Friday Favourite: Buffy episodes we love to hate
© AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo
By Aimee Oliver
Posted on May 6, 2016 in Television with tags Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It’s hard to believe that the usually-stellar Buffy the Vampire Slayer experienced a duff episode, but let me tell you: look hard enough, and there be monsters (and not just the fanged-type). I’ve put together my own bottom 5, and unfairly many of these fall within the boundaries of the fourth season, which does have some brilliant episodes of its own, but is generally considered to be the weakest.
This is clearly a Government-instigated public information film. Buffy’s drowning her sorrows over all-around idiot Parker and she proceeds to get quite drunk and turns into a cavewoman. Violence ensues, but most of it a bit dull. Beer Bad also sees the introduction of Veruca, who catches Oz’s eye. And we all know how that turned out.
The episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling in a Series, so it’s not all bad. Undoubtedly the highlight of Beer Bad is Parker being hit in the head with a club.
‘I Robot, You Jane’
Urgh, this one. The perils of the modern age! Watching it back now, it’s so incredibly dated. Willow scans a book containing a demon into Windows 95 and Moloch is let loose into the internet. What we’re left watching is a hideous courtship between nerdy, endearing Willow, and a demon who inspires his followers to carve big ‘M’ shapes in their arms.
Bonus points for Giles’ bafflement when it comes to technological advancement and the first appearance of Jenny Calendar (RIP).
Debt, terrible jobs and sex in an alley – it can only be working at the Doublemeat Palace. This brightly-lit establishment is home to the Doublemeat Medley which may or may not contain people (n.b. it doesn’t). We have to deal with grim shots of meat processing, Buffy feigning chirpiness, and general lack of danger, and the brief return of Amy, who freaks out our recovering magic addict Willow with an illicit spell (boo, hiss!). The highlight is the appearance of Pat Crawford Brown as Old Lady; take a look at Pat’s filmography, and you’ll realise she’s been in lots of shows you’ve seen before.
The Scoobies are being taught about the perils of pregnancy. They pair off, and each couple looks after an egg. But wait, the egg is actually some creepy creature with tentacles looking for the Mother Bezoar? Fine. But did it have to look like a cross between spaghetti and the purple Play Doh? There was absolutely no peril here. And since when is Xander the smart one, boiling his egg before it could attach itself to him and make him into a zombie? The best things about this one were the introduction of hick vampire brothers Tector and Lyle, and Xander being knocked unconscious.
‘Where the Wild Things Are’
Editor’s note: we tried to find a gif of Xander saying ‘poltergasm’ and failed. Please help us.
Riley and Buffy sex. I shouldn’t have to say anything else, really, but how about Riley and Buffy locked in a sex cycle, spurred on by the unhappy souls of abused teenagers from a children’s home? None of the goings-on in this episode really adds to the overall season arc, and just seems like filler that I would have much rather not seen. The only good spot in this episode is the inexplicably sexy Giles singing Behind Blue Eyes.
As You Were: Riley’s back in town, and his punching far above his weight with Sam, his wife. Spike is up to no good, Buffy’s not going back to UC Sunnydale, and Buffy and Spike split up.
Go Fish: the swim team become fish monsters. Kept out of the bottom 5 by Wentworth Miller’s appearance, and his brilliant line, “Dude, what is that foulness?”