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BtVS Writers' Poll

sadistic pollgirl4
Well, since we're on the topic of Noxon, let's zoom out to have a bit of a poll about the different BtVS writers.

Now, this is only about their writing. Not their personality, their interviews, their appearance, nada. Plain and simple: We're judging based off the episodes they've written.

I'm only including writers who have five or more writing credits on the show. You won't need to be familiar with who wrote what. It's all listed for you on the poll. :)

Okay! Let's get poll-y!



Poll #1579897
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 112

All of the episodes Joss wrote are listed below. Check your Top 3. Only choose THREE! I'm watching you!

View Answers
Welcome to the Hellmouth
0 (0.0%)
The Harvest
0 (0.0%)
Prophecy Girl
0 (0.0%)
Lie to Me
0 (0.0%)
Ted
0 (0.0%)
Innocence
0 (0.0%)
Becoming Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
Becoming Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
Anne
0 (0.0%)
Amends
0 (0.0%)
Doppelgangland
0 (0.0%)
Graduation Day Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
Graduation Day Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
The Freshman
0 (0.0%)
Hush
0 (0.0%)
Who Are You?
0 (0.0%)
Restless
0 (0.0%)
Family
0 (0.0%)
The Body
0 (0.0%)
The Gift
0 (0.0%)
Once More, With Feeling
0 (0.0%)
Lessons
0 (0.0%)
Chosen
0 (0.0%)

Marti Noxon's turn. Again, Top 3. Three! Only choose three!

View Answers
What's My Line? Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
What's My Line? Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
Bad Eggs
0 (0.0%)
Surprise
0 (0.0%)
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
0 (0.0%)
I Only Have Eyes for You
0 (0.0%)
Dead Man's Party
0 (0.0%)
Beauty and the Beasts
0 (0.0%)
The Wish
1 (0.9%)
Consequences
0 (0.0%)
The Prom
0 (0.0%)
Living Conditions
0 (0.0%)
Wild at Heart
0 (0.0%)
Doomed
0 (0.0%)
Goodbye Iowa
0 (0.0%)
New Moon Rising
0 (0.0%)
Buffy vs. Dracula
1 (0.9%)
Into the Woods
0 (0.0%)
Forever
0 (0.0%)
Bargaining Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
Wrecked
0 (0.0%)
Villains
0 (0.0%)
Bring on the Night
0 (0.0%)

And another round for Jane Espenson, fan favorite. Top 3, folks!

View Answers
Band Candy
0 (0.0%)
Gingerbread
1 (0.9%)
Earshot
0 (0.0%)
The Harsh Light of Day
0 (0.0%)
Pangs
0 (0.0%)
Doomed
0 (0.0%)
A New Man
0 (0.0%)
Superstar
0 (0.0%)
The Replacement
0 (0.0%)
Triangle
0 (0.0%)
Checkpoint
0 (0.0%)
I Was Made to Love You
0 (0.0%)
Intervention
0 (0.0%)
After Life
0 (0.0%)
Flooded
0 (0.0%)
Life Serial
0 (0.0%)
Doublemeat Palace
0 (0.0%)
Same Time, Same Place
0 (0.0%)
Sleeper
0 (0.0%)
First Date
0 (0.0%)
Storyteller
0 (0.0%)
End of Days
0 (0.0%)

David Fury! He got the mustard out. Pick only three! Don't make me spank you!

View Answers
Go Fish
0 (0.0%)
Helpless
0 (0.0%)
Choices
0 (0.0%)
Fear Itself
2 (1.8%)
Doomed
0 (0.0%)
The I in Team
1 (0.9%)
Primeval
0 (0.0%)
Real Me
0 (0.0%)
Shadow
0 (0.0%)
Crush
0 (0.0%)
Bargaining Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
Life Serial
0 (0.0%)
Gone
0 (0.0%)
Grave
0 (0.0%)
Sleeper
0 (0.0%)
Showtime
0 (0.0%)
Lies My Parents Told Me
0 (0.0%)

Douglas Petrie: Wore the same shirt as Riley once. Three's the magic number. Have at it!

View Answers
Revelations
0 (0.0%)
Bad Girls
0 (0.0%)
Enemies
0 (0.0%)
The Initiative
0 (0.0%)
This Year's Girl
0 (0.0%)
The Yoko Factor
0 (0.0%)
No Place Like Home
0 (0.0%)
Fool for Love
1 (0.9%)
Checkpoint
0 (0.0%)
The Weight of the World
0 (0.0%)
Flooded
0 (0.0%)
As You Were
0 (0.0%)
Two to Go
0 (0.0%)
Beneath You
0 (0.0%)
Bring on the Night
0 (0.0%)
Get It Done
0 (0.0%)
End of Days
0 (0.0%)

Now time for David Greenwalt! 1, 2, 3, GO!

View Answers
Teacher's Pet
1 (1.0%)
Angel
1 (1.0%)
Nightmares
0 (0.0%)
Reptile Boy
0 (0.0%)
Ted
2 (1.9%)
Faith, Hope, and Trick
0 (0.0%)
Homecoming
0 (0.0%)

Rebecca Rand Kirshner! She looks like Cassie from Help! Top 3!

View Answers
Out of My Mind
0 (0.0%)
Listening to Fear
0 (0.0%)
Tough Love
0 (0.0%)
Tabula Rasa
3 (2.7%)
Hell's Bells
0 (0.0%)
Help
0 (0.0%)
Potential
0 (0.0%)
Touched
0 (0.0%)

Moving on to Drew Z. Greenberg. Pick three.

View Answers
Smashed
6 (5.7%)
Older and Far Away
0 (0.0%)
Entropy
0 (0.0%)
Him
0 (0.0%)
The Killer in Me
1 (1.0%)
Empty Places
0 (0.0%)

Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel seem to come as a pair? They share credits for the exact same episodes, so we'll count them together. Top 3!

View Answers
Killed by Death
1 (1.0%)
Phases
1 (1.0%)
The Dark Age
2 (2.0%)
The Puppet Show
0 (0.0%)
Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
2 (2.0%)

Steven S. DeKnight now!

View Answers
Blood Ties
0 (0.0%)
Spiral
0 (0.0%)
All the Way
0 (0.0%)
Dead Things
3 (2.9%)
Seeing Red
1 (1.0%)

Are you ready for this? We're gonna go through it again. This time, though, choose the Bottom 3! This one's for Joss. Three worst episodes. Go!

View Answers
Welcome to the Hellmouth
0 (0.0%)
The Harvest
0 (0.0%)
Prophecy Girl
0 (0.0%)
Lie to Me
0 (0.0%)
Ted
1 (1.0%)
Innocence
0 (0.0%)
Becoming Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
Becoming Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
Anne
1 (1.0%)
Amends
1 (1.0%)
Doppelgangland
0 (0.0%)
Graduation Day Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
Graduation Day Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
The Freshman
1 (1.0%)
Hush
0 (0.0%)
Who Are You?
0 (0.0%)
Restless
0 (0.0%)
Family
0 (0.0%)
The Body
0 (0.0%)
The Gift
0 (0.0%)
Once More, With Feeling
0 (0.0%)
Lessons
0 (0.0%)
Chosen
0 (0.0%)

Bottom three for Marti! Only three!

View Answers
What's My Line? Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
What's My Line? Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
Bad Eggs
3 (2.9%)
Surprise
0 (0.0%)
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
0 (0.0%)
I Only Have Eyes for You
0 (0.0%)
Dead Man's Party
0 (0.0%)
Beauty and the Beasts
0 (0.0%)
The Wish
0 (0.0%)
Consequences
0 (0.0%)
The Prom
0 (0.0%)
Living Conditions
0 (0.0%)
Wild at Heart
0 (0.0%)
Doomed
0 (0.0%)
Goodbye Iowa
0 (0.0%)
New Moon Rising
0 (0.0%)
Buffy vs. Dracula
0 (0.0%)
Into the Woods
0 (0.0%)
Forever
0 (0.0%)
Bargaining Pt. 1
0 (0.0%)
Wrecked
0 (0.0%)
Villains
0 (0.0%)
Bring on the Night
0 (0.0%)

And the Bottom 3 for Jane Espenson!

View Answers
Band Candy
0 (0.0%)
Gingerbread
0 (0.0%)
Earshot
0 (0.0%)
The Harsh Light of Day
0 (0.0%)
Pangs
0 (0.0%)
Doomed
0 (0.0%)
A New Man
0 (0.0%)
Superstar
0 (0.0%)
The Replacement
0 (0.0%)
Triangle
0 (0.0%)
Checkpoint
0 (0.0%)
I Was Made to Love You
0 (0.0%)
Intervention
0 (0.0%)
After Life
0 (0.0%)
Flooded
1 (1.0%)
Life Serial
0 (0.0%)
Doublemeat Palace
1 (1.0%)
Same Time, Same Place
1 (1.0%)
Sleeper
0 (0.0%)
First Date
0 (0.0%)
Storyteller
0 (0.0%)
End of Days
0 (0.0%)

Mr. David Fury, it's time to meet your Bottom 3!

View Answers
Go Fish
2 (1.9%)
Helpless
0 (0.0%)
Choices
0 (0.0%)
Fear Itself
1 (1.0%)
Doomed
1 (1.0%)
The I in Team
0 (0.0%)
Primeval
0 (0.0%)
Real Me
0 (0.0%)
Shadow
1 (1.0%)
Crush
0 (0.0%)
Bargaining Pt. 2
0 (0.0%)
Life Serial
0 (0.0%)
Gone
0 (0.0%)
Grave
0 (0.0%)
Sleeper
0 (0.0%)
Showtime
0 (0.0%)
Lies My Parents Told Me
0 (0.0%)

Back to Doug Petrie. Weakest three.

View Answers
Revelations
0 (0.0%)
Bad Girls
0 (0.0%)
Enemies
0 (0.0%)
The Initiative
0 (0.0%)
This Year's Girl
0 (0.0%)
The Yoko Factor
0 (0.0%)
No Place Like Home
0 (0.0%)
Fool for Love
0 (0.0%)
Checkpoint
0 (0.0%)
The Weight of the World
0 (0.0%)
Flooded
2 (1.9%)
As You Were
2 (1.9%)
Two to Go
0 (0.0%)
Beneath You
0 (0.0%)
Bring on the Night
0 (0.0%)
Get It Done
1 (1.0%)
End of Days
0 (0.0%)

Bottom three for David Greenwalt!

View Answers
Teacher's Pet
0 (0.0%)
Angel
0 (0.0%)
Nightmares
0 (0.0%)
Reptile Boy
0 (0.0%)
Ted
3 (2.9%)
Faith, Hope, and Trick
1 (1.0%)
Homecoming
0 (0.0%)

And finally, bottom three for Rebecca Rand Kirshner:

View Answers
Out of My Mind
0 (0.0%)
Listening to Fear
2 (2.0%)
Tough Love
3 (3.0%)
Tabula Rasa
0 (0.0%)
Hell's Bells
2 (2.0%)
Help
0 (0.0%)
Potential
2 (2.0%)
Touched
0 (0.0%)

Wrapping things up, your favorite writer?

View Answers
Joss Whedon
81 (77.1%)
Marti Noxon
1 (1.0%)
Jane Espenson
21 (20.0%)
David Fury
1 (1.0%)
Douglas Petrie
0 (0.0%)
David Greenwalt
0 (0.0%)
Rebecca Rand Kirshner
0 (0.0%)
Drew Z. Greenberg
0 (0.0%)
Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel
1 (1.0%)
Steven S. DeKnight
0 (0.0%)

Okay, your favorite writer besides Joss? (If you didn't choose Joss in the previous question, just repeat your answer here)

View Answers
Marti Noxon
15 (14.2%)
Jane Espenson
73 (68.9%)
David Fury
2 (1.9%)
Douglas Petrie
12 (11.3%)
David Greenwalt
0 (0.0%)
Rebecca Rand Kirshner
2 (1.9%)
Drew Z. Greenberg
1 (0.9%)
Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel
1 (0.9%)
Steven S. DeKnight
0 (0.0%)


Tags:


Comments

( 114 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
amyxaphania
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
I found it most difficult to pick a top three for Jane Espenson. I wanted to check almost all of the boxes.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
I didn't find Jane too difficult. Joss was a toughie, as was Fury, though.
(no subject) - angearia - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC) - Expand
deird1
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Interestingly, Joss is definitely not my favourite writer (I ended up tied between Marti and Jane), but I found it really hard to think of my least-favourite episodes of his. He doesn't seem to write any bad episodes.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Heh. I know. Even Joss' "worst" episodes aren't bad. He's fairly consistent in the quality of his writing.
(no subject) - angearia - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - norwie2010 - Jun. 18th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eowyn_315 - Jun. 19th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
coalitiongirl
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
I had no idea I disliked so many of Marti Noxon's episodes...until I tried filling this out and had trouble picking any episodes I would rank in my favorites. And I had the opposite problem with Jane Espenson, of course.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
I actually did have trouble choosing among the Marti eps. She's done quite a few that I like.
gillo
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
I found it hard to pick only three from Joss and Jane in the "best" category, or to find three for either of them in the "worst". With the others there tended to be at least two standouts in each category. I'm not sure I'd put any of Dave Greenwalt's eps in my top fifty, mind you.

Looking at the list of episodes I think my gut feeling that I prefer Joss and Jane as writers is pretty much born out.
eowyn_315
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, same here, for pretty much all of that.
(no subject) - eilowyn - Jun. 18th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jun. 18th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angearia - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC) - Expand
rebcake
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
Jane Espenson rules my heart! I love almost all of hers. It was very hard finding the bottom three. HOWEVER! I think that the broad strokes of what happens in all the episodes is decided by the writers' room/producers, and it might not be fair to credit/blame an individual writer for what happens in an ep, though the details of how it happened can be. Where Jane excels is in taking eps that could have been lackluster filler and making them lustrous.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Excellent point. I think a lot of writers get saddled with what plot points their ep contained (DeKnight being the big example).

I think Intervention stands out as an episode that could easily have gone very wrong with a lesser writer. I mean, Jane had to have Buffy go on a mystical Slayer quest, write a broad comedy about Spike's adventures with the Buffybot, then turn to an action/drama plot with Spike being kidnapped and tortured by the Big Bad, only to end on a hopeful, shippy not.

Just the mish-mash of tones and events is boggling. But Jane wrangles it all together and makes it work. Kudos.
victorialupin
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
Picking least favourite episodes for Joss was really hard.

Hm. I decided to pick favourite non-Joss writer based on episodes only, not things I've heard in interviews, and reviewing your list of episodes I was surprised to find that I had to vote for Petrie.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Huh. Petrie's actually one I like better as a person than as a writer. I'm not a big fan of most of his eps, but I always enjoy listening to his commentaries.
(no subject) - victorialupin - Jun. 18th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC) - Expand
ceciliaj
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
This poll just reminds me how much I love all of them. /is useless
ceciliaj
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Also, I have to get excited about all the love "The Wish" is getting. One of my all-time faves!
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jun. 18th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC) - Expand
eilowyn
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I only clicked "As You Were" for worst Doug Petrie episode, but count it three times. I'm pretty sure it would be on the bottom three of my rankings of the entire series, because at least "Bad Eggs" didn't have "let's humiliate Buffy!" as a running gag throughout the episode. Bangel kissage does require the same amount of pepto bismol dosage to get through the episode, though. And the fact that a supposed twenty-six year old is doing all that horny thirteen year old kissage with a minor? Big on the squick factor.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Hmmm...I'm trying to decide if that's a spanking offense or not. I'm in a good mood, so I'll allow it this time.
(no subject) - eilowyn - Jun. 18th, 2010 08:43 am (UTC) - Expand
stormwreath
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
Did Drew Goddard really write fewer than five episodes? He's who I'd have put as my second favourite after Joss. As it was, I picked Marti. I can honestly say Jane Espenson's episodes weren't really among my favourites.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
Oooooh...I was hoping this wouldn't get brought up...

Goddard wrote exactly five episodes. However, one of them is CWDP which, due to the unusual writing structure, I opted to leave off for simplicity's sake. This gave him only four episode credits.

...oops?
(no subject) - stormwreath - Jun. 18th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC) - Expand
penny_lane_42
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
I surprised myself by voting for "Seeing Red" as one of DeKnight's top three. Mostly because, besides "Dead Things" which is OMG ONE OF MY FAVORITES, I have trouble picking standouts with him. But also because I was going by sheer writing, not plot-decisions and also not direction. And the writing I think in that episode is quite good (though I could be wrong--it's been a long time since I watched it): it's the choice to do that AR and then the direction for it that I find problematic. I think that scene might have been okay if it didn't last so long and if the direction was different. But I haven't read the actual script for that one, so, again, I could be wrong. But I do think there would be a way a better director (whoever s/he was) could have directed that scene so that it didn't betray the characters (it's Buffy lying on the floor and crying and how long it goes on that really bothers me with that scene, other than the choice to do it in the first place).

I also picked "Beneath You" as one of Petrie's worst (Petrie's really not that good, imo. Other than "Fool for Love" which is OMG MY FAVORITE EVER EVER EVER), because the only really good part of the episode is the last few minutes and Joss rewrote it. I'm sure we've all read how MINDBLOWINGLY BAD the original scene Petrie wrote was. And I still don't understand how someone who wrote something as masterful as "Fool for Love" could write something as awful as "As You Were."

I also discovered that David Greenwalt does nothing for me as a writer.
shadowkat67
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
Possibly because Doug Petrie didn't write Fool For Love by himself. According to the commentary - Petrie only really wrote the present scenes, the flashbacks and Spike/Buffy bit was mostly written by Whedon and Noxon. Marti not only wrote the final Spike/Buffy sequence on the porch - she directed it. And Whedon wrote and was on set for the flashback scenes and wrote the whole William bit including the poem. The scenes Petrie wrote were the Riley scenes...and the fight scenes. That was it.

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shadowkat67
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
The problem with this poll - is I know Fool for Love was written by three people - Whedon, Noxon, and Petrie - and my favorite bits were written by Whedon and Noxon (I know from commentary). I also know - for a fact that Beneath You's best scene was written by Whedon NOT Petrie. You can't go by credited - because in tv land that just means who got paid for writing it. Very weird biz.

Also, when picking favorite writers - I'm tainted by what they've done after. Fury did the crappy 24, Espenson the amazing Caprica and BSG, Marti is on Mad Men, and Greenberg did Dexter...(recent work sticks more in the head).

Tried to kick it out, but twas difficult.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Yep. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure a way around that particular problem, so I opted to just go by the credits, even though Noxon and Joss did often help write episodes without being credited.

Though I remember in the FFL commentary, Petrie mentioned in general terms how people would compliment him on something that Joss had done. I don't recall Petrie, specifically, saying which parts of FFL were written by Whedon and Noxon, though.
(no subject) - shadowkat67 - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
me_llamo_nic
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
Top 3 for Joss and Marti were hard!

Also, apparently I'm a pretty big fan of Marti. She wrote a lot of my favorites, though I wasn't aware of that until now. (I don't notice many 'Written by' credits apart from Joss.)

The least favorites were pretty much all hard!

Your polls are hard!

Favorite apart from Joss was pretty close between Jane and Marti, but I went with Marti in the end.

Also: Your polls are hard!
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
I didn't use my Sadistic Pollgirl icon for nothing! ;)
probablecylon
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
There are some eps which weren't served by the direction. I like the script for "Doomed" quite a bit, but the sequence where Buffy dives into the abyss after the demon is hopelessly bad, due to timing & fx. The same holds for the digging in the basement scene in "Bad Eggs".

BtVS is the first show I can remember which highlighted the actual writers so much & yet the dynamic among the writers with Joss was exceptional. So it's a bit like asking which is your favorite ingredient in a cake.

gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
*g*

Now I'm trying to figure out who's the frosting on the cake...
(Deleted comment)
angearia
Jun. 18th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
Drew Goddard did an amazing job in Season 7. I think Selfless is the best episode of the bunch.
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jun. 18th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
pocochina
Jun. 18th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
Mmm. This was tough because generally when I don't like an episode, it's not the writing as it is the larger plot significance of the episode, which isn't really up to the individual writer. Like, I can't say I liked Seeing Red because it was such a huge misstep, but that would be really unfair to blame on DeKnight, you know? Same with the dying Joyce plots. The whole storyline makes me sad, so I don't like it, but that doesn't mean they're badly written episodes.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Yep. I tried to choose solely based on the writing, but it's difficult not to let other factors influence you.
angearia
Jun. 18th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
WOW, this was so difficult but the results are awesome to see! Fab poll. ♥

Doing this takes me back to the days when I first paid attention to who wrote what and realized this guy named Joss Whedon wrote all my favorite episodes. Thus began my noticing him and thinking he was awesome.

I think what's great about the writer's room was that they all brought so much different experience. Steven DeKnight was great for imaginative fight scenes (and look how he went on to do Sparticus) and this is also very evident in his work on AtS. So of course DeKnight wrote Spiral and the dark violence of Dead Things and the bloody violence of Seeing Red.

Jane is the queen of humor and, like Joss, she pushes the envelope with imaginative narrative structure.

Joss does amazing groundbreaking work with dream sequences and playing with the medium. His writing is so good and solid that he pushes himself to experiment, to further challenge himself. And that's what leads to Hush, The Body (an episode without music) and OMWF.

Likewise, this poll really made me aware of how I view Petrie's weaknesses among the team. His best episode, Fool For Love, is largely great because of Joss and Marti's contributions (and once again, Whedon saves his episode "Beneath You" from being a clunker--take out that final scene and it'd be one of my least favorites of the series). I think his best work that's mostly him is The Initiative, This Year's Girl and Bad Girls, but mostly I see Petrie working well when Joss is working a lot with him (This Year's Girl sets up Who Are You, FFL and BY heavily edited by Joss). I'm very aware that Petrie makes awful mistakes that Joss has to come fix--something I'm less aware of with the other writers. Petrie seems to only succeed, to stand above the pack, when he writes with superduper Joss training wheels. He seems to be less a perfect fit as a Buffy writer (meaning, I can't tell what he's bringing to the group). More like he's serviceable, but doesn't hit it out of the ballpark. I'm kinda surprised to see Petrie coming in second after Espenson as favorite writer other than Joss.

David Fury is awesome for writing Helpless. Oh yeah. LOVE. And I love Crush, too.

Edited at 2010-06-18 06:34 am (UTC)
norwie2010
Jun. 18th, 2010 07:28 am (UTC)
See, i picked Petrie as a favourite writer (apart from Whedon), because i do not have any background info on the writers/writer cooperation/interviews (i really just watched the show and didn't give too much consideration to the different writers and outside influences). After reading the answers to this poll and getting more information on certain things with Petrie's Episodes (collaboration with Whedon or Noxon, rewrites of scences, etcpp.) i would vote differently now. At first, i contributed the great stuff in Petrie's episodes purely to him - apparently, that's a mistake.
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jun. 18th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
harsens_rob
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:14 am (UTC)
Wow - that is a long one! Not that I mind, but I only have time at the moment to get through the strongest episodes. I'll have to revisit to post the weakest:

http://harsens-rob.livejournal.com/180286.html
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
:)
ruuger
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC)
I just realised that I've never really looked at the episodes from a 'who wrote what' perspective and it was a bit of a revelation because I've always thought that I liked Marti Noxon's writing - because she wrote my all time favourite episode "The Wish" - but actually most of her episodes are rather 'meh'.

Weird.

In fact, I had trouble picking three favourites for most of the writers... I even had a moment of "why exactly do I love this show if I don't actually like any of the episodes?" :D

On the other hand, I've always been pretty neutral on Jane Espenson in that while I've liked her episodes, I've never thought of her as my favourite writer - but doing the poll I could have selected almost all of her episodes in the first question, and had really hard time picking three that I thought were bad (or even worse than others). And Joss was also pretty consistent in that while he hasn't written that many of my favourite episodes (I'm in the minority who thinks that "Hush" and "The Body", for example, are a bit too gimmicky), he's written a lot of good episodes.

And I looked at the poll from purely writing perspective, so I ended up voting "Chosen" as one of Joss' worst, for example, even though I like it, because I've always thought that it wasn't a particularly well written episode.

Edited at 2010-06-18 08:34 am (UTC)
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
And I looked at the poll from purely writing perspective, so I ended up voting "Chosen" as one of Joss' worst, for example, even though I like it, because I've always thought that it wasn't a particularly well written episode.

Very fair. From a writing angle, Chosen doesn't hold up to his previous finales, like The Gift or Becoming 2.
thisficklemob
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
Maybe I am le dumb, but is Steven DeKnight not in the least favorite part?
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Nope. You're right. DeKnight only has 5 episodes, so it's a little pointless to vote on the bottom 3 when voting for the top 3 already reveals the bottom 2...
(no subject) - thisficklemob - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
dragonflylady77
Jun. 18th, 2010 09:45 am (UTC)
I don't really remember episode titles or who wrote the episodes I have to say. But if you say [episode name] is when this happened, i'll know what you're talking about. *giggles*

So, huh, who wrote Something Blue, cos it wasn't on any lists...

Picking only 3 was *hard*!!!
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Something Blue was written by Tracey Forbes. She wasn't a regular writer, though, and only has credit for two other episodes. So she didn't make the cut. Sorry!
(no subject) - dragonflylady77 - Jun. 18th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
lavastar
Jun. 18th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
I didn't even bother picking worst episodes, because I kept having trouble remembering what the more non-memorable episodes were about. Picking best for Joss was total torture. And I was interested to see some of the picks - I thought Restless would have gotten more votes for best, and I didn't think Gingerbread, The Freshman, or Family would get so many votes for worst.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Anybody who didn't choose Restless for Joss got it wrong. Plain and simple. Yep.
(no subject) - eowyn_315 - Jun. 19th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
aycheb
Jun. 18th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
My Joss favourite episodes are the experimental ones and that’s a little unfair since I doubt non-showrunners have the option of deciding they’re going to write a musical, or four dreams without a plot or The Body. My worst Joss episodes (Amends and Family)aren’t bad all the way through, they actualy steam along really nicely for the most part but get suddently bogged down in bathos, magic snow or the confrontation scene in family which feels like watching a play in slow motion (and I hate the theatre). So even the bad parts don’t inspire indifference.

Into the Woods is like that, brilliant up until Xander’s speech and downhill from there (don’t run Buffy, don’t run). But when she’s good Marti can go to darker places than Joss. Joss gets distracted by the philosophical shiny, I don’t think he could have written Villains.

I love Jane but I feel as if she’s done better work post-Buffy. She wrote great lines on Buffy but her BSG/Caprica stuff is more visual more honest. Sometimes on Buffy I get the sense she’s being too nice.

Fury is not nice but he can be very funny in a brutal sort of way. Sometimes too brutal – I put Bargaining 2 in my three most hated for the all-singing, all-raping biker demons plus it really dragged.

Petrie’s uneven but good for mythology, I like Get it Done best of his. No Riley and it doesn’t need to make plot sense. I think he also did a lot for the S3/4 Faith arc, over and above what he’s credited for.

Greenwalt was really hard to choose favourites for and one of them was in my least favourite list for Joss. I guess that says something. I think Greenberg and Kirschner are underrated and DeKnight started meh but then Dead Things and Seeing Red and great stuff on Angel (and I don’t like Angel). Hated his Dollhouse episode though. See girl run. See girl hurt. See girl turn. See girl win. Wipe girl’s mind and rinse-wash-repeat.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
I've been agreeing with you a lot lately. It's weird.

Into the Woods is like that, brilliant up until Xander’s speech and downhill from there (don’t run Buffy, don’t run). But when she’s good Marti can go to darker places than Joss. Joss gets distracted by the philosophical shiny, I don’t think he could have written Villains.

Word to the max. ItW has a lot of good in it, but Xander's patronizing speech and Buffy's subsequent "Ohmigosh! It's all my fault my boyfriend started seeing vamp whores! I must run after him and beg him to stay!" run to the helicopter knock it down several notches. Which is a shame because up till then? It had been a good episode.
menomegirl
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
That was hard. I don't have anything else to add except this:

Seeing Red was the worst episode in the history of ever.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
Is that because of the writing or because of what happened in it? Cause in fairness to DeKnight, he didn't have any choice in the matter as to whether the AR was gonna be in there or not. He just got stuck having to write it. The rest of the episode (which tends to get overlooked for obvious reasons) isn't that bad.
(no subject) - menomegirl - Jun. 18th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
local_max
Jun. 18th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
JOSS:

Top 3 is almost arbitrary: I went with Restless/The Body/OMWF but could just as easily have picked from Lie to Me, Innocence, Becoming 2, Hush, or The Gift.

Bottom 3 also tough. The Harvest (good but slow), Amends, Family maybe? I enjoy them. A standard pick (I'm betting) Ted is underrated I think. Family is too smaltzy by half but still manages to be a moving coming-out metaphor and has VERY solid foreshadowing elements, but, well, something has to go on there.

MARTI:

Top 3: I Only Have Eyes For You, New Moon Rising, Villains. Honourable mentions to The Wish, Consequences, Forever, Bargaining Part 1.

Bottom 3: Since I like Dead Man's Party (well, some of it) and Into the Woods (which I'm betting will be an obvious pick) that's out (I more or less side with Maggie's meta way back, which is that the last few minutes are all about how Buffy constructs the event which is OF COURSE how she's going to construct it). Bad Eggs certainly, and Wrecked, though it isn't all that bad up to the last trip which gives it its after-school-special rep (and I don't like what it does to the arc). It's a toss-up for the third but I guess I'll go with Doomed.

JANE:

Top 3: Intervention, After Life, and Storyteller, though Earshot is very tempting. Bottom 3: Doomed again, I guess. I like DMP but it's not her strongest. Gingerbread is good for Willow-development but strains the show's credibility pretty far in hanging a lantern on the parents' usual ignoring-of-the-demons.

FURY: Crush and Helpless are the best, and for third place I suppose LMPTM although I actually like Grave a lot more, though I think that's carried more by performances than by particularly good scripting. For bottom 3, Go Fish is a no-brainer and Showtime doesn't quite work. And I guess Doomed gets the axe again.

PETRIE: FFL certainly (though other writers had contributed). Two to Go is hugely entertaining. And for third choice I'd go with either Revelations or The Yoko Factor--besides being good at the mythology I think Petrie excels in the group dynamics. I think Revelations has the edge, as a way of acknowledging Petrie's contribution to Faith. Bottom 3: Well, As You Were (though I don't hate it viscerally the way others do), probably Bring on the Night. Third...Bad Girls maybe? I don't really feel like Petrie writes *bad* eps per se, frequently.

GREENWALT: He has Nightmares and School Hard to his name, and that helps, and I think Ted is actually pretty good. Bottom 3 are Reptile Boy, Teacher's Pet, and, I dunno, one of Faith Hope and Trick or Homecoming, with the latter winning out marginally.

KIRSHNER: Tabula Rasa obviously, and I like Hell's Bells, so that helps. Tough Love as well I think. Her other episodes are mostly forgettable to be honest, even though Potential has some elements that make me flaily and some really terrible plotting, which, come to think of it, applies to Touched as well. I guess Listening to Fear, Out of My Mind, and Help make the bottom 3 but that's somewhat by default.

DeKNIGHT: Seeing Red is a very, very good episode if you ignore The Scene, and I'll go with that as well as Dead Things (natch) and Blood Ties, which gets at Dawn in a very good way.

DES HOTEL & BATALI: Just pick the eps that don't suck here. The Puppet Show is fun, The Dark Age has Giles/Ethan-ness and Phases has Oz-Willow-ness; I don't think any are exactly a classic.

Favourite writer: Sorry to be obvious, but Joss.

Second favourite writer: Either Marti or Jane. I feel ultimately like Marti contributed something more fundamental to the show than Jane did, and while Jane's episodes are great there's sometimes a sense that she writes too close to Joss' comic register to see her contribution as unique. But I could be swayed pretty quickly.
local_max
Jun. 18th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
Drew Z. Greenberg is not a very strong writer, but I think Entropy is simply fantastic, and Smashed has a surefire combination of plotlines. For the third I went with The Killer in Me though what works best there are Alyson Hannigan and Adam Budsch and the central premise/metaphor; the actual line-to-line writing is serviceable.
(no subject) - angearia - Jun. 18th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jun. 18th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jun. 19th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - probablecylon - Jun. 19th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
vikingprincess
Jun. 19th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
After Petrie, I only chose one for each author/team in best and worst.
gabrielleabelle
Jun. 19th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
Hey! That be cheating! Now the entire poll is ruined! ;)
(no subject) - vikingprincess - Jun. 19th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
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