Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
9.8/10
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26 user 5 critic

Once More, with Feeling 

In this musical extravaganza, Sunnydale residents find themselves bursting into song, and flame, when a demon attempts to make Dawn his bride.

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(created by), | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Daniel Weaver ...
Handsome Young Man
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Henchman / Tap Dancing Victim
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Demon / Henchman
Timothy Anderson ...
Henchman
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Storyline

Sunnydale is alive with the sound of music as a mysterious force causes everyone in town to burst into full musical numbers, revealing their innermost secrets as they do. But some townsfolk are dancing so much that they simply burst into flames, and it becomes clear that maybe living in a musical isn't so great after all. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 November 2001 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the unusual starting title, the only character who doesn't smile at the camera is Dawn. See more »

Goofs

When it shows a close up of Lethe's Bramble in the book, the blossoms were pointing to the left and beneath the description. When they show a different angle, the flower is facing the other way and on top of the description. See more »

Quotes

Anya: [about her duet with Xander, "I'll Never Tell"] It's just, clearly our number is a retro pastiche that's never going to be a breakaway pop hit.
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Crazy Credits

Features a happy, lighthearted 1960's TV show-style opening sequence with the cast members' faces, and ends with the Mutant Enemy monster singing his trademark "Grrr Aargh!" rather than growling it. See more »

Connections

References Magnolia (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk Through The Fire
Written by Joss Whedon
Performed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Marsters, Hinton Battle, Anthony Head (as Anthony Stewart Head), Nicholas Brendon, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson and Alyson Hannigan
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User Reviews

 
definitely one of the high points from the series; even better live!
20 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'll be honest, I don't watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer regularly- not now or even really much when it was on more in syndication and in its original run- but I did watch it casually sometimes with friends, and did enjoy the occasionally corny fights and angsty teen drama thrown in (plus, Anthony Stewart Head is quite the cool mentor). I had never seen this episode either, but had heard a lot about it from my girlfriend who is a much greater fan of the series than I. An incentive finally came to watch the episode here, where it's all practically singing and dancing with all of the usual characters coming into the swing of things (by way of a spell of course), as the episode is now presented under the 'Buffy Sing-along' in certain theaters across the country (if it's not near your city or town, it might be soon, it just left NYC). I was expecting a jovial enough time with the audience participation, but nothing great. Needless to say I'm writing this comment mostly to covey how immensely entertained I was by the whole shebang.

Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the episode, alongside his musical collaborators, really 'get' how to make the wonderful contrivances of musicals fitting for their own types in their show, and it's a feast for fans and still provides many great, up-beat, catchy, and funny songs all the way through. It also helps that the cast in this case is a knockout more often than not, even with Sarah Michelle Gellar not as the greatest singer out there (she had to take singing lessons to prepare for the episode apparently). It would be hard for me to explain to much to such casual watchers of the show like myself, but if you know all the continuity of season five and six then it's no problem. Basically, a spell is cast somehow, and everyone breaks into songs and sometimes dances too, and moreover it brings out the emotions that the characters have been hiding (i.e. Spike's love for Buffy, Giles reluctance with certain matters, Willow's own love- which is rather graphic when you put the lyrics into total context), and also conjures up some demons who have a leader who will make the spell-caster a Queen. The revelation of this, of course, is just another of the jokes.

While I'm sure I would've still had a good time watching the episode at home, it's recommended to try and catch the live show just as much. The episode gives so much for an audience to chew up and have fun with, especially late at night ala Rocky Horror, and it makes for grand silliness even when things seem darkest in the storyline and psychologies. The music, meanwhile, is keen and tight and rhythmic without being corny (I loved the Spike song, and even the power ballad from Giles was fun, plus the demon song & dance), and the lyrics strike up enough wit for three episodes. The dialog from Whedon is also top notch (i.e. "So, Dawn's in trouble... must be Tuesday"). And the whole time, when I wasn't laughing from the totally unexpected bits and complete adherence to cheerful whimsy, I had a big stupid smile on my face (if you see it live, by the way, feel more than free to sing-along with everyone else). While I wouldn't discredit that it has merit alongside the rest of the season, as a stand-alone episode it takes the cake, and even could compare with the likes of Singin in the Rain as a truly happiest musical time.


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