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September 13 2012

Yet another, perhaps (slightly) different, Buffy the Vampire Slayer top ten list. Part two of this examination of "out of the way" episodes can be found here.

"Off the beaten path," to me means "The status quo hasn't changed at the start of the next episode." Not skippable, but not huge in terms of plot and character development. For this reason:
the Pack, Halloween, I Only Have Eyes, Homecoming, Earshot, Living Conditions, Pangs, Superstar, I Was Made to Love you (minus the ending), Normal Again, Help.
My favorites:
Becoming (parts 1&2)
Surprise/Innocence
Fool For Love
The Wish
Passion
I Only Have Eyes For You
The Gift
Storyteller
Restless
Once More, With Feeling
Chosen
I really don't think we need anymore "Best of Buffy" lists after this. It's one of the best ones I've ever read.
@CaptainB Normal Again is one that I'm surprised doesn't show up on more lists! I think I'm frequently guilty of forgetting it exists, but man, Buffy just breaks my heart so wonderfully in that episode.
Finally, a best of list with Life Serial on it! And Doublemeat Palace, I actually do like that one although I wouldn't say I love it.
Great unique list. I do think 'Doublemeat Palace' is bad still, but I actually really like 'Bear Bad' so I'm not one to talk. The one episode though that I so rarely see get its due is "Family", it would have fit perfectly on a list like this.
Yes, excellent list, fun read. I really like most of the episodes on this list too: "When She Was Bad", "What’s My Line, Part II", "Dead Man's Party", "Pangs", "Him", and especially "Life Serial" and "The Freshman". Not a fan of "Forever" at all though, that was such a letdown when I first watched it (straight after "The Body").

And I agree with Cyclopticxander about "Family". A great episode that definately belongs on a list like this.
I should have put "Family" on my list above, too. I just sort of overlooked anything with a "Written and Directed by Joss Whedon" credit, but it really is one of his more stand-out, stand-alone offerings. And fits my criteria that it's not skippable, but you could watch No Place Like Home, then Fool for Love and not realize you missed anything, other than Buffy telling Giles what she knows about Dawn.
Ya know, the author had some great points there. But the #1 overlooked episode in my book is "The Initiative." Yeah, the Initiative is nowhere near as cool as some of the other troubles Buffy runs into, but Forrest and Riley talking (I use "Thank God we're pretty" more times than you might think), Spike escaping, Riley punching Parker, and of course the Spike & Willow scene, which I may be able to recite from memory: all comedy gold, with a good action plot to keep things moving.

I also like "Checkpoint" -- deeply satisfying - and "I Only Have Eyes for You," especially for the ending.

And yeah, "Family" is great.
I know this was post four days ago (which in Internet time is somewhat akin to the Mesozoic era), but I wanted to go ahead and thank Whedonesque for not just (somehow) noticing my almost invisible corner of the internet, but feeling that my posts were worth sticking on here; and also for all the kind comments regarding it. It's great to be a part of this community!

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