Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's Like Sleepless In Seattle If Tom And Meg Were Minced

Buffy Season 6 Part 2

So as I noted before, Season 6 is more or less universally maligned amongst Buffy fans. Of course, my contrarian nature means that it's one of my favourites. But to be fair, it does go to a pretty bleak place thematically.

The most obvious example of this is the finale, in which Willow's lover is killed and she goes batshit crazy, eventually trying to destroy the world. I found it to be a pretty effective climax, and even though Alyson Hannigan isn't the most convincing of dramatic actors when it comes to grief she did do a good job of total megalomaniacal psychosis. Plus she's possibly the hottest chick in the world so I'm quite prepared to give her a break. The final resolution when Xander talks Willow out of destroying the world is more than a bit cheesy. “I love you” is a lame climactic statement, but “If you want to destroy the world, then start with me” almost makes up for it.

Buffy's relationship with Spike was no doubt also a source of consternation for fans. Despite years of shippers begging for them to get together, when it actually happened I don't think it was quite what they had in mind. But how else could it be? Spike's a neutered psychopath so any romantic relationship involving him simply has to be fucked up, anything else would be a complete cop out. Nevertheless their final scene together, when Spike attempts to rape Buffy, is some pretty confrontational, unpleasant viewing, even by my standards.

One of the least popular episodes was Normal Again, in which Buffy hallucinates that she is just a normal girl having schizophrenic delusions of being a superhero. Not only does it contain a scene in which Buffy locks all her friends in a cellar and impassively watches while a demon tries to kill them, but the very last scene implies that Buffy's hallucination of being normal is in fact the real world. It's a silly gimmick, but one that inspired convulsions of rage amongst Joss' normally loyal fan base. Personally it didn't bother me in the slightest, so the writers have implied that the story isn't real, well guess what? It's not!

But amongst all this angst leave it to Joss to make the most emotional punch a far more mundane one, Xander leaving his fiance Anya at the altar. Having a much loved character behave so fallibly was a pretty gutsy decision in some ways, and it probably alienated a lot of his fanbase.

Of course, I love all that unpleasant, depressing stuff so I rate this season highly. The dialog is as witty as ever and the show's great humour, while significantly blacker than normal, is still top notch. It's good that they finished on such a high note and didn't complete a substandard, confused mess of a final season which spoiled what was otherwise a perfectly executed six years of TV.

See also:

Buffy Season 5 Part 1
Buffy Season 5 Part 2
Buffy Season 6 Part 1


Ben said...

"she's possibly the hottest chick in the world so I'm quite prepared to give her a break."

Dunno - I'd rate Natalie Portman right up there. Hmmm perhaps naked mud wrestling is the only way to determine who is truly the hottest...

fairy princess said...


Jon said...

Natalie Portman is vastly overrated. She's like the U2 of cute petite actresses.