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.
"...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."
"Best single episode: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Musical (UPN).
...the year's best single hour, a brilliantly audacious original musical..."
Today, "All the season's best, and worst"
"...ambitious and outrageous...the episode is just about the best
thing youll find on television....lingers with you days after
seeing it.... Stand this up to anything else out there, and its
obvious nothing can compare.
"Nobody puts in a weak performance.... The production values are
sumptuous...surely [Joss Whedon] cannot top this for sheer quality and
"...an instant classic...a pitch-perfect balance between whimsy
"...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"
"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"
"impressive...smart and surprising in so many ways"
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+"
"...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"
Globe and Mail
"...deserves an Emmy for creativity.... Nothing was contrived,
and some scenes were truly heart-wrenching.... Rating: 5/5"
"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"
"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"
"Best. Episode. EVER x infinity.... unbelievably hilarious and
touching...a million stakes out of five"
"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"
"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
"In a word, Once More, with Feeling was marvelous. For
58 minutes, I sat in front of my television, mesmerized"
"Wow. Wow. Wow!.... The existing story lines were skillfully woven
into musical confessions with exceptionally witty lyrics.... Whedon
really outdid himself"
"...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"
"...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"
"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"
"...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
"...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"
"...a great, giddy achievement that had this viewer grinning throughout...deliciously
clever songs.... [D]ialog...so sharp the temptation is to just quote
"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"
"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"
"...a blend of hilarity and emotional intensity...incredible episode....
"...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.
"...a hugely clever premise.... There's plenty here for newcomers,
casual fans and devotees alike.... [T]he music was catchy, the lyrics
"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"
"...pure magic. As far as I'm concerned, it was the peak of the
history of all television"
"a towering achievement.... 'Once More, With Feeling' is rhapsodic,
original, deeply affecting, and ultimately, transcendental. Quite simply,
television at its best."