Friday, August 21, 2009

Buffy season 6 makes me uncomfortable

It's a pretty good season, it's got some spectacular episodes, but it's not easy viewing.

The previous seasons have all been young, vital, they've had a sense of hope about them. Even when things got bad for the Scoobies they didn't get *that* bad. They still had each other. Dawn turned up and at first Buffy thinks she is the reason Joyce is hurting, but then the truth is discovered and they all rally round each other. Again. Even Spike is accepted.

Then Joyce dies, and Buffy dies and the heart goes out of the group. Willow gets a power trip, takes personal offence that her friend is dead and is so tied up in her own grief she can't see that horror of what she is doing. Buffy has been hauled out of heaven and for the first time in her life is utterly and incredibly alone. She can't tell her friends, she can barely function through each minute of the day. She is as low as you can get. The friends don't talk to each other. Xander and Anya are falling apart. No one notices Dawn. She has always acted quite young but this is because the rest of the gang treat her as if she's very young. They don't listen to her concerns. They don't even realise she has (unspoken) concerns, they don't learn from her attempt to summon a zombie mother. How stupid can you get?

In the musical episode Buffy reveals all and the only one who is blame free is Dawn - she didn't try to bring her back, she had no part in it, she just wants to be loved. Everyone else has their own selfish reasons for taking part in Buffy's return, or if they're Giles, is abandoning her. I mean, I thought he was meant to be intelligent? You wouldn't leave someone who's lower than suicidal alone would you?

Because they don't talk, everything falls apart. As for Willow's addiction to magic - it's less a metaphor for drugs and more about power - Willow always wanted to be cool and respected. She wanted power. Then she got it and it nearly broke her. She betrays Dawn, Buffy and Tara. Just as she's got it under control and redeemed herself she loses everything.

So, yeah. Uncomfortable viewing.

Season 7 on the other hand is inspiring and full of hope. Buffy is no longer on the brink, now she's steadfast, mature, determined, a real leader. Her friends are solid, they are a latticework of support. Even Anya is part of the group, despite the break up. They hear each others faults and they listen and they move on. They're a real team, they have a war to fight. This may be the most dangerous situation they've faced, but it's by no means the worst. they got through season 6, they can get through anything.


Devin said...

Oh, I don't know. I love season 6. It shows you just how deep and dark the characters can get. Season 7 wouldn't nearly be filled with as much hope if it had not been for season 6.

Season 6 is def my favorite season (prolly has something to do with the whole Spike-Buffy thing). I love how dark it gets and how it shows the characters pulling themselves up and out of the darkness.

Hope all is well!

Saranga said...

Don't get me wrong, I do like the season, it's just not very easy viewing. Spike/Buffy, Tara/Willow, Giles/Buffy and Buffy's coping with living again make it very powerful, but also so despairing.