Why does everyone hate on Buffy Season 6?
Read most reviews anywhere online and you'll notice a lot of haters spilling their watered down purple haterade all over it. (I really wish they would stop doing that, it gets sticky.) What gives?
(OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT)
Look, I get that a lot of bad stuff happened during this particular year of our favorite cult TV show. There were a cavalcade of depressing moments, a slow-burning story arc, some heavy-handed metaphors and a couple crappy adventures thrown in the middle. Plus, there's the most controversial episode ever that may or may not have broke the entire show. But all-in-all, Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a daring, risky year of serialized television. You can't deny that. Go ahead and try. You won't get very far.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to explore exactly why this season is better than most Buffers (like Trekkers) want to admit. The reasons listed here will range from important thematic elements to small moments that are sad, funny, cute and other stuff that make you appreciate BtVS.
So buckle up, Rupert. We've turned pro-Season 6.
1.) It addresses real world problems (mostly) realistically.
Killing demons and being a larger than life superhero is great, but how are you going to pay the bills? It may feel like your life is grand and epic but when you’re still making minimum wage because you have no work experience, it sucks. It's even suckier when you don't really know what you want out of life either. And who are you again? Do you even know? Are you still basing your personality on who you used to be in high school? What's your reason for being here, anyway? Do you have even have a purpose? A career? A life? While you struggle to figure the answers to these questions out, feel free to distract yourself with magic drugs or kelptomania or empty fantasies of domestic bliss or raunchy sex with soulless vampires.
Speaking of which...
2.) Buffy/Spike is one of the most realistic relationships ever portrayed on television.
Who hasn’t had a relationship that’s mostly based on convenient sex? Who hasn’t tried to hide this from the judging gazes and unfair expectations of your closest friends? And who hasn't been addicted to it all, despite your confusion and self-loathing? Buffy/Spike showed the world that these kind of things happen to us, whether we understand them or not, and that real life romance isn't Disney material.
3.) The Nerd Trio = The Scooby Gang
This is something I'm surprised I haven't heard more people talk about. Think about it for a second: the nerd trio is totally the shadow version of the three core Scoobies. Each one is a foil for a corresponding main character. Don't believe me? Read on, young padawan, and search your feelings. You know it to be true.
Buffy = Warren
Move over, Faith. Warren is Buffy’s ultimate shadow self. He not only embodies all of her negative traits, he happily expands upon them exponentially in almost every scene. Just like Ms. Summers herself, Warren is the leader - the one who commands the group, the one who takes control, the one who plans, the one who calls all the shots. He barks orders, dominates, overshadows, withholds information and manipulates his two closest friends to get what he wants. Yes, these are all character weaknesses that we've seen our Chosen One display throughout the course of the entire series to various degrees, whether we like it or not. (It's kind of awesome, actually.)
Willow = Jonathan
Much like Willow, our little Superstar is the most insecure member the group. Even so, he’s also the only one who has any significant experience with really fucking powerful magick. He's the one who comes up with all of the best spells, whether they be glamours or major edits to reality itself. Jonny boy wields great power, but like Willow herself, he doesn't own it. He’s unsure of his abilities to a fault, which allows him to be bossed around by the rest of the group. In his mind, hes always the loser from high school that no one cared about. This is a mirror image of Willow's character and the deeply seated issues she deals with every episode.
Xander = Andrew
Andrew and Xander are big nerds. Both are infinite sources of geeky pop culture references. And guess what? That's why we love them. Unfortunately, they also both have major issues with their masculinity. Andrew also has a big crush on the leader (Warren) just like Xander had for Buffy back in high school. On top of that, both characters are loyal but not always good in the field when it comes to action. Maybe they're soulmates?
4.) Andrew by himself.
Come on, wasn't he just the funniest thing when we first met him? He started off as a gag character we hardly knew anything about, and quickly took over the show within a year. What a journey.
5.) The cinematography is gorgeous.
With all that extra money that UPN gave Mutant Enemy to produce the show after stealing it from The WB, it's no wonder that Buffy started looking a lot more glossy and cinematic than before. I'd argue that this season is probably the best the series has ever looked. Just look at the first few episodes, like "After Life" and "Flooded" and you'll see what I mean.
6.) Buffy's financial issues.
Even when she was struggling to make ends meet, Buffy never lost sight of what is really real in life, and where true security comes from. That lesson has definitely stuck with me throughout my adult life. Especially when I had only enough cash to cover the rent.
7.) The musical, of course.
Did you think I was going to leave this out? Silly.
8.) Tabula Rasa (6x08).
How do you follow up the big musical episode? With one of the most clever hours the show has ever produced. It starts off melodramatic and quickly turns into a madcap experiment in amnesiac hijinx. Michelle Branch even shows up at the end. Not that she's cool or anything, but still.
9.) Amy's return.
Because it was about damn time. After three seasons of pooping in a cage, Amy was back and more interesting than ever. And she showed up just in time to tempt Willow into doing more magic crack. (Just say no.)
10.) Buffy and Spike's first sex scene.
It really brought the house down. (Thank you, I'll be here all night. Don't forget to tip your bartenders.)
11.) Buffy has pigtails for a hot minute.
Looks cute with that turtle neck, right?
12.) Dat Mummy hand.
"It was kinda hairy though. Might have been a daddy hand." ;)
13.) The Star Wars van.
Plus that horn playing the whole theme and everything...how'd they do that? Man. They truly were geniuses.
14.) Buffy's new hair.
D'awwwwww. Surprisingly, this short 'do was short lived. So let's stop and savor it for a moment.
Okay, moving on.
15.) That scene where Giles yells at Willow in Flooded.
17.) Willow's magical mystery tour.
Say what you will about the Lifetime movie that Willow lived through this season, but that magic drug sequence was pretty trippy. Definitely a fan.
18.) Buffy's "Life is hell" speech.
The angsty teenage me is having all the feels right now. All of 'em.
19.) Dawn breathes fire.
20.) Buffy's surreal birthday party.
This episode, "Older and Far Away", may have been one of the oddest in the show's run, but it's certainly one of the most memorable. I mean, wouldn't it suck if you couldn't leave your own house for a few days? (This was probably a clever twist on a bottle episode by the writers. Nicely done, y'all.)
21.) Riley pops back in.
22.) ...And catches Buffy doing it with Spike.
Does it sting, Iowa Boy? We hope so.
22.) That scene where Spike comes into Buffy's crappy job and was like...
I wish this happened to me in every single shitty job I've ever had.
Wasn't she the best? Just agree with me.
24.) The fact that we finally got to meet Xander's family.
For the first time in like ever. Not that they were nice folks or anything. (They weren't.) But at least we got to see why we never got to see them, if you catch my drift.
Our favorite supporting character with a "skin condition" proved that not all demons needed to be beheaded.
26.) "Dead Things" (6x13).
The darkest episode of the entire series. Sarah Michelle Gellar hates it, so it must be good.
27.) That other time when Spike walked into Buffy's crappy job and was like...
Dumpster sex. Who hates this season again?
28.) But then, there was this.
Daaayuuum. She calls him "William" and not "Spike". She's cereal this time.
29.) We saw Xander's heartbreaking hallucination about his future with Anya.
Ugh. Okay, yeah, this was hard to sit through.
30.) Which lead to this powerful moment.
:'( God, this season was depressing as fuck.
31.) "Normal Again" (6x17).
That's right Buffy, your life isn't real. You really are crazy. So kill all your friends. Damn, what a punch in the gut after the whole failed wedding thing in "Hells Bells". I feel empty inside now...
32.) That moment where we find out Anya is a vengeance demon again.
Thanks a lot, Xander! How dare you act on your very real human indecision that made your feet cold. Now Anya's all veiny and stuff again. Dammit. Nothing will ever be the same again. Sigh. I want nachos.
33.) And that montage in which she tries to get the girls to wish something bad about Xander.
Haha! Okay, see now the show's funny again. Yay. I don't have to eat my nachos at the bottom of my dark closet after all. Just kidding! I don't even have a closet.
34.) OR that scene in which she gets drunk and hooks up with Spike on the Magic Box table.
This was pretty juicy! Get it, Spike. Get it...
35.) Not to mention the fact that literally everybody got to see it happen streaming live. Yikes.
Wow, this was way before PornHub too. Just imagine what they'd stumble upon now.
36.) The look on Xander's face when he finds out that Buffy has been...ahem...
...knitting everybody infinity scarves for the holidays! What did you think I was talking about? What's that? Fucking Spike? Well, she was doing that too.
37.) That well-deserved kiss.
Awww. Wait, why does this one make me feel nervous and full of dread? Uh oh. : /
38.) The sequence where Buffy dodges all of the deadly buzzsaws in the trio's lair!
Look at that! That is as badass as it gets. She's all like...nope, fuck your buzzsaws bitch! I'm Buffy the Booby Trap Slayer!
39.) A very controversial scene, one that we're just going to let sit there.
Hmm, yeah. I don't think I can be very witty about this one.
40.) "Goodnight, bitch."
Say goodbye to your balls, Warren. You didn't know what to do with them anyway.
41.) The moment that changed everything.
Oh no! Nooooooooooooooo!!! "Seeing Red" is so traumatic! How can anyone like this season? It's seriously fucked up! Wait, what? I'm the one who does? Oh yeah, huh. Um...well...okay, if you say so
42.) ...Especially Willow.
Poor Willow. You had a really rough year. :( But at least you get to kick a bunch of ass now?
43.) This intense chat was intense.
That's right, Buffy. Save Willow! But, y'know, have a karate fight with her before you do, because it would really suck if you didn't. Please? For me?
44.) "Wanna know what a bullet feels like, Warren?"
...I don't think I want those nachos anymore.
45.) The scream.
46.) All of this. All of it.
47.) This too.
48.) And this.
49.) No more words.
50.) Just live.
<3 <3 <3 <3