Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thirty Days of Buffy, Day 10: Least Favorite Season

This really is a no-brainer: season seven, gah. You could have been so incredibly awesome. The concepts, the unresolved character arcs, etc. UUGGHHHHH. (If we were including the comics, this would be Season Eight because what the hell magickal craziness and Buffy flying and whatever, Joss.)
First of all, let's talk about the First. What the absolute fuck did the First want? Do we know? Nope. Not ever. So the Slayer line was ... somethinged because Buffy was resurrected at the beginning of Season Six, even though Faith is technically the real Slayer so it shouldn't have altered anything and WTF Whedon do you not even pay attention to your own continuity? And they have an army of supervamps or something underneath a seal or something that is waiting to be unleashed and what the hell I don't even know. How can they fight against the IDEA of evil? It's like a war against drugs or terrorism. If I rail against our government for such things, I can do the same for my TV shows.
You're going to be getting a lot of eye roll gifs.
Moving on.
I wasn't kidding about the eye rolls. 
Willow. I've already said that Willow was the character with whom I identified with until around the end of Season Five, and Anya was already taking her place as my favorite everything way back in Season Four. And after the events of Season Six, I was fully expecting a type of resolution to her turning evil (yay, lesbian tropes, you guys) after Tara's death, but nooooooooooooooo. Of course not. She gets off too fucking easily, in my not-so-humble opinion. She returns from England three episodes into the season, and after being invisible (which I think was actually a very interesting way of approaching this) because she doesn't feel like she should be forgiven, the gang is pretty much like, "Oh, you became evil because of magic and now you're coming back to the Hellmouth where there is lots of magic? WELCOME, WE HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH THIS." And then at the end of the series, Buffy has Willow of all fucking people take the power of the Slayer and put it in all the potential Slayers of the world - which is directly violating their true will, which was what Willow did to Tara back in Season Six, and I'll get to this in a second - which puts her into direct contact with some pretty potent magickal energy. This, to me, seems like playing with fire, and even Willow knows this, although I think that's giving her too much credit here. There were times when I thought they might actually address some real issues that Willow would be dealing with (i.e. her past abuse of Tara, her magic and evil being connected forever, etc.), but nope, they threw all of that out the window.
I know I hate closure. 
And then there are the plot holes and deus ex machina moves that Whedon and Co. continue to introduce in the last season. Because that's just good writing, right? For starters, there's that Beljoxer's Eye (or however you spell it - I don't even care because it's that stupid), which is supposed to be this oracle thingy that both Giles and Anya know about but have never mentioned before even though ... you know what, why bother? Which coincidentally, is what I think everybody on the Buffy team was saying at this point in the game. We also see Amy Madison again, who for some reason has decided that she hates Willow and wants her to suffer because ... again, why bother? The lady in white who's apparently been in Sunnydale forever in a pyramid that no one's ever seen before watches over a scythe that's not really a scythe and is one of the most random additions to the story because it doesn't fit the mythos in any way. Not that Joss seems to really care about that, anyway, considering he basically retcons the existence of the Turok-han, saying they're the progenitors to vampires, which makes no sense but whatever. As much as I love Nathan Fillion, why is Caleb even introduced? Like, really. Why? Oh, so Buffy can do julienne preacher? Okay, then. Poor Spike, too, doesn't really get his due, since he's been away getting his soul back and all. They just portray him as "mad" and have him living in a basement and hugging crosses and shit. I'll argue with you all day that Spike is one of the, if not THE, most fleshed out character in the Buffy series, but like Dawn in Season Seven, the writers are like, "Well, we'll let the viewers imagine what's going on with him because we want to write more episodes where nothing happens!" "Sleeper" could have been a really incredible episode (ahhh, Season Seven's mantra), but they didn't do anything more than what "Conversations with Dead People" did on Spike's return to killing. I could go on and describe every single episode and their contributions to the WTFery, but I'd be here until the end of time.
I don't even know who this girl is, but her eye rolls are CLASSIC.
Oh, and race. The Big R. The thing that Joss never gets and I fear never will. Poor Rona, the only black Potential (??? I mean, really, Joss? Potentials from all around the world and you only got ONE black girl and ONE Asian girl?), is written stereotypically and is given gems like "The black girl always gets it first" to say to the camera to be shown on Logo from now until eternity. The white woman that I mentioned up there that guards the scythe by ... watching it, I guess? She has supposedly existed back when the Slayer was first created. Well, okay, that's fine, even if she's never been mentioned ever, but who am I kidding? This is Joss we're talking about. But then you have to remember that this whole Slayer line started back at the beginning of Man, before we'd evolved into several races and left Africa. So ... this woman was always white? Always looking over the lesser races? Having her be of African descent wouldn't have made her any more plausible a character, but at least it would be consistent with the mythology. But who am I kidding?
This is my favorite evar. 
Alright, and now, my big fucking beef. So, you know how they did that magic box thing where Buffy went and talked to the Shadow Men? And then Buffy found out that the Shadow Men, the original Watchers, essentially raped a young woman with the power of a demon so she could fight vampires? And then they tried to do the same to Buffy to supposedly give her more power to fight the First (which we've already established can't really be killed because it isn't a physical thing and ugh WHEDONNNN!)? Well, Buffy gets to turn around and, using Willow's powers, does the SAME. DAMNED. THING. to all of the potential Slayers all around the world. Without their consent. Because ... then the First loses? Yay, girl power? I don't even know, anymore. Just because a woman does the violating does not make this okay in any sense. Plus, didn't Buffy spend the first, like, two seasons complaining, "I just wanna be a normal girl!" like she was on repeat? But now, because she's older, she knows better and can therefore make decisions for all girls around the world?
Neil, I have yet to forgive you for Pluto. 
Honestly, Seven for Joss Whedon was like the prequel trilogy for George Lucas. The show had been so popular and successful up until that point that I don't think anyone was telling Joss, "Um, dude, that isn't a good idea." I've heard that Angel: The Series was pretty amazing, even in its last season, and that a lot of credit was given to the writers that Joss had passed the torch to. I understand, as a writer, that you want to see your creation through to the end, but there comes a point where you kind of have to let go, especially on a project that big. Plus, he was also doing Firefly during Six and Seven, so he was undoubtedly split between them, and he spent a bit more time making sure the former was up to snuff.

And Firefly still got canceled, anyway.

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