Monday, August 24, 2009

Reflections from Season Five

Yes, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon continues. I'm up to Checkpoint, ep 12 of Season five, where Buffy confronts the power structure that is the Watcher's Council. This expands the Buffyverse even more and ratchets up the seriousness of the Buffyverse.

Things I like so far:
1. I like that with Dawn, Buffy was building a new, important relationship with someone who was not a love interest. Foreshadowing the Simon and River Tam relationship in Firefly.
2. Buffy becoming closer to her mom too. Which will make Joyce's death in the future really hard to watch.
2. Riley is gone. He never did anything for me. However, I understood where he was coming from and why he went to that vampire club. I also like that Xander called Buffy on how she basically pushed him away. The ending where Riley flies away but doesn't see Buffy does pull at the heart strings, no matter what I thought of the relationship.
3. Xander comes into his own. The episode the Replacement kicked it into gear with the new apt and promotion at work. His little speech to Anya at the end of Into the Woods where he declares his love for Anya I rewound and watched again. It wasn't flowery or anything but heartfelt and is what I think everyone wants to hear: that you are wonderful and loved just the way you are, even the little things, and being with you is a huge (but not creepy) need for the other person. Then in the Checkpoint, Buffy defends to the Watcher's Council how important he is to the group. Also, he's more adult. It's easier to watch an adult play an adult than an adult play a teen.
4. The Watcher's Council is taken to task. They set up these rules and are a patronizing patriarchal power structure (say that 3 times fast) that is put on notice. I believe they end up being dismantled and I look forward to seeing how that happens.
5. Another bringing-down-the-patriarchy episode: Family, where Tara's family comes to take her way before the demon in her comes out. Made me think of all the religious fundamentalists (regardless of what religion) who use the "women are inherently evil" argument to oppress women, and how the Scoobies support Tara in standing up to the patriarchy, literally her father.
6. Spike's back story and his development towards Buffy.
7. Still loving Anya, telling it like it is, and always being open and assertive in her pursuit and love of Xander. It may be because that's how I dated. I saw no need to play coy or hard to get. Why shouldn't I just go for who I want?

What I didn't like:
1. Barely any depiction of Willow and Tara's relationship. They barely touch or hold hands, they don't kiss, and yet are supposed to be lovers? At least on Tara's birthday they did slow dance at the Bronze. But please, hardly any comparison to all the bedroom scenes the hetero couples have. Which I fast forward through.
2. Underdeveloped Willow and Tara as people. They still seem really young, though I know they're supposed to be college sophomores. I'm hardly one to talk; I was still kind of a dork at that age. When I think now about what I wore then, I cringe. So I guess that's realistic. But come on! They're growing as witches but not as people?
3. Uneven production values. Some of the demons/creatures/special effects were really cheesy. But as Husband says, they can't all be gems.

Okay, so far, more likes than dislikes. That's good. Just ordered Buffy Seasons 6 and 7 and Dollhouse season 1. Going to Dragoncon in a few weeks and will either pick up the Buffy season 8 comics there or at a local comic book shop. Not as cheap as ordering from Amazon, but faster.

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