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30 Days Of Telly #12

Day twelve, an episode you've watched more than five times. Well I've never counted, but there's probably quite a few. The entirety of The A-Team seasons one to four springs to mind. Most of The High Chaparral and the later seasons of Bonanza, due to the BBC having them on a loop for much of my childhood. A few Doctor Who adventures, especially when they first started coming out on VHS. I only had a few, and was possibly a bit over-excited by the ability to suddenly watch stuff that had previously only existed as Target novelisations. Look! It moves! Including the bits that probably shouldn't. ;)

But I'm going to go with Buffy The Vampire Slayer, specifically the season one episode "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date". I used to hear so much about Buffy online, back when it first started, but there was no way to see the show in the UK at the time. I'd see little bits here and there; people used to post tiny RealVideo clips of their favourite scenes. Mostly Giles being Giles, as the internet back then was wonderfully skewed in favour of librarians with closets full of weapons. Nowadays everybody's batty about pretty vampires, and Giles would probably be the bad guy. But I digress. Eventually, in January 1999 I think it was, the BBC started airing the show. I used to tape it every week, and keep the best ones. "Never Kill A Boy..." grabbed me from the get go. Buffy falls in love (with a schoolboy who is even more obviously not really a schoolboy than is usual with American TV, but we have to pretend not to notice such things!), and tries to balance going out on dates with slaying vampires. Giles is brilliantly hopeless at understanding her, and all the attempts to keep the boyfriend from finding out about the slaying are wonderful. Arguably season one of Buffy was still finding its feet, but "Never Kill A Boy..." is just about perfect. Great dialogue, great performances and great timing.

There are a bunch of other episodes that I've probably watched enough times to qualify; particularly the ones with Ethan Rayne and Spike and Dru. Those early episodes though, hoarded on crackly VHS tape, have a particular appeal. I think, like with those early Doctor Who videos, it was probably the novelty of finally being able to watch the damn thing. I miss getting that excited about television. Still, that's probably a subject for a different meme altogether.

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