Ranking the top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time: “Stop trying to make Fetch happen!”

“On Wednesdays we wear Pink!” (Mean Girls) Well it is Wednesday, but I am sorry to say I am not wearing anything pink.  Due to the lack of new shows airing because of the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to start diving deeper into the roles of some of my favorite characters on television.  While the good girl typically saves the day or solves the mystery in the nick of time, it got me thinking about the mean girls who sometimes end up in the background, no matter how much they try to hog the spotlight.  While the Mean Girls film is one of my absolute favorites, I started to think about some characters from television shows who could have easily been invited to sit at their table.  While these female characters put their best effort forward to look amazing and act fierce, they each have a likable quality as well, which goes to show that there is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye.  My top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time are:

5

Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars.

“Friends share secrets.  That’s what keeps us close.” (Alison from Pretty Little Liars)

If you haven’t gotten a chance to binge-watch Pretty Little Liars yet, I absolutely recommend it.  Just when you think you have it figured out, there is a new twist or turn.  Please note spoilers are ahead as a warning.  In the beginning of the series, four friends are trying to figure out the mystery behind Alison’s disappearance and presumed death.  There are flashbacks from the past along the way which showcase how mean Alison was to those around her.  Alison had the gift of manipulation and spoke to others in such a condescending manner, that even adults feared her.  At this point in the show, it didn’t seem like Alison had any redeeming qualities.  She made Hanna feel bad about her weight and led Emily on, realizing that she was a lesbian without a care in the world.  She also strategically used the secrets of her friends against them and played them to her advantage.  However, later we learn that Alison is actually alive and the mysterious A is out to punish her along with her friends.  While Alison never really leaves her mean girl card behind, she does start to show signs of truly caring for others, especially Emily, as she does have romantic feelings for her.  When the series goes five years into the future, Alison is actually a school teacher and tries to pay it forward, but still refuses to allow anyone to step on her or get in her way.

4

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

“Ladies you can give your tiny brains a rest.  Once again the world has proven that anything you can do, I can do better.” (Blair from Gossip Girl)

Blair is the image of perfection in Gossip Girl.  Her ensembles and make-up are always flawless and she even has minions who follow her around and follow her every demand, as if they were truly serving a queen.  Blair even refers to herself as the “Queen Bee” and her loyal subjects at her prep high-school in New York City don’t really challenge her on this.  Blair is infamous for her schemes and frequently feuds with her best friend, Serena.  While Blair is not afraid to fight dirty, she refuses to shatter her image of perfection in the process.  She is typically the master-mind behind the scheme and has others do her bidding, refusing to apologize for her actions.  While it seems that this mean girl is cold and heartless, Blair does have a loving side.  Her on and off again romance with Chuck Bass reveals her vulnerability, as she finds herself thinking with her heart before her head here, exposing that she does have goodness within.  Nevertheless, you certainly do not want to ever cross Blair because she will do whatever it takes to win.

3

Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.

“You catatonic bimbos didn’t vote for me!” (Cheryl from Riverdale)

Cheryl has the mean girl act down pat for sure.  She doesn’t enter a room unless she has her perfect shade of dark crimson lip-stick flawless in order to match her hair.  Much like her hair, Cheryl is fiery and passionate.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and often says insensitive things without realizing it.  Cheryl is the head of the cheer-leading squad and treats the other girls like her subjects, completely appalled when she is voted out and Veronica becomes captain.  Cheryl is not just talk however; as her actions have proven to be very dangerous.  She even sets her house on fire with her mother still inside without thinking twice about it.  Cheryl does reveal glimmers of goodness along the way.  She was truly impacted by the loss of her twin brother, Jason and she does try to help Betty and the gang here and there to prove that she can be useful.  However, Cheryl is damaged by the deceit and betrayal of her family and it’s not so easy to turn off the mean girl vibe.  While I have hope for Cheryl, she is still a girl to watch out for.

2

Valerie Malone from Beverly Hills, 90210.

“I’m not Brenda.  I’m never going to be Brenda.  Don’t talk to me about Brenda!” (Val to Dylan in Beverly Hills, 90210)

Valerie Malone still deserves a spot toward the top of this list even after all this time.  Known for being a scheming femme fatale, she fools everyone when she arrives to town, appearing to be a sweet and innocent girl from the mid-west.  However, the characters from our favorite zip code are in for a rude awakening, as Val unleashes her street smarts and uses her powers of persuasion and manipulation to break apart this happy group of friends.  Val has romantic relationships with pretty much all of the main characters including Dylan, Brandon, David, and Steve.  As a result, she burns bridges fairly quickly with Kelly who becomes her main rival.  Val’s snappy one-liners and sneaky maneuvers prove that she is one to watch.  She has grown past the high school drama, however; and moves on to blackmailing and dangerous negotiations to help her become a successful business woman.  Talk about making a deal with the devil, Val doesn’t allow anyone to double-cross her.  Val is not all bad, however; as she has a very troubled past and does truly care for Brandon as if he were her own family.  Val tries to be a good person, but when the task becomes too difficult, she finds it easier to hide behind her bad girl image.

1

Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“God! What is your childhood trauma? Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.” (Cordelia to Buffy when she attacks her by accident)

So my number one pick for best TV mean girl has to go to the beautiful and hilarious, Cordelia Chase.  While Buffy and Willow tend to have most of the fan-base and get a lot of air time, one should not discount Cordelia.  She started out in a supporting role, playing the mean girl role to a tee, as if it was her calling in life to be unpleasant to those around her.  However, later in the series, Cordelia becomes a member of the Scoobies and does try to lend a helping hand…when it’s convenient for her.  One of my favorite episodes is when her and Buffy compete for Homecoming queen.  Cordelia is not about to just hand over the crown to Buffy and goes through great lengths to defeat her.  The two end up caught in a trap cleverly called “Slayerfest 98” where the vampires mistake Cordelia for Faith.  Nonetheless, the two have to make amends and put differences aside to stay alive, even if it means using a spatula as a weapon.  Cordelia does eventually grow into a caring person especially when she joins Angel in LA, but one cannot forget her witty come-backs and her unforgiving attitude.  She even tells a ghost off in Angel, proving that she is not going to let anyone step on her, supernatural or not.  Cordelia would probably end up leading the “Plastics” if she were in the Mean Girls film, proving to be a timeless mean girl that we still root for.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV mean girls.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 heart-breaking moments from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have once again returned to one of my old favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  There’s something to be said about moments in television that can bring you to tears.  You invest a lot of time into the shows you watch and connect with the characters on a profound level, which is what makes it so impossibly emotional when certain moments happen, shattering the calm and happy existence you have come to know and rely on.  Whether it is one of your favorite characters dying, an epic romance coming to end, or something else entirely, there are certain heart-breaking moments on television that still impact us today.  After many re-watches of Buffy, there are still certain moments that I recognize.  I find my heart starting to skip faster, anticipating the worst, even hoping that somehow the outcome might be different with a re-watch.  However, the tragedy replays as it did the first time watching, still bringing tears to our eyes and tugging at our own feelings in the process.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet.  My top 5 heart-breaking moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Giles’s discovery of Jenny’s death. 

In season 2, Angel loses his soul when he experiences true happiness with Buffy.  When he returns to his former monster self, Angelus, he stalks and torments Buffy and her friends.  It is not enough to simply kill them.  He wants them to truly suffer, weakening them further in the process.  Fans loved the blossoming love between Giles and Jenny Calendar.  When Angelus learns that Jenny is on the verge of finding out how to bring the curse back along with his soul, he views her as a threat in the episode “Passion.”  He hunts her down in the school and snaps her neck, which was horrific enough for viewers.  However, Angelus doesn’t stop here.  Rather, he stages a romantic evening for Giles to walk into.  Giles approaches his door-way with a rose waiting for him and happily walks into opera music playing along with champagne and a note reading “upstairs.”  To Giles’s horror, he finds Jenny’s lifeless body waiting in his bed, dropping the champagne bottle and shattering it, while the opera music crescendos louder and louder.  What makes this moment truly tragic is Giles’s reaction to it.  Giles and Jenny were finally going to be re-united and make things work, but Angelus viciously ripped this happiness away from him, toying with his emotions.

4

Tara’s death. 

In season 6, Warren is not about to let Buffy and the gang make a fool of him.  A once harmless villain has now become deadly.  He points a gun at Buffy and Xander to the surprise and horror of fans and shoots it.  Xander falls to the ground and it first appears that he is his victim, but the bullet ricochets to the upstairs window and strikes Tara right in front of Willow.  Tara’s blouse has a single blood stain on it as she falls and collapses in Willow’s arms.  Willow’s eyes turn black in rage, now releasing the dark magic and evilness that she had kept away for so long.  The love between Willow and Tara was so pure and beautiful and fans were horrified to see Willow’s love taken away from her in a violent act.  The scoobies have faced evil day after day, but what makes this so awful is that it was a human act of violence.  It wasn’t a vampire or a monster, rather it was a human being who felt wronged by the world and took his anger out with a man-made weapon, revealing that mortals can be just as dangerous as monsters in this world.

3

Buffy sacrifices herself to save Dawn. 

In the season 5 finale, “The Gift,” Buffy recognizes that her blood is just like Dawn’s.  Dawn’s blood is the key to closing the portal that will destroy the world, but she is not about to let her innocent sister suffer the consequences.  Buffy makes the decision to jump into the portal to sacrifice herself.  She tells Dawn that “you have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world — is to live in it. Be brave. Live…for me.”  This is one of the most powerful and heart-breaking quotes in the entire series for me.  Buffy’s unconditional love for her sister, her friends, and the world is beyond words.  She has touched the lives of so many people and helped saved innocents with each action, but there is something about this act that transcends all of that.  She recognizes the sacrifice and embraces it, leaving her friends mourning her behind.  Spike is left in tears, making this moment that much more tragic for fans, as he does truly love her and feels like he let her down.

2

Buffy kills Angel when his soul returns. 

In the season 2 finale, “Becoming,” Buffy knows what she must do and is now truly ready to defeat Angelus so that she can save the world.  She recognizes that the good man she came to know and love is gone, leaving only a shell of a monster behind.  Seems easy enough, right?  Before Buffy is about to strike the final blow, Willow’s spell works and Angel’s soul returns.  Angel doesn’t remember what has happened, and Buffy tells him to kiss her, right before she strikes him fatally with a sword, sending his body through the portal.  Buffy is still relatively new and young as a slayer in season 2, dealing with high-school drama and this is more than any teenage-girl could handle.  She leaves Sunnydale behind, unable to deal with her emotions and the loss of her great love by her own hand.

1

Buffy finds her mother’s body. 

In season 5, Buffy is dealing with a new sister and a god named Glory who will stop at nothing to find her key and destroy the world.  What makes this moment truly tragic is that it is a mortal tragedy.  Buffy’s mother, Joyce, has been sick for a while, but when Buffy discovers her body lying on the floor, she becomes an innocent and terrified young girl.  Buffy whispers “mommy,” as we empathize with her completely.  Her powers will not help her here.  She is left to attempt CPR and call an ambulance, but it is too late.  Her mother is gone and she has to deal with this loss along with realizing that she will now have to pick up the pieces of her family and grow up even faster than she already has.  This episode does not feature any back-ground music, so that viewers were able to completely focus on Buffy’s reaction and emotions throughout this heart-breaking scene.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own heart-breaking moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 spin-off television series of all time: Can a spin-off surpass an original?

Is it possible for a spin-off series to surpass the original?  Perhaps not in most cases, but that doesn’t mean that the spin-off can’t branch out into something entertaining and epic on its own.  Creating a spin-off series is always a gamble.  You are relying on the fans from the original series to follow the show and create a fan base with its own separate identity as well.  While many spin-off series have failed to capture this difficult standard, there have been some that are so memorable that you almost forget that there was an original series that started it all.  This really got me thinking about my own favorite spin-off series and why they stand out above the rest.  My top 5 favorite spin-off television series of all time are:

5

The Originals.  This show is a spin-off series of the CW’s successful hit, The Vampire Diaries.  Klaus Mikaelson and his family of original vampires are introduced as dangerous and worthy villains, but their history is so rich and intriguing, not leaving The Vampire Diaries much room to explore it among its own plot.  The Originals is set in New Orleans and fans were pleased to see the Mikaelson family as the center of it all, while introducing new characters as well with just as much complexity.  The Originals does not shy away from its roots and all fans know where it started, however; it takes a darker and more historical approach to vampires, allowing viewers to see the full picture of how everything started.  After years of watching both series, I came to ultimately prefer The Originals because it was fresher and explored darker elements.  Klaus, who was previously shown as a ruthless killer with no remorse, now shows a glimmer of a soul and reveals to us how he became so broken in the midst of family and romantic betrayals.

4

Melrose Place.  This show is a spin-off series of one of my all time favorites, Beverly Hills, 90210.  90210 was such a success and targeted a teenage audience who craved a drama with more depth and complication than your average soap opera.  Some fans don’t remember that the very entertaining Melrose Place was actually a spin-off of 90210.  Jake is introduced as an old friend of Dylan’s and has a fleeting romantic moment with Kelly, only to decide to ride his motorcycle off to a new town to discover a life of his own.  The opening episodes of Melrose Place even feature Kelly coming to find him to see why he had broken their relationship off, strategically hooking in viewers from 90210.  While a lot of the love triangles, betrayals, and outrageous plots seem familiar to 90210, Melrose Place did a good job of capturing an old generation of viewers as well, breaking out of the mold of a high school drama and paving the way for many more shows to come.

3

Angel.   A spin-off of the hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon recognized that Buffy and Angel’s story was over…or at least put on pause, leaving fans wondering where Angel would go after Buffy graduated and went off to college.  Lucky for us, Angel was not done with his destiny just yet, traveling to LA with fan-favorite, Cordelia, to help innocents along the way and even start his own business while doing so, taking on one evil lawyer at a time.  In Buffy, Angel’s back story is briefly explored, but his own show allows us to truly see and understand every aspect of his origin.  Also, Angel was not able to shine as much in Buffy since he was obviously not the center of the show.  Angel’s personality and potential were often stifled in Buffy because the focus was on more of the romantic relationship between them, rather than who Angel truly was or meant to be.  This spin-off series did have a strong following and it was lined up right after Buffy on the same night of airings, but Angel did have its own identity and voice, proving that a supporting character could become a principal hero after all.

2

Better Call Saul A spin-off of the hit series, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is a prequel to the beloved series, focusing primarily on our favorite scheming lawyer, Saul Goodman.  This spin-off is one of the most successful ones I have watched and I adore both series.  What’s so great about the show is that it introduces important elements and characters that fans recognize from Breaking Bad, giving us a chance to further dive into how everything started in Breaking Bad.  However, this does not outshine the incredible acting by Bob Odenkirk who does an excellent job at truly embracing his character.  While fans are pleased with his wit and schemes along the way, we begin to fully learn about his past life and what lead him to the decisions he made later in Breaking Bad.  Saul demonstrates his work ethic and how much he wanted to be a lawyer and prove to his brother and girlfriend that he is capable of being a good man.  This becomes difficult to maintain later on, but it is clear that Saul’s character is deeper and more complex than anyone could have imagined on Breaking Bad, creating something unique and separate from the series it came from.

1

Xena:  Warrior Princess.  Who could forget the fabulous and beautiful Xena, played by the brilliant and gorgeous, Lucy Lawless?  While fans remember that it is a spin-off of Hercules, this series surpasses it in my opinion.  Xena paved the way for strong female leads such as Buffy, proving that a female warrior can be just as dangerous as any man.  Xena fights warriors and gods along the way, refusing to back down.  Her iconic battle cry is still memorable along with her heart-warming and controversial friendship with her side-kick, Gabrielle.  While Xena did air directly after Hercules in the lineup, fans became more excited and hooked by Xena.  I did watch both shows and have to admit that once Xena came on, all bets were off.  While the show was darker and more violent than Hercules, it was the character of Xena that drew me in.  She wasn’t just a hero; she was jaded, and searching for forgiveness.  She masked her vulnerability and weakness behind her sword, but the humanity in her provided viewers with a true connection to her character.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your thoughts and comments below along with some of your favorite spin-off television series of all time.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 television series based on movies: “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”

So I’ve noticed that more and more remakes and adaptations from film are making their way to the smaller screen, which got me thinking about some of my favorites and how they compare to the originals.  While some television series go in a completely different direction, others attempt to be closer to the original but sometimes fail to capture the same allure, leaving fans disappointed or searching for more.  To me, what makes a television series truly stand out is if it takes on its own life and branches out into a new world of characters and stories.  Whether it is considered a prequel or another chapter, the series has to capture the interest of the viewer who tuned in and keep it.  Sounds like a difficult task especially when you add in an original film that the series is based on.  Some of the shows below do an excellent job of staying true to the original and respecting where the series comes from in terms of history and context.  At the same time, they are able to continue on with the story or shift into a new one without skipping a beat, keeping the original fans happy and bringing in new ones at the same time.  My top 5 television series based on movies are:

5) Teen Wolf.  Based upon the 1985 film of the same name starring Michael J. Fox, the series was created in 2011 on MTV.  Already this was a risky move, as the audience MTV was targeting might not have necessarily seen the original movie, although I hope so.  While the movie has a cheesy humor-like quality, the series follows the same premise of a teenage-boy realizing that he is transforming into a werewolf, only it embraces more of a horror genre approach.  Both characters are named Scott, only with different last names and have to deal with the consequences of being bitten by a werewolf while dealing with everyday teenage drama.  While the series is based on the movie, it really becomes something completely new and different, advancing the plot into something darker with touches of romance and terror, delving much deeper into the story.

4) Hannibal.  Based upon the films, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon, the series is a psychological thriller that dives into the relationship between FBI agent, Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter who will later become his nemesis.  While the television series had a lot to live up to from the books and films it was based upon, it proves to be a contender with excellent performances and a detailed plot, which keeps the viewer active and involved.  As a result, the audience becomes hooked and drawn to every horrible reveal.  While the films attempt to stay true to the books and showcase a simpler approach, the series is not afraid to break into new developments and jump head first into the darkness and insanity that is at the core of these characters.

3) Ash vs Evil Dead.  Based upon the franchise films, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness, the series once again stars the very funny and brilliant Bruce Campbell as Ash or “Ashy Slashy” as fans know him by.  What is so great about this series is it is a true continuation of the films.  Bruce Campbell is once again the star bringing fans back to the originals.  Bruce Campbell has a true talent for bringing the campy horror-like genre a life of its own and I would have been disappointed if anyone had been casted in his place.  Once again, Bruce and his chainsaw arm need to fight the forces of evil and he recruits some new and fun characters to help along the way.  Lucy Lawless also joins the cast who did work with Bruce previously on Xena and fits in perfectly.  The series stays true to the campy-horror genre while keeping the comedy going strong.

2) Bates Motel.  Based upon the classic film, Psycho, the prequel follows the life of Norman Bates as a teenager and also introduces his mother, Norma Bates.  The acting in the series is so real and powerful, as each actor reveals to the audience vulnerability blended with insanity, hypnotizing us into wanting to watch more and more.  What’s truly impressive about the series is that the viewer becomes attached and fully invested into both Norman and Norma.  As Norman is losing control, you do feel bad for him and see that there are moments of goodness that do truly exist in him.  His unusual attachment to his mother seems harmless at first, but grows into something more and more dangerous, however.  The series does an excellent job of allowing viewers to see the man behind the monster and to understand that although darkness wins in the end, there is a grey area that exists, making it not so easy to merely write Norman off as a killer without a conscience.

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Based upon the film of the same name, this television series is at the top of my list because it takes a superficial campy premise and turns it into something epic and memorable.  In the film, Buffy is very superficial and materialistic which creates some laughs and fun along the way, but there is nothing substantial about her character that makes her stand out.  When Joss Whedon decided to turn his movie into a television series, Buffy had now become a character that teenage girls could truly look up to.  She is a strong female who makes some bad decisions along the way, but this shows that she is human and she has to sacrifice a lot in order to save the world, growing up fast as a result.  The humor remains but is more subtle and witty in the series, embracing more of a romantic and darker idea about the world of vampires and truly recognizing that this is a lot of pressure to put on one teenage girl to fight them all and repeatedly save the world.  The series has the perfect blend of drama, action, comedy, and horror with terrific acting and entertaining villains along the way.  It has truly surpassed the film, but it’s fun to take a look back at the movie from time to time.

 

I hope you enjoyed the list.  Feel free to post your comments below on your favorite television series based on films.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 villains from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Buffy and her friends are a blast to watch and are always trying to ensure that goodness prevails in order to protect Sunnydale and the rest of the world.  But this would get boring if she could always easily save the day against countless vampires.  What makes the show surpass this is the introduction of formidable foes that cross her path.  Ranging from the geeks she went to high school with to the first evil that existed in the world, there is a lot of evil and chaos thrown at the Scoobies.  Let’s not forget that some of Buffy’s closest friends have turned on her and mortal enemies have become great allies along the way.  Buffy is the chosen one for sure, but these villains are not only worthy of an all out battle, they are more complex and smarter than your average vampire turned to dust.   Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

 

5

Drusilla

Drusilla was first introduced to Buffy in season 2 along with her boyfriend, Spike.  When she first came to town she was weakened from a mob, but was revealed to possess psychic abilities.  When Drusilla is at her full strength she proves to be extremely dangerous and even kills another slayer who gets in her way.  What makes Drusilla such a stand-out villain is that she is completely insane.  She has an innocent girl-like quality at first and manipulates Spike to do her bidding all while having a tea party with her dolls.  One of my favorite scenes with Drusilla is where she blindfolds one of the dolls and says she’s not allowed to watch with the rest, as someone is brutally killed in front of them and Drusilla claps in delight.  There is a haunting quality about Drusilla that makes her beyond scary and a real threat to Buffy.

4

Glory

The best way to define her I suppose is if Cordelia had god-like powers with no sense of remorse.  Glory is revealed to be a god and Buffy’s sister, Dawn is the key that she is desperately looking for.  In one of the first fights with Glory, Buffy is beaten not just badly, but to a bloody pulp, making fans wonder about how she would be able to defeat her.  Glory is an entertaining villain, keeping her manicure and lip gloss in check while continuing on her quest, refusing to allow anyone to get in her way.

3

The Master

The Master is introduced as the first main villain that Buffy must face in the first season.  His face has no humanity left in it, different from other vampires, because of his age.  There is a cringe-worthy factor here for sure but the Master hasn’t left his sense of humor behind either.  He is ruthless and powerful and even is able to kill Buffy initially.  Thankfully Xander is able to revive her, but he proved to be a dangerous foe and an influence on other vampires nearby.

2

Evil Willow

Everyone loves Willow and she is a great friend to Buffy.  When she begins experimenting with witchcraft, it naturally seems like a great way to help Buffy fight the forces of evil.  But when Willow loses the love of her life, Tara, she is consumed by rage and evil magic corrupts her.  Willow becomes so powerful that it seems like no one will be able to defeat her.  If not for her best friend, Xander, who has no powers or supernatural strength, she would have been lost for good and the world might have been destroyed.  Xander uses love to remind Willow that he will always be there for her and it brings her goodness back to the surface.

1

Angelus

Buffy and Angel’s love is so passionate and real throughout the beginning episodes.  There is something very romantic about the idea of a vampire with a soul and Angel has been trying to do good and make up for the monster he used to be.  However, when he is with Buffy, he loses his soul because he experiences true happiness, and Angelus is unleashed on the world once more as a result.  Not only is he a vicious killer, but he targets on Buffy’s weakness and mocks their love, making it seem like he did not care for her in the slightest.  He goes after her friends and family and toys with Buffy in a stalker-like way.  When Angelus unleashes a demon on the world to swallow it whole, Buffy knows that she must kill him to close the portal.  She has pushed her feelings aside and knows that she must defeat him for the greater good.  However, this becomes an almost impossible task when Angel’s soul is restored right at the moment she is about to kill him.  Buffy must follow through with this, sacrificing her love to save the world.  Her love for Angelus is what makes him such a dangerous villain.  Buffy is the chosen one, but she is also human and a teenage girl with feelings.  Her strength is truly tested when Angelus is introduced, but she is able to do what is necessary to defeat him.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own favorite villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Ranking the top 5 episodes of the series

Happy Friday TV fans!  I was somewhat uninspired by the shows that aired last night so I decided to return to an old favorite, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Over the years, Buffy still holds up for me as one of my top shows of all time.  Buffy first aired when I was in high school and in desperate need of a female lead to look up to that was strong, resilient, smart, and selfless.  Plus Sarah Michelle Gellar’s wardrobe as Buffy helped my fashion sense tremendously.  Watching Buffy helped shape me into the person I am today and while I have not re-watched the show in several years, the episodes are still fresh in my mind.  I have to say that out of all my top 5 rankings, this was the most difficult show to narrow down my selections.  I adore making lists so when I was brainstorming last night about which episodes I wanted to include, I found myself scratching off some and adding others repeatedly.  There were some that I really wanted to include but I thought it was only fair to pick 5.  I think that goes to show that there are so many amazing episodes of Buffy.  Good job Joss Whedon! My five top episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for 2017 are:

5) “Hush” season 4, episode 10.  I have to admit that I still have nightmares about “the gentlemen” from this episode.  They are so well crafted and creepy, that even Freddy and Jason cannot compare.  “The Gentlemen” travel to Sunnydale to collect hearts and steal the voices of everyone so that no one can hear you scream.  I was in college when this episode first came out and I remember being very hesitant to open my dorm-room door after a knock because of this.  Sure that is a little extreme, but that’s how truly scary these demons were.  What really makes this episode stand out is that Buffy and the Scoobies have to find a way to defeat them and communicate with one another without their voices.  This leads to some great comedy along the way balanced with sheer terror.

4) “Fool for Love” season 5, episode 7.  In this episode, Buffy comes very close to dying and is looking for a way to learn from her mistake and stay alive.  She decides to go to the vampire, Spike for help.  She knows that over his lifetime, he has killed two slayers and she wants to know how.  For me, Spike has always been one of my favorite characters.  The development of his back-story was so interesting and necessary to the show.  What really grabs the viewer is when he tells Buffy that “he’s always been bad,” only to flash back to a scene where he is dressed in a dusty suit, reciting poetry.  Who would have thought that one of the most dangerous vampires of all time had a romantic side?  We find out through the episode that he was nicknamed “William the Bloody” because of his “bloody awful poetry.”  While it is interesting to see how Spike is turned into a vampire and how he defeated the other two slayers, what really stands out is his love for Cecily.  He had been crafting his poetry for her and pouring his heart out, only for her to reject him and say that he is “beneath her.”  This moment is what drags Spike’s vulnerability to the surface and comes back to haunt him when Buffy later says the same thing to him.  For me, the end of this episode always stands the test of time.  Spike goes off to kill Buffy for making a fool of him and he sees her crying on her porch steps after she has learned that her mother is very ill.  He goes to sit with her and comfort her in what I think is the purest and most beautiful moment between them.  At this moment, Spike doesn’t have a soul.  Sure, he has a chip in his brain preventing him from hurting others, but he is able to show true compassion and friendship.

3) “The Gift” season 5, episode 22.  This is a very powerful season finale and I often thought that the series would end here.  It wasn’t until the UPN network picked up Buffy for seasons 6 and 7 that it continued on.  A lot goes on in this episode and a catastrophic portal opens that can only be closed by the blood of the key, Buffy’s sister Dawn.  Buffy makes the ultimate sacrifice, choosing to jump into the portal to sacrifice herself to save her sister and the world.  A flash-back reveals Buffy reminding Dawn that their blood is the same, which brought tears to my eyes.  Buffy tells Dawn that “the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.  Be brave.  Live.  For me.”   As if this moment couldn’t have been tragic enough, Spike’s reaction to Buffy’s death is so heart-wrenching and real.  He does truly care for her and feels he let her down.

2) “The Zeppo” season 3, episode 13.  You may be wondering why I included this episode and why it is ranked so high on my list.  “The Zeppo” is the funniest episode of the entire series, following a series of events through Xander’s perspective.  In the beginning of the episode, Cordelia talks about how everyone in the Scoobies has something to contribute except for him.  He’s like “Jimmy Olsen” or “the zeppo.”  Xander gets into a never-ending adventure where Buffy and the rest of the gang are simply background noise.  Xander’s reaction to each new challenge is hilarious, which makes this episode stand out for me as one of my all-time favorites.

1) “Becoming Part 2” season 2, episode 22.  This has always been my absolute favorite episode of the series.  While the episode has a lot going on, the last moments are what make it so powerful.  Angel has lost his soul and became the evil, Angelus and Buffy is fully prepared to put a stop to him, recognizing that the man she fell in love with no longer exists within this soulless demon.  Angelus is opening the mouth of a demon that will swallow the world hold, unleashing hell upon earth.  Just as Buffy is about to strike him down with a sword and save the day, Willow’s spell takes effect, and his soul has now been returned.  Angel doesn’t remember what has happened or where he is.  The damage is done, however; as the demon’s mouth has already been opened and Buffy must destroy the love of her life to close the portal.  Buffy reveals her selflessness again to save the world, losing her true love in the process.  Once the tragic task is completed, Buffy leaves Sunnydale, unable to deal with the tragic consequences.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to comment on some of your own favorite episodes.  Happy viewing and have a wonderful weekend!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl