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December 08 2004

DVD Talk Reviews Buffy S7 DVD. A mostly negative review of S7.

Sometimes this guy makes valid points, sometimes he makes no sense whatsoever, and other times it's as if he's trying to make the season look a lot worse than it is.

Wow. That really is all over the map.
Heh. I sort of love that review. I don't agree with it all, but it's hilarious. Especially: Since the central arc is wholly unable to be good for any length of time, "Storyteller" predictably fumbles with an eye-rollingly corny finale
Ha! When my roommate and I watched it, we really liked "Storyteller"... until Buffy started talking at the end. And then the tears. Oh, the tears! Hahahahaha! That was so bad.
This review contains all the usual negative comments about what I personally consider to be the best season of show. I am quite happy to remain in a minority because everybody's point of view is valid and the criticisms I keep reading of S7 do nothing to spoil my enjoyment of it. In fact, I am currently in the process of watching the season again and enjoying it more than ever.

I won't bore everyone with my theories about this final season, but allow me to put forward my take on the 'sudden' appearance of the scythe. The Guardians (the sisterhood) existed long before the Watchers (the patriarchy). The Guardians have been in hiding for a very, very long time, so long in fact that their very existence has long been forgotten about. If I understand it correctly, this is symbolic of the oppression of women by the patriarchal order. The reason no one knows of the existence of the scythe is because it is an emblem of the sisterhood, of female empowerment and freedom. It is this that has been oppressed. In the minds of the patriarchal authority it doesnít exist, which is where the words Giles speaks ("I can't imagine how something like this could exist without me having heard of it") comes from, although Iím not suggesting that he is an oppressive male figurehead as such. It is only now that Buffy is able and ready to cast aside the shackles of her burden as the Slayer and share this power. Thus, the scythe finally comes into her possession.

Anyway, I will no doubt continue to enjoy watching these final twenty-two episodes, just as I enjoy watching every other season of the show.
Underneath the blather and some fairly obvious factual inaccuracies, I tend to agree with some of the points that the reviewer makes. Or at least the essence of those points. Sacrificing character for plot. The potentials. Kennedy. Loss of humor. And so on. Still, I have been swayed a little by dashboardp and others' viewpoints to look beyond my initial disappointment and discern an actual pattern beneath the morass.

As far as this review goes: he strikes a bum note with me almost immediately in claiming that "Help" was one of the highpoints of the season. (And I'm knocking off points for writing "deus ex machinas", instead of "dei ex machina", because I'm pedantic like that.)

His biggest error, however, is to elide all the episodes following "CWDP" into one long "downhill". There were peaks and troughs all the way through, and the close of the season had some very strong episodes ("Storyteller," - and what does he mean by "eye-rollingly corny finale"?, - "Lies My Parents Told Me," "Touched," "Chosen"). At least the review is detailed and he provides support for his arguments, but it's all a little too overstated.

(added) sistakaren: I actually found the ending of "Storytelling" moving, powerful, and satisfying. Rewatched it the other night, and it was even more impressive. To each his own, I guess.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2004-12-08 00:03 ]
I too am in the minority (although I'm not so sure it's a minority, I seem to see as many fans as haters wherever I talk about this year,) about Season 7.

I very much enjoyed it, and no it wasn't one of my favorite seasons, it was probably one of my least fave, but it was still very enjoyable and ambitious storytelling which succeeded to me more than it failed. It wasn't perfect, but neither was it a let-down.

[ edited by rabid on 2004-12-08 00:41 ]
God, I hated that review.

Firstly, one of the few things I agreed with him on, why did Buffy still believe the slayer line went through her, didn't she think that if it did, another slayer would have shown up at some point, if being dead for a matter of seconds did it, the 6 months definitely should have, the continuation of the slayer line was based on when Faith died, it made sense to have Buffy in charge, but her death wouldn't activate the next slayer.

And yes, the endless speeches did get rather grating.

What was wrong with Andrew, that was an example of one of the things Buffy and Angel were great at, taking a guest character, and developing them, they'd done it before countless times: Spike, Oz, Wesley, Harmony, Anya, Gunn, Fred, so why does the reviewer have a problem with them doing it with Andrew. I don't think Johnathan would have worked, don't know why.

I didn't feel that the fact that it was because Buffy had been brought back (never said which time, made more sense to me that it would have been the first) that the First had been able to start gathering forces and controlling people needed referring to in great detail. What were they supposed to do, all sit around in Buffy's house going "Why did we bring her back to life, why, whhhyyyyyy???!!!", they accepted it and moved on.

I thought it was made clear in the finale why the First had wanted to control Spike, and earlier Angel; the First had known of the existence of the amulet (and whats the big problem with the fact it was introduced in another show, it was Spike's method of travel to the other show) and therefore wanted a souled vampire either on it's side, or dead (one of the reasons I believe, though there's no way it was what the writers had planned originally, that it was Jasmine, not the First, that brought Angel back from Hell).

And yes, the potentials were annoying as hell, and Kennedy had zero chemistry with Willow, I really wish Amber had agreed to play evil for a few episodes, if it would have resulted in Tara being brought back.

I enjoyed the season on TV, then in the time between getting the DVD started thinking "that wasnt really that good", but then loved the DVD, watched it in a matter of days.
I liked the end of Storyteller too. I liked Andrew as a character throughout the season. The Potentials I saw as a "necessary evil" because you had to have them to bring the story to that closing, and Joss had one season to do that in. I agree with the "no chemistry with Willow" for Kennedy, and I agree that the characterization suffered in Season 7. But ME was stuffing into one Season what really should have taken at least two seasons. One Season for our characters to reasonably recover and progress from all that happened in Season 6 - and then one season to bring us to that power-sharing, hellmouth-closing ending.

It wasn't perfect, but it was good. If I could change anything, I'd make Kennedy less of "what could Willow possibly see in her?" character, and I'd lose the "is he or isn't he dead" thing for Giles after no more than two eps. But everything else, I'd leave the same.
The is he/isnt he dead thing with Giles went on too long, Buffy and Anya hugged him within 10 seconds of his return in Grave, even though they were in the middle of fighting Willow.
I haven't yet watched season 7 on DVD yet (saving that for an X-mas gift) but I know I will enjoy it even more than I did on tv because I always enjoy the dvds more. There is just something about getting to see them at your own leisure without commercials and multi-week breaks in between. I had felt season six dragged in the middle and had been too depressing but once I saw it in a straight, uninterrupted run, I could appreciate it more and it had a lot of humorous moments and wasn't as dark as I had initially felt.

Season seven felt that way to me too when it aired, that it dragged in the middle but had a strong start and a strong finish. I thought the final five episodes were a great arc and left you wanting more and more and the ending couldn't have been better.

As for the amount of people who supposedly dislike the season, just look to Amazon for a comparison of season to season. BtVS has had consistent ratings from the beginning and season 7 isn't any different. I just think those who really disliked seasons six and seven are more verbal about it.

What I hated about 7 was Kennedy the most and the amount of air time the potentials got. Now, I could change my opinion about the potentials once I get to see it all again but I'll never change my feelings about Kennedy. But I'll still cherish this last and final season of BtVS and can't wait to view it again!

As for Giles, the question of whether he was dead or alive came up after the almost "beheading" incident early in season 7 and not during "Grave". I enjoyed that and thought it was funny. I never thought he was dead and just thought that it was supposed to be humorous and it was when they all tackled him like that to see if he was real. I enjoyed it and thought it was funny!

[ edited by blwessels on 2004-12-08 01:26 ]
OK - I get this everyone is down on Kennedy vibe.

I will open a can of worms and say overall - I liked her. I thought she was strong and proactive where many of the other Potentials were whiny, which was understandable at first but eventually you just gotta play the hand that's delt you. The Willow/Kennedy relationship was rushed and didn't feel right but I guess since Amber Benson wouldn't (or couldn't) come back as Tara they used Kennedy as a backup plan, but Kennedy never got the epsiode to get us (the audience) to like her, like Oz got, like Tara got.

I really liked the episode where Willow turns into Warren "The Killer in Me". It wasn't mentioned by the critic who wrote this article and I think it was a high point episode.

BTW - a bit off topic but I never hated Riley either - there aren't many characters in this verse that I truely hate.
In my opinion, Kennedy was definitely one of the elite group of "bad characters".

She's down there along with Riley (season 4 and 5, he wasn't too bad in his season 6 appearence), Adam, Jasmine and Connor (season 4, he stopped whining in season 5). I didn't like Tara at first, but I'd grown to like her by the time she died.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2004-12-08 01:55 ]
What i realized after S7 was over was that the "Is Giles dead?" thing only lasted for a couple eps (10-13, and he wasn't in 12). It felt so much longer the first time, because it lasted from mid Dec to early Feb. Every season of both shows is always better when watched together without all those annoying gaps.

I have a slightly different view of the intro of the scythe. To change the entire fabric of the show, the "One slayer in all the world..." belief, something new and different had to be the source. They could not have used something that we had seen before or used a spell that we had known of because those things exhisted in the "One slayer" world. If something were to exhist that could change the entire world and belief system all Slayers and Watchers throughout history it would have to be something that was not internal to the story, it had to be an outside source. It was a deux ex machina but a deux ex machina that was needed to change to fabric of that world. That is why i am fine with the late intro of the scythe. I do have a more specific history of the scythe, but i have no time to give it now.
In my defense (not that anyone's attacking, more a preemptive strike thing) I liked Oz from his first appearance, Tara from her first appearance, Riley (almost) from his first appearance.

Kennedy was just wrong wrong wrong in many different ways. Even whiny Rhona was better, because at least she had some basis for being critical (it always appeared to me like she'd been "promised" security under somewhat false pretenses). And that one with the short red hair - Vi? - she was actually pretty cool. As was Amanda.

Kennedy was a whining selfish egoistic spoiled bratty clueless girl who was given prominence, attention, and screen time way beyond her merits. And seeing her get credit time in some of those "Season 8" intros linked to a while back raised my hackles no end. Tara never got credit time except for in her final episode. Boo hiss.
What was wrong with Andrew, that was an example of one of the things Buffy and Angel were great at, taking a guest character, and developing them, they'd done it before countless times: Spike, Oz, Wesley, Harmony, Anya, Gunn, Fred, so why does the reviewer have a problem with them doing it with Andrew.

Because he was developed at the expense of the leads.

Yeah I pretty much agree with most of that review, save one or two poorly worded segments. Strangely, I also thought Help was pretty good first time round - now I'm scared to watch it again in case I change my mind...

One thing the review didn't mention (or maybe it did and I wasn't paying attention) was that they dangled the whole S2 'Kick his ass' Buffy/Willow/Xander thing in front of us and then didn't actually resolve it! How excruciating was that?
See, my take on S7 is that though it contained a potentially interesting overall arc, it lagged severely behind on actual storytelling. You can have plot and subtext, but that's just the clotheshanger on which to hang everything else: pace, character, humor, emotion, etc. And S7 dragged for me -- the pacing was terrible, the characters became dangerously unlikeable (especially what I consider the "core" group, Buffy, Willow and Xander... heck, where was Xander pre- and post-eye gouging?) and the enemy wasn't that engaging. And perhaps most terribly of all, the series finale felt like a cheat. Even my non-watching sister, who watches because I control the TV, thought the last episode should have had more weight and substance.
What I enjoy most about this review is that after spending 3/4 of the article pointing out all of the show's supposed faults, the reviewer then RECOMMENDS the DVDs! I'd love to see this guy review a season of show he didn't like, perhaps Charmed. I'm certain that would be a wonderful read.

For me, Season 7 can be broken down into 3 sections: an excellent beginning ( Episode 1: Lessons through Episode 7: CWDP), a muddled middle (with all those slayerette episodes), and a pretty good ending (Episode 16: Storyteller through Episode 22: Chosen). If 2/3 of the season is very good, I consider it a good season of Buffy. Apparently other people have stricter standards than I do though. This is the second review that I've read that's called this the worst/most disappointing season of Buffy; and how anyone can prefer Season 6 to Season 7 will leave me forever mystified, no matter how wonderful OMWF is.
I never understood why Amber Benson wasn't made a regular until "Seeing Red".
BufSly, I think it was paycheck stuff.

You guys all know I'm a big spoiler girl, but more and more there was something put out there that I wish I'd never known about. Only because it never happened.

The scene where B walks in on Willow swinging those shoes... (you know what I'm going to say, don't you?) and when Willow accuses her of using her great wish for the shoes, she says "No, dummy." And Willow turns around and there's TARA! BOOHOO! I actually tear up every time I picture that scene. I can't imagine the impact if it had actually happened. I think the roof would have lifted off my house.

If there is ever a time when that scene is ever performed, recorded, filmed, hell, even snapshot... I will be the downloadiest thing you've ever seen. I get the impression that that's one of Joss' biggest regrets.
Right there with ya, Willowy. I hate that we didn't get that. Joss wanted to give us our happy ending. Now I'm left with the aftertaste of Kennedy...
Yes Rogue, me too, and quite the bitter taste it is, huh? Hated her. Little Miss Afterthought.

*breaking out the tongue scraper*
I loved Tara from the beginning and I loved Oz from the beginning. Riley was okay with me in the beginning but it was after he got all needy and upset because Buffy didn't need him like he wanted her to that I was glad it ended. Angel and Spike always supported Buffy no matter what and understood that she was the Slayer and was an independent thinker and Riley needed to be "the man"!

And I actually thought Kennedy was an interesting character in the beginning. But after she became a couple with Willow she became very aggressive, bossy and very rude to Buffy constantly. She was included in every meeting with the Scoobies where in the past Anya, Tara and Oz and even Riley were never a true part of the group until they had been around for a long, long time and still they were still the outsiders. And when Buffy was booted out of the house and Faith was made the leader, Kennedy tried pulling the same crap with Faith that she did with Buffy but Faith put her in her place (and I suspect Buffy didn't out of respect for Willow).

And I would also love it if someday we got our happy ending with Willow and Tara, whether it be in a comic book form, book form or a big screen movie (the latter would be best!!). But because Joss told of his plans and what he wanted I can convince myself that it happened, after, while they were rebuilding the new Watchers Council.
SNT - I liked Vi and Amanda too; however Rhona complained way too much and never got over it.

Yes Kennedy was spoiled but from the moment she came she was stronger (more agressive and more of a decision maker) than any of the other potentials (Amanda was a strong character too but came in later in the season) and that's why I liked her - the Willow relationship was too rushed and, like many others have stated, didn't feel right.

Kennedy did challenge Buffy and Faith but I just thought since she was naturally more agressive (and excited about the possiblity of being a Slayer) she really was the only Potential who would stand up right away and voice her opinion. Kennedy really didn't have the history (and resulting respect) of Buffy and Faith, actually Kennedy's challenges didn't bother me as much as the fact that the people closest to Buffy, like Giles, Willow, Xander, and Dawn voted her out of the leader role (and out of her house!). Only Spike stood by her and defended her when he returned and found out what had happened.

So I am going on far too long but still don't hate the Kennedy character. Hate is such a stong word, like I said I can't think of a Whedonverse character that I "hate".
Well I didn't like Kennedy (Although while rewatching the season I noticed that outside of "The Killer in Me" she was hardly there at all.)

However I actually stand by her friends choice to vote Buffy out of leadership, she was an ineffectual leader, and her dumb plan more than proved it. However her getting kicked out wasn't their move, it was hers. She was the one who gave the ultimatum (which ironically she had once told Riley was an absolutely horrid thing to give and chose to not deal with out of principle) when she said that she couldn't stay here and watch someone else lead them.

Although her automatically getting kicked out was a bit off, I do understand where the people close to her stand on the issue.
I mentioned in a previous message that I'm re-watching S7 (again). I continue to be hugely impressed by this final season and I must admit I don't really understand the negative reaction it gets.

I am making my way through the episodes in the middle of the season at the moment. I adore these episodes. 'Sleeper', 'Bring On The Night', 'The Killer In Me' and 'Get It Done' are particular favourites of mine. In truth, there isn't a single episode that I don't like. This includes 'Help' (sorry, SNT), which just gets better every time I watch it, and 'Empty Places', a stunning episode in my opinion.

As a piece, I think S7 is an unqualified success. Some episodes obviously work best as part of the whole rather than in isolation, but I think they all stand up really well on their own. There are flaws. Occasionally the writing could have been sharpened up. A couple of episodes fall a little flat in places. Minor points.

I don't have a problem with the potentials (in fact I rather like them), and this includes Kennedy. She isn't an especially likeable character and she certainly isn't a favourite of mine, but she serves an important purpose. "Hate" is a word I could never imagine using to describe anything in this show. Maybe I'm too easily pleased, but I'm happy to be that way. BtVS is far too important to me to want to become negative about it.

If I could change one thing possibly I would have liked to have seen more episodes written by Marti Noxon. I have no issue with Rebecca Rand Kirshner, but I think an episode like 'Touched' would have benefited from Noxon's writing input.

I guess there are fans who wish the sixth and seventh seasons had never happened. For myself, I cannot imagine not wanting these 44 episodes to exist (43 if we're counting 'Bargaining' as a single episode).
BufSlyAngel, in an interview Amber gave shortly after season 7 started, she was given that question. It was her choice to remain a guest star. It gave her the option of only being on the set for her shots. The regulars had to be on the set for most shootings. Also it gave her the option of walking away from BtVS if something else came along, she didn't want to be trapped in a contract. Also pay since she was paid per role per show.

Can't say season seven was my favorite, but I still loved it. The season got hung up in the middle when some key plot points were dropped and other added. But Joss already explained what happened there. He realized Buffy was too much like Bush so he did some story arc changes. The start and end of the season was wonderful. I always will consider season 7 much like season 4. The overall season story arc kinda' fell apart, however both of these seasons contains many of my favorite episodes.
Joss thought Buffy was too much like Bush? That's why he introduced the ridiculous 'there's something in the vineyard' idea? Joss changed it too many times, and not for the good IMO.
S4 was filled with Scoobie interaction. S7 barely none. Why hasn't Xander ever talked to Giles for example? But, the worst part to me will be the sudden change of being a very serious show changing into a fairytale in the second half. Especially in the last three eps.
The is he/isnt he dead thing with Giles went on too long, Buffy and Anya hugged him within 10 seconds of his return in Grave, even though they were in the middle of fighting Willow.

As for Giles, the question of whether he was dead or alive came up after the almost "beheading" incident early in season 7 and not during "Grave".


blwessels, I can't speak for Ghost Spike but I took his meaning to be that when Giles reappeared in Grave both Buffy and Anya hugged him straight away, yet when he reappeared after the almost "beheading" no-one even touched him, which requires (for me at least) a slight strech of imagination. That said, I did quite enough that story line and loved most of s7 in general.
Joss thought Buffy was too much like Bush? That's why he introduced the ridiculous 'there's something in the vineyard' idea? Joss changed it too many times, and not for the good IMO.
S4 was filled with Scoobie interaction. S7 barely none. Why hasn't Xander ever talked to Giles for example? But, the worst part to me will be the sudden change of being a very serious show changing into a fairytale in the second half. Especially in the last three eps.
1. Why couldn't Willow feel the Scythe before?
2. Why were Willow and Faith shadows of themselves wrt to AS4
3. Why would W&H give Angel the amulet to save the world?
4. Where was the First in S6?
5. Why weren't there any Shanshu problems in S7?
6. Jesse, Jenny, Halfrek, Tara, William and Liam were all not used as the First. Why not? Why do we get endlessly Buffy as the First with Spike scenes?
7. Caleb was a human. Though he was totally evil, Buffy's 'we can't kill humans' was left out of the equation. And Caleb has not tried to kill either Buffy or Xander when he had the chance. Why not.
8. Xander leaves town with Dawn without any scene between him and Anya, nor with Willow. It might have been for good.
9. Angel was way too happy for someone who was suppose to be in love with a woman in coma: Cordelia. And he could at least have mentioned it directly or indirectly to Xander.
10. Why didn't Buffy kill Caleb in the vineyard attack when she had the chance. Twice she did.
11 Xander is hanging at the wheel while he's stabbed in his guts and might me mortally wounded. Buffy however is much more concerned about the bumb on Spike's head. Even when Buffy is totally in love with Spike it is still extremely wrong. A bit more concern from his other best friends would have been more in character too.
12 Spike suddenly can smell Buffy blocks away. I don't want to bash Spike, but at least it is a ploterror to a certain episode.
13 Buffy accepted Spike's return way too fast and their issues have not been dealt with. I can assure you, certain group of fans are not amused by this. And I was not amused at all by Touched. Spike/Buffy showing care while the rest of the pairings have sex. I was insulted.
14. Four of the six main characters have been underused and underdeveloped. As an addition: Giles too.
15. The Giles as a the might be the First arc was very poor
16. Episodes long the main character do squat about the upcoming threats. That is boring.
17. Why has Buffy not shown Dawn what life is? Why again has Buffy abondoned her?
18. The Faith/Spike basement scene. Sorry, but that was just too much bullshit and it really insulted me. It had no purpose other than commercial means. And that's what the whole second half about S7 is about: Spin-Offs. Plotholes and arcline changes were introduced, characters underused for that goal only.

S6 had some terrible stuff towards some of the characters. But, it was serious and consistent all the way through. I love S6. S7 turned into a fairytale. The second half lacked the seriousness which the first half had. It went downhill from that moment on. And the powertheme has been done already. It should have been about the what evil is and what it means.

[ edited by Koos on 2004-12-08 16:11 ]
Rewatching season 7 and I agree that it really grows on you when seeing the shows on DVD (Still prefer season 3 though ).

Koos, lots of good questions there, agree with some disagree with others, a few comments.

3. To kill him ?, if he used it they would have gotten rid of him quite painlessly and for some reason they didn't want the first to succeed.

6. Cause SMG was already on set, dont mind playing 'bad' now and then and does it really well ?

7. 'cant kill humans' was flexible already in season 3 when Faith and Buffy had the big fight, unless slayers dont count as humans, in which case neither Caleb nor Ben should be counted as human either.

11. In which episode did this happen ?

For many of the questions I think the answer should be BTTWITO
( Because Thats The Way It Turned Out ) due to writers ideas, actors availability, lack of money, lack of time etc.

Still a great ending to a great TV show.
Some possible answers:

3. W&H wanted to trap Angel within the building, or they possibly wanted Spike. A theory I sort of have in my head is that Lilah and Lindsay were in cahoots, and he got her to give the amulet to Angel, in order to get Spike to LA.
4. It was preparing. I reckon it had been preparing since season 2 (we saw it in season 3) because it was at the end of season 1 that the slayer line was screwed up.
5. It's never made clear that there were shanshu problems at all, and that it wasn't just Lindsay. If there were problems, the line in the prophesy is "champion", and according to Eve, Spike didn't earn that credit until the end of Buffy.
6. Problems getting actors (it's my understanding that Amber Benson was supposed to play the first the majority of the time but when that fell through they just used Buffy), I think they'd wanted to do evil Buffy for a while theyd mentioned it before I think.
7. Caleb was a human choc-full of evil goodness (that makes no sense). He was a super powered human, death was the only way to deal with him.
13. Buffy accepts Spike because he's a different person (with very similar personality) to the Spike that attempted to rape her. Why do people so readilly accept Buffy's forgiveness of Angel after he tried to kill her when he was Angelus.
18. Apart from being a test for the spinoff, that was a good scene, these two people are outsiders in the Summers house, and they're both trying to make up for dark pasts, it makes sense that they'd get along. How is the whole second half of the season about spinoffs, thats the only one that they actually tried out that I can remember.
More possible answers:

1. No one could "feel" the scythe until Buffy discovered it. Then, only slayers Buffy and Faith could sense its power. Willow was too fearful to use her witchcraft to tap into such a powerful item. Thinking the Slayer was forged from a dark force, she feared it would push her over the edge for good.
5. As Ghost Spike mentioned, Spike wasn't a souled 'champion' intil 'Chosen'. And they continued this storyline in Angel. There were no problems with Shanshu when Spike was a ghost.
6. What's the point of using William or Liam. The only effect would be on Buffy and she had already seen these two at their worse/best. Amber Benson did not wish to return to play the FE. I admit Jesse, Jenny, and Halfrek would have had an interesting impact on Xander, Giles, and Anya. Only so much time per episode.
7. The Knights of Byzantium in season 5 were also human, but they had a mission that conflicted with the slayer's. Even then, she tried to avoid them until they attacked trying to kill Dawn. Think Buffy made that point clear to Giles what she would do if anyone tried to harm Dawn.
10. Because Buffy had no idea what forces she was facing at this point.
14. Agreed.
18. I actually liked Spike's/Faith's basement scene. Good continuity.
Thanks, Paul_Rocks, that makes more sense. Buffy did go to hug Giles when he showed up with the potentials (before she saw them). They moved towards each other like they were going to hug and then the potentials squeezed in between them before they could and the moment was lost.
I'll play! I don't understand all the questions - or I don't agree with the assumption behind all of them. But here's the ones I do understand and have a thought about the answer:

4. Where was the First in S6?

This just plain didn't bother me. I don't need to understand The First's timing.

5. Why weren't there any Shanshu problems in S7?

BtVS Season 7? Why would the Shanshu even be mentioned? Did any of them even know about the prophecy?

6. Jesse, Jenny, Halfrek, Tara, William and Liam were all not used as the First. Why not? Why do we get endlessly Buffy as the First with Spike scenes?

Jesse? Most casual fans wouldn't even rememeber him. There were only 22 eps, also, and an agenda to get through. This just plain didn't bother me at all.

7. Caleb was a human. Though he was totally evil, Buffy's 'we can't kill humans' was left out of the equation. And Caleb has not tried to kill either Buffy or Xander when he had the chance. Why not.

Caleb didn't seem to be "human any more" to me. The only time Buffy tried to kill a human was when she tried to kill Faith, in Season 3. I thought Caleb was torturing both Buffy and Xander with the eye-thing (rather than killing him).

8. Xander leaves town with Dawn without any scene between him and Anya, nor with Willow. It might have been for good.

Lots of scenes might have been good. There were only 22 eps, with about 50 minutes for each.

9. Angel was way too happy for someone who was suppose to be in love with a woman in coma: Cordelia. And he could at least have mentioned it directly or indirectly to Xander.

Angel is doing what he always does: presenting a very limited face to Buffy - i.e.the face she wants to see. Besides, he isn't there to burden Buffy, he's there to help her.

10. Why didn't Buffy kill Caleb in the vineyard attack when she had the chance. Twice she did.

I can't remember Buffy having any clear chances to kill Caleb that she passed up.

12 Spike suddenly can smell Buffy blocks away. I don't want to bash Spike, but at least it is a ploterror to a certain episode.

I think we've seen this before though, haven't we? I mean, vampires being able to smell stuff from far away? It's not sudden - he finds Willow and Gnarl this way, earlier in the season.

13 Buffy accepted Spike's return way too fast and their issues have not been dealt with. I can assure you, certain group of fans are not amused by this. And I was not amused at all by Touched. Spike/Buffy showing care while the rest of the pairings have sex. I was insulted.

This is pure Buffy, consistent with the instant-forgiveness of Angel in Season 3. "He's got his soul now, so what he did when he was soulless is totally irrelevant." It's her M.O. She did this EVEN MORE with Angel, than with Spike. I didn't see the "Touched" scene as "Buffy & Spike show care, while everyone else is having sex." It seemed to me to be: "Everyone is showing care - everyone else is showing their care through sex, but B&S, given their history, are showing care in another way."

14. Four of the six main characters have been underused and underdeveloped. As an addition: Giles too.

I guess you mean Buffy & Spike as the two that weren't "underused?" Buffy is the main character - so of course we see more of her. Spike - did he have any more screen time than any of the other main characters? I don't think he did. You'd have to actually count up the minutes for me to believe this. I watched the whole season and felt cheated on all the main characters (including even Buffy, much less Spike) by the time spent on the Potentials.

17. Why has Buffy not shown Dawn what life is? Why again has Buffy abondoned her?

The First.

18. The Faith/Spike basement scene. Sorry, but that was just too much bullshit and it really insulted me. It had no purpose other than commercial means. And that's what the whole second half about S7 is about: Spin-Offs. Plotholes and arcline changes were introduced, characters underused for that goal only.

So what? Are you saying that business concerns should play no part? That they shouldn't have tried to prepare for a possible spin-off? Yes, when you're addressing those concerns, you hurt the "art part." But I for one was glad spinoff attempts were made, and I wish we had gotten a spinoff.
dashboardprophet, bloodflowers, sari and others: these days I don't have time or energy to write the lengthy positive analyses I've conjured in my head of S7 (and S6). So thank you for so eloquently being defenders of the season! There are apparently all too few of us.

What I will say: I wasn't particularly bowled over by S7 when it first aired although I loved "Chosen" and I enjoyed the season in general. I did detest the Potentials, Buffy's speeches, and Kennedy the first time around. But after viewing the DVDs, I adore the season. Buffy's pompous, arrogant speeches reveal signficant elements in her character's arc for the season and the series in general: Buffy as having come to the point where she feels both alone and superior in her special Slayerness (while feeling guilty for feeling this way; see CWDP). This makes her sharing gesture in "Chosen" towards the Potentials all the more beautiful a development. Also after viewing the DVDs, I rather like the Potentials - especially as an idea - and no longer actively detest Kennedy. Rona still grates but I think she is meant to.

I could go on and on but thankfully I don't have to with all the eloquent posts out there. Just wanted to share my two cents.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2004-12-08 18:48 ]
I`m tired of all the S7 are written by people who doesn`t like that season. Let`s be objetive!

Looks like the writter hates Buffy!

And that point about the slayer line is not a mistake. We know where the slayer line goes, but they don`t.

I found the "is he or isn't he dead" good. The answer was no, he`s not dead. Simple. And I enjoyed the joke.

And wah`ta the problem with The First? He`s the First Evil. He`s the most.

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2004-12-08 20:27 ]
Although this has already been dealt with in several other messages, I thought I'd have a go at answering some of the points made by Koos. I'm not sure why, but I guess I just feel the need to defend S7.

1) Partly it's a Slayer thing and Willow is not a Slayer. In any case, at this stage Willow is still scared of her power and is trying to suppress it. Buffy has faith in her and it is only through the final spell that Willow learns how to channel her enormous power in the cause of good.

2) I'm not sure what this means. Are Willow and Faith shadows of themselves? Both are on a path to find redemption following things they have done in the past.

3) I don't know anywhere near enough about 'Angel' to respond to this.

4) I'm not sure it really matters, but maybe the First was gathering his/its army, resources, strength, whatever, in order to mount a concerted attack against the careful balance between good and evil.

5) I assume Shanshu is something to do with 'Angel', so I'm not qualified to answer this one. Has it ever been mentioned in BtVS?

6) A few names have been mentioned. We could take it further and say why not Larry or Harmony or any number of characters killed throughout the years. Personally, I think it works really well having the First in the guise of Buffy.

7) Was Caleb truly human anymore? In any case, did Buffy really have a choice in the matter? It was kill or be killed.

Why didn't Caleb kill Buffy and Xander? Well, this question could be asked in relation to many villains in all seven seasons and virtually every episode. In storytelling like this we do need to allow some leeway.

8) If Xander had gone around telling everyone what he was doing it wouldn't have been much of a secret and Dawn would probably have found out about the plan. There is a special bond between Buffy and Xander and I think he realised this was something he had to do for her.

9) I'm a bit confused? Again, not knowing enough about 'Angel' I'm treading on thin ice here. When would Angel have had the opportunity to talk about this with Xander, and why would he want to? I don't remember them being great buddies.

10) I guess we're talking about her second visit (alone) to the vineyard when she discovers the scythe. She has to make a quick exit when the First allows her to hear that Faith and the potentials have been lured into a trap.

11) Buffy is increasingly internalising her feelings and emotions because she believes she is leading everyone to certain death, thus her cold attitude towards the potentials. Spike is the only one she can open up to. For myself, I've never got the impression that Buffy was not concerned about Xander.

12) I've never really given this any thought. All I can is it works fine for me when I watch 'Touched'.

13) There are many complex issues involved here. The question of forgiveness and redemption has been dealt with many times over the years in this show. The fact that Buffy has it in herself to give Spike the opportunity to find redemption says much about her and is of particular importance in this final season.

The montage scene in 'Touched' is not one of the show's more successful moments, although I can't say I was "insulted" by it. I wouldn't dismiss an entire season because of a few isolated scenes that don't quite work.

14. I just don't agree. I think all the main characters have very important roles to play in S7.

15) It lasted a few episodes and in the end it was not of any great consequence.

16) I never found S7 boring.

17) Buffy and the gang are at war with the First, which probably doesn't leave a huge amount of time for Buffy to spend with Dawn. It's Dawn's reaction that is important. She finds her own place and becomes her own person.

18) As has already been mentioned, commercial considerations cannot simply be ignored. In any case, as has also been mentioned, it makes perfect sense for Faith and Spike, both outsiders, to be drawn to one another.

These are just my own personal views. I fully appreciate that S7 didn't work for a lot of people. It's a pity, but that's the way it goes sometimes, I guess. Let's face it, we could pick holes in all seven seasons if we wanted to. I just don't want to because it all worked fantastically well for me. I just want to celebarate the show for the truiumph it was rather than look for faults. That's just the way I feel about it and I do realise that for others it all went downhill badly. I'm just glad it didn't happen that way for me because now I have nothing but great memories.
Looks like the writter hates Buffy!

Nah, I saw it as the writer really loved the show in the earlier seasons, but wasn't a fan of what happened to it in the last season. It's too passionate of a review for someone who hates the show; he definitely seems like a fan. Who didn't like the last season. I can relate.

Speaking of which: don't get me wrong -- I like Andrew. A lot. He and Anya were my two favorite things about S7. But I feel like ME can't have it both ways with Andrew. You can't have him as your comic relief and then also half-ass a redemption story for him. Because once they seriously touch on the fact that he murdered someone, there need to be more permanent consequences then a little speech at the end of an episode instead of him continuing to be a goof for the rest of the season. I mean, I liked him being goofy. But I was a little annoyed that he can confess to murder, shed a few tears about it, and call it a day. It's just... not right, really. Especially when we're talking about the murder of a character that's been around since the pilot episode. I'm just sayin'.

But when I made me comment, I was thinking specifically about that inane revelation that tears can close the seal. Tears. Come on. That is so corny. That's the kind of thing that this show would have made fun of back in the day.
I too am going to give Koos questions a shot, here goes.

1. Why couldn't Willow feel the Scythe before?

Because she wasn't a slayer, and she had been refusing to do any form of magic. I don't quite recall a scene where she ever states "I feel the power of the scythe." Rather she just used a spell to draw the spell from it.

2. Why were Willow and Faith shadows of themselves wrt to AS4

Because Willow was going through the whole healing process from the magic thing, and was kind of bummed out the whole year because of that (in fact I would probably say it was a bit more of a flaw on Angel that she was so season 5ish.) Faith was also going through a healing process, and in Dirty Girls/Empty places she seemed like Faith but trying to redeem herself to the others. Leadership however didn't really treat Faith well and she learned that you had to begin acting differently to do it.

3. Why would W&H give Angel the amulet to save the world?

Begins Angel was heading up W&H at the time. Because it was somehow their plan to trap Angel (or Spike.) I would say this is more of a flaw with season 5 of Angel which didn't provide the neccesairy explanation.

4. Where was the First in S6?

Probably planning it's move. Why does this matter? Where was Glory in season 4, how about the Initiative in season 3, or Spike and Dru in season 1.

5. Why weren't there any Shanshu problems in S7?

Because the Sanshu was never a concept brought up on Buffy for one. Plus it was made clear in season 5 of Angel that that Spike didn't truly become a champion until Chosen.

6. Jesse, Jenny, Halfrek, Tara, William and Liam were all not used as the First. Why not? Why do we get endlessly Buffy as the First with Spike scenes?

No one would remember who Jesse is unless they were truly hardcore fans, and even then might be hard to get Eric Balfour. Robia LaMorte who had played Jenny had stated that she didn't like playing the first in season 3, and was religiously against playing evil characters. The First wasn't bothering with Anya at all. Amber Benson didn't want to play the first as she said it would be an insult to the Tara fans (which I think is dumb but anyways.) And finally David Boreanaz was doing his own show and could hardly make time for Chosen. And Buffy didn't know William, what would be the point of The First coming as younger Spike.

7. Caleb was a human. Although totally evil, Buffy's 'we can't kill humans' was left out of the equation. And Caleb has not tried to kill either Buffy or Xander when he had the chance. Why not.

Gwendolyn Post was also human, let's complain about that. But honestly first of all he had the power of a GOD, lke Glory strong. Secondly he was a mass murderor. And finally he was evil and this was war. You couild argue that the Bringers are human, they had to kill those. Different buffy in season 7 than eariler Buffy, and I doubt even earlier Buffy would feel bad about kill Caleb.

8. Xander leaves town with Dawn without any scene between him and Anya, nor with Willow. It might have been for good.

That would have made their secret exit somewhat less secret wouldn't it. Plue as was said earlier, they only have a certain run time per ep.

9. Angel was way too happy for someone who was suppose to be in love with a woman in coma: Cordelia. And he could at least have mentioned it directly or indirectly to Xander.

Angel was putting on his "Buffy face." Plus you could say that he was just happy to say Buffy, and also state the fact that they are two different shows and a quick apperance of a hugely depressed Angel wouldn't have much dramatic impact at all.

10. Why didn't Buffy kill Caleb in the vineyard attack when she had the chance. Twice she did

Umm because she couldn't. But I guess I was imagining all those scenes where Caleb beat her too a bloddy pulp.

11 Xander is hanging at the wheel while he's stabbed in his guts and might me mortally wounded. Buffy however is much more concerned about the bumb on Spike's head. Even when Buffy is totally in love with Spike it is still extremely wrong. A bit more concern from his other best friends would have been more in character too.

Those are two extremely different episodes. Not to mention the fact that when Xander came home he admitted he'd be fine (not his first attack by an evil monster date.) :)

12 Spike suddenly can smell Buffy blocks away. I don't want to bash Spike, but at least it is a ploterror to a certain episode.

I took it simialary as to Oz being able to smell Willow from far away (and cmon he was in human form.) They've been around each other a lot and have a good sense of smell.

13 Buffy accepted Spike's return way too fast and their issues have not been dealt with. I can assure you, certain group of fans are not amused by this. And I was not amused at all by Touched. Spike/Buffy showing care while the rest of the pairings have sex. I was insulted.

Umm, he was a different Spike as the one who left, you know with the soul. He definately wasn't accepted earlier than that. Why not complain about Angel coming back after killing one of her friends with a soul and her AUTOMATICLY accepting him. A lot of fans seem hypocritcal on this one. Also It hought the montage was sweet, it was a different Spike now than the one before.

14. Four of the six main characters have been underused and underdeveloped. As an addition: Giles too.

They all had stuff to do, and a place in the story, but this was a Buffy/Spike/Wood/Andrew season, I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

15. The Giles as a the might be the First arc was very poor

agreed, but it was so minor that I could move on easily.

16. Episodes long the main character do squat about the upcoming threats. That is boring.

Which episodes, we seems to be seeing a whole lot of training/preparing. And I never found the storyline boring.

17. Why has Buffy not shown Dawn what life is? Why again has Buffy abondoned her?

Seems like she did that over the summer, and early in the storyarc. I think the arrival of a big bad gloating baddie like The First with an army might slow down the happy "see the world". You're last complaint was that the characters did little about the upcoming evil in some eps, but this one says you want Buffy to show Dawn the world... hmmm.

18. The Faith/Spike basement scene. Sorry, but that was just too much bullshit and it really insulted me. It had no purpose other than commercial means. And that's what the whole second half about S7 is about: Spin-Offs. Plotholes and arcline changes were introduced, characters underused for that goal only

Umm okies, there were 3 spinoffs considered if I remember correctly. Dawn (which you might complain that the first episode was about, although it was also a thematic tool to show where Buffy has gone.) Slayer school, (of which existed the potentials, who all were planned in the series already from early on.) And Faith (of which we have that one scene.) It doesn't seem like we have that many moments aimed towards having a spinoff at all.

However I do find it amusing that earlier you complained about Faith's characterisation, and the lack of character moments. But one of the best of the episode, which showed a lot about both Spike and Faith was "insulting" solely becuase it showed the possibility of a spinoff.
14

Buffy/Spike/Wood/Andrew season, I don't think there is anything wrong with that

With this I completely disagree. It is the soul reason why I hate S7. I felt betrayed. Robin and Andrew were guest stars not regulars. And in a show that has been all about Buffy and her two best friends and her Watcher it should have been about them. Willow, Xander and Giles are more important than Spike. The show was about Buffy and her friends growing up into adulthood. And until S6 they had equal amounts of importance and screentime. Especially in S1, S2 and S3. And that's for me reason enough to not like S7, even if I thought that S7 would have been brilliant. You also can never get emotionally invested in new characters in one season. This is why I have become scared of any of Joss' future products. Too scared that again I start liking it and his characters and he suddenly decides to put them into the background. For any of you Spuffy fans? How'd you react to S7 if Spike had come along and had been doing nothing the entire season long? Not even talking to Buffy? Because that's how I feel about it. S7 said to me that if you are a fan of the core scoobies than you are an idiot.


1. Willow felt everyone and every magic in the world in Grave. Surely, she could feel the Scythe and very powerful magical object. No, it was more of something that Joss came up with at the very last moment.

2 If you ask me, Willow was afraid of Buffy. Just like the rest of them, with the exception of Xander, Dawn and Spike. Why? Cuz they all have powers and as such rooted in darkness, which makes them falling under Buffy's law. If Willow really was scared of her magic, she wouldn't have been able to do what she did in Angel's show.

3. Let's rephrase the question: why can't the Scoobies not find any solution for themselves?

4. This was more a question of seasonal plotting, which was not as good as it was. Or better: not at all. As in comparison with S3's The Mayor, there we saw already hints of him in S2.

5. Again with the lack of plotting. Spike was an ensouled master vampire and a champion already in S7. To let it suddenly become a problem in AS5 makes no sense. And he was a champion, otherwise the Amulet wouldn't have worked.

6. William/Spike confrontation could have been very interesting. Jesse is well known, he's one of the soul reasons for Xander's vampire hatred. And as such a William/Xander conversation could have been interesting too. It's very important to his arcline. Anya wasn't interesting anymore and Andrew was? It was again a lack of seasonal arclines.

7. Buffy makes a whole show about that they couldn't kill Warren or Ben or Dawn or any human or demon with a soul. It's a minor point, but it is an theme throughout the entire show. Gwendolyn Post was a direct threat and Caleb not. It's very convient to say that Caleb is evil isn't it? Spike was evil too, but they didn't kill him. Who says that Caleb wasn't redeemable?

8. You make a very good point about this. I agree that it needed to stay a secret. Still, the sudden arrival of the tazer still smells like it wasn't much of a secret. They could have made a very nice last Xander/Anya scene instead of the funny Anya/Andrew scene. And secret or no secret, Anya had to know. And Xander/Anya deserved that kind of screentime. You make screentime for them. Simple as that.

9. I know the show is called Buffy. And as such I totally understand that Angel is there for Buffy. And apparently that was the soul reason for his appearance and to make Spike jealous. The rest doesn't count anymore. Like it used to be, see S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 and S6. Look at S3 Graduation day. Every couple got equal screentime. Why not now?

10. Caleb was defensively on his ass two times. First time Spike pulls Buffy away, the *only* time that he actually commanded to Buffy, before turning into Buffy's love fool again. The second time it was when Xander was hurt. Really, you should watch the Vineyard scene a couple of times and wonder what exactly happened and why it went wrong. It's very interesting done. Despite the Faith/Spike scene, Dirty Girls was an excellent episode.

11. This was in First Date. The only character that seemed really concerned for Xander's sake was Spike. And Anya. Why can Buffy only open up to Spike? Why? Please explain this. Why can't she open up to her friends? We have been through this in S6 and it is completely against how S6 ended. In every respect.

That said, it was still extremely wrong from Buffy and this is where I lost all my affection for her. She doesn't give a damn about anybody else expect Spike. A man who has tried to rape her and kill her. A man who's known to be capable of betrayel. She puts him in house while knowing he could be very dangerous, with the help from the First or not. And as a bonus she said in Empty Spaces to Giles that she only trusted Spike to watch her back. And she has no reason at all to trust Spike. None whatso ever.

12. To make it more clear. That episode is Intervention and involved BuffyBot. Spike apparently couldn't smell or feel that it was the real Buffy. Not couldn't he smell the missing of his own sent on her. I am not saying that Spike was playing a game back then, but it is a very convinient plothole at the very least.

13. I know he has a soul now. And I don't care. Angel was just as wrong. There has never been stated that with a soul they are suddenly different persons. Not even Angel. They only feel guilt. Still that doesn't mean that you have to insult the other characters.

It was one big load of bull, the whole episode. Giles, Willow and Xander have been at Buffy's side for seven years. Without them she would have died in S1. Seven years of experience, three hot shots. Two brilliant minds and one with a very storng common sense and very capable of providing practical ideas. Now they have to come up with a plan and all they do is coming up with empty suggestions. They were portrayted as a bunch of idiots so that Buffy could show how great she was and that she was the only one. Nobody could understand Buffy, except Spike. What a bullshit.

16. From Showtime on. I didn't mind the potentials either, but for the sake of fun let the characters do something instead of hanging around the house. It was dreadfull. There should have been more closed episodes.

17 No, it was the arrival of Spike.

18. I have to say that I'm somewhat biased here. I am a fan of the Xander/Faith pairing. That doesn't mean that they had to become a couple, but at the very least some interaction would have been very much appreciated and frankly: needed. I had waited for four years about this. The only thing what we got was a funny line to Anya said indirectly to a potential instead of the Faith/Anya scene itself. I would have like to see what Anya had to say about it. But, Spike flirting was more important than Xander. He wasn't important anymore. Only Spike was important. It is not only with Xander. She had a past to deal with Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies.

And to make it clear. Buffy's fanbase doesn't merely consist out of Spike (or Angel) fans. There are Willow, Giles, Faith, Dawn, Anya and Xander fans too. And those of them who don't care about Spike were not happy with S7, especially not the Willow, Giles and Xander fans, For them S7 have barely anything to offer.

Every fan knows Joss' brilliance. But he needed to get his priorities straight. Joss was too arrogant to think he could mess S7 a bit up and put in new characters, for the sake of a Spin-Off. But, instead we don't see a Spin-Off and we are left with a below par S7 with unfinished arclines and issues left and main characters unused. I know a lot of fans who really *don't* like S7; even Spike fans.

And now I wonder if there is ever going to be a Spin-Off or a movie at all.


[ edited by rabid on 2004-12-09 17:46 ]
Koos I love Xander, he's my favorite character of the show, and I know where you're coming from (although I think you're individual points are easily debatable :)) I just didn't mind having a change of pace. I can grab my old Buffy seasons and watch some Scooby interacting, and I embrace change. To me having some interesting characters introduced like Wood and Andrew, and discovering who they are was great fun.

Now was it at the expense of the other characters, sadly yes. But to me the season is what it is, and as such I feel I can comment on it for that, not what it isn't. I have 5 wonderful seasons of Scooby interaction fun times. To me that is wonderful, I don't mind having two years of different stuff.

When I watch the show I'm not really looking for anything in praticular, I want good stories, fun arcs and thematic relevance. To me I got that, it was very different, but to me that wasn't exactly a bad thing. I don't think the show missing it's older aspects was in fact at all a negative thing becuase I always will have that in the older years.

Now my one comment is Caleb, he killed two potentials, took out Xanders eye, was a woman-hating serial killer, was nearly invincible and in the end had merged with a god. To me this wasn't someone Buffy EVER had on the defensive in Dirty Girls (I just rewatched it to me it looks like he's just beating them badly.) I think killing him was what she had to do.

Remember this is a Buffy who admitted to letting Dawn die to save the world if need be, I think if given the decision with Ben now, she would have made a different decision. Buffy after her death was never the same, I don't think that's a bad thing, but it's hard to compare some of her actions to how she once was.

And remember there are lots of fans who really don't like year 1,4,5,6 and 7. There are also a lot of fans who love all or some of those years.

I'm a fan of the show, not of praticular characters, their job is to tell the stories, and while I love all of them, some more than others, I can deal with using different ones. I'm not a Buffy/Spike shipper, but I would never complain about any Buffy/Spike stuff. Same with Riley, same with Angel. To me something like the killing of Tara makes sense narratively and thematicly, and thus it's for the best of the story and should happen. I love the character, but she is a product of a tale which is bigger than any of the players.

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