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BtVS Episode Meme

The Logo Channel has a poll up to choose your 10 favorite BtVS episodes, and I surprised myself with my answers. Plus, it's more fun to think about than the comics.

My 10 Favorite Buffy Episodes (in chronological order):

1. School Hard
2. Band Candy
3. Lover’s Walk
4. The Wish
5. Doppelgängland
6. Something Blue
7. Superstar
8. Fool For Love
9. Once More With Feeling
10. Normal Again

Followed closely by:

11. The Pack
12. Halloween
13. Becoming Part 2
14. The Zeppo
15. Pangs
16. Hush
17. Who Are You?
18. Intervention
19. Tabula Rasa
20. Conversations with Dead People
21. Storyteller

Do you see a pattern? I do! It’s not just funny ones, which is what I would have guessed going in. They are largely alternate realities, with a couple of episodes wherein our understanding of Things As They Are take a permanent turn. A case could be made that every Buffy episode does that, but that aspect is really strong in the episodes I’ve chosen. They’re the ones that subvert the show! A show that in my opinion was already subversive. It’s a post-modern subversithon! I can’t get enough! A lot of my favorites are pretty funny, though. Strangely, there’s only one season finale on the list. I guess the big heroics aren’t my first reason for watching, after all.

Strangest of all? Five of them contain no Spike! Gasp! Inconceivable!

Breakdown by Season:

Season 1 — 1, Season 2 — 3, Season 3 — 5, Season 4 — 5, Season 5 — 2, Season 6 — 3, Season 7 — 2

The only real surprise there is that there are so many Season 3 episodes on the list. I'm not a huge fan of Season 5, though it has some absolutely tremendous moments, but I would have thought there would be more in Season 2 and Season 6, both of which I love. The heart is fickle...


6 of my top 21 were written by Jane Espenson, 5 by Joss Whedon, 2 by Dan Vebber, and 8 by others. There have been some nice things said about Jane on LJ in the last couple of days, so I'll just pile on and say that, according to the numbers, she's my favorite Buffy writer! Go Jane!

So, what are your favorite episodes and do you know why? C'mon! Dish!



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Favorite episodes in no particular order: (wow, I can just cut and copy from your list!)

School Hard
Lover’s Walk
The Wish
Something Blue
Fool For Love
Tabula Rasa
May. 18th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Hee! You dropped Band Candy in favor of Crush! One horrible humiliation for another! I think we are definitely thinking along the same lines...

Edited at 2010-05-18 05:32 pm (UTC)
May. 18th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
Oddly enough your list is almost exactly the same as mine, though in slightly different order. And I had "Hush" in my top ten instead of The Wish. Though that was a hard one! And I was very torn over "conversations with dead people" but ran out of space...

I like episodes with clever dialog, and that give us new insight into the characters. And Oz being awesome is a plus.

Jane Espenson is made of awesome isn't she? I listened to her commentary on I think "superstar" and just fell is love.
May. 18th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
Well, my list is in air date order, not order of preference. I think my head would explode if I had to rank them! Making choices is not my forté, hence the "top 10" list of 21. Heh.

Oz being awesome is indeed fabulous. I should probably have What's My Line, Part 2 on the list, if only for his speech to Willow and Spike's speech to Willy. My list just grows and grows...
(Deleted comment)
May. 18th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
It is happy-making to remember the good times, eh? Glad you're having fun with it!
May. 18th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Well, my top ten can be found in your top 21 :P It's kind of scattered, but four of the ten are from s3. S3 is possibly my second fave season, but my favorite overall is mos def s5. But then there are gems (found in my top ten) like "Tabula Rasa" and "Storyteller" that I just <3 ever so much. "The Pack," also in my top ten, is the only ep from s1 that makes it on the list. FFL, "Intervention," "School Hard" and your 2-5 round out my top ten eps.

And Jane Espenson just kicks major ass.
May. 18th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
my favorite overall is mos def s5

Which mine isn't, yet we both list FFL and Intervention as our only "faves" from S5. It's so interesting that people with different overall preferences still end up with the same core episodes as their favorites. Or, maybe it just makes sense as those are the best ones. Or, maybe we're all in the same Friend Pool for a reason. ;-)

BtVS episode love! FTW!
May. 18th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Plus, it's more fun to think about than the comics.

Cleaning my cat's litter box has become more fun than thinking about the comics.;)

You have lots of episodes that I loooove on your list, but I think mine would be very different. I'm not sure anything from S3 would even be in my top ten, though Band Candy and Lover's Walk might be in the top twenty.
May. 18th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
It's possible that I'm especially S3-happy at the moment because I've been paying close attention to it due to my co-modship of fantas_magoria. But even before that Band Candy and Doppelgängland were easily among my most-rewatched episodes ever. Lover's Walk is a honey, and The Wish blows my mind. I'm a big Spike fan, but I've written fic about all of those episodes, with or without Spike. (I inserted him into the Wish!verse.) I don't think of myself as a big fan of the season (probably because of the boring Angel arc) but those episodes, Faith, and the Mayor (and deputy mayor) are making me rethink my stand.

I'd love to see your list, though. I've shown you mine...
May. 18th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
1. Once More With Feeling

2. Restless

3. Becoming Pt. 2

4. Beneath You

5. The Gift

6. Fool for Love

7. Hush

8. Grave

9. The Body

10. New Moon Rising

I picked the eps which seemed to me to include most of the elements of the show as a whole. OMWF is the quintessential show. "Restless" sums up the previous seasons & foreshadows "what you are, what's to come", and gives the dreaming interior of the major characters.

I chose Becoming as the best representative for the Angel years, the one that most fully captures what Buffy & Angel were about, the final terrible tenderness as she sees him return & has to send him to the hell dimension. It also gives us Spike's first alliance with Buffy, and Willow's first successful & awe-full spell, as we see her full potential for the first time. Joyce finally confronts the reality of who Buffy is . . . it covers an amazing part of the spectrum.

Beneath You competed with Conversations with Dead People, the ep which has the most elements, but it has Buffy & Spike in the church.

'The Gift' . . . not just the beautiful final scene, but the incredible looniness leading up to it -- Anya suggesting the troll home, the discovery of the Buffybot, Glory back and forth between her & Ben, Buffy pounding Glory with the hammer, Giles killing Ben, etc.

Fool for Love -- the most important Slayer stories before Buffy's, the other half of the story of the Boxer rebellion, the usually-forgotten story of Riley going after the vamp who nearly killed Buffy with the big kaboom of the vamp nest, and the wholly unexpected bio of Spike, Angel nearly staking Spike & Dru's "The king of cups expects a party, but today is not his birthday" . . . all tied up with Spike & Buffy sitting on the porch . . .

Hush, not only the true start of Buffy & Riley, but Tara & Willow as well.

'Grave' -- DarkWillow, Giles' return, more DarkWillow, Jonathon and Andrew, DarkWillow, major corny-weepy-crayon-speech & Spike's test & return of his soul -- with St. Francis' prayer overlaying the final montage.

Never any reason to explain the inclusion of 'The Body'.

'New Moon Rising' doesn't usually make it but it has Oz's return & his amazing interaction with Tara. It also dealt with the whole question of acceptance & love when demons are involved, and it concludes with the affirmation of Willow's love for Tara, which brings her to her full development.

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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