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March 13 2005

The Conservative Voice reviews Keanu Reeves' "Constantine" making some lovely references to Buffy. "Mostly, it feels like an episode-any episode-of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Actually, "Buffy" was like Shakespeare compared to this. It's as if they gathered up the dregs of the worst "Buffy" episodes and slung them together in a drunken stupor."

Rude!

No kidding. When I first read your tag line, then the comments, I was thinking "ok, HOW is this complimentary to Buffy?"

And, actually, Buffy WAS like Shakespeare. Quite often.
My impression was he was referencing Buffy in a negative way. Sorta saying "Even Buffy is better than this".
I can't get this link to work but I'm guessing that I probably don't care. "Buffy" was like Shakespeare compared to pretty much anything.

Although I would imagine I'm in agreement with the reviewer about "Constantine" being worthless--though for different reasons no doubt. Appalling casting.
I don't think it's enrtirely clear what they mean, but having taken a quick elsewhere on the website of the 'Conservative Voice' I would not imagine it to be a big supporter of Buffy and its "demonic images".
I can't even think of any bad episodes of Buffy. I loved them all. They all had something that made them great. Weather it was Xander's one liners, great story line, or Faith!
I can't even think of any bad episodes of Buffy.
Well, apart from "that one" of course. Don't know what they were thinking about!
I can rattle off a couple I really dislike, but that's a matter of personal taste. For every episode I loathe, there's a dozen people who love it.

[ edited by TheJoyofZeppo on 2005-03-13 18:02 ]
Ok, I'm really tired this morning. Long night, don't ask. zz9, which "one" are you talking about?
Hmm, and I actually liked Constantine. *mumble mumble* ;)
BSA, Joss wrote somewhere that he thought every episode was fantastic except "that one, you know". I have no idea which episode he was actually talking about.
I don't think JW had a particular episode in mind when he said that (and even if he had, I'm certain he wouldn't single one out for scorn). I suspect that was his trademark wit - and smart too to say "that one" so that fans could believe it applied to whichever episode they personally dislike.
My money's on Becomming Pt II. What a yawnfest THAT was! I turned over to watch Charmed half way through.




I'm banned aren't I?
Well, for misspelling Becoming Pt. II, if for no other reason. ;)

My bad episodes would be: Restless (no plot, characterizations completely thrown to the wind, totally confusing); Passion (for the cheesy Bladerunner rip-off voiceover); Fool for Love (because who cares about Spike enough to give him his own origin episode, really); and obviously Once More With Feeling. It might have been salvageable if Whedon had got Andrew Lloyd Webber in to Phantom-up the score but alas . . .
lol, zz9. And SoddingNancyTribe, I think I fell off my chair laughing at the "Phantom-up" commment! Priceless!

Personally there are a few episodes that I almost never re-watch, but as others have said, it's pretty subjective. And I will agree with the ol' cliche that bad Buffy is better than almost anything on TV, or even some movies.

Big fat ppphhhttt to this review.

[ edited by dizzy on 2005-03-13 20:15 ]

[ edited by dizzy on 2005-03-13 20:15 ]
Gosh, don't forget "Hush", SNT. What a piece of crap!
My guess would be "Restless" and anything in between "Doublemeat Palace" and "As You Were". (Such as "Older and Far Away" and "Dead Things").

[ edited by BufSlyAngel on 2005-03-13 20:22 ]
Season six is my favorite season. All dark like Empire Strikes Back, with references to Empire Strikes Back within it via the Geek Trio. Priceless. I know others dislike season six. There's parts of season four I feel were kinda forced. Opinions are like orifices. Everyone has a few. Regardless, the series overall deserves no scorn. I haven't even clicked on the link above. The phrase "Conservative Voice" tells me enough to know I care not for their opinion of Constantine or Buffy.

I won't see Constantine simply because they cast Keanu Reeves in the lead role. That's like casting Kirsten Dunst as Miss Jane Marple or Chris Rock as Sherlock Holmes. Nicholas Cage as Superman made more sense than Keanu Reeves as John Constantine! What drugs are they on in Hollywood, anyway?

I'm trying to think of an episode of Buffy I didn't like. One I wouldn't be willing to watch again right now. It's not coming to me. I mean, there are episodes that could have been better perhaps, but when I try to dissect them, I find that even those have an unique charm that I wouldn't want "improved."

Were y'all kidding above? Cuz Hush, Once More With Feeling and Restless are by far some of my personal faves. Maybe it's sarcasm and dry wit you're doin' and it's a lazy Sunday afternoon for me. Not quite grasping the humor.
Yeah, i'm pretty certain that was all sarcasm, ZachsMind, otherwise my opinion of SNT has just dropped massively! ;)

I can truthfully say that there isn't a single episode of either Buffy or Angel that i dislike. There are one or two that i look forward to watching less than some others but that goes without saying. Even so, i always watch the two shows together in complete runs, Welcome to the Hellmouth through to Not Fade Away, and never once skip an episode.
Is there anyone who likes "Beer Bad"?
Gosh, don't forget "Hush", SNT. What a piece of crap!

^^This was an emmy award-nominated episode. Personally, I've never heard of someone thinking this as to be a bad episode. I'm praying that was sarcasm...

I think Becoming pt2 was incredible and "and obviously Once More With Feeling"!?!??! Are you insane SNT? Not to be rude, but my mouth dropped when I read that. I hope it was a joke because if not...I'm still speechless...
Is there anyone who likes "Beer Bad"?

I do. I think it's a wonderful episode, actually.

I agree with ZachsMind that even the episodes that could have been better have something to offer. There are only two episodes in the whole run of the show that I think slightly failed to achieve their aims, but even these have some tremendous moments and I wouldn't really want to change them.
...okay. "Beer Bad" coulda spent a few more days in preproduction. I think Buffy doing the Clan of the Cave Bear thing mighta been a tip of the hat to the impending Restless and the First Slayer, but if that was the intent, it didn't come across well, and if that wasn't the intent.. "Beer Bad" coulda used a little more work. Still, her punching Parker in the end? One of the more unsung while also rewarding moments of the entire series.

Still though, like a few other season four episodes, like "Living Conditions" for example, there's a unique charm I wouldn't want 'improved.' Not every episode has to be crystal. Not all of Monet's work was perfect. Especially the stuff late in his life when his eyes were failing him. Still, all his work is beautiful despite its imperfections. You can't have diamonds in the rough without a little rough, y'know whut ah mean?

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2005-03-13 21:38 ]
I loved Beer Bad but then everyone said they hated it.. so I loved it even more. P.S. If this hasn't been said he said "that one" on the season 4 special message from him about Buffy not being in widescreen.
Hush would've been OK if the Gentlemen's spell had allowed the people of Sunnydale to at least whisper. Or maybe hum. But no talking at all? That's crazy. How can you tell a story without talking? Beats me.


Okay, now I'm just being mean. I know sarcasm is not always easy to pick up on in writing - but I think I'm on record here at Whedonesque as praising those episodes I mentioned to the skies and beyond. What, you mean you don't hang on my every word as chapter and verse? Huh. . . now my opinion of myself has just dropped massively too.

And here I thought the Andrew Lloyd Webber shout-out was a dead giveway.
SNT? It's Sunday. I'm mildly hung over. Don't take it personal. *smirk*
Ehhh...SNT just being a smart ass. Shocker. :)
I like Beer Bad.
There are only two epis I hate: Dead Man's Party and As You Were.
Where the Wild Things Are is frighteningly bad, the only standout BAD episode until seasons six and seven rolled along (at which point it's the good episodes that became exceptions)...
We need an irony punctuation mark, sort of like a cross between a question mark and an exclamation point. 'course the need to use an irony mark would be ironic in itself.

There were a couple of shows I didn't care for the first time through, but on repeated watchings they've grown on me. Plus, now I need to watch OMWF imagining Andrew Lloyd Webber's song (he only ever wrote one, right?) playing in the background. That probably would have had Buffy shaking in her stylish but affordable shoes.
I think Constantine could have benifited from a better script, but I don't think that the movie was bad.

And I thought that maybe the Buffy comparison was meant as a backhanded dig toward the show, which was completely inaccurate and uncalled for.
I'm just curious, but what is wrong with "Dead Man's Party"? I found it very entertaining. As for "Beer Bad", I thought it was a pretty good episode. The beginning where she saves Parker from the Vamps and he has his shirt unbuttoned and he is carrying flowers. LOL.

What does everyone think of "Ted", "Bad Eggs", and "Killed by Death"? I personally found they were entertaining, but my friend said they were boring. Then again she said she hated Season Two all together, so.
dashboardprophet, now you have to tell us what the two episodes are! You just have to!

Ilana, at first i agreed with you on "WTWTA", but after rewatching it, i have come to really appreciate the charm of the episode, even though its not one of my favourites. Even though the storyline involved Buffy and Riley bonking and bonking and bonking...and oh yeah bonking, it was still an enjoyable piece of television

And for the record? I loved Beer Bad ;)
I'm not a B/Aer, never was, even though I've watched the show from the beginning. But I love Buffy and I felt her pain and the lack of understanding exhibited by the Scoobs about what killing Angel did to her really ticked me off. Everybody jumped down Buffy's throat and it was all about how *they* suffered when Buffy was gone, not how much emotional distress Buffy was in.

I just rewatched season 3 to refresh my memory as I'm involved in an ongoing discussion group and again I was struck by the Scoob's (and Joyce's) selfishness.
dashboardprophet, now you have to tell us what the two episodes are! You just have to!

I was trying to avoid saying what they were, simply because I don't want to give the impression that I don't like them. I'll happily watch either episode at any time, but I just think they don't quite achieve what they set out to do. Anyway, for what it's worth, I'm talking about 'Where The Wild Things Are' and 'Gone'.

What does everyone think of "Ted", "Bad Eggs", and "Killed by Death"?

Personally, I like them all. In fact, 'Killed By Death' is a particular favourite of mine, although I gather it's not especially popular in general. On this subject, I am also extremely fond of 'Dead Man's Party'. Were I to be forced to pick a 'Top 5' this one would definitely be in there.

This is possibly quite a good illustration of the nature of reviews and why it isn't necessary to pay too much attention to them. One person's George Gershwin is another person's Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sorry SNT, I realise you are clearly a big fan of ALW.

(Where's that irony punctuation mark when I need it?!)
"Dead Man's Party" passes for me because it has one of my favorite lines from Giles...
'Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the *dead*!' Americans.

LOL! ..That the one you meant, Ilana?

I didn't like "Ted" when it first came out, but after Mr. Ritter passed away I watched it again just for his performance. There's some quirkiness in the writing, but damn he was a good actor. Comedy, drama, horror, what a versatile man. He made the unbelievable believable. Anyone else in that role? "Ted" would definitely have been my least favorite episode. Ritter pulled it off though. Not an easy role for anyone to take.

I wish Joss Whedon had hired John Ritter on day one and made him Buffy's actual father, then incorporated Hank Summers more regularly with the cast. Yes, this would have dramatically changed the first three seasons in some ways, but it would have reinforced Buffy's misdirected guilt over her parents' separation. We could have seen first hand Hank's indiscretions, and seen how Joyce purposefully kept the truth from her, thinking she was helping when her daughter was quietly suffering a guilt that the marriage failed due to Buffy being a 'troublesome delinquent child.' Instead, it's only insinuated at points and not made the dramatic conflict that it could have been.

We can't go back. Still, scenes with John Ritter and Anthony Stewart Head acting together, in a conflict where Hank Summers and Rupert Giles were going toe for toe arguing over Buffy's place in the world and her future, and who knows better what's good for her - that woulda been a sight to see. I love both actors' works, they come from dramatically different schools of thought when it comes to acting. Ritter and ASH in a heated dialogue over Buffy's well-being. I just wish we could bring Mr. Ritter back for an encore, y'know?

Of course, I also would like to someday see a complete reboot of Buffy, in modern day, with Dawn there from the start as well.

No irony punctuation needed. =)

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2005-03-13 23:37 ]
You got it :).
I love all three of "Bad Eggs", "Ted" and "Killed by Death", mind you, i pretty much love all episodes except for a few, which i dont hate, just dont choose to watch again reguarly

The Pack - It just has never worked for me. Although it does have its good moments, the episode just didnt quite come together the way it should have

DoubleMeat Palace - What! An Espensode I do not like! What trickery is going on here! I just found this episode to be too depressing with a really unsatisfactory demon. I mean we know that all men are evil, but did they really need to put a penis on top of the old woman's head

The Killer in Me - It just didnt work for me, and i left the episode feeling dissapointed and unsatisfied. I have only ever watched this episode three times which for me is scarily low!

However, it does of couse go without saying that every episode of Buffy and Angel is WAY better than Charmed. (Ooh! Ooh! Bitchy comment! Somebody slap me!)
Beer good, foamy!
SNT is a Brit. We do irony like we do breathing.
There are a good number of episodes I don't feel praticularly happy with, here they are in seasonal chunks.

Season 1- I Robot, You Jane (which is my least fave of the series) and Teacher's Pet.
Season 2- Inca Mummy Girl and Go Fish
Season 3- None I feel especially negative towards.
Season 4- Beer Bad (Ugh) and Where The Wild Things are.
Season 5- Buffy vs. Dracula
Season 6- As You Were (And I liked Riley) and Wrecked (another ugh) (Still probably my fave season)
Season 7- Showtime and The Killer in Me.

Otherwise all the other episodes fall between above-average television and exceptional, thankfully more under the latter.

Each of those episodes has SOMETHING brilliant in them, it's just as a whole I didn't praticularly enjoy them.
Gatta say I'm with you for seasons 1 - 3 & 6, but I liked "Beer Bad" and "Where The Wild Things Are", "Buffy Vs. Dracula", and "Showtime". Showtime was actually one of my favs for the Seventh Season.
Gosh, don't forget "Hush", SNT. What a piece of crap!

^^This was an emmy award-nominated episode. Personally, I've never heard of someone thinking this as to be a bad episode. I'm praying that was sarcasm...


I've always assumed Whedon fans had automatic internal sarcasm detectors. Yes, for the record, that was sincerely facetious.

Once upon a time there was discussion on the board of making sarcastic comments purple but it never took it seems.
I usually find sarcasm is biting enough that it doesn't require another colour. Irony is meant to be more subtle but again I think using a different colour would kind of take away the point of being ironic. Could be because I'm a Brit and as Gill says we do irony like we do breathing :)

On the other topic, I can't say there are every any episodes I would even consider skipping, though there are certainly episodes I like a lot less than others. The only thing in the entire run of Buffy, Angel and Firefly that annoyed me enough to not look forward to seeing again was the end of Empty Places but I wouldn't skip it as I understand the reason for it. Just don't like the execusion.
The purple would look nice next to SNT's blue but it does take away a bit from dry wit if it is being telegraphed by the colour. I find the Constantine review interesting because it rather sounds as though the reviewer saw each and every one of those horrible Buffy episodes.
I would use Purple for sarcasum, but I don't know how to make it purple.
Most episodes I will watch over and over again, but I will not under any cicumstances watch Normal Again. I didn't like it when it originally aired, and I haven't gone back since. Same thing goes for As You Were.
Wow, Normal Again was actually one of my top 10 faves, I LOVED that episode.

One of the great season 6 stand-alones imo :)
I would use Purple for sarcasm, but I don't know how to make it purple.


Oh I would totally use purple for sarcasm, but a little bit of ambiguity is soo much more fun. :)
People don't generally get that I'm sarcastic when they talk to me in person, so I'm pretty much hopeless in writing. (Now I'm imagining what it would be like to turn purple when making a sarcastic comment. That's just wrong.)
Still can't stop, though. Ambiguity, irony, sarcasm, all up there with chocolate as far as I'm concerned.

Of course now I can't say what I thought of Normal Again, as anything I might say would deconstruct itself.
How do you make it purple?
Sorry, BufSlyAngel, we were all just getting too carried away by our own bloody irony to actually answer the question . . .

The way I've been doing it is to write font color=purple within the < > brackets, then write the text you want empurpled, then /font within the < > brackets.

And then, by extension, one can write in a multitude of other colors! Actually, to be serious for a moment, that's not recommended - we should probably reserve those colors for the PTBs.
Thanks SoddingNancyTribe! I don't know a lot about computers.
Always fun to see how much variation there is on people's favorite/least favorite episodes. Dead Man's Party on a Top 5 list? Beer Bad among the favorites? And one commenter up there actually seemd serious in his/her dislike of Restless.

My own are pretty standard. I'm not one who thinks BtVS never had a bad episode – it was on for seven seasons, after all, and while it was brilliant, I don't think it was always consistent. Pretty much any episode is rescued by at least one or two great lines or scenes for me, and there aren't any I'll shut out completely, but there are definitely some I have a deep and abiding dislike for.
Among them: Dead Man's Party (I agree with Reddygirl above – the gang's anger and public excoriation of Buffy just seemed really out-of-character and inappropriate to me. Plus, I just didn't like the main mummy plot - although Giles's mask line is one of my all-time faves).
Beer Bad – Not much explanation needed. Zero subtlety, terrible acting, preachy sermonizing against drinking, and buffy-as-cave-girl - didn't need to go there. The rescue scene: Willow pretending to fall for Parker.
Wrecked – Again, my main problem is with the hit-you-over-the-head metaphor. Willow's attraction to the power of magic becomes a full-blown addiction (oooh... drugs...) complete with withdrawal symptoms and a bad approximation of a crack den. So much for the nuanced, subtle metaphors and plotlines.
Killer in Me: Just had a really hard time watching Willow-as-Warren
Bad Eggs: Again with the metaphor that didn't work. Plus, the hatching egg-things were creepy.
Doublemeat Palace: Fast food was way too easy a target. Lame plot, lame dialogue, lame evil. And gross grease. Part of a string of bad episodes that included As you Were and Wrecked.
Gingerbread: I liked "M.O.O." but that's about it. The witch-hunt seemed over-the-top and not in Joyce's character, and the dialogue/acting were clunky.

A few narrow misses: Doomed was saved entirely for me by Spike's speech at the very end, which is priceless, and one of my favorites ("Come on! Vampires...nasty...Let's annhilate them, for justice, and puppies, and.. and Christmas. Let's kill something!"). Where the Wild Things Are: Saved by Giles singing in the Espresso Pump.
And some of the early ones – Inca Mummy Girl, Reptile Boy, I Robot, You Jane, Some Assembly Required, Teachers Pet – I just chalk up to the show struggling to find its footing early, and cut them more slack. Inca Mummy Girl also has Willow dressed as an eskimo at the end, and Oz noticing her :-).

On the other hand, I enjoy Hell's Bells and Go Fish more than most... But my top 20-30 are all pretty much the usual suspects.
And you see I really like "Beer Bad" because I never saw it as about drinking. If you listen to Maggie Walsh's speech right at the beginning, she is talking about acting on impulse, acting on the id (not that I am Freudian but...).

The frat guys, acting on impulse, set fires, abduct people etc. Buffy overcomes her impulse driven behaviour and stiil acts in a way that shows some degree of ego-driven, indeed if not superego-driven, behaviour. I see it as foreshadowing the First Slayer - even at that "origin"-al level, the slayer was drievn by other bigger forces.

"Beer Bad" remains one of my favourites because of all the above. I have never seen the drinking as the message or subtext, rather that it is the effect of purely impulse-driven behaviour (and the Slayer's ability to step outside of that).

Besides - Foamy!
Every episode of Buffy has dialogue or scenes that make it worth watching, Beer Bad's opening with Parker in Buffys dreams for example. And any episode with:

BUFFY: (watching MTV) TV is a good thing. Bright colours. Music. Tiny little people.
WILLOW: What did you do with Buffy
BUFFY: I'm suffering the afterness of a bad night of badness
WILLOW: You didn't. Not with Parker again.
BUFFY: No, with four really smart guys.
WILLOW: Four? Oh. Ow. Oh Buffy, are you okay? Do you wanna talk about it?
BUFFY: I went to see Xander. Then I saw Parker. Then came beer.
WILLOW: And then group sex?

Is worth watching!
"Gingerbread: I liked "M.O.O." but that's about it. The witch-hunt seemed over-the-top and not in Joyce's character, and the dialogue/acting were clunky."

"It's Nazi Germany, and I have Playboys in my locker!"
True, Ilana. Plus "It's a doodle. I do doodle. You too, you do doodle too." :-)
I agree that every episode has worthwhile snippets, and sometimes some of the most hilarious exchanges are hidden in otherwise clunky episodes. It's why i'll never write off an episode completely, and I'm always up for rewatching, but I still think there are episodes that are sub-par, compared to the rest.
As for Beer Bad... To me, the whole Id, Freud, psych babble at the beginning and in other parts of the episode was just a way for the writers to try and elevate their material beyond what it was There are some good scenes (like the segment you quoted zz9), but once the beer starts taking its effect, it's painful for me to watch. It's one of the few times I really don't like SMG's acting, but then again – I'm not sure what she could have done differently, given the material.
The ep is definitely at the very bottom of my list – but obviously, from the discussion above, quite a few people feel differently about it. And that's what I love about both BtVS and its fan base.
I wasn't going to name names, but since others are weighing in with some names, I'll tell my most hated (yes, hated) BUFFY. Now, I will watch almost any episode that might be showing on TV, and I'll even watch my DVDs all the way through, because as others have said, even the bad episodes have something good in them.

Almost...

See, GO FISH really, really bugs me. It's the scenes involving the boy in the car who asks Buffy if she is wearing a bra, then locks the door, and moves towards her in a threatening manner, asking her if she likes it rough. Buffy, having superpowers, throws down, and good for her. Then, in Snyder's office, it's said she was asking for it because she wears short skirts. OK, the girl is threatened with rape, no one believes her, then she is told she was asking for it. If I were her, I'd be fairly upset. But when telling the whole story to the gang, they are rolling of eyes and acting as though she is being self-involved for talking about her almost-rape-except-she-has-superpowers. It is so out of character for all of them to brush her off like that, but the killer for me is Giles' snarky little reply to Buffy asking if anything is going on: "Thank you for taking an interest..." Because of all the times Buffy is self-absorbed, this is the time her good friends and mentor call her on it? That does it every time. I switch it off. I haven't made it all the way through GO FISH since it first aired, and it's the only episode I cannot watch.

Yeah, really bugs me.
In terms of episodes I dislike, I can safely repeat what others have said and state there is not one episode of Buffy that I really dislike, some of them are less outstanding than others, like comparing some KIND of 'filler'y episodes to a season finale, there are obvious differences. But even episodes I don't like quite as enthusiastically are still redeemed by several great lines or plot developments.
I always watch Buffy and Angel by season and I never skip episodes, as the shows are so complex that almost every episode is laden with many plot and character developments, either minor arcs over a few episodes, to season arcs, and even those that can affect the entire series. Even an episode such as 'Restless' which seems to break from the regular format is a fantastic, interesting examination of the characters, their relationships, history and foreshadowing for later episodes.
As for specific episodes I'm not as fond of as my favourites, there aren't a huge amount. I can watch even a weaker episode and I find them immensely more enjoyable than a good episode of many TV series.
There are a few episodes which are generally considered kind of poor by most fans, including 'Beer Bad', 'Where The Wild Things Are' and 'Doublemeat Palace'. I thought 'Beer Bad' was definately a more comedy oriented episode, I found it less interesting thematically than other episodes but it was still funny and had some really winning lines.
'Where The Wild Things Are' was a good episode in my opinion, the idea of the children being repressed was quite serious and the heavy sexual undertones (well, it was more explicit than that) seemed to be similar to some of the content we would see later in season six. 'Doublemeat Palace' was kind of poor, the story was very clichéd but I think a lot of that was intentional, although I detested the very idea of the wig lady.
I think season six was my least favourite season initally, but on repeat viewings it has grown on me. Definately darker than other seasons, but more because of the consistantly heavy tone and subject matter, whereas in previous seasons we would see equally dark themes dealt with among episodes with less intense ideas. I thought it was slightly lacking the balance of humor and action that makes Buffy good, more leaning towards the dark humor and depressing storylines. But I think it was very strong in retrospect, like the harsh truth that needs to be expressed.
One thing I dislike in Buffy is when I notice quite large mistakes. I don't mind small mistakes, like when there are coincidences or people seem to know where someone else is with no explanation, but there are other gaping mistakes which can detract from the experience as I love the continuity that Mutant Enemy has developed. 'Selfless', for example, is one of my favourite episodes, but it really annoys me that no one thinks of the simple solution of destroying Anya's amulet instead of killing her. I also hate very occasional character changes, or when I feel they do something out of character, such as Buffy claiming she would have sacrificed Dawn in the battle against The First, despite refusing to do so two years earlier.
I think my favourite all round episode, if I had to choose one, would be 'The Gift'. It was very well rounded, with action, humor, drama, mythology and fantastic acting. The production values were high and it was written Joss. Of course Buffy's sacrifice was incredibly beautiful and I feel it would have been a fitting ending for the series had there not been any further seasons. And of course, Tara and Anya were still alive.

What about bad/good Angel/Firefly episodes? I would comment now but I'm running short on time, so I'll do it later.
Quite an impressive first post, Razor. Welcome to Whedonesque!

I agree completely with you about Buffy's claim that she would have sacrificed Dawn in the battle against the First - it did feel out of character for me too. I am still thinking that she said that just because that what Giles wanted to hear, to show him that she is becoming a tough general he wanted her to become.
As to the mention of Buffy in the Constantine review, I also think it was a negative comment aimed at Buffy. My annoyance at these kind of remarks stems from the fact that usually those making them are incredibly uniformed.

A lot of people criticise Buffy when they haven't even seen it, dismissing it because it doesn't fit the expectations of mainstream TV, or the fact that it has vampires or even the title. People just assume it is a silly fantasy show with ludicrous stories and a lot of attractive female characters. While it does have attractive actors, the stories are all interesting and (for the most part) intellectually and philosophically challenging.

This is even more hypocritical coming from people who enjoy a lot of mainstream TV which is incredibly bad quality, even when not compared to Buffy. Soaps, for example, have even more ridiculous, and ratings grabbing storylines than Buffy ever had, yet they can get more praise. Surely if you can belive most of that stuff, you can suspend belief enough to accept the Buffy-verse?

Very conservative or religious people often dismiss Buffy based on their moral ideas, but fail to realise that Buffy explores important issues which often highlight that humans do make mistakes but that most of them are just trying to do the best they can, a lesson that Jesus himself would be proud of.

I don't mind if someone generally dislikes Buffy and can offer logical reasoning behind their criticisms, but in these kind of digs there is no justification and one recieves the impression that the reviewer hasn't even given the show a chance. I could expect that from the average person on the street, but not from reviewers, who are meant to judge their opinions on what they see. I cannot actually remember ever reading any negative articles or reviews of Buffy or Angel, because although reviewers have offered criticisms, which is fair enough, both shows have generally been critically acclaimed and appreciated.

My opinion of Buffy and Angel is that both are contemporary Shakespeare. They both deal with similar important and age old themes such as love, betrayal, friendship, courage and faith, although B/A express their ideas in a different format and through more modern language, but are still intelligent and captivating forms of art.
Thank you for the welcome, by the way. Unfortunately I tend to post substantially, which can be both good and bad. I will try to avoid writing unneccessarily.
Razor, I am a conservative and a church-goer (Roman Catholic) and a Buffyvangelist of the first order (at least I try to be.) Was talking on the phone with my wife's aunt the other day and was stunned that they'd never discussed Buffy at all (my wife is a total Whedon freak, too.) The aunt was utterly skeptical, which I get a lot, of course, so I was not discouraged. Bottom line: I ordered her season 1 and she promises to watch with an open mind. We'll see...

Agree, by the way, about Buffy and Angel as contemporary Shakespeare, right down to adding new words to the English language, just as Bill did. And my standard pitch is similar to what you wrote above--that Buffy tackles all the great themes of humanity--love, death, honor, betrayal, duty, sacrifice, heartbreak and sorrow, and does it in a way that is not only unconventional, it's radically different from anything I've ever seen before.
Yeah, I don't mean to offend anyone who is particularly religious, and there are a lot of open-minded religious people who are willing to embrace programmes such as Buffy, but there are also very strict orthodox people who would dismiss the programme on principle without actually viewing it. Okay, I understand that maybe you don't agree with witchcraft or other issues, but at least see if the show has redeeming features.

I really hope that people at least admire the passion and effort that has gone into all of Joss's shows, because everyone involved worked really hard and deserves the success they have won.

As to my least favourite Angel/Firefly episodes...

Again, it is hard to find fault, but I didn't find season one of Angel as strong as later seasons. Obviously this is due to the show setting up and finding its feet, but it was structurally more focused on stand alone episodes, which is in stark contrast to seasons three and four for example, which are very hard to follow because of the continuous development. I have yet to see season five and I hear it is slightly more focused on stand alone episodes, but that isn't strictly a bad thing. Just that I felt season one as a whole was slightly less satisifying than later seasons.

It's hard to pick out a single episode, but one thing that really annoyed me was the Oracle Wesley consulted in season three (I think it was'Loyalty'), it was kind of something I expected to see in 'Doublemeat Palace', cheesy and annoying.

As to Firefly, I have yet to view the whole season, I am taking my time on the DVD and I last watched 'Ariel'. I was impressed by the season but I didn't think "Wow!" until I reached 'Out Of Gas', which was completely outstanding. Hilarious, dramatic, sad, action-packed, the story not developed in chronological order... I was very, very impressed. My least favourite episode so far was 'Our Mrs. Reynolds', which wasn't really bad but there were just certain elements I didn't like. Still had plenty of redeeming moments though.
Funny how the same eps affect people differently. I was a bit on the fence about FIREFLY until "Our Mrs. Reynolds" aired. Then I was completely won over. I really don't have any eps of BUFFY I dislike until S6. Almost every ep after "Tabula Rasa" makes me go "ugh" when I see it's the one that's airing. I think S7 is better but not enough to convince me the show hadn't lost its way. "Converstations with Dead People" being (IMHO) the big S7 exception.
I called my wife (who was out of town on a business trip) after I saw "Out of Sight, Out of Mind." Told her I'd just seen the worst Buffy ever. She said that she kind of liked that episode. I said that I thought it was really good, too...just tha in relation to the others (this was during Season 6), it was inferior.

In other words, the worst Buffy is still splendid TV.

My favorite episodes are pretty standard..."OMWF", "Hush", "The Gift", "The Body", "Becoming", "Innocence", "The Prom", "CWDP", "Tabula Rasa", and so on...but I loved, just *loved* "Beer Bad"..."foamy" as an expression of approval and delight entered our household lexicon for all time! (So did "shiny", after we watched "Firefly".

Loved "Our Mrs. Reynolds", too, by the way. But "Out of Gas", "Objects in Space" and "The Message" are my favorite "Firefly" episodes.

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2005-03-15 04:12 ]
What about "Jaynestown"??

I guess that really hit my sense of humor in whatever scary place it lives...
Razor, Not to be picky, but destroying Anna's amulet to take away her power and reverse the last wish made (I suppose it was the last wish or more of history would have been changed...or was it? ;-) ) was an option that Giles came up with in the alternate reality. In this reality it did not happen and they do not have Giles to figure it out.

Although Anna told them to get Hallie's pendant in "Older and Far Away" that would not tell them that smashing it would take away her powers. Beyond that, D'Hoffrin obviously has ultimate control over who has powers. Annya went to him after it was smashed and asked him to restore her. The amulet was just a tool. She lost her powers because her boss was punishing her. If they did smash the amulet, D'Hoffrin could restore her powers if he wished to and it does seem like he would wish to. The vengence demon gig seems like one you only get out of if the boss decides he wants you out, pendent or no pendent.

I hope that helps you enjoy "Selfless" more fully. :-)
As far as the Scoobies not knowing about the amulet I was going to write a similar responce to your cj, but then I thought Anya had probably at least filled them in somewhat. The gang must've wondered how she lost her powers and of course there's Doppelgangland where Anya is trying to get her amulet to get her powers back... So I'm undecided, either way though Anya had chosen to become a vengence demon again of her own free will and was killing people so that makes her worse than Angel and everyone was happy to have Buffy kill him.

EDIT to add: Like batmarlowe I wasn't totally in love with Firefly until Our Mrs Reynolds (which granted was the 3rd episode to air) and I think because of that it's probably my favourite episode. My least favourite episode is Safe, though I think that has a lot to do with it being aired so far out of order that the characters seemed to be behaving as though a lot of their development hadn't happened, which in the original (and dvd) order it hadn't.
As for Angel, my least favourite episode is probably I Fall To Pieces and my favourite is Apocalypse, Nowish.

[ edited by Paul_Rocks on 2005-03-15 16:09 ]
Late to the topic, I know, but I just saw Constantine. It was a very good movie - I don't like Keanu Reeves' acting either (could only watch the first Matrix and have never been able to force myself back for the other 2!) but it was appropriate here. My take was that Constantine is so exhausted and numbed by what he sees and has to do that the lack of emotion wasn't supposed to be laconic or cool, but just world-weary!

The plot is good - there is a significant twist that turns the story back to front in terms of good and bad. I loved the portrayal of the Devil - suitably unpredictable but still menacing!

In short, I though it was a little like BtVS but in a good way! Of course, I have no knowldge of Constantine's source material so it may have been altered beyond recognition but I don't know that. As a movie, it was good!
Well, it is evident that the issue with Anya's pendant was never clearly dealt with so it is entirely possible that newcj's theory is correct. However I still believe what I wrote before.

Even though Giles worked out how to destroy her powers in the alternate reality, the amulet was still the source of her power and the reason why she lost her powers in the normal Buffy reality. In "Older and Far Away" Anya was going to try and get Halfrek's amulet, presumably to smash it, reversing the wish Halfrek granted and forcing her to lose her powers.

So it stands to reason that Anya could have told one of the gang more about the amulet being the source of a vengeance demon's powers, especially when Halfrek came to Sunnydale. It is also likely that Giles or Xander would have researched ways of returning Anya to her human form after her second period of being a demon.

Ultimately it is D'Hoffryn's decision to make someone a vengeance demon or take away their powers, but after "The Wish" it appears that if a demon is careless or stupid enough to have it broken then he feels that they don't deserve to be a demon.

He probably only changed his mind with Anya because she had a long and successful history of venegeance and after being abandoned by Xander was particularly bitter. Had the gang found and smashed her amulet, it is unlikely that D'Hoffryn would have restored her powers for a second time, if she had it broken twice, and apart from two violent wishes she granted (the frat boys and the worm, but she reversed it), was performing very poorly in the vengeance stakes. So as long as the gang were aware of the amulet's power breaking it should have rendered Anya human again.

Personally I think it was just a case of the writer being slightly careless and wanting to go with a dramatic plot where Buffy and Xander argue about killing Anya, regardless of the logic involved. Even if they were unaware of the amulet at this point, it seems strange that they wouldn't do any research on the matter].

You could argue that Buffy wanted to stop Anya granting any more wishes, but she had attempted to redeem Angelus and Willow in the past when they were evil. You could again argue that Buffy has changed by this point and is thinking more of the big picture, but she later ignores the fact that Spike is under control of The First to attempt to help him.

So why was Anya not given an attempt to redeem herself? Had Buffy actually went to talk to her rather than fight she might have realised how upset Anya was about what she had done. Or waited for Giles to research vengeance demons just as she got the gang to research how to restore Angel's soul or how Spike was being controlled.

I think it was more than likely due to the writer's mistake. But if you wanted to come up with theories as to why they didn't think of the amulet, the only possibilities are that for some reason the gang didn't bother researching the matter or Buffy was eager to kill Anya.

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