buffymusical.com - Buffy the Musical "Once More, With Feeling"

Episode #107
Analysis of the musical
Soundtrack CD
Lyrics / Synopsis

References Pt3 Artwork


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I think I've read just about every review of this episode on the web, and I'm yet to come across a bad review...in fact, I'm yet to come across a less than glowing review.

There seems to be only two criticisms anyone can find for it: One, that the quality of singing from the actors varied (well, considering some had never sung before, duh!) although most agreed that any vocal shortcomings just added to the charm of the episode. The other was that some reviewers considered some of the songs "corny" or "cheesy". I can't help feeling that, to have that opinion, they just didn't "get" the Buffy humour.

Here's quotes from most of the reviews, with links to the full articles.

"...brilliantly conceived.... Whedon has done impossibly great work. This is not just an episode, it's a TV event.... It's hard to overstate how thrilling this episode is. There's not a misstep here...they're all wonderful songs."
- San Francisco Chronicle

"Best single episode: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Musical (UPN).
...the year's best single hour, a brilliantly audacious original musical..."
- USA Today, "All the season's best, and worst"

"...ambitious and outrageous...the episode is just about the best thing you’ll find on television....lingers with you days after seeing it.... Stand this up to anything else out there, and it’s obvious – nothing can compare.
- Cinescape

"Nobody puts in a weak performance.... The production values are sumptuous...surely [Joss Whedon] cannot top this for sheer quality and invention?"

"...an instant classic...a pitch-perfect balance between whimsy and earnestness"
- TeenHollywood.com

"...wildly ambitious, sensationally entertaining and unexpectedly moving...exceedingly clever music and lyrics.... At moments I could have sworn I'd died and gone to TV heaven"
- TV Guide

"Joss Whedon has done the impossible...to create a musical episode...while at the same time advancing the major storylines for this season, AND he's done it in such a way that makes perfect sense and is emotionally powerful...[and] fall-out-of-your-chair funny"
- Revolution Science Fiction

"impressive...smart and surprising in so many ways"
- New York Daily News

"...a spectacular episode that's funny, touching and revealing, and all to the tune of catchy song-and-dance numbers....the cast does a surprisingly good job in the musical department.... [B]alance[s] the humor and the drama in a fantastic way.... A+"
- SciFi.com

"...a doozy...terrific stuff, a clever and utterly beguiling variation on the usual Buffy story.... Drenched in mocking wit and containing some musical scenes of great tenderness, it's a classic"
- The Globe and Mail

"...deserves an Emmy for creativity.... Nothing was contrived, and some scenes were truly heart-wrenching.... Rating: 5/5"
- Zentertainment

"I despise musicals, but Joss made me like his.... [I] had a big, dumb grin on my face for the entire extended 68-minute running time"
- BlueShift Studios

"Whedon demonstrates yet again...that his wit, playfulness and readiness to take a risk make his television efforts rise way above the pack.... Those who have been waiting eagerly for the Buffy musical won't be disappointed"
- The Age

"Best. Episode. EVER x infinity.... unbelievably hilarious and touching...a million stakes out of five"
- AllPop.com

"This episode is a triumph...better than any movie musical in memory. It's better than a lot of Broadway musicals. It's funny and shocking and heartfelt.... [T]he best thing to hit TV in a long time"
- Deseret News

"Whedon has pulled it off brilliantly, with an ingenious, fully integrated hour-plus that makes perfect sense in the universe Buffy occupies.... I can't think of a TV hour this year that has brought me any more pleasure....the songs are unfailingly clever and surprisingly varied"
- USA Today

"In a word, Once More, with Feeling was marvelous. For 58 minutes, I sat in front of my television, mesmerized"
- bibliora.com

"Wow. Wow. Wow!.... The existing story lines were skillfully woven into musical confessions with exceptionally witty lyrics.... Whedon really outdid himself"
- FanboyPlanet

"...it's just unfair. Joss Whedon has way too many talents...a hell of a gamble for a show used to taking them, and it paid off in spades.... 'Once More, With Feeling' delivered in every way. From the songs to the story, everything worked.... There is almost too much to praise in this episode"
- Test Pattern

"...features bold creative risks that are rare for prime time...this is great fun"
- Los Angeles Times

"For the most part, the musical numbers for this episode of Buffy were nothing short of superb....a strong mix of powerful ballads and rocking dance numbers. And some of the lyrics were just too funny for words.... [O]ne hell of a showstopper"
- On the Box

"Joss Whedon...does whatever he wants to do and generally succeeds. And the musical episode was no exception.... Whedon embraced the conventions of the musical and made it his own"
- Flak Magazine

"...absolutely captivating...like nothing I'd ever seen on regular series television.... TV high-wire act of breathtaking delight.... 'Once More With Feeling' was without question the finest episode of TV last season"
- Electronic Media Online

"...lively song-and-dance numbers that give [the cast] - and their viewers - a new kind of performing high.... The wonder is that so many of the show's stars turn out to be superlative musical-theater performers"
- NIQ7

"...a great, giddy achievement that had this viewer grinning throughout...deliciously clever songs.... [D]ialog...so sharp the temptation is to just quote everything"
- Chicago Tribune

"Witty lyrics and clever choreography abound.... Innovative new theatrical creations struggle to find an audience, so something as legitimate and understanding of the medium as this can only be a good thing. Warmth, humour, emotion and memorable music...are all here"
- Theatre People

"Filled to the brim with ballads and up beat songs that made you want to sing along...full mayhem and music as well as comedic moments. It's a must watch for all Buffy fans and non-Buffy fans alike"
- Suite101

"...a blend of hilarity and emotional intensity...incredible episode.... Bravo"
- The Witches' Voice

"...the series' bravest episode yet...marvellous fun, and fantastically enjoyable stuff...a joy to watch.... [C]onsistently heart warming and, more importantly, fun.... Packed with so many special moments...genre tv just doesn't get much better than this.
- garbledonline.net

"...a hugely clever premise.... There's plenty here for newcomers, casual fans and devotees alike.... [T]he music was catchy, the lyrics so smart..."
- The Washington Post

"An extraordinary episode of 'Buffy'takes the American movie musical to places it's never been before...gracefully paced, clever and affecting...its gently layered tones suggest something infinitely more complicated than either your standard contemporary musical or your standard contemporary TV episode"
- Salon.com

"...pure magic. As far as I'm concerned, it was the peak of the history of all television"
- Contra Costa Times

"a towering achievement.... 'Once More, With Feeling' is rhapsodic, original, deeply affecting, and ultimately, transcendental. Quite simply, television at its best."
- Toronto Star

References Pt3
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