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April 16 2008

Buffy Season 2 - One of the Best 15 Seasons of the Past 20 Years. In a new series at Pajiba, Stacey Nosek says "...it was just the right combination of fun and drama; of humor and heartache; of quips and jolts not to mention the bang-up writing which made it the most stellar freaking season in an overall stellar freaking series."

The review is lots of fun and perhaps a bit biased against Riley and Dawn. ;-) So far there are only 6 seasons reviewed: Arrested Development S2, Six Feet Under S1, The West Wing S2, The Larry Sanders Show S5, Farscape S3, and Buffy S2. Pretty good company that also leaves plenty of room for both Angel and Firefly. I definitely plan on keeping an eye on Pajiba in the hopes we see them there. And I'm glad they're not putting them in any kind of order (so far), makes the list seem more inclusive than competitive.

Edited: Stupid title for forgetting season :(

[ edited by cabri on 2008-04-16 09:50 ]

Season 2 is what got me hooked on the Jossverse (previously I had walked out of Alien 4 at the cinema and thought the Buffy movie was rubbish). I watched it on a tiny telly when it was on BBC2 and was in awe of the epic plot arcs and acting. And the last ten minutes of Becoming Part 2 left me a gibbering wreck.

I still have a small crush on Jenny and Drusilla.
I have to agree with the greatness of seaosn two, where Buffy came of age as a show and character, although I do give season three a slight edge for Best Season Ever. While season two started with hope and ended with hopelessness, season three started with our Slayer resigned to a dead-end life and finished with hopes for the future, even if someone dear won't be part of it. Also, it had Faith and the bestest Big Bad ever.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2008-04-16 10:20 ]
You need a 'ship name for it to be a real crush Simon. Fralandilla ? Sicadru ?

Season 2 is where it hit its stride (it's like Next Generation season 3 though, unlike Next Gen, Buffy season 1 was also pretty decent) but I think Buffy S3 is still my favourite, not least because of the great season finale.

Farscape's a tougher call. Wouldn't be season 1 because that show took a while to get good IMO (though the finale is brilliant) but S2 had some great, dark episodes (like "The Way We Weren't") and S4 was also excellent if arguably a bit more "experimental". When people talk about great character arcs John Crichton gets unfairly overlooked IMO - he went from a fairly happy-go-lucky, upbeat guy to a borderline psychotic over the course of the four years, his experiences definitely took a toll.
Re Farscape S3, I completely agree that it was a great season. I was devastated when . It was confusing and upsetting and absolutely superb writing. It gave me the same kind of heeby jeebies as I get from "Normal Again", where thinking just does you wrong.
I'd have to go with S3 over S2 - the mayor, Faith, Giles fired, Angel leaving, the big battle at the end, Willow and Xander smoochies, Giles and Joyce smoochies, Vamp Willow... too... much... quality - but S2 got me into it in the first place, so fair play.
I didn't even realize how many of my favorite episodes were in S2 until I looked at the episode list just now. It's full of them. I think I've watched Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered about 7 times already. It also has some of those stand alone eps that are reminiscent of S1. Those stand alones still exist in the later years, but were never as bizarre as those early seasons (Bad Eggs, Ted, Go Fish).

The weakest point of S2, for me, is actually the 2 episode climax. I know Becoming parts 1 and 2 are are a lot of people's favorites, but I really can't stand them, to the point that I actually skip them when I watch Buffy beginning to end. They feel melodramatic-- and, ironically, some of the melodrama that sticks out the most for me is Seth Green voiceovers-- which is ironic cause his voice is the opposite of that everywhere else.

Still, this makes me want to rewatch S2. I think I'm gonna. So many great eps. Passion. Halloween. Surprise. I Only Have Eyes For You, one of my all time favorites. Phases. Innocence.

Awesome season.
Hey,cool- I can pick up my discussion from the S6-7 post and move it here! :-) (I won't, really!). But she does touch on someof my concerns, and also reminds how much I love this season. Though S4 remains my main fave.
We didn't get into Buffy till the 6th season was running...my wife caught up with FX reruns, and we bought contraband VHS tapes on eBay, because you couldn't get them otherwise, and we didn't have a DVD player yet (and only the first season was out on DVD). Come to think of it, the reason we bought our first DVD player was Buffy.

I was away on business when she watched Becoming I and II without me...she called me...told me I HAD to get home to watch it..."gibbering wreck" is precisely accurate, Simon. Hell, I'm trembling right now thinking about it.
Just finished re-watching Season 2 again (incl. requisite blubbering over Becoming 1 & 2), so right now Season 3 is my favorite because I'm looking forward to the Mayor and Faith and Band Candy and Prom. And the Mayor. I really love the Mayor.

But Season 3 isn't always my favorite. I was trying to figure it out while reading the Season 6 & 7 thread--if I were stranded on a desert isle (with a DVD player) and could only take 1 season of Buffy...I couldn't decide. It feels like tearing out one chapter of a book.
I don't watch Surprise/Innocence and Becoming I/II very often because I still get shaken up by them. It's easy to say Season 2 was the best. But when you've got high quality pretty much all the way through, we've got an embarrassment of riches.
Chris inVirginia, I did that exact same thing! I caught an FX marathon one Thanksgiving (man, I miss those!), spent about 6 hours ignoring my family because my eyes had been opened to a revelatory place, and then started watching it on FX.

I still have those old EBay tapes of Buffy/Angel lying around somewhere.

And for sure, Season Two. Three is easily as good, but 2 is where it really began.
I've often said that Season 2 should be hung on the wall of a museum somewhere and shown, start to finish, as a piece of art. It might not be to everyone's tastes, but for me it is epic, while still being the fun, campy show I love. It's Buffy at her best, and from sledgehammers to rocket launchers to sword fights, she will never be as sure of herself and so purely heroic again. It's also the season that, to me, is most relatable; it's as mandatory post-breakup for me as a Fiona Apple CD. You've also got the introduction of Spike, who I don't think is ever as cool again either. And Angelus! The three main characters will never again be as closely knit as they were this year; the finale predicted their eventual schism so realistically. The heartbreak at the end had me sobbing on the floor the way I never had from a TV show before and never have since, and I was so, so proud of her. Great things were, of course, still to come, but all I could say after the end of two was "wow."
Season 2 is a fabulous season. For me, it rivals season 3 as being the best. I've always thought it was the best arc of the show and was one of the few seasons that had a lot of episodes that can be considered the best of all seasons. The team of Angelus, Dru, & Spike were wonderfully evil and the intro of Angelus in Surprise/Innocence still gives me chills. And it's hard to beat Becoming I & II. I still can't watch the ending of Becoming II without getting weepy. Great season. Just thinking about that year, makes me want to watch the season again, which I haven't done in quite awhile.
Season Two is easily my most watched and with my favourite episodes. And yes, the finale has me rocking on my knees in distress every single time.

But I could never choose it as my all time favourite. Not over Season 5 and 6. Or 1, 3 and 7 for that matter. But it is television at its very best.

Innocence, Passion, Becoming... and that's just the quality angst.
Season two, especially from (trying to pick an episode, gives up) the beginning, is may be best twenty hours of television I've ever watched, and I've watched far, far too much television. My wife (who was an English major) has been known to compare it, favorably, to Shakespeare. The worst of Buffy was usually better than anything else on the tube, and the best of Buffy is pure delight.

And the arc Becoming I / Becoming II / Anne is its own special treat.
Ya Season 2 all the way. The Angelus arc is one of the best things Buffy ever did.(literally:)) I suppose maybe season 2 has the best arc,which kind of makes it the best season, but Season 4 has the best individual episodes, but the worst arc - go figure!

And for my part Angel season 2 should have been in there as well. One of the best runs on either show was from episode 5 (Dear Boy) to episode 16 (Epiphany). (Love love love the Darla arc) Really should have been included as well.
There are 9 more entries coming, angeliclestat; hopefully we'll see both Angel and Firefly listed before they're through. :)
Season 2 was my favorite season of Buffy for sure. Angelus? Greatest. Big. Bad. Ever. Season 3 was great as well (The Mayor is a far second for best Big Bad), but I think everything just clicked for me in Season 2.

As for Angel, I can't pick a season to be the best. It's like trying to pick one delicious apple out of a barrel of delicious apples. Each season has something great about it, along with a flaw of some kind (like Buffy).
Ah yes cabri- I didnt notice that, just presumed the list was complete:) I have no doubt Angel will get in there too! And hopefully Firefly.
Due to limited availability of the show in my area at the time, the first episode of Buffy I was able to see was Becoming Pt II. And what an excellent introduction it was. (Well, I had some idea of what was going on on the show from TV Guide close-ups and such; but, for a first actual exposure - what an ep.)

Still, personally, I'd probably list three to five other seasons of BtVS ahead of season 2... But, it would still easily make my own list of fifteen best seasons of television :)

[ edited by LKW on 2008-04-16 20:21 ]
Same here. When I first heard that there would be a "Buffy" television series, I just rolled my eyes and thought, "Yeah, that's going to last!" Then, on a quiet night when I was bored to tears, my restless thumb on the remote stumbled upon "Becoming".

The rest is history.
I tell people that Buffy was terrific right out of the chute, had some excellent episodes during the first season along with a few lesser ones, but that the final episode, Prophesy Girl, just ratcheted the show into the stratosphere...and Season 2 starts where Season 1 left off and just keeps climbing.
Gotta say I agree with this. Season 2 is definitely one of my fave seasons.
I go back and forth on my favourite season a lot; I think season five wins right now. Still, season 2 is where Buffy found itself in a big way, and contains a lot of the all-time greats.

I also really applaud the choice of "Arrested Development" season two. Truly one of the most densely packed comedy shows ever.

Other best seasons of the past twenty years I can think of:

- either season of the UK Office (but probably season two)
- season four (maybe?) of The Simpsons
- season seven (maybe?) of South Park (I'm picking that one because of the Jennifer Lopez episode, mostly)
- season six (maybe?) of Seinfeld
- season three of Angel
- season one of Veronica Mars
- either season of Dexter
- some season of Frasier
- maybe one of the early seasons of The X-Files--been too long for me to be sure
- season two or three of BSG
- Firefly

I'd suggest season four or five or six, maybe, of TNG, but I don't think any Star Trek season had anywhere near the consistency of, say, any season of Buffy or Angel.
I agree with Angel 3 and VM 1, but I'm not sure I'd pick BSG 2 or 3. I haven't really decided how I feel about them, but I thought 3's starting point was a tough spot to get out of.
One word "innocence"...

Genders reversed, but it mirrored my life for a while. Love watching buffy's heart break. Actually love all the buffy/angel interaction in 2 and 3.

Probably think overall 3 is my fave just...
Season two is nowhere near my favorite BtS season, and it's still one of the best things ever on TV. And it does have a few of my favorite eps, Passion and Becoming (both parts) among them. I'm firmly in the "blubbering" camp for the end of pt2.

Three episode ending still make me cry. Becoming pt2, Tabula Rasa and Grave (the Willow/Xander part, not the Buffy/Dawn part).
It's hard to pick between Season 2 and 3, though Season 2 showed me what great television was, and Season 3 raised the bar on that.

In S2, I was right along for the ride from the moment Buffy asked "Miss me?" By S3, I'd realized that Joss would just pull my beating heart from my chest and stomp it into the ground.

I still remember the break between Seasons 2 and 3- I went to France for the Summer, drank lots of red wine and wandered around the Louvre completely heartbroken about what had happened in 'Becoming.' (I tried to smoke gauloises to complete the cliche, but all they did was make me cough.)

I think that was when the fandom really gelled for me- there was the online community, all consoling and pulling each other through the pain. Well, that and lots of retail therapy in Paris.
Aaah, good times.
Don't forget a beret or a polo neck jumper.

(went through a phase of smoking Gauloise filterless which probably took about a year off my life. Per cigarette ;)
They're like smoking cigars. Serious lung busters.
Yeah but you can't beat that toasted tobacco taste. They went well with a pint of Guinness.

(aside from the stink and chronic hacking cough it was seeing the state of the stub afterwards that finally turned me off 'em. Wasn't that long a mental journey to wonder "If all that tar and oil is still there now, how much actually made it into my lungs ?")
Off-topic but i am just so tired of (and have lost the ability to block it out anymore) the language everybody in the world insists on using anymore. I really should have been born 100 years ago. Make it 120.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-04-17 17:46 ]
Honestly, I cry at every episode.
Yeah, to be honest I think I might retract season two or three of BSG. It's a great show but I don't think it's knocked any complete season out of the park (to the same degree as Buffy season two or three or five). Maybe season four will shape up? We'll see.
I think it is fair to pick Season 2 as the "best" season while it is only my second favorite. It was well constructed, accessible, and touched an awful lot of people.

Again I just wish people would stop loudly saying that "fans agree" that the first 3 or 5 seasons were the best and using essays about the greatness of season 2 to trash the later seasons.

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