#10 - Dollhouse - Season 2
I debated whether or not to include Dollhouse, as to say that it’s the weakest Whedon show would be an incredible understatement. That said, the quality of the nine ‘post cancellation’ episodes puts it on the list. When the show stops running as story of the week, it’s awesome and exciting and just fun to watch.
Best episode: Epitaph 2
Worst episode: Instinct
#9 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 7
Season seven should have been better, but it’s still fantastic. While the makers of the show didn’t get the impressive people to come back and play the First that they wanted (though Sarah Michelle Geller did a fine job, it just doesn’t work like it could have), and they seemed to miss a great chance at making the Ubervamps terrifying (as seen in ‘BOTN’ and ‘Showtime’), the season does a lot of things right. The early going is very good, and the house full of potentials works surprisingly well, but the final five episodes really sees the show take off again. Nathan Fillion is incredible and Caleb could be a strong season long villain on his own. Couple that with Faith and the exciting run to the finish, and the it’s wonderful. ( Now, if only they didn’t go out of their way to show that Buffy was right in ‘Empty Places’ when she is CLEARLY wrong and the other people are clearly right.)
Best episode: Chosen
Worst episode: Sleeper
#8 - Angel - Season 3
This is the point when Angel really, really got good. Actually, that may have been Pylea, but still. :p With season three came letterbox, focus, and a newfound willingness to take risks (no, Angel going ‘dark’ yet always saving the day for just a few weeks doesn’t count as risk-taking), and it’s wonderful. From the early stages, to Darla’s return, to the awesome Loyalty story, to the horrible (and I mean that in a good way) end, Season three is outstanding.
Best episode: The Price
Worst episode: Carpe Noctem
# 7 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 4
The show was as strong as ever moving to college, as season four of BtVS provides a textbook example of how to transition a show to from high school to college. The first half of the season is absolutely insane, quality-wise, and Season four Spike is at the top of his game. The season would place higher if not for a few issues in the second half, namely revolving around Adam and around the Initiative not being used as well.
Best episode: Hush
Worst episode: Superstar
#6 - Angel - Season 4
I feel like it’s underrated. Look, I know that it’s disjointed and running as a turgid supernatural soap-opera during season four, but I don’t care. Season four of Angel is awesome. There are some great moments, and as silly as the end of days stuff might be at times (the Sun’s been blotted out in all of Los Angeles and vampires reign on the town, yet nobody seems to care? For that matter, the rest of the country, and world for that matter, didn’t notice LA fell to a Browncoat god who wants to serve man?), it’s all good because it’s exciting and the cast of characters is just so strong. This style of show really seemed to fit Angel, imo.
Best episode: Apocalypse Nowish/Reign of Fire
Worst episode: Soulless (and I’m briefly explaining this one since I know it’s well liked. I hate this premise and find it to be very, very boring. Also, in later episodes when he’s ‘Angelus’, and I despise that term I might add, I’m annoyed at how he’s not shown killing anybody, only terrorizing or killing fellow demons. WTF?)
#5 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 2
While the season is stellar from beginning to end, the season’s second half turns a great season into something more. Season two, like passion, is the source of our finest moments (or at least moment, very late in the season finale) of the series, imo.
Best episode: Becoming, Part 2
Worst episode: Bad Eggs
# 4 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 5
I have to place season five here. It’s absolutely fantastic in, like, every way. The Dawn plot shouldn’t work, but instead is great (at least after the first few episodes, when the seemed to find the character) and Glory makes for a great villain that is both funny and extremely intimidating. This season also boasts a couple of the absolute best episodes of, well, any show ever made.
Best episode: The Body
Worst Episode: The Weight of the World
#3 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 3
This is BtVS at the top of its game. From Faith and the Mayor to a wish and postponed episodes, no season of the show boasts such a consistent level of quality and such a great feel. Season three is where it’s at.
Best episode: Enemies
Worst episode: Dead Man’s Party
#2 - Angel - Season 5
For a show that improved literally every season, the jump in quality to its final season is still amazing. The Wolfram & Hart setting works great and the characters and actors are at amazing points. And there’s Illyria. Who wouldn’t love Illyria?
Best episode: Not Fade Away
Worst episode: Soul Purpose
#1 - Firefly
For one shining half season, this may have been the greatest show ever made. Its blend of, well, everything and its vision of this universe are amazing. Oh, and what a perfect cast of characters, too boot. And Serenity is the most incredible home setting.
Best episode: Jaynestown
Worst Episode: Heart of Gold