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January 12 2011

Syfy UK's top ten Whedonverse episodes. What episodes feature on your list?

Welcome to the mouth?

Sci-Fi really don't like swearing do they ? Maybe they could've called it "Welcome to the Heckmouth" ? ;)

Don't agree that "Epitaph One" was a particularly game-changing episode or that all the episodes up to then had been "disjointed doll of the week" type episodes and though I liked both E1 and "Getting Closer" they wouldn't be my picks (maybe 'A Spy in the House of Love' and 'Belonging').

A couple of the Buffy/Angel picks are a bit unusual too IMO but obviously it's a personal list so it's all good.

(can't argue with 'Out of Gas' and 'Objects in Space' though, brilliant TV both)
Hm? Welcome to the Hellmouth isn't censored, maybe they have changed it now.

I thought that was a pretty decent list. I mean the Body and OMWF are obvious and while Who Are You isn't as awesome as some other episodes it is very high on my rewatchability scale. Plus it has Willow and Tara having magic metaphor sex.

The two Firefly episodes are my favourites, as are the Dollhouse ones (or at least the two that left me with my mouth hanging open at the end...well ok all the way through of Epitaph One).

Angel I still find it hard to care about but Hero is good.

In conclusion, not bad Syfy.
They have indeed changed it now, yep (I doubt it was ever actually censored BTW - unless they've got software that does it automagically as the blogger publishes - it'll just have been a typo).

(I like the way you put "maybe" though, as in maybe they changed it or maybe thricewise and saje are just mentalists ;-)

Now if we could get back to the actual episodes.
Y'know, my instinct is to make a list of my favorite episodes, not the best episodes. Now I know my favorites are not necessarily the best ones--for example, I think The Body is the best Buffy ep, but I can't watch that all the time, it's too powerful and sad-making, so I wouldn't call it a favorite... Does that make sense?

Anyways, here's a list of my favorites, so it's a bit different.
BtVS: Pangs, Hush, and OMWF
Angel: Rm w/ a Vu, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, Why We Fight
Firefly: Objects in Space, Shindig
Dollhouse: A Spy in the House of Love, Belle Chose

Man, now I want to go back and watch all these. But I have to go to stupid work.
Just in alphabetical order since it's hard enough already (and since it's "episodes", I'm not considering Dr. Horrible or Serenity).

Becoming Part Two
Epitaph One
Not Fade Away
Once More, With Feeling
Out of Gas
The Body
Waiting in the Wings

Honourable mentions for Passion, Belonging (the Sierra ep) and all of the rest of Firefly. ;)
Hasn't this been on here before recently or am I remembering another top ten?!
These things crop up on a near constant loop, it's probably just A N Other one.

(fairly sure i'd remember a Whedonverse Top 10 list with 'Who Are You ?' or 'The Magic Bullet' on - nothing wrong with those choices obviously, it's an individual thing, but they're pretty unusual)
That's actually a good list. The only one that kinda raised my eyebrows was "Hero". Well, and I'm a bit skeptical about "Getting Closer" too, but that's because I haven't rewatched it in a long time and I was very ehhhh about the back half of Dollhouse Season 2.

maybe 'A Spy in the House of Love' and 'Belonging

Bingo, Saje. Those are my favorites, too (and I'd like to think they were the best). Jonathan Frakes' directing--damn. The emotion in these two episodes was some of the best drama in any of Whedon's shows.

(Considering your love for Community, I'm becoming convinced we're TV soulmates. Not that I believe in soulmates, but if I did...

Quick question: Community Season 2 Xmas episode--yay or nay?)

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-01-12 20:10 ]
I'm currently only on Angel season 3, so this list is bound to change, but my top 10 Whedonverse episodes are probably Becoming Part 2, Pangs, Fool for Love, The Body, OMWF, Our Mrs. Reynolds, The Message, Objects in Space, Belonging, and I Will Remember You.
No 'Out of Gas' Like With Pie ? Unusual (as these lists go that's kind of the 'The Body' of 'Firefly').

Quick question: Community Season 2 Xmas episode--yay or nay?

Bit of a resounding 'Yay' from me Emmie, went straight into my list of favourite Christmas episodes partly because it kinda hurt, y'know ? The "Christmas Message" is easy, anyone can do that but to combine it pretty much seamlessly with some genuine, dark, human truths is a rarer ability. And in 20 minutes ? In stop-motion animation ? Fuhgedaboudit.

(that's part of the genius of it for me - they can have the paintball ep or the zombie ep and then they can have 'Cooperative Calligraphy' or "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and it still feels like the same show)
I felt like there was a missed opportunity there in making it stop-motion animation for the entire episode. I wanted it to begin grounded in reality, then have all the guys sitting around the study table with their eyes closed as Professor Duncan talked Abed through a group therapy session (maybe his friends go with Abed into a memory because he's unable to do it alone and he needs his team for support on his journey of self-discovery? All because Abed insists his friends go with him).

There'd be breaks in the animation pov when Britta and Jeff would open their eyes and glare at each other, or Shirley would yank Pierce aside and threaten him for hitting on animated!Shirley, or Annie would be open her eyes when she's jostled to squint and shake her head at the sight of Professor Duncan sitting indian-style in the center of the table with his eyes closed and looking like he's meditating (maybe his tie is wrapped around his forehead)--but when they'd close their eyes, they'd be in the animation again.

I think that would better show them learning to see the world through Abed's point-of-view (rather than finding themselves literally trapped by Abed's point-of-view as the episode presents it to the audience)--and they'd not only accept him for who he is, but gain new understanding and insight into his character.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-01-12 20:53 ]
Definitely agree on Out of Gas and The Body. I think the hurtiest Angel, for me, was a Hole In The World. Liked that a LOT. Definitely a fan of Not Fade Away. A bit disappointed that Hush didn't make the list. The Gentlemen haunt me in my dreams about once a year. . .
I felt like there was a missed opportunity there in making it stop-motion animation for the entire episode.

Sort of felt that way initially but by the end (particularly on rewatching) I liked that aspect of it, that we just dropped straight into it and that it maintained the reality throughout (until the very last frame of the episode at least - the reflections in the TV screen was a lovely touch). For me showing everything from Abed's perspective kind of grounded it even more in a strange way, it lent the fantasy an air of reality because it was a complete world (if they could break the "reality" at will I think it would've been harder to sell us on Abed's [unintentional] coldness/cruelty toward some of the characters in the course of the episode).
My top ten in no order:

Lie to me
Once More with Feeling
The Gift
A Hole in the World
You're Welcome
War Stories
Getting Closer
Epitaph One
Thrilled to see "Who Are You" on the list. BtVS's most underrated episode, in my opinion.
Glad to see Angel's MOST overrated episode (Are you now or have you ever been?) didn't make the list, sad to see the SECOND most overrated episode (Hero) made it. Well, not really "sad" per se, but since there seems to have been a de facto quota (three Buffy, three Angel, 2 DH, 2 FF), I would have picked different Angel episodes.

I would have kept NFA, but I'd put Sleep Tight, Lullaby, or Orpheus in the other two Angel slots.

Dollhouse... not sure yet. Man on the Street was by far the first "hitting the stride" episode of DH.

Firefly... Our Mrs. Reynolds is my overall favorite episode.

Ultimately, though, Buffy probably deserves more slots in such a list.
Just ten out of all four shows? Can't happen for me. I can pick the four best crafted (in my opinion), one from each: but as soon as you let others creep in, then I've got problems. Basically I can do one from each, or BtVS starts taking over.

BtVS: "Once More With Feeling"
AtS: "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been"
Firefly: "Out of Gas"
Dollhouse: "Epitaph One"
Okay, this is pretty hard to do, so I'll try and keep it simple by restricting the number of episodes per show to the same as used in the article, which was obviously broken down to include each series. If it hadn't, then Buffy and Firefly would probably have completely dominated the list. I'll also go for what I regard as my favourite, rather then best episodes. In no particular order:

BtVS - Once More With Feeling, Fool for Love, Restless
AtS - Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, Darla, Waiting in the Wings
Firefly: Out of Gas, The Message
Dollhouse: Belonging, The Attic

To be honest, a lot of those can be switched by other episodes on any given day, particularly Firefly. I would probably also throw in Part 2 of Dr. Horrible in there somewhere, if that was included.

Must admit to being quite disappointed by Hole in the World, which I imagine will be in most people's lists. I only saw season 5 of Angel about a year and half ago and many moments from it were spoiled before hand. Hole in the World suffered the most from this. In fact, I was disappointed by a lot of the second half of the season, which felt incredibly rushed. In contrast, I actually really enjoyed watching the first half, which just had some really great episodes, even if they were quite stand alone (with a few stinkers thrown in though.)
I would keep the list pretty much the same, but trade out one episode for each series. So for Buffy I'd keep The Body and Once More With Feeling, and then trade in The Gift over Who Are You. For Angel, I'd keep Not Fade Away and Hero, and trade in Awakenings over The Magic Bullet. For Firefly I'd keep Out of Gas, and trade War Stories for Objects in Space. And for Dollhouse, I'd keep Epitaph One and trade Belonging for Getting Closer.
1. A Hole in the World / Shells (Angel, 5x15/16)
2. Once More, With Feeling (BtVS, 6x07)
3. The Body (BtVS, 5x16)
4. The Gift (BtVS, 5x22)
5. Epitaph Two: Return (Dollhouse, 2x13)
6. Not Fade Away (Angel, 5x22)
7. Epitaph One (Dollhouse, 1x13)
8. The Attic (Dollhouse, 2x10)
9. Out of Gas (Firefly, 1x08)
10. Getting Closer (Dollhouse, 2x11)
1. Not Fade Away
2. A Whole In The World/Shells
3. The Gift
4. Once More With Feeling
5. Out of Gas
6. Epitaph Two
7. Objects In Space
8. Becoming
9. Chosen
10. Conversations With Dead People

That was way harder than I expected.
Way too short a list for four series, two of which had long runs and long (old network length) seasons.

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