I've started season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and have to say that I like this season better so far.
I think it's because I had a great time in college so just am more charitable towards it. Plus students at college have so much more freedom that it's a bit more believable (the demons and vampires aside) that Buffy et al could be student by day, demon-hunter by night.
Plus the relationship issues are more realistic. After all, college is where people start having the casual flings, like Parker. Or is that just me?
I like the Riley/Buffy parallel, if not the relationship. Riley working for the Initiative also calls to mind "Chuck vs. the Alma Mater" with the students working undercover for the CIA or who ever.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Xander/Anya unfolds. I like that she's like Cordelia -- straight forward, telling it like how she sees it. Like Luna Lovegood. Again with the Harry Potter comparisons, but that's a standard character trope.
Speaking of which, I've found a fun website, http://www.tvtropes.org/. It analyzes books, movies, comics, and yes TV shows for the story telling tricks of the trade.