Top positive review
on 16 May 2013
Buffy is arguably the funniest, sharpest-written, best-cast, most consistently well-acted, best blend of comedy, drama, horror and farce you will ever see. Across its 7 seasons it raised the bar to an extraordinary level, which even Joss Whedon's sister show (or should that be brother show) Angel struggled to match throughout its own successful 5 season run.
This, season 6, was bought to complete my set after my 'old' discs started to play up. It's one of the darkest, sitting in the run between the suddenly sober season 5 (where poor Buffy lost her Mum, gained a sister (to the annoyance of much of the fanbase ) and the elegy-like season 7. Here, Buffy battles not so much external enemies (like the simple but terrifyingly powerful, diva-like Glory in season 5, and the equally unstoppable and equally merciless natural causes ) but her own darker impulses and those of her friends, making it arguably the series' most introspective and 'internal' season. Unlike the bright, blinding but harsh sunlight that permeated season 5, season 6 mostly takes place in the dark, with previously much-loved characters turning on each other in shocking ways. Xander, for so long the willing butt of the jokes, suddenly has cold feet about his wedding, which threatens to completely shatter a happy and unsuspecting Anya. Willow's love of the power and respect that comes from her magic use, finds herself unable to stop, threatening the people she loves and most of all her relationship with the loyal, responsible and concerned Tara. Giles departs for England at arguably the worst possible moment, leaving those who always looked to him for advice and wisdom rather lost. Dawn, Buffy's sister, while mostly free of the danger she experienced last season, feels neglected. And then of course there's Buffy herself, unwillingly brought back from the dead into a world where she has to once again thanklessly fight evil, delving into a self-destructive and miserable relationship with a still-soulless Spike simply in order to feel, and worst of all having to work endless double-shifts in a fast food joint, just to keep a roof over her sister and herself.
Despite all this though it's still Buffy, one of the wittiest series to hit TV, and of course there are moments of light amid the darkness - personally I found more to laugh at in the 1st half of season 6 that all of season 5 put together. The Trio, for instance - robot-designer Warren who Buffy clashed with in season 5, shy wannabe illusionist Jonathan (familiar to long-term fans as a recurring character), and weak-willed Andrew ('the other one') seem to be almost a parody of a set of camp, technology-obsessed geeks who are out of their depth acting as 'arch-nemesises' to Buffy. But when a shocking accident happens later on in s6, things get very dark indeed - expect bloodshed of several characters, and a heartrending but oddly cathartic conclusion where 1 much-loved central character finally embraces their grace, 1 finally embraces life, and 1 - well - that would be telling!
My advice? Buy s1 to s7, watch them in order (as i did) and experience a brilliant show with depth, themes, story arcs mixed with great one-offs, and enjoy. Lots!