Discusses Touched and End of Days, in case you're not caught up...
I still love Buffy, you know. It's highly unfashionable, I realize. I mean the show. The character too, of course, but I'm talking show here. I am still entertained. I am still moved to think. I am still in love with the main characters. I still want to know, with excitement, 'what happens next'. And it makes me so very sad to think that as of Tuesday, there won't be any more answers headed my way.
I've been with Buffy and Joss since the very first episode, when my young ones were only one. I watched Welcome to the Hellmouth because I enjoyed the movie. I kept watching because it was *damned* good tv. Still is, imho. After seven years, they manage to make me think differently about some truly classical themes. And I feel as if I *know* these characters. I enjoy their visits into my home and my head more than any show I've encountered. More than many, many books, too, and that's saying something.
Yeah, I'll be watching Angel next year. I have watched Angel on and off since its inception, too. They lost me somewhere in early S2, and only got me back last year. I have a full season and a half, if not more, to catch up on there.
As for the last few episodes of Buffy? I watch, feeling as if I'm holding my breath. I'm so in love, and I'm so in denial that it will end. At times I find myself in conversations picking nits to death and talking about how things could have been so much better (yes, I do think they could have). But in the end, I always come back to it: I adore this show. I think S6 was over the moon wonderful, and I've really enjoyed S7 despite the waste. In my mind, it's more of a half season than a full season, with all the time wasted dithering over spinoff this and spinoff that. But if I assume that ME and Joss wasted all that time trying to find a way to do a spinoff that folks would accept, then I can forgive the long string of SLEEPER/NLM/BOTN/SHOWTIME/POTENTIAL that was a waste of screentime... Looking back at other seasons, I see a similar failure in pacing, really. ME never has known how to contend with sweeps and ratings and corporate television business (c.f. Firefly). At least there was some good SpikeStaring there. Wasted storylines? Yeah. There have been many. This year *and* in previous years. I just kinda think we're all more judgemental of neglected plotlines this year because we know it's the end.
Over time in Buffy, I've seen the "powerful women equal lonely women" theme play out over and over again, and I've mourned for the one thing didn't think I could get: A powerful woman who is not alone. That's been my only real complaint (well, that and demon eggs -- ME writers should never, ever be allowed to write about eggs of any kind). Just as MustangSally ranted, why do they have to beat the notion that feminine power equals male castration into the ground? That's not growing up, and it's not coming into full power. I didn't like that part of EOD much. (hang in there with me...I'm getting to the lurve, I swear). Then I remember that they turned the whole gay cliche on its ear, too. And I feel better.
I have a feeling that Buffy's going to find out that castrating the powerful male is not enough. Denying someone else power over you isn't the same thing at all as truly embracing your own.
What's that? You wanna know what about Spike? What about the sex? Doesn't that come with the power package? Honestly, I think she's already got all the nooky she's getting. Poor girl. Spike's dead meat on a cross. Has been since Restless. He's bound to die in some spectacular fashion, AtS casting notwithstanding. But you know what? I think what she's got already is more than enough. Her story, and Spike's, came full circle for me in Touched. These last two eps are simply epilogue. Cleanup, even.
She found herself again in Touched, and she let him help her do it. Being alone *wasn't* the answer. Being believed in was. The kitchen scene in EoD confirmed that she's found herself and is beginning to open up for me, and the fantasyland sweeping music in the end scene with Angel proved the point. The music in the show (there's a cool essay on that somwhere) always gives us her point of view. And that music? Was as contrived and fake as any bodice-ripper cliche could ever be. Guess where I think Buffy's head is? (yeah, quit with the cat calls...I know that fandom isn't filled with the Buffy-love)
I know, I know: what about the SMG interview? Here's what I think: Poor SMG is a dingaling, and she always sounds it, too (cf Scooby Doo -- Mary Sue if I ever saw one). Buffy's a grown woman, finally, and on the verge of being able to actually love again. I hope we'll see that she really has learned before it's all done. That's really where the power lies in the Buffyverse, after all. Love as the great redeemer, the great source of power, the ultimate equalizer. And methinks the ultimate counter to the ultimate evil.
She doesn't have to be alone, and now she knows it. She's almost ready, and I think the next ep will be a Joss Classic. And I will be elated and excited and very, very sad.