The Late John Ritter Was One of Buffy's Most Memorable Villains
'Ted' is the episode that first hooked me on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show was already in its second season when I discovered it. I had been avoiding it because it aired on 'The WB', Warner Bros. TV station that wasn't known for its quality dramas. But when I surfed across it I knew it was something special.
First of all, it features John Ritter, who doesn't make a lot of appearances in shows like this. He's mostly known as a comic actor, and sure enough he adds a comic edge to the titular character, Ted. But Ted's the villain of the piece, and it's also great to see perennial good-guy Ritter cast against type. And he's way creepy here as Buffy's mother's boyfriend.
The show of course also has all the normal witty dialogue that makes a Buffy episode so great, as well as excellent subtext to the story - something else the show is known for. 'Ted' drudges up the age-old wicked step-parent trope, as well as hinting at the modern issues of spousal and child abuse, all tied up in a neat super-natural package.
This is a good place for newbies to start - it worked for me when I was new to the series.