Ranking my top 5 Female Vampires from TV: “I’m Going to Blow Out the Candles”

Happy Thursday TV viewers!  Why should boys have all the fun?  For today’s list, I am going to be looking at female vampires from television.  Whether she is considered witty, seductive, crazy, or just simply bad-ass, these female vampires refuse to let the boys steal the spotlight, as they give them a run for their money and capture our affection along the way.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 Female Vampires from TV are:

5

The Countess from American Horror Story:  Hotel

Countess collage

“Why would I help you when it gives me so much joy to see you suffer?”

Portrayed by Lady Gaga, The Countess truly embodies the art of dark seduction.  In the beginning of the season, The Countess and Donovan go to a cemetery and seduce a young couple at a movie screening.  While the scene is initially sexual and passionate, it turns deadly when they brutally kill the couple and devour their blood.  The Countess is powerful and beyond alluring to others, as she really masters the penetrating stare deep within one’s soul, which allows her to corrupt and destroy.  The Countess has a hypnotizing quality about her, as she lures young children to her in order to maintain her eternal youth and she maintains her killer fashion sense with a glove that is simply to die for…literally.

Lady gaga.gif

4

Jessica Hamby from True Blood

Jessica collage

“I’m so sick of silverin’ myself all day every day, being pissed off all the time. This is what PMS used to feel like.”

In Jessica’s mortal life, she grows up with a strict Christian family and is extremely pure.  Bill turns Jessica into a vampire and she becomes very dangerous, but mostly because she is also an emotional teenage girl.  Jessica is doomed to be a vampire virgin for eternity, which is both hilarious and horrible at the same time.  Jessica speaks her mind and is not afraid to let all of her emotions run wild, as she really proves to be a teenage daughter from hell for poor Bill.

Jessica gif

Later in the series, Jessica really develops as a character, but she never disappoints with providing us with some fun entertainment along the way.

3

Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries

Caroline collage

“You are not even worth the calories I burn talking to you.”

During her mortal life, Caroline is actually quite annoying and judgmental.  However, when she is turned into a vampire, Caroline transforms into a very likable character, even though she has a new lust for blood.  Caroline is always levelheaded and is the one that you can truly envision being your own best friend. 

Caroline gif.gif

She is loyal and thoughtful, even though she is a creature of the night, and she is often the character to present us with an unlikely voice of reason in the midst of the chaos going on in Mystic Falls.  She is also still sassy, which is entertaining as well.  They say that “blondes have more fun,” but in this case, I guess blonde vampires do.

2

Pam or Pamela Swynford De Beaufort from True Blood

Pam collage

“I don’t know what it is about me that makes people think I want to hear their problems. Maybe I smile too much. Maybe I wear too much pink. But please remember, I can rip your throat out if I need to, and also know that I am not a hooker. That was a long, long time ago.”

This list would not be complete without including Pam.  Pam is Eric’s second in command at Fangtasia and she is not the most likable gal, but she doesn’t care, which makes her so incredibly amazing.  Pam does not have any issues with being a vampire.  She just accepts who she is and she embraces the darkness with flair.  Pam’s witty remarks are laugh out loud funny and she doesn’t care who she pisses off.

Pam gif 2

Her leather ensembles are to die for and her devotion to Eric is something truly remarkable, as he is one of the few beings in the world that truly matters to her.  Pam is absolutely bad-ass and is a vampire that you do not want to mess with.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Rebekah from “The Originals”
  • Harmony from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”
  • Olivia Godfrey from “Hemlock Grove”
  • Katherine from “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Tara from “True Blood”
  • Elena from “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Darla from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”

1

Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel

Drusilla collage

“I met an old man. Didn’t like him. He got stuck in my teeth.”

So my number one pick has to go to Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.  Played by the absolutely incredible Juliet Landau, Drusilla is Spike’s girlfriend and is pretty much batshit crazy, but that’s all part of her charm.  Drusilla first comes to Sunnydale back in season 2 and has been weakened by a mob.  Drusilla has visions and often sees stars indoors and enjoys having tea parties with her dolls.  However, these are not ordinary tea parties, as Dru tends to blindfold the dolls who don’t behave so that they cannot watch her feed and kill.

Drusilla gif 2

Drusilla is extremely dangerous when she does get her strength back and even kills a slayer named Kendra, using her hypnosis on her before slashing her throat with her nail.  Even though Drusilla is a vampire, she feels so much.  It may be misguided, but she later explains to Buffy that vampires are very capable of love.  Drusilla makes several guest appearances later on both Buffy and Angel and always causes some trouble, while keeping us thoroughly entertained.  She still remains my absolute favorite female vampire on television and probably always will be.  Just remember, if you set a “bad example, you will have no cakes today.”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite female vampires from TV.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

 

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Ranking my top 5 Male Vampires from TV: “I’ve Always Been Bad”

Happy Tuesday TV viewers!  When you think of vampires, what comes to mind?  There is that overwhelming sense of darkness and desire that is beyond dangerous.  And yet, you still find yourself intrigued by their existence.  Whether it’s about blood or lust, there is something beyond mesmerizing about vampires.  While many vampires have entertained us in film, books, and television, there are some characters that truly stand the test of time, inviting us into their world of darkness.  For today’s list, I am going to be looking at male vampires from television.  Whether the vampire is considered the “big bad” or is on a quest for redemption, there is something undeniably hypnotizing about their existence.  These vampires are not just about the kill.  They are complex and unique and we often find ourselves rooting for them above all others…and maybe even swooning over them from time to time as well.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 Male Vampires from TV are:

5

Klaus Mikaelson from The Originals & The Vampire Diaries

Klaus vampire collage

“You know, over the years, I’ve had my share of friends, enemies, lovers, losses, and triumphs. With time, they all begin to run together, but you will find the real moments are vibrant. The rest just fades away. Your pain will fade.” 

When I first saw Klaus on The Vampire Diaries, I was instantly intrigued.  He basically stole the show for me and I was beyond excited when I found out that the spin-off series, The Originals, would focus around him and his family.  Klaus is dangerous and a formidable foe that you do not want to cross.

Klaus gif

He has a quick temper and a monstrous quality, but he also has an artistic side to him and possesses wisdom beyond his years.  He reveals glimmers of goodness along the way, especially when it comes to Caroline, Camille, and Hope.  Klaus is the epitome of the “bad boy” on television, but he is so classy about it as well, which makes him the perfect anti-hero.

4

Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries

Damon vampire collage

“If you’re going to be bad, be bad with a purpose or else you’re not worth forgiving.” 

When we first met the Salvatore brothers on The Vampire Diaries, Damon easily became my favorite.  While Stefan is conflicted and brooding, Damon just wants to have fun.  Although his idea of fun often involves killing and torture, there is just something so charismatic about Damon.

Damon gif

Like Klaus, Damon’s character shifts toward redemption, as he falls desperately in love with Elena.  Damon’s actions become selfless and pure, which really elevates his character even more.  While I enjoyed seeing the growth of his character, I do prefer his bad boy charm, as he really shows off his flair for being evil with style.

3

Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel

Angel vampire collage

“She made me feel like a human being.  That’s not the kind of thing you just forgive.”

The vampire with a soul who had us falling desperately in love with him, along with Buffy Summers, absolutely deserves a spot on this list.  Angel is cursed by gypsies and has to live as a creature of the night with a conscience.  While Angel initially shies away from society because of this, he eventually finds his purpose when he meets Buffy.

Buffy gif.gif

Angel tries to help Buffy, but ends up falling in love with her, which becomes beyond complicated when he loses his soul after experiencing a “moment of true happiness” with her.  When Angel’s soul is gone, he reveals just how dangerous he is by torturing Buffy and her friends, proving that he truly relishes in watching others suffer.  Angel’s soul is later returned, but he ends up leaving Buffy to give her a real chance at happiness and to further his own quest for redemption on a spin-off series.

2

Eric Northman from True Blood

Eric vampire collage

“Death is scary.  I’ve been avoiding it for a thousand years.”

This list would not be complete without including Eric Northman.  Like many of the other characters on this list, Eric has the bad boy charm act down pat.  Eric possesses a regal and elegant quality, while also being vicious and dangerous.

Eric gif.gif

He proves to be truly ruthless on the show and a formidable villain, but also reveals some humanity within him as well.  While he falls in love with Sookie, his relationship with Pam is also something that should be noted.  Eric is almost like a father figure to Pam and he truly does care about her, proving that bad-ass vampires can have feelings too.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Marcel from “The Originals”
  • Benny from “Supernatural”
  • Stefan from “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Eichhorst from “The Strain”
  • Roman from “Hemlock Grove”
  • Elijah from “The Originals”
  • Cassidy from “Preacher”
  • Bill from “True Blood”
  • Barnabas from “Dark Shadows”
  • John from “Being Human”

1

Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Spike vampire collage

“That’s right.  Big Bad’s back and lookin for a little death!”

So my number one pick has to go to William the Bloody, aka Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  When Spike first showed up with his crazy girlfriend, Drusilla, back in season 2, I was hooked on the show for life.  Spike just screams bad boy and he has this sexy and dangerous quality to him, which makes you almost feel wrong about rooting for him so much.  Almost.  Spike is absolutely hilarious and even probably tops Buffy with some of his puns, which are laugh out loud funny. 

Out for a walk spike.gif

Spike proves to be a threat to Buffy and the Scoobies over and over, but eventually gets a chip in his head that prevents him from harming humans.  Spike tries to fit in with the Scooby gang, but continues to go back to his evil ways whenever possible.  Later on in the series, Spike develops real feelings for Buffy and eventually earns back his soul.  Whether Spike is evil or good, you can’t help loving him.  His presence elevates the show and he reminds us that it’s never too late to try and do the right thing, even if you have been evil for over a century.  Spike will always be my favorite vampire of all time and will continue to be the “Big Bad,” even when reciting some of his “bloody awful poetry.”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite male vampires from TV.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

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

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

“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 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 mistakes 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 here, which is really beautiful.

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 and the music is spot on, which makes this episode stand out for me as one of my all-time favorites.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Buffy are:

  • “School Hard”
  • “Halloween”
  • “Innocence”
  • “Passion”
  • “I Only Have Eyes For You”
  • “Homecoming”
  • “Lovers Walk”
  • “The Wish”
  • “The Prom”
  • “Living Conditions”
  • “Something Blue”
  • “Who Are You?”
  • “Buffy vs. Dracula”
  • “Triangle”
  • “The Body”
  • “Life Serial”
  • “Once More, With Feeling”
  • “Tabula Rasa”
  • “Conversations with Dead People”
  • “Lies My Parents Told Me”
  • “Chosen”

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