Now Leaving Sunnydale vs. Ben Sisko's Baseball
It's Sarah McLachlan and the Overalls of Pain vs. both a national pastime and a convenient metaphor for linear existence!
Now Leaving Sunnydale
Ben Sisko's Baseball
The case for Now Leaving Sunnydale
Buffy's second season ends with her life in ruins - one of her friends is dead, she's wanted by the police for her murder, her mom has thrown her out of the house and, oh yeah, she's just been forced to kill the love of her life and trap him in a hell dimension in order to save the world. On a season-ending cliffhanger, set to 'Full of Grace', she packs a bag and hops a Greyhound out of town, while her mother (and the audience) break down and sob.
Basically, if you can hear the opening notes of "The winter here's cold...and bitter..." and not have a Pavlovian weeping reaction, your 90s televisual cultural experience is incomplete.
The case for Ben Sisko's Baseball
Ah, Benjamin Sisko. The biggest baseball fan in the 24th century. From the start of DS9, baseball was key to the show, as our future captain was able to use it as an entry point to explain linear time to a group of non-linear aliens. Over the course of the show, Sisko's baseball would grow to become a symbol for the Captain himself, letting us know if he did, or did not plan on coming back from his varied adventures. You think a hockey puck is going to do that? No.