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November 17 2004

Why Buffy still slays us. Sean Axmaker from MSN Entertainment salutes our favorite slayer by providing an excellent review of the seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Good article. I like the ones that summarise each season. It reminds me of lots of great moments all at once.
I also liked the article but there were a couple of mistakes. Angel was introduced in the first episode and not the second and he implies that Joss introduced Dawn because he was pressured by the network to bring in a younger character and we all know that he had planned on bringing in the character of Dawn years earlier. Also, said that Ripper was explained in the fifth season and we all know it was the Halloween episode of season 2. But still enjoyed all the great comments and the attention given to the show.

I'm hoping all this praise for Joss will help Serenity get a lot of publicity when the time comes to start promoting it.
And of course it is Anya singing and not Buffy in the picture from OMWF.
Poor Anya deserves all the credit she can get considering her fate in season 7.
blwessels - too right there are mistakes! Season 4 the weakest - never - second best after season 5! Sorry to re-ignite the endless debate.
Hey Catalyst2 - Just FYI I am right with you on Season 5 and then Season 4.
blwessels, in my opinion, season 4 was the weakest because of the Initiative, however it sure gave us some gems! Last night my neighbor came over and we watched Pangs and Hush. We stayed up 'til 1am talking about the eps and how brilliant Joss is.

Always a welcome topic at my house.
Oh, I agree with you Willowy on season 4 being the weakest but still having some great episodes. In my opinion, there isn't any bad season of Buffy at all but if they had to be listed, season four would be near the bottom for me (it's a toss up between that and season 1). I loved a lot of the episodes but I always thought the initiative and Adam as the big bad were a bit of a let down.
Are we starting this endless debate again?

Just like catalyst2 - Season4, weakest? Never. One of the best, IMHO. I'm all along with you and Passion. Season 4 and Season5.
Whoops sorry bl, pre-coffee here... That was meant for catalyst2... and now I guess Numfar PTB as well! :)
Hehe, this is always fun ;-p

I like season 4 (though I agree about the Initiative and Adam - still, that was only one component of the season), but not 5 (as far as it's even possible to not like a Buffy season). I think perhaps 7 is the weakest, but 5 is a close runner-up.

My theory is that you'll very often be partial to the season you first saw. It doesn't hold for season 1, though - even people who've been onboard from the start rarely have season 1 as their favorite. But for 2+ I think it's a very good rule of thumb. I myself started watching in season 2, and that has ended up as my favorite season (very closely followed by season 3). What about you :-)
Season 2!! My favorite! I love the love story and the epic feel. Season 3 is a close second, and then probably 5. One is definately the bottom of my pile, but it has its brilliant moments and led up to the greatness of the show. Sasja may have a point to the season you saw first... as I came in on the second season... ;)
sasja, to support your theory - I started with season 5 and it is my favorite one :)
Oops, sorry to be the exception to sasja's theory, but the first episodes I ever saw (on FX repeats) were from season 4. While they were certainly good enough to hook me, season 4 is not one of my favorites. Season 5 I think is my favorite, and, although it is against the sentiments of many here, seasons 6 and 7 (despite the trio and the potentials) come in next for me. I tend to like the dark side of things. Go figure. But, perhaps sasja's theory works for those who saw the episodes in first-run. I saw only the last half of season 7 in first-run, and I would think that hardly counts.
sasja, I can also support your theory -- I started in season 6 and it remains my favorite. I always find it interesting why people choose certain seasons, I think it gives some insight into a person. Season 1 is probably my least favorite.
I have to say that the first season is my personal favourite, although I don't claim for one moment that it's the best. Following that, I would probably choose season six. Asked to choose a 'best' season, based on my perception of that season fully achieving what it set out to do, I would have to say season seven. I know this is a minority view, but I have identified S7 as dealing with the concepts of second-wave feminism, which is a subject that I have a great interest in.

I don't think there is a bad season of the show. In fact, I would say that each and every season is a triumph on its own terms. I know season four is not well regarded by all, but I find it endlessly fascinating. Riley and the Initiative and Adam work perfectly for me and I like the conflict between nature (the supernatural) and science.
Truly, the deviation between my favorite season and my least favorite is so tiny it is almost microscopic! This is like picking your favorite moments, or episodes. There are so many variables!
After seeing all seven seasons, I find it difficult to rank them as “best” or “weakest”. Seasons one through six carefully set up the plot and character developments in seasons two through seven, and season seven skillfully restates the original premise of season one - girl power - while ending the series on a high, satisfactory note. It’s one, long, exciting, terrifying, heart warming, heart breaking, funny, endearing, totally engaging, sexy story.
Though season 4 contains several of my favorite episodes, I was also troubled about the Initiative/Adam story arc. Several years ago, I ran across an article that stated they had originally planned to make Maggie Walsh the big bad this season. However, contract negotiations broke down with this actress for a full season. So they "developed" Adam as a replacement and that's when the story arc started to fall apart. I had just "discovered" the internet at the time and was a babe in the woods with searching and verifying articles. Can anyone shed some light on this info whether true or false? It has always bugged me.
Madhatter, thanks for that info. I could see Maggie as being the big bad and I would've definitely liked that better. I thought she was great and wondered why they suddenly killed her off. That probably would've elevated the season for me.

As for liking the season you started with the best, not true for me. I started from the beginning and like season five the best. I think they are all great seasons but the whole introduction of Dawn and Buffy's love and final sacrifice for her were just great!
Well said, dashboard proph: triumph on their own terms indeed. I love the first season also, which was the first I saw, just as I love each successive season of growth and change. And as for S4, I've never conceived of it purely in "big bad" terms. I thought the real fight was moving beyond the familiar terrain of high school to the wide world beyond - although not very far beyond, admittedly. Adam and the Initiative were pieces of that, and set up the science/supernatural motif, but they weren't the be-all and end-all.

My least favs would be S7 and (gasp!) S3. I couldn't say exactly why, except that, to me, those seasons lack a moment of pure epiphany, when I'm just thrown or reduced to tears or moved in some otherworldly way. Season 3 is very solid, and probably has the largest number of well-written episodes. But when I think of BtVS, it's not the first thing that leaps to mind for me.

However, as someone else once (almost) said, "Buffy fan sum; nihil buffyversi a me alienum puto."
Season Four is my favourite season of the show.

MadHatter, the fact that Lindsay Crouse came back for "Primeval" makes me doubt that idea, but i've been wrong before so it could be true
SNT, you'd take season 1 over 3? 4 over 3? Egad!

I think 3 is the absolute best in terms of pure storytelling. I love the way they are always driving home what Buffy's life is really like. Tons of Faith, just adore her relationship with the Mayor, and the season never bogs down. Close to perfect, in my opinion.
Hey, Willowy, I never said I was perfect . . . ;)

Boggy parts for me would be: the return of Angel - annoyingly too soon; nearly the entirety of "Gingerbread"; the somewhat anticlimactic finale; and (how can I put this gently without attracting the wrath of the verse?) I'm just not a huge Faith fan (although I love her scenes with the Mayor, whom I adore) . . . so flame on, as Johnny Storm would say.

These are miniscule carps - there are many many things that I cherish in S3, but if you hold my hand to the fire, I gotta tell you that I probably watch that season less than most others.
The funny thing about Faith for me is that I couldn't stand her when she first showed up and that entire season. It was only with reviewing the seasons and her later portrayals on both BtVS and AtS that I came to love the character.

This show, for me, is always like that. I've said it before that I don't believe there is a bad season at all and it really is hard to judge, for me, which is best and which isn't because it's a thin line for me. But everytime I rewatch a season I love it all the more and appreciate it even more than I did when I originally watched it. I love these debates, though, because it just goes to show how versatile the Buffyverse fan base is and how many different things people take from it!
I agree bl, these are always fun. Thanks for kicking it off again!
SNT! Not a huge Faith fan! Nooooooo! I'm only kidding, i get what you mean. I love Faith with all my heart, and she is my favourite character in the whole universe, but i always used to have a problem with Spike (especially in the opening episodes of Season Five when he had almost nothing to do) and never eally found his character that appealing. When he moved over to Angel and i found his relationship much more interesting then his relationship with Buffy (dont shoot me please Spuffy fans, its only my opinion) I warmed to the character a lot more, but would never count him as one of my favourites (wouldnt say no to a spin-off series though, just prefer it to be Faith). So I get how you feel about not really liking one of the main characters. But you will never take my love of Faith away from me!!!!!!!!!!!
My feeling on season 3 has always been that the whole is somehow a little less than the sum of its parts. Dont' get me wrong, I love the season – it's certainly in my top four, along with 2, 4, and 5. But given the number of stellar episodes, the long runs of solid eps it had, and its consistency (very few really bad eps, compared to some doozies in 2, 4, and 5), i always felt like it should be my favorite, and isn't. For me, i think it comes down to the general sense I had that the overarching themes weren't as strong, and there weren't as many impactful moments that really stay with you. (Perhaps, as you said SNT, it's the lack of those moments of pure epiphany. And I'm also not a fan of the way Angel was brought back). Anyhow, i still think it's a solid season, just that the season as a whole never lived up to the promise of individual eps.
As for Season 4 - count me among the fans. The initiative storyline was weak, yes, and Adam was one of my least favorite villains. But there's so much else that makes up for it - i loved the transition to college, which was an emormous challenge for the show, loved Willow's story arc and the beginning of her relationship with Tara, liked Spike's slow metamorphosis into the gang, back when he was still an enemy, just not as dangerous, loved the return of Faith. Plus: Restless, Hush, Pangs, Something Blue, Fear, Itself, Who are you?, superstar... lots of good eps. the intitiative arc wasn't my favorite, but i didn't hate it, and there were so many wonderful creative moments that i tend to remember those more than the Initiative.

For me, the weakest, by far, is season 7. for all the reasons i've already mentioned many times. I've never quite understood the reasons for the people who count it as their favorite. Dashboard Prophet, I'd love to hear more of what you love about it, beyond the second-wave feminism. For me the execution is always the final test, beyond the themes (for instance - i loved what season 6 tried to do, and the darker themes it explored of self-doubt, self-hatred, and the challenges of young adulthood, but i felt it was deeply flawed in its execution). And season 7, for me, just couldn't rise above the shoddy writing - the long speeches, lack of humor, poor writing for Giles and Xander, the proliferation of all those potentials, and the exceedlingly poor villain that i found the First to be. I wanted to like it, and I've bought the DVD in hopes a second viewing will be better, but I was so disappointed as i watched it. Still better than 90 percent of what's on television, but not up to BtVS standards, IMHO.
I agree that Faith kind of grew on me. I didn't like her as much in BTVS season 3 as I did when she came back on Angel season 4 and then crossed over to Buffy for the final episodes of the series. The reformed bad girl trying to make up for past mistakes-Eliza nailed it.
I also agree that sometimes it depends on what season you start on when first introduced to the show. I never watched Buffy until I heard she had died in season 5 and was being brought back. I was curious how they would go about it, so I started watching season 6. I was hooked from the first episode. After that I saw all the seasons out of order before I actually started collecting the sets. Season 6 remains my favorite because that's when I was introduced to the Buffyverse and it's loveable characters. I watched season 4 next, and that one remains my second favorite. I'd say season 1 is probably my least favorite. Some of the episodes were just too cheesy. But all in all, it's still the best TV show out there. I'm getting ready to start watchinbg the whole series again now that I have season 7.
Apocaypse, I agree which made me question the truth of said article. But, as blwessels pointed out, they really put a lot of time and effort in building this character only to kill her off so early. Even the little bad/big bad theory doesn't fit here. That's exactly why that article has bugged me so.

Here's what I remember. The plan was Maggie would build and test her demon soldiers in Sunnydale. Buffy finally catches on and confronts her, but Maggie is too well protected by the Initiative. The dilemma for Buffy (this season) was if there was a point a human could become so evil, they should be slayed. She's pressured by several sources to do so, but she's reluctant. In the end, Maggie's army mutiny and turns against her and Initiative. And Buffy goes in to save them from their only design.

See a pattern here? Buffy questions her right to take a human life. Which takes place in season 5 and on. As I said before, this info may have been completely bogus. Yet, it seemed to fit in well with the way season 4 story arc was going.

Leave it to Joss to weave such an indepth story, that either could be true. Great inputs :)
Madhatter, I always liked Buffy's struggle with taking human life. Anyone can cross that line, but it is more serious for Buffy because of all she can do. They actually mention this even earlier on than season 5, like in season 2 in "Ted" when Buffy doesn't know he's a robot and she thinks she killed him. Also in season 3 it's mentioned when Faith kills the mayor's assistant.
Season three (the first season I saw) is my favourite. Mostly because it was pretty much the first time I'd seen a TV show about highschool kids who actually had worries about highschool - SATs, picking colleges, not being able to get into the colleges you want to go to, really getting hit for the first time with the fact that your friends have better futures than you do. Doing that in a really sustained way.

I liked four and five much less (we all understand that means "in the buffyverse" and not "relative to the rest of TV", right?). They struck me like the creative team had figured out what makes a "Buffy Season" and were repeating their formula really successfully. Then I loved season six again, because they were exploring new ground, and even though it was less well done, I'd prefer to watch people falling down on the interesting stuff than to show an even more polished version of what was already pretty polished the year before. I thought seven was interesting most of the way through, but that they chickened out at the end (the ending I predicted was that, after getting booted out of the Scooby Gang, Buffy rids the world of the First, then looks around and has no friends to celebrate with - my "US Foreign Policy" reading of the season. This would have been a fabulous way to end a season but a terrible way to end the whole show, so I'm glad they shifted gears, in the end).

Wow, run-on paragraph. Sorry.

That being said, I haven't gone back and watched any of seasons (just some individual episodes) since they were first broadcast (I have them all on DVD, but they seem to be on permanent loan to, at last count, pretty much all my friends and some of their relatives), and I want to revisit the seasons I didn't like as much in light of all my new Theories of Buffy (a fair whack of which come from this site here) and see if I was right or wrong the first time around.
acp, it's difficult to explain why I think S7 is so successful without relating it to second-wave feminism. It was only after I'd made this link and talked it through at considerable length with a friend (who is far more knowledgeable about such matters) that I began to realise how carefully constructed the narrative really is.

The obvious character to look to in this regard would be Buffy. Instead, I’ll try to give some examples that help explain why Willow is central to the main theme I have identified for this particular season.

I should try to explain second-wave feminism, as I understand it. It was not a tightly bound single entity whereby there was overwhelming consensus about every detail. Generally speaking, it evolved from Liberal feminism, which advocated legislative change in employment, education and the like; and radical feminism, which sort to free women from sexist stereotyping and oppressive gender roles. The motif ‘Sisterhood is Powerful’ was adopted by the movement as a whole, notably in America. One of the issues that frequently came up was that of power and control. Historically speaking, women were agents of neither. They had been denied power and kept under control, with various methods employed to keep them in check.

My take on S7 is informed by many of the concepts posited by second-wave feminists. Willow plays a big part in how these ideas are presented. At the beginning of the season Willow is learning how to control her powers. The type of control she is being taught to employ can be set in contrast to the types of anti-feminist control inflicted on women. It’s worth remembering the S5 episode ‘Family’ where Spike identifies the real purpose behind Tara’s family’s concern – the traditional ‘patriarch’ just wants to keep her ‘in line’. Willow wants to take charge of her power. There is no longer any concern from Giles that she can’t use magic for good. Going back to S6, it can be argued that it was only after going ‘cold turkey’ that she totally lost control. In other words, repressed power can lead to grave consequences.

In S7 the plan is not to control Willow’s power to the point where she is denied it, but to help her take charge in a positive way. Xander’s hammering-a-nail analogy highlights this positive aspect. Control, as in mastery, can lead to a more effective use of power. However, throughout most of S7 Willow remains nervous and anxious about her power and potential loss of control. This can be seen as directly analogous to the anxieties instilled in women throughout the ages about what might happen if they employ the powers they possess.

One of the most problematic aspects of Willow in S7 is the seemingly easy way in which she turns on Buffy, her best friend. If examined within the context of Willow’s own dilemma, it might be suggested that Willow’s anxieties about her own power and control are, in fact, projected onto Buffy. As far as Willow is concerned, the raid on the vineyard represents a misuse of power and a loss of control on Buffy’s part, things that Willow is terrified of in herself. The guilt and anxiety she herself feels is transferred onto Buffy and, by punishing her friend, she is, in fact, both punishing herself and, misguidedly, proving to herself that she will not let power and loss of control overwhelm her. Buffy becomes a vessel for her fears; fears she has yet to face up to.

It is eventually through the encouragement of other women that Willow gains the confidence to deploy her power to its fullest potential. Kennedy and the rather awkward “kite-string” analogy comes to mind. This is an instance where ‘loss of control’ does not have to have dire consequences, since other women are looking out for her. This can also be traced back to the S4 episode ‘Who Are You?’ Willow entrusts Tara with the responsibility of being her ‘anchor’. Both scenes culminate in orgasm, suggesting a rejection of anti-women sexual ‘morality’. When Buffy explains her ultimate plan to the potentials, she openly cites Willow’s immense power. Willow is still nervous about it, but Buffy, clearly, is not. She recognises that the patriarchal rules that have dictated what can and cannot be can themselves be overthrown.

Willow’s anxiety is still evident when she, once again, relies on Kennedy to keep her from losing herself to the dark side. As Buffy trusted, though, Willow is able to tap into power well beyond what she herself believed possible without becoming evil, and the feared loss of control, essential to the process, has only a positive outcome, suggesting a distinction made between a negative loss driven by, for example, grief and rage; and a positive loss, driven by motives like saving the world. In other words, Willow’s essentially good spirit means militant self-control is not always necessary. Willow’s place in S7 can also be related back to the ‘true’ S4 finale, where Willow is identified as the ‘spirit’ element that makes up combo-Buffy. If we accept that a person’s spirit represents their character and feelings, in terms of how Willow’s spirit impacts on Buffy in ‘Primeval’, we see, for instance, harmful weapons transformed into symbolically peaceful doves. A significant strain of second-wave feminism emerged from the 1960’s peace movement, often concerned with spiritual matters. Spirituality was often advanced as a positive alternative to patriarchal constructions of reality that generally led to inequality, destruction and greed.

I don't know if any of this make sense to anyone else, but as soon as I started to expand these ideas and ralate them to the other characters, be it Giles or the potentials, or whoever, everything started to make much more sense. As a result, what sometimes appeared to be a messy and unfocused narrative became much clearer and each time I watched individual episodes I discovered more clues about the intention of the season. This can be applied to all 22 episodes. It certainly keeps me fascinated, and I guess this is why I love the season so much.
Wow, dp, that was a great read. In fact, I almost enjoyed reading your thesis about S7 more than I enjoyed watching the relevant episodes themselves. Which may be part of my problem with the season - I tend to prefer reading manifestos to watching them.

As acp (I think) said earlier, ambitious and profound themes are one thing, and execution is something else. Season 7 didn't lack for profundity and scope; it just didn't quite lay those themes out well enough for me. With all respect to your illuminating comments, if I have to read an essay in order to know what's going on in the narrative, I tend to think that something is awry in the execution.

But thank you again for the shared wisdom.
SNT, I agree with you entirely. The fact that it took so much effort to work out what (I think) S7 is trying to tell us is probably the reason why it's not my favourite season, although I've identified it as the 'best' season.

By the by, referring back to an earlier message you posted, I fully understand what you say about S3, although it is a season I enjoy tremendously. Like you, Faith is not my favourite character, although she made more sense to me in the final season. No, it's okay, I'm not going to start waffling again!
Thanks dashboardprophet – that was the best justification of Season 7 I've seen, and did a much better job elucidating the various themes and often-confusing narrative web than most. And great things to think about as I go back to rewatch the episodes (my DVD set just arrived in the mail :-) ).
I'm with SNT - it still doesn't do much for my *enjoyment* of the season. One analogy might be to artwork. There are certain masterpieces, or "great" pieces of art, that leave you cold at first but after a good college course, say, you might develop a real understanding or appreciation of. But you'll still never love them the way you will a painting that struck you, at a very visceral level, the first time you saw it. With those works, the later discussion and understanding of themes and purpose and achievement all simply adds to your enjoyment, but that basic reaction was there from the beginning. With the other – you might learn to appreciate it, but never to love it.
There are thematic elements to Season 7 I appreciate, and i really enjoyed your discussion of Willow's arc, in particular - I had thought less about her growth, but you're right – she's a really interesting illustration of those power and control themes and the ways in which they can be subverted; she helps seek out an alternative to the established patriarchy. That's all well and good, but on that basic level the execution still just didn't do as much for me. A big part was the potentials – there were too many, they weren't well developed, and it really lessened my emotional investment. Part had to do with the lengthy speechifying (as SNT says - reading manifestos is always preferable to watching them... and this season was a bit too much of a manifesto to quality as art, in my book), part had to do with characters I didn't like (Kennedy) or felt were badly altered from who they'd always been (Giles) or simply got short shrift (Xander). There were moments I really liked - Xander talking to Dawn at the end of Potential, most of Selfless, the finale, most of Storyteller – but it just didn't have the emotional resonance (or humor) for me that the other seasons did. I found myself, at times, watching more out of habit than because i was really gripped. Just my reaction... Still better than almost anything else on TV! And i am looking forward to rewatching it, and the themes you so eloquently laid out are great background. thanks!

[ edited by acp on 2004-11-17 22:38 ]
Just to clear up any confusion, here is a link where Doug Petrie clarifies the Maggie Walsh/Adam issue...
I can't really choose a favourite season, because I love them all so much. Season one is my least favourite, but just because it doesn't compare to the others, being only a start and all.

Season Two is full of things I love- several teary episodes, some good laughs, Spike when he was evil, Angelus, and some really well written episodes in general. I love all its Joss episodes, even the season opener.

Season Three is probably my favourite, because there's not one episode that disappoints me. Also I love Faith muchly, and the Mayor is my favourite villian.

Season Four had such a great character arc. I love how the characters grow and how amazingly everything works. Also seeing Faith and Spike in the same episode gives me a serious happy. I know a lot of people don't like S4, but I thought it was great. I never had a problem with Riley (or any characters on Buffy actually), I thought he was exactly the sort of guy Buffy needed at the time. Also I thought their romance was sweet. The problem was that usually when they intorduce a character and everyone hates them (which let's face it happens almost every time) Joss wrote an episode to make it better. Oz got the moment in Innocence, Tara got family, but Riley never really got that. I think he left at the right time but I also think he was perfectly placed. Buffy needed something different from Angel and Riley was exactly the right kind of guy at that time.

Season Five- I still don't have the DVDs of five and it's been years since I saw the first half of the season (except Fool For Love and Buffy Vs Dracula), so I can't really judge it. Although it has Family, The Body, Fool for Love and the Gift, and other episodes that made me cry, I don't like it as much as some other seasons. It's not fair though because the last time I saw half the episodes I was only about 12 or 13, and I always missed the first 15 minutes because I was at karate.

Season Six- I LOVE Season Six, I really do. I think to make the season any lighter would have been to make a mockery of Buffy's death. Plus I didn't think it lacked humour at all, just that much of the humour was darker than usual. Maybe it was the kind that a lot of people miss or something, but I didn't feel that there wasn't enough. Entropy's an episode all about pain, but it's full of really funny moments, like Anya telling Tara and Willow they must hate men being lesbians, and that if they love men so much, why don't they go love men? I mean, that's just excellent! As well as the humour there was *so* much more emotional stuff that helped me feel linked to the characters. I liked Buffy a lot less, but I was bound to. After the end of Season 5 I just loved her way to much for being such a hero for Dawn. The way she was with Dawn in Season Six pissed me off, since I have a sister myself who is three years younger, and I didn't like the way Buffy handled her at all. At the same time, I got it, but I didn't like it. I also wasn't Dawn's biggest fan, but I could see she was really going through it, plus with my sister reaching the terrible teens and all Dawn seemed tame by comparison.

I liked Season Seven as well, I thought that up until episode 9 it was amazing, from then until 16 it was still strong, though not *as* strong (although I loved the Killer in Me) and then from 16 onwards I loved it again. Also I've since tried watching episodes 10-15 in a row, and that really pulls them together. They seem far better when you watch them all side by side. I think they were just dragged out a little too much, but at the same time I don't really see any good way of compressing them either, although 9, 10 and 11 especially could have done with some tightening up. I still loved the season though, and after the finale I cried for half an hour. Then the next day I watched it again and cried for an hour. I still wail every time I watch it, and I thought it was amazing.

I guess from best to worst I'd go 3, 6, 7, 4, 2 5, 1. But they're all really close and tomorrow I'll have changed my mind, lol.
I'm with you SILV i change my mind so often,i've given up trying to decide.I would have said,2 or6 but i've just finished rewatching the season7 dvd and it just gets better and better with every watching,so season 7 gets No1 spot.
Wow - dashboardprophet - is all I can get out at the moment. Just...WOW!

I am going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day now!
I agree with Silv that 3 is probably the best/my favorite, just because everything was about perfect...the villian, the episodes...*sigh* I really thought I didn't like season 5, until I got the dvds and I was "wowed" so I have to keep an open mind for season 6 when I rewatch it, because right now that is my least favorite..but its subject to change. So here's my order: 3, 5, 2, 4, 1, 7, 6. (at least for the moment)
Even though season 2 has several one-shot episodes that don't fit into the main arc, I find it hard to argue against it. Episodes like Innocence and Becoming Part 2 drove the rest of the series and Angel as well. However, I am a comic book nerd and the trio absolutely crack me up in Season 6 plus the overall arc has more continuity imo. 6,2,5,3,4,7,1.

[ edited by rockchalkwatcher on 2004-11-18 20:23 ]
Unitas, thank you for the Adam/Maggie link. I think it safe to say the article I read earlier was bogus and I appreciate everyone's thoughts in clearing it up. I figured if no one in Whedonesque ever heard of it, then it never happened.

Dashboardprophet, excellent thoughts on season seven. You bought up several points I never thought of. Thanks.
Unitas - Thanks for the link about season 4 - it was an interesting read and I love Doug Petrie!

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