Sunday, February 8, 2009

The "Essential" Buffy

I'm going to use this entry to migrate a comment thread to an upper tier. cs10 and I have been having a long chat in the "Wrapping Up the Holidays" comments, and I mentioned that I am mired in Season Four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A very generous friend loaned us the entire DVD collections of Buffy and Angel, and we are finally coming to terms with the fact that we are just not going to become Buffy fans. We recognize the brilliance of some episodes, and we appreciate the ambitious story arc, but as vampire Willow once said "Bored now."

So I need a list of essential Buffy/Angel episodes to watch so that I can return the discs with the best possible final impression of the show. cs10 said that it would be helpful if I said what episodes we have liked. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that "Passion" was one of the best bits of TV drama I have ever seen. We also liked the big climax to Season 3 (although neither of us really cared for the character of Faith). I liked the two "vampire Willow" episodes. I also like the character of Anya.

I haven't been able to get into Angel. It has the monster-a-week thing that bugged me about 1st season Buffy, and I don't really dig any of the characters except maybe Angel's cop friend (whose name I'm blanking on).

Oh, and I loved Firefly.

So, have at it folks. What Buffy/Angel episodes do I need to maintain geek cred?


dbrycegh said...

I loved Buffy and Angel, but didn't get obsessed to the point of remembering episode titles. There are two notable exceptions: "Hush" and "Once More with Feeling." Both are Buffy episodes, though I don't remember precisely where they fall.

But my imperfect memory is irrelevant; you should stick with Buffy, as I really think you'll like the last season better than what you've seen so far. Angel got much better over time too -- in fact it was later Angels that hooked me on the whole thing to begin with -- but there was a weird patch in the middle that turned me off a bit. At that point I was watching with a kind of train-wreck fascination, not with what you could call enjoyment. Yet that really just says how well done the show was.

It'd be kind of hard to skip episodes, though, there are a lot of little things that build up (more after the first couple of seasons of each show).

Oh, and the cop was Kate. I loved her. That actress went on to be a regular on Law and Order I believe.

Bittersweet Sage said...

Hey Bryceland!

Thanks for the response.

OK, so we have one vote for "everything."

Anonymous said...

Wait, "everything" was an option???

I've sent a more detailed list via email, but in brief I'd recommend most (but not all) of season 5. In season 6 you can pretty much just watch the musical ("Once More with Feeling"). In season 7, "Conversations with Dead People" (because it won a Hugo) and the finale (because it rocked).

I too didn't get hooked on Angel until the end of season 2 when SPOILER they brought Darla back END SPOILER. There was a lot more continuity after that. For the most part I liked what they did with Cordelia's character, and it was pretty fun to see some of the actors from Firefly as guests--Gina Torres in season 4 and Adam Baldwin in season 5. The show had some really good episodes (the Muppet episode in season 5 is a classic). Still, overall it wasn't as obsession-inducing for me as Buffy.

I actually like David Boreanaz much better in Bones, where he gets to have a bit more range. The best part of that show is watching the ensemble cast work together. Well, OK, second best, after the dead bodies in every episode.


Bittersweet Sage said...

Wow! Thanks, cs10! That list rocks!

Daryl Darko said...

don't forget HUSH from season 4!