1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Once More With Feeling (2001)
Other shows may have attempted musicals before (Xena Warrior Princes, Scrubs) but none were in the same league as Buffy: The Musical. Yes, Joss Whedon is at it again, single-handedly making musicals accesible for the masses. Joss devised every song, producing a truly groundbreaking episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
What is so amazing about this episode is that the songs are not just the result of characters breaking into song for no reason. There is a plot (a demon conjured, which makes people sing and dance themselves to death). And even more so, Joss is able to cleverly advance several ongoing plots in a way that might have taken many more episodes to achieve. Xander’s insecurities over his impending wedding to Anya. Tara’s concerns over Willow’s excessive use of magic. Giles realising Buffy doesn’t need him as her mentor anymore. Dawn’s feeling of isolation. And Buffy dealing with the fact that her friends resurrected her from Heaven not Hell. In the space of 45 minutes these songs tells the audience just what is going through each of our beloved characters’ heads and advances the plot of the series massively
Furthermore, the songs are brilliant.From the hilarious opener where Buffy saves the topless man from the demons (“How can I repay – whatever!) to Anya’s Bunnies rock number. Giles and Tara’s magnificent ‘I Don’t Want To Go’duet is a brilliant – hairs at the back of your neck – duet and Spike’s’ Rest In Peace’ makes use of James Master’s rock band experience.
Take a look at this climatic number ‘Give Me Something To Sing About’. Its got everything. Humour (Giles sends Tara and Anya to back up Buffy – they become back up dancers). And a strong emotional core. As Buffy sings “I think I was in Heaven” just look at her friend’s faces, particularly Willow. They thought they were pulling her out of a hell dimension. How wrong they were. Its as dramatic as the Buffy killing Angel or the students attacking the Mayor at Graduation…but in a very different way.
And because it’s so good, here’s a bonus video ‘You Got The Mustard Out!’ Fourteen seconds of pure brilliance!
So, are you converted? Are these musicals you could come to love? Like any genre of film or TV there are always different takes on subject. And these six musicals are six of the most alternative and inventive out there!
We are currently seeking TV contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a TV contributor, click here.