- Dec 31, 2020
BUFFY PROS AND CONS
I noticed people reviewing each season through pros and cons and I have decided to do the same as I find it more readable for another reader and more practical for me.
First off, I would like to say that I love BTVS. It has marked me quite later in late 2018 when it was already more than twenty years old! And it was still able to impact a viewer. It is now my favorite TV show of all time, I can’t think Of the Character of Buffy without getting emotional, she embodies so much good of this world and has done so much for it. That being said, my love for the show has made me very picky and very critical as well, it’s just something that I activate when I love something unconditionally, I’m just comfortable enough to tell whether or not it’s messed up, unlike with other people with which it tends to be the other way around. Sooo here we go:
+ Introduction to the mythology of BTVS with vampires being ugly demons with a large history that sometimes teases and twists real life world history
+ The overall gothic mood and blend of horror, comedy and satire
+ Solid first episodes that directly delve into the plot instead of teasing it or lingering too much on characters, we get to discover them later on
+ First, confident jump scare barely two 2 minutes into the show
+ Cool opening credits
+ The episodes laid out like comic books made televised with classical superhero plot structure
+ The characters of Xander, Willow, Giles and Cordelia being a little stereotypical but likeable (sort of)
+ Buffy herself is played well by SMG and shows signs of affection, compassion and selflessness underneath her teenage crisis, which is a sign we can trust her deeper, kinder nature
+ Bangel is not over-exploited, which leaves time for their romance to quietly and confidently develop
+ Good, emotional finale that defines Buffy as a hero rather than a teenager.
- Lack of a real special effect direction, thin, shallow fights that established Buffy as a psychological, resourceful hero rather than a physical one.
- SMG made weird faces, sometimes.
- Didn’t age well, overall.
+ Expansion of the mythology, better special effects, more characters, better overall art direction. A true, objective technical and visual improvement over the previous season.
+ A more complex plot with better villains such as Spike and Angelus.
+ More ambitions towards the direction of the show but still keeping the same metaphorical essence and being subtle.
+ Shocking plot twists.
+ More emotional attachment towards Buffy as a character.
+ Filler episodes are more entertaining.
+ Killer season finale whose memory still brings tears to your eyes and established the show’s first legacy.
+ Many standout episodes : School hard, Lie to me, What’s my line 1&2 , Surprise, Innocence, Passion, I Only have eyes for you, Becoming Part 1.
+ Most pros of the previous season are still present.
+ The musical themes are haunting.
- Main characters get to develop and some of them become unlikeable such as Xander and Cordelia, which is quite inconsistent since they were earlier established as quite likeable. Cordelia finally deciding to drop the punchline marathon and help the scoobies, Xander being an average yet helpful sidekick.
- Some filler episodes are really bad and spoil the season’s flow: Bad eggs, Go fish, Inca Mummy, Reptile boy.
- Jenny Calendar did not deserve to die, and the Scoobies were a little too harsh towards her.
- Bangel’s romance is more present than the previous season, which takes off the intimacy and privileged couple minutes you get to savor when you watch them together.
- Drusilla being more talk than real danger.
- +More and more expansion and pricey props and special effects.
- +The episodes taking a slightly darker tone and addressing more serious issues like murder, psychopathy, suicide and exploitation.
+Good chemistry between SMG and Eliza D.
- + More Bangel and this time they are imposing themselves to the viewer as unbreakable couple, which makes it even more heartbreaking to watch them break apart.
- + Faith twisted into an interesting villain and episodes that had her made it all the more interesting to explore the rivalry and jealousy and resentment she actually had towards her co-slayer.
- + We get a little bit of Spike
- + Good finale that actually makes you nostalgic high school is over.
- + Rewarding penultimate episode: The Prom, which rewarded Buffy for her heroism and the viewer for their love towards their superhero, who is more than once taken for granted.
- Oz is useless
- Utter character instability and inconsistency in their development. On one hand, they are loveable, and on the other, they spurt out nasty insensitive comments.
- Insufferable moments in Dead Man’s party and Revelations from Xander, which, to this day, after the show was over, still remains inconsequential. (He judges Buffy, brings her down, acts on jealousy and selfishness to kill Angel, (WTF was he thinking?) His lying to Buffy in the season finale of the previous season was never addressed, and yet, in spite of his insensitivity, hypocrisy and lies, he still finds it okay to criticize and yell at Buffy. AND BUFFY DOESN’T EVEN GET MAD AT HIM.)
- The writers forcing us to feel good towards Willow and Xander cheating on their partners with cute music and sensual angles from the production, while their acts are REPREHENSIBLE and condemned. Their romance was never addressed again, it was as though they had never felt attracted to each other, and then what was all that fuss about, exactly?
- More character inconsistency with Cordelia being the same old mean bitch with utterly unrealistic punch lines, and you are forced to feel sorry for her when she’s broke, even though she still acts entitled and ignorant, in lieu of being a little humbler. No education whatsoever.
- Faulty casting for picking actors that are / look so much older than their characters. (Charisma being 29, Nicholas 28, Alyson 25, Seth 27,) which made their immature attitude even more cringe worthy.
- Too many attempts at being funny, which spoils the overall tone of the show, taking a more serious edge.
- Too much blah blah from Xander, which, if cut from the sequences, would make a more even episode.
- A pointless episode dedicated to Xander where there is no character exploration nor getting to know his past to understand him better. Instead you get a wishy-washy villain and a stupid protagonist.
- The Mayor was forgettable as a villain.
- Faith should have resolved her issues with Buffy.
- You can clearly tell there’s too much subjectivity in delivering Joss Whedon’s message, too much writer’s print, too much of his own view of the world and not enough introspection on realism.
- SMG yet again with the sporadic weirs faces…
- You’re going to tell me that no one questions the presence of dragon-alienoid mayor in the media, newspaper, world press???????
SEASON 4 :
+ Scarier tone from the get go as Buffy feels just as lost as the viewer
+ SMG took a real delight in playing FAITH, and it SHOWED.
+ Season finale being the darkest and gloomiest in terms of atmosphere, symbolism and Fantasy, and it so happens to be a standout episode, but a good one nevertheless. You can almost feel like you’re dreaming yourself as most dream elements are present.
+ Spike was more present, which was nice
+ Harmony is always welcome.
- Overall a weaker season with a weaker plot
- SMG not delivering the best performance even though she did with what she had.
- Side characters becoming useless, which makes you question, why don’t they just kill them off, bring back Faith and Angel and let’s have a supernatural fest?
- Really uninteresting villain.
- Really uninteresting romance between Buffy and Riley.
- Uneven tone and lazy writing overall. It’s a pass for me.
+ The story expanding into a more plot-centered theme
+ SMG looks magnificent and delivers a much more memorable performance than previous seasons
+ You can almost feel the shift into adulthood as the plot gets more complex, character motivations get more confusing and life choices wider
+ Dawn is a nice addition and adds to Buffy’s Motivations to later save her. Contrary to what a lot of people think, I was perfectly able to understand her bond and love for her little sister even though she wasn’t really her sister. If you didn’t get the metaphor, you need to know more about family values.
+ The whole plot written as a Mystery that slowly unravels through the main villains: Glory / Ben.
+ More drama and tragedies, less immaturity, which perfectly suit the show’s then-atmosphere as they were all growing up.
+ Riley finally leaves. Finally. They were never meant to be together.
+ Spike starts to obsess over Buffy, which reaches its apex much later in the seasons.
+ A more dangerous and lethal villain, where you literally fear for Buffy and start to see her as a cheetah fighting a tiger.
+ Giles being the unwavering mentor and father figure to Buffy.
+ The best season finale of the entire television history. Yet another milestone and pillar to the show’s legacy.
+ Some standout episodes: Fool For Love, Crush, Intervention.
- Main character being more and more useless.
- Yet another Xander-special episode where it further proves he needs to leave or be killed off.
- Anya being irritable the way Cordelia was (It seems Joss has a fetish for immature characters that aren’t to be taken seriously,) and her falling for Xander from Season 3 like a groupie, and submitting herself to him sexually, emotionally and romantically really prompts you to ask … How more unrealistic can this show get to prove how much of a loveable character Xander is?
- SMG’s acting in the Body was…peculiar. It felt real, yes, but it didn’t stir any emotions in me beside a little bit of shock followed by dullness.
- Even though the show’s turn was quite nice, you really are compelled to ask this question: Where are they going with this? Are we supposed to take it seriously or not? Vampires aren’t even an issue anymore, there are barely any fights with them and they don’t even feel like a threat compared to Glory, which puts the whole “Buffy THE VAMPIRE SLAYER” into question…
- Too much focus on Xander and Anya’s relationship, whom I stand by my words, should have been killed. The Buffyverse is apparently not a world suited for humans as they become utterly useless.
- Some boring episodes such as: Triangle, I was made to love you.
- Buffy was a little mean with Spike at some points while he was being quite nice. Although she did question that later in intervention, it was quite off-character.
SEASON 6 :
+ Buffy deals with quiet depression until it’s sung out of her by force
+ SMG acts more adult and realistic and let go of most of her manners
+ The musical episode is one of the most immersive, entertaining and captivating episodes to air on TV, and the idea of singing your fears and inner thoughts adds layers and depths. A third milestone, (or forth if you consider HUSH.)
+ Buffy is finally nicer and receptive to Spike (at least the first episodes.)
+ The plot of Buffy being ripped out of heaven was an extremely effective emotional canon to not lose touch with the viewers’ attention after season 5 was considered a done deal
+ The season is darker and crueler towards its characters, making Buffy and Spike get together in a destructive relationship , killing off Tara, prompting Xander to dump Anya, and Willow to twist into the final villain. It gets less metaphorical and more soap-opera-ish, which I don’t complain about since I like the dark and black turn it took, with more drama and violence. I believe it suits Buffy the way it always should have. I feel like the show should have been more violent and scarier from the beginning as its mythology has substance and the characters as well. The metaphors shouldn’t be forced all the time.
+ The forced humor is finally dropped for a show that dares to take itself more seriously and even though the writing occasionally lacks fluidity, it’s still carried well by most of the actors who now have a better material to harness their acting skills such as SMG, james Marsters, Alyson Hannigan, Amber Benson and Emma Caulfied.
+ The side characters were finally given more relevance by being villains of their own story when they tried to be heroes, later on admitting they did what they did out of selfishness.
+ Better visuals and less corny monsters.
+ The attempted rape scene was intense but rewarding. Spike reached the apex of frustration and Buffy just didn’t know how to handle him anymore.
- Buffy got too mean towards Spike and projected all of her hatred and frustration towards him even though he was literally her lapdog.
- By this point, Xander has now gained a reputation of treating women poorly, and of course his horrible actions are inconsequential. He put the lives of Sunnydale in danger by invoking the musical demon and no one blames him afterwards. WORSE, the gang finds his action goofy and cute, HE KILLED PEOPLE.
- A lot of episodes are lackluster and fail to capture the reality of our lives: Doublemeat palace. And that metaphor of people being killed by demons instead of just resigning was recycled from freshmen where the exact same canon was used to justify people leaving college so suddenly.
- The gang went too soft on Dark Willow and Buffy being so weak and subjective towards her made me re-question her slayer ethics.
- The fight in “Two to go” was way too inconsistent. On one hand Buffy can take multiple hits without getting tired, on the other, a simple push from Willow makes her faint on the ground.
- The climax of the finale was lackluster. Willow being consoled by Xander and breaking down was corny and anti-climactic. It just felt like the writers had NO idea how fix the killing machine that was Willow without killing her off.
- Yet another issue with Xander sticking his nose in Buffy’s private life and judging her on her love life with Spike. At this point, I want to ask him : WTF is your problem ? All these years and you (the writers) can’t bother to make his character develop a little? All we get from Xander is either being unfaithful, hypocritical, horrible towards women or judgmental. Why couldn’t you have made him more nurturing as he had no physical strength and was utterly useless, but you just stubbornly kept him around? Also, very classy of you to blurt out your friend was raped (which wasn’t a rape in itself, so another lie) in front of her little sister after she explicitly told you not to repeat it. He embodies toxic masculinity at its finest and is one of the worst characters of the show who on top of that get candy treatments from the writers. Why this unfair favoritism?