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Thread: BtVS rewatch: SEASON 6

  1. #221
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    A thing of evil I truly appreciate you continuing the discussion here on the thread I truly did enjoy reading your post about 'OMWF' even if we disagree, I truly honour your thoughts. In my past, I did read some critics that agree with you about the actors can't sing. This is when I differ. I do genuinely get want you are trying to state that the actors don't have some extent of singing abilities, within the specific professionalism like for example Barbra Streisand or even Elaine Paige, who are built within the musical scenery.

    For example, Leona Lewis version of Grizabella in Cats she got unsupportive reviews stating she couldn't act the role, but no one can deny the fact she has a sensational vocal range especially considering her head voice and falsetto (I even loved Leona's version of her representation of 'Memory' soft and yet compelling).

    So, IMO 'OMWF' wasn't about the vocal range or the technique or showing off their singing abilities, if there can sing or not hence why I connected within the classic country genre of the old recording sound because they tell their own powerful narration through compositions and song. It feels genuine and raw the emotion is the key to that specific own individual story, is to indeed express their own unique art it pushes character development further.

    Also, want I adore about this episode I said it previously in my other post there just didn't just randomly make a musical there made a concept to push characters along within the development from the beginning of season 6, for me it wasn't about the singing it was the realness of genuine emotion that held within these characters, and finally realising it by song and personally I'm glad they can't sing because IMO it does sound primary, I wouldn't like a voice over because then it wouldn’t feel right or original. To me, the sounding of their original sounds is even more spectacular and dynamic. The emotion and acting were profound IMO especially the scene when Buffy confessed she was in heaven, because you have to admit the emotion is there and the character development just got unleashed.





    And also this.






    Someone states on Tumblr "#s6 Buffy is still the best portrayal of depression that I’ve seen" which I totally agree, love this season, the darkness, the realism of society.

    My random rambling.

    Want I beloved about 'I touch the fire' is the mental representation of being cold straying that warmness and desire while still mention the word fire, maybe the negative of burning out is that Buffy wants to feel and keep the fire to clench the flames wanting a purpose to burn to crack and peel even the fire is not even phasing her she doesn't feel pain because she is already in pain numb to the feeling. Psychological state of mind she wants the fire back. Like a conclusion of the journey of depression maybe? She wants her fire back.







    Here is another representation of another song that I found that had the same theme embracing the flames but this time the representation was in a lighter formality a positive wish in Buffy current state of mind, for example, Johnny sings about an emotion that Buffy would love to feel.

    “I fell into a burning ring of fire,
    I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
    And it burns, burns, burns,
    The ring of fire, the ring of fire.”

    IMO Johnny Cash was singing a song, a creation about a natural progression of a feeling an emotion. Showcasing a realism.

    Because I thought Buffy was full of love and was blinded with the fire. She knows deep down that she lost something apart of her. “You are full of love. You love with all of your soul. It's brighter than the fire, blinding. That's why you pull away from it."


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  3. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffylover View Post
    But Stoney you should already know that life can bite you hence why you should have made it into an open discussion thread. Like does anyone consider that I might have LP when I wrote my overview, but no one seemed to appreciate or continue the discussion? it feels that everyone didn't want my opinion their still waiting for AA making me feel unwelcome on this side of the forum and I shouldn't feel this way.

    Because no one responded to my post about 'OMWF' but concentrating on want shows to watch on AA recovery which was making this thread dysfunctional.

    This might come across rude or be sounding nasty but I'm sorry a whole entire forum shouldn't stop because of someone's LP.

    Because I did try continue the discussion but no one seemed to be intrested... Again still waiting for AA.
    These rewatch threads have always been run on the basis of a review first, followed by responses and open discussion. It doesn't stop you posting thoughts on the episode, but it is probably why the responses will be limited prior to the review. The thread isn't closed at the moment, it is just not actively moving forward and any thoughts on the episodes covered so far are still very welcome. This hardly stops the whole forum as new threads can be opened for discussions by anyone at any time. Sadly the board is just very quiet these days, but that isn't because this group/thread makes it so. We aren't looking to pressure Aurora but just be a community and compassionate. She honestly knows that skipping the review and returning to it later is an option. So unless Aurora feels unable to return to the review now, waiting a short time longer is where we are at.

    I'm sorry you didn't feel welcome because no one responded and if you have been having life problems yourself too. These boards are great places to come and focus on shows that we love and get the opportunity to escape those problems, even if it can only be brief. I have enjoyed reading your posts and I agree with your point of view about the actor's singing. The fact that they have differing abilities really helps it all feel more genuine and so it connects better emotionally. Do you have any thoughts on the episodes that have come before OMWF that you would like to share? How do you feel about the way the group have responded to Buffy on her return?
    Last edited by Stoney; 15-07-17 at 06:58 AM.

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  5. #223
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    Someone states on Tumblr "#s6 Buffy is still the best portrayal of depression that I’ve seen"
    I was never satisfied with how depression is portrayed in season six. The depiction of Buffy's depression just doesn't seem genuine to me, I think that, at best, it's a cheap glamorization. And I don't like how Buffy suddenly stops being depressed just because the season is coming to an end. It's a complete fantasy. Depression doesn't just go away. You have to overcome it or at least learn to manage it and that takes a lot of work, none of which the season portrays. The entire arc ends up being completely half-assed in my opinion.

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  7. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    I was never satisfied with how depression is portrayed in season six. The depiction of Buffy's depression just doesn't seem genuine to me, I think that, at best, it's a cheap glamorization. And I don't like how Buffy suddenly stops being depressed just because the season is coming to an end. It's a complete fantasy. Depression doesn't just go away. You have to overcome it or at least learn to manage it and that takes a lot of work, none of which the season portrays. The entire arc ends up being completely half-assed in my opinion.
    I truly respect that you weren't satisfied on how the depression got executed in season six however I disagree I have seen it a lot differently than you within my own personal circumstances. You do realise they are actually different depressions, right? Which depressions did Buffy have maybe "Clinical depression" she did lose herself within her trauma, of well digging herself out of her own grave? and losing that tranquillity in heaven. Or depression that her life is worrying her and pushing boundaries of pressure to re form a normal life? Which one? I personally think Well IMO maybe both.

    I absolutely adore the journey and development a theme and concept, a troubled youth finding her place within society. I find the depression and the darkness to be really compelling. I love the fact that we have a hero who actually has the most trouble normal life structure, IMO which is very inspirational, she is a super hero who has crap and well she lost herself. If you actually notice the progressions at the beginning for instances she was suicidal and in "gone" she did actually realise she did not want to die. Then this amazing empowerment by her own mother to make her have her flame back.

    "JOYCE (O.S.)
    We'll always be with you. There's
    a world of strength in your heart,
    honey. I know there is. You just have to find it again.
    A moment passes. Then Buffy's panic and fear wash away.

    JOYCE
    Believe in yourself."

    I thought that was the point of s6, to overcome her and change the negative and depressions to realise that the "earth is actually beautiful" I thought that was a very profound conclusion. And IMO very inspirational, because life is not a walk in the park. Hence why I adore this quote because it speaks volumes and connection to normality. "The Hardest Thing In This World Is To Live In It" It might sound cheesy but Buffy is my hero!

    This is why I adore that scene specifical in season 11 when she breaks down because her mental abstraction didn't go away. Sorry, a thing evil for the random rambling.
    Last edited by buffylover; 15-07-17 at 08:37 PM.

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    Which depressions did Buffy have
    In season eight Buffy describes herself as being "clinically depressed" in season six. It's one of the reasons I'm so miffed about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    In season eight Buffy describes herself as being "clinically depressed" in season six. It's one of the reasons I'm so miffed about it.
    It's okay to be miffed about it because everyone is different.

    Whilst I can see it within s6.

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    I think Buffy was deeply traumatised by her experiences from the resurrection and the depression is a direct symptom of the layered experiences she had which emotionally hurt her (in addition to the general pressures and difficulties she had/has with being the Slayer). I find it very believable, made the characters more relatable, and think they covered how many members of the group can have troubled/darker/weaker times for many reasons really well in S6. But the overall message in the end is about coming through these patches. It was followed up by how you can draw from these experiences to strengthen yourself in their stories of S7. As a pair I think the seasons are really good and fit to the show well for showing the characters experiencing growing up and progressive development from their experiences.

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    Hey Guys!

    I am really sorry that it's been so long and I really appreciate that you've waited for me. I had an unexpected delay of a week in which I had to attend to something work-related that couldn't be put off while recovering. Since another person was counting on me, I couldn't put it off.

    But it's all over for the mo and I'm furiously once again polishing the Once More With Feeling review and will start posting this week. Thank you so much for being so kind (especially Clavus, who has been so patient!) and I hope we can get the rewatch moving again very quickly and that I don't disappoint in my analysis!

    I will also try to respond to some really excellent posts you guys have made on Once More With Feeling - like it or hate it, it's still the most memorable of all very special musical episodes!

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  17. #229
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    Hi!

    I’ve been following this rewatch thread and I’ve been a longtime lurker on this forum. I made an account last year, but I’ve rarely ever posted (save for the season episode ranking threads), mostly because I feel like I get more out of this forum than I can actually contribute to it. But I was thinking about the show a bit today, and just decided, “What the hell?”

    I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Season 6. It’s a season with some fantastic ideas, but such lousy execution a great deal of the time. When Season 6 is great, it’s GREAT. “Dead Things” and “Normal Again” are Top 10 Episodes for me. But when Season 6 is bad, it’s BAD: “Wrecked”, “Gone” and “As You Were” are in my Bottom 10, for sure.

    It also feels like, throughout the season, the writers can’t decide if they want the show to be a dark, existential drama about life and depression, or a sitcom. For example: “Dead Things” took the season to a really dark place showing a much more dangerous side of the Trio and exploring just how far Buffy had fallen… only to be followed by “Older and Far Away”, a rather light-hearted episode about everyone being trapped in the Summers’ house that did little to address the events of the previous episode, and when it did, just made jokes about it (Tara’s cracks about Spuffy, Buffy’s jokes about beating up Spike). The show did a much better job combining comedy and drama in its earlier seasons.

    There’s not enough sparkly dialogue this season, either. And the overall quality of it takes a major downward spiral this season as well. ("It's like there's a meat party in my mouth" -- ???) Buffy is a show that’s notable for having great dialogue. So great that Whedon had to make a silent episode to convince people there was more to the show than its dialogue. So I’m *extremely* hard on episodes where the dialogue falls flat.

    I’m NOT talking about this forum, but in my general observations of fandom (Reddit, YouTube comments, IMDb boards, etc.), I have seen a lot of Season 6-lovers deflect criticisms against the season, saying that fans who disliked the season just “don’t get it” or don’t understand depression, darkness, moral complexity, etc. And I think that’s really unfair because I’m all for the concept of a Buffy season devoted to shoving the huge mystical elements of the series aside by just having human villains, and exploring the characters’ reactions to life’s suckiness and their personal flaws/bad decisions leading to their individual undoings.

    Willow’s control issues and insecurities about being “just some girl” leading to an over-reliance on magic and causing her to commit some morally ambiguous acts? Sounds like a great storyline to me. But instead, Willow was written as an idiot who was too much of an amoral junkie to handle power.

    Giles was written as a patronizing dick who abandoned the Scoobies at their lowest points and was never properly called out on it. And Dawn just threw temper tantrums every other episode.

    Again, I have a lot of respect for what the season was trying to accomplish, I just wish the writers could have executed it as well as they did Seasons 2-5.

    But I don’t want to turn this into an anti-Season 6 rant, because there are many things about the season that I do love.

    Buffy’s character arc, for instance, is hands down my favorite thing about Season 6 because I can relate to it deeply. This is actually one of my favorite seasons for her character. I loved the complexity of the Buffy/Spike relationship this season, and I thought the show’s portrayal of an abusive relationship was spot-on.

    While criminally neglected for a sizable portion of the season, I also enjoyed the material they gave Xander and Anya during the final third of the season.

    Overall, it’s just a season that gets a lot of things incredibly right, and a lot of things incredibly wrong. Hence my love-hate relationship with it.

    I’m actually in the middle of Buffy and Angel rewatch of my own. I’m not up to Season 6 yet though, but I hope to contribute more to this rewatch when I do. That is, if I feel I have something worthwhile to contribute. It kind of feels like cheating to be even paying attention to this thread. But here are some of my thoughts on the episodes that have been covered so far:

    "Bargaining, Part One" -- Great season opener. I liked its exploration of the Scoobies’ lives without Buffy. I’m also a sucker for non-Buffy and non-coupley Scooby interactions, which this episode has a great deal of. Willow-Xander; Spike-Dawn; Xander-Tara; Anya-Tara. I wish the show had focused a little more on the Scooby dynamic outside of everyone’s relationships with Buffy or their significant other in the later seasons.

    PuckRobin, I enjoyed your review a great deal, along with all of the background info you gave on the show’s ad campaign. I didn’t watch the show during its original airing, so it’s always interesting for me to hear stuff like that. Speaking as a Black male, while I’ve definitely noticed the lack of racial diversity on this show, I never really paid attention to the especially unflattering portrayal of the Black vampire in the teaser. It doesn’t really offend me in particular, but I’m probably just desensitized to it.

    "Bargaining, Part Two" -- Not as good as Part 1 and a lot of it feels like padding, but still pretty solid. WAAAYYY too much time with the biker demons, who were probably the worst MOTW in the entire series simply due to how much screen time they took up. Kudos to Michelle Trachtenberg for her acting, particularly in the scene where Dawn discovers the dying Buffybot and reacts to the possibility of Buffy being alive. And awesome review, KingofCretins.

    "After Life" -- I love this episode a greal deal, and think it’s really underrated. I like the dark, quiet and tense atmosphere throughout the whole episode. The way it focuses on all of the characters and their reactions to the resurrection, with the monster feeling like little more than an afterthought, seems to be a set-up to what the entire season was trying to do. I was surprised to see that Jane Espenson wrote this episode as she usually wrote the more comedic episodes of the series. But she really stepped outside her range here and did a great job. And I found SMG’s performance here to be really underrated. She does extremely nice subtle acting in this episode, especially in the scenes where she walks around the Summers house while Dawn explains everything that’s different. Stoney, you seem to be the one in charge of the rewatch, so kudos to you for that and your insightful contributions to the thread.

    "Flooded" -- Extremely mixed, most likely due to the fact that it was written by two separate writers. Certain scenes were enjoyable, while others were pretty awful.

    Dipstick, I sympathize with some of your problems with Season 6 (as I have plenty myself, see above), and props to you for trying your hardest to overcome those problems and writing a good review. Your critique of Giles in the episode was spot-on, and something that I never really noticed in previous watches. I was too focused on the bizarre, over-the-top writing of Willow in their confrontation scene. She goes from being caught off-guard and too timid to (rightfully, IMO) defend herself against Giles, to being cold and threatening, and then back to compliant again. My first time watching it, I thought she had a split-personality disorder, to be honest, because it was such her mood changes were so abrupt.

    "Life Serial" -- The Trio’s tricks on Buffy worked great as a metaphor for depression’s effect on your daily life, and I found her struggles on campus and at the Magic Box to be very relatable. The feeling of everything going too fast, yet at the same time, everything feeling repetitive and monotonous is something that I can relate to. But it still wasn’t all that great to me. This episode is the first example of how Buffy’s comedy episodes start to become a lot less funny, and more just really goofy. At least in my opinion. Tiny Tabby, great review, and great initiative as well for taking up the task when others weren't able to!

    "All the Way" -- All of my opinions on this one have pretty much been covered by other posters, especially in Guy’s insightful yet gif-tastic review. I also agree with vampmogs on how disappointing it is that Buffy never capitalized on its potential for kickass Halloween episodes every season.

    American Aurora, glad to hear you’re doing well, and I can’t wait for the official start of your OMWF review! From what I’ve seen of your contributions to the rewatch threads, I’m sure it will be great. I particularly enjoyed your “Fool for Love” review in the Season 5 thread. That’s a favorite episode of mine, and you really did it justice.
    Last edited by Andrew S.; 09-08-17 at 10:41 AM.

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  19. #230
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    Hey Andrew S. great to have you come and join in. I'm very much a self-appointed administrator so please do always feel free to make suggestions and get involved, its a group thing and perhaps you'll even do a S7 review.

    I love S6, it's my fave (very closely followed by S5) and I think it works for Willow personally. That she has been building up to these problems makes sense to me. I think the push to take a leadership role was something she was naturally inclined towards and was good at, we'd seen it before repeatedly. But I also think that she didn't always want it and still had lingering self-doubt and a sense of pressure to succeed and be able to always get things right. So I think there is possibly a bit of a swinging personality issue for her as her power/confidence grew and yet her insecurities continued. She doesn't want it but wants her abilities, intelligence and capability to be respected too.

    It would be great if you are able to come and join us through the season, as and when you're able. I'd be really interested to see/understand where you feel the issues flare in the season as we go along. I've never particularly considered the tonal mix through this season and when/where it works or doesn't so I'll look out for that. I've found I appreciate the show/characters so much more from our discussions here and getting mixed perspectives is always great. We could both have changed our points of view by the season end.

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    I caught up with the rewatch a few days ago, in terms of watching the episodes, but I'm still far from catching up with your posts - you guys are writing really detailed and in depth reviews, and it will take me some time to read all the previous pages. I'm on vacation, and not at home, so I did not have access to Internet on my laptop most of the time (and reading and posting from my phone is a drag), but now I'v got WiFi where I'm staying, so I should be able to read some/most of the thread and comment.

    I've always loved season 6, but the first time I watched it, I wasn't that taken with these early episodes, except for AfterLife, and felt that the season only took off with OMWF. This time I've enjoyed them much more - especially Bargaining. The first time, I was too put off by the demon bikers, but this time I found the episode much better, and now I consider it the best Buffy season opener, even though it has some things that never made sense (Spike being no more impressive as a fighter than any of the non superpowered Scoobies; Buffy's death being kept a secret while she also has a gravestone). AfterLife is one of the best episodes of the season, and I enjoyed Flooded and Life Serial much more this time. All the Way has always been one of the weak links - it's an OK episode, but doesn't bring anything new. And I've found that OMWF is even more enjoyable the more times you see it (and when you're used to some of the cast members' not so stellar vocal performances).

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S. View Post
    Hi!

    I’ve been following this rewatch thread and I’ve been a longtime lurker on this forum. I made an account last year, but I’ve rarely ever posted (save for the season episode ranking threads), mostly because I feel like I get more out of this forum than I can actually contribute to it. But I was thinking about the show a bit today, and just decided, “What the hell?”

    I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Season 6. It’s a season with some fantastic ideas, but such lousy execution a great deal of the time. When Season 6 is great, it’s GREAT. “Dead Things” and “Normal Again” are Top 10 Episodes for me. But when Season 6 is bad, it’s BAD: “Wrecked”, “Gone” and “As You Were” are in my Bottom 10, for sure.

    It also feels like, throughout the season, the writers can’t decide if they want the show to be a dark, existential drama about life and depression, or a sitcom. For example: “Dead Things” took the season to a really dark place showing a much more dangerous side of the Trio and exploring just how far Buffy had fallen… only to be followed by “Older and Far Away”, a rather light-hearted episode about everyone being trapped in the Summers’ house that did little to address the events of the previous episode, and when it did, just made jokes about it (Tara’s cracks about Spuffy, Buffy’s jokes about beating up Spike). The show did a much better job combining comedy and drama in its earlier seasons.

    There’s not enough sparkly dialogue this season, either. And the overall quality of it takes a major downward spiral this season as well. ("It's like there's a meat party in my mouth" -- ???) Buffy is a show that’s notable for having great dialogue. So great that Whedon had to make a silent episode to convince people there was more to the show than its dialogue. So I’m *extremely* hard on episodes where the dialogue falls flat.

    I’m NOT talking about this forum, but in my general observations of fandom (Reddit, YouTube comments, IMDb boards, etc.), I have seen a lot of Season 6-lovers deflect criticisms against the season, saying that fans who disliked the season just “don’t get it” or don’t understand depression, darkness, moral complexity, etc. And I think that’s really unfair because I’m all for the concept of a Buffy season devoted to shoving the huge mystical elements of the series aside by just having human villains, and exploring the characters’ reactions to life’s suckiness and their personal flaws/bad decisions leading to their individual undoings.

    Willow’s control issues and insecurities about being “just some girl” leading to an over-reliance on magic and causing her to commit some morally ambiguous acts? Sounds like a great storyline to me. But instead, Willow was written as an idiot who was too much of an amoral junkie to handle power.

    Giles was written as a patronizing dick who abandoned the Scoobies at their lowest points and was never properly called out on it. And Dawn just threw temper tantrums every other episode.

    Again, I have a lot of respect for what the season was trying to accomplish, I just wish the writers could have executed it as well as they did Seasons 2-5.

    But I don’t want to turn this into an anti-Season 6 rant, because there are many things about the season that I do love.

    Buffy’s character arc, for instance, is hands down my favorite thing about Season 6 because I can relate to it deeply. This is actually one of my favorite seasons for her character. I loved the complexity of the Buffy/Spike relationship this season, and I thought the show’s portrayal of an abusive relationship was spot-on.

    While criminally neglected for a sizable portion of the season, I also enjoyed the material they gave Xander and Anya during the final third of the season.

    Overall, it’s just a season that gets a lot of things incredibly right, and a lot of things incredibly wrong. Hence my love-hate relationship with it.

    I’m actually in the middle of Buffy and Angel rewatch of my own. I’m not up to Season 6 yet though, but I hope to contribute more to this rewatch when I do. That is, if I feel I have something worthwhile to contribute. It kind of feels like cheating to be even paying attention to this thread. But here are some of my thoughts on the episodes that have been covered so far:

    "Bargaining, Part One" -- Great season opener. I liked its exploration of the Scoobies’ lives without Buffy. I’m also a sucker for non-Buffy and non-coupley Scooby interactions, which this episode has a great deal of. Willow-Xander; Spike-Dawn; Xander-Tara; Anya-Tara. I wish the show had focused a little more on the Scooby dynamic outside of everyone’s relationships with Buffy or their significant other in the later seasons.

    PuckRobin, I enjoyed your review a great deal, along with all of the background info you gave on the show’s ad campaign. I didn’t watch the show during its original airing, so it’s always interesting for me to hear stuff like that. Speaking as a Black male, while I’ve definitely noticed the lack of racial diversity on this show, I never really paid attention to the especially unflattering portrayal of the Black vampire in the teaser. It doesn’t really offend me in particular, but I’m probably just desensitized to it.

    "Bargaining, Part Two" -- Not as good as Part 1 and a lot of it feels like padding, but still pretty solid. WAAAYYY too much time with the biker demons, who were probably the worst MOTW in the entire series simply due to how much screen time they took up. Kudos to Michelle Trachtenberg for her acting, particularly in the scene where Dawn discovers the dying Buffybot and reacts to the possibility of Buffy being alive. And awesome review, KingofCretins.

    "After Life" -- I love this episode a greal deal, and think it’s really underrated. I like the dark, quiet and tense atmosphere throughout the whole episode. The way it focuses on all of the characters and their reactions to the resurrection, with the monster feeling like little more than an afterthought, seems to be a set-up to what the entire season was trying to do. I was surprised to see that Jane Espenson wrote this episode as she usually wrote the more comedic episodes of the series. But she really stepped outside her range here and did a great job. And I found SMG’s performance here to be really underrated. She does extremely nice subtle acting in this episode, especially in the scenes where she walks around the Summers house while Dawn explains everything that’s different. Stoney, you seem to be the one in charge of the rewatch, so kudos to you for that and your insightful contributions to the thread.

    "Flooded" -- Extremely mixed, most likely due to the fact that it was written by two separate writers. Certain scenes were enjoyable, while others were pretty awful.

    Dipstick, I sympathize with some of your problems with Season 6 (as I have plenty myself, see above), and props to you for trying your hardest to overcome those problems and writing a good review. Your critique of Giles in the episode was spot-on, and something that I never really noticed in previous watches. I was too focused on the bizarre, over-the-top writing of Willow in their confrontation scene. She goes from being caught off-guard and too timid to (rightfully, IMO) defend herself against Giles, to being cold and threatening, and then back to compliant again. My first time watching it, I thought she had a split-personality disorder, to be honest, because it was such her mood changes were so abrupt.

    "Life Serial" -- The Trio’s tricks on Buffy worked great as a metaphor for depression’s effect on your daily life, and I found her struggles on campus and at the Magic Box to be very relatable. The feeling of everything going too fast, yet at the same time, everything feeling repetitive and monotonous is something that I can relate to. But it still wasn’t all that great to me. This episode is the first example of how Buffy’s comedy episodes start to become a lot less funny, and more just really goofy. At least in my opinion. Tiny Tabby, great review, and great initiative as well for taking up the task when others weren't able to!
    Welcome, Andrew!

    I've always loved season 6. Sure, it has its flaws, but so does every season of Buffy - it's hard to avoid when you have 22 episodes a season. (Even season 5, which is as close to perfection as a Buffy season comes to, has some ridiculous inconsistencies in Buffy's and other superpowered characters' strength, and an episode I dislike for its OOC moments done for comedy - Triangle). I agree with some of your criticisms, but disagree with some others, and in some cases, I think you - and many other fans - are treating some flaws of season 6 a lot more harshly than the exact same flaws that existed in the previous seasons, but tend to be glossed over.

    What I agree with is that Giles's motivations and portrayal bug me and don't fully make sense. But not because he was patronizing, because Giles has always been patronizing, but because of his decision to leave. This is clearly a case of real life writing the plot, and the writers were obviously struggling to justify that plot point.

    On the other hand, I've never understood the bashing levelled at Willow's storyline by a portion of the fandom. You said: "Willow’s control issues and insecurities about being “just some girl” leading to an over-reliance on magic and causing her to commit some morally ambiguous acts? Sounds like a great storyline to me. But instead, Willow was written as an idiot who was too much of an amoral junkie to handle power." I think your first sentence is exactly how Willow was portrayed. She was the same old Willow whose insecurities and desire to fix things easily (which was seen before, even as far as Lovers Walk) made her overrely on magic and caused her to commit some morally ambiguous acts. I don't think she was portrayed as "an idiot who was too much of an amoral junkie to handle power", though I guess you could also term it that way - it's basically the same thing, it's just how someone who wanted to portray her storyline in bad light would choose to phrase it. (No, she's neither an idiot and an amoral, but I can imagine an over-critical, judgmental person equating those with "idiocy" and "amorality"). I've never understood the complaints about magic = drug storyline. Yes, it's portrayed as an addiction - so what? Of course it's an addiction, anything you start over-using as a way to instantly fix your problems (while actually making them worse) is. Gambling is an addiction, sex can be an addiction, work can be an addiction, an unhealthy relationship can be an addiction, etc. It doesn't remove the responsibility of the person who decides to use it, and it's always connected to someone's unresolved emotional issues. (Even with literal drug addiction - I've known heroin addicts, and it's those who had the biggest emotional issues and insecurities, stemming from their dysfunctional and unsupportive families, that got into it the deepest and were not able to escape the addiction.) Willow's storyline makes perfect sense to me, it's very interesting and consistent with her development over the previous seasons.

    And what is the problem with Dawn throwing tantrums each episode? She's a teenager, and a teenager who has been going through a lot of serious $hit. Of course she's throwing tantrums! What do you expect her to do? She threw even worse tantrums in early season 5 (before she found out about being the Key - after that, her tantrums were a lot more justified).

    I also can't agree that the comedy episodes are less funny in season 6, since Tabula Rasa is one of the funniest episodes of the entire show.

    I do agree that there are some great, but also some awful episodes (to me, those are Doublemeat Palace and As You Were) and that there are
    some jarring tonal shifts and dissonance in the middle of the season, especially between Dead Things and Older and Far Away. These are my biggest criticisms of the season. But it's not like that makes it any different from the earlier seasons. BtVS has always had moments when serious things were treated in an inappropriately flippant way, or not addressed or followed up on at all. There's a much worse tonal dissonance in 1.02 The Harvest and the rest of season 1 with the utter lack of feeling from Xander or Willow about Jesse's death. That episode ends on a lighthearted note. The Pack also ends on a lighthearted note, in spite of the fact that Xander must have been deeply traumatized by being possessed by the hyena and doing all he did, and Buffy didn't even seem at all traumatized by being sexually assaulted by hyena-possessed Xander. It's not just season 1, either. In season 2, nobody feels any trauma over the spell that made every woman chase Xander and engage in some violent acts, and Cordelia thinks that Xander trying to mind-control and rape her (he was not actually trying to do that, but she didn't know that) was cute and a wonderful expression of love (compare that to season 6, where Buffy is outraged by the idea that Spike would try to do a love spell on her, and Spike is outraged at the fact she thought he would do that). There's even worse treatment of sexual violence in Go Fish, where no one is at all concerned or sympathetic to Buffy for just being sexually assaulted by her date. Yes, she immediately stopped him before he got to do anything, and she was much stronger than him and never in danger, but that doesn't change the fact that she was assaulted. Now, when Snyder and the coach victim blame her and make light of it, that's narratively OK since they're the bad guys and we're supposed to see their behavior as sexist and gross. But then Giles and the other Scoobies are completely indifferent to Buffy telling them she was assaulted and then victim blamed and blamed for defending herself, looking at her like "why are you taking out time from the important matters?" That was really OOC and jarring. And don't get me into the lack of proper follow-up on Faith's attempted rape and attempted murder of Xander, or her rape of Riley, but those are due to the gender double standard regarding sexual violencr that the show is sadly consistently guilty of.

    Go Fish was also placed right after Passion and I Only Have Eyes for You and before the two-part finale. The worst placement of an episode on BtVS ever. It completely disrupts the otherwise great arc, which would have flown much better if it went from IOHEFY to Becoming. Also, in both Go Fish and Killed by Death, Angelus is really lame as a villain when he pops up, and doesn't feel threatening at all.

    Season 2 is generally the BtVS season that most reminds me of season 6 - both are in contention for my favorite season and both have strong and extremely emotional arcs (and heartbreaking deaths, main characters going to the dark side, and dysfunctional Buffy vampire relationships that go from bad to worse), and they both have very high highs, but also very low lows. Unlike season 3, which is very solid throughout, but lacks those strong emotional arcs (except for Faith, who steals the season right in front of Buffy's and everyone else's nose) and (apart from The Wish) episodes I'd put in my top 10, or season 5, which is also solid throughout but doesn't lack any of these things. O season 4, which has a weak central plot and isn't incredibly dramatic or emotional, but has a few amazing episodes that are top 10 material, and a lot of great comedy.

    So, to sum up, I think that the flaws or season 6 are greatly exaggerated and the flaws of the earlier seasons glossed over by fans who are arguing that season 6 was some sort of a negative departure from the earlier BtVS. But, to be fair, fans who argue in favor of season 6 also tend to overstate their case, as the earlier seasons didn't lack darkness, complexity or maturity - season 6 just took it to the logical next step.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    On the other hand, I've never understood the bashing levelled at Willow's storyline by a portion of the fandom. You said: "Willow’s control issues and insecurities about being “just some girl” leading to an over-reliance on magic and causing her to commit some morally ambiguous acts? Sounds like a great storyline to me. But instead, Willow was written as an idiot who was too much of an amoral junkie to handle power." I think your first sentence is exactly how Willow was portrayed. She was the same old Willow whose insecurities and desire to fix things easily (which was seen before, even as far as Lovers Walk) made her overrely on magic and caused her to commit some morally ambiguous acts. I don't think she was portrayed as "an idiot who was too much of an amoral junkie to handle power", though I guess you could also term it that way - it's basically the same thing, it's just how someone who wanted to portray her storyline in bad light would choose to phrase it. (No, she's neither an idiot and an amoral, but I can imagine an over-critical, judgmental person equating those with "idiocy" and "amorality"). I've never understood the complaints about magic = drug storyline. Yes, it's portrayed as an addiction - so what? Of course it's an addiction, anything you start over-using as a way to instantly fix your problems (while actually making them worse) is. Gambling is an addiction, sex can be an addiction, work can be an addiction, an unhealthy relationship can be an addiction, etc. It doesn't remove the responsibility of the person who decides to use it, and it's always connected to someone's unresolved emotional issues. (Even with literal drug addiction - I've known heroin addicts, and it's those who had the biggest emotional issues and insecurities, stemming from their dysfunctional and unsupportive families, that got into it the deepest and were not able to escape the addiction.) Willow's storyline makes perfect sense to me, it's very interesting and consistent with her development over the previous seasons.
    To be honest, my complaints about Willow in terms of being an idiot and everything were mostly in regards to "Wrecked" (my most despised episode of the series). Willow acts like a major idiot in that episode. The writers completely drop the metaphor and just play magic as a straight addictive substance. It becomes less a story about Willow's control issues and character flaws and more about her just being an addict in a generic after-school special. She doesn't even feel like Willow to me in those episodes (save for the nice scene at the end between her and Buffy), so much as just a generic character in a over-the-top "This is what drug addiction looks like" story. I have more to say about that episode to explain my POV, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it on the rewatch.

    And also, the text itself feels a little anti-Willow at times. We got Giles completely cutting into her when she didn't deserve it in "Flooded", only for Willow to threaten him, automatically making his horrible treatment of her irrelevant. Tara got completely butt-hurt for no reason over some decorations in "All the Way", only for Willow to mind-rape her, with the badness of that action making Tara's unfairness toward Willow irrelevant.

    I don't have much of a problem with the Dark Willow storyline later on in this season though, besides some shitty dialogue. Surely a genius like Willow would be way wittier and have way better insults than the likes of "Get off me, superbitch!"

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny
    What I agree with is that Giles's motivations and portrayal bug me and don't fully make sense. But not because he was patronizing, because Giles has always been patronizing, but because of his decision to leave. This is clearly a case of real life writing the plot, and the writers were obviously struggling to justify that plot point.
    True, especially the bolded part

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny
    And what is the problem with Dawn throwing tantrums each episode? She's a teenager, and a teenager who has been going through a lot of serious $hit. Of course she's throwing tantrums! What do you expect her to do? She threw even worse tantrums in early season 5 (before she found out about being the Key - after that, her tantrums were a lot more justified).
    Let me set the record straight on my feelings about Dawn's character. She's one of the most hated characters in the fandom from what I've seen, but I LOVE Dawn. The introduction of her character was, in my opinion, the show's best plot twist ever. I love just about everything they did with the character in Season 5, and I love how her addition to the series let us see a more mature, nurturing side of Buffy and all of the other characters. Screw Angel and Spike, Dawn was the best love interest Buffy ever had.

    My criticism about her in my previous post sounded a little Dawn-bashing now that I think about it, and I should have made my feelings about her character clear. *I* know I love Dawn, but of course *you guys* don't, so I apologize on that front. But regarding her in Season 6, I still have a lot of affection for her character. While Buffy was the most relatable character for me in Season 6, Dawn was hands down the most sympathetic. You're right, she had every right to be angsty and bratty because she went through a lot. My problem isn't with her throwing temper tantrums so much as that's ALL she does during the season, at least the middle section. The writers do nothing with her character this season other than have her whine. It's not that this is unrealistic or OOC, it's just extremely repetitive and extremely uninteresting. Dawn was a brat and threw temper tantrums in Season 5, yes, but her character was also the emotional center of the season and the season did such a great job of exploring her relationships with the other Scoobies. She also got to be a badass and pretty heroic in her own right at times, particularly in the last few episodes of Season 5. I loved her braveness in her interactions with Ben and Glory, I loved everything about her interactions with Spike and I loved how in "The Gift", she was completely willing to kill herself to stop the portal. She was really well-wounded in Season 5. But we didn't get enough of that for the majority of Season 6.

    I don't dislike Dawn this season or anything, she just gets NOTHING to do other than be miserable. And I think that's quite a shame because based on Seasons 5 and 7, the character could have been a lot more and Michelle Trachtenberg certainly had the talent to do more. Connor also suffered from the same thing during Angel Season 4. There was a similar problem with Xander and Anya in the middle portion of the season as well. It feels like almost every episode during the middle portion of the season shows Buffy, Willow and Spike doing the heavy lifting in terms of the plot and heavy character focus, while we get obligatory angsty scenes of Dawn throwing a temper tantrum or comic relief scenes of Xander and Anya having wedding planning jitters, with the characters doing little else. We get it, Dawn is lonely and neglected. We get it, Xander and Anya have fears about their wedding. We didn't need to get variations of the same scenes with the characters every other episode. But the writers' treatment of Dawn, Xander and Anya gets a whole lot better in the final third of the season. In fact, the *whole season* gets better. "Hell's Bells" to "Villains" are the best stretch of episodes in the season, in my opinion. I'm not too fond of the last two episodes, though.

    Season 7 does a lot better by showing more to Dawn's personality than her teen angst, but it's no better than Season 6 for me because she's heavily underused that season. I love Dawn a lot, but I wouldn't call her a *great* character because the writers failed to make her as layered as the other ones. But I do like the way her whininess this season could be seen as a commentary on how people view teenagers as they grow up. When Buffy, Willow and Xander were Dawn's age, they were portrayed as much smarter and more mature. But now that they're adults, Dawn's teen angst comes off as being more annoying. I think it captures that disconnect that happens as young adults get older whereas teenagers seem a lot more bratty and irritating, despite the fact that they were JUST teenagers themselves a few years ago.

    And in a way, the characters ignoring Dawn because they have so much going on in their lives could be seen as a reflection of the writers not knowing what to do with her character because they have so much going on in writing the other characters. So I've found ways to rationalize Dawn's unsatisfying Season 6 portrayal, but I'm still disappointed with it. Dawnie deserved more.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny
    I also can't agree that the comedy episodes are less funny in season 6, since Tabula Rasa is one of the funniest episodes of the entire show.
    "Tabula Rasa" is probably the most overrated episode of the entire series for me. I thought Angel's "Spin the Bottle" was much better. But "Tabula Rasa" wasn't bad though. The beginning and ends of the episode were fantastic, it was just the middle portion that I wasn't satisfied with or amused by.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny
    I do agree that there are some great, but also some awful episodes (to me, those are Doublemeat Palace and As You Were) and that there are
    some jarring tonal shifts and dissonance in the middle of the season, especially between Dead Things and Older and Far Away. These are my biggest criticisms of the season. But it's not like that makes it any different from the earlier seasons. BtVS has always had moments when serious things were treated in an inappropriately flippant way, or not addressed or followed up on at all. There's a much worse tonal dissonance in 1.02 The Harvest and the rest of season 1 with the utter lack of feeling from Xander or Willow about Jesse's death. That episode ends on a lighthearted note. The Pack also ends on a lighthearted note, in spite of the fact that Xander must have been deeply traumatized by being possessed by the hyena and doing all he did, and Buffy didn't even seem at all traumatized by being sexually assaulted by hyena-possessed Xander. It's not just season 1, either. In season 2, nobody feels any trauma over the spell that made every woman chase Xander and engage in some violent acts, and Cordelia thinks that Xander trying to mind-control and rape her (he was not actually trying to do that, but she didn't know that) was cute and a wonderful expression of love (compare that to season 6, where Buffy is outraged by the idea that Spike would try to do a love spell on her, and Spike is outraged at the fact she thought he would do that). There's even worse treatment of sexual violence in Go Fish, where no one is at all concerned or sympathetic to Buffy for just being sexually assaulted by her date. Yes, she immediately stopped him before he got to do anything, and she was much stronger than him and never in danger, but that doesn't change the fact that she was assaulted. Now, when Snyder and the coach victim blame her and make light of it, that's narratively OK since they're the bad guys and we're supposed to see their behavior as sexist and gross. But then Giles and the other Scoobies are completely indifferent to Buffy telling them she was assaulted and then victim blamed and blamed for defending herself, looking at her like "why are you taking out time from the important matters?" That was really OOC and jarring. And don't get me into the lack of proper follow-up on Faith's attempted rape and attempted murder of Xander, or her rape of Riley, but those are due to the gender double standard regarding sexual violence that the show is sadly consistently guilty of.
    In all honesty, I can't bring myself to get too worked up about the lack of mention of Jesse after the pilot because I honestly forget his existence along with the characters. I'm always surprised to see him whenever I watch "Welcome to the Hellmouth", despite having seen it more times that I can count, because he's just completely out of mind in the remaining 142 episodes. I also kind of rationalize that as "Welcome to the Hellmouth"/"The Harvest" taking place MONTHS before the rest of Season 1. I have a personal canon that the two-part pilot took place sometime in the fall of 1996 with the rest of Season 1 taking place during the series' actual airing during the spring of 1997. It explains why Willow and Xander seem over Jesse's death (along with another head canon of mine that he was actually only a recent friend of theirs, not a lifelong one like they were with each other), and it explains why Buffy talks so much about how much she trusts and loves Xander in "Witch". I mean, she wouldn't have said that about him after only knowing him a week, would she? Plus, throughout the series, there are instances of the characters saying how long they've known each other that implies the start of the show was 1996, not 1997. In "Choices", Willow said Buffy had been in Sunnydale for three years. But if Season 1 started in 1997, it would have only been two years, right? In "Two to Go", Willow says she was the sideman for six years. But if Season 1 started in 1997, she would have only been the sideman for five years, right? I could bring up other examples, but you get my point.

    On "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered": I actually found it perfectly believable that Cordelia was touched by Xander's love spell. His spell *was* icky, no doubt about that, but things like love spells are often romanticized, especially toward young women. It made perfect sense to me that Cordelia, a 17-year-old girl who (as we saw in other episodes) wasn't the most "woke", feminist or socially aware individual, and was rather self-absorbed, would be beyond flattered at the (unfortunately mistaken) thought that Xander loved her so much that he cast a spell on her because he was so desperate to get her back. Not to mention, it took place in 1998, before the age of social justice warriors and people drawing attention to problematic implications of things like that on the Internet. And the look on Charisma Carpenter's face when Cordy discovers Xander cast the spell gets me every time, honestly. What bothered me more was the ending where Buffy essentially thanked Xander for not raping her.

    "There may be hope for you yet" -- ??? Was that line supposed to be Buffy implying there might have been hope for her considering Xander as a romantic prospect due to the fact that he didn't rape her? Or it was it supposed to be her implying that she thought he WAS the kind of guy who would have sex with her under the influence of a love spell, and she was glad to see he proved her wrong? Either interpretation doesn't really sit well with me.

    I do agree with you on "Go Fish" and "Consequences" though. Those episodes did kind of make light of sexual assault. I'm easier on "Go Fish" though because Buffy was never in actual danger and she didn't really seem bothered or traumatized by the sexual assault attempt, so much as the way Snyder, the coach and the nurse responded to it. "Consequences" is a bigger deal for me because you can tell Xander was actually in real danger with Faith and you can tell he was really affected her rejection/attack on him. It's even more of a shame that there's absolute no Faith-Xander interaction in Season 7, other than a snide comment by her about taking his virginity which makes her look really bad, considering the "Consequences" attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny
    Go Fish was also placed right after Passion and I Only Have Eyes for You and before the two-part finale. The worst placement of an episode on BtVS ever. It completely disrupts the otherwise great arc, which would have flown much better if it went from IOHEFY to Becoming. Also, in both Go Fish and Killed by Death, Angelus is really lame as a villain when he pops up, and doesn't feel threatening at all.

    Season 2 is generally the BtVS season that most reminds me of season 6 - both are in contention for my favorite season and both have strong and extremely emotional arcs (and heartbreaking deaths, main characters going to the dark side, and dysfunctional Buffy vampire relationships that go from bad to worse), and they both have very high highs, but also very low lows. Unlike season 3, which is very solid throughout, but lacks those strong emotional arcs (except for Faith, who steals the season right in front of Buffy's and everyone else's nose) and (apart from The Wish) episodes I'd put in my top 10, or season 5, which is also solid throughout but doesn't lack any of these things. O season 4, which has a weak central plot and isn't incredibly dramatic or emotional, but has a few amazing episodes that are top 10 material, and a lot of great comedy.

    So, to sum up, I think that the flaws or season 6 are greatly exaggerated and the flaws of the earlier seasons glossed over by fans who are arguing that season 6 was some sort of a negative departure from the earlier BtVS. But, to be fair, fans who argue in favor of season 6 also tend to overstate their case, as the earlier seasons didn't lack darkness, complexity or maturity - season 6 just took it to the logical next step.
    Yeah, the earlier seasons definitely had their flaws, but a lot of those flaws I'm able to overlook because Seasons 1-5 are too focused on other things to deal with most of them properly and the things that they are most focused on, they succeed. Yeah, Season 1 did a lousy job dealing with fallout regarding Jesse and Hyena-Xander, but most of Season 1 were standalones. The writers had no intention of dealing with aftermaths and connecting the episodes more, because they were too focused on individual high school horror stories. Season 2 had some stinkers, but the character arcs and development that season were all excellent. I have little to no complaints about the way Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Cordelia, Angel, Oz, Spike and Dru were written for the majority of the season. All of them were well-written and used frequently. Whereas in Season 6, we get many instances of plot manipulating character or characters being underwritten or underutilized.

    I agree that Season 3 lacked emotional impact big-time, but it wasn't supposed to be a hugely emotional season. I think Season 5 underused Willow, Xander and Giles a bit, but the season wasn't about really them as much as it was about Buffy and her relationship with Dawn, and on that front it succeeded.

    Season 6, on the other hand, was supposed to be ALL ABOUT consequences, and aftermath, and exploring the characters' flaws and what made them tick. And it was very inconsistent in that regard. And quite frankly, I just have higher standards for Season 6 because of the bold things it sets out to do. When you make a season focusing on the main characters making bad decisions/killing people/attempting to kill each other, it has to be top-notch in a way that the other, less ambitious seasons don't have to be.

    I get your point about both Seasons 2 and 6 being seasons of high-highs and low-lows. I definitely agree, but when Season 2 had its bad episodes, they were still *fun*. No, "Reptile Boy" isn't among the best episodes of the series, but it still has awesome character moments: Buffy-Cordelia interaction was fun, Xander taking out 16 and a half years worth of frustration on douchey frat guys was awesome, Willow's telling off Giles and Angel was great too. This is a Season 1 example, but "The Puppet Show" wasn't a masterpiece yet it still had the hilarious first appearance of Snyder, Cordy's horrible singing along with Giles's deadpan reaction, and the Scoobies' talent show recital at the end. Same with episodes like "Bad Eggs" and "Killed by Death". Some of Season 2's MoTWs were pretty sucky, but I sometimes find myself popping them in when I'm bored or as background noise when I'm doing something else because they are rather fun and feature great character interaction. But you couldn't pay me to sit through "Gone" or "Older and Far Away" for the sole purpose of enjoying myself. Although, I do have a HUGE soft spot for "Doublemeat Palace" and "All the Way" definitely has some good character moments.

    And at the end of the day, I think Season 2 had more excellent episodes that it did lame ones, whereas Season 6's gems were few and farther between, and there were a lot of flat-out mediocre episodes in between the excellent and the awful.

    Not to mention, Season 2's clunkers were pretty inconsequential. I agree with you on "Go Fish" being the worst-placed episode of the series, but I could skip it (and I *do* skip it) without it affecting anything. Same with "Some Assembly Required" and "Inca Mummy Girl" and the other lame ones. They're bad, but not really a big deal because they don't majorly affect anything. Episodes like "Wrecked" and "As You Were", on the other hand, are supposed to be major deals for the characters and their developments in the season, and they're just badly-handled. Same with some Season 7 episodes.

    Oh no... going over this post, I sound like a total Season 6 hater. But I assure you all that there are a lot of things that I truly do LOVE about the season. At its best, Season 6 is just as great and emotionally affecting as Seasons 2 and 5. I'm just so MIXED on it, and I can see some of you are clearly big fans of it and consider it to be your favorite seasons. I'm just in the minority opinion and I have to explain why, which makes me sound like a hater. But TimeTravellingBunny and Stoney, I can assure you both that if you were the biggest Season 6 haters in the world and posting about how the season is utter crap, I would be defending the season heavily, and going on and on about its brilliant aspects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney
    It would be great if you are able to come and join us through the season, as and when you're able. I'd be really interested to see/understand where you feel the issues flare in the season as we go along. I've never particularly considered the tonal mix through this season and when/where it works or doesn't so I'll look out for that. I've found I appreciate the show/characters so much more from our discussions here and getting mixed perspectives is always great. We could both have changed our points of view by the season end.
    And in all fairness, it's been a while since I last watched Season 6, so maybe I may be remembering things worse than they actually were. I'm only on Buffy Season 4 and Angel Season 1 in my current rewatch, and it honestly feels like cheating to be even reading/participating in this thread while I'm not caught up yet. But I can't wait to get to Season 6 and get a fresher viewing of the season. I share your appreciation for mixed perspectives. This honestly looks like the best place to talk about Buffy on the Internet (when it's active!) from what I've seen. A lot of the discussion/reviews in these rewatch threads are genuinely brilliant, and maybe you unabashed Season 6 lovers might get me to lighten up on the season's flaws as the rewatch moves along. But thanks to you and TimeTravellingBunny for the warm welcome and the thought-provoking responses!
    Last edited by Andrew S.; 11-08-17 at 04:51 AM.

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  25. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S. View Post
    I don't have much of a problem with the Dark Willow storyline later on in this season though, besides some shitty dialogue. Surely a genius like Willow would be way wittier and have way better insults than the likes of "Get off me, superbitch!"
    I've always cringed at that line. I mean, no matter who said it the line would have been lame and awful but it's also so uncharacteristic and bizarrely random as well. This was two best friends facing off against each other and one of the most important relationships on the show self-destructing before our very eyes. When you think of the amount of personal baggage between them and all that they know about each other and all that they've shared, it's astounding that the best the writers could come up with was "Get off me, super bitch!" Really?

    I've never been able to rationalise how awful that line is and how it ever made it to air. The writers have always excelled when it comes to these deeply personal fights and how the most compelling battles have always been between Buffy and someone whom she was close to. Think of the cutting way Angelus taunted her in Innocence mid-battle, or the fury between Buffy and Faith in Graduation Day or This Years Girl/Who Are You, or even the insults spat between Buffy and Spike as they fought in Smashed - and then we get Willow hurling comically bad dialogue at Buffy about being a "bitch" that has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with her as a person or their history together. Buffy VS Willow should have been the most brutal, dramatic, deeply personal fight of the show and instead we get shitty, lame dialogue like that. And after just rewatching those episodes, I'm dumbfounded at the writer's decisions to have the two characters come to conflict and of all things waste their time arguing about what it means to be a Slayer. What does that have to do with the Buffy/Willow relationship? 6 years worth of story to mine from and the two best friends are standing there discussing the nature of Slayerhood? What the ****?

    There's some really great things in those last two episodes but I have to agree that some of the dialogue is heinously bad and the way Willow is written gets worse as the episodes progress. In Villains her character worked because she was clearly running on blind, vengeful fury, but she gets progressively more cartoon-villain throughout the episodes and her dialogue is cringeworthy ("Fly my baby fly!" )

    I will say though that I absolutely love the discussion between Buffy and Willow at Rack's place and it's one of my favourite moments of the season. And why? Because it's actually relevant to their stories that season and their relationship and it's deeply personal and effective because it's Willow throwing back all of Buffy's pain in her face (and her own self-hatred about perceiving herself as the cause of that pain). That kind of dialogue should have been peppered throughout their fight.

    I agree with you about Tabula Rasa as well. Totally overrated.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 11-08-17 at 10:42 AM.
    "You've got ... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself."

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    I could never take the magic/addiction idea seriously. Of course, it's a pretentious, cringe-worthy, drug mythologizing after school special but...it doesn't even work as such! It's like, the show never bothers to establish any sort of coherent philosophical backdrop to magic. Not even a rudimentary left/right hand path. Then suddenly, it's magic is bad, kids ( well, unless Saint Tara does it ) and apparently the best way of practicing it is to do it the Giles way, that is, not at all. Except, you know, that's not an option when you're the slayer's witch. And when magic is lesbian sex. And female empowerment. And Earth's life force. And religion. Yeah, they didn't think that lore thing through, did they?

    Another problem is the existence of Rack. In my opinion it completely destroys the whole narrative. The show keeps going on about magic bad and addiction awful and whatnot when Rack, the alpha junkie, is pretty much the coolest son of a bitch in Sunnydale's history. We suddenly learn that Hellmouth has it's own dark wizard, that he's been here for years, "abusing" magic, and guess what, he's fine. Yeah, he's a scum alright but he's fine. More than fine, he's untouchable. He oozes charisma. He's that ignorant rock star, basically. Same thing with Willow, by the way. The message is that supposedly Willow doesn't need magic to be amazing. OK. But then she gobbles up all that magic and she's more awesome than she's ever been. So what is it? What a mess.

    There's some really great things in those last two episodes but I have to agree that some of the dialogue is heinously bad and the way Willow is written gets worse as the episodes progress. In Villains her character worked because she was clearly running on blind, vengeful fury, but she gets progressively more cartoon-villain throughout the episodes and her dialogue is cringeworthy
    That's intentional. There's no dark Willow, it's just Willow finally letting loose. The dialog, the clothes, the theatrics - that's Willow's idea of what a big, bad witch is. She's playing a role and it's kinda adorable. It's like when William started calling himself Spike and changed his accent.

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  29. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I agree with you about Tabula Rasa as well. Totally overrated.
    Nah, wait for it. It'll be awesome. Promise!
    Smile, listen, agree - and then do whatever the f**k you wanted to do anyway... (Robert Downey jr.)

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  31. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    I could never take the magic/addiction idea seriously. Of course, it's a pretentious, cringe-worthy, drug mythologizing after school special but...it doesn't even work as such! It's like, the show never bothers to establish any sort of coherent philosophical backdrop to magic. Not even a rudimentary left/right hand path. Then suddenly, it's magic is bad, kids ( well, unless Saint Tara does it ) and apparently the best way of practicing it is to do it the Giles way, that is, not at all. Except, you know, that's not an option when you're the slayer's witch. And when magic is lesbian sex. And female empowerment. And Earth's life force. And religion. Yeah, they didn't think that lore thing through, did they?
    I don't think this is true because the addiction was really to the power and the issue is the abuse of it, not that all the original uses for magic and how it was portrayed were wrong. I'm not sure it works amazingly well against drug addiction for me, outside of the rush and kick that the physical response can supply, but that works alongside and within the draw for power with the magic that I don't think sits well against drug abuse which is more about escapism (to me). I suppose the similarity could be drawn from using the magic to avoid facing natural challenges and aspects of life (such as death/loss), to try and control and fix these to an individual ideal rather than dealing with working through issues with others and on a day-to-day basis. That abuse of power then makes that escapism feasible perhaps. Definitely something else I'll think about as we go through the season.

    Another problem is the existence of Rack. In my opinion it completely destroys the whole narrative. The show keeps going on about magic bad and addiction awful and whatnot when Rack, the alpha junkie, is pretty much the coolest son of a bitch in Sunnydale's history. We suddenly learn that Hellmouth has it's own dark wizard, that he's been here for years, "abusing" magic, and guess what, he's fine. Yeah, he's a scum alright but he's fine. More than fine, he's untouchable. He oozes charisma. He's that ignorant rock star, basically. Same thing with Willow, by the way. The message is that supposedly Willow doesn't need magic to be amazing. OK. But then she gobbles up all that magic and she's more awesome than she's ever been. So what is it? What a mess.
    Hmmm, not sure you can say he is fine when he's also scum. The guy is creepy and parasitic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clavus View Post
    Nah, wait for it. It'll be awesome. Promise!
    I've no doubts, looking forward to it.
    Last edited by Stoney; 12-08-17 at 05:51 AM.

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    Vampmogs, no need to quote as I agreed with your entire post. I loved your comparison of the dialogue in the Buffy vs. Dark Willow fight to Buffy's other fights with Faith/Angelus/Spike as well, which sums up my problems with it as well. And I also share your love for the Buffy-Willow scene at Rack's in "Two to Go".

    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil
    Another problem is the existence of Rack. In my opinion it completely destroys the whole narrative. The show keeps going on about magic bad and addiction awful and whatnot when Rack, the alpha junkie, is pretty much the coolest son of a bitch in Sunnydale's history. We suddenly learn that Hellmouth has it's own dark wizard, that he's been here for years, "abusing" magic, and guess what, he's fine. Yeah, he's a scum alright but he's fine. More than fine, he's untouchable. He oozes charisma. He's that ignorant rock star, basically. Same thing with Willow, by the way. The message is that supposedly Willow doesn't need magic to be amazing. OK. But then she gobbles up all that magic and she's more awesome than she's ever been. So what is it? What a mess.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Hmmm, not sure you can say he is fine when he's also scum. The guy is creepy and parasitic.
    Yeah, I agree with Stoney. A thing of evil, *you* might think Rack is cool -- which is your subjective opinion, of course -- but with the way the narrative played it, he came off as creepy. Plus, the actor who played him, Jeff Kober, was the same guy who played the mad, creepy vampire Kralik in "Helpless" and he did a really good job there (Kralik was one of the best Monster-of-the-Week villains, in my opinion), which makes me think he was hired back for a reason.

    But I think I understand your general point, though, in regards to the messiness of the magic/addiction metaphor. Rack and Willow were supposed to be uber-magic junkies, yet they were both extremely powerful the more they used magic. But drugs *aren't* empowering substances, which is why it completely falls apart. Stoney, I liked your point about it perhaps being about escapism as well, as hinted at in the "just some girl" speech at the end of "Wrecked" (another Buffy-Willow moment I loved; wish we could have seen more like it), and I think that was also a factor in it, but the narrative seemed to play it as more of a power trip for Willow, which (again) is why it falls apart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clavus
    Nah, wait for it. It'll be awesome. Promise!
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney
    I've no doubts, looking forward to it.
    As am I!

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    I don't think this is true because the addiction was really to the power and the issue is the abuse of it, not that all the original uses for magic and how it was portrayed were wrong.
    As far as Willow's concerned, magic is power and personally, I don't think there's any real difference. And anyway, what constitutes an abuse of magic? Was cursing Angelus an abuse of magic? It's black magic, it's clearly left hand path but everybody seems to be fine with it, right? Then you have Buffy's resurrection. It's necromancy, black magic, left hand path, snakes etc, but it's still not that super clear cut. I mean, we're still debating it. Giles thinks it's wrong, Tara thinks it's wrong too but still believes that it has to be done. So what's the verdict? And then you have my favorite spell, the conjuration of balloons. Completely harmless magic trick, and apparently, it's an abuse? There's no rhyme or reason to this stuff. There's no moral framework to asses it. Or is there? Well, of course there is, just not in the TV series and by the way, I think it's completely ridiculous that we had to wait nine (!) seasons for it:


    Dark intent, dark action. That's it, straight from the source. As long as your intent's not dark you can do whatever you want pretty much. It's fine to conjure some balloons to make your friends happy, right? Maybe, it's even fine to alter your friend's memory to ease her pain, no? Yeah, I'm rambling but this isn't a simple black and white issue. And yet season 6 treats it as such. Magic is bad kids, okay? I can't deal with that.

    I suppose the similarity could be drawn from using the magic to avoid facing natural challenges and aspects of life (such as death/loss)
    Humanity has been doing that for tens of thousands of years, just with technology instead of magic. But what's the difference, really? In Buffyverse magic is technology.

    The guy is creepy and parasitic.
    Yeah, well, Spike is creepy and parasitic too - so what? Rack's powerful and charismatic, it's all that matters. And, I mean, he kinda banged Willow. Hey, I know, subtext only, Willow's gay etcetera but still. The guy's pretty baller.

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