#BuffyWatch the Final Season

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that Brian O’Conor and I were embroiled in a battle of two T.V. series. Brian had to watch the first seven seasons of Supernatural before I finished watching the seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whoever finished first get’s to decide which world we’ll use first for a spin-off game with our RPG troupe: MageTech.

And I am thrilled to announce that I AM VICTORIOUS! I DANCE THE DANCE OF VICTORY!

OY YEAH, BURN WITH FIERY ENVY BRIAN!

Poor Brian.

Okay, but seriously. It did come kinda close there. Brian was trying to be a sneaky snearkerson and finished season 6 without telling anyone and was well into season 7 over the weekend. So much so that I realized, though I only  3 episodes left, he just might finish and I’d look like that jackass hare and he’d be the cool tortoise. Couldn’t let that happen.

Now, on to my review of the last season.

So many times there have been moments where, if someone had warned me, I would have forfeited the whole damn bet. But no moment could have killed me more than the death of Anya. I realized that she is my favorite character out of the whole cast. First it was Xander, then Willow, but Anya, Anya never let me down. How? How could they kill her? I know at the end of a story like this, there should be casualties, but damnit.

I think Anya was a big reason why the show worked for me. She was funny but full of emotion and a lovely break from your average character.

But I was so, so damn disappointed that they didn’t give Xander an appropriate moment over her death. It was just like, “Yep. She didn’t make it. Bummer.” I know they’d broken up and were finally able to move on, but I would think it would still be devastating for him.

In the beginning of watching BtVS I really was just watching to beat Brian, but the more the show went on, the more it worked for me. Though, not the season with Adam and Riley. I can imagine it being a show you let play in rerun while you’re doing other things, but you’d fast-forward through any Adam or Riley episodes. Except for Hush that is.

I can just hear Kristin and Emmie squeeing over hearing that I didn’t hate the show and even liked a lot of it.

The Big Bad of season 7. It was really interesting, though I found it strange they took so long into the season to introduce it. The beginning of this last season felt a little like a middle of the series season, back to Monster of the Week episodes with no main plot tying them together. But when Joyce first materializes for Dawn and Cassie for Willow, it was very diabolical. You think something wonderful is happening, you finally get to have one more moment with someone you love who’s passed on, only to learn it’s a manipulative ancient evil. That’s some good stuff.

Speaking of the Big Bad – Spike’s redemption was pretty good. I still didn’t like him like I did before THE incident, so really, I was glad he died. Not in they way I was glad that Warren died, but I thought it was the only thing that could/should happen to him after the turn they took with his character.

An unsung character: Andrew.

I’m really glad they found a way to turn him around and keep him around. Andrew and Jonathan always struck me as great characters who were unfortunate to fall in with Warren. (SCREW YOU WARREN. YOU DIE AND YOU STAY DEAD.)

 

I know, I know, Andrew kills Jonathan, but he was like the mislead, well-meaning, nerd who lost his way.

He was a lot like Anya for me.

And at the end, when they were fighting side-by-side… *takes a moment*

So yeah, that was one of the hardest things for me. I didn’t expect to find characters I liked as much as I did while watching the show and after Xander and Willow kept upsetting me, it was nice to have them and then Anya is just killed.

Moving on.

Something I hated, hated, hated, was the introduction of Kennedy. I liked that we got to meet all the potentials and they were wonderfully diverse in every way, but FFS I did NOT like Kennedy. I know we want redemption Willow to have some happiness, but Kennedy wasn’t it. She was pushy and catty and mean and in her own words: a brat. I don’t understand how, after wonderful relationships with Oz and Tara, Willow would let herself be seduced by a girl who makes fun of her powers and the core of her being. And she was just so damn big for her britches, just because she was making out with Willow she was suddenly more important than the other potentials, always pushing her way into the pow-wows with Buffy and the others. GAH! I DID NOT LIKE HER.

Anyway. I did not make any of these memes and I loved that I found them because I feel totally justified now.

Moving on!

Giles returned! I was so damn happy about this. He was my other favorite character and I loved that we got to see him again and he stuck around. And damn if he doesn’t prove again and again what a badass he is.

Dawn and Faith. I’m lumping them together because I’ve made it well known that I didn’t like either of these characters. At all. I think the writers did a good job with them at the end. This season showed us a calmer, more mature Dawn and Faith. Both had turned down their cliche personalities and felt much more human to me.

The finale. I’d heard that BtVS suffered from the “Seinfeld Curse” in that the finale was stupid or cheesy or a let down. I have to say, I didn’t get that. I did say in my last post that I was surprised this was the last season and I said earlier that the beginning didn’t feel like a final season, so I do wonder if they found out mid-filming that they weren’t getting renewed and maybe people felt it was wrapped up fast? I don’t know, but I didn’t think the end was bad. You know, other than killing characters I liked. Damn it.

So there you have it. I didn’t hate it. I liked a lot of it. There were some bumpy times and sometimes I felt like quitting and letting Brian win by default and there were choices I didn’t agree with, but over all, it was a good story.

Now for my decision. I still like Supernatural better, much better, and I would rather play a Supernatural RPG first, but I have decided to have us play Buffy first. My main reason is that our GM, Kristin, never gets to play a main character, but if we play Buffy then Drew will substitute as the GM and Kristin will get to play a character in the Buffy-verse. I think she deserves a turn at playing a character.

(P.S. I know I left a lot of stuff out, but this damn post is 1200 words already!)

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8 thoughts on “#BuffyWatch the Final Season

  1. I pretty much agreed with all of you on this 😀 I found the last season a bit of a slog to get through at times, but it felt like a good ending to such a major series.

    1. Shauna Granger

      I think when they started to focus on the Big Bad it sped up, but I really don’t think they were planning to end it when they did.

  2. livrancourt

    One thing you don’t mention – and I’m not holding it against you because there’s enough material in that show for somebody’s PhD – is Buffy’s own development. I’m mostly thinking in terms of the entire run, but she starts out a tough/fragile child, and by season seven she’s a cross between a battle-hardened general and your friend’s mom at the house where all the kids hang out after school. Despite that enormous personal growth, the writers still put her in the position where she chooses X and the rest of the group chooses Y and throw her out of her own house. What a test!

    If you take away the supernatural elements, the show’s really about a young girl’s journey through adolescence, and I think one of the points of season seven is to show that the challenges of growing up don’t end with college graduation. Buffy’s learned a lot, though, and has the tools she needs to handle whatever the writers throw at her. And hey, you know, Willow’s between gigs. Maybe they could do a movie with the Scooby Gang dealing with minivans and daycare and monsters…

    1. Shauna Granger

      You’re right and I have to say this was one season where I didn’t find myself snarking about Buffy. But I think that goes back to liking her more outside of romantic relationships.

      But yeah, that “Test” where they threw her out, I actually got mad for her. When Dawn steps up and says it’s her house too, I snapped at the screen saying, “I didn’t see you slinging greasy burgers to keep the rent paid and electricity on!” So I agree they did a good job showing her grow up and I liked that her resolution had nothing to do with a guy.

  3. I’m actually 7 episodes deep into S8 of Supernatural right now. :3

    But yes, my most humble of congratulations for your victory in this contest. I’ll be honest, I probably never would have watched past the first season of Supernatural (much like I’m sure you wouldn’t have gone any deeper into Buffy) if it weren’t for the unquenchable desire for victory in a TV watching contest. I’m glad I did though – SPN turned out to be pretty awesome and I’ve found myself really attached to the characters and mythology now.

    Even Sam – S6-8 Sam has actually redeemed the character for me.

    But anywho – that’s a blog for another day.

    You know what – reading through the beginning here, I actually didn’t remember Anya had died at the end – that’s how crappy her death was and how shabbily treated it was by the writers. Especially after Tara’s death in S6 – which had such a major impact on the Scoobies – Anya’s seemed like an afterthought. Great character though – she was definitely one of the highlights of the later season.

    And speaking of Tara – KENNEDY UUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH – so awful. Completely unnecessary addition to the cast, especially in the final season. I don’t know why they thought Willow needed to ‘get over’ Tara or whatever, but I remember hating Kennedy so much because YOU CANT REPLACE TARA GUYS. *ahem* Anyways. I would have rather they focused on the rehabbing of Willow and Xander’s friendship in the aftermath of S6 than adding a new love interest for her.

    Um let’s see – I thought the Big Bad was ok – I did love that scene at the end of the first episode where The First morphed into all the previous Big Bads and then into Buffy. That was awesome and stuck with me. The Uber-Vamps were pretty cool, i suppose.

    I dunno, it’s been so long, but I remember just being kinda disappoint with this season after the heights of S6 (which is 1 and 1-A with S3 as my favorite) but it was fine. The final episode, Spike’s death and redemption was decent. I didn’t feel the ending was really rushed or anything, it seemed fitting and that last scene with all the surviving characters standing outside the Hellmouth was pretty poignant. I still didn’t really buy the Buffy x Spike relationship in the end though, even with him sacrificing himself to save her. Buffy x Angel forevs, yo.

    So are you do you think you can finish the Buffy comics before I can finish Supernatural S9? 😀

  4. Shauna Granger

    Ha! I just started reading Elfquest the Final Quest in comics, don’t try to make a new bet BRIAN!

    I totally agree that it would’ve been a better choice for Willow and Xander to work on their relationship and come back to being BFFs than adding Kennedy. I mean, Tara died, that isn’t like a break up that you need to get over. SHE DIED. I wasn’t the biggest Tara fan (but it had more to do with the simpering and fake stuttering, not the character), but if the person you love DIES, that’s going to take as long as it’s going to take to get over. And Kennedy was horrible. Just fucking horrible.

    In Supernatural, this last season or so, they’ve made some story choices that will test your Dean-love, giving Sam the chance to be the favorite. It’s tough. Kinda like watching Willow make bad choices while you scream at the screen, “WHHHHY?”

    I cannot forgive the injustice done to Anya. There is a point where Andrew asks why she doesn’t just get the hell out of dodge and save herself and she says. “I did, once. But I’m not going to do that again.” That’s a big character growth moment you’d think her dying would be huge.

    The end: the giant pit of Sunnydale. I actually laughed because the sign was still there and then it slowly fell, like Wile E. Coyote had just set off an Acme bomb and then it slowly fell into the pit. Seemed kinda fitting for the show.

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