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April 11 2012

Buffy tops list of shows that get reinvented in final season. Angel also gets a mention.

i find this article hard to admire. i think their definition of reinvent is very different to mine. there are only a couple on that list that did really reinvent their format, Angel being one of them, but the rest were just continual developments...
Yeah, I've never really thought of season 7 in those terms. (Season 8? Now that's reinvention!) But in Angel's last season, it was like a spin-off of itself, but in the best possible way.
Every season of Angel from two onwards was a reinvention but Buffy? It was more of a progression than anything else.
Yeah, making the show about the "slayer gang" was not a reinvention at all. In my mind, it was sort of mistake; we were invested in the core group.
I think Buffy kind of reinvented itself every year. It was how it stayed fresh all that time. However, Angel's final season reinvention was a lot more profound.
I'm with daylight on this one. Buffy reinvented itself every season, especially from season 4 onwards, and the 'reinvention' of season 7 was no more radical than that of season 4, 5, or 6, but in the Whedonverse (or at least in its TV manifestations) there's probably not another reinvention as radical as that of Angel in its final season.
I do think that the balance of season 7, in dealing with the new characters and keeping the original group relevant, was way off the mark. The core gang seemed to struggle to get any screen time at all, and when they did it was generally to service the season arc or to help flesh out a newbie. Xander especially seemed to get lost in the mix. In that sense, the show did seem like something of a reinvention of itself, almost as if it was being used to serve as a springboard for a spin-off series. Slayers Inc.

I remember Highlander the Series ending in a similar way. Season 6 of that show was pretty much just used as a way of creating several pilot episodes for a possible spin-off show. MacLeod himself didn't even appear in one episode, and the other three central characters (Joe, Methos and Amanda) were only in two or three episodes each. I wouldn't say that Buffy's 7th season was quite as bad as that, but it did feel very transitional. Out with the old and in with the new, you might say.

The Farscape mention seemed like a bit of a stretch (it was pretty much always the John and Aeryn show) but I'm surprised that Stargate didn't get a mention. The final seasons of the show, where O'Neill pretty much leaves and Ben Browder joins as Cameron Mitchell, were actually planned originally to be a spin-off, to be called Stargate Command, with SG-1 ending with its 8th season. The PtB decided that they wanted to stick with the SG-1 tag though, and so season 9 was born instead. I know that technically there were two seasons featuring the new reinvented format, but I'd still say that it applies.
I didn't feel that season 7 of Buffy was any more (or better) of a reinvention than any other season. It changed a lot from season to season, and there was always something good gained and something else good lost. Except from season 1 to season 2, where all that happened was that the show got better, without really losing anything important. Reinvention was built into the show, since it was about the inevitable progression of life and the difficulty of keeping up, and the last season didn't stand out as the most notable reinvention.

Now, Angel, that's a show that changed more in the last season than it ever had before, and completely for the better. The show did change every season, and it was usually a positive development, but the last season stands out as feeling like an almost completely different show, and in my opinion it's the strongest season of them all.

Dollhouse also did this more than Buffy, in that the first season felt almost stagnant for the most part, while the second season rushed forward at a crazy pace, and the show really benefited from it. Also Echo became a character more than a temporary character container, which was a huge and important step forward. I'd say that also trumps Buffy season 7 in terms of reinvention.
I always felt Buffy transformed more between seasons 1 and 2 versus season 7. season one always felt to episodic to me, and I was kinda lukewarm on the show. Season 2 started to get into the major arcs, and when Angel lost his soul is when I actually fell in love with the show
I found the article interesting but question why BtVS would be featured at the top of the list of series that have been completed. Angel and X-files (last couple seasons) had more profound changes with at least the Angel series improving. Hope Fringe can hang on.
Surprised they failed to mention season nine of Firefly, where a maimed and crippled Mal cedes command of Serenity to Wash and Zoe's orphaned daughter. That's reinvention.

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