View Poll Results: Season 4 or Season 5 - Which is Better and Why?

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Thread: Which is the Better Season 4 or 5?

  1. #1
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    Default Which is the Better Season 4 or 5?

    I thought it'd be fun to have another seasonal head-to-head . . . So in your opinion, which is the better season and why.

  2. #2
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    S5 is better, IMO. Better big bad acting as an anti-Buffy. I find it more fun to watch. Act 2 is a little bit weaker than S4, but Act 3 is probably the best of the show. A distinct lack of OOC-driven eps which I do enjoy but S4 has way too many.

    Also the general aesthetic is better to me. Everyone looks very pretty.

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    I'm one of the few that really enjoys S4. I think it's the funniest season. But I voted S5 because Glory over Adam.


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    Season 4 is better. Like, OK, season 5 clearly has a better (the best!) villain, a stronger overall arc, it also has The Body, The Gift and Fool For Love. However, that means exactly **** all because season 4 has so many great episodes it's basically unfair - Fear Itself, Something Blue, Who Are You, Pangs, Doomed, New Moon Rising, Primeval AND Hush AND Restless! It kinda is the best season.
    Last edited by a thing of evil; 19-06-19 at 10:54 PM.

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  7. #5
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    You're make me want to change my vote A thing of evil


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    I haven't voted yet because I am torn. I love them both, and I've always said 5 is better . . . but now . . . I just don't know

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    Bloody Hell! This is like Sophie's bloody choice! You'll be asking me to chose between my kids next! It's a draw! No extra time - no golden goals. Just good old fashioned 1 - 1! Look at all the exclamation marks you've made me use!

    GoSpuffy ATOE was very persuasive wasn't he?

    Priceless:

    I haven't voted yet because I am torn. I love them both, and I've always said 5 is better . . . but now . . . I just don't know
    Oh FGS!
    Last edited by TriBel; 19-06-19 at 11:14 PM.

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    TrriBel! What should we do? Show us the way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    TrriBel! What should we do? Show us the way
    Ban a thing of evil! I was ready to vote for 5 until I read his post - then doubt crept in! Can we unsee what he wrote?

    I could vote for 4 and you could vote for 5 - we could cancel each other out.
    Last edited by TriBel; 20-06-19 at 12:14 AM.

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    I agree with a thing of evil that season 5 has a much better villain and a stronger arc than season 4. And although I agree that S4 episodes such as Hush and Restless were among the best of the show, on average I enjoyed the episodes of Season 5 better. I loved the bold move that was the introduction of Dawn, and things like Buffy standing up against the council, the Spike/Buffy interaction, the Magic Box as the new Scooby Central. It was a season full of humour as well as drama. So for me S5 still wins.

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    I think S4 has some incredible individual episodes and I actually really like Adam and enjoy his inclusion. But it doesn't have the overall direction and build up that S5 does. From Dawn's introduction the exploration and sense of uncertainty about herself runs alongside Buffy's greater consideration of her slayer side really well. The consideration to family and roles is brilliant and builds so well to Dawn's intention to jump but Buffy's actual leap. Glory is a really good big bad, properly threatening and scary and the way they used both hers and Ben's self exploration against Dawn and Buffy is great. Aaaand FFL is my favourite character episode, it worked so superbly as a background for Spike and paved so much of what was to come. So it has to be 5 it was, for me, the second strongest season overall.

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    Season 5, because a) Glory>Adam and b) The whole "Faith actually thought the Mayor was a harmless wittuw snake and feels betrayed by Buffy" storyline drives me batty. (Faith in S3 knew what the Mayor was and why Buffy attempted to kill Faith. Heck, she was waiting on Buffy to try it in "Graduation Day, Part One.") With that said, I might feel more positively toward season 4 if Maggie, and the wonderful Lindsay Crouse, had stayed in the picture longer, because she gives Clare Kramer's Glory a run for her money in the villain department. Maggie's twisted dynamic with Riley and her psuedo-MIL status to Buffy are subplots that could've added up to so much more. Additionally, she was the rare female villain who didn't rely on sex appeal to go after her marks, didn't give orders through a male figurehead, and didn't seem more obsessed with fripperies than tactics. The season pretty much falls apart after her death, although post-arc masterpiece "Restless" and Ozillow wrap-up "Full Moon Rising" are exceptions to the rule.

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  23. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    Ban a thing of evil! I was ready to vote for 5 until I read his post - then doubt crept in! Can we unsee what he wrote?

    I could vote for 4 and you could vote for 5 - we could cancel each other out.
    I've thought about it and it came down to the bad - Riley and the Initiative is worse than Glory and Buffy killing herself. And the good - The Body is better than Hush.

    I love 2 & 3 and that was a tough choice, but actually this is worse, as both these seasons are so good when looked at episode by episode.

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    They both have pluses and negatives as Seasons but overall I'd have to choose S5.
    That said the first half of S4 (beer bad aside) up to Hush is really good and some truly great episodes (Fear itself/Something Blue) from the show .
    The stunt work peaked this season. I loved the College setting and College sets (well maybe not the Initiative set that looked so cheap) which felt fresh and dynamic.
    But the second half of S4 fell off a cliff. Riley was a failure on all levels and the floppy disk monster was a 1 episode monster of the week that somehow became the season villain. Meanwhile a lot of the more darker and interesting stories seemed to be put on Angel series.

    S5's issues had the shrinking of sets to basically Buffys house and the magic shop. No little bad so Glory just sitting around until Sweeps. Plus the actress and the guy who played Ben were terrible. Also the Hobbits and Knights who say Key just didn't work.

    On the plus side it had Spike. No matter how much was or was not intended he and Buffy sizzles on the screen and the family dynamic with them and Dawn actually worked.

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    I think season 5 is the best season of all. No difficulties here

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    Despite secretly agreeing with everything a thing of evil says (fingers in ears, fingers in ears, not listening lah, lah, lah) I'm going with S5 because it's more serial-like. In fact. I think that's one of the reasons I prefer the later seasons. There...done it...committed...why do I feel bad...?

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    Objectively, I think Season 5 is better. I think it's more tightly constructed, I think the arc is more powerful and poignant, and I think that the character arcs are more strongly written too. It's a pretty amazing season. For the longest time it was never a question for me and the answer was obvious; Season 5 > Season 4.

    However, admittedly, I have started to *really* love Season 4. There's things about it I certainly prefer to Season 5 and I'm the total opposite to HardlyThere as aesthetically, I much prefer it to Season 5. Season 5 is a pretty radical change from Season 1-4 in terms of set design, stunts, cinematography, costuming etc.

    There's some good fight sequences in Season 5 but, honestly, for the most part, I think the new stunt team is pretty lousy. The fights are so much slower and Buffy's entire fighting styling changes from being this really fast street boxer style to all these unnecessary flips and gymnastics. I feel like Season 4 was, like, the pinnacle of stunts on BtVS, and then Sophia Crawford and Jeff Pruit left and the new team couldn't compare. I also thought it was such a shame because the Buffy vs Glory fights had the potential to be *amazing* and I'd have loved to see them choreographed by Pruitt. I still like the first confrontation between Buffy vs Glory in "No Place Like Home" but, man, that entire action sequence is really weak.

    I also really don't like the lighting. Everything in Season 5 is so bright and there's this weird orange tint placed over all the episodes. Even the nighttime scenes seem to have lost that gothic atmosphere and are instead quite pinkish and bubblegummy. I can't quite put my finger on it.

    And old Bronze > new Bronze for me. I think it's such a shame they destroyed the old set via act of Troll and replaced it with the modernised, shiny new one. It doesn't feel as real, gritty or as homely to me. It's no longer the cockroach-infested warehouse with charm. I think that the earlier set had more character and I preferred the 90's aesthetic with the velvet couches and dingy interior/exterior. I also preferred UC Sunndyale > the hospital and Xander's basement > Xander's new apartment. Probably the only change between Season 4-5 where I did prefer Season 5 is the Magic Box as Scooby central over Giles' apartment which, truth be told, I always considered to be a fairly ugly and unappealing set.

    I also think Season 5 is kind of a weird mismatch of ideas. The Knights of Byzantium and Glory's hobbits feel totally out of place in the Buffyverse. I also think that the vampires are portrayed far more cartoonishly in episodes like "Real Me" and "Intervention" and I prefer the dusting effect in Season 4 > Season 5 (in Season 5 they tried to show more of the skeleton but the effects were awful).

    So aesthetically, it's totally Season 4 > Season 5 for me. I agree with HardlyThere that the characters look really beautiful in Season 5 but I think I prefer Buffy's classic blonde hair over the honey-blonde she had in Season 5 and I definitely prefer Buffy's Season 4 wardrobe to Buffy's "mom wardrobe" in Season 5. The tops she wears in both "Fool For Love" and "Triangle" look like something Joyce would wear. I did love Buffy's outfit in "No Place Like Home", though. And I think she looks particularly gorgeous in earlier episodes like "Buffy VS Dracula" and "Out of My Mind." By the time we get to "Crush" I'm pretty over her hair style though and I think it starts to age her. I'm one of those rare people who really liked Buffy's curls in the latter half of Season 4.

    There's also certain dynamics that we lose in Season 5. I really miss Buffy/Willow which takes a backseat to Buffy/Dawn. Dawn in general changes the group dynamics pretty substantially and whilst I have a lot of admiration for how they added Dawn to the cast as successful as they did, the more I think about it the more uneasy about it I get. Am I actually watching completely different people? I honestly don't know.

    Wow. Long post. Basically, I don't *want* to say Season 4 is better because objectively I believe Season 5 is the better-written season. But, there's things about Season 4 that I certainly prefer more, and aesthetics are actually a huge thing for me, because they're a comfort to my eyes. I can tell you right now that had Season 5 kept the same stunt team, had the same lighting and colour palette as Season 4, had ditched the hobbits and knights in favour for something a little more BtVS-y, and had retained the show's grungy look, then I'd probably prefer it a lot more. Season 4 also contains a lot of my favourite episodes like "The Freshman", "Fear Itself", "Pangs", "Wild At Heart", "This Years Girl", "Who Are You", "New Moon Rising", "The Yoko Factor" and "Restless" whilst Season 5 has "No Place Like Home", "Fool For Love", "The Body" and "The Gift", but the other episodes, whilst still very good, don't necessarily stand out to me.

    So I didn't vote.
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    I voted 5.

    I love S4 for "The Freshman", "Living Conditions", for the deliciously chilling "Who Are You"/"This Year's Girl", "Hush","Wild At Heart", "Primeval", "Restless", "New Moon Rising" and for the comic relief of "Something Blue". It's a partly transitional season, because so much is established for the future; Oz's departure means Willow gets to explore her identity and her relation to magic, I love that the Scooby ideology is shown to stem from a liminal, radical source of power (as opposed to the military reductionism of the Initiative). Also, the Scooby members' individual identities are further underscored (Spiritus/spirit = Willow; Animus/heart = Xander; Sophus/mind = Giles; Manus/the hand = Buffy) and Spike's chip situation is established for future seasons. I personally don't mind Adam that much as a big Bad and this is also my favourite Riley season. All in all, there's lots to adore about S4. Having said that, while I enjoy "A New Man", "Doomed", "Goodbye Iowa", and have come to really appreciate/love "Superstar", none of them are especially standout/ stunning episodes to me and I'm genuinely bored by some ("Where the Wild Things Are".)

    S5 is my all-time favourite season and it's hard for me to point to a single episode that doesn't impress me in some way, or at the very least doesn't feel watchable. I love The Magic Box *so much*, it's got tremendous nostalgic value for me (it feels like the quintessential Scooby meet-up space) and I love all the scenes there. I love Glory as a Big Bad, she's possibly my favourite (or second favourite) Big Bad. I like the fact that she's terrifying and menacing but there's also the comic relief of her sycophantic minions. I love her fights with Buffy, particularly in "The Gift" (and I love Buffy's white sweater in that finale). I love the action sequences in "Spiral" and I actually like the Knight of Byzantium sub-theme because it provides an ongoing backstory for Dawn's inclusion as a new main character and lends a deeper sense of urgency to the Glory threat. I love Buffy's outfits + hair this season and I think she looks her absolute best here, though that's subjective. This season acrobatically juggles so much but never truly slips up imo: there's the incredibly affecting Joyce-arc, the constant threat of Glory, Buffy's arc about her identity, there's the Riley-arc, and also the way it sets up the problematic feelings Buffy has about her own strength and how she feels that affects her ability to love ("IWMTLY"), Willow-Tara's romantic relationship is well established this season, there's the Spike arc and it's also where Spike and Dawn's tentative friendship is established. There are episodes that stand out in TV history like "The Body", as well as gems like "Checkpoint", "Fool for Love", "The Gift", "Family", "The Weight of the World", "Forever", "Crush", "Intervention", "Spiral". There's action, humour and whimsy as well as pathos, sorrow and devastation and to me it just never feels boring. That's not to say it doesn't have its flaws, like all seasons, but if I had to pick it would definitely be S5 over S4.
    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 30-08-19 at 12:46 AM.
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    I voted for S4, knowing that S5 is the winner.

    S4 has a special place in my heart because it was the first season I watched from beginning to end. I remember digging all the Spander interactions, adoring Willow's hair, relating to Buffy's college experience in the Freshman, being awed by Hush and Restless, and enjoying happy Buffy and her relationship with Riley. Before watching S4, my thoughts used to be tainted by the Spander fics I was reading, so I was surprised to find out that Buffy and Riley are actually nice people.
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