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@wsmcneil: I think you (and by extension, some of the other folks from “Whedonesque” who came to visit–hi, folks!) might be missing the point just a wee, tiny bit. I’m not saying that Seasons 4-7 must be burned, then dropped into a dark hole, then buried and the ground sowed with salt to prevent them from contaminating the purity of the True, Perfect Buffy. I’m saying that they’re a substantially different experience than the first three seasons in terms of tone and concept, to the point where they don’t feel like the same show. There’s a distinct break, a noticeable change from where the show stops being about “high school is hell” and starts being about “college students trying to get through life”.

I will say that the latter seasons had a harder time keeping focus: As others before me have pointed out, high school is a pretty universal experience, adult life isn’t, and it’s harder to write a series about life in that late teens/early twenties unsettled period. The result is that the last four seasons jump around pretty wildly: Buffy’s a college student in Season Four, a full-time caretaker in Five, a single parent and dead-end job holder in Six, and then finally they give up and try to return the series to its roots in Seven by bringing back the high school setting. It winds up feeling very disjointed at times.

And it didn’t help that Whedon was losing writers and actors during that period, as well as splitting his attention with Angel and Firefly. The result is sloppy plotting like Buffy’s financial crisis in Season Six (why didn’t she go to the Watchers for money? Didn’t she just unequivocally lay the smack down on them a half-season ago, telling them that she’s the Slayer and they need to support her? Isn’t it their job to make sure the Slayer doesn’t have to worry about mundane crap like the mortgage payment while she’s saving the world? But Whedon and co. wanted Buffy to be worried about money, so logic went out the window so it could happen.)

In short, do I think that post-high school Buffy is not as good as the first three seasons? Absolutely. You can’t lose David Boreanaz, Seth Green, Charisma Carpenter, Armin Shimerman, Robia LaMorte, Kristine Sutherland, and by the end, Amber Benson and sometimes even ASH without the series suffering. (To say nothing of all the talented writers who were trying to make three series at once…it’s not surprising things slipped by, like noticing, “Hey, having a Big Bad for the last season that can’t actually do anything but teleport in and say nasty things to people isn’t very menacing!”)

But do I think they should have given up after the end of Season Three? No. Not at all, under any circumstances. Definitely not.

…I’d have put the cut-off at “Tabula Rasa”. 🙂

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mygif

Well said.

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mygif

Honestly I do feel that Buffy’s best years are season 1-3, without a shadow of a doubt. Season 4 is meh and season 5 is really good, season is beyond meh and season is good.

I don’t think Buffy season 7 though was as pointless as pointed out. It still dealt with the themes of Buffy. She was growing up and finding her place in the world while dealing with responsibility. Responsiblity to the slayers in training, to her sisters, to her friends, to the world. She was finding her place, growing up and becoming an actual grown up.

I think if season 6 dealt more with that would have been more obvious but really season 6 was just them spinning their wheels and creating these depressing stories which showed, yes their lives sucked.

And of course the supporting cast was neither was good post 7. I mean besides Anya who rocked in all sorts of ways(without Anya season 6 would have been beyond dire) and Tara was great but everyone else was pretty forgettable. And truth be told Spike’s new role was always sort of iffy with me(his role on Angel was even worse). The less said about Dawn the better.

But to me Buffy did end with a smile(season 7). It felt very natural to me for it to end that way. I’m actually rewatching Buffy right now and you can see that last episode and say “Okay that makes sense, that is a great way for Buffy to end everything”. Not all shows have(Lost…).

So yeah I do think you can argue that true Buffy was season 1-3 because it’s the BEST Buffy but to me true Buffy was all tv Buffy. The good and the bad. It was a show about growing and besides season 6(which again was horrible save for three excellent episodes0, it did a good job of showing that.

As for the comics, I don’t read them anymore and to me, they aren’t true Buffy in the least. Even Whedon has said that if they are to make a movie the comics will be null and void. So really it’s an alternate universe to me. Buffy ends with a smile in my book.

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Candlejack said on August 19th, 2010 at 2:41 am

Er, aren’t Kuzui and her partners still pushing ahead with a non-Whedon Buffy remake/reboot that makes the entire series null and void?

(I’m not trying to be an ass, I’m seriously wondering if that’s still in the works or if somebody–I’m looking at you, Fran–might have realized it’s NOT A GOOD IDEA.)

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mygif

“After that, it’s just a matter of following the character around while she lives her life, and frankly that’s not the same thing as telling a story.”

The author is forgetting the fact that Buffy is a character driven show, not a story driven show. That’s why your argument is completely invalid.

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