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May 16, 2003
Big Nothing
by Daniel Erenberg

I was going to write an article this week about the filmed disappointments of Joss Whedon. When I scratched that, I was going to go in depth about my affection for the character of Oz. However, as of right now, the airing of the final episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is exactly one week away.

This really hit me on Sunday in a splash of pressure that forced a small, salty flood of tears out from my tear ducts. I was flipping through the TV Guide and I came across a capsule plot summary of the second-to-last episode "End Of Days". The sight of this, part one of the two-part series finale, really forced me into reflecting upon years past.

Later that same day, I was reading Entertainment Weekly and a photo caught my eye. It was a photo of Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar (who doesn't get nearly as much credit as she deserves in this column) hugging after filming the last ever scene of the show. This photo was proof positive that the show is truly over, even though I remember when it began like it was yesterday.

I was destined to be a Buffy fanatic. It's something of a tradition I set for myself a long time ago that every year on my birthday, I would go to the movies. On my birthday in 1992, there wasn't really anything out that I wanted to see, so I let my sister choose the movie. My sister, a massive Beverly Hills 90210 fan, chose the latest Luke Perry vehicle, Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

I was fascinated by the movie. Technically, it wasn't impressing, and even a bit ham-fisted in parts. Also, many of the performances were pretty atrocious. However, there was something about the mythology of the character that intrigued me.

Then, the film was quickly erased from movie theaters, and erased from my mind in the process.

Cut to five years later:

I saw an advertisement for a new television version of Buffy. I chuckled to myself and shook my head. Man, I thought. Where have all the creative ideas gone? Little did I know...

For some reason, I decided to watch it. I don't really remember why. Perhaps there was nothing else on. Maybe those Taster's Choice commercials were so good that I decided to see if Anthony Stewart Head could really act. But, for whatever reason, I watched it. And for seven years, I've never missed a single episode.

For seven years, I returned through thick and thin. I watched it paired with 7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek, Angel, Haunted, and now Platinum. I was there for the double-night extravaganza that was "Surprise/Innocence". I watched through the botched scheduling of season three, as the WB didn't air the season finale until late July, and saved "Earshot" for mid-September, the week before season four began. I watched the massive advertising blitz behind "Hush" ("28 minutes of silence"). I watched regular characters added and taken away from the cast. I watched characters that I felt connected to die in endlessly creative ways. I watched the spin-off. I saw the title character die. Both times. I watched as the show switched channels. I saw the fans betray it in season six. And next week, I will watch it end. And I've loved every moment of it.

Never once did the show suck. Never once was I watching mindless escapist entertainment as I watched it. It was consistently thought provoking. I was always moved by it. I've cried at twelve different episodes. Next week, that number will have increased by one.

Good or bad, Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a part of me. I haven't spent a day in the past seven years of my life without thinking about it. These are strong words with truth to them.

This is a shorter article than usual because I'm speechless. Buffy is a major part of my life, and as it dies out, so does an important piece of me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the best television show ever created. But it transcends television. It's too important. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the one thing, the one constant that has affected my life more than anything else. Buffy is life. And life is about to end.

And without further ado, here is my special list of every Buffy episode (up to "Touched") from my favorite to my least favorite. And the most amazing part of it is this: There isn't a single truly bad episode on here. I love each and every one. This is just the order that I love them in:

1. The Body
2. Restless
3. Hush
4. Becoming Part Two
5. Becoming Part One
6. The Gift
7. Once More With Feeling
8. Graduation Day Part Two
9. Innocence
10. The Wish
11. Earshot
12. Passion
13. Welcome To The Hellmouth/The Harvest
14. Prophecy Girl
15. Graduation Day Part One
16. Fool For Love
17. Primeval
18. Lessons
19. The Prom
20. Lover's Walk
21. Two To Go/Grave
22. Angel
23. Conversations With Dead People
24. Halloween
25. The Freshman
26. Lies My Parents Told Me
27. Dirty Girls
28. Seeing Red
29. Lie To Me
30. Storyteller
31. Wild At Heart
32. Never Leave Me
33. Showtime
34. Villains
35. Normal Again
36. What's My Line Part Two
37. When She Was Bad
38. Help
39. Amends
40. Bad Girls
41. Choices
42. The Pack
43. Beneath You
44. Bargaining (Parts One and Two)
45. Blood Ties
46. Who Are You?
47. Selfless
48. School Hard
49. First Date
50. Dead Things
51. Living Conditions
52. Crush
53. Into The Woods
54. Dopplegangland
55. Touched
56. Him
57. The Killer In Me
58. Bring On The Night
59. Entropy
60. Consequences
61. Ted
62. I Only Have Eyes For You
63. Surprise
64. The Yoko Factor
65. New Moon Rising
66. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
67. Sleeper
68. Life Serial
69. Teacher's Pet
70. Helpless
71. Empty Places
72. Same Time, Same Place
73. Listening To Fear
74. Homecoming
75. No Place Like Home
76. Potential
77. Smashed
78. Enemies
79. Dead Man's Party
80. The Weight Of The World
81. Faith, Hope, and Trick
82. Older and Far Away
83. Revelations
84. Forever
85. The Dark Age
86. Spiral
87. After Life
88. The Zeppo
89. Anne
90. Get It Done
91. Bad Eggs
92. Nightmares
93. Intervention
94. Wrecked
95. This Year's Girl
96. Shadow
97. Superstar
98. Goodbye, Iowa
99. I Was Made To Love You
100. Gone
101. As You Were
102. Out Of My Mind
103. The Harsh Light Of Day
104. Tabula Rasa
105. Band Candy
106. All The Way
107. Real Me
108. Family
109. Hell's Bells
110. Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight
111. The Initiative
112. Buffy Vs. Dracula
113. Never Kill A Boy On The First Date
114. Phases
115. Checkpoint
116. Something Blue
117. Where The Wild Things Are
118. Tough Love
119. Beauty and The Beasts
120. Go Fish
121. Inca Mummy Girl
122. Flooded
123. Doomed
124. A New Man
125. What's My Line Part One
126. The Replacement
127. The I In Team
128. Some Assembly Required
129. The Puppet Show
130. Gingerbread
131. Fear, Itself
132. Reptile Boy
133. DoubleMeat Palace
134. I Robot, You Jane
135. Pangs
136. Killed By Death
137. Triangle
138. Beer Bad

Okay. This is MY list. You all can state your opinions, but please, Please, PLEASE!!! Do not disparage my opinions. Some episodes that may have left some of you cold might have really hit home for me. This is my list. Feel free to state yours without calling me an idiot or something. Thank you.

Daniel Erenberg lives in a gothic-looking house in a suburb of Long Island shrouded by trees and darkness. His backyard is so overrun with shrubbery that he can't plant flowers in the soil. He's penned articles for numerous magazines (and a couple of websites for free). Currently, he's writing his first novel, entitled People That I've Long Since Forgotten. He's also written two plays, Little Room and Dystopia and a screenplay called Youth Or Consequence. He lives a fairly happy life alone and hankers constantly for the hour of eight P.M. to nine P.M. on Tuesday nights. You can contact Daniel on
Latest Comments

Hey Dan who lives in his gothic looking house surrounded by shrubbery... you sound pretty sexy and insightful. I enjoy your reviews and opinions. I look foward to reading them. -V

Posted by: Veronica on April 11, 2004 11:33 PM

Okay, after reading all these comments i felt inspired to write my own list too, so here are my top 20 episodes in order:

1) Earshot
2/3) Graduation Day 1and2
4/5) Becoming 1and2
6) The Gift
7) Once more with feeling
8) The body
9) The Prom
10/11) Surprise/Innocence
12) Two to go
13) Hush
14) Restless
15) Enemies
16/17) This Year's Girl/Who are you?
18) School Hard
19) Helpless
20) Amends

Guess it's pretty obvious from this list that I'ma pretty big season 3 fan. Man that season was good!

Posted by: Hannah on February 5, 2004 12:45 PM

My favorite: "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered"

Least favorite: "DoubleMeat Palace"

Posted by: Jeremy on August 6, 2003 06:14 AM

ive only put a few of my favourites! and they aint in order of which i like most!
-school hard
-bewitched, bothered and bewildered
-lovers walk
-beer bad
-something blue
-the yoko factor
-tabula rasa

Posted by: Amanda on June 1, 2003 01:10 PM

Well, I donīt think there are that many slayers now. If you think about it, remember that the firstīs minions already killed some of the potentials and some were brought to Buffy so there wonīt be much left.
Anyway I see great potential in that fact: I love the idea of slayers gathering in different 'religions' like 'the order of the first slayer' living her ideal or a group acting like Gunnīs old gang and killing ALL demons. This could result in a slayers war and perhaps Angel would have to deal with this...

Posted by: Steven on May 29, 2003 09:23 AM
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