21 July 2014

Unpopular Opinions

This came to me when I was watching a TV episode that the majority rates as being top-notch (an episode I will come back to later) and it got me thinking about other overrated TV episodes - not the whole series itself but those single episodes that are considered gems by everyone else when in fact they are just lumps of coal.

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I'm going to look at three episodes from three different television shows and describe, in my opinion, why I think each one was so overrated and what it is that winds me up so much about it. So sit back and start channel surfing.

Channel 1: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
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Episode: Once More With Feeling, season 6, episode 7.

That's right, the most popular episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I cannot stand it. I was watching this recently and I just didn't understand why people have so much love for this particular episode. Buffy was a show I loved; it combined drama, tension and comedy so well and it was clever at the same time, having a strong, sassy female as the lead was a big thing especially for teens growing up with the show. It pained me that the show changed so much around the 4th-5th season, into something I couldn't even recognise. Looking back on the show now, of course it was going to change, it was following a girl going from her teenage years into her adult life. Which is what I had in my mind when I re-watched it recently. When I first saw the episode, I thought it was okay, bit average - in other words, I've seen better episodes throughout the course of the show. As years go by and I think back to this episode, I start to resent it more. Maybe it was because I can't really stand musicals, people bursting into song all the time (how do they all happen to know all the lyrics and tune? And in some cases, the dance moves?) or perhaps I just thought it didn't go with the theme of the show. Yes, the series is a fantasy show with vampires and witches and werewolves (oh my) but season 6 was considerably darker than previous seasons, dealing with adult themes and loss and heartache. It wasn't even a cheery episode but there everyone is, doing a song and dance about it. I guess it wouldn't be too bad if all the cast could actually hold a tune rather than one or two being decent singers. To me, Once More With Feeling was just an episode that was latching onto a concept that was quirky and hadn't been done so often in TV at that time before. This type of concept, making the show into something unusual, was done with good effect in the episode Hush (season 4 episode 10), the opposite of a musical where all the characters have lost their voice.
Episodes worth watching: Surprise, Innocence (see season 2), Enemy, The Wish, Doppelgangland (see season 3), The Body (season 5).

Channel 2: How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother
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Episode: Last Forever, season 9 episode 23.

I debated about including this episode into this article due to the fact that it didn't seem too popular at all. However, it was still rated quite high in audience views so that is why I'm including the final episode of How I Met Your Mother.
  I recently marathoned the whole series of How I Met Your Mother, a natural predecessor to Friends. It started off as a lukewarm comedy, progressing into a hilarious programme, making the audience really care for the characters - proving that it wasn't another dumb sitcom that seems to be littering the airwaves lately. So it naturally upset me when I viewed the grand finale and ended up coming away with an empty, dissatisfied feeling. What I was disappointed with the most, was the whole build up of revealing the mother of the main character, Ted over 9 years and having them rush through their whole storyline in an about 1 hour; with a conclusion that felt was only done for the fans' approval, rather than ending the storyline in a more natural, progressive way. Every time I think of the show as a whole, I can't help but not be as satisfied as I should have been if it didn't go in an absolute opposite direction to where it was headed. If it wasn't for this episode, I'd rate How I Met Your Mother highly but this episode brings the whole show down, big as my disappointment is in it.
Episodes worth watching: Something Borrowed, Something Blue (see season 2), Last Cigarette Ever (see season 5), The Final Page (see season 8).

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 Channel 3: Doctor Who

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Episode: The Eleventh Hour, season 5 episode 1.

I've talked before about my disappointment in the direction of where Doctor Who was heading shortly after star David Tennant and show runner Russell T Davies's departure but here I will discuss the episode that specifically goes into my despair. It's obvious that the over-rated disappointment will be the first episode of the season that introduces the audience to the eleventh doctor, Matt Smith. I was watching this under absolute disgust that this over-hyperactive man-child was pogoing about, bouncing off every corner, but on watching it again in hindsight, I realise that this is the episode that made me come to the conclusion that Doctor Who is lacking in character and story. Whilst I was bored senseless by the storyline of a child finding a crack in the wall, I was dismayed to hear that others actually liked it. In fact they were all praising Smith's performance, even those who were on the Tennant bandwagon were quick to comment that they never liked the direction the show was going until now. Which is an insult not only to the Tennant era, but the Eccleston one as well; an era that was subtle but just as powerful as any other subsequent episodes. Every time I think back on The Eleventh Hour, all that stands out is eggs. And strip-o-grams. Very memorable.
Episodes worth watching: Rose, The Parting of the Ways (see season 1) Doomsday (see season 2) Human Nature, The Family of Blood (see season 3) Midnight (see season 4) The End of Time (special).

There will come a time in your favourite TV series where a particular episode just doesn't cut it for you, even if the majority disagree. These are my choices, now it's your turn...


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