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Is s4 relatable?

Octavia

My arse is not pansy!
Joined
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Sineya
S4 was one of the least relatable seasons for me. Perhaps why s5 appealed so much. What aspects of s4 were true to your growing up experience?
 

Puppet

You rocks think you're so smart.
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Black Thorn
I never went to college, so I find that I agree with you about the least relatable, but I think if I had to pick a big one, it would be the way the main gang (Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles) all grow apart over this year. That they get back together rather easily is irritating and super fake, but before that, it was handled very believable. I can't count the number of friends I've had over the years who I thought would be in my life forever; at last count, only one of them still is...for now.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
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I remember seeing "The Freshman" in college, and laughing for a good twenty minutes at how true to life the first act is, of how overwhelming the whole experience is. But other than that, I didn't attend a party school or a large state college, so, a lot of it was someone else's life. Also, I did chuckle when Giles got lost on campus, because that always happens to me.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I've been in college and the military since forever. I lived in my dad's basement for a while. I've had all kinds of jobs, even construction. Sex hasn't always been the start of a long and meaningful relationship. Break ups. Gay encounters. Annoying flatmates. Constant invitations to parties.

S4 is the season that's the closest to my heart. It's criminally underrated.
 

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
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Sineya
Season 4 would have been more relatable if the Initiative hadn't been presented the way it was.

Every campus has some equivalent to the Regular Officer Training Plan so instead of being an elite soldier (who seems to fail at everything he does), Riley could have been a student in this program. Riley did not have the look of experience or the thousand-yard stare that veterans get when they remember things they had done and he was too young to be one of the elite.

There would possibly be a building for them on campus so the concept of a secret lab ten stories below ground wouldn't be necessary. There could be no such secret - there would have been a record of an excavation that went down a hundred feet below a building. Even if it wasn't a military building, we in the Ontario Aerospace Council (where I was a representative for our company) often met at the Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science on the northeast corner of the York University campus. No need for cloak-and-dagger secrecy when it is easy to just use a building that has other uses.

I thought the concept of Adam's war to pit humans against demons to create a hybrid race with cyborg enhancement was ingenious but suffered from lack of development - it only showed up in a couple of episodes.
 

Bluebird

two by two, hands of blue
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
6,048
Black Thorn
S4 was one of the least relatable seasons for me. Perhaps why s5 appealed so much. What aspects of s4 were true to your growing up experience?
Not so much with the specifics is it relatable, but it's the most relatable in how I felt at that age. I very much experienced Xander's listless malaise about his place in the world, though that translated in reality to clinical depression lol. Good times.
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
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First, I have to say that I found much in the earlier seasons relatable...though Sunnydale High wasn't like any public school I'd gone to, from its dress codes to its gothic library. (Principal Flutie was a popular school stereotype at the time but I never encountered anyone like him, unless I want to count a passive aggressive school counselor who was deliberately malicious.) I should also add that I only did 2 years in high school (and didn't do the full year of either one before I left), one year in a special program for delinquents (and thus separated from the general school population), and have never gone to any school dance in my life, let alone prom. I am NOT nostalgic for those days, and the very thought of my waking up a kid again makes me shudder. And yet seasons 1 to 3 still work for me.

Likewise, I never went to college, nor did I join the military. Offhand, that's about all I remember of the mundane aspects of season 4. I still like the season, though. As for what was most relatable...all I can think of is that I've had to help care for people withdrawing from drugs and/or alcohol as Buffy did Riley, and that's it.

I guess it's just that I love scifi, fantasy, and even (dark) faerie tales, always have, and that's what draws me to the stories of the show.

Also of interest (to me anyway), season 6 is arguably the one I could relate to the most, as I was living very poor at the time I saw it and had to deal with stalkers, drug addicts (hell, I helped prepare and sell drugs when I was a kid on the street), been locked in a mental hospital as a kid where an evil doctor tried to distort my sense of reality, and back then I also dealt with death (such as the horrid death of my best friend), loss, and violence of all sorts. And yet it's the season I dislike the most.

Perhaps because it's written in a way I find a penny dreadful of what people who never experienced such things imagine it to be like, or maybe it's because it deliberately stepped away from metaphor that I loved so much and tried to make it a bit more realistic (failing in the process, IMO, though I'm aware others disagree). And even for angst and realism, I'd say season 5 did that better, and season 2 actually ended on angst, unlike season 6.

Good gods, all the funerals I went to and graves I visited recently....I wonder if I dare watch season 5 again soon....:eek:
 

BuffyBot22

Scooby
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US
s4 is very relatable to me.
Adjusting to a new roommate in college is always hard. And I actually had 2 experiences in undergrad where my roommate turned out to be quite vindicative and evil just like Kathy was to Buffy. Not to mention before we found out Kathy was a demon she was crossing all sorts of boundaries that I had roommates cross like eating my food or thinking borrowing my clothes was okay.

Growing apart from your high school friends in undergrad is a very real thing. I grew a part from a lot of my friends my first year away and then we got back closer toward the end of that year, just like it happened for the scoobies. This was due to us just living very different lives and attending different schools. But I am actually still friends with them now so I would say it all worked out, but we definitely drifted apart in undergrad and then came back together around the end of my freshman year.

The season that was the most unrelatable to me was s7 bc it just didn't have a clear path or good metaphors. Otherwise even if you didn't have direct life events that coincided with Buffy gang's life events I still found the seasons relatable. Like for instance s6 is very relatable even though my mom is alive, I haven't been in an abusive relationship, and I haven't been as depressed as Buffy was. Still thought that season was super relatable though bc so much of what the scoobies were going through happens IRL.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

Carpe Spuffy!
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I can't honestly say S4 was relatable to me personally - at least not the depiction of the college experience. I went to college, but I was a "commuter" student, lived off campus and worked part-time.
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
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I can't honestly say S4 was relatable to me personally - at least not the depiction of the college experience. I went to college, but I was a "commuter" student, lived off campus and worked part-time.
Same here. Also my college never looked as fantastic as the Buffy college looked either 😩

Seriously production wise I think S4 had the best sets and fight scenes on the show.
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Agreed! The Fight between B and S in Harsh Light of Day is great!

vampmogs

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Seriously production wise I think S4 had the best sets and fight scenes on the show.
I'm not sure about sets but I totally agree about the fight scenes. The fight scenes were so great in Season 4 and it's such a shame that we changed stunt teams for Season 5. They were getting so, so good and it's incredibly noticeable how different the stunts are after this season. Buffy was depicted as being so quick and powerful in Season 4 and then all of a sudden she's much slower and doing all these unnecessary gymnastics and flips. It's such a shame we didn't get to have the Buffy VS Glory scenes choreographed by Pruitt *sigh*

As for the topic of the thread, I did find Buffy's story in "The Freshman" really relatable. I was totally overwhelmed my first few days of college. I had attended the same school my entire life (it was a school that went from elementary right up to senior year) so suddenly attending a huge college in the city was a pretty big shock for me. I also distinctly remember running into a girl from my high school on my first day and she seemed to be totally engrossed in college already and had met a bunch of new people so I felt even more out of place (similar to how Willow/Oz seemed to adapt far more quickly than Buffy did which isolated her).
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I should also note, this only applies to the first 2-3/5th of the season. I felt it did a good job of showing the Greatest Hits of the first year of college, then it became about having unfinished business with you Shadow Self, or Military nonsense. That part is where the season loses me. The final part where the Scoobies come together to use the Magic of a Friendship Speech to break Adam is on target, but so much of the season isn't. But then again, it was Buffy. If I wanted to watch a show about College, I would have watched "Felicity." You know, Buffy never did time travel, but Felicity did. What's up with that?
 

Cohen

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I definitely feel it was relatable. Freshman year was a wild experience. I definitely started feeling the growing apart from my HS friends—this continued throughout college for me. I had my first relationship and came out to my closest friends—a monumental scary experience. Of course my boyfriend that year was no Tara—wholly the opposite. And my HS framily never had that come back together moment the scoobies had. Of course, the Buffy and Friends Experience isn’t EVERYONES Experience, but it was definitely relatable. The least relatable would be, as others said, season 7 because it lost the metaphorical aspect of the show for a serialized year of suckiness (after CWDP)
 

telperion66

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For me, there's definitely a disconnect in the overall tone of season four compared with earlier seasons.

I heavily related to the Angel/Buffy storyline. After Angel left and Buffy seemed to move on pretty quickly, I couldn't get to grips with how she did that at all.

I related a lot to the gang being in high school. Being at college put a distance between their interests and mine, as I really liked the high school metaphors and storylines compared to the seemingly lofty academic world of university. The storylines didn't feel as immediate or gritty being based on the college campus.

Overall, its a Buffy season, so I relate to the characters quite well regardless. I feel I know and appreciate their strengths a lot, but I just felt that disconnect compared to the earlier seasons. I still like to occasionally dive into and watch this season, though.
 

SunnydaleGlitz

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Sineya
Very relatable, especially to the campus feel and the idea that you could get lost navigating where to go for your next class and whether you'd catch on quick to assignments. I related both to Buffy's nerves but also to Willow's excitement. My first college I commuted to, my second uni I basically stayed on campus housing in a big city. I didn't know a soul, and the first week was kind of intimidating. Also, relationships/ break ups/ trying to move on/ making new friends/ feeling like a misfit/ exploring your identity is all very relatable.
 
telperion66
telperion66
Its very subjective as to whether the individual actually went to college/university. But, I definitely see why It would be relatable for you in that sense! :)

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
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Black Thorn
I thought S4 was the last of the relatable seasons in Buffy. The subsequent seasons each felt less and less relatable.
 

vampmogs

Townie
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Aside from relating to Buffy's first experiences at college, I also related to Xander's storyline, albeit, later in life. I mean, I guess you could say I relate a lot to Buffy's arc in Season 6 too (dropping out of college and being in a dead end job/her depression) but Xander's storyline in Season 4 really speaks to me even if I did initially attend college. Whilst Buffy's story in Season 6 very briefly touched on her feelings of aimlessness both professionally/educationally, I felt that Xander's lack of purpose and direction and his inferiority complex resonated with me. I went through the exact same thing in my mid-twenties when I didn't feel I was getting anywhere and I was bouncing from one dead-end job to the next. His insecurities about his friends and being left behind was also something I really identified with.

Furthermore, I really identified with Willow/Tara this season and especially Tara in "New Moon Rising." I'm a gay guy but I've rarely connected with Willow/Tara on that level as their gay experience doesn't really reflect mine at all. However, I did strongly relate to their relationship when it was a secret and kept hidden from the other characters. The moment that really stands out to me is also in "New Moon Rising" when Oz shows up at Giles' apartment and Tara is really uncomfortable and hurt but nobody pays any attention to her because as far as they're all concerned Tara is just Willow's "friend" and she is not remotely on their radar. I've totally been there. I know what it's like to have a secret relationship with someone and for that person to really matter to you, and for you to feel like you matter to them, but because your relationship is kept hidden from everyone else by that very person, nobody around you acknowledges you as being remotely significant to that person's life. It's such an odd and disconcerting feeling to have such an intense and important relationship with someone but for that relationship to be totally unacknowledged by everyone else. On a larger scale, it's also really reflective of those horrible situations many gay couples go through when one person is in a terrible accident or even dies, and their family completely cuts their partner out of decisions about their health/wellbeing or funeral etc and refuses to acknowledge them as their life-partner. It's totally soul-crushing and horrible and why gay people have fought so hard to be legally recognised the same way a straight partner would be. So Tara's scenes in that episode really resonate with me strongly.

I love Season 4.
 
WillowFromBuffy
WillowFromBuffy
S4 is the best!
Cohen
Cohen
Yes so much to this! Being in a closeted relationship is so detrimental to both parties! Especially if you are out and the other person is not. I know everyone comes out in their own time but that kind of relationship is so difficult.

Leo

"Mist... cemetery... Halloween. Should end well."
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34
Partially relatable. My college experience was also different since I'm a foreigner, but I can relate to several of the topics explored throughout the season (except the initiative arc, we definitely didn't have something like that on campus 😝).
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
good the Initiative on your campus was better at hiding itself.
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