These are, without dispute, the 11 best musical moments in the soundtrack to "Once More, With Feeling," the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
11) "They got the mustard out!" Specifically when the chorus sings it, then does the dance with the shirts. Perfect.
10) Giles going, "Tell me!" on "Where Do We Go from Here?" There is going to be a lot of Giles on this list. Just deal with it.
9) "Am I crazy? Am I dreamin'? Am I marryin' a demon?" A lot of people hate "I'll Never Tell," but I kinda love it, especially when Anya says it was more of a book number, which may be my favorite joke in anything ever.
8) "You make me believe," followed by the oohing and ahhing. "Under Your Spell" is a pretty good song/breakout pop hit, even if its structure is pretty simple. Amber Benson really sells it. (And, yes, I chose this over "You make me complete. You make me com--" which is wonderfully dirty but not as HEARTRENDINGLY BEAUTIFUL as this moment.)
7) Dawn starts to sing, then is kidnapped. Ha ha ha, Dawn. Doesn't even get to sing.
6) Spike interrupts Buffy in "Something to Sing About." I'm not a big fan of Spike's big solo, but I love when he saves Buffy in this song. "Life's not a song. Life isn't bliss. Life is just this. It's living." Perfect summation of a hugely underrated season of television.
5) The final chorus of "Standing." Anthony Stewart Head is so good at everything he sets his hand to.
4) "She does pretty well with fiends from hell, but lately we can tell..." I secretly think "Going Through the Motions" is my favorite song on here, and the chorus from demons is a big reason why.
3) "What can't we face?" Giles goes up top on this early number, and it's PERFECT. Joss Whedon just kept asking Head to do that little falsetto/tenor type thing, and it always works. Always.
2) The end of "Standing"/"Under Your Spell" reprise. Head and Benson, together again at last. This just syncs up perfectly.
1) The end of "Walk Through the Fire." I'm a sucker for a big group number that brings back a bunch of previous themes from previous songs. Basically everything from "She came from the grave much graver" to the end is pure musical catnip.
Like, this isn't a great musical, but it knows how to pretend to be one enough to work for a TV show where we have pre-existing relationships with all of the characters. Stripped of context, it must be baffling. (A friend once tuned in to ONLY this episode and found it so ridiculous that she thought I was a crazy person for enjoying the show. I nearly had her killed.) In context, though, it's exactly what you want from a gimmick episode: heightened emotional wackadoo.
Episodes is published daily, Monday through Friday, unless I don't feel like it. It is mostly about television, except when it's not. Suggest topics for future installments via email or on Twitter. Read more of my work at Vox Dot Com.
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