Thursday, March 1, 2012

A look back: The worst episodes of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’

10. Smashed (Season Six): There’s a lot wrong with season six, but I think this episode is where things actually started to go horribly awry in the Buffy verse. Between Spike starting his abusive relationship with Buffy (a storyline that wrecked one of the best character in Buffy history) to Willow resurrecting Amy to kick off the magic crack arc – this whole episode is all kinds of bad.


9. Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (Season One):  The fact that practically a third of the first season made the “worst of” list hasn’t escaped me. There’s a lot to choose from.  This is a simple episode that would highlight a central theme in Buffy’s world – that she wants a normal life despite her abnormal situation. This wasn’t the best example of Buffy’s inner struggle, though. Not only is the episode boring but the acting is pretty weak – something we weren’t accustom to on Buffy.

8. Teacher’s Pet (Season One):  This is Xander’s first (in a long string) of evil love interests.  Not only does the episode play with the “virgins in horror” theme, but it also has one of the wors special effects sequences ever.  In addition to this, I just find bug people to be trite and overused in science fiction.


7. Him (Season Seven):  This is supposed to be a comedic episode – and let’s face it, season seven needs more of those. This wasn’t the way to do it, though. I think what bothers me most is Dawn’s suicide attempt on the train tracks. I just don’t find any redeeming qualities in that storyline. That being said, Buffy, Spike and the rocket launcher is one of the funniest sight gags in the show’s history.


6. Touched (Season Seven):  I hated picking an episode so late in the show’s run as one of the worst, but this one really irks me.  It comes on the heels of Buffy getting kicked out of her own house by people she has saved hundreds of times over the past seven seasons. Willow, Xander, Giles and Dawn would NEVER do that.  My problem isn’t just that it’s out of character for the Scooby Gang it’s that it was written as a way to prop Spike as some immaculate hero. I loved Spike through season five, but he is turned into such a wet rag by the end of the series I welcomed his death. That being said, Spike is redeemed on ‘Angel’ – so all was well at the end. It seemed he just needed to be away from Buffy to regain his swagger and spark.

5. Showtime (Season Seven):  The inherent problems in season seven are many – and this episode pretty much shines a light on all of them. My first issue is continuity. The ubervamps had been shown to be practically unbeatable up to this point – and I get Buffy trying to give the potentials some glimmer of hope by killing one. That being said, setting it up like a soap opera would is just ridiculous. Plus, how easy the ubervamps turn out to be to defeat in the finale doesn’t gibe with the build-up in this episode. The other thing that becomes apparent in this episode is the nonstop speechifying by Buffy. I wanted to gag her to shut her up by the end.

4. Bad Eggs (Season Two):
 Season two has the best villains arc in the history of the show. Maybe that’s why Bad Eggs bugs me so much. Not only is the basement monster ridiculous, but so is much of the dialogue. That being said, there are two worthwhile moments, including Xander hard boiling his “baby” and Joyce and Buffy’s parenting talk.


3. Doublemeat Palace (Season Six):  Anyone who has seen this episode knows its inherent problems. A still depressed slayer is having money problems so she gets a job at the local burger joint – where there’s a little something special about the burgers besides the sauce. This is also the episode where I think it’s hinted that Anya and Xander might not get their happy ending (which is one of my least favorite story
arcs in Buffy history).

2. Where the Wild Things Are (Season Four):  This whole episode is just blah. Not only do we see way too much of the ultra wooden Riley, but the central ghost story of abused kids is really heavy handed. There’s not a lot to find enjoyable about the episode. Actually, there’s not anything.

1. I Robot, You Jane (Season One):  I cannot find one redeeming quality in this episode (and I vow to never watch it again). This one tried to link technology and horror when a demon is unleashed on the Internet and Willow becomes attracted to it when it lures her with a false identity. Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds.

Honorable mentions:

Beer Bad (Season Four):  I don’t hate on this episode as much as everyone else. In fact, I actually enjoy some of the prehistoric Buffy stuff. That being said, it seems like an after school special on drinking and, frankly, Buffy should be above that.

The Puppet Show (Season One): This really before Buffy hit its stride, so I forgive a lot in the first season.  Personally, I’ve always found dolls (puppets count) creepy – so I don’t have the affection for this episode that some people seem to.  Sid annoys me on a lot of levels – including the fact that they included him in the video game world.

Reptile Boy (Season Two):  This is another after school special episode that essentially laments the dangers of drinking and lying to adult figures.  It does have a great Willow moment when she unloads on Angel and Giles for their treatment of Buffy, though, and who doesn’t love Angel’s devotion to Buffy?

 Inca Mummy Girl (Season Two):  Another instance of Xander attracting evil wasn’t necessary. We were all well aware of it. I did love Oz noticing Willow in her Eskimo outfit, though. That was the beginnings of one of my favorite couples on the show.

Buffy vs. Dracula (Season Five): Buffy wasn’t exactly known for having strong season premiers, and this is no exception. As a soap opera fan, I enjoyed seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar reunited with her ‘All My Children’ love interest Rudolph Martin. And who didn’t love a bug eating Xander and his devotion to the dark master –- bater? It’s still a lame episode and weak way to start one of the show’s best seasons.

Superstar (Season Four): Some people love this episode. I’m not one of them. While it’s supposed to be a funny time warp, all it did for me was reinforce the fact that Jonathan is best (pun intended) in short doses.

What do you think? What are the worst episodes of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'? 


Blogger VampireJohan888 said...

"Where The Wild Things Are" definite! Can't find anyone more boring! Like you say: nothing good in it (except the intro, when Buffy is a the cemetery fighting) that's the only thing i like about it! I also agree with you that "Beer Bad" is good! WHY does everybody has to complain on it??? But antithes to you I like "Superstar"! Also "Bad Eggs"! It's the first episode of two with Lyle Gorch and I still remember the first time I saw that intro! It was AWESOME!!!

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