In honor of, well, my recent birthday, I've been thinking about how birthdays are portrayed on TV. Here are some of my favorite birthday-themed TV episodes, complete with presents. Presents!
The Parties: In "Surprise," Buffy's friends plan a party for her even though the world is going to be destroyed by "the judge," assembled by Drusilla and Spike. On the verge of doom, though, Buffy and Angel finally do the nasty, and just like that, Angel's soul is no more. "Helpless" is just as bleak, with Buffy about to undergo a twisted ritual where the slayer, on the eve of her 18th birthday, is drained of all strength and forced to fight a really powerful demon. Definitely one to sleep off. At least in "Older And Far Away," Buffy's birthday party is simply subject to a curse that keeps everyone in the house, unable to leave. No one's dying, except from old age.
The Present: The love of Buffy's life is now her mortal enemy; unexpected help from Giles, despite orders not to intervene; some dud dude Buffy's friends were trying to set her up with, being stuck on the worst first date imaginable.
The Party: Steve Guttenberg (yes, that Steve Guttenberg) forgets to cancel his order with Party Down Catering, and when the team shows up at his house, he decides, what the heck, let's have a little shindig and give the caterers a chance to get down for a change. He gives them advice, pours them wine, and opens his hot tub. It's equal parts sweet and creepy.
The Present: A live reading of Roman's hard sci-fi movie script, complete with on-the-spot rewrites; dignity.
The Party: Ryan is turning 18, and at the insistence of Seth, he decides to have a party. A Foreigner cover band will play, everyone will dance, etc. Problem is, Ryan isn't sure whether or not to invite Marissa, who he's not dating anymore, and thus the rest of the world intervenes to get her there. The Present: Marissa wusses out upon arriving at the soiree, and runs off into Volchok's boozy arms. And Ryan, how he broods.
The Party: Well, Michael takes everyone out ice skating, but it's ostensibly to cheer up Kevin, who's awaiting the results of a skin cancer biopsy. Really, though, Michael's in it for Michael, and he pissed that something would ruin his special day. Even if that something is, well, heartbreaking.
The Present: Michael invites Carol to the ice rink, and he gets some good face time in with her. Romance, it doth blossom.
What are your favorite birthday-themed TV episodes?