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June 15 2009

Buffy and Angel make TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes of All Time. Angel's "I Will Remember You" comes in at #78, and Buffy's "Once More, With Feeling" clocks in #14.

The link for Buffy's standing is not available online yet, but it is featured in the magazine. I'll post it here as soon as it goes up.

Let's see how many commments this generates.

I remember watching "OMWF" and immediately saying "Best Ep Ever!" But it hasn't aged well for me. I would have liked to see something like "Becoming" or "Hush" or "Restless" or "The Body" or "Innocence" get the Buffy nod.

As for Angel, personally I would rather see multiple Buffy episodes before an Angel ep, but if I were picking it would probably be something like "Reunion" or "Not Fade Away," or "Sleep Tight" or "The Magic Bullet" or "5 x 5" or "Sanctuary." "I Will Remember You" was one of the better season one episodes, but not one of the best ever in my opinion.
I'm with you bonzob on rather having Becoming, Hush, The Body, or Innocence in the place of OMWF. I've never been a fan of the musical so of course that wouldn't be my pick for Buffy's best ep. Definitely Becoming or Innocence deserve that spot.
I'm delighted when I trip over a Buffy, Angel, or especially Firefly / Serenity reference out in the word stew. But, does anyone else also resonate to the item at the top of that page?

City on the Edge of Forever holds up remarkably well, and Harlan Ellison is one of my favorite authors. While Ellison is infamous for being several kinds of jerk, he is in some ways similar to Mr. Whedon as a writer of fiction. Both use fantastic settings to more pointedly ask questions about here and now.
Agreed. I always had a problem with people ranking OMWF as the best buffy ep ever. I don't know if it's even in my top five. With that's still excellent.
These lists aren't very interesting to me. But I always wonder what criteria is used to come up with them. Are they only based on someone's subjective likes/dislikes, or are the winners chosen with any real sense of discernment? I'm very fond of I Will Remember You, but these are supposed to be the Top 100 episodes of all time. OMWF is memorable. but next to The Body, Hush, even Earshot, the lustre pales.

I rewatched Dr. Horrible's S-A-B over the weekend on Hulu and then watched some Joss interviews that popped up. It made me think about the process of deciding what is important to you in terms of art and refinement when he responded to the question, "What is your favorite episode of Angel?" (or words to that effect) The answer was Darla, written and directed by Tim Minear. A short answer, but a good answer, nonetheless. You can hear why Here.
I think the high rating for OMWF was well deserved. The music was amazing and the way the songs were used to bring out various significant plot points and relationship issues, made it far more than a "novelty" ep.
Of course I'd personally like to see three or four more Buffy eps on the list, but that's kinda unrealistic. So I'm happy with OMWF.

As for IWRY, it's one of my least favorite Angel eps, so I can think of a dozen others I'd rather see on the list. Just in season one: Five by Five, Sanctuary, In the Dark.
Also loved Joss's choice, Darla (thanks for the link, Tonya J.
AYNOHYEB ;), Reunion, Sleep Tight, Forgiving, A Hole in the World ..., & that's just off the top of my head.

Now I have to buy a TV Guide mag. because I'm curious and can only see the two pages that are linked. I guess I could sign up. :(
Yeah, I'm not one to put the musical so high up on best of Buffy lists. Yes it was great, but the best episode of Buffy; not so much. After all this time, Becoming still ranks at the top for me.
I disagree with both. I love both episodes but I don't think either is the best episode of both shows.

Personally my favourite Btvs episode is Passion, so I'd put that at number one. If it wasn't Passion I'd pick Innocence, Becoming, Dopplegangland, Prophecy Girl or The Gift next.

For Angel it would have to be something from the s2 arc. Maybe Reprise, or Reunion ect.
I'd have to say "Restless" is still my favorite, although I don't expect anyone to agree with me. (Although it would be cool if some people did. We could form a club!)

In terms of episodes that have the most emotional impact on me... "The Body" and "Surprise." Yeah, "Surprise." It's the anticipation, and even after all these years I find myself thinking, "If only if it hadn't been raining. If only Buffy hadn't gotten cut. If only Angel had gotten out of town in time..." The payoff is the bedroom scene in "Innocence," of course, which is still a knife in the gut, but it's that countdown to the alley that gets me every time.

All that said, I could never make a top five list without OMWF, even if it never reached the top. And while "I Will Remember You" is very bittersweet indeed, it's sort of the "Titanic" of the Buffyverse. Doomed love! Just moments left! Occasionally the Buffy/Angel angst can gag me, odd as that seems next to my comments above...

[ edited by ManEnoughToAdmitIt on 2009-06-16 05:56 ]
Any time I watch Becoming, The Body, Restless, or OMWF, I think, "How can anything be better than this?" ANYTHING. If I could, I'd rank them all as tied for #1 of my favorite eps of Buffy, and of all television. But forced to choose, it's Becoming. I love every second of it, but the last 5 minutes shatters me every single time.

Is that good enough to join the club, ManEnough? :)

I have to agree with you guys about Angel. I actually really like I Will Remember You, but I'd have to go with A Hole In The World or Reunion.
Restless was my fave for years, but has moved down a bit. So I could have been in the club, if you'd just started it sooner!
Restless has never left my top five, I can say that much.
IWRY is probably the Buffy-only fan's favorite Angel episode. OMWF is... immediately good, and better with context. Both are accessible to people who've never watched the series, if not the best intros to either series.

Hush or The Body depend too much on existing relationships. Can you imagine Anya's speech if you didn't know her self-serving, greedy persona? Or the awkwardness of the Buffy/Riley silent teamup without the previous build up? Ditto with Surprise/Innocence or Becoming Part 2: too much context needed to fully appreciate their genius. Restless, context or no, is just too weird to ever get picked for such a magazine list.
They're both standard answers, but The Body and Restless are both so spectacular it's hard to not give them the nod as my favorites from Buffy. There are few episodes of anything that affect me as much as those two.

The Angel choice is horrible. It's a middling episode of the horrible first season of Angel, and it's shameless pandering to Buffy/Angel shippers. There are so many better options, most from the fifth season. You're Welcome, A Hole in the World/Shells, and Not Fade Away are absolutely flawless in my mind. The third and fourth seasons are full of fantasticness, but they're so arc-heavy that it's hard to focus on single episodes. Although season five remains probably my favorite season of television period, the 11 or 12 arc episodes of season three are without peer.
I'll happily nominate "OMWF" as the best BtVS episode, even if sometimes I'd prefer to watch a different one. "Hasn't aged well"? Watching it on the big screen at the Reunion last year, in front of an audience containing at least a few people who clearly had never seen it before, I thought it looked and sounded better than ever. It was funny, heroic, and moving. And the songs were even more wonderful.

(And "IRWY" is also one of my favorite AtS episodes, - my very favorite would probably be "A Hole in the World," which is sheer poetry, - but since I'm not the biggest fan of the show, I'm content to let others debate that one.)
While I stand by "hasn't aged well," I would say OMWF is still in my top ten to fifteen eps ever, just not number one.

In a weird way I think Dr. Horrible made it look worse -- the songs (in Dr. H) were all better, the actors could all actually sing, and it didn't need to work around an existing show to explain why it was a musical, it could just BE a musical.
I much prefer the Buffy Musical to Dr. Horrible, though I think NPH is brilliant in it.
I don't know if it's my favorite, but it would have to be close.
There's just too many for me to even pick a favorite, Fool for Love, The Gift, Something Blue, Lovers Walk. On and on. I could do this forever.

I Will Remember You did have an emotional impact, but from the point of view of it being Angel's show, it is certainly not representative nor the best.
My favorites in Angel are that whole set of episodes from Darla getting revamped by Dru, to locking the lawyers in. Dru and Darla together were magic. Dark magic sure, but magic.

Also loved Destiny in season five.
Maybe OMWF isnt the best Buffy episode but I get why it has a place on a list like that. Unlike many of the realy good Buffy eps OMWF is an ep that catches even non Buffy viewers. I even snared some friends of mine into Buffy fandom by bringing the OMWF cd on a road trip.

Im totaly with the Angel choice. IWRY is more than a "shameless pandering to B/A shippers" its amazing, and as bonus its quite in line with their characters as well. And one of the sadest and most well acted episodes around. Makes me cry like a baby every time.
See I think something like Hush is much more likely to snare non-Buffy-ites than the musical. I still cringe when Tara and Willow are shooting up those Disney-esque magic sparkles at each other during "Under Your Spell." I can't imagine how someone who didn't know/like the show would feel.

There are many fan favorites, but really the only other episodes that legitimately had a shot of making a mainstream list like this TV guide one are Hush and The Body. Along with OMWF, they are all experimental/original, all fairly standalone, and all were heaped with critical praise. Not to mention, Hush got the series' only writing Emmy nomination. Of those three episodes, I felt OMWF was the weakest. But that's very good company to be in.
I loved IWRY- while not in any way the best ever episode, it wrapped up the B/A story in a manner that allowed both characters to move on in their separate shows. It never normally seems to get mentioned on any lists, but I do remember it being voted the all-time fan favourite episode in an old 'Angel' magazine survey.

And OMWF was a work of genius- but it's best compared and contrasted in the context of S6 and not viewed as a standalone. The way that music and lyrics were used to present us with converging storylines and the establishment of new complications keeps what could have been a 'gimmick' extraordinarily fresh, especially when contrasted with the unspoken world of 'Hush'.

OMWF is the kind of episode that makes me wish that I WASN'T a fan, as I'd love to discover it afresh...still I've never sung along in a room full of people before, so look forward to SDCC!
Hasn't aged well? that makes no sense at all.
OMWF is still genius. It's one of the three Buffy episodes that I can't choose a favourite from. The others are Becoming Part II and Restless. All brilliant
I Will Remember You is a fantastic piece of television and one that is overlooked these days, it's the greatest Buffy episode never made.
I think we're all so used to OMWF that we don't quite realize how risky, how remarkable it is. The presence of the cute-but-forgettable Scrubs musical episode on TV Guide's list underscores what OMWF did: not only did it bring in musical styles to suit the characters (which lots of shows did), but did so in a way that actually furthered the characters, pushed the show's visual boundaries, and layered so much subtext while also speaking about the art of the musical itself. There's no denying that "hush" is a fantastic episode, for example, but it still mostly has our characters reacting to a new setting, in extremely memorable ways, whereas OMWF actually has the characters both react and tear their guts out in multiple layers at once. The creepy subtext in Tara's song about Willow's magic, Spike's rock anthem that is literally and figuratively about his own death, Buffy singing to the Scoobies about how little threats matter and the song works both as an inspirational song and one of loss of hope, the metatextuality of a demon making the characters sing to their own death (Joss). I think it's less "perfect" than "Becoming" or "Restless" or "The Gift" or "hush" but I honestly don't think any of them had to accomplish what this one did and still be gloriously entertaining. Yes, I don't quite worship it the same way as I used to, but I also have seen it so many times that I know it, including the dialogue sections (and most of the overlapping dialogue!) by heart and some sections shot by shot. The show's musical weaknesses (and the one major issue of Xander's summoning the demon never being dealt with, presumably meant to be another indication of the Scoobies' moral decay in the season, culminating in Willow's apocalypse, but coming off weird in spite of the delightful "protesting too much" scenes early in the piece) are kind of insignificant when you consider what this set out to do AND DID. And I do think Dr. h is better as a one-off, but it didn't have the double-edged sword of having to work with the Buffy cast and mythos--but which, for its negative aspects, brought a whole lot more to the table.

That said--"The Body" is still better. :)

On the other hand, I've never liked "I Will Remember You." It's heartbreaking in such a mechanical way, like the ticking of a clock, and yes that's the point and all but it feels so lifeless, inorganic, inauthentic compared to the other Buffy/Angel headline episodes--and compared to the off-the-wall inventiveness of Angel's best, like "Darla" or or "Lullaby" or "Not Fade Away."

As to the overall list (here:, it's not really very interesting. Is it just me, or is "Diversity Day" unimaginably overrated, an episode with a few memorable moments but well before "The Office" (the American one at least) hit its stride in the least? And the "Lost" pilot is certainly very well directed, with a bravura introductory sequence, but a lot of it is unmemorable, with flat, silly characterizations. "Nixon vs. Kennedy" seems to me to be averageMad Men--fantastic, of course, but not the most remarkable episode. And "Blood on the Scales" is the best BSG ever, really? (I concede that the last scenes, particularly the one between Gaeta and Baltar is one of the series' best, but...really?)

And of course several classic episodes aren't actually that good. Anyone watched The Odd Couple's "Password" lately? Mildly amusing, with a side of "isn't this supposed to be better?"

Some of the not unexpected choices are still legit though, like "Development Arrested," "The British Invasion" from Dexter, the two Star Trek episodes, house's "Three Stories," Mash's "Abyssynia, henry," heroes' "Company Man," (which I don't think is good enough to be on a top 100 of all time list but is that show's high-water mark). Seinfeld's "The Contest" and Mary Tyler Moore's "Chuckles Bites the Dust" are probably fine (I haven't seen either in a while).

So in conclusion: meh.

Some of my picks, btw (not in order):

"Buffy": The Body (runners-up: OMWF, Restless, The Gift, Becoming Part 2, The Zeppo, Innocence, Fool For Love)
"Angel": Lullaby (runners-up: Darla, Waiting in the Wings, Not Fade Away)
"Firefly": Out of Gas (runners-up: Objects in Space, Serenity [episode])
"Star Trek: TNG": Darmok (runner-up: BOBW part 1)
"Star Trek": City on the Edge of Forever
"The Office" (UK): season two finale (runner-up: season one episode four--with the guitar!)
"The Office" (US): Goodbye, Toby (runner-up: The Job)
"Battlestar Galactica": Exodus Part 2 (runner-up: Jane E.'s The hub)
"Arrested Development": Good Grief (runners-up: Motherboy XXX, Righteous Brothers, SOBs, Development Arrested)
"The Simpsons": Last Exit to Springfield (runners-up: Cape Feare, A Streetcar Named Marge, a few dozen others)
"Seinfeld": The Boyfriend (runner-up: The Contest)
"Frasier": ham Radio
"Lost": The Constant
"Mad Men": Meditations in an Emergency (runner-up: The Wheel)
"Mary Tyler Moore": Chuckles Bites the Dust
"Mash": The Interview (runners-up: Abyssynia henry, Movie Tonight, Inga)
"house": Three Stories (runner-up: Autopsy)
"Dexter": Born Free (runner-up: The British Invasion)
"Flight of the Conchords": Sally (pilot ep.)--best song selection, mainly
"Dollhouse": A Spy in the house of Love (runner-up: Man on the Street)
"Veronica Mars": An Echolls Family Christmas (runner-up: Rat Saw God, and not because of Joss' cameo, mostly)
"South Park": Fat Butt and Pancake head (the J-Lo episode) (runners-up: Good Times with Weapons, Cartman Joins NAMBLA)
"Fawlty Towers": The Germans (standard pick, but so quotable)

I can't think of any favourites of other shows I like (e.g. "All in the Family," "30 Rock") though I feel some episodes would deserve to be on there.

Well, got that off my chest....
And "Blood on the Scales" is the best BSG ever, really?

Is that the Gaeta rebellion episode? Cos if so I think it's a great pick. Bloody brilliant episode, I thought
Well, it's the second half--and things just...end, far too quickly for my tastes. The issues that the rebellion is about are mostly not dealt with, and that's not entirely the fault of the episode, but it doesn't help. I find the first part--"The Oath"--more interesting and satisfying, overall. But as I said, the Gaeta/Baltar scene is amazing and gives me chills.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I found it thrilling and very, very moving

Back on the topic of OMWF my only real criticism of it is that Spike's song is nowhere near rock enough. I think his song should have been more like the Sex Pistols or The Clas
Re. BSG: Blood on the Scales? A great ep, but for this series, it wouldn't even make my top ten. I'm anticipating the joy of a total re-watch, then i'll have a better idea of what holds up best for me.
But I think my "favorite" will end up being be the last three, because I already rate it/them as the best series finale ever. And definitely The Hub, Kobol's Last Gleaming pts 1&2, Lay Down Your Burdens, especially pt2, Unfinished Business, Revelations. I'd rate all those higher than Blood on the Scales.

I Will Remember You is a fantastic piece of television and one that is overlooked these days, it's the greatest Buffy episode never made.
Simon | June 16, 08:45 CET

Simon, that was great (didn't want to leave you in "nobody gets my humor" land). ;)
OMWF was a fantastic episode, but not my most favourite. There are many (e.g. Passion, Surprise/Innocence, The Body, Becoming Part II, the Gift, Angel, Chosen, Hush) that were better. IWRY though, is probably my favourite Angel eppy of all time, and my most hated - made me cry so much! Though I also love A Hole in the World, Sanctuary, City of, Souless, Forgiving, NFA, SMILE TIME!
Once more with feeling is definitely one of my favorite Buffy episodes, it pretty much has everything.
I will remember you is one of my least favorite Angel episodes, never been much of a shipper and i hold no emotional connection to Buffy/Angel so this episode is basiclly just a waste of time for me.
The quality of the episodes just skyrockets in the latter seasons of Angel, especially in season5 which has so many good episodes.
Like Let Down I've three Buffy eps that I can't choose a favourite from, but for me they're Hush, The Body and Once More with Feeling.

Interesting how different episodes age well for different persons. I have just rewatched the whole of Buffy and for me Once More With Feeling was one of the episodes that held up best. For me the more comedic episodes stay fresh, while the more dramatic once tend to loose some of their power. That's even the case with the close to perfect The Body. And the musical experiment retained a lot more of its appeal than the silence of Hush.

I still love episodes like "Becoming", "Innocence", "Hush", but that's mostly because of the impact they had the first time I watched them. They lost a lot of their appeal to me this time around. Things like Whistlers (idiotic) "Wrong kid, you have one more thing" comment tended to bother me a lot more than they did the first time around, while the brilliant and surprising dramatic twists, like those in Becomming p.2: Spike becomming good, Joyce finding out about Buffy, throwing Buffy out of the house, the police looking for Buffy, etc. lost a lot of their impact.

So while I agree The Body or Hush might be even better episodes than Once More with Feeling, I don't agree they held up better over time and I do think all praise for OMWF is justified.

I've never been a fan of the Gift, it's always been a bit gimmicky to me, but but that might be because I already knew Buffy was going to die and be revived afterwards again, going in.

I agree with most of you that while I Will Remember You was a great episode, Angel had loads of better ones (especially in s2/3) like: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, Darla, Reunion, Offspring,Lullaby, Waiting in the Wings, Loyalty, Sleep Tight and Not Fade Away.
Best of all time? The Body.
I'm with others, there are better Angel eps than "IWRY". However, most of them are history/character intensive, so if the purpose of a list like this is to snag new viewers, those eps would not be a good way to hook people.

Since they chose "OMWF" for Buffy, I'd pick "Smile Time" for Angel. Not necessarily the best ep, but one that could change people's minds about the series. Another example of an story idea that sounds ridiculous (or at least has high potential for "epic fail") where Mutant Enemy knocked it out of the park.
In spite of my rabid shipping preferences, "I Will Remember You" isn't my favorite Angel episode. It's actually tied for second with "You're Welcome", while first place goes to "The Trial". Beautiful emotional journey, killer twist at the end. Plus, Angel spends a good deal of that episode shirtless...

For Buffy, I'd probably have gone with "Hush", but "Amends" and "Restless" would have been close runners-up.

[ edited by Taaroko on 2009-06-16 14:31 ]
"OMWF" is wonderful

But I'd rate "Pangs", "Hush", "The Body" and "Fool For Love" up there with it (Though for the full whammy you need "Fool For Love"/"Darla")

"IWRY" Best AtS ep ever?

Nah, not even in the top twenty

It's too saccharine for my tastes; plus Angel making the choice for Buffy rubs me up the wrong way. I'd go with "A Hole In The World" or "Smile Time"

And there should be a special catagory for " Best opening scene ever" In which case "In The Dark" wins every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.
I love "Best of Buffy" threads. Makes me all nostalgia-y. And I love that we are all still so passionate about our favorites. Seems like there's about ten eps that we all tend to agree on, with a weird one thrown in (Bad Eggs, anyone? Horrible!) once in a while.
I love Once More With Feeling -- I was a Buffy latecomer (I fell in love with Firefly first), and OMWF was the first episode I ever really saw properly, at a screening in Oakland, California with several friends who loved the show -- really a perfect introduction!

And for Angel, I am a real sucker for The Girl in Question. I am almost always in the mood to watch it.
Who doesn't love a good "Best of Buffy" thread?

That being said, the article/list was not of the best Buffy episodes, but of the best TV episodes. And, I would submit that the best episode of Buffy may not be the same thing as the episode of Buffy that should be on a list of best TV episodes. OMWF is a great episode because it works for Buffy fans and for non-Buffy fans (whereas, presumably, the best Buffy episode, whatever you think it is (I could wtch "The Zeppo" all day...), appeals primarily to Buffy fans. OMWF is great because it shows how a TV episode can be great; though it was not the first musical episode, it was the best.

Oh, and WilliamTheB, "Diversity Day" is by no means overrated. It is a great episode and still, in my mind, the pinnacle of the
American "The Office."
I won't take sides ebcause I don't do numericalr atings, but lots of good comemntary here.

TVGuide did a simialr rating in the mid-90s. Er's "Love's LAbors Lost" came in @ # 1. I saw their piont but then NBC spoiled it with endless re-airings. You can't watch a thing like that that many times, it's too much the wrong kind of painful.

And yay for "Demon with the Glass Hand." Too bad Ellison and Culp never got anyone itneresting in a feature-length version.
"Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?" is the "Bad Eggs" of the Angel series. Sorry, but it was totally uncompelling.
Clearly there are indeed enough people for a "Restless = #1!" club. Sweet. So obviously our next move is to come up with a secret password. "Cheese" is too obvious, so I'd nominate "Gesturing emphatically," bonus points if you actually gesture.

Truth be told, though, I usually can't decide what's "best" because BtVS changes so much. I mean, the classic scene in "Prophecy Girl" tears the heart. So does "Dead Things," in a completely different way. Which is better? They both succeed quite well at what they set out to do. So usually I just rank "the best" season by season...

S1: Prophecy Girl (runner-up: Nightmares)
S2: Innocence (runners-up: Lie to Me, Becoming Pt. 2)
S3: Earshot (runners-up [a tight field here]: Graduation Day Pts. 1&2)
S4: Restless (Hush, the Initiative)
S5: Fool for Love (The Body, The Gift)
S6: Once More With Feeling (Tabula Rasa, Smashed/Wrecked)
S7: Conversations with Dead People (Selfless, Chosen)

So that's actually twenty episodes instead of seven... but hey, Joss's top ten list in the Chosen Collection had twelve, so I'm just following in the master's footsteps.
Joss's top ten list in the Chosen Collection had twelve

Oooh, never heard of that, can someone please post it?
It's in the little booklet that comes with the box set... which I happen to have sitting on my desk. This is actually a list of his ten twelve favorites that weren't shot by him.

1. The Pack
2. Ted
3. Passion
4. I Only Have Eyes for You
5. The Wish
6. The Zeppo
7. Earshot
8. Pangs
9. Fool for Love
10. Tabula Rasa
11. Selfless
12. Conversations with Dead People
Thx a lot, Rachelkachel! :)
I remember liking Joss' picks except for "Ted," which to doesn't find the right balance between meaningful character drama and robot fight and ends up very confused with some wonderful individual moments. (Maybe the episode was necessary in order for Buffy to grasp personal responsibility before Faith arrived and actually did kill someone; but having the show go THERE to Buffy as a potential murderer and then just drop it just hurts, even if police encuonters in "Becoming" and "Consequences" and "Dead Things" are maybe made a bit richer by it.) The man has good taste (mostly). My five other favourite non-Joss episodes I'd add would be "Lovers Walk," "New Moon Rising," "Intervention," "Dead Things" and "Storyteller."

And back to "Diversity Day": It's certainly a different mode than the rest of the American Office, more pure satire (with emotional resonance) than the sort of wacky sitcom (with emotional resonance). And I appreciate that, and parts of it work very well. The concept is great, as is Michael's plan to get his staff to "milk" the racism; but the execution seems a little too easy, too stiff. That slap of Kelly's is deserved, but doesn't come from a character yet--she had no personality until mid season two, which is somewhat true of the other writer-actors as well. (The UK Office didn't have much definition in the supporting players either, but didn't involve them as centrally in what was going on; I find it much funnier to have Oliver respond with embarrassment to David Brent's continual attempts to impress him with his racial open-mindedness than the more obvious, if deserved, violent reprisal.)

But I mean, the racial name tags were a great concept, and the bleakness of Jim losing his contract to still-just-a-monster-Dwight is nicely offset by his quiet moment with Pam ("It's been a good day"). Along with "Hot Girl" it's the high water mark of the first season, but I feel that the show, the cast, and the writers (including Novak) got to stretch out a lot more later.
I would be happier with IWRY as the best Angel choice if the Angel cast had actually had a real part in it. But they didn't. Buffy & Angel were spectacular, but it was a stolen moment, belonging to neither series.

If we're picking best episodes with their cast, then I don't think IWRY makes the cut.
Agreed on "Ted", WilliamTheB. It always felt cheap to me, the way everything was suddenly fine because it turned out he was a robot. But it's got some good stuff in there for sure.
I love IWRY but I do not believe it was the best of Angel. I will always love Not Fade Away the most but to appreciate it you can never start there. So I would have to say A Hole In The World, Angel season 5 was just simply amazing television. Hard to believe it's when Joss really took the reigns ;)
WilliamTheB, Having seen D-Day about twenty-odd times, I've gotta say I agree with you. Kelly doesn't have her "Valley Girl" persona yet (although I think I like her better without it), and I agree about the stiffness, though I always felt it was supposed to be that way. The squirmy discomfort is just par for the course with TO, both the British and American versions. Though of course, with the master Gervais in the lead, it takes it to the nth level.

People call Simon Pegg the Dudley Moore of this generation. As much as I adore Simon (and I really... no, I really do), what does that say for Ricky? I don't think I've ever watched an actor, or a comedian, as gifted with the instincts he has. He just automatically knows what's funny. Instantly, and every time. Has anyone seen the finale of Extras? Bet you cried. He's phenomenal.

And I flippin' LOVE "I Will Remember You". Do agree with those that don't think it's THE BEST, though. Aside from Not Fade Away and A Hole In The World, I think that would go to 5x5 and Sanctuary. Though the ep where Wes gets his throat cut and they take Connor... that's up there too. I was yelling.
I'm going to be #3 to come in and say "Ted" would have been much better if he wasn't a robot. But that's the same thing I felt in "The Body" when the vampire showed up and I was just sitting there going "WHY was that necessary?!"

I think there must have been some level where the writers felt like if they didn't jam a horror reference in there, they hadn't done their job. But those were two episodes that I always thought the "supernatural" part was completely unnecessary and actually kind of subtracted from the episode.

I completely disagree with IWRY for Ats best episode though. But then, for the most part I didn't like crossover episodes, it had nothing to do with the theme of the show in season 1 or any other for that matter, and it was the last gasp of the Angel/Buffy shippers in which Angel himself was pretty much converted into a full time eunuch from this episode forward. 'Eh, no thanks.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-06-17 02:00 ]
Azzers, have you listened to Joss's commentary on The Body? He explains why he had the vampire in there. I can't convince you that it was a good move (though I think it was) but I think it's objectively wrong to say that it was added just to throw in a horror reference
Right, it was more about "ok, this is my reality, have to deal with those asshole vampires even through personal tragedy."

Joss letting us see how even thought Buffy was devastated, she couldn't take a 'time out' from her calling.
I also liked the vampire in The Body because it felt like Joss poking fun at genre snobbery, in a way. A reminder that genre and great art aren't mutually exclusive.
IMO, Becoming is the best 2 hours of television on Buffy. I love IWRY too, for Angel. There are a truck load of great television hours wrapped up in these two series. :)
Ah, love a good bit of listing to kill time. The problem I have picking my favourite Buffy episode is that there are a certain set of them that I almost disregard as I feel it would be unfair to count them (The Body, OMWF, Restless, CwDP) as they'd make the choice so easy. OMWF still blows my mind now but it feels like it's something seperate from a Buffy episode (probably because of the amount of times I've watched it/listened to the soundtrack
). My views change anyway depending on what mood I'm in, but disregarding those special episodes it usually comes down to: 'Dead Things' or 'The Gift' or 'Who Are You' or 'Becoming Pt 2' (and from then on I start rambling on about how I love After Life or Fool For Love or Intervention or The Freshman or Chosen and it becomes a list of every episode).

As far as Angel is concerned, 'Darla' is always my favourite episode (was thrilled when Joss said it was his too) followed by a pile of S2 episodes (my favourite Angel season).

I thought I watched a lot of American TV but out of those 100 I'd only seen 26!
Willowy: I mean "stiff" in a different way from "awkward," but I can't quite define it--but you're right about Gervais. The difference between Gervais and not-Gervais is what separated the reasonably good (with a few gems) first season of the American "Office" with the phenomenal, this-might-be-the-best-television-comedy-ever-made UK one. The wackier, more ensemble-based second season (and forward) is when the US became a lot better and I stopped thinking of how much better the UK show was at every ep.

The vamp in The Body is not comparable to Ted's being a robot--it's not like the vamp killed Joyce, or was an essential point of the plot. It's a return to "reality" for Buffy, all the more horrible because we feel jarred by the return of the supernatural, with no magic or vamps and even Spike excluded from the episode until then. But hey, life goes on. And so does death.

Leaf: besides The Freshman (which I do like a lot) and, honestly, Chosen (the plot problems in the latter do hold it back for me, though it's still very good), your picks are all in my top fifteen. And "Darla" is easily in my top five of Angel, and the best of the second season. I'm impressed by the similarities here. :)
I agree with others who say that the vampire in "The Body" is absolutely necessary. It's a continuation of some many elements from that episode: the kids playing outside Buffy's house, the paramedics needing to leave for another call, the meter maid giving a ticket to Xander, and (in sort of a reverse way) Dawn's issues with the boy at school. The experience of close death is so much like a vacuum that one can forget that others are still living their lives and that, in whatever way you can, you have to live yours, as well.

("The Body" is my favourite episode of Buffy... though not my favourite to watch.)

Much like others, I find it difficult to rank the episodes. But I think if I were to do a top two for each season, it would be...

Season One: 1. Prophecy Girl 2. Welcome to the Hellmouth
Season Two: 1. Innocence 2. Becoming/IOHEFY/Passion (yeah, ok... I can't choose!)
Season Three: 1. Earshot 2. Graduation Day
Season Four: 1. Hush 2. Something Blue/Restless
Season Five: 1. The Body 2. The Gift
Season Six: 1. OMWF 2. Seeing Red
Season Seven: 1. CWDP 2. Chosen/Selfless

I'm just about to finish my second runthrough of the series, since 2007. All in all, I think I've seen each episode at least 10-15 times, and I still have such difficulty figuring out which are my favourites.

[ edited by Knuckleball on 2009-06-17 21:23 ]
Finally have my new computer all set up and going.Yay!

IWRY is my favorite episode personally.

My other favorite top five for Angel are..

2)City Of
3)Five By Five
5)Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been

For Buffy it's....

1)Becoming two parter(I count two parters like this as one episode)
2)The Gift
3)Graduation Day two parter

I think OMWF is a great episode though and it would make my next five favorites.

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