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Is "The Body" the Best Episode?

Alittlegrim

Stuck In The Middle
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
198
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39
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thetechteatime.blogspot.ca
I will admit, it has never been on my list of favorite episodes but that is mostly because it is just so bloody painful but from an objective perspective, I am hard-pressed to think of a better one, particularly in terms of sheer technical mastery. The writing, directing and cinematography reach a whole new level, more resembling a film than a cult T.V. show, honestly striking me as less as Buffy the Vampire Slayer than
Let The Right One In (original version). Most of the pain is emotional, that which is physical being self-inflicted, like what happens to Xander's hand and that last scene after Buffy kills the one vampire to appear is just perfect. All the actors are at the top of their game. SMG vividly replicates the sort of feuge state that can follow a traumatic event. ASH, takes Giles in a new direction, showing that while he might long to be a father figure to Buffy he really is most useful to her as a mentor and friend. NB really changes it up on us, giving the first, shocking signs of the rage and violence that has been brewing within Xander for years. AH knocks it out of the park, particularly in the "shirt conversation" with Tara and when she mock picks a fight with Xander. EC'S performance as Anya is a revelation. Up till then I had gotten into the habit of thinking of Anya as a sort of clueless, annoying human. While she is technically human "The Body" shows just how lost and confused she really is in the mortal realm. She has be an immortal for over 1,000 years and really is just learning as she goes when it comes to being human. Something that made me empathize with her a lot more. There are even brief moments of humor like the Xander/Willow exchange when he puts his hand though the wall and when they go for a "snack" at the hospital and come back with a banquet, Willow saying "we panicked!"
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,075
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
Best acted (as in 'should've won an award') but no, not the best.
The best Buffy episodes have a little bit of everything in them. Sadly not a lot of one-liners in 'The Body' and not a kick-ass action scene to be found.
 

Athene

Scooby
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
1,884
Age
19
Sineya
'The Body' was a success, every scene is unforgettable and the atmosphere that's created feels very true to life (Joss was a genius to include no music) so I'd say it's the best episode even though it's not my favourite :)
 

buffy1990

"Every now and then, people surprise you."
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
326
Age
29
Location
USA
Best acted (as in 'should've won an award') but no, not the best.
The best Buffy episodes have a little bit of everything in them. Sadly not a lot of one-liners in 'The Body' and not a kick-ass action scene to be found.
I agree. The Body is a brilliant episode from writing, acting, and story standpoints. I feel the same about Hush, Restless, and Once More, With Feeling. They are all amazing episodes that belong on the list of top tens and deserve praise for their accomplishments, but the best to me are the ones that pull you in all directions with the characters (Becoming, The Gift, etc.) and really represent what Buffy is about. But, that's what I like about the show-you can watch an episode for any mood you're in!
 

AnthonyCordova

Earth Invasion Taskforce Unlimited
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
1,978
Location
Denver, Colorado
Sineya
I think that in terms of art The Body is far and away the best episode of the show. It's not representative of the show as others have said, but that's how it acquires its status as a work of art; it transcends the usual elements of the show and for once wholly reaches past its usual limitations as well. It's an aesthetic accomplishment in a way nearly every other episode isn't.
 

HelloIAmHawt

The Master's Publicist
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
65
Age
28
Location
NJ
If I wanted to prove to someone that Buffy was a piece of art this would be in the top 3 (alongside "Hush" and "Once More, With Feeling"), I think it really shows the far reaches of the range of this show. But "best" is too subjective a word. (I'm going to be honest, I can't even make a decision on what I personally like the best in Buffy, because there's so much good stuff in it!) I can give you a worst if you want? (Beer Bad comes to mind. :p)
 

Octavia

My arse is not pansy!
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
6,831
Location
Australia
Sineya
No, it is not the best in my book. But it certainly is dramatic and memorable. SMG's face punches ya in the gut. I actually adore that Emma Caufield said she was busting for the loo during her struggle to understand death, added to the desperation depth.
 

Puppet

Actual size.
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
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30
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Denmark
Black Thorn
It's so unique that it's often the first, or one of the first, episodes thought of when wondering what the best BtVS episode is. But, like most things, it comes down to personal preference. I love The Body but it's not, imo, the best episode. It's close, though :)
 

Dora

Scooby
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
999
Age
53
What acting by Sarah, probably the best Acting I have seen on TV , how come no reward for this ? but for enjoyment l prefer something like prophesy girl or Hush.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
994
Age
38
It's complicated. The experimental episodes are special, you couldn't make those on a weekly basis. You can also cut them, and lose nothing about the series. And to be fair, both are true of a lot of best of episodes. So, it's a masterpiece of the art and science of television, but, it's not a good representative of the series.
 

Angel6

Potential
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
171
My favourite episodes /episode arcs are:

Surprise/Innocence, Passion, Becoming, Angel, Normal Again, IWRY, Who are you/Five by Five/Sanctuary, The Trial/Reunion/Redefinition.

Hard to pick a hard and fast favourite but Innocence or Passion are probably the best in my book.
 

IdiotJed110

Townie
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
52
Age
20
Objectively the best episode, but not my favorite (Hush) or the quintessential episode (The Gift)
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
6,898
Age
29
I don't think it's the best. It's certainly up there but it's beaten by Hush in my opinion.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

Potential
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
211
Age
34
Location
Leeds, England
I'm with all the people saying it is a piece of art. It is beautifully executed and, whilst the acting on Buffy is always excellent, the performances are really unparalleled in this episode. The way there is no backing music really draws you into the reality of it - not just the heartbreak but the emptiness and even the boredom of just hanging around and waiting to find out what's going on. I think the body is one of 'the best' episodes of television full stop. But I wouldn't necessarily call it the best episode of Buffy. An episode that I would consider a better episode of Buffy (more ...Buffyish) I might not put down as being one of the best episodes of television full stop. So make of that confused rambling what you will ...
 
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