Monday, August 6, 2012
Educate Emma: TV: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, S6
Season six basically deals with the aftermath of season five, and it is not an exaggeration to say that nothing happy occurs in the whole season. Sure, there are moments of comedy and cheerfulness, but none of the positivity is long-term. This season's quality could suffer from its lack of external obstacles and traditional barriers, but somehow the internal turmoil that all the characters experience heightens the brilliance of the season. From Buffy's struggle with mortality and darkness to Xander's uncertainty about his future with Anya, everyone deals with complex emotional issues. In fact, the antagonist of the season doesn't show up until very late, and they're an externalization of the psychological torment of the season. All of the emotion of previous seasons seems compounded in season six, only darker, grittier, and better written. It certainly makes for a riveting TV experience.
I can honestly say there's not a bad episode in the entire bunch, and that's a big difference from the horrifically campy plots of season one. It's virtually impossible to compare seasons five and six, as they are very different from each other, but I can say that they mark the peak of the series. I can't say whether season seven continues the trend, but I'll let you know when I find out.
Favourite episodes: Yeah, I really can't pick one in this case. There's the amazingly brilliant Once More with Feeling, which embodies everything good in this world. Seriously, it's a great piece of plot-driven creativity that must be seen by everyone ever. My other pick for favourite is a four-way tie, as the last four episodes work as their own big finale. They are all enthralling, and I can't imagine how people waited for a week each when it aired live.
Least favourite episodes: On a critical level, I can't say any of the episodes were bad. Doublemeat Palace was fun for its critique of the fast food industry, but I found it a little hard to follow. Then again, I was organizing my room whilst watching that episode, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. As You Were also left me feeling lackluster, but mostly because it had Riley in it.
Do you like your television seasons with more internal or external conflict? I'm curious to know.