's a bit of a lame defence, but it was enough for me to enjoy it.

My least favourite episode though is Listening to Fear - the one with the giant cockroach from outer space. Not one that gets mentioned often, but it's the only one that I find really painful to watch. I had to look up a guide to get the episode's name (must have mentally blocked it out) and according to the guide, we found out in this episode that Ben and Glory are linked in some way. What's that all about? ;)
If you take the heavy breathing out of "Where the Wild Things are", I think there is a lot of good stuff like Xander and Anya arguing, Spike and Anya's relationship, Spike and Danger Mouse, Xander being brave and nice Tara and Willow development.

I have just remembered my other nomination for worst episode which is "Dead Man's Party".
I've always liked Beer Bad. It's obviously no standout, but I wouldn't rank it as an outright misfire. For that, I'd go with the second half of Go Fish (nearly bad enough on its own to drag down the entire episode), Potential (yawn), and Hell's Bells (coming in at No. 144 out of 144 episodes, in my book).
Easily the worst episode of the entire show is "Some Assembly Required". It has two good things about: Jenny and Giles first date and Xander's obliviousness to Cordelia's interest after he saves her. Other than that a complete waste of an hour. About a year ago I decided to watch the whole series from start to finish and damn was it hard to make it through that episode.
I also seem to like Beer Bad more than the average person. :) I'm not exactly sure what I'd name as the worst, but there are several candidates I'd consider before this one.

I agree with the Heroes choice.

I disagree with the Veronica Mars choice, however. Okay, yes, that episode was silly, but I don't think it was as bad as the first of the stand-alone episodes in S3 - the PSA about graffiti on a Middle-Eastern establishment.
I liked all the episodes in your bottom ten and I don't like Bad Eggs, which you think is funny, but I completely agree about Listening to Fear, cypher. And I couldn't agree more with moley75 about Where the Wild Things are. I liked Some Assembly Required, it wasn't a great story, but it had some great Joss lines.
I have always liked Beer Bad. And its the first episode my daughter watched, and completely sucked her in.

Where the Wild Things are, even though there was lots of squicky stuff, had some great moments. The aforementioned Spike and Anya scenes, plus Xanders succint:
"she who smelt it dealt it!"
Call me immature, but that one killed me with laughter.

Unreality said:
I dunno, the worst episode of Buffy is a whole lot better than the best episode of a lot of other things. Me, I liked "Beer Bad." It ain't perfect, and there are a lot of much better episodes, but I can't think of a single episode I'd flat out refuse to sit through again.

I agree for the most part. Really, all the "worst episodes" have moments in them that make them worthwhile.
Except maybe As You Were, and End of Days.
I very rarely watch them because when I do, they put me in a bad mood.

I liked I Robot, You Jane. Maybe I just like heavy handed analogies.

The Mummy episode on its own was actually fine, it just interrupted the Spike/Dru arc that I had tuned in for with excitement so it was a let down at the time.
1starbuckstown, Hell's Bells is one of my favorite episodes of the series. ;) Beer Bad is not one of my favorite eps, but I agree with the folks who said that Gingerbread and I Robot, You Jane are worse. Doublemeat Palace made me sick to my stomach, literally, so it's among the worst in my opinion as well.
For me the comment that ""Beer Bad" is a befuddling low point in an otherwise excellent season of television." is what I find amazing.

S4 is probably my least favorite season of the show, sure there are some great stand-alones (Hush, Something Blue), but really it is often painful to watch. I know I'm one of many who feel this way, I'm surprised more people didn't find that quote off.

I think "Beer Bad" is one of the weaker episodes of the series, but there are a few on the same level (many mentioned above). And really, I agree that a bad ep of Buffy is better than most TV out there.
There were a couple of episodes in Season Two that where on the "blah" list, but since the series was just starting, I can give them a break. And for the record, "Potential" is one of the only episodes I like from that season, just for Xander's speech at the end.

No, the problems I have are with the episodes later in the series, when they had no excuse for bombing that badly. The best example I can think of at the moment is "Grave". That was the worst season finale of the series, IMO, and a really weak way to end the season. Though I did like the scene with Xander and Willow at the end. Other examples would be "All The Way" and "Older And Far Away", where I spent much time going "what's the point?". Also of note are many episodes in Season Seven, which were kind of forgettable to me (really, I can't remember what happened in a lot of them).

Then again, to be honest, I have many issues with those two seasons, but that's another story entirely. ;)

ETA: And for the record, I liked "Doublemeat Palace". Any reference to "Soylent Green" is a good one in my book. ;)

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2007-09-27 15:44 ]
Huh? I love "Doublemeat Palace!" I think it's one of the scariest episodes in the entire series. Yes, it's depressing and awful - that's the whole point! Working in a minimum-wage customer service position is much more frightening than fighting demons and stopping apocalypses. ;)

"Him" is my nomination for a bad episode. Bad being entirely relative, of course. As has been mentioned - there's no Buffy ep I wouldn't rather watch than anything on TV these days.
I agree that all the eps of Buffy are better than the best of pretty much any other show. I actually like Gingerbread. The sad reality that fear can turn to hatred and mass hysteria is me, anyway. I guess I'd have to go with I Robot, You Jane as my least favorite, but honestly, I enjoy every ep of Buffy for one reason or another.
I always disliked that episode, I can't remember the name, but the one where they forgot to put any words know the one. With the floaty, extremely happy guys. Yeah, that one. ;)
Beer Bad was worth it just for the phrase "Beer...bad" alone. Plus, Buffy was hilarious in that episode.

Also, I can't believe all of the people who are dissing on CLASSIC Season 1 & 2 eps like The Pack, Ted, Go Fish, Gingerbread, and Bad Eggs. Those are like THE BEST Buffy eps ever. HE-llo. Those whacky episodes are the ones that made me fall in love with this show in the first place.

Season 4 eps (in general)...that's another story. However, Beer Bad isn't one of them.

[ edited by kerfuffle on 2007-09-27 16:28 ]
I have a feeling a lot of people haven't seen the first season. Because how else do you ignore the utter awfulness of "Me Robot - You Jane"? Where the brilliant conclusion seemed to be: internet=bad. At least at the end of "Beer Bad" we get the conclusion beer=foamy. "Doublemeat Palace" and "Where the wild things are" also get a bum rap.

And I'll echo what others have said - a bad Buffy episode is still better then the best of most TV shows.

While I don't disagree with everything on that site (e.g. Heroes) the Lost episode they mention is so far from the worst. In fact it was one of my favorites of the whole season. Why do people let their annoyance over pulling out of the main storyline for a while always pepper their judgment?
Speaking of not-so-great season 4 eps...I can't believe no one has mentioned the fiasco of the Thanksgiving episode.

Testy Native American ghosts try to butcher Buffy and the gang while Angel secretly pines for Buffy. At the end, there's turkey.
When I'm lending out my DVDs to Buffy newbies, I always point out the series highlights as well as the 'unfortunates'. (Because I refuse to call an episode 'bad')

That being said, 'Beer Bad' is one of the unfortunates.
Pangs works great for me, personally. Doublemeat Palace and (despite it's entertaining opening) Hell's Bells are the nadir IMHO.
Am I the only one who thinks 'Superstar' is the worst episode???
I'd have to go with Doublemeat Palace for worst episode ever. There were also weak episodes, such as Me Robot, You Jane, Ted, Go Fish and Bad Eggs but each of those had redeeming qualities.

I've noticed a few of you mentioning As You Were and I have to admit, at first I didn't like it, either. I was throughly sick of Buffy's attitude by then (toward the world and Spike in general) and having Riley (a character I love) come back at that point (married no less) was just disturbing. For a long time, the only scene in that episode I liked was when Xander and Anya were in the bathroom hiding out from relatives. Parts of the episode made no sense to me and I hated others. Then I read this episode review, went back and watched As You Were and the episode made total sense to me then.
'Teacher's Pet' is the worst in my opinion. My criteria is which episode I can't bear to sit through again because it is just too stupid/lame; I'm always delighted to see 'Beer Bad' again, it is funny with great moments.
'The Pack' is my favorite from season 1, that one was brilliant just for the dodge ball scene alone!

But as others have said: the worst Buffy is still better than 99% of anything else that has ever been on TV.
When it first aired, I could easily see how some would think 'Beer Bad' was the worst episode ever. I personally kinda liked it, but I could see where others were coming from.

That said, there have been a lot of worse episodes in later seasons. Beer Bad doesn't deserve to be in the bottom spot, or even the bottom 10.

[ edited by Dym on 2007-09-27 16:32 ]
If most people on this thread (as indicated by their posts) didn't like the majority of early Buffy episodes then how on earth did you become a fan of this show in the first place? I am baffled.

I'd take a whole season of terrible Buffy eps over the majority of stuff on T.V. today.

[ edited by kerfuffle on 2007-09-27 16:54 ]
kerfuffle-Speaking as someone who's watched Btvs since the beginning, it was the witty dialogue that drew me in. Season 2 held me spell-bound and that was it. You couldn't drag me away from the television when Buffy was on after that.
Oh gosh, we're just as bad as picking the worse episodes as we are picking the best.

Which is why I love this room so.
kerfuffle - I'm baffled that you think those are the classic early Buffy episodes. ;) What about Prophecy Girl, Surprise, Innocence, Passion and Becoming Parts 1 & 2? Everyone has their own personal tastes, but the word classic implies something beyond that. I also don't think people are saying that they disliked the majority of early episodes, just that some of them weren't as good as other episodes. For me though the second half of season 2 was a step up in quality to what had gone before.

[ edited by cypher on 2007-09-27 16:46 ]
I do occassionally wonder if any of the season 8 "episodes" will ever feature on best/worst of Buffy lists.

Best episodes? Too, too many to decide. Although most people go with the critical favorites The Body, Hush, and Once More With Feeling...I prefer the some of the less 'critically acclaimed' Buffy episodes.
I'm sure that Season 8 will get that distinction sooner or later, Simon. Right now, I'm just too thrilled reading each issue to care about best/worst.

I loved all of those, too. I pretty much consider anything from Season 1,2, or 3 to be classic. That's just me. I also prefer Original (classic) Star Trek. I'd definitely be in the 'The Trouble With Tribbles' was a great episode camp. Whereas some people might argue that Tribbles were just plain silly. ;)

[ edited by kerfuffle on 2007-09-27 16:54 ]
Some of us have been having this conversation over at the flickr site, so I feel like I would be repeating myself... but I am going to have to chime in with ChosenGuy317 with the Superstar comment. No sir, you are not the only one. :)

I do find that I tend to dislike the "stand alone" episodes more than the super arc-y stuff, though.

And to answer kerfuffle's comment, I started in the super arc-y, Buffy/Angel goodness of season two, so I didn't have to rely on S1 to draw me in.

But, I do find myself giving new TV shows a chance to grow (as I find that Buffy did in spades) before really giving up on them. :)

[ edited by Miko on 2007-09-27 16:58 ]

[ edited by Miko on 2007-09-27 16:59 ]
I don't remember an episode called Superstar. Which one was that?
That one with the zombies in S3 was awful, I cringe and whimper the whole way through.
Beer Bad, is Hilarious at the end;
"Who's car is that?"
"I don't know, it was open"
God how many times dose that happen to the Sunnydale citizens?

Beer gooooood....

kerfuffle, Superstar is the one is with Jonathan, in season 4, just after the Faith episodes.

[ edited by Noclaf on 2007-09-27 17:03 ]
Oh man, I must be one of those fan-addicts who can never make any distinctions about "bad" when it comes to Buffy. To me each episode holds its own gem. Something to look for and get a kick out of. I have never honestly thought of the worst or best episodes although when I think about it I know that certain seasons definitely hold my enthusiasm more. I thought Beer Bad hilarious, with Xander trying to be a bartender and having a whole bartender spiel set up and never being able to use it, until Buffy shows up and he does it without even noticing. And when he lectures Buffy what she learned about beer she replies "Foamy!". And someone already mentioned Parker getting beat with a stick, who hasn't wanted to do that to their ex at one point. And Willow! Cute sweet Willow totally calling him out. Very satisfying.

In almost every episdoe there is a further character illustration or story arc which lends new or more depth. You just gotta know where to look. No such thing as a bad episode to me when they all serve a means to the end.
One time when I was rewatching the show I got to "Normal Again" and
didn't watch it for weeks. I felt I couldn't skip it as it is a BtVS eppie after all so I finally watched it again. I guess that's my pick for the worst Buffy episode. "Beer Bad" isn't one of my favorites but it has its moments as others have pointed out.
Regarding beer, I'll just say this much...bad beer bad, good beer good. Yes, I'm a beer snob.
Although it's extraordinarily silly, I've always loved "Beer FOAMY!" That wonderful moment when you think Will is falling for Parker's line, then slams him. All the great devolved Buffy stuff (both funny, and the cheery moment right after Xander has asked whether Buffy is still in there).

And, of course, that great moment when Buffy looks Parker up and down, after her fantasy apology, and thwacks him one.

I'm surprised to see so many dissing Gingerbread. I mean, any ep with "MOO" in it.... It also has my favorite irony of all time. When Joyce says the truest words ever spoken on screen, BECAUSE she's in a deluded state "Silence is this town's disease."

Being in only my 8th or so go through (we just met Glory), and still in the "I'm in LOVE!" state, maybe I'm not in a position to say, but I still can't say that any ep is actually bad.

I'm also not getting the messages some people are. Beer ain't bad; it was bewitched beer. Internet ain't bad, just don't scan the essence of a demon into a networked computer.

Since I've lent Buffy to a friend (who recently left voicemail she saw the musical), she has the book, so I can't look up the ones I don't know, unfortunately.

The Thanksgiving one is not only a fine ep, but all that stuggle over trying to be PC, and, of course, our boy Spike has the best speech: "Oh, STAKE me now! ... Ceasar didn't run around saying 'I saw, I conquered, I feel really bad about it." An's take on the holiday was brilliant.

Some lovely conversations in Giles' kitchen that bounce between being about the holiday and figuring out the murders. Angel "Why does everyone keep asking if I've gone bad?" and being peeved over Riley. And Xander who has every disease ever, but once he hears the S word, can't talk of anything else.

There are a few MOMENTS in the 6.5 years that don't work, but I can't honestly say there's any ep that doesn't work, in my view.

The PACK?!?!?! Yes, in a way I HATE it 'cause I hate seeing Xander evil, but comON. That's a hell of an ep.

Are people not liking Doublemeat because the baddie stuff is lame? That's one where what's going on is not the supernatural, but the reality of the crappy job, and the silliness of the place.

Maybe I'll feel differently after I've seen it 20 times or so, but for now, there's no show I'll skip. There are moments I dread, and hate having to live through, but very little that's just bad TV.
I dont' really like Beer Bad, but it's hardly the worst episode in my opinion. I Robot, You Jane (for sheer ridiculousness) or Inca Mummy Girl (for sheer boringness) should hold that title.

I think Beer Bad gets such a bad rap because it came so soon after the pretty solidly awesome seasons 3. I think it could have avoided most of this by being less preachy and not having people turn into literal cave-men.

Still, like others have said, the worst episodes of Buffy have their small moments that make them worth watching...a hundred times.
Speaking of not-so-great season 4 eps...I can't believe no one has mentioned the fiasco of the Thanksgiving episode.

"A bear ! You made a bear ! Undo it, undo it !"

And thus "Pangs" was redeemed ;). That and the "get over it, you beat them" stuff from Spike and (to a lesser extent) Giles, nice reflection of their characters and different backgrounds.

Watched BtVS from the start and luckily the opening two parter was better than "Teacher's Pet" or I might have written it off as teen cheese. As it is, though some early episodes were pretty bad ("Prophecy Girl" has one of the very few "cannot watch it's so bad" moments in all of Buffy for me, when Buffy's been revived and walks down the path with the music blaring - very cringe inducing IMO) there was enough good, even in the bad ones to hook me completely (love "The Pack" and "The Puppet Show" was one of the early episodes where I thought "Oh ho, they are totally NOT going to just do the obvious with this show" - subverted the whole "evil puppet" trope very nicely IMO).

(and I love "Normal Again", how can you not like having everything questioned in that way ? Brilliant TV and though not often mentioned in the same breath, as ground-breaking as "Hush" or "The Body" for my money - it takes the hoary old "It's all a dream" cliché and makes it sing)
I saw a good side to "As You Were;" it brought Riley 's storyline to a full conclusion, gave him the happy ending eh always deserved, and got him finally and firmly out of Buffy 's life where he never really belonged anyway. I felt Willow was the worst part of it. (okay the actress who palyed Sam wasn't much of one)

I'm noticing a pattern here which I've seen in the books baout the B'verse. People hate most an episode which rubs up against a pet peeve of their own. So Topping, in SLayer ,who likes interpersonal relaytionship stuff, disliked "Beer Bad" because it gives an unworkable method (in real-world terms, that is) for dealing with phony-romantic jerkfaces like Parker.
Likewise the authors of Dusted dislike episodes mainly intended to forward season-story arc, hate "I WAs MAde to Love You" for that reason, and all of Season 7. (I admit I've haven't seen more than couple S-7 episodes myself.)

Me generally the only epsiodes which hit my pet peeves are the really good ones so there's nothing I really hate. Could be a good study in fan-psyhcology in there someplace.

filops; The only expalnation I can think of for Buffy 's being less affected by the beer was she started drinking it some days later so she had less in her system when the effect was triggered.

RaisedByMongrels: given the nature of the show, having them become actuall cavemen was kinda required.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2007-09-27 17:27 ]
We need to define "bad". For example I can't watch The Body or
Hell's Bells, not because they are bad but because the subject
matter is too painful for me personally. I know that these
are powerful, well done eps, but I just can not bear them.

A second kind of category of episode I won't watch is "Him"
from S7. Watching Buffy going after that kid was not to my
taste but again thats personal. I think a good standard on
this sort of thing is that if it makes good mythology and
back story it is worthy enough. Based on that early eps like
The Pack, Teachers Pet, & Inca Mummy Girl, make the grade.
They might have been done better, but you can't expect
to always hit a homer.

That leaves shows that are based on concepts that don't
work and which never should have been made. For me that's
Go Fish and Doublemeat Palace. YMMV.
Ok, I get what you're saying, kerfuffle. From season 1 & 2 my personal picks (after those listed above) would be Phases, Halloween, What's My Line Part 2, The Puppet Show and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. Season 3 was just so consistently good it's harder to pick out episodes, but The Wish and Choices were excellent. I do prefer seasons 2 and 3, but every time I watch 4, 5 and 6 I enjoy them more.

Back on topic, good call 1starbuckstown, forgotten about Hell's Bells that was pretty bad too. What about Empty Places, where everyone turns on Buffy and kicks her out of her own house. Never bought that at all.

Gingerbread, The Pack, Pangs, Superstar and Normal Again - all good in my book.

the Groosalugg - glad it's not just me that doesn't like Listening to Fear (even if we're disagreeing on everything else - I quite like Smashed and Wrecked! Though I don't really think Bad Eggs is good, just funny enough not to be in my bottom ten)

Damn this thread moves fast - great fun though.

Yeah Saje, that music bit in Prophecy Girl is terrible, but Buffy's speech about not wanting to die is just brilliant. As is Xander's speech to Dawn in Potential.

[ edited by cypher on 2007-09-27 17:34 ]
Oh but you gotta love 'Him' just because Buffy got her rocket launcher out of moth balls to blow away Principal Wood!

And I adore 'Pangs' I watch it every Thanksgiving, it is my favorite Thanksgiving special!

I can definitely see us debating Buffy Season 8, but we'll need to wait until we've seen a lot more of the season's arc....

Oh and I really love 'Superstar' I even bought Jane Espenson's comic book for it.

[ edited by embers on 2007-09-27 17:35 ]
Simon, I certainly hope we can include the "eighth season" in our discussions. After all, if we can bitch about a winny Dawn, why not a 50' Dawn? Sounds fair to me.
I can't help but have a warm regard for Beer Bad, as it gave me one of my favorite hop-driven utterances: "Beer FOAMY!"

My other favorite simplistic Buffy statement, "Fire bad, tree pretty!"
It's still would watch "Beer Bad.." over some of the best episodes of other series.
All the "bad" episodes of Buffy have good - and even great - moments, but I never thought of "Beer Bad" and one of the bad episodes, least of all the worst. I also loved "Doublemeat Palace."

I don't know which I think is the worst. Probably "Gingerbread," but the following are my least favorite episodes:

I Robot, You Jane
Inca Mummy Girl
Reptile Boy
Bad Eggs
Go Fish
Normal Again
We need to define "bad".

Bad (noun). Badness (adjective).

Nomination for definition: During viewing, one wishes to turn the tv off, not because the episode is emotionally painful, but because it is boring or annoying (as someone mentioned doing upthread).

"As You Were" is probably the most "meh" for me, but it has golden moments in it I am rather fond of, such as Buffy's burger-smell offending the vampire and Riley having insight into Buffy's character. And seeing Xander and Anya so stressed out, too.
On the side of good things about "Beer Bad"...Xander's too-oft-ignored line of "Nothing can defeat the penis!" Which may be my favorite Xander line ever. It's up in the top 5 anyway. (;
I can't believe some of you guys actually disliking Normal Again. Sure, some of the plot points were kinda weak (they just forgot that they admitted her to a mental institution?!) but overall the episode is a really exciting little thought experiment. One of my faves actually, top 10 episode.

[ edited by Djungelurban on 2007-09-27 18:20 ]
But "bad" can also be good. Like its so bad its good? BtVS is defined by its cheesiness and camp along with the monster metaphors and dramatic moments. Its so supposed to be like that sometimes. Embrace the bad!

[ edited by Simon on 2007-09-27 19:01 ]
I think “Beer Bad” is hilarious. I see inspired moments all through it, but my favorite comes right at the end. The cave-students are locked in a car and raucously entertaining themselves. Buffy goes to them, apparently feeling a connection. She and one of the boys match hands against the window, one on either side of the glass. Her friends drag her away, and the boy goes back to tumbling inside the car. His bare feet end up by the window as the camera retreats. Doesn’t sound like much on paper -- the humor is all in their expressions and comic timing.

But the reviewers thought they were being lectured about the perils of beer. That’s all they saw. Hmm. What anyone takes away from a story (literature, TV, any other source) has a lot to do with what they bring to it, I suppose. Interesting that there’s such a range of opinions about the stories mentioned here today.

In the Whedonverse, there simply are no bad stories. But apparently some of them don’t mesh with what some viewers bring along while watching them. I had trouble with “Him” the first time I saw it, because I wasn’t expecting slapstick at that point in the story, and couldn’t switch gears. Later I realized how good the episode was.

I don’t believe that “Beer Bad” or any other Joss story ever lectured us. The stories raise ideas, possibilities. Anyone who thought they heard a lecture must have been watching the show along with their own “inner parent.” Buffy with big, unbrushed hair, a smeared face, a sideways gait, and a big stick is Joss doing slapstick. Go Joss!

[ edited by anniem on 2007-09-27 18:44 ]

[ edited by anniem on 2007-09-27 18:45 ]
A bit late to the thread here, but here goes:

Saje, I completely agree with you re: 'Normal Again'

Everyone else, I can relate to all the dissing of various episodes except 'The Killer in Me' and 'Superstar' both of which I really liked.

To uplevel things, I completely agree with their BSG pick, although there have been a couple of other stinkers. Their Trek pick is classic. The Farscape pick... To be honest, there was a lot that sucked about Farscape, and I can think of several other episodes that were as bad as The Locket. I haven't seen The Office or Heroes, so I can't comment on those picks. I just started watching Veronica Mars this week, and I'm only through 1.12. If 'The Wrath of Con' is as bad as it gets, that's not bad at all. I'm loving it all so far.
I think my dad quotes Beer Bad more than any other Buffy episode. I personally enjoyed Doublemeat Palace quite a bit, as it was really true to my experience of working in the fast food industry. And for me, the The Pack really cemented the dark humor of the show. I definitely feel that there are episodes that were far weaker than others in the series, but I'm sure that there are people out there that relate to them in one form or another.
"I can't believe some of you guys actually disliking Normal Again. Sure, some of the plot points were kinda weak (they just forgot that they admitted her to a mental institution?!) but overall the episode is a really exciting little thought experiment. One of my faves actually, top 10 episode."

I kind of think of Normal Again as a retelling of Bob Newhart and Descartes (and given that The Matrix is Joss' favorite movie...), and one that is not very original and kinda boring. It's not an interesting thought experiment, its Cartesian Skepticism in an episode of Buffy, and so, I can't really enjoy it. Well, thats why I dont care for it anyway!

LOL, my least favorite episode would be Empty Places, not because of the fight, but because of the aftermath. But I did love Beer Bad, if for no other reason than Giles and Xander.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2007-09-27 18:59 ]
Skipping the Buffy debate (although I will mention that Angel's "Provider" is the worst episode in the Buffy universe):

- "The Wrath of Con" VM's worst hour? Really? Have they seen, um, any of season three? Even if you take their stance that the gamer plotline was that bad (and while it was maybe a bit weak, I found Veronica's dressing up to be a high point rather than a low point), it had the Lily Kane memorial plotline, and the flashbacks to the Homecoming dance. Enough said.

- "Expose": I can certainly see an argument here, but at least this episode acknowledges its pointlessness, whereas other episodes don't. And it gave us Charlie coming clean to Sun about what he and Sawyer had done, which is to my mind one of the two or three most honest character moments of last season.

- "Spock's Brain": Nah, too obvious. Try "The Way to Eden" which is even more laughable and stretches the characters even thinner. Or "And the Children Shall Lead" which is just basically unwatchable.

- "Black Market": Actually, yes, that's probably a good choice. It was a strange, confusing, and fairly pointless episode.

- "The Office" first few episodes: Agreed on episode 1, which was just a straight, nearly line-for-line remake of the British episode 1 without the magic. But while I'm not that big a fan of the next two episodes, there was some genuine humour in them, particularly the "Diversity Day" adventures. Although I suppose that they probably still are the series' worst, given that after it got its act together it hasn't really had any real fumbles, even if some episodes (like "Product Recall") only have moments to recommend them rather than the whole biz.

- Hee, I think I caught that "Farscape" episode once. I don't watch "Farscape." Maybe that's a reason why.
that thread got crazy over time!

And I consider Doublemeat Palace doesn't get enough love! I mean, they're making fun of fastfood, and it's a social commentary on bad jobs. And awareness to social differences wasn't one of BtVS's strengths. IMO the worst.episode.ever-award goes to "As you were". Another popular choice, but I don't think that anyone was expecting me to hand this title over to "Innocence".
I'm going to throw in my vote for "the worst episodes of Buffy are still better than 95% of TV, even good TV..."

I personally find that upon multiple viewings I actually like things better (e.g. "Beer Bad" and chunks of S7). Maybe because I can set aside things that bugged me when I first saw them, and just enjoy the many, many good things that are left over.

The variety of responses here is pretty impressive! I LOVE "The Zeppo," "Gingerbread," and "Normal Again," all of which have been cited by some folks as least favorites... I think it highlights one of Buffy's great strengths, which is that it is/was consistently complex and multifaceted (even when the metaphors are pretty straightforward) so that different things resonate with different people, and overall it ends up immensely appealing for all sorts of reasons.
I have to defend I Robot You Jane! It deals with the classic theme of magic vs. technology, and whether the two can mix. The idea of putting a demon on the internet was really interesting, dammit. Yes, the episode is cheesy but come on, everything in season 1 is cheesy (except Prophecy Girl). I always find myself defending this episode for some reason. Does the fact that I'm the only person who actually likes it mean I'm wrong? ... I refuse to entertain that possibility.

I also love Beer Bad. I accept that it is essentially a silly episode, but there are so many hilarious moments that I can't see how that's a bad thing. Buffy clubbing Parker over the head at the end kills me every time I watch it. I agree with the several other people who've cited Where the Wild Things Are as one of the worst episodes. It is the only episode in season 4 I think is just plain bad. The entire season is in my opinion extremely underrated. Almost every episode, if you think about it, deals in some way with the idea of civilization vs. nature or, again, technology vs. magic/the spiritual, which is what the entire Initiative storyline is all about. People need to respect season 4!

My picks for worst episodes mostly come from towards the end of the series. Wrecked is so, so awful: the beginning of the truly horrible magic = drug addiction period. The cheesy drug trip scene alone makes it the worst episode. Add in the fact the Willow actually crashes the car -- it's beyond after school special levels of crappiness. I also think As You Were has to be mentioned if only because Riley's wife is so ridiculously unbelievable. I also despise The Killer in Me because the whole Amy and the campus Wicca group thing was so stupid. I'm not a big fan of Empty Places or Doublemeat Palace (although, in that case, I do enjoy the whole McJob thing).

From the early seasons, I'd mention Beauty and the Beasts, because I think it is the one weak spot in an otherwise 100% brilliant season.

I can't at all agree with Expose as their pick for worst Lost episode! It was fun and a nice nod from the creators to the fans. I would say the episode about Jack's tattoos was much worse. Farscape I think has much worse episodes than The Locket, which is actually rather sweet. Back and Back and Back to the Future is probably my least favourite episode of that show. As for The Office, I cannot in good conscience stand by any worst episode pick that includes Diversity Day. Just no.
Wait, did someone memtion rocket launchers?
I really don't think that Joss is a rationalist, jerryst3161. Or that Normal Again is Cartesian-style skepticism. If I have to pick a philosopher, it's more like Nietzschean perspectivism. Joss isn't a philosopher, good for him for realizing that, and going with his strengths. Nietzsche probably should have just gone with being an artist, or a critic of art, too.
My least favorite episodes of season 4 (maybe the whole series) were "Beer Bad", "Something Blue", and "Where the Wild Things Are".

When I got the DVDs, I realized they were all written by the same person, her only episodes. I dunno if they purposely shoved the cheesy episodes on the new girl, or what. But I can't stand any of them.
Normal Again? Bloody freakin brilliant is what it was. It turned the whole Buffyverse on it's head. Are you haters on crack? ;)
(Ah, I do believe Medusachick left her italics tag open - and then anniem closed it, so for a while we were all speaking most emphatically... one of these days I'd like to leave a teeny font size tag open just so we could all speak in little Who-ville voices... but I won't. *grins* )

Okay, I remember being sorta iffy about "Beer Bad" when it aired, but mixed, 'cause there was such great stuff, including barrels o' of beer and Parker-whacking - and after innumerable series re-watches, it's grown on me.

And I'm not feeling the Jane "!kittens! Espenson love much in this thread - some of the dissed eps are among her classics. I think "Double meat is double sweet!" And "Pangs" has so much ascerbic & pithy Spike dialogue (although I have to point out that "Undo it!" used thusly appeared in a Friends episode before it showed up in "Pangs,") "Superstar" is the most fun-with-your-pants-on ever, and I've used the lines "Kill the bad girls" and "Did I get it? Did I get it?" incessantly ever since "Gingerbread." There are some plot points I might wanna tweak - in hindsight - in each of 'em, but that's all, just like adding herbs to a delectable soup.

I can never skip an episode in my chron-watching - it's just not encoded in my DNA - but "Inca Mummy Girl" always makes me pause + groan for just a sec (but, awww, it has Willow in an Eskimo jacket,) "The Yoko Factor" always seemed too hasty and contrived, and "Buffy vs. Dracula" ain't one of my favs, either... but I don't really have a worst episode list - for me, that would feel like hating a tough year in my own life. It may make me squirm when I think about it, but I wouldn't want it removed.
Love, love, love "Something Blue". Aren't we a varied lot ? (by which I mean, loads of you are wrong ;-)

It's not an interesting thought experiment, its Cartesian Skepticism in an episode of Buffy, and so, I can't really enjoy it.

I disagree. It's more interesting by the very nature of being fictional i.e. it also (IMO) talks about fandom and fans (like us) becoming obsessively involved in fictional universes. In the same way that much of Joss' stuff is about chosen families, "Normal Again" is (partly) about chosen realities.

(Stargate SG-1 had an episode called "Citizen Joe" which was more explicitly the same idea except it was an unalloyed love letter - and thank-you note - to the fans. NA is, as you'd expect from Joss and crew, a much darker, more ambiguous affair all together)

Re: Farscape, it was a pretty bold show in many respects, it took a lot of risks (even Joss didn't do a cartoon episode ;) and tried to bring fresh perspectives to some very old ideas. Sometimes it succeeded amazingly well, to the extent that the best episodes of 'Farscape' are among the best TV sci-fi ever IMO. But when it failed, it really failed.

(and I agree about 'The Office' too - the first few were carbon copies of the UK version, even down to the guy that plays Jim aping Martin Freeman's facial expressions as Tim. Bad idea - which Greg Daniels presumably realised because they struck out on their own fairly quickly after that)
Love, love, love "Something Blue". Aren't we a varied lot ? (by which I mean, loads of you are wrong ;-)

Saje, you made me giggle, because it's true!!!! ;) I just love the fact that we W'ers can actually debate without the name calling and stomping off. Cool bunches you people are (and still wrong!) ha ha!
Whether "Beer Bad" was the worst or not, it hit harder because it was the first episode of a Whedon show that I didn't like. I didn't think it was possible up until that point.
the Groosalugg:
You may think that you're right about beer not being bad,'re wrong.
"Normal Again" is (partly) about chosen realities.

I said that. But you said it more in English.
Can't we all just agree that I am the only one on this thread who is right?
I personally find that upon multiple viewings I actually like things better...Maybe because I can set aside things that bugged me when I first saw them, and just enjoy the many, many good things that are left over.

miri47-I can agree with that. With the single exception of Seeing Red, there's not an episode of Btvs that I won't watch, no matter how cringe-worthy some moments are.

And yes, the worst episodes of Buffy are still better than most of TV today, even good TV.

Speaking of, has anyone watched Californication?

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-09-28 00:07 ]
Dang it, could've sworen someone mention rocket launchers...

Guys, we're all in the same frame of mind. We love our little slayer 'til death do some parting.

So be it.
I watched the pilot of "Californication" and hated it. Within minutes I said: "Bored now."
Can't we all just agree that I am the only one on this thread who is right?

I agree (for certain values of "I" ;).

I said that. But you said it more in English.

Well, it is one of my favourite ways of saying things.

(*quickly googles "Nietzschean perspectivism"* ... Yep, that's kinda what I was saying dreamlogic. For me it's only applicable given the fictional setting cos in this world that pesky old reality keeps getting in the way - sorry Fred ;) - but ultimately I guess all world views, no matter how rationalist, require a leap of "faith" i.e. acceptance of fundamental assumptions about reality. "Normal Again" just makes it more of a conscious decision for Buffy to believe what she "needs" to believe to continue - or one reading of it does anyway)
WillowSlay said:
On the side of good things about "Beer Bad"...Xander's too-oft-ignored line of "Nothing can defeat the penis!" Which may be my favorite Xander line ever. It's up in the top 5 anyway. (;

I read your comment here at work and just got the most horrendous case of the giggles that I totally had to suppress - just like back in high school when you get the giggles during a test or something :) I couldn't laugh out loud because no one at my job watched Buffy. Explaining why I had tears streaming down my face would make the whole thing unfunny, you know? But for the record, I love that line too :)

Add me to the 'I didn't mind Beer Bad either' camp. I also completely agree with the person/people who say that every episode usually had some 'gem' in it to make it memorable or that gave insight to the characters.
Jeepers, I always saw more meaning in "Beer Bad" than, well, beer being bad. For me it was about what's going on with people under the veneer of our social and intellectual ways of being in the world. Underneath it all, we're driven by primal urges.

Buffy was suffering after being dumped by Parker, and was further stuck in her emotional pit by his manipulative use of words. What she needed was to cut through all that "higher brained" stuff and get to the heart of the matter... Parker needed to be konked on the head. And it was even sweeter cuz she got to do it after she saved him and he was all grateful... muahahahaha!

Another thing I took from the ep was that even though Buffy was under the effects of the bad beer and all cavegirl, she still is at her heart a hero. She went into the burning building and rescued everyone, even jerk Parker. And wasn't her bit with the fire extinguisher hilarious!!!

Now my vote for worst Buffy ep ever: "Him". Ugh... I cringed through the whole thing...
Worst episode of Buffy: I Robot, You Jane. Beer Bad is awesome. I love Cave Slayer Buffy.

Willow: What did you do with Buffy?
Buffy: I'm suffering the afterness of a bad night of badness
Willow: You didn't. Not with Parker again.
Buffy: No, with four really smart guys.
Willow: Four? Oh. Ow. Oh Buffy, are you okay? Do you wanna talk about it?
Buffy: I went to see Xander. Then I saw Parker. Then came beer.
Willow: And then group sex?
Buffy: Gutter face.
"Giles, don't make cave slayer unhappy." Ha ha.

Beer foamy. "Beer Bad" funny.

[ edited by barboo on 2007-09-27 22:28 ]
Another good quote:

Giles: I can't believe you served Buffy that beer.
Xander: I didn't know it was evil.
Giles: But you knew it was beer.
Xander: Well excuse Mr. I spent the sixties in an electric Kool-Aid funky Satan groove.
I love Beer Bad. It simply makes me laugh.
I always get a laugh out of "Beer Bad." Of course, it's my carefully considered opinion that there are no bad episodes. Just some that aren't... as good as others ("As You Were," f'r instance...)
I really don't get how so many people can dislike Bad Eggs. It's so much fun!

My personal worst Buffy episode is Killed By Death - and even that one has the Xander and Angel standoff, and Willow freaking out over frogs.

The only Buffyverse episode I will skip over is She, from season 1 of Angel. I just watch Angel dancing, and then ignore the rest of it.
Agreed, there are some more cringe-worthy moments in some Buffy episodes ("Teacher's Pet"), but none that don't have enough sparkle moments to make them worthwhile.

However, Angel's "That Old Gang of Mine" I will not watch again.
What on earth are they talking about? "Spock's Brain" was fantastic.
So, I guess nobody else noticed/cared that Buffy was the only one who didn't facially devolve?

I think cave-Gellar would have upped the fun-factor.
Buffy was the kind of cave girl that Daryl Hannah was in Clan of the Cave Bear.... Or like Rachel Welsh in One Million Years BC (luckily Buffy missed out on the fur bikini) so there is a precedence.

And yes, I DID mention a rocket launcher (the best moment in 'Him').
I'm quite sure people noticed it - we're a pretty bright bunch - and someone had referred to it up-thread, but it appears to have been edited out now, filops.

At the time, I let myself fanwank it as the result of her Slayer strength and resistance, but truly and in RL, I'm sure that's as "Cave-Sarah" as most people involved were prepared at the time to take this fashion-glam-lead of a teen show, pure and simple. Ain't much more to say about it, imo.
filops QuoterGal; my comment on Buffy staying huamn while the cave guys didn't is still there above and you've gotten me miffed that you didn't notice it, I must say :-).

menomegirl;Thaks for pointing out that review of "As You were;" it made soem things even clearer.

geekerjoy34: I've known a dozen or so Trekkers and you're the first one who's actually ever said they liked "Spock's Brain." ALtho I've known a couple who've made excuses for it instead of condemning it, along the lines of its being Rodenberry's equivalent situation to Roger Corman's when making _The Terror_.
I hate, hate, hate Seeing Red.

But, I love, love, love Beer Bad.

Dana5140; as I was saying re pet peeves; few fans will flat-out say "Seeing Red" is a bad episode :-).
Wow this is generating a lot of interesting conversation. This is so why I love this place. As for the ep, I don't hate it. Don't love it. But like anything Joss (or "Homicide" [my fave non-Joss show]), it's way better than most TV.
Wow! I'm amazed at how many dislike the psycho ward one.

It was all so poigniant, and so PLAUSIBLE (not just that there aren't really vamps, but putting the whole series thus far into psychological perspective).

It HURTS seeing Joyce; it's hard to even know what to wish for. And then that end, that always makes me cuss, because that IS a much more sensible concept. And it's all so horrid and sad.

Maybe it's that I don't watch a lot of horror, fantasy, sci fi, and others find it a Been That, Done There (even so, it was well done, I thought). Or is it just that the demon-fight part is NOT what it's about? Or is it that folks don't like Buffy about to off all her friends?

As for Him, the females all completely wacked is just too funny. And Robin in his office, as we're watching out his window is one of those Makes Me Laugh EVERY TIME bits. Is it that they go so insanely sappy? That you're thinking HE should be more a knockout-looking guy?

I found the comment about some people just not caring for the non-arcyy ones, and others not caring for the archy ones interesting. (Y'all know each other more, as I'm newish.) But then no one commented on it; does it hold up?

I'm also surprised to see mention in this thread of the one I think of as the "Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan" one. Is it people don't like the whole alt. reality thing? (What if there were no shrimp?)

Enjoyable and interesting to see different peep's takes on the concept of the least good Buffy's and how not-good, exactly, that is.

For me, the one where Will drags Dawnie to Rack's is a Not Fave. And I kinda see what you mean about the I Robot, You Jane as a wee bit clunky.

I'm very bothered by the end of Hell's Bells (the wedding,right?) as I feel it doesn't ring true. No way Xander would split. He'd get An into a cab, and announce to the guests that she had come to HER senses. In the commentary, they say something about her walking up the aisle being one of their favorite things. I coulnd't help thinking about what Joss said about the ballet in Angel: sometimes that's the very thing you need to off.

Well, chances are no one will ever read this, so, bye for now!
Well, I do totally agree that even the worst Buffy – and Angel, and Firefly, for that matter – episodes are better than most other television. In fact, I’m of the camp that there are no completely bad episodes – every single one has at least some good moment or two, and/or some witty lines. But, I do have some “worst of that great show” episodes…

My wife and I recently re-watched much of season 4, jumping around a little bit. When she turned “Beer Bad” on… I left the room within a few minutes to do other things. There’s not too many episodes that I’d likely do that with. So, when I saw’s choice, my reaction was, “Well, yeah.” There are a few moments I like in it, but the episode just really doesn’t work for me. Some parts feel forced to me, much of the humor doesn’t strike me as that funny, I don’t believe the characterization of the “brainy” college students, and, for that matter, much of the bar stuff rings untrue… Sure, there are things even I like – Buffy’s “warm, foamy. Beer” bit, for example; and Parker getting conked on the head is always good, and well-deserved (but even with that, I enjoy Riley’s flattening of him in a later ep even more) – but for me, this is one of the few episodes that I felt just really didn’t work.

My ultimate least favorite, though, would probably be “Killed By Death”. Really didn’t feel it worked at all, without even many good little moments to redeem it, as I recall (been a little while since I’ve actually seen this one).

“Normal Again” is also way up on my bad list. With re-watching, I have found parts of it were better than I remembered – a few more good lines, etc. But yes, the “oh yeah, I was institutionalized for a few weeks before we moved here” retcon is a bit hard to swollow. And the denounment… Obviously, different people have received it in different ways, but to me, it was clearly a desperate attempt by a first (and only)-time scripter (Diego Gutierrez) to be “!!!OMG!!! !!!SHOCKING!!!” which only succeeded in leaving a bad taste in the mouth, and in giving an upraised middle finger to the fans. I do conceed that the fact that, for those of us watching the episodes as they were originally aired in the U.S., this was the last thing we were left with for SEVEN WEEKS may have added to my dislike, but setting that aside, it still would be in my bottom ten. Along with “Doublemeat Palace” – Jane has written some great episodes – add me to the list of those who would include “Pangs” among them – but this was another ep which I just felt really didn’t work – it didn’t ring true to me, was unpleasant without the redeeming dramatic or emotional moments of some of the other episodes of this dark season, and wasn’t that funny when it did try to be.

Reading the replies reminded me of a few more – “Some Assembly Required,” “Beauty and the Beasts” – those two sort of counterparts to each other, from their respective seasons… Oh yeah, “Inca Mummy Girl” – great Eskimo Willow, but otherwise… “Teacher’s Pet” I didn’t save when I taped it (when first catching up with the early Buffys I’d missed, via FX) – come to think, I believe “Some Assembly” got the same treatment (though I later regretted both – as I said, “bad” episodes – still pretty good)… I kind of like “I Robot, You Jane”, though, I have to say. I do think of “Bad Eggs” and “Go Fish” as somewhat lesser – “Go Fish” not helped by, yes, feeling very much like filler, and Joyce getting some of her least-pleasant moments of… well, bitchiness in the kind-of-odd-anyway “Eggs”. (And I have learned to grade some of the episodes from the first two seasons on a bit of a curve, as production budgets were apparently a little lower, and the music was still coming along…)

There are a few “less-favored” aspects of other episodes which’ve some up here – I don’t like just how unsure and put to the side Buffy is in “Superstar,” though I like the episode pretty well otherwise; I’ve taken to skipping over the scene in which Susan Ruttan criticizes Buffy in “Gone,” as it’s just that unpleasant, but otherwise quite enjoy the ep, and have given the same treatment to Dawn’s cheerleading “routine” in “Him” – though the rocket launcher scene alone is enough to make the show closer to my favorites list than the least list. (Not that that’s at all the only bit I like, either – though I will agree that Buffy on R.J. is a little icky.) (And, not that it would come up in a “worst episode” discussion, I’d probably re-watch “Family” more often if Tara’s relatives weren’t so repugnant.) I’m not necessarily put off from other painful moments in the series - “Hell’s Bells,” since it’s come up, is certainly very sad, but I’ve grown to appreciate it as a quality episode much more over time. Buffy and Spike’s scene in it is one of my very favorite conversations between the two.

Still, though, while I can come up with a handful of “least good” episodes, and a very few I really don’t feel work at all (and even those have good moments) – I would have a hard time limiting a “best episode” BtVS list. Unless restricted to very favorites (and that would still be a pretty lengthy deal), I might end up going over a hundred…

[ edited by LKW on 2007-09-28 02:19 ]
embers: One person's luck is another person's, uhm, unluck.

Dana: I think Seeing Red is a decent episode, except for that one thing.

I agree with those that say Beer Bad is a fun episode with many good points (I wouldn't even say it's a bad episode with good parts, I would say it's a decent episode), and my favorite quote is:

[Willow looks at Xander's fake ID]
Willow: "I don't believe this is entirely on the up and up." Xander: "What gives it away?!"
Willow: "Lookin' at it."

For some reason this dialog cracks me up. In some ways it's a sitcom type joke, but it's delivered much better than you would find on most sitcoms (where it would be part of a rapid succession of "jokes" about the fake ID).
And, continuing with that same scene, Willow's performance as "drunk and despondent" - and Xander's stunned "Where the hell did that come from?" reaction - was priceless.
tehhabwa - I like your ending for "Hell's Bells"! You're right - that would have been much more characteristic of Xander.

Oh, and "been there" might be one factor with "Normal Again". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had quite a good episode with the "lead character wakes up in a mental ward, being told it was all a delusion" concept several years earlier. Hell, Charmed did the same thing earlier in the same season in which "Normal Again" eventually came out...
C'mon, y'all, "Gone" is the worst episode. When I watch it, I am actually reminded of Charmed. It hurts just to say that, you know?
Good God, two Charmed references back-to-back.

Oooh, that stings.

DaddyCatALSO-I have no trouble whatsoever saying that Seeing Red was a bad episode. I don't think it was the worst but it is the one episode that I cannot re-watch.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-09-28 03:12 ]
Seeing Red is awesome!

Not just the serious stuff, either. What about Andrew flying his jet-pack into the roof? C'mon, that's hysterical!
Caveslayer is trying to crawl into the television when Giles switches the set off.

Buffy: Where people go? Want, I want!

Caveslayer charges Giles forcing him to pull a terrified Xander between them as a human shield.

Giles: May be you should stay with her until this wears off...

(Buffy eyes Xander up and down, then grabs him)

Buffy: Boy smells nice. (Giles notes the grin creeping on Xander's face and pushes him aside)

Giles:...or perhaps she should stay by herself.

A classic scene of the less of two evils.
LKW, Thank you! Tell Joss I wouldn't charge much if he wants to use it.

There isn't one I can't bear watching. There are things I don't buy; things that bug me.

I find, though, that the things that continue to bug me are mostly tiny things (Giles dusting, picks up a book, opens to a page, and reads that there's an apocolypse scheduled for tonight).

I really didn't like the Dawn thing. Mostly that, after having invested so much in these folks, I now have no idea what their lives have been (according to what they remember), and they don't remember what I've gone through with them.

It's such a disconnect between me and these people that I've become so attached to. And you get reminded, as when Faith shows up and sees Dawn in S7. I SAW her at that house several times, and there was no Dawn.


That and the notion that the monks could actually create a human. (Had a problem both with Ben's existence and humanity, and with his ending.) I kept waiting for the Dawn thing to get cleared up, and everyone to get their memories back, as I had experienced things with them.

I'm mostly over that, now.

Also, didn't like the back-stories for Angel or Spike. The Spike history didn't ring true for me. (Actually, I'd built up some ideas that completely did NOT mesh.)

Although I still like my versions more, I've come to accept the recieved versions.
DaddyCatALSO: "filops QuoterGal; my comment on Buffy staying huamn while the cave guys didn't is still there above and you've gotten me miffed that you didn't notice it, I must say :-)."

O Dearest DaddyCatALSO, what can I say to make up for my horrible omission? I swear, first I saw it, then I didn't, and then I did again. But there ican be no forgiveness, I know...

It must be that either that (alleged) selective vision/hearing thing that I'm always being accused of - or maybe the inevitable dimming of my aging senses - but whatever the cause, I suck bigtime, and O the shame, the utter shame of it all. Ritual suicide appears to be the only way out.

Goodbye, goodbye... do not cry for me when I'm gone. And please... cremate this with me.


*falls lifeless to the ground, clutching a copy of Buffy Season Four.*
Haha Electricgirl, thank you for posting that quote, I looked up that scene online and got a kick watching it again. Buffy in those pajamas was priceless. I'd post the link but I'm not sure about the rules for doing so in the comments section.

LKW, in response to not liking Superstar because Buffy was pushed to the side, that was the whole point! :) In Jonathan's world she was lesser then him, BUT because she is the slayer, she mustered up enough Buffyness to become who she really is. Watch it again and see how she struggles over her subpar-ness. She knows the universe isn't as it should be. Plus Jonathan as her confidant helps her resolve the Faith-sleeping-with-Riley-in-Buffy's-Body Issue. Still very much about Buffy, but only not.

And lastly, I apologize for my italic goof, I'm new to the board and while I feel emphatic about Buffy, I don't believe we should all speak in italics all the time. Thank you for the edit.
138 comments? Wow! We need to get lives. I'm so not reading all the comments. I'm sure they are entertaining, but my ass is tired.

Worst episode for me has to be I Robot...You Jane. I actually kind of liked Beer Bad, shrug. I'm sure SMG had fun :)
"Seeing Red" is heartbreaking but brilliant.

But it's no "Dead Things".
Beer Bad - Good!

It liked the episode. Very memorable. But then I know I plan to rewatch them all. Maybe even with a beer in hand for a few of them. :~)
I'd rather see Beer Bad than any of the Giles-lite seasons, but that's just me.
Medusachick: "And lastly, I apologize for my italic goof, I'm new to the board and while I feel emphatic about Buffy, I don't believe we should all speak in italics all the time. Thank you for the edit."

Just so you don't feel alone alone in your wrongness, Medusachick, I apparently once coded something so bizarrely that whedonesque and all its whedonian inhabitants were sent spiralling through a space wormhole and couldn't return until Simon edited my post. The original coding is no longer there, but my memory of it is indelible.
The first time I saw “Beer Bad,” I was disappointed with it. I remember warning my daughter as we were watching the season together that it wasn’t the best of Buffy. Then I watched it for the second time and really enjoyed it.

I loved Buffy’s Technicolor daydream with Parker pursuing her in cheesy romance novel fashion. I enjoyed Oz and Willow and appreciated the foreshadowing with Veruca. I adored Willow’s wide-eyed interaction with Parker and the way she set him up with her sweet smile and then lowered the boom with, “Just how gullible do you think I am?” Awesome! I love that moment nearly as much as Buffy bopping Parker on the head.

Every episode of Buffy contains something of worth: character development, the furthering of the story arc, a great visual, evocative music, marvelous continuity, a delicious inside joke, or, my personal favorite, intelligent dialogue.
DaddyCatALSO, you're absolutely right, I apologize. I'd been through the thread, searched "prosthetic" and "makeup," and missed your comment. Thanks, and sorry.
QuoterGal, filops ; Hey, you folks on this forum (unlike some other sites I've gone to longer) just don't know how to deal with an egotist like me yet :-).
Tehabwa asked:
I'm also surprised to see mention in this thread of the one I think of as the "Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan" one. Is it people don't like the whole alt. reality thing? (What if there were no shrimp?)

No, I really liked the alternative reality concept. I also did really like Buffy's insucurity, but for me the weak solution ruined the episode. It didn't made any sense to me and felt very much like the kind of tv Buffy was supposed to make fun of, like Voyager and Charmed.

BTW Tehabwa you said a lot of things I completely agree with. Especially the part about the disconnect Dawns appearance caused is very recognisable. And I too like Normal Again and don't get how people can hate it and found Him to be very funny.

And bojojoti you got everything right about the good stuff in Beer Bad.
It just thrills me that we still get so passionate about BtS, who would have thought that this thread would generate umpty-gazillion comments.
The episodes that I'm most surprised to see on any "worst" list are the brilliant, witty and perfectly paced Pangs, as well as the compelling Normal Again.
I hated Doublemeat Palace the first time I watched it, but I came around to really appreciating it for the message about fast food joints & how they can kill you both literally and in spirit. And because I'm a vegetarian, I loved the irony of finding out what was really in the doublemeat burgers :)

crossoverman, your comment gets my personal high-five:
"Seeing Red is heartbreaking but brilliant. But it's no Dead Things." Word of words :)
Thanks, Shey.

Someone has Normal Again on their worst list? Bizarre. It's so brilliant for so many reasons!
Actually, many people have it on their "worst of" - or, "least excellent" - lists, some of the reasons for which are articulated in this very thread :)

Just to tidy up/clarify my "Deep Space Nine" mention earlier: there were actually two episodes in which Captain Sisko had visions that his Star Trek existence was imaginary. In the first, probably more acclaimed episode, he believed that he was a science fiction writer in the 1940s (50s?), with increasingly compelling flashes of this fantastic future. It wasn't actually until during the two-part seventh season premiere, sometime later, that he received visions of this writer version of himself instituionalized for believing these "delusions" of his life in space.
hey dispatch,
I wrote the article, and I've seen every episode at least five times. Buffy's "demons" manifesting into actual demons may be a central theme of the show, but it's usually handled in a graceful, moving and/or witty way. Beer Bad sucks bad eggs. It's just a clunky way of handling a generally successful concept.
Yo, Groo!

Thanks. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

Wow! Interesting how long this thread's gone on after falling off the front page.

Especially considering that it's about the WEAKEST eps of something most us us love (hi, there Firefly-Fans-Who-Don't-Dig-Buff!).

I would (if anyone's still reading) encourage those who haven't seen some eps for a really long time to give them another chance next time you go through it. You never know.

Maybe I'll start a thread on worsts or flaws on the other whedonesque site -- the discussiony one. It's been interesting.

If only I knew which titles referred to which eps!

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