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March 06 2013

Worst of the Best. TWOP tells of the worst episodes of great series and chooses "Where the Wild Things Are" for Buffy.

...the House episode they list is actually my favorite one...
Personally, I would have said "Beer Bad" or "Him."
Most of these are from series I never watched or only watched once, so I don't really know how good the picks are on average, but their choices for Buffy and the West Wing really baffle me.

Sure, land use rights aren't the most thrilling subject in the world, but the West Wing was all about subjects that weren't really the most thrilling. And while that episode may have been a little slower than normal, it wasn't at all corny. Plus, the butterball hotline was even better than when Leo called the New York Times to complain how they spelled Gaddafi's name wrong. I would've picked any number of the ridiculously overdramatic 'terrorism' episodes in season 5 long before I would even consider this one.

And picking 'Where the Wild Things Are' for Buffy? Sure, I wouldn't place it in my top ten anytime soon, but there was nothing wrong with it at all. It was a solid motw with reasonable humor, and it even moved some story arcs ahead a bit. From their description here, it sounds like they have a problem with it because it focused more on sex than the average BTVS ep, but that's hardly a reason to call it the worst episode of the series. Especially when you have competition like 'I Robot, You Jane', 'Bad Eggs', 'Beer Bad', or 'Him'... In all honesty, with the exception of 'Prophecy Girl' and 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight', pretty much the entire first season was just as average as WTWTA.
I don't love "Where the Wild Things Are" (well, I do absolutely love the book, but...that doesn't count), but I think the good scenes are good enough to even it out so that my feelings on it are at least neutral, if not always positive. The Anya/Spike scenes and the Giles scenes outweigh the uncomfortable party scenes for me.

On the other hand, "Him" is an episode that I don't think I've ever seen all the way through. When I was watching live, I had to change the channel a couple times due to embarrassment, and the times I tried to watch it on dvd, I ended up fast forwarding through some scenes when I couldn't stop cringing. But even that one had some great moments.
I'd definitely be voting for I Robot, You Jane. I think WTWTA is OK if unspectacular. It seems I'm almost alone in liking Bad Eggs. I agree, though, that Him is a low point.
Actually WTWTA is worthwhile just for the scene of Spike talking himself out of going in to help save the day. That was a great bit of humor.
The Anya/Spike scene is gold, and for some reason Xander's "She who dealt it..." line never ceases to amuse me, but the Buffy/Riley boinkfest was painfully tedious. It just hung a big neon sign on the fact that there was very little chemistry between them.
Woah their pick for Doctor Who is completely insane. Planet of the Dead was a really good episode. I have no idea how they could pick anything other than one of the clunkers from season 1 or 2. But as everyone else has said, this list is pretty much crap.
I get the feeling this article is three or four years old. I had a quick look through the archives but I couldn't find it already posted.

Also, wow, thread necromancy. Didn't even know that could be done here.
Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy, and Go Fish - episodes you have to row quickly by while doing a rewatch of the show. I like Bad Eggs, Mr. Patient.

I think they are wrong on the worst Lost episode. I would have chosen any episode featuring Nikki and Paulo.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2013-03-06 17:05 ]

[ edited by Tonya J on 2013-03-06 17:05 ]
Go Fish and Bad Egg are some of my favorite episodes in the entire show. Never got the hate. Buffy doing classics of horror and sci fi always was one of my favorite things on it.
I don't know if WTWTA is the worst episode - I'd pick Teacher's Pet or Him, which are both a lot more embarrassing - but it's still one of the worst episodes. (BTW I rather liked Inca Mummy Girl, and Go Fish and Bad Eggs were below average but not awful.)

@Bayne: I very much disagree that episodes like Nightmares, Angel, Welcome to the Hellmouth or The Pack are bad, let alone as bad as WTWTA.

I disagree with the Sopranos pick - that was a good episode, IMO - and I can barely remember the True Blood episode, a lot of the early season 1 eps blend in my mind, but I do agree that the first few episodes were less than impressive. I definitely agree with their picks for Lost (trivia: Lindelof and Cuse later admitted that they had written it only to show the network that they can't do flashbacks forever and that the show needs to have a fixed end date and can't last 10 seasons as the network wanted), Veronica Mars and Dr Who (yes, Planet of the Dead was a waste of time) but I think Sine Qua Non and Woman King were much worse than Black Market, especially the former, which was the first time BSG made me really angry.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2013-03-06 17:26 ]
What is "thread necromancy?" I found this today, posted on Television Without Pity on their home page, so it is new.

I like Beer Bad a lot. WTWTA is not a very good episode, and I remember it getting in the way of the developing Willow and Tara storyline.
This is actually my least favorite episode of Buffy, so, I'm right there with them. The one bit that I like about the episode is the Scoobies finding Giles singing at the Espresso Pump.
Excluding Season 1 where there are a number of easy targets, ''Beer Bad'' and ''Him'' are probably my least liked Buffy episodes. ''Where the Wild Things Are'' has enough funny moments to offset the bad for me.

I totally agree on that Sopranos choice though - bored me to tears.
I would've gone with "Reptile Boy", "I Robot, You Jane", "Living Conditions", "Go Fish" or "Him".
I may be one of the few people who like "Beer Bad".
WTWTA is close to the bottom in my assessment, although it does have a few moments I like (yes, the Giles singing bit is one), but "Him" and "Doublemeat Palace" are my least liked episodes. Can't watch them at all.
Well this list has in it a huge problem, it's suppose to be The worst episodes of great shows. Has anyone ever considered Gossip girl as a great show? Ever? I actually watched the first three seasons. It's not great.

I like WTWTA. Mostly for Anya, Spike and Xander. Mostly it gave a chance for the scoobies to act without Buffy. My pick would be I Robot You Jane, or Doublemeat Palace.

I don't remember the Supranos episode. I don't remember the Veronica mars one either, but it sounds like one of the boring ones.

As for Dexter I'm sure there are worse episodes, mostly in season 6, but also some in seasons 3, 5 and 7. The finale of Season 2 was great. Sure it featured Lila, who was anoying, and the end of Doakes, who was great to have, but all that dosn't change the fact it was mostly a thrill of an episode.

As for Doctor who, Planet of the dead wasn't a great episode, but it's better than some of the ones in season 3 before The Family of Blood, like the one with riddles on a spaceship.
I've never watched any of those shows but Buffy and Doctor Who, and I thought both those episodes were just fine. I'm getting really tired of all these blogs telling us what we should think about tv shows, movies, games, or anything else. I don't think I've ever agreed with any of these lists, and they keep popping up all over the place.

Doctor Who is still considered a kid's show. People seem to forget that.
WTWTA was okay. There are a lot of episodes I wouldn't watch again. Him and Beer Bad are definitely on that list. I don't mind some of the camp that was in the first season but the worst episodes are when they don't realize their plot is ludicrous and take it too seriously.

As for Doctor Who, Planet of the Dead was definitely not one of my favorite episodes. Overall, the 10th doctor episodes had its share of duds but the worst episode, IMO, was Gridlock. Basically any episode with the cat people, actually. Being called a kids show (which is less and less apt, IMO) doesn't mean it has to be simplistic. The cat people were the worst.
I feel like "Him" is highly overlooked. I always thought it was one of the funniest lightest Buffy episodes with a hinge of self-parody. Plus the montage of the schemes is absolutely gold.
For some reason, up to now every time someone mentioned "Him", I was thinking of (Angel's) "She". Which would have been a good choice for worst, except for the initial party (with Wesley and Angel dancing).
I think they didn't get the plot: The maltreatment the teenagers endured from the acclaimed nanny was in the centre of this episode, Buffy and Riley acting out the suppressed sexuality of all those teenagers was just the consequence of the torment.

The worst Buffy episode for me also isn't "Beer Bad", but ere something from season seven's episodes in the middle.
Spike's scene in WTWTA is not only hilarious, it's actually an important character-development moment.

I rate "Beer Bad" so low that I've never actually watched it. Only episode I've never seen, and I'm proud of it. I think "Bad Eggs" is okay as an episode, it's just the only one that seriously creeps me out (I hate the idea of small yet dangerous things hiding in my room...). "Him" is indeed great self-parody, to my eyes.

And then there's "I Robot, You Jane," which is terrible (and it's only going to get worse as the years go by, I fear) -- except for the last five minutes, which are glorious.
ManEnoughToAdmitIt, you should give Beer Bad a try. Yes, it's ridiculous, but not to see it is to deprive yourself of some fine moments. I've not seen it in many years, but a few such moments come to mind: Willow manipulating Parker into revealing his absolute jerkness, Xander's joke about fiber, Buffy's clubbing of Parker at the end (kinda similar to Hulk's jab at Thor in Avengers, now that I think of it).
For me "The British Invasion" was probably the absolute high point for Dexter (certainly the second season was its strongest in my opinion). I also remember "Indians in the Lobby" as a fantastic West Wing episode (and surely the worst episode of The West Wing must have been one that wasn't written by Sorkin?).

I disliked most of "Where the Wild Things Are", but the Spike scenes and the one with Giles save it for me (I also loved "Him", and quite liked "Beer Bad").
@ManEnoughToAdmitIt: If you haven't watched it, how can you know how you would rate it?
Oh wow, I wish I still had a Buffy episode I had never seen. Honestly, some people love Beer Bad. You might as well give it a shot. If nothing else, it's still Buffy, so there's always a minimum level of quality there...
Whenever one of these 'worst episodes' things shows up, I'm usually left shrugging and saying "Huh, I quite like that episode!"

(Especially in the case of the Doctor Who ep they picked here-one of my favourites to rewatch. Fear Her was the worst, in my opinion, but of course, it's mostly personal preference...)
Anything of this nature which doesn't pick "I Robot... You, Jane" is wrong. And stupid.

But they got the right Lost episode.

Edit: And there are some people don't absolutely love and adore "Him"? But... the return of the rocket launcher... and... Xander and Spike's last-ditch plan of stealing the coat... And Anya offering to buy everyone ice cream...

[ edited by MonkeyJoe on 2013-03-07 00:24 ]
I don't get the Beer Bad hate. Many of the things people are ripping about the episode are things that the writers were not taking seriously. I don't think it is a great episode, but it was Buffy-style subversion of a PSA, not a PSA in itself.

I've mentioned it before, but I think one of the greatest line readings in Buffy history is just before the "written by" credit of Beer Bad: (bombastic) "Pfft, nothing can defeat the penis!"
TimeTravellingBunny: you've hit on the inherent ridiculousness of my position...

I was once shown Buffy clubbing Parker, so that highlight I haven't missed, but frankly I've always appreciated Riley's punch more anyway. (My Riley-hate is nowhere near the levels of others.)

Well, I'm rewatching the whole show now. I might get talked into checking it out, when S4 rolls around. I've heard the "PSA subversion" theory before...
Up until I read these last few posts I had never considered that the "Beer Bad" message might in any way be serious (honestly, really never, not one second). Surely it wasn't intended that way? I think I'm starting to understand why it is despised by so many. If it was intended as a straight PSA that would more or less ruin the episode. I'd definitely would not want to know it.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2013-03-07 00:39 ]
I agree that the episodes most people are mentioning belong somewhere near the bottom of the "Buffy episode" list, but I always find on re-watch that every one has some scene in it that I don't want to miss. Skip Giles singing "Behind Blue Eyes"? Never.
Buffy vs. Dracula. Has some interesting stuff at the end (Dawn, obviously, and Buffy deciding to explore her slayer power) but the journey to get there is absolutely unbearable for me.

I've probably never been as disappointed by a show I loved as I was by that episode. I think it soured me on season 5 entirely, which I've been rewatching lately and finding to be pretty damn good, actually, where previously I would've called it my least favorite season by far.
Interesting, Jobo, because from where I sit, Buffy vs. Dracula sets the tone for the season beautifully. A stronger season opener than "When She Was Bad" or "The Freshman," in my opinion.
the Groosalugg: One of the complaints is that the message is heavy-handed. So for those people, they seem to be treating the episode seriously. (I think the "heavy-handedness" was part of the joke. "Beer bad. Bad, bad beer... What the hell am I saying?")

There may be reasons to not like that episode, but the ones I've heard so far, I don't agree with. (But that is only my opinion, so YMMV.)

edit: I kinda agree with Jobo about the Dracula ep. I realize the characters are going to be self-aware of their situation, but I think it went far enough that it became a parody of Dracula films, rather than a Buffy episode.

[ edited by OneTeV on 2013-03-07 04:33 ]
I would have gone with "Doublemeat Palace" myself, but I can see why they chose it. The first time I saw it I absolutely hated it and have never come around to liking it. It has one sole bright spot and that's Tony playing Behind Blue Eyes. Now, I suppose some would disagree with my selection of "Doublemeat Palace," but I certainly disagree with most other suggestions made here, both as being the worst episode of the series, and as being worst than "Where The Wild Things Are." I do agree that "Beer Bad" is also quite awful. That and "WTWTA" certainly are my 2 least favorite episodes from season 4.
I know I've said it before but I like Beer BAd. A lot. I find it really funny and I especially like all Xander's scenes in the bar. I don't know, maybe you need to have worked in a bar sometime to appreciate it.

And the Parker clubbing does remind me of the Loki/Hulk thrashing now that you mention it. Both very satisfying.
There is no Buffy episode so terrible that it doesn't have some redeeming feature, although for me, "Teacher's Pet" comes closest. "Where The Wild Things Are" isn't great but I've rewatched it a couple times now and it's not as bad as I remembered. And Giles singing is always a treat. Thirdly, count me in with those who like "Beer Bad".

I do not understand why people don't like "Gridlock". The worst Doctor Who episode has to be "Love and Monsters".
I know some people who think OMWF is the worst Buffy episode. I would imagine they could keep valid reasons as to why that is. One man's worst is another man's best.
I completely agree with the choice of WTWTA as the worst episode. It's the only Whedonverse episode I've only seen once, and I have no desire to see it again.
@TimeTravelingBunny
I'll give you Nightmares as actually pretty decent, but the only good thing about 'Angel' was the surprise of Angel being a vampire, which goes away after the first viewing. 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' does a reasonable job of setting up the show, but everything was so new and untested that I'd still have to call it one of the worst episodes of the series.

As for Beer Bad, I never considered it would be serious, either, but I still would call it one of the worst. The plot is completely ridiculous (more so than usual) and yet the actual funny moments are few and far between. The only one that really ever made me laugh out loud was Buffy bashing Parker at the end. Also, the fact that it's so completely focused on the Buffy/Parker fallout is really irritating. Did there really need to be multiple entire episodes dedicated to the fact that Parker is a jackass?
I actually also do like the Pack, but trying to judge the story/execution objectively, I'd be lying if I said I really thought it was at better made or better written than WTWTA. It had its own share of dull moments and poor guest stars.
WTWTA is notwhere near my favourite but it doesn't register on the badness scale as some of the S6 and 7 eps IMO. As other people have mentioned it has too many good moments apart from the FratSex plot; Behind Blue Eyes beign the big one and Xander's comment about Felicity's hair.

As for "The Indians in the Lobby" anythign that has Bartlet calling the Butterball hotline is a gem IMHO. I guess the Indian plotline was a little preachy but that's TWW and it's nowhere near as terrible as the many, many Middle Eastern/terrorist centred episodes that came after Sorkin left.
There's a bad Buffy episode? Where?

The end of Amends is pretty corny. And yes, the Buffy/Riley boinking in WTWTA hurts my eyes, but there's too much good to be bad.

I guess 'worst' is pretty subjective.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2013-03-07 12:27 ]
Although I know some people do dislike ''Beer Bad'' because they feel it has a heavy-handed message, I just find the ''transformation into cavemen'' stuff really over-the-top and unfunny. In fact, when I watch the episode, I often skip past all the cave-Buffy scenes and just watch the good stuff (of which there's actually a fair bit - Xander's stint as a bartender produces several funny moments, and Willow's conversation with Parker is memorable too). On the whole I agree with those who say there's no Buffy episode that's truly ''bad'' - every episode has some good dialogue and character moments.
Theres alot of good stuff in WTWTA in particular Anya/Spike interaction, Xander and Anya in the ice cream truck, YEAH LADY WELL SHE WHO SMELT IT DEALT IT,(or however that line went), Spike deciding to help the scoobies, then thinking,nah..lets not do that, and of course Giles singing and the scoobies' reaction to it.
I agree that most of the caveman stuff in Beer Bad is not funny and pretty dumb, but I find cave-Buffy hilarious. Those scenes alone make Beer Bad a worthwhile ep, in my opinion.
There's a lot to like about "Where the Wild Things Are" if you parse them out, just as with any "Buffy" episode. It's a fair choice, though. There are a half-dozen or so reasonable picks. If it was me, I would pull "The Girl in Question" in, just ignore the fact that it was from a different series, and use it.

Agree on their "House" pick, their "Lost" pick, and I guess their "Chuck" pick, although I bet I could find a "Chuck" episode I like less.
Yeah, I remember how disappointed I was in that episode of House because it was their "off-format" episode of the season, which usually portended great things, and they just whiffed. Ah well.

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