Friday, September 25, 2009

Life in the Whedonverse

Brought on, I'm sure, by Dollhouse's season premiere, a couple of publications have been posting lists of the best of the best in the land of Joss Whedon. I mostly agree with both lists (one ranks them by number and one does not) and they do overlap quite a bit. But, I have one major problem. Mood. And for me, in the Whedonverse, that means everything. What do I watch when I want to laugh? When I need a good cry? When I need a WTF moment I know is coming? The brilliance of Joss' work is that it can be all of these things all at once and then still be separated into groups. Want romance? Want danger? Horror? Humor? There is something for everyone. Here is my take.

Best real life situation = "The Body" Buffy, Season 5: For anyone who has ever dealt with the loss of someone close this one really hits home. Especially the silence. When you are alone with death there is no background music, no sweeping crescendo. Just silence. And fear. And pain. This episode was so beautifully done that I felt like I had lost my own mother all over again.

Best I'm really gonna kick your ass = "Not Fade Away" Angel, Season 5: This came too soon and too fast but the moment when Angel vamps out on Hamilton and when Illyria puts her fist through Vail's face, you just can't stop yourself from cheering out loud! And in case we expected anything less from our favorite hero, his final wish is to slay dragons. Poor dragons.

Best family that doesn't know it's a family = "Out of Gas" Firefly: Until this episode (if you watched them in order on DVD instead of Fox's f'd up way) the crew of Serenity seemed to be a pretty loose knit and just sort of fond of each other bunch (at best). This episode was so intense in showing love and devotion that it fully cemented the 9 of them as a family unit that you would never doubt again. And one of the best lines I have ever heard (still brings tears) 'When your miracle gets here, call us back"

Best WTF = "Needs" Dollhouse, Season 1: I knew when this episode started that it had to be some kind of trick or device. But, that didn't stop me from gasping out loud almost every 5 minutes. I loved getting to find out some of what the dolls were before they were Dolls.

Best could have done without that = "I Will Remember You" Angel, Season 1: This entire episode is just a gratuitous meal for the hungry Angel/Buffy shippers. And I loved every minute of it. I have watched A LOT of television and A LOT of movies and yet I have never witnessed anything quite as heartbreaking as this episode. It builds up so much hope and love and then just rips it all away before you even realize what's happening. I'll never again feel the same way about yogurt.

Best was that really necessary = Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog: I want all of my friends to see this. It is a masterpiece of creation. However, they're not really into sad. So, I always advertise it as a hilarious and catchy musical. Which it is. Totally. And then Penny dies. And then they all hate me. However, they are all hating me while having the songs stuck in their heads for life. So I consider it a win.

Best are they allowed to show that on TV = "Smashed" Buffy, Season 6: Until this episode sex in the Buffyverse had always been sweet and lovey dovey. And then there was Spike. Holy crow was this hot or what? And the "I can't believe they are showing this on TV" sex continued in "Gone," "Doublemeat Palace," and "Dead Things." If Spike wasn't a permanent fantasy object before this, he became one very soon after.

Best funny thing to happen to a group = "Tabula Rasa" Buffy, Season 6 & "Spin the Bottle" Angel, Season 4: An entire group of demon fighters losing their memories is hilarious the first time around. And the 2nd time around. Both of these episodes really forced the actors to act - outside of the characters they were so used to. And some of the funniest, laugh out loud, fall off the sofa hilarity ensued. "It was about time that the English got what's coming to him, I'm rooting for the slave." "I don't see any booze, I don't feel any head bumps, I don't see Allen Funt." And then cruelness came. Both episodes ended with tears (from me anyways).
Best I wish there was more = "Serenity” Firefly Movie: This was supposed to be the answer to all of the fans' wildest dreams. Which it was, in a way. All it did for me was make me even more attached to the characters and their stories than I already was. The movie did have some of the very best moments though (River against the Reavers) and will always make me cry. And scream for more!

Best so scary I peed my pants = "Hush" Buffy, Season 4: The moment when one of the Gentlemen glides across the screen right in front of Olivia makes me jump out of my skin every single time I watch this episode. I have seen this at least 20 times. It never becomes less scary. Just the thought of having my voice stolen makes me shudder. Brilliant story telling.

Best OUCH = "Innocence" Buffy, Season 2:  Yikes!  Can you imagine the horror!
Buffy: You just left.

Angelus: Yeah. Like I really wanted to stick around after that.
Buffy: What?
Angelus: You got a lot to learn about men, kiddo. Although I guess you proved that last night.
Buffy: What are you saying?
Angelus: Let's not make an issue out of it, okay? In fact, let's not talk about it at all. It happened.
Buffy: I-I don't understand. Was it m-me? Was I not good?
Angelus: [sarcastically] You were great. Really. I thought you were a pro.

Best friend = "War Stories" Firefly:  Mal does exactly what it takes to keep his pilot alive.  It sounds horrible coming out of his mouth, but it gets the job done.  I can only hope I have friends willing to be that awful to me if the situation called for it.

Best guardian angel = "The Target" Dollhouse, Season 1: I have had dozens of nightmares where I am being chases by something terrible.  This Dollhouse episode puts it all into perspective as I have never once been hunted by the hot guy I just slept with.  The entire situation is way too scary  - until Boyd comes to the rescue.  His love for Echo is all over his face.  What makes it even better?  Echo saving him right back!
Best sexy drink = "Graduation Part 2" Buffy, Season 3: I have screened the bit of this episode when Angel bites Buffy for a number of different people and I always hear a lot of "gross."  I don't get it.  There is nothing gross or icky or sick about this entire portion of the episode.  As a matter of fact, it is one of the sexiest, most intense love scenes I have ever laid eyes on.  I've seen True Blood, Moonlight, Twilight, Blood Ties and dozens of other vampire bite situations.  And still.  This is hands down the very best of them all.  Anyone know where I can find one of those arrows?

Your thoughts?  What did we miss?

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