I sometimes wish that I didn’t hamstring myself with the narrow focus of “top five movies” so that I could expand to TV shows for these lists, especially in the case of Alyson Hannigan. Alyson played one of my favorite characters ever, Willow Rosenberg on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” However, can you really just list a TV series for a performance? I mean, I won’t hesitate to rank TV series (today, let’s go “Community,” “The Wire,” “Firefly,” “Wonderfalls,” and “The Simpsons” with honorable mentions to “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “Doctor Who” and “Buffy”) but within those many hours (144 episodes for “Buffy”) there are ups, downs, highs and lows. For every “Hush” or “Once More, with Feeling” there may be episodes that just move the story along. (I haven’t seen it in a while, but “Anne” might be a low, but that may be more because it is tough to watch as it is a dark episode.) You can say that about any series, but when you truly like a series, those episodes are a blip and because of your investment in the characters, what happens isn’t as important as spending another hour with those creations you’ve come to know and love. (“Lost” comes to mind immediately as a viewer and for the characters themselves.). Those 144 hours of “Buffy” (just pretend I’m including commercials so I don’t have to do the math) would be like 72 2-hour movies. Can they all be the same?
Of course not and picking five episodes out of 144 would be silly, because what makes them great are the other 139 episodes and all of the development of the characters. Yes, there might be a stand-alone episode that can work for a show (“Doctor Who” and “Blink”come to mind) and it might be good, but it becomes great when you have all of the past and future knowledge of the show and can go back and watch it and it still works beautifully.
So, unfortunately, that just leaves us with Alyson’s comparatively small filmography, that has some ups, but in my mind, doesn’t come close to comparing to her TV work.
5. Dead Man on Campus
An urban legend comes to life as two guys try to find someone who is about to die so they can get a 4.0 for the semester. Future TV pairings within the actors in this movie include Linda Cardellini and Jason Segel (“Freaks and Geeks”) and Segel and Alyson (in the criminally unmentioned above “How I Met Your Mother.”)
4. Boys and Girls
Not a great movie, but in addition to Alyson, there’s the lovely Claire Forlani and Heather Donahue, who recently wrote a book which from its title, “Growgirl: How My Life After The Blair Witch Project Went to Pot,” will tell you how you know her name.
3. American Wedding
In this last installment of the ladies from “American Pie,” this is the first and only appearance for the third movie. It makes sense it is in third place.
2. American Pie 2
Same with the position for this one.
1. American Pie
Finally! Woo hoo! “American Pie” wins the gold! Let’s all celebrate with a victory pie, wait, no. No pie. Beer. I hope no one from this movie has tried to fuck a beer and make me think twice about another of my loves.
Agree? Disagree? Which movies would make your Alyson Hannigan top five?
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