eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
[personal profile] eruthros
Not tremendously spoilery, but contains discussion of season 7 in general. A discussion of the end of Buffy, not of the Buffy plot.



Almost everyone I know has taken a really extreme position on the last few seasons of Buffy. They either hate it (the show now sucks, it's awful, everything about it sucks, I don't know why I even watch it anymore) or they love it (it's changed in wonderful ways, I love the attention to Spike, I love the characters, I love the plots).

I'd like to take a stand as a person who thinks that it's changed, for the worse, but nonetheless doesn't suck. I still watch the show. I still enjoy watching the show. I have high hopes for a tragi-romantic ending for the Buffy/Spike relationship, especially since we got the lovely cuddling last week. I love the Spike story that I think is inherent in the narrative this season, but that people seem to be downplaying: he chose. A vampire, a demon with no free will, chose. Now that's a great humanist narrative.

I think Caleb's a great villain, and I want to see him get his comeuppance. I'm interested in the Caleb part of the villain story: how did he become evil? What's up with him? When'll we find out? Faith rocks my world, with her moderately-redeemed character, and just sparks up scenes. I find Andrew funny, even though I swore I never would last season. The sword-in-the-stone parallels are -- intriguing.

But at the same time, I hope we'll discover that Giles has been pod-Giles all along, because I don't see where this Giles is coming from -- it's all been told, not shown. I have no idea what he's thinking. And I hope that somebody will finally smackdown Kennedy with her privileged brattiness. I want Willow to actually grieve (from "you are my everything" to Kennedy in two easy steps!). The First Evil annoys me. I want Xander to have a character and dialogue, and reclaim some of the geek jokes Andrew's stealing.

For me, it's not as clear a case as "the show's ruined, the show sucks" or as "it's wonderful." I mean, my favorite seasons were 2-4 (although I've loved the Spike arc bits of seasons 5-7), not because of Angel or Giles being there or whatever, but because I thought the writing was pretty tight. Because the characters were being explored. Because Spike kicked ass and was an interesting villain even in season 2. Because the Mayor was a genuinely scary villain who offered you a glass of milk. My problem with the past few seasons hasn't been "we're spending too much time on Spike" or "we're ignoring my favorite character" but "could we get a little continuity here? maybe some characterization?"

I don't hate the show. But parts of it disappoint me. It doesn't suck, but I feel like it could be so much more -- even with the same plot points -- if there was just a little bit more attention paid to characterization. Or to continuity. Or, really, writing in general. (For example, can someone explain to me why the bomb Faith opened was on a timer? Or why everyone is leaving Sunnydale?)

I understand that people who like older seasons more are "living in the past" or "stupid" or, in the words of M. who comes over to Buffy nights "just shut up already and stop analyzing, we all know you only like the old shit." I'm told that I don't appreciate the characters "growing up" and "changing." But that's just it -- I do. I loved Giles killing Ben, which I think those who prefer earlier eps are supposed to hate. Willow in season 4? Made sense. Oz leaving? Sad but had to happen. But I'd like to actually see these changes. And maybe get a little understanding of them.

Really, the whole construction of "you nostalgic idiots" seems inherently flawed, as reasoning; I like early seasons more. I don't hate the current season. It's not necessarily a dichotomy. And just because I see flaws and analyze plot points and try to work out how in hell magic works now doesn't mean I hate the show; I saw flaws and analyzed plot points in season 3, when I was watching it. I dissect narratives. It's what I do for fun.

But you know what? Buffy, at the end of last week's episode, kicked ass. And she kicked ass on her own, as she always does at a season's end. She remembered who she was, what she needed to do, and went and did it. And I loved it.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
eruthros

February 2017

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