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In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly Joss Whedon said that among his body of work the three episodes he was most proud of were Buffy's Once More, With Feeling' and 'The Body', and Firefly's 'Objects In Space'.

While I agree with 'Objects In Space' (I think it's the best final episode of all of his shows, even if it is Firefly's default final because of its cancellation), I don't agree with the other two. For me, both 'Once More, With Feeling' and 'The Body' have always been those special episodes of Buffy, 'the one were they all sing' and 'the one were Buffy's Mum dies' that make it difficult for me to appreciate because they feel a little gimmicky. Don't get me wrong, 'Once More, With Feeling' is a superbly written episode of television, but there are other Whedon written episodes of Buffy I would say are better.

For Buffy, my favourite Whedon written episode would be either 'Innocence' (2.14) or 'Becoming Parts 1 & 2' (2.21, 2.22)

For the rest of his series he has a lot less writing credits, but for Angel it's 'Spin The Bottle' (4.6) and for Dollhouse it's 'Epitaph One' (1.13).

So does everyone agree with Whedon's picks of his best episodes? Or do you, like myself, have others you prefer?

And if you're looking for the easiest way to find out which episodes he wrote in each of his series, the best way is to look up their episode lists in Wikipedia.

EW.com: Joss Whedon's Favorite Episodes
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Of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I think my favorite Joss written episodes are

Family
Hush
The Gift
Once More, With Feeling
The Freshman
The Gift
Chosen
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I have to say my fav was the last episode of Angel "Not Fade Away". It met my expectations completely and was very powerful. I was so upset at seeing Wes and Lindsey die, and the ending in the alley was legendary.
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9 times out of 10, if you listen to the audio commentary of certain episodes on DVD, the best line of that episode was written by Joss Whedon. He may not have the sole writing credit for said episodes, but his staff are all very forthcoming when it comes to giving credit where credit is due.
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"The Body" a "special" episode? I mean, REALLY?
"From the start of writing the Buffy series, Joss Whedon asserted that it would never have a "very special episode" as in contemporary series Beverly Hills, 90210, The Wonder Years, or Party of Five, where the core cast of characters addresses a single issue (AIDS, drug abuse, or alcoholism, for example) and resolve all the problems at the end. Whedon was not interested in finding a life-affirming lesson for "The Body". Rather, he wanted to capture the isolation and boredom involved in the minutes and hours after finding a loved one has died, what he termed "the black ashes in your mouth numbness of death". He did not intend to resolve any religious or existential questions about the end of life, but wanted to examine the process in which a person becomes a mere body".
I think it's an understatement to claim that "The Body" is a "special" episode. That hardly describes what this episode achieved both cinematographically and storywise. It's not just "the one in which Buffy's mom dies", and in fact, Joyce died in the previous episode. "The Body" is about the aftermath of death, what happens after a loved one dies. I think this is a masterpiece because I feel it depicts quite realistically and vividly the range of emotions someone may go through when dealing when death, and you can see all of these through each of the characters' reactions and their interactions with each other. And how about the fact that he chose not to use music, because he felt shows rely a lot on music to tell viewers how they are supposed to feel? I mean, I could go on and on about this episode...
And the same goes for OMWF, which is my favorite episode of BTVS.
I think that while "Innocence" and "Becoming Part 1" and "Becoming Part 2" are amazing within the show's mythology, "The Body" and OMWF stand out because they are simply amazing hours of television in general, you can just appreciate them on their own, they stand on their own, and I think that's what makes them two of his best episodes.
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I could argue that in The Body 'the core cast of characters addresses a single issue' because technically they are, as you said, it's 'about the aftermath of death, what happens after a loved one dies... it depicts quite realistically and vividly the range of emotions someone may go through when dealing when death, and you can see all of these through each of the characters' reactions and their interactions with each other.'

Anyway, you're right in saying that 'they are simply amazing hours of television in general, you can just appreciate them on their own, they stand on their own, and I think that's what makes them two of his best episodes', but for me, what I consider to a the best episode of a television show needs to encompass all the primary themes of what the show is about. It annoys me that these two are heralded as some of the best because new viewers may be persuaded to watch these episodes first to get a feel of what the show is like in general. Neither The Body or Once More, With Feeling are very good episodes to do this with, because they in fact to not really encompass the general tone of Buffy, in fact, they're vastly different episodes from what the show usually does, hence my reason for seeing them as 'special' episodes.
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Well, actually, I don't think anyone would recommend "The Body" or "OMWF" to first-time viewers for them to get a feel of the show. As much as these two episodes can stand on their own, first-time viewers wouldn't be able to appreciate or grasp the weight of what goes in this two eps, especially with OMWF. I strongly believe that you can only watch and love OMWF if you've seen everything that leads to it, EVERYTHING. Buffy's confession towards the end of the episode wouldn't have the same emotional weight for someone who has seen her go through everything than for someone who's watching the show for the first time. And I wouldn't tell someone to watch the season finales either, if they want to get a feel of the show, because they'd be spoiled. I'd choose episodes like "Nightmares", or "Halloween", "Lie to Me", or even "Hush".
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Joss would probably have words for you referring to "The Body" as a special episode. That was exactly what they were trying to avoid. For me "The Body" is definitely worthy. I look beyond just the writing to everything that went in that episode. There were so many small decisions made in how the episode was filmed (angles used, placement of the mics, lighting decisions, etc.) and the lack of a soundtrack just made that episode feel much more REAL than any other episode. It made the episode more powerful to me.

"Becoming, Part 2" would also be there for me. Just an incredible episode and an almost perfect specimen of a Joss episode.

If I'm limiting myself to 3, the other would have to be "A Hole in the World". That episode confirmed, beyond anything else, my love/want-to-hate relationship with Joss Whedon. The episode starts on such a happy note, with such humor, and then it immediately becomes this terribly dreadful episode. It still breaks my heart and makes me cry, and I've lost count of how many times I've seen the episode.
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I definitely agree that all the ones he mentioned are great episodes, but I also agree with you that 'Becoming, Parts 1&2" are also really great as well. In fact, I think I would agree that I prefer those 2 episodes to the 2 he mentioned. "Hush" is definitely one of my favorites as well, as well as "The Gift."

I think for Angel, "Hole in the World" would definitely be my pick for his best episode.

Otherwise, I agree with his choices for Dollhouse and Firefly.
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