Buffy the Vampire Slayer- “Once More, with Feeling” review

Music, singing, dancing, vampires and demons. Must be the musical version of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a show about a girl with powers to hunt and kill the evil supernatural forces, while struggling with her everyday life. Add a bit of music and you have, “Once More, with Feeling.”

“Buffy” cast

“Once More, with Feeling,” originally aired November 6, 2001. It aired for 50 minutes, which is seven minutes longer than any other episode. The songs were written by creator of the show, Joss Whedon. 

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, Nicholas Brandon as Xander, Emma Caulfield as Anya, Michelle Trachtenberg (“Ice Princess”) as Dawn, James Marsters (“Torchwood”) as Spike and Alyson Hannigan (“How I Met Your Mother”) as Willow. This episode guest starred Anthony Head as Rupert Giles, Amber Benson as Tara and Broadway actor, Hinton Battle as the demon, Sweet.

As with most musicals, thoughts are sung, secrets are revealed and love is in the air. Since the characters are forced to sing and dance because of a demon that was mysteriously summoned, they are living a musical nightmare. Buffy and her friends must find a way to stop the “fun” before the people of Sunnydale sing and dance themselves to death.

The people who stood out as the best singers in the episode were Emma Caulfield who was pleasant to hear. James Marsters, has a career in singing and has an amazing rock and roll voice.  Amber Benson has an incredible voice and sang very beautifully. The one person who was not surprisingly outstanding was Anthony Head, who had sung before in previous episodes. Hinton Battle exceeded in both singing and dancing and was easily the best out of the of the entire cast.

The cast members who were decent enough, but not fantastic were Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brandon and Michelle Trachtenberg. While Gellar is a phenomenal actress, she is not the best singer. According to Wikipedia, Gellar did not like dancing or singing for this episode, but was glad she did it. Brandon was a fairly good dancer, but his voice was average. Trachtenberg had a pretty good voice but was a better dancer.

Alyson Hannigon danced and sang the least in this episode with a couple of short solo verses, so it is not fair to critic her singing based on a few sentences. The other time she sang was with the rest of the cast.

“Once More, with Feeling” is my favorite episode in the entire “Buffy” series. As a musical theatre fan, I cannot help but love it. However, it is very obvious that the songs are not sung live and everything is pre-recorded, which is expected, but it bothers me because I am used to live theatre, or at the very least, musical made movies that take at least a year to film and perfect.

While the episode is fun and hilarious, it does deal with revelations and the upcoming drama for future story lines. A very well done episode with a musical twist.