In panel 2, the characters are indeed watching the intense and tearjerking Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode titled “The Body,” which is easily the highlight of the Joss Whedon oeuvre as far as I’m concerned. For the record, I didn’t start watching Buffy (on DVD) until quite late in its run, long after its initial boom of popularity; I was mildly aggravated to be accused of using “Buffy-speak” back in my days of writing Gen13, when I hadn’t even seen the g-d show yet.
One odd factoid springs out at me as I look at this panel, gotta say. The Buffy episode they’re watching deals with the slayer coming home and finding her mother’s dead body. In Empowered vol. 2, you’ll find out that Emp’s father died in front of her in a not entirely dissimilar manner; I really wasn’t thinking of “The Body” when I wrote that, though. (The vol. 2 scene was, I’m afraid, based on some real-life shit.)