Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm a Slayer; Ask Me How.

I know I've been really Buffy-tastic lately, but I really wanted to post this since the atrocious LOGO list this past weekend.  It started a ground swell of anger for TV bloggers and TV twitter-ers (what a ridiculous word!) after the list made its rounds on the interwebs.  As previously stated, I'm somewhat of  TWoP stalker, and I follow the tweets & blog of one Joe R. who was kind enough to retweet my original call of blasphemy!  He asked that his blog readers send him their own personal top 10.  As I tried to figure that out, I found that I wanted to explain why said 10 were my favorites.  SO, for those of you still reading past "Buffy-tastic," here are my own personal top 10 (plus 3 honorable mentions for personal reasons).

10. Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest

This should be kind of self-explanatory, but this is the beginning, the one where it all started.  It's a pretty great series beginning, and it sucks you in (sadly, no pun intended!).  It effectively introduces the core of characters that we will grow to love over the course of the series, and they are so cute in their youngness!  ESPECIALLY baby Angel, who appears all stalker-y out of the darkness right into Buffy's heart.  Anyone who watches this knows that Angel is the original Edward Cullen.  It also establishes the Big Bad of S1 as The Master, who is one ugly motherShutYourMouth of a vamp, and begins the whole "High School As Hell" analogy that Joss was going for.  Ain't that the truth!

9. The Wish
Cordy tells new friend Anya that she wishes Buffy had  never come to Sunnydale, and unbeknownst to her, Anya sets the plan into motion as she's a demon.  It's a really dark look into what life would have been like had Buffy never come to that Hellmouth.  The entire town's been overtaken by vamps, The Master completed the Harvest [the one Buffy stopped in the very beginning], and now almost all of her friends are on the wrong side of the line.  This is one of my favorites because, right before the curse is reversed, all of the main characters are killed off during an epic battle.  You know that the characters don't feel the impact of the loss during the fight, since they are alternative versions of the characters the audience knows, but the AUDIENCE feels the loss.  Seeing Angel, Willow, and Xander turn to dust is pretty jarring, regardless of the fact that it didn't happen.  Plus, Buffy's face scar is pretty awesome.

8. The Zeppo
This is for fans of the Xander, which I am.  He's awkward, he has hot girl friends that see him permanently in the Friend Zone, he's got no powers to speak of, and he feels useless.  So, he abounds on what should be a B-plot that becomes the A-plot.  Meanwhile, his friends are dealing with the apocalypse that you never even see.  Fave part: Buffy and Angel having ANOTHER deep discussion about their epic love and why he shouldn't risk himself to save them and blah blah blah, and Xander interrupts all awkward and hilarious.  I feel like this is a love letter to people like me, who love TV as an art form and a hobby.

7. Band Candy
2 reasons: seeing Ripper come to life (bonus: hearing Anthony Head's real accent), and the actual title of the episode.  My inner Band Geek heart swells.  That says it all.

6. The Prom (Season 3)
I've already talked about this, so I won't go into it.  However, can't watch the end without tearing up!  Freakin' Jonathan and his Class Protector speech...

5. Graduation Day 1 & 2

Just epic.  The climax of Season 3 ends with a giant amazing fight that involves the entire senior class.  Of course, after the Class Protector thing, they aren't going to argue with Buffy when she tells them to hide stakes, knives, axes, and arrows under their robes.  Mostly, it goes back to that same nostalgia I feel as myself a member of the Class of 1999.  My graduation was soooo boring, especially compared to this.  I wish we could have had awesome weapons under our robes rather than white dresses and Silly String.

4. Hush
Joss is widely know for his witty and pop culture laden dialogue, and this episode was written to specifically show that his talent is quite beyond his wordiness.  The Gentlemen are coming, and they are about as creepy as possible, and they will steal your voices.  Much of the episode is music only, while the Scoobies figure out WTF to do.  Favorite scene, without question, is Giles and his silent slideshow.

3. Once More With Feeling
IT'S A FRIGGIN' MUSICAL.  To boot, it's catchy as hell.  So catchy that I used to listen to a playlist of it on YouTube until I bought the album off Amazon.  The plot is, the Monster of the Week (a demon named Sweet) is summoned, and he causes everyone in Sunnydale to sing their feelings.  It's a good turning point in the series, and it's a particularly bright spot in a bleak, weaker Season 6.  Most everyone has pretty average voices, except Giles who sounds so delicious and pleasant.  If you ever see me singing to myself, it's probably this.

2. Surprise/Innocence

I know I've said it before, but I'm totally Team Angel, and this is why.  It's Buffy's birthday, and she wants to celebrate by hanging with her Vampire with a Soul boyfriend and keeping things low key.  Unfortunately, Spike & Dru disagree, and they set a plot into motion that eventually leads to Angel leaving to keep All Evil from breaking loose.  THAT plan fails, and Buffy and Angel end up back at his place, which leads to some sweet bow-chicka-wow-wow.  HOWever, Angel's soul curse is such that, if he has one moment of pure happiness (i.e. making love to the one woman he's loved in over two hundred years), he loses said soul and becomes an evil and awesome douche.  For the rest of Season 2, Angelus is the Big Bad, and he wears eyeliner and leather pants and talks a LOT about hilarious crap.  It's awesome, awesome stuff with the action AND the sad love story, and it ultimately leads to the really great (at #11, I swear) finale of Season 2 and also Willow's Witchy Ways.  This incident defines their relationship for the entirety of the series, and it's also a personal joke between my husband and I (because our sense of humor peaked at age 13).  I've read this somewhere before, but guys always turn into such jerks afterwards...

1. The Body

There is not enough I can say about this episode.  This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, not just of Buffy but of any TV ever, and it's heart-breaking.  Writing, acting, everything is perfect.  Buffy's mother had been suffering from a brain tumor for the first part of the 5th season, and she had just had a operation and was given a clean bill of health.  Our Slayer had spent the last few years protecting her mother from various demons and monster and creepy crawlies, only to lose her to an aneurysm that she never saw coming.  Every single time I watch it, I cry so so many times, the trigger being when Buffy rushes to her mother's body and screams in her face to get her to react (see the pic from on the left).  Our girl is always so calm and collected, always the fighter, but this is far too much for her.  Again, I simply can't say enough about this, because no matter what I say, it doesn't do it justice.

HMs: School Hard, Pangs, Storyteller (SH because it's when Spike was AWESOME, Pangs for the "you made a bear!", Storyteller for "we are as Gods!")

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