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The 25 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes, part 3: 15-11

I hope you’re enjoying this walk down Buffy Memory lane as much as I am, gentle readers. Here’s the next installment of my list. If you need to catch up, you can read the first two installments of this list here and here. As always, screen caps are from Screencap Paradise, unless otherwise noted.

15. Halloween (02×06)

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Giles: “Break the spell, Ethan. Then leave this place and never come back.”
Ethan: “Why should I? What’s in the bargain for me?”
Giles: “You get to live.”

I believe my everlasting love of Ethan Rayne has already been documented, but I’ll reiterate: he is a wonderful villain, who brings with him the gifts of wacky mischief  and homoerotic undertones. I wish the show had used him in more than four episodes, but instead of dreaming of what might have been, I’ll just appreciate the times Ethan and I had together. In this episode, Ethan, making his first appearance, sells costumes to the kids that turn them into whatever they’re dressed as. Hence, the world goes topsy-turvy on us as Buffy becomes a simpering noblewoman who mistakes cars for demons and Xander becomes a living G.I. Joe. More importantly, this is the first episode to hint that back in his day, Giles was a total badass, and when the situation calls for it he’ll revert to that badassery in a heartbeat. The perfect man? You be the judge.
14. Earshot (03×18)
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I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me and she becomes me. I cease to exist. Huh.” – Oz
 This episode makes fantastic use of Buffy having temporary mind-reading powers. We get Oz, the human incarnation of the phrase “still waters run deep,”;  Cordelia, who says everything she thinks; and poor Xander, who simply cannot stop thinking about sex for two seconds. I think we can all relate. “Earshot” also has one of the greatest comedic moments of the series when Xander and the lunch lady simultaneously catch each other doing bad things- and it takes them both a moment to realize that pouring rat poision into kids’ lunches trumps pilfering a piece of Jell-O. This also has an important lesson for teenagers, and, indeed, people of all ages: Nobody else notices you’re miserable because we’re all distracted by our own misery. Don’t kill anyone.
13. Living Conditions (04×02)
image from Buffyworld
Buffy: “So then she’s like, ‘It’s share-time.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh yeah? Share this!'”
Oz: “So either you hit her or you did your wacky mime routine for her.”
Buffy: “Well, I didn’t do either, actually. But she deserved it, don’t ya think?”
Oz: “Nobody deserves mime, Buffy.”

In this episode, Buffy starts to act more like me then ever! Then, everyone comments on what a bitch she’s being and it’s revealed that it’s because a monster is stealing her soul. Well, you win some, you lose some. At least this has the valuable lesson that no one should ever accuse Buffy of being crazy. Even when she only has half a soul, that girl has her shit together.

12. Band Candy (03×06)

Buffy: “Listen to me–”
Giles: “No, you listen to me. I’m your Watcher so you do what I tell you. Now sod off!”

This episode does a great job o drawing attention to how dumb teenagers act by showing the show’s adults acting like teenagers. We get to see Principal Snyder as a lame teenage nerd, Joyce Summers as a ditzy teenage girl who loves bad boys, and Giles as a badass Cockney teenager who goes around smashing shop windows for fun and gets so excited at the thought of Buffy beating up Ethan Rayne that he has to hop up and down to get it out of his system.

11. Storyteller (07×16)

“Oh, hello, there, gentle viewers. You caught me catching up on an old favorite. It’s wonderful to get lost in a story, isn’t it? Adventure and heroics and discovery: don’t they just take you away? Come with me now, if you will, gentle viewers. Join me on a new voyage of the mind. A little tale I like to call: Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyrs. ” – Andrew Wells

Season seven, as a whole, was not bringing it, but this episode, as an individual episode, almost makes up for that. This episode shows the adorable Andrew’s attempts to make a documentary about Buffy and the end of the world that makes him look like less of a best friend-murderer than he is, intercut with footage of Andrew’s fantasy sequences. Tom Lenk is unbelievable in this episode, giving both hilariously bizarre line deliveries and a heartbreakingly real emotional performance. We are as gods!

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The 25 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes, part 2: 20-16

It’s Whedon season, and I’m needonin’ some Whedonin’. To tide me over until much anticipated (by me, at least) Whedon flicks Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers come out later this month, I’m revisiting the best episodes of Joss’s best show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you missed it, you can read the first part of this list here: The 25 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes, part 1: 25-21.

Photos are from Screencap Paradise.

20. “I Was Made to Love You” (05×15)

Buffy: Can you cry? Sometimes I feel better when I cry. But… there might be rust issues.

April: Crying is blackmail. Good girlfriends don’t cry.

Is anything more relatable than a sex robot getting rejected by her creator/boyfriend and then going on a violent rampage? Not to me, but I’m not known for having the healthiest relationships. This episode (which introduces the nerd we all love to hate and hate to love, Warren Mears) is adorably sad while still being entertaining and having some funny moments. Be warned, though- the last scene, which is unrelated to the episode plot, will bum you all the way out. No judgements if you turn off your TV the second Buffy steps into her house.

19. “The Wish” (03×09)

Xander: And they burst in, rescuing us, without even knocking? I mean, this is really all their fault.
Buffy: Your logic does not resemble our Earth logic.
Xander: Mine is much more advanced.

In the wake of her split with Xander– caused by finding him kissing notorious overalls-wearer Willow– Cordelia makes a wish with a vengeance demon (Anya! Welcome to the show, Anya!) that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. Kind of a weird wish, when you think about it, since her problem is with Xander and Willow, but I guess I’ll give her a pass since she was just idly saying that and didn’t know it would come true. It does come true, though, and we get a glimpse into what Sunnydale would be like without Buffy and, equally unnerving, what Buffy would be like without Sunnydale. Most things would be awful, sure, but at least Angel would get tortured a whole lot! Oh well, I guess it’s not worth it.

18. “Lovers Walk” (03×08)

“I gave her everything – beautiful jewels, beautiful dresses, with beautiful girls in them, but nothing made her happy. And she would flirt! I caught her on a park bench, making out with a chaos demon! Have you ever seen a chaos demon? They’re all slime and antlers.” – Spike

This episode has a recently dumped Spike being a whiny little bitch, then sort of getting rapey with Willow. It also has Joyce thinking that Spike is a nice young man she should make hot cocoa for, and that Angel is a monster. (She has some good points there.) What can I say? Those are pretty much my two favorite things.

17. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (02×16)

Angelus: Dear Buffy. I’m still trying to decide the best way to send my regards.
Spike: Why don’t you rip her lungs out? It might make an impression.
Angelus: Lacks… poetry.
Spike: It doesn’t have to. What rhymes with lungs?

Amy the witch turns Buffy into a rat for the majority of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” but despite having less Buffy than any other Buffy, this episode, about Xander and Cordelia fleeing the angry mob of Xander-admiring girls created by a love spell gone awry, is still a delight to watch. Oh, Xand. When will you learn that love spells don’t solve anything? I guess after this episode. Asked and answered.

16. “Superstar” (04×17)

Buffy: “Giles, do you have a Jonathan swimsuit calendar?”
Giles: “No. (pause) Yes. It was a gift.”

Finally, the Scoobies get transported to a universe where Jonathan Levinson is the coolest guy in the world-which, incidentally, is the universe I already live in. It’s awesome to see Danny Strong play a character who’s almost as cool a dude as he is for once. Plus, we get the delight of seeing every character drool over Jonathan, as well as confirmation that no matter what the situation, Buffy’s natural leadership skills will come out eventually.

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The Best Podcast Episodes of the Week: March 25-31

Look, there’s a lot of podcasts out there, and honestly, most of them aren’t so great.  I know. I listen to a lot of them, and oftentimes it brings me nothing but heartache. To save you the arduous task of wading through the pod-roughs to find the one pod-diamond, I’ve decided to start recommending a finite number of podcast episodes each week. This week I’m going with five, one for each drive/ride/walk to work/school.

5. Sklarbro Country: “Hurdler Backpack”

Guests: Taran Killam, James Adomian, and Dan Van Kirk

Look, you guys, I do not care about sports AT ALL. I’m too busy putting on mascara and thinking about baby names to watch a football game. Gender socialization is oppressive, am I right? When I have children they’ll all wear yellow clothes and play with trucks and dolls and have medium-length hair and gender-neutral names like Ashton and Sasha. I am a first-year sociology student, I know what I’m talking about, you guys. Anyway, the point is that we live in a patriarchal society and need to cast off the shackles of male oppression. The other point is that despite not understanding the games they discuss or knowing anything about the athletes they mock, I still find this show immensely enjoyable because the Sklars are just so damn fun to listen to. Plus, this week their guest the adorable and charming Taran Killem of SNL.

4. Who Charted? with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack: “Ronna & Beverly”

Guests: Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo

Who Charted? is one of the few podcasts I enjoy listening to every week, regardless of who the guest is. However, I was a little skeptical when I saw the guests this week were Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo in character as Jewish fiftysomethings Ronna and Beverly. The Ronna and Beverly podcast is one of only two that I’ve ever turned off in the middle due to boredom despite Paul F. Tompkins being the guest. (The other one was Aisha Tyler’s podcast. Bleh.) I don’t know how to explain it, but being around chartists Howard and Kulap somehow made these two entertaining, and I actually really enjoyed them on this week’s show. They kind of put me in mind of Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler’s Bronx Beat characters, which is something I need more of in my life.

3. Freakonomics Radio : “The Power of the President — and the Thumb”

This show is really, really good, always, and this week was just as entertaining and informative as always. The first half addresses the question, “Does the President matter?” (Short answer no with an “if”, long answer yes with a “but”) and the second is about the decreased popularity of hitchhiking. Both are updates of old episodes, but there’s enough new content here that I was still interested. Since I have the attention span of famous ADD sufferer Adam Levine, odds are you’ll be interested, too.

2. Your Mom’s House with Christina Pazsitzky and Tom Segura: “Episode 41”

Guests: Paul F. Tompkins

I’ve never listened to this podcast before and, I’ll be honest with you, I’ll most likely never listen to it again, but as Paul F. Tompkins goes, so goes my podcast listenership. PFT advertised this as the “raunchiest [he] ever get[s] or [has] gotten,” and that statement stressed me out more than perhaps it should have. Look, I go to PFT for high-brow comedy about opera hats and cake dragees and stuff. If I wanted a poop joke I’d buy a Larry the Cable Guy album, you know? I was relieved that this episode was just PFT being the PFT I know and love. The raunchiest he got was grudgingly responding to a “would you rather” scenario that involved penises, then  being asked if he’d rather “fill up/seal shut” Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayak and remarking that “fill up” and “seal shut” are weird euphemisms for sex. The married couple that hosts this show is a little gross for my liking, but with PFT in there classing up the joint this is still a delightful listen.

1. Comedy Bang Bang: “Time Bobby”

Guests: Paul F. Tompkins, Bobby Moynihan

And more PFT! Hurray! This week’s episode of CBB has the “co-host/interviewee” spot, normally filled by some sort of real celebrity, occupied by Mr. Tompkins in character as perhaps the classiest of all his characters, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. It also features adorable little SNLster Bobby Moynihan as a scrappy street urchin with a passion for musical theater and a penchant for stabbing people. Also Scott Aukerman is there, doing his hosting thing! Yay! Aukerman! Seriously you guys, just listen to the episode. You shan’t regret it.

Pictures from EarwolfRadio.com YourMomsHousePodcast.com, and WhiteHouse.Gov.

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The 25 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes, part 1: 25-21

Is it just me, or has Joss Whedon been a lot more active lately? I’ll admit that I haven’t really been paying attention to him, but I haven’t noticed a lot of Whedon projects in the past few years. Now, suddenly, he has two movies (The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods) coming out this spring that I would be super excited to see even if Whedon’s name wasn’t attached to them. I am thrilled for this Whedonaissance, whether or not it is occurring solely in my mind, and so in honor of dear Joss, I’ve compiled a list of the twenty-five best episodes of what is, to me, clearly his masterpiece: Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres.

Pictures are from Screencap Paradise.

The 25 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes: #25-21

25. “The Weight of the World” (05×21)

Willow: “Ben and Glory are the same person?

Xander: “Glory can turn into Ben and Ben turns back into Glory.”

Anya: “And anyone who sees it instantly forgets.”

Giles: “Now, do we suspect that there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?”

For nearly five full seasons, Buffy shouldered the burden of averting Apocalypse after Apocalypse all by herself. Okay, the Scoobies were there too to look up names of demons and act as bate and stuff, but come on. Buffy did all the heavy lifting. Having that insane workload would send any other person “howling to the nut house,” as Dean Winchester would say. “The Weight of the World” shows Buffy finally having a well-earned mental breakdown. In order to save her from her catatonic state, Willow magics herself into Buffy’s brain and travels  through some of  the most important memories she finds there, providing us a glimpse into Buffy’s wonderful, tortured, heartbreaking brain. Oh, Buff.

24. “Something Blue” (04×09)

“So the plan is to cure my total incapacitating blindness tomorrow, is it?” – Giles

Willow does a spell to to “have her will done,” (spell-language is just the worst, isn’t it?) that doesn’t take into account the prevalence of figurative speech. Because of this, Giles ends up blind, Xander ends up hunted by every demon in a five-mile radius, and, most importantly, Spike and Buffy end up ickily, gushingly in love with each other and start planning a wedding. The plot is an eentsy bit flimsy and this is the beginnings of Willow becoming the most selfish character in the world, but it’s such a fun, hilarious episode that I forgive it, and so should you.

23. “Fear Itself” (04×04)

Giles: “The summoning spell for Gachnar can be shut down in one of two ways. Destroying the Mark of Gachnar…

[Buffy destroys the Mark of Gachnar]

Giles: “..is not one of them, and will in fact immediately bring forth the fear demon itself.”

When will college kids learn that idly painting pentagrams on their floors is dangerous? Damn kids.  The gang heads to a a Halloween party and, wouldn’t you know it, all their deepest fears end up coming true. Thankfully, none of these characters are too messed up, and all of them have fears like being invisible and turning into a werewolf, so this episode is fun to watch rather than deeply upsetting. This one goes down in Buffy history as the episode that originated Anya’s famous rabbit phobia. It also goes down in the Buffy history of my heart as the episode where Giles wears a sombrero and wields a chainsaw.

22. “A New Man” (04×12)

Buffy: “Please don’t die!”
Giles: “Actually, I feel quite well, except for the rage.”

I’m a sucker for a good Ethan Rayne episode! He never raises the stakes too high; instead of wanting to end the world or enslave humanity, he just wants to stir up a little trouble. I won’t lie, I also love to see the longing in his eyes when he looks at Giles. I’m right there with you, Rayney. Giles is a gorgeous hunk of man. This episode, about a depressed and defeated Giles getting transformed into a demon, has it all: Spike and Giles teaming up out of necessity, stupid Maggie Walsh getting a well-deserved demon-chasing, and, of course, proof that Buffy knows Giles better than anyone has ever known anyone.

21. “The Harsh Light of Day” (04×03)

Xander: “So… the crux of this plan is…”
Anya: “Sexual intercourse. I’ve said it, like, a dozen times.”
Xander: “Uh-huh. Just working through a little hysterical deafness here.”
Anya: “I think it’s the secret to getting you out of my mind. Putting you behind me. Behind me figuratively. I’m thinking face-to-face for the event itself.”

This episode, I am willing to bet, is much more popular with lady-viewers than with the other kind, since it’s essentially about how men are kind of the worst. Buffy sleeps with Parker and then gets the old we-were-just-having-fun-you-knew-what-this-was speech. Anya sleeps with Xander, who promptly ditches her without explanation. A newly vampirized Harmony just wants her new boyfriend Spike to forget about his ex, but instead he tries to kill her. Willow escapes unscathed, because she is dating only-nice-guy-in-the-world Oz! This episode’s a bit of a bummer, but damn it, it tells it like it is. Plus, Harmony and Spike have the best dynamic ever– you know, when he’s not trying to murder her.

Those are some good episodes, y’all. But there are twenty more even better episodes ahead! Isn’t it nice to have something to look forward to in your bleak existence?

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The 20 Best Supernatural Episodes, pt 2: #10-1

10. “A Very Supernatural Christmas” (3×08)

A young Dean tries on the necklace Sam presumably shoplifted from the powerful-religious-items section of Claire’s.

You got chipper pagan gods in Christmas sweaters torturing the Winchesters. You got flashbacks to Sam and Dean’s subpar childhood Christmases. Most importantly, at long last, you got the origins of Dean’s mysterious necklace. (Spoiler alert: Sam gave it to him as a Christmas present. That’s it. I don’t think we’ll ever know why it has weird God-finding powers. Oh, well. Who cares. Everything to do with God in this universe is super boring anyway, am I right?) This also has a poor little baby Sam asking, “Is that why we never talk about Mom?” to which baby Dean replies, “Shut up! Don’t you ever talk about Mom! Ever!” before storming out the door. I thought Dean was overreacting in the pilot when he responded to Sam saying their mother was dead with, “Don’t you talk about her like that!” Now, however, I have to give him credit for at least not getting enraged at their mere mention of a mother. He’s really grown. Give him another ten years and maybe you’ll be allowed to point out that his dead mom is dead without getting punched in the face. All in all, this episode is great because it accomplishes the three main jobs of a good Supernatural episode: it’s scary, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s funny.

9. “Ghostfacers!” (3×13)

Ed and Harry introduce their pilot in a very Andrew Wellsian fashion.

This episode is set up as the self-produced and unsolicited pilot for a reality series starring amateur ghost hunters Harry Spangler (Travis Wester) and Ed Zeddmore (A.J. Buckley.) I always dig it when this show shakes it up, and focusing on two ancillary characters like the Ghostfacers while relegating Sam and Dean to supporting cast territory is about as shaken up as things can get. There’s a good amount of bumbling silliness, but shit also quickly gets real and I get choked up every time I watch this damn episode. To Corbett, King of the Impossible!

8. “Changing Channels” (5×08)

Allow me to ask the obvious question: why are they transporting four bouquets of flowers?

The Trickster is a great idea for a character because  he gives the show license to do ANYTHING.  This show can already get away with doing most stuff, but throw the Trickster in there and, hey, why wouldn’t Sam get trapped inside an ad for genital herpes medication? The first couple of Trickster episodes didn’t really make the most of him, but this episode, which shows Sam and Dean getting thrown into various TV programs, totally nails it.

7. “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” (7×08)

Dean insists that Becky should have asked his permission before marrying Sam. Season 8 spoiler: Dean is Sam’s father. Season 9 spoiler: Sam is a girl.

Finally, the on-again, off-again Sam and Becky tie the knot, causing Samky shippers everywhere to squeal with delight while also nervously wondering, What will the show be about now that the central couple has gotten together? You guys, I am really funny. All deadpanning aside (hilarious though it may be), this episode features the triumphant return of Supernatural superfan Becky Rosen (Emily Perkins), who through nefarious means has made Sam fall in love with her. As my roommate pointed out, this is about 90% the result of magic and 10% the result of Sam being super agreeable. This episode also features noted greatest guy in the world Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard) harshly scolding a crossroads demon for fucking with his precious Winchesters. I may be paraphrasing here.

6. “Monster Movie” (season 4)

It sure was nice of Mr. Burns to invite the Winchesters to his place in PENNSYLVANIA.

This episode is in black and white and is all about classic monster movie villains killing residents of a small town in the spookiest-state-in-the-union Pennsylvania, making for the worst Oktoberfest ever. It’s wacky and quirky, but ultimately emotionally resonant, too, with a villain who kind of reminds me of Abed from Community. This episode also has Dean bizarrely insisting that he came back from Hell a virgin. I don’t get why he’d think that or why he’s so excited about it, but hey, if Dean wants to be pumped about losing his virginity for a second time I guess I’ll let him have this. He has so little, you guys. It’s pretty much just this and turducken sandwiches.

5. “Bad Day at Black Rock” (3×03)

Losing his shoe in a sewer grate transforms Sam into Charlie Brown. Does anyone else find this moment super relatable?

Look, I’m a simple man with simple needs. Sometimes I just want to see Sam win the lottery and find a gold watch, then trip and fall down and lose his shoe in a sewer grate. This episode is such a fun romp that it’s easy to forget that, oh yeah, Sam might die soon if they don’t sort all this out.

4. “What Is and Should Never Be” (2×20)

Dean rejoices in the fact that his mother is alive again,  then presumably yells at himself not to talk about her like that.

Alternate universe! Alternate universe! I love the main Supernatural universe, so I don’t know why I’m always so pumped when the show briefly lets me out of it. I guess I just want Xhibit to put some escapism in my escapism. This episode has Dean cast into a universe where he and Sam aren’t hunters and their mom never died. Since it’s a perfect world, their dad is still dead. Was that too harsh? I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, I know. Even the fictional dead. John Winchester just makes me so mad! Hug your damn sons, John!

3. “The Monster at the End of This Book” (4×18)

I am forever grateful that we don’t live in a world where Sam looks like Fabio.

This episode marks a turning point in Supernatural‘s history: in it, the Winchesters discover they are the subjects of a series of novels entitled, yep, Supernatural. This could so easily have been a shark-jumping moment, but the hyper-meta plot is well-executed, entertaining, and actually makes perfect sense within the context of the elaborate season plot, so this show’s sharks are still firmly planted on the ground. This is Chuck Shurley’s (played by Rob Benedict) first episode, and thank God for that, am I right? What a cutie pie.

2. “Sex and Violence” (4×14)

Nick Munroe worms his way into Deans heart by exploiting his biggest fetish: blind faith. “Oh, the murderer is a siren like from Greek mythology? ‘Kay!”

You know how sometimes you watch a TV episode that has a twist ending, and then you go back and watch it again and given all the information the first half totally doesn’t make sense? Not the case here! This is one well-constructed episode that features Jim Parrack as Agent Nick Munroe, quite possibly my favorite single-episode Supernatural character, as well as the lovely Maite Schwartz who, based on this and her role in the Community episode “Early 21st Century Romanticism,” seems to be the constant target of adorable behavior by cute boys. And don’t worry, pervs of the world: this is not only a great episode, it’s also the one I watch when I need some Supernatural me-time. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Hey-o.

1. “After School Special” (4×13)

Cherish these times, Dean; soon you won’t be able to keep things away from Sam by holding them over your head.

Depicting an 18-year-old Dean (portrayed sexily by Brock Kelly) and a 14-year-old Sam (portrayed adorably by Colin Ford) this episode shows us a little more of the Winchesters’ unhappy childhood, as well as Dean teaching a gym class in knee-high socks and shorts. It also ends on one of the cutest/saddest reaction shots in all of Supernatural history. As an added bonus, the lovely Candace Accola guest stars.

I’m always interested in keeping my finger on the pulse of the Supernatural fan community, so please: what’s everyone’s favorite episode? I bet no one will respond to that. I mean, Supernatural‘s not exactly popular.

Screen caps from Home of the Nutty.

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The 20 Best Supernatural Episodes, part 1

So, I’ve been watching Supernatural kind of a lot lately and, frankly, it’s becoming kind of a problem. Things were bad enough when I could only watch old episodes once in a blue moon when they reran on TNT or I scraped together the thirty bucks to buy a season box set off Half.com. Then, seasons 1 through 6 showed up on Netflix instant. I have not left my apartment in months. I can no longer remember a time when I considered seasoning of foodstuffs to be salt’s primary function. When I heard that this week’s episode is about Sam going crazy and getting institutionalized, I felt a deep sense of anguish, as though I’d just heard terrible news about someone I deeply care for.

It has become clear to me that Supernatural is becoming an addiction, and I desperately need to take a break from it before it consumes me.

Instead of doing that, I spent the last week perfecting my list of the 20 best Supernatural episodes! Enjoy!

Screencaps are from Home of the Nutty, except where otherwise noted.

The 20 Best Supernatural Episodes, pt. 1: 20-11

20. “The French Mistake” (episode 6×15)

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Misha Collins does not understand what this angel assassin is talking about. That makes two of us, Misha.

Between soulless Sam, shiftless post-Apocalypse angels and a bizarre season villain who may or may not be Biblical first lady Eve, season six is a pretty rough watch. At least the uber-meta “French Mistake,” in which Sam and Dean are hurled into the real world, is here to ease the pain. Misha Collins’ performance as himself is unbelievably cute, and we get some nice insight into how intolerant  of diversity Dean his when he expresses his disgust for the names “Misha” and “Padalecki” as well as for the fact that Supernatural isn’t even filmed in America. At least Jensen Ackles is from Texas, right, Dean? As a bonus, there is a moment where Sam points out that in this world he and Dean aren’t brothers. Dean’s reaction to this is to smile to himself in a way that makes me suspect Supernatural fully supports the icky things its fans think about the Winchester’s relationship. Phew.

19. “The Real Ghostbusters” (5×09)

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Two Supernatural fans live the dream of carrying on a relationship with someone who also only wants to talk about Supernatural. Sigh.

Let’s take the meta-dial down a few notches. No, not all the way to zero. What are you, stupid? This episode about Sam and Dean attending a Supernatural fan convention at one point has a distraught Dean telling a couple of LARPing Supernatural fans that they shouldn’t want to be him because his life is horrible. I feel shamed every time I witness this speech. I’m so sorry, Dean! I don’t mean to add to your burdens by loving you! If you forgive me, please give me no sign. Thanks, man.

18. “Sam, Interrupted” (5×11)

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Dean gets out of this pickle the same way he’s certainly gotten out of countless others: by showing a girl his penis.

Who doesn’t like watching institutionalized Winchesters as they slowly allow their deepest fears to consume them and drive them mad? The answer to that question is me! I don’t like that! It hurts my heart! This episode is still real good though!

17. “Home” (1.09)

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Missouri has had enough of Dean’s bullshit. That makes one of us, Missouri.

This episode has the Winchesters heading back to their now-haunted childhood home and consequently experiencing lots of feelings. Hurray! They enlist the help of a psychic named Missouri (Loretta Devine) who dotes on Sam and seems to sort of hate Dean. As funny as it is to watch Missouri pick on Dean, I’m confused as to why she doesn’t understand that Dean is a perfect person. Well, she is friends with notorious Dean-under-appreciater John Winchester, so maybe that has something to do with it. Or maybe she heard some of the harshly anti-psychic thoughts in Dean’s head. What’s Dean’s problem with psychics, anyway? At least they don’t all have names like “Misha” and “Padalecki,” am I right?

16. “Folsom Prison Blues” (2.19)

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These two getting arrested has got to be like Christmas morning for these cons, right? Photo from Oxoniensis.

I love episodes where Dean gets to pretend to have a normal life or a few days. This episode does an extra cute variation of that, since we get to see just how much Dean would thrive in prison. Good for him! I would have bet money that he’s way too pretty to make it. Good for him, proving me wrong like that.

15. “Wishful Thinking” (4.08)

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Dean gets one wish and wastes it on a sandwich. It tastes good, but the turkey’s a little dry. Oh, God! The turkey’s a little dry! WHY??

This is a relatively lighthearted and funny episode about a wishing fountain that actually grants wishes. It also has an unattractive nerd pointing out to Sam and Dean that they are good-looking jerks and so obviously can’t understand where he’s coming from. Somebody needed to say it. Those boys don’t know how lucky they are.

14. “In My Time of Dying” (2.01)

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Look, I know this is a serious situation, but I’ll take bare Dean chest wherever I can get it.

This episode has it all: Daddy issues, Dean stripped down to but a single layer, Sam enduring uncalled-for mockery from his brother, a powerful supernatural being admitting that Dean is very cute. A great episode all around.

13. “Yellow Fever” (4.06)

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Yes, Dean’s scared of everything at this moment, but being afraid of a giant snake is just good common sense. They flout natural law by having no eyelids, legs or ears and yet still being successful predators! God does not want them to continue to exist, but they do it anyway! Perhaps the caption of a Supernatural screencap is not the best place for my thoughts on snakes. I just hate them so much.

Dean catches a ghost-caused disease that makes him terrified of everything, consequently making my heart melt every time I watch this episode. My favorite part is the conversation that clarifies that Sam didn’t catch the disease because it only affects bullies.

Sam: Basically, they were all dicks.

Dean: So you’re saying I’m a dick?

Sam: No, no, it’s not just that. All three victims used fear as a weapon. Now this disease is just returning the favor.

Dean: I don’t scare people.

Sam: Dean, all we do is scare people.

Dean: Okay, well, then you’re a dick, too.

Sam: Apparently I’m not.

12. “The Rapture” (4.20)

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Work those sexy hands, Jimmy. What is this show doing to me?

It took Supernatural awhile to figure out what they were doing with Castiel. He’s such an endearing character now that it’s easy to forget he started life as some boring jerk who was always talking about how rad God is and chiding Dean for not understanding the gravity of the situation. Ugggh. So, given his bleak beginnings, the first time I saw “The Rapture,” which is all about Jimmy, the man whose body Castiel took over, I cared a lot more about Jimmy than I ever had about Cas. This episode is a huge bummer since the whole thing is just watching the life of the nicest guy in the world fall apart through no fault of his own. Let this be a lesson to all of you! Christianity doesn’t pay! Also, I don’t usually fetishize hands, but goddamn do Misha Collins’ hands do it for me in the boiling water scene. They’re just so… handy. Mmm.

11. “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester” (5×07)

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“I like the cut of your jib.” This gambling leprechaun’s saying what we’re all thinking.

Now, I don’t usually condone episodes that cut down on the amount of time I get to spend looking at Jensen Ackles, but for this one I’ll make an exception. Dean loses fifty years of his life to a hunky Irish poker player who I initially (racistly) assumed was a leprechaun, but who upon closer inspection is merely a witch from Ireland. I am 3/16 Irish, so I get a free pass on stuff like this! Those are the rules! Consequently, Dean spends the majority of this episode as an old (but still rakishly handsome) man, played by Chad Everett, who does just about the finest Jensen Ackles impression I’ve ever seen.

Soon, my pretties, I’ll post episodes 10-1. While writing this, I noticed that my writing tends to be very Dean-centric. I will try to have more fair and balanced reporting in the future. In the meantime, I suggest we all rewatch “The Born-Again Identity,” if only for the long overdue Misha Collins ass shot.

Actually, on second thought:

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Double Top Ten List: The Ten Hottest Men/Women on TV (with special guest Lenny)

Me and Lenny of Lenny Tunes like to make lists of things. Sometimes we compare those lists, and then sometimes we go on to share those lists with you.  This is one such instance.

Lenny’s 10 Hottest Women on TV 

10. Sofia Vergara as  Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Modern Family)

Sure, she has Sofia Vergara’s body, but this character is definitely not coasting on that. She’s smart, loving and sensitive. I would probably watch this show more often if it were just about Gloria.

9. Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez (Glee)

Santana probably deserves to be in the top 4, but everything related to Glee makes me feel a little bit disgusted. As shitty as her show is, Santana is just about the perfect woman.

8. Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry (Community)

It took me a long time to come around on this one. Oh, the roller coaster Britta and I have been on! She wore me down and now I’m in love. Britta is a total spazz. Yes, I have to resort to ‘80s ski movie lingo to describe her. She’s a spazz and I am on board. Any woman who can mistake Robocop for Rowboatcop and then say, “She’s a bad rowboat. Sink her” has my heart.

7. Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins (Parks and Recreation)

Ann is a fucking badass. I’m jealous of how much Ann’s got it together, red streak in her hair aside. I went from liking her to loving her when she told Leslie to ask Ben about his penis. That right there is charm.

6. Christa Miller as Ellie Torres (Cougar Town)

Ellie is mean and scary and you’re never once supposed to think poorly of her. More TV shows need to have a character who is terrifying and cruel, but generally considered to be a perfectly fine lady. It’s charming.

5. Charlotte Arnold as Holly J. Sinclair (Degrassi: The Next Generation)

I love Holly J so much that I once made a Facebook group called “I Hate Holly J. No, wait. I find her charming and delightful.” I think Charlotte Arnold is one of the most beautiful women in the world and Holly J is smart and driven, with just the right amount of mean mixed in.

4. Busy Philipps as Laurie Keller (Cougar Town)

I love that Laurie knows exactly what she is. She’s completely confident even though she’ll be the first to admit that she’s not perfect. She’s unbelievably fun to watch and a very refreshing character to see.

3. Olivia Wilde as Thirteen Hadley (House)

After three seasons of making straight men and lesbians question our sexuality because Gregory House is just so fucking awesome, the show finally resolved this issue by adding in a character that is essentially House if he was an incredibly attractive bisexual girl. Dilemma deleted.

2. Courteney Cox as Jules Cobb (Cougar Town)

Jules cane be very mean and extremely needy, but those qualities only make her more charming and loveable. I feel like I fall in love with Jules with every scene. I’m frustrated with how hard it is to describe why she’s so great, but I guess her beauty leaves me dumbfounded.

1. Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)

“That was amazing. That was a flu ridden Michael Jordan at the ’97 NBA finals. That was Kirk Gibson hobbling up to the plate and hitting a homer off of Dennis Eckersly. That was…that was Leslie Knope.” The preceding quote from Ben Wyatt demonstrates that there’s really no sufficient way to describe Leslie Knope other than to say that she’s Leslie Knope. She’s in her own category.


Katie’s Hottest Men on TV

10. Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation)

This tiny little hunk seemed like a tiny little jerk at first, but he’s gradually become one of the most endearing characters on a show full of extremely endearing characters. What’s hotter than a guy who gets so nervous in front of a camera that he starts rambling about how everyone has gay thoughts sometimes?  He’s at his hottest when he’s admiring Leslie which, these days, is pretty much all the time.

9. Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

What’s better than a guy who looks like a male model? A guy who looks like a male model AND is a terrible, terrible person. And what’s better than a male model who’s a terrible person? A male model who’s a terrible person, is deeply insecure and pathetically reliant on his best friend. These are obviously turn-ons universal to all women, so I don’t know why I’m even wasting your time explaining.

8. Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van de Kamp (Desperate Housewives)

Andrew has the devious schemes of a Cruel Intentions character and the approachable good looks of a ’90s boy bandster. He’s been extra hunky ever since the show Quantum Leap‘d five years ahead since he now wears nice suits and isn’t rocking those gelled spikes in his hair.

7. Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)

When I first saw Ron Swanson, I thought I knew exactly how attracted to that character I was going to be: not very. It took him about ten seconds to win me over. His libertarian agenda, apathy towards his job and disgust towards most of society all somehow cancel out the fact that he looks like my dad’s fishing buddy crossed with the Lorax.

6. Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey (White Collar)

Look at him. See that picture? That’s what he looks like. Maybe he has a cool personality. Who cares? THAT’S WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE.

5. Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House (House)

The key to House’s sexiness is definitely his cruelty. True, if I met him, he would probably make me cry within the first thirty seconds, but since he’s trapped in the TV and I live out here, we never have to meet and I can continue loving him forever.

4. John Krasinski as Jim Halpert (The Office)

Jim’s just a great guy. I’ve always wanted to marry him and always will, Pam and Cici be damned. He’s awesome on many, many levels, but I’ve always particularly loved the pure joy he derives from stupid stuff like putting Dwight’s stapler in Jell-O or his wallet in the vending machine. Could anything be cuter than that?

3. Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase (House)

So pretty! So nice! So desperate for approval! He’s like a sexy, super-smart version of Theodore the Chipmunk, which, apparently, is what I’m into.

2. Joel McHale as Jeff Winger (Community)

We’ve come a long from the kind of ugly, poorly made up, lame wisecrack-making, sweatpants-clad Jeff Winger of Community’s pilot. Little by little, he has evolved into a sweet, heart-breaking, gorgeous, funny, gorgeous, complicated, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful man.

1. Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)

It helps that the actor playing him is physically perfect in every way, but Damian could be played by Oliver Platt and I would still get a major lady-boner every time he takes advantage of a girl or breaks someone’s spirit with his mind games. I mean, uh… I like his… abs.

The sexiest show on TV is apparently Parks and Recreation, which boasts a whopping four characters between our two lists. That may sound weird, but go watch the episode “Road Trip” (as of this posting it’s still available on Hulu) and then tell me it’s not a sexy show.

Runners-up are House and Cougar Town at three spots each (it should be noted that Cougar Town characters only appear on the lady list). Should none of these shows be able to fulfill their sexy duties, Community, which appeared twice (once on each list) will be asked to step in as the sexiest show on TV.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch The Vampire Diaries for… normal reasons.

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