Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Buffy Season Seven critique

Originally found here.

The First sucked. The things that they mocked in previous years with Spike, and his really pompous speeches they did for real with The First. It did absolutely nothing, and other than in Conversations, wasn't very threatening. It was a good idea in theory, but they had nothing to fight, and nothing to interact with on the evil front.

And Caleb was a retread of Warren, but without any of the interesting pieces. He's the most black and white villain since the Master. Seven's villains are definitely a reaction to what happened in six. It's the biggest, most evil foes the show has ever had, but also completely without personality, as well as totally impotent. The first does very little to actually hurt the group and Caleb wasn't particularly interesting. I can debate some things, but I think The First was a total failure, and the only weak villain the show ever did. Each previous villain built on what had came before in some way, the First went nowhere new.

Also, Buffy/Spike. I love what's done with the characters, it's just we have to go through so much cliffhangery bullshit to get to the real content. First, Spike is insane, so he's not himself for a while, then he might be evil, then he's under the possession of The First. I felt manipulated about what was going on with the character. When they finally get around to the frank discussion of the last few episodes of the series, it's brilliant. Spike just sleeping with Buffy is one of the most touching scenes in the show's entire run, and shows how much both he and Buffy have grown. It's also a great contrast to their scenes in season six. And, of course the discussion between them in the finale is great.

Anya. Selfless is obviously brilliant, and her sacrifice for Andrew at the end of the series is great, but for most of the middle of the season, she's without purpose and not really developed. She doesn't have much of a reason to be hanging out with Buffy and gang, but when she does get the spotlight, it's great.

Andrew makes me laugh with every line he says, and singlehandedly kept me going through the Bring on the Night/Showtime era. I love what they do with the character, particularly in Storyteller, where the comic relief becomes very serious. I really felt for the character, and I did in Chosen when he's talking about Anya too. Though I may crack on season seven, Andrew is a bright spot, and his evolution is probably my favorite thing about the season.

And, I would agree with you that Buffy is the star of season seven, but I think that's too much of a departure from where the show had been since at least season three. By six, it's a completely ensemble show, as the musical shows, each of these people has their own plot, and over the course of the season, all the stories are developed. In season seven, the other characters are reduced to sidekicks, in a way that they hadn't been for a number of years, and it just doesn't feel right.

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