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Buffy The Vampire SlayerHorrorbrain.com Top Ten Buffy Episodes Part 3
Saturday 8 October 2005, by Webmaster
If you have read several Joss Whedon interviews or listened to the commentary tracks provided on the Buffy DVD sets, then you should know by now how much Whedon dislikes the typical one shot, one shot, two shot type of Hollywood shooting. ‘Hush’ marked his first foray into experimental filmmaking. The episode centered on the Gentlemen (some of the most simple but frightening monsters to ever grace a Buffy episode) who come to Sunnydale and steal the voices of everyone. The episode, at its core, is all about the things left unsaid and the things we say; this is capitalized at the end of the episode, when everyone’s voices are restored, but yet Buffy and Riley can’t find the words to say to each other even though they know they need to talk. One of the funniest moments in Buffy also happened in this episode: Giles’ hand drawn slide show, including Buffy’s reaction to her being drawn ‘hippy’ and her subsequent staking procedure that turns into a hilarious masturbation joke that illicit some of the best facial expressions the Scoobies ever did.
“I’ve got a theory, that this episode, is so freaking good because the songs, and dancing shoes, and hilarious fun that inhabits every single frame of this musical episode.”
Okay, maybe I can’t write the musicals like Joss Whedon can, but it should give you a taste as to why this episode is so truly great. ‘Once More, With Feeling’ has to be one of the episodes that you can watch over and over again. The whole episode is a musical (lyrics and music done by Joss Whedon) thanks to a demon that makes everyone sing and dance until they bust into flames. The episode is great because of the dancing and singing (thanks to Joss’ hilarious lyrics), but it also includes several important moments that would advance the characters in Buffy. The musical featured the revelation that the Scoobies did bring Buffy back from the dead, but they ripped her from Heaven instead of a demon dimension they thought she was suffering in. It also marks the first time that Buffy and Spike get together; their relationship would be one of the backbones to the final two seasons. The episode is so good, and I’m sure I’m not alone, that I picked up the official soundtrack when it came out and now I listen to it quite frequently. Now excuse me, I have to go and put on the ‘I’ll Never Tell’ track. I love that song.
Ah, we have come to the cream of the crop, the piece de resistance, the big numero uno, and it doesn’t get much better than ‘The Body.’ ‘The Body’ is simply one of the best hours of television to ever be done. Period. Sure, you aren’t going to laugh your head off, but the emotions and sadness involved is so powerful that you wouldn’t want to find yourself laughing. The episode deals with Buffy’s mom being found dead and the Scoobies learning to work their way through their feelings. The episode has been cited by many - who have lost loved ones in their lives - as a source of inspiration and a tool that helped them to cope and learn to adjust to their lives without those they lost. ‘The Body’ has so many great moments - emotionally exhaustive moments - that if you don’t cry or feel at least a shred of sadness during the hour, you have to have a heart as small and black as The Grinch. How could you not get emotional watching this? Those great moments include Buffy imagining saving her mom, the moment she ceases to call her mom and refers to her as ‘the body’ to Giles, Willow trying to find an outfit that is perfect for the situation, and the single, best, most powerful moment, is when Anya goes on her rant about how she doesn’t know how she is supposed to feel, what to think, and that all she knows is that here was this woman who used to give her punch, and how Buffy’s mom used to like punch, and now she will never get to have punch again and she doesn’t understand humanity’s cycle of growing old and then one day being found dead. ‘The Body’ isn’t an episode you can watch time and time again - it is just too draining for the viewer - but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great episode, it means it is a perfect episode since it is so powerful in its delivery.