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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 7 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another TV review, today I’ll be reviewing the 7th and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So after this crazy ride of going through seasons 12, 3, 4, 5 and 6 I am ready to finish this thing. It is ridiculous that it has taken me this long to finally finish this show and review, I mean I’ve been watching this show for practically TWO YEARS! I think it is about time I get it done. 😛 Minor spoilers follow…

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As usual, we follow the life of Buffy Summers; young lady by day, vampire slayer by night. As part of the “Scooby Gang” they take on the supernatural happenings that go on in Sunnydale.

The show continues to have episodic stories, but also has story arches that continue over the course of the season that relate to things that have happened in the past, but have are also currently happening too.

Story-wise this season deals with the destructive fallout from season six, but also presents a whole new form of obstacles for Buffy and company to tackle. I read online that season 7 was about bringing the show back to its roots and that’s definitely felt with the reintroduction of Sunnydale High School, Buffy being the center of attention as the Slayer, the focus on the Hellmouth, the First finally coming into play and a focus on the core group (Buffy, Willow and Xander). It feels incredibly nostalgic, but also new a fresh because of the new characters and scenarios which inhabit this season. A lot of sacrifices and death and you can’t help but feel for everyone involved, and that’s especially true for Buffy who carries the fate of everyone on her shoulders, most make all the decisions and live with the consequences whether they are be good or bad. There’s a genuine feeling of dread and despair thanks to all the talk and mind games of the First, death and overwhelming situations that Buffy and company have to overcome whether it be successful or otherwise. Its like there’s a cloud of depression hanging over the characters, more so than anything that’s come before and while there are moments humour, it isn’t as frequent as it was before. Everything feels like its come full circle with certain questions finally getting answers or story elements that took place several seasons back finally getting coming to pass now.

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My issues with this season are minor but notable. The overall tone is a little on the dark side and desolate side and while that is necessary because of what was happening, it just wasn’t as fun to watch. There isn’t as much humour as before and some of the stories weren’t as impressive as previous seasons. And finally the inclusion of certain new characters just pissed me off, they weren’t Riley levels of bad, but they got close.

Episode highlights include:

  • Lessons
  • Beneath You
  • Same Time, Same Place
  • Selfless
  • Him (personal favourite)
  • Sleeper
  • Showtime
  • Bring on the Night
  • The Killer in Me
  • Get It Done (personal favourite)
  • Storyteller
  • The Lies My Parents Told Me
  • Dirty Girls (personal favourite)
  • Empty Places
  • End of Days (personal favourite)
  • Chosen (personal favourite)

When it comes to the cast, the once the main original cast members do such great jobs and some deliver some of their best work in the series and because of the First, there are opportunities to certain characters current and old in really interesting lights. Also is all about giving speeches, Buffy gives an awesome speech, so does Xander, and Anya, and good few other people and they are really well-written and well-acted too.

So let’s start with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers. This season presents us with a much more seasoned and matured individual who is brave and smart, but also slightly more tough and is aware of the dangers that lie ahead. SMG again does a wonderful job in this role adding layers to an already great character by still giving us all the light-hearted and humourous material we’ve come to expect from Buffy, but also giving us different shades of the character whether they are more aggressive or assertive. Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg once again does a lovely job in her role, while Willow’s not nearly as significant as she was last season, she has plenty to do and her moments with Buffy and Xander, and taking on magical-based activity are good too. Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris still does a great job, Xander is once again highlighted as the heart of the group and is a character full of courage, heart and commitment to his friends and the cause that Buffy is fighting for. Brendon really does well and has some really powerful scenes. Also Xander gives a great pep talk to Dawn about being special/important even when you’re not the main protagonist, it was one of the most beautiful and memorable moment of the series for me.

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Michelle Trachtenberg was also pretty good as Dawn Summers, as I stated beforehand, I haven’t always been Dawn’s biggest fan, however I have been warming up to her and this season her character wasn’t in the spotlight as much and I preferred that, she has her moments of importance but overall doesn’t take up too much time in the main stories. James Marsters as Spike, was and always will be a badass. Spike is still humourous, charming and mean, but he’s also caring, troubled and tragic. There are so many layers to this man, he has more courage and heart then most of the characters will ever know and only a handful of people see it. Marsters just excels at his material and proves time after time why he is one of the quintessential characters of this show. Emma Caulfield as also does a good job as Anya, still sarcastic, blunt and funny, but also useful and she has good moments of heroism and drama with Xander. And even though he’s not around as much, Anthony Stewart Head is still the man as Rupert Giles, even though his character was a little at odds with Buffy, he still provides moments of insight, humour and awesomeness.

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Now let’s talk about everyone else. Firstly there’s Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells, I did enjoy Andrew for his pop culture references and silly behaviour, but at the same time the guy was such a wimp and had no respect from the others that it made me dislike him a lot too. D. B. Woodside as Principal Robin Wood, at first I thought he was too nice to not be suspicious, but is turns out that he was a good guy after all with an interesting backstory and a few cool moments to make him a likeable character. As for the Potentials, there’s only a few I choose to acknowledge; Iyari Limon as Kennedy who was the most developed of the new girls and while I liked her headstrong nature, it also annoyed me on occasions and I’m kind of in two minds about her relationship with Willow as well. Sarah Hagan was my favourite as Amanda, she was cute and delightful, and I also liked seeing Felicia Day as Vi too. I have to give this season major props for not only bringing back Eliza Dushku as Faith, she was one of my favourite characters from this show and to see her sassy, sexy and laid back personality being brought back into the fold was much appreciated and Dushku was lovely. But, having NATHAN FILLION as Caleb, that just rocked my world. Anyone who knows me knows how much of fanboy I am when it comes to Fillion, and since I watched Joss Whedon’s shows backwards I had no idea that he was in this, so to see him show up was like the best thing ever. Caleb has such a way with words, he’s calm and collected and full of style, but he’s also crazy, absurdly powerful and scary, and Fillion does such a great job, he’s a likeable douchebag that does really evil things haha.

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So to conclude season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great send off to a great TV show. It is like a culmination of everything that has transpired coming together in an epic, drama and emotional manner. The characters have never been stronger or more engaging, the themes have impact, the loss hurts and the triumphs are wonderful. In the final episode there’s a sense of nostalgia, humour and heartbreak during and after the show ends, but I think that’s how you’re supposed to feel, and while this season wasn’t my favourite, it definitely ends on a high.

Rating: 8/10

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 6 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another TV review and today I will be reviewing season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So after having good times with season 12, 3 ,4 and 5 I am ready for more. Oh and before I go into this review I have to apologise for the wait, I had finished this season almost a month and a half ago but just couldn’t find the right way to word it until now. 😛 With that out of the way, on with the review. 🙂 Minor spoilers follow…

buffyseason6cover

As usual, we follow the life of Buffy Summers; teenager by day, vampire slayer by night. As part of the “Scooby Gang” they take on the supernatural happenings that go on in Sunnydale.

The show continues to have episodic stories, but also has story arches that continue over the course of the season that relate to things that have happened in the past, but have are also currently happening too. This season deals with the death and resurrection Buffy, and then her having to grow up and deal with issues that come with being a regular adult. There is also the rise of The Trio, Willow’s growing talent in magic and Tera’s concern for her dabbling in the dark arts, Xander and Anya’s developing relationship, Dawn’s secret issues and Spike’s continued obsession with Buffy.

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Story-wise this season deals with a lot of dark and adult subject matters, and rather than detracting from the show’s formula, it allows the characters and stories to develop, mature and create new, exciting and unexpected scenarios. Once again the show happens to strike that right balance between humour and really seriousness, but what surprised me was how mature the stories and subject matters got. The show deals with subjects like life after death, sexual lust, rape, addiction, marriage and it’s not like they are just dumped in there quickly, they are right at the forefront of these stories and they feel realistic, raw and grip you on the most engaging and emotional level. And while I’m no stranger to these types of scenarios on TV, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how these things were handed, adding new levels of drama and digging into deeper emotional territories which was brilliant. I will say that this season, because of its dark subject matter and some of the storylines isn’t as fun or as enjoyable as some of the material that’s come beforehand. That being said, season 6 felt so progressive, smart and fun and the writers and Joss Whedon should be commended for taking these steps to advance this show. Oh and big shout out to the muscial episode, I had waited years to see it and it did not disappoint. 😀

Episode highlights include:

  • Bargaining Part 1 & 2
  • Afterlife
  • Flooded
  • Once More, With Feeling (personal favourite)
  • Tabula Rasa (personal favourite)
  • Smashed
  • Wrecked (personal favourite)
  • Gone
  • Doublemeat Palace
  • Dead Things
  • Older and Far Away
  • As You Were
  • Hell’s Bells (personal favourite)
  • Normal Again
  • Entropy
  • Seeing Red (personal favourite)
  • Villains
  • Two to Go (personal favourite)
  • Grave (personal favourite)

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When it comes to the cast, the regulars once again give us such beautiful and memorable performances, while the new additions certain shake things up for the recurring cast members. But this was clearly a big season for the main three characters; Buffy, Willow and Xander.

So let’s start with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers. I love how this season presented her with a lot of the issues that regular people start to have to deal with at her age like financial problems and getting a job, but also having to not only be a sister to Dawn but also be a parent to her too. Oh and Sarah, what an amazing lady. Her acting was top-notch this season, as usual SMG brough that incredibly bright, fun and witty side of Buffy to screen, but then we also got to see the more vulnerable, relatable and dramatic side of her too and the way SMG handled the more serious material was so realistic and emotionally engaging that I was left almost speechless by how much her acting affected me. Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg was great, this was the season where we got to see the best and worst of this character. Willow continues to be cute, charming and fun, but she also starts to show confidence, arrogance, deceptive tendencies and a lack of caution which affects the lives of everyone around her especially Tara. We got to see a very different side of Willow this season in addition to all of her regular traits and I adore Hannigan’s acting in this season as it was so convincing and awesome. Nicholas Brendon is another person who gets a lot to do as Xander Harris, Xander has always been an important character in this show, but this season really gives him more to beyond the regular comic relief, he’s given a lot of dramatic and emotional material, he’s at the forefront of a lot of stories, and we also get inside his head, learn about his loves and fears and see why he’s so vital to the gang. Brendon is great in this season and gives his best performance so far. Michelle Trachtenberg was also pretty good as Dawn Summers, I will admit that Dawn kind of annoyed me this season as her emotions were very bipolar when it came to Buffy and she was quite whiney a lot as well. That being said I could understand her because she was a teenager and she’d had to deal with so much for a person at that age.

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James Marsters as Spike, wow, this was certainly a big season for him. Spike grows so much this season, continuing a lot of the themes from before, this time round Spike is still fun, mean and caring, but he’s also damaged, alone, lusting and all over the place. Marsters should be commended for handling his material with such professionalism and charisma, but also for being the same old charming and endearing actor we’ve come to love. Emma Caulfield as Anya was awesome, Anya’s always been a good source of humour and emotion, but this season really pushes her character forward and develops her in such dramatic ways and at one point I felt so bad for her in a way that I’d never thought I ever would, and Caulfield just broke my heart with her great acting. Amber Benson was really good as Tara Maclay, Tara has been a character I really got attached to from her first appearance and this season she become more integrated into the crew and has such a beautiful relationship with Willow. Benson is so lovely to watch in this role and she gives such fun and memorable performances. Anthony Stewart Head continues to be awesome as Rupert Giles, while Giles presence in this season is certainly smaller than before, he is by no means any less significant and in a lot of ways he’s more important than ever. I loved his story arc, interactions with Buffy and how he happened to be around at just the right times in certain episodes. I love ASH in this role, he’s just so badass and dramatic, and getting to see him sing again was just the best thing ever.

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Now lets talk about The Trio with Danny Strong, Tom Lenk and Adam Busch as Jonathan, Andrew and Warren. Jonathan has always been one of my favourite hidden characters and he’s gotten progressively bigger over the time, but I didn’t expect him to return to this season on the side of evil. I liked how he was still kind of awkward, funny and the voice of reason within the group and Strong was great. Adam was my least favourite of the three as he seemed like a spineless lackey who just followed Warren without having much personality of his own, though he does have moments where he stood out. Warren was definitely the most memorable of the three, he was the leader and had the most cunning and villainous aspects. This guy was creepy, cold-hearted, manipulative and knew how to take things too far, and Adam Busch was really good in this role. I also really enjoyed James C. Leary as Clem as he was such an odd yet funny character and the return of Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison was very welcomed as she had an interesting role to play.

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So to conclude season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is bloody brilliant, while it certainly one of the least joyful seasons of the show, it still had a lot of the trademark humour and provided me with some of the best drama I’ve seen in a TV in a while. This season tackled some really dark and mature themes, had some brilliant performances and super memorable storylines. I’ll be sad to see this show end when I finish season 7, but I’m super hyped for it.

Rating: 8.5/10

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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