The best (or at least favorites) are already being listed. But, hey, ME has given us some real clunkers over the years as well.
So, in order, my unfavoritest Buffisodes are…
“Potential”- All speechy and preachy, and Dawn “handing over the crown” to Amanda was so contrived. Actually, the entire episode was soooo contrived. Even the scene with Clem, who I’ve been dying to see all season, was contrived.
“Gone”- this episode topped my list until “Potential” aired. Joss, what a horrible episode. Buffy wretchedly mishandling her interview with the Social Services Lady, then going off to get her hair done. So, she gets hit with an invisibility ray, and the episode gets even stupider. First, she fucks with Social Services Lady in a completely implausible manner, rather than just discreetly getting hold of the file and making the necessary alterations, then she rapes Spike… then after some actual consensual sex, she humiliates him in front of Xander, then orally rapes him. This was supposed to be a comedy episode, but it was distinctly unfunny. The only thing worth watching about it was the display of Spikeflesh, and then I didn’t like the circumstances.
“Where the Wild Things Are” Buffy and Riley’s nonstop shagfest causes much badness to ensue. Giles singing was a bright spot in an otherwise totally lame episode. Did this one leave any doubt that Buffy/Riley was doomed?
“The Zeppo” OK, this is on a couple of lists of favorites, but I have never liked Xander- well, he is actually maturing this season, but…
After doing some stupid things in an attempt to be “cool”, Xander falls in with an undead gang of troublemakers. Oh, yeah, and saves the high school basement. Woo-hoo.
“Showtime” Really, one episode of Spike torture per season is enough did we really need a second one of The Peroxided One chained up, helpless, with no bed in sight? And the “Thunderdome” sequence, and the telepathic communication thing leading up to it were soooooo contrived. Oh, well, at least Buffy rescued Spike at the end.
I like’em all. The closest episode that comes to me actually disliking it is “Once More With Feeling” because I hate musicals and I thought it was lame. However, I cannot actually hate it because it kept the story going, had characters I like, and Joss actually had the balls and knowhow to pull it off.
A pretty blah episode though, was Xander’s wedding. Dull, dull, dull.
The worst episode is As You Were. And I know people are going to think “Oh pepper only thinks that because Buffy broke up with Spike.” The rest of th episode sucks so badly that for the most part, I don’t even remember that scene is even in AYW!
Spike is an international arms dealer? What does he use the payphone at Willy’s Alibi Room to make his deals? So he’s smart enough to sell weapons of mass destruction all over the world without a phone, and smart enough to do it long enough to become well known as “Doc” (a rant I’ll start in amomnet) but he’s so stupid he doesn’ tknow how to store his own weapons and he keeps flesh eaitng monsters next to the bed he shares with Buffy?
And why would Spike call himself The Doctor? What is he fixing? Furthermore, Doc pretty much represents Spike’s biggest (in his opinion) failure, namely not saving Dawn and causing Buffy’s death.
If Spike is an International Arms Dealer, why didn’t we get any inkling of it before?
Did you know that the demon eggs came to MN in a dream? I guess the whole episodeidd, that’s why it didn’t make sense.
Sam said Riley didn’t get over Buffy for ovre a year…but at that point Riley had barely been gone a year.
The fact that we were supposed to believe tht Riley and the Sambot were absolutel perfect in every single way, and it made Buffy feel like shit.
This is the explanation of the demon
So are they nearly extinct or are they breeding at ridiculous rates?
Riley cheats on Buffy with vampires, leaves her when her mom’s dying and some psycho God is after Dawn, and when he comes back, everybody welcomes him with open arms and smiles (even Dawn)?
So anyawy, I’m typign this rant while reading the scrpt and I come across this gem.
So it’s a honing mission, they’re trying to find this things eggs, but it’s barely mature? Wouldn’t the capability to lay fertile eggs make it mature? What exactly is the criteria for maturity?
Then of course, there is the following exchange which really makes my opinion of Buffy plummet
I know she was using him before, but to be so unapologetically blatant…how could the writers think this was a good thing?
Of course the topper was the final shot of Riley.
Or as TV Guide said–Riley’s back and he’s boring as ever.
Pepperlandgirl-- I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you about As You Were in every possible way. I hate Riley Finn and Marti Noxon, and boy was Buffy a loser last season. I also disliked the fact that Riley got to go off and find a perfect little submissive wifey that not even Buffy’s supposedly loyal friends could hate. It was vomitous.
Oh, Joss, how could I have left “As You Were” off my list? To hell with continuity, to hell with the fact that Spike had lost most of his underworldly connections when he teamed up with the Slayer (something ME seems to have forgotten), which would make international dealing in demon eggs impossible. To hel with internal consistency in an episode, fer cryin’ out loud. And really, Spike isn’t incompetent. He’s highly intelligent. But this ep makes him look like an oaf. Also, I think that selling demon eggs would be out of character for Spike, who since early on in S5 has been using Buffy as his moral compass- if Buffy wouldn’t approve, Spike wouldn’t do it (at least up until “Entropy”, when he “moved on” with Anya). Spike no doubt would have means of laying his hands on money- most likely by taking it from a vamp nest he’d helped the Slayer clean out (yes, they’d have it- they would roll the bodies of their victims, and they’d need it, if for no other reason than to by drinks at Willy’s )
As I said in the Favorites thread, I’ve only watched thru mid-season 3 and a few here and there of the current season. Here goes:
Go Fish - Swim team members are breathing in a steroid that turns them into killer fish so they could win the state championship. The whole episode sucked but it just seem so disjointed. I mean, Angelus is wandering around killing puppies and stalking Buffy’s friends and family. Who gives a rat’s ass about a killer porpoise?
Double Meat Palace Luckily I was hooked on Buffy before I saw this episode.
Bad Eggs - Something’s rotten and it ain’t the eggs.
Forget the name, but the one where Oz turns into a werewolf - This one gets a mention because the werewolf costume was just so incredibly bad. It’s hard to suspend your disbelief when the
costume looks like something you’d rent for a Halloween party.
For me it’s Go Fish & Bad Eggs, both rather boring monster-of-the-weekers. (Although both have a couple adorable Cordelia scenes – I could watch her talk about her bear from Gestaad all day.) Also, the S5 episode with Buffy in a coma seemed like filler necessary because they had started building to a climax one week too soon and then realized they didn’t have enough plot.
I think you’re missing a change in Spike (or at least an epiphany) – at this point, Spike’s been pining after Buffy for a year and had gotten nowhere being a bad man trying to be good. Then (in Smashed), he spends the better part of an episode taunting and beating the hell out of her as well as trying to eat an innocent bystander for no other reason than (he thinks) he can. Result? Buffy immediately fucks him. From Spike’s perspective, the worse he is, the more of Buffy he’s going to get. He’s right, too, because that’s what she wants – although he wants more out of the relationship than that so in later episodes tries to take it in a different direction.
For me, almost everything written by Marti Noxton gets a special mention. Overwrought dialogue like no-one in the real world would ever speak, characters crying and shouting simultaneously, dumb plots lined with soap opera cliches… ahem. Okay. I don’t like Marti Noxton’s writing. You get the message.
Wrecked: Yep, it’s by Noxton, it’s full of tears and idiotic dialogue, but this one really gets me because it turns Willow’s downward course into black magic into a really stupid and hamfisted drugs allegory. Willow wasn’t meant to be addicted to magic. She was meant to have gotten increasingly reliant on magic to solve her own and her friends’ problems. She was meant to have started loving the control it granted her. This wretched episode abandons even the semblance of being about magic when Amy and Willow enter the magical crack-house (they were there to get power for their spells. Not to go on a Sunnydale style magic drug-trip). Honestly, ‘Buffy’ was originally meant to be a commentary on real-life problems in a SUBTLE way.
Where the Wild Things Are: This episode was painfully bad. Dumb dialogue relying more on clumsy double entendres than wit, utter disregard for continuity (vampires and demons are life-long enemies since WHEN?) and a general sense of giggling, adolescent humour all through out
To date, the only time I’ve ever watched an episode of Buffy and felt that I could have better spent my time was probably the sixth season Halloween episode. Specifically, the moment where Giles suddenly developes kungfu and jump kicks a vampire into a spikey tree branch, while Spike is twenty feet away getting his ass kicked by a bunch of juvie vamps. Also, dawn reveals that a stake (or pencil, at least) through a kidney is as effective as one through the heart. Bleeech.
The only reason that I thought Spike would sell demon eggs on the black market was to get Buffy some much-needed money. He did tell her that he could help her out financially, that she didn’t need to work that degrading Double Meat Palace job (a plot point that NEVER made sense to me-- why didn’t she teach a self-defense course, become a bouncer, something?). That was my attempt to rationalize Noxon’s demonization (pun intended) of Spike in As You Were.
In fairness to Mr. Finn, who in spite of his manifold faults did give us the line “No more chick pit for you,” Riley left Buffy after her mom’s apparently succesful surgery, but before they found out what Glory really was.
The following post contains extreme bitterness. Reader discretion is advised.
The worst episodes, for me, are pretty much everything after the end of Season 5.
I’m one of the people who watched S.6 right through to the bitter end despite the gradual removal of every single element that had made me love the show and defend it as the best written thing on television for four years, and just never came back for S.7.
“Go Fish” and “Bad Eggs” weren’t stellar episodes, but they didn’t make me wonder who these people who looked like the characters I’d been watching for years were supposed to be.
I’ll spare you the actual rant, that’s what TWoP’s “Deep Bitterness Society” thread is for.
It’s not like ME hasn’t provided me with some pleasure in the meantime, though. Last week’s 2.3 rating gave me a bit of a happy.
There was a time when I would have named some first, second and third season episodes, but these days I would rather watch a bad first season episode than the best sixth season one. I’ve been watching re-runs on FX and let me tell you, after Season 3, I’m satisfied just turning off the TV and walking away. Sure, there were a few standout episodes, but the show completely lost it after the characters left high school. It is clear (to me) that they had no idea what to do with them anymore.
And I’m already hated by the Drooling Spike Fans Sociwety so I lose nothing by saying that once Spike returns in Season 4, all vestiges of the former show are gone. After that point it’s easier for me to name good episodes than the many many bad ones.
I watch the show now out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Let me tell you, if you’re not one of Spike’s rabid disciples, if you can’t imagine why they didn’t stake his evil, vampiric, murdering ass back in season 4, then there is very little left for you in the show, since they don’t even bother with any of the other characters anymore. I used to really enjoy the show, but it’s running on fumes now and I have no idea how they could possibly justify another season of it. Give Spike is own show, have it be written by the online community, and let me know when it’s on so I can roll my TV into a closet for those two hours and then start over with a new show. Oh wait, we tried that last part and they cancelled it.
Cave Buffy? Clouting that poophead Parker over the head with a large club? Twice?
And seeing those pseudointellectual assholes whose only redeeming feature was a willingness to buy Buffy beer at a time when she needed to do some serious sorrow-drowning reduced to Neanderthal status was just… neat.
Legomancer you really need to get over it. Spike didn’t get staked because JW wanted a regular vampire on the show that wasn’t Angel redux. If you can’t figure out any logical reasons why he didn’t get staked, then hold on to that one. The boss, creater, excutive producer, wanted JM specifically because he needed to replace Angel and Cordelia. Sometimes when I read your rants, it seems you think these are real people and forget that the writers have a reason for evreything they do…
And you know, you aren’t even blaming the decline of the show on the right reasons either. It had nothing to do with Spike the character. JW, and all of the good writers (including Greenwalt) went over to their new show, Angel, and left people like Marti Noxon in charge, and I believe Petrie (shudder) was story editor. (We can thank him for Riley the Jungle Cat)
That’s also why S6 was soooooooo bad, because Noxon, Petrie and to a lesser extent, Fury, really fucked with the characters, came up with lame story lines, did things like push Xander to the side and made him everybody’s butt monkey, in s6 ruined Willow’s magic problems with a lame drug addiction. It goes on and on and on. Maybe you just think it’s SPike’s fault because in S4 that was the biggest change to the cast…but at the beginning of S4 the cast and the producig team/writers changed.
I don’t think they’re real people, though they used to act more or less like real people. Now they act like the tools of writers, writers who are clumsily trying to make them do silly, ridiculous things. You’re right - there is no logical reason for Spike to have survived Season 4. He was a bad guy. He said he was a bad guy. The chip was the only thing keeping him in check, he was trying to get it out, and he was going to kill them all if he did. He said so. He worked with Adam to this end. They knew it. If this had been any other vampire, he would have been staked and no one would have shed a tear. But you’re right, Joss needed a vampire and Spike was popular, so everyone just ignored all the good solid reasons and we proceeded to turn a good villain into first a source of cheap laughs and then a source of idiotic puppydog fawning. As far as him not being an Angel redux, well I guess that didn’t go according to plan, since he’s pretty much exactly the same as Angel now except that he’s cuter than David Boreanaz was, I guess.
In the meantime, all the other characters went haywire completely against how they had been very well established before. If there was in fact a big team change (I don’t follow the behind-the-scenes stuff, I prefer my TV shows to take place on the TV) then that would explain it, because it was all thrown to the wind. Willow was completely changed in illogical manners, as was Xander. Buffy pretty much just sleepwalked through the part.
Unfortunately what worked well with the Mayor in season three (having a single, season-long big bad) hasn’t worked so great since. Adam was just painfully silly, and the whole Glory business was a three-part story thinly stretched over an entire season. By season six everythign was so horribly out of whack that after Xander got screwed at his own wedding, I quit watching and only recently saw the end of that season.
These days it’s like Poochy the Dog. Whenever Spike isn’t on screen, someone needs to be saying, “Where’s Spike?” We come up with all sorts of ways to rationalize his behavior and keep him around. We get mad when Buffy “rapes” him while she’s invisible, yet make no mention of him trying to rape her.
No, I don’t think they’re real people, but back in the day I used to brag on the show and talk about the quality of the characterization. Not any more. Now that the show has begun to play incredibly fast and loose with other plot details I really don’t see much in it anymore. Why am I still watching? Because my friends and wife watch, and I join them strictly as a social event.
It sounds like you and I agree to a point - the stuff after season 3 isn’t as good as the stuff before. Of course, it’s fair to say that very few shows have more than three or four seasons in them - had I known what a steaming pile of crap The X-Files would ultimately become, I would have bailed long before I did. I think that seasons 1-3 of BTVS make for a very nice, coherent, tidy nararative with good characters, good villains, humor, drama, action, romance, and all that stuff that makes a TV show good. Where we disagree is that I felt that all of that has been traded away and all we got in return was Spike, who I don’t think is a good trade. He was a great villain. The scene when he first got out of the wheelchair was great. To swap him for a combination Xander and Angel is to do a complete disservice to the character, and there was no reason for it. C’est la vie, nobody’s paying me to write a TV show. I thought it was a bad decision.
But I don’t think the decline of the show is all on Spike. I think that character is a symptom, not the cause. The cause was the fact that, after the characters left high school, nobody knew what to do with them. The college setting was dropped almost immediately and we entered a Scooby-Doo world free of parents, adults, jobs, and responsibility. When we made up for that in Season six we did so with crushing ‘reality’ and endured watched someone flip burgers for an hour. The show never found a direction or focus after the college was dropped. Xander is the only character who seems to have matured at all (though I think I’m the only person who likes him.)
As for getting over it, there’s nothing much to get over. It’s a TV show I used to enjoy and have some respect for. I don’t anymore. If my wife and friends didn’t watch it, I wouldn’t either. But the question was asked, and I put forth my opinions. Take em or leave em, as always.