The very first season of the cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also the worst season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are those who think you can skip it altogether. And while I don’t agree with that because I think “Prophecy Girl” is a great episode, and the first season sets up a lot of interesting themes, I can understand why. There are five episodes that stand out as the absolute worst of the season (and possibly of the series).
5. I, Robot…You, Jane- The best thing about this episode is the sparring between Giles and Jenny Calendar about books vs. cyberspace (it was the 90s, people still said cyberspace). This sparring is well worth a watch, and some of what Giles says becomes oddly true in the decades to follow. The worst part about this episode? Pretty much everything else. The idea is interesting, but it never really feels like more than an idea.
4. Witch- This episode sets up, very early on, that magic exists in the Buffyverse. It’s not all demons and vampires, there are witches too. Unfortunately, it is really easy to see what is going on with Amy, Buffy’s troubled fellow student, and the cheerleading squad. And it is easy to tell really early on, especially because of the title.
3. The Harvest- The second part of the pilot somehow manages to be one of the most forgettable episodes. The pilot has Giles showing Buffy the book that says “Vampyr” in the library, and the introductions to all of our favorite characters. The second part, “The Harvest,” is merely tying up loose ends.
2. Teacher’s Pet- This episode is just creepy. And while it is better than season two’s “Inca Mummy Girl” (which has virtually the same plot, and possibly the worst title of any episode of any show ever), it never really goes anywhere unexpected. It sets up the Xander as a “demon magnet” thing, but it also sets up something that you figure out really early on. The characters on Buffy get a lot smarter, but in this early episode, you’re just waiting for them to figure things out.
1. Out of Mind, Out of Sight has perhaps one of the coolest concepts for a Buffy episode ever. But unfortunately, it never takes this concept anywhere interesting. Instead, the invisible girl (hey, Clea DuVall!) resorts to some very standard, and very cliched, high school revenge scenarios. Wanting to deface the beauty queen has been done and done in various different forms, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is far more original than that.