- Jun 4, 2016
She pushed her friends away in S6 because they cared to much. Like what? Since when are caring friends a bad thing? Oh right it's the Spike show that's why.
It had nothing to do with it being 'the Spike show" and you're really simplifying what was a pretty complex story arc for Buffy. The writers did a fantastic job of writing a character who was suffering from depression. It was pretty clearly explained in the show why Buffy found her friend's concern hard to deal with. She articulates it herself;
I guess. Everyone ... (long pause) they all care. They all care so much, it ... makes it all harder.
I'm not sure I followed you around that bend, luv. (steps onto second stair)
I don't know. I just, I feel like I'm spending all of my time trying to be okay, so they don't worry. It's exhausting. And then, I...
She trails off, makes a frustrated gesture and then clenches her hand into a fist.
And that makes 'em worry even more.
Which is a pretty normal feeling depressed people will feel so I'm not sure why your issue is? It's emotionally draining to put on a fake smile for the benefit of those around you and in Buffy's case, it ended up being a vicious cycle because the more she tried to appear ok it made her friends worry even more. She was in a lose-lose situation. Not to mention that she found it difficult to deal with the resentment she had towards her friends for pulling her out of Heaven which was something she certainly didn't want to admit to them much less herself. She was able to confide in Spike because, initially at least, she didn't care about his opinion of her - "A whisper in a dead man's ear doesn't make it real" - and wasn't under any pressure to appear normal for him. She had already confided in him that she was happy and at peace and therefore she could be herself and she didn't feel obligated to pretend to be ok for his benefit (as she had with her friends ever since Dawn spoke to her in Afterlife - "They just want to see you happy. That's all they want") which is why she was drawn to him.
But what excuse is there for S7?
Again, it was explained. Buffy distanced herself from the Potentials because she knew was going to lose some of them and found it easier to put a wall up then deal with the guilt of sending them to their deaths. And becoming the General made Buffy feel isolated from those around her which is exactly how Faith felt when she took charge and Faith articulated exactly that in End of Days;
And here I am. Everybody is looking at me to lead them and... I've never felt more alone in my entire life. And that's you every day, isn't it?
As the Slayer, Buffy has always felt somewhat alone and isolated from every body around her and S7 amplified that even more when the war overtook her life.
And it caused the same problems as in S6, she ignored her support system.
They're not comparable at all and you're also ignoring that Buffy's "support system" in S6 were dealing with their own guilt and confusion over her resurrection, not to mention the problems in their own personal lives, which caused them to be quite self-involved and unhelpful at times. NOBODY was a great friend to each other in S6 so you're being really unfair to Buffy. Willow's solution to help Buffy was to rape her mind and remove her memories without her consent. The others had a brief discussion at the beginning of Tabula Rasa about how they could help her but when they found the situation too hard to handle they pretty much buried their heads in the sand and gave up. Which was great for them but not so great for the suicidally depressed person who they had all witnessed try and kill herself in OMWF and then have a complete breakdown in front of them at the Magic Box, and yet they never raise the topic with Buffy again. I mean, Buffy point-blank accuses Xander of "not wanting to know" about how hard she was finding things in Seeing Red and he couldn't bring himself to deny it. When you consider all of that PLUS Willow's addiction issues, her break up with Tara, the crumbling of Xander and Anya's relationship, and Giles leaving town, you are greatly overestimating what kind of "support system" Buffy had in S6. The gang were a hot mess that year -- which was the point.
The comics have turned to shit but Buffy's arc from S5-S7 was compelling and well-written IMO. Her arc in S6 is a particular favourite of mine and the writers did an amazing job of writing for a character dealing with depression. I've not only suffered from depression myself but I also used to work on a hotline counselling people with depression and BtVS's portrayal of the issue is probably the finest I have ever seen on TV. I think you're really underestimating the writing and I can't say I agree with anything you've said pretty much at all.