Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Truly Terrible Ranking of Buffy Seasons

This is awful.
It's kind of a (two-instance) tradition with Johnny Quest and me that, when we are immersed in a hopeless and endless house renovation project, we watch several episodes of Buffy on a laptop every night. Because we don't have a tv. Or a real bed. Or a real place to live...but I digress...
   I always insist that we watch Buffy episodes in order, with only the occasional deviation if we absolutely have to watch Hush or Once More With Feeling or Band Candy or whatever... JQ fought me on this for awhile...but she'd given up on that...
   Anyhoo, we're currently almost halfway through season 5...and this is probably about our 4th or 5th time through the whole series...and my judgment so far is: 5 is the worst of the first 5 seasons. I've long thought that Season 1 is far, far underrated. Seasons 2-4 are great. I'd have a hard time ranking them. Those are the core of the series. There are signs of trouble in 4 (JQ's favorite)...Willow starts talking in baby talk, and her charming diffidence has begun turning into annoying, habitual...what? Super-diffidence? Something. I think it's clear that Nicholas Brendan is having trouble with alcohol--he started looking like hell in 4, and, though he seems to have recovered a bit in 5, he still looks rough sometimes. Also, the writers have no idea what to do with his character, and that really sucks. Buffy vs. Dracula is a great episode (despite weak acting by Drac) with some great lines, but things fall off badly after that, and many episodes in the first 1/3-1/2 of the season are just soap opera stuff.
   Of course 5 has one of the all-time great episodes (The Body)...but I've never thought that the last few, including The Gift, were that great. In fact, I think The Gift is about as bad as it could be given what it is, and compared to how awesome it could have been...
  The one really great thing about 5 is the introduction of Dawn. That shit is some virtuoso riffing on terrible tv tropes...that's a paradigm crap tv move--introducing a major new character...a character that is central to the lives of the extant characters, and who simply could not have been overlooked thus far--after several seasons. But Joss pulls it off. He makes it work by making it make sense. This is as brilliant a masterstroke as making the singing and dancing make sense in Once More With Feeling... I mean, one can only be in awe...
   But overall: 5's the worst of the first 5, contra that Buzzfeed nonsense. If it's better than 1--which I deny--it wouldn't be by much, and it would only be because it's longer, the show is better-established, and it's got The Body...

[And, yes, I do realize that the whole point of Buzzfeed is to post stupid crap to get hits...]

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