As most of you probably know, I am a huge fan of the cult TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon. But I want you to focus on that word for just a minue; fan. When you see that word, you probably think of someone who is obsessive over the things that they love, and I guess in some respects that is true of me. But I think it's important, as a fan, to be honest with yourself. I believe that to be a true fan of something , you have to admit that not everything about it is perfect, otherwise you will become that obsessive fan who defends that thing blindly.
So to prove my point, I have decided to start a series of blogs, counting down the top 5 things I don't like about my favourite TV Shows/Movies/Bands or whatever, starting with 5 Things I don't like about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
5. Willow's Redemption Arc
I'm gonna go ahead and say SPOILER ALERT (seriously, if you don't want the show to be spoiled for you, don't read this blog).
If you don't know, Willow has a huge Character arc in the sixth season involving magic addiction. She manages to over-come her addiction by going cold turkey, and she's doing really well. That is until Tara gets shot dead (unintentionally) by Warren. Willow delves into the black arts, in an attempt to take revenge on Warren. She's successful in her attempts, she manages to track him down and murder him by flaying him. As Willow gets more and more hungry for power, she keeps obtaining it, and it ultimately becomes too much. She begins to feel the pain of everyone in the world, and decides the only way to make it stop is to end the world. Xander gets to her just in time and manages to stop her by getting through to the one piece if Willow that was still there.
So go forward a few months, into the seventh season. Willow has spent the summer in a convent, rehabilitating herself. And...she's just Willow. She shows very little remorse or guilt for what she did, and when she comes back to Sunnydale, everyone is so willing to except her back. To be fair, there is a bit of tension, and Wilow is constantly in fear of going back to her dark place. But I still think there's so much more they could have done with it. I don't think for a second that anyone could come out of something like that, and still be the same person.
4. The end of Buffy and Riley's relationship
You should know first of all that I love Riley and the relationship he had with Buffy. I thought it was really sweet when he realised he had feelings for Buffy so he asks Willow to help him get to know her better. It was really great, and it was such a great way to start their relationship. I really enjoyed their time on screen together, and I thought they were perfect. Until, of course, the end.
I can't really say anything that Buffy herself didn't say, but what more did Riley want from her? Riley was the first person Buffy was really able to be open with, and the only time she really started to shut him out was when she had too much on her plate to even really worry about him. She thought her mother was dying for christ sake. And Riley was the one with the problems? So he goes out to get bitten because that's so much better then what he gets from Buffy?
I'm sorry, as much as I like Riley's character, he's bit of a dick here.
Just Dawn. Well, specifically Dawn during season six. In season five, she was annoying sure, but in many ways I can understand. She just found out her whole life had been a lie and then she lost her Mum (or, at least the woman she'd always thought of as Mum). It was a pretty rough time, and considering her age as well, I can understand. And in season seven I actually quite like her. She becomes caring and compassionate and is actually quite a useful member of the group.
But Dawn Summers, during the sixth season, is a total bitch. There, I said it. Everyone seems to have their own set of problems during this season, Buffy's totally depressed, Willow's going through a break-up and an addiction, Xander and Anya are plannng a wedding that they never go through with. And what's Dawn's complaint in all of this? "No one ever spends time with me!" Boo-hoo.
There are so many moments in this season where Dawn just bugs the hell out of me. In Normal Again when Buffy's having visions of being in the mental ward, and Dawn realises that she's not in Buffy's vision. "It's your ideal reality, and I'm not part of it." Well what the hell do you expect? This is the reality where nothing supernatural exists. No demons, no magic, no slayer, no nothing. And you think that by some miracle, you would still be there? You had a mystical birth. You technically shouldn't exist. You know this, because you've been moping about it for the past year. Also, it's not like Buffy chose not to include you in her vision. It's not her ideal reality as you put it. She's not sitting there going "Wow, this is great. No Dawn" (Although I sure as hell would be).
Why the hell does everything always have to be about her? Buffy has to go and get a job so that she can keep a roof above their heads, and Dawn complains because Buffy's never around. When they're all trapped inside the house (because of a wish that Dawn made, I will add), Dawn complains because everyone wants to find a way out. She doesn't care that they all have jobs to go to, she just wants them to spend time with her.
God, I just can't stand her. It kinda makes me wish that they'd just let Glory take her in the fifth season. Hell on earth would have been more desirable than a world with Dawn in it.
One thing that's always bugged me about this show is that it's full of Hypocrites. The biggest culprit of this, I'm sorry to say, is Xander. Which is shame because he's actually one of my favourite characters in the show.
Take this for example, in the second season when Angel loses his soul and Angelus returns, Xander does nothing but tell Buffy that she has to put her feelings for him aside and kill him. Except years later, when the tables are turned and Anya returns to her vengence duties, Xander tries to convince Buffy not to kill her because he's still in love with her. I would be able to understand the latter, had he not done the former.
He knew exactly what Anya was when he first met her, yet he seems so willing to forget that she spent over a thousand years bringing vengence to people who were basically innocent. And to her credit, when she's stripped of her powers she does make an effort to be a good person, and I can see why Xander fell for her. Except when he finds out that Buffy has been sleeping with Spike, what does he say? "I've done a lot of bad things, but last time I checked, slaughtering half of Eurpoe wasn't one of them." What the hell? Have you totally forgotten that Anya used to kill people for fun?
There are lots more examples, like the fact that Willow quite clearly cheated on Oz, but when he so much as looks at Veruca she gets all petty and jealous. But Xander happens to be the one who frustrates me the most in that respect.
and the number one thing that I dislike the most, the thing that makes me angry every single time I see it:
1. Buffy getting thrown out in Empty Places
So the decision to go to the Vineyard was a bad one, it cost some of the potentials their lives and Xander lost an eye. Buffy knows it was a bad decision. It was reckless, and they should have been more prepared. So I can see why they would be a little dubious about her decision for them to go back. But the way they totally dismissed it as if it was the worst plan in the world really gets under my skin.
Do they seriously think that Buffy was just suggesting they go back and do it all exactly the same again? Do they think she's stupid? She wanted them to have a second chance, to go in more prepared, to have a proper stategy and to learn from their mistakes. They don't even give her a chance. Yeah, she hasn't always been the best leader, she has been reckless at times and yeah, a few people have paid the price. But no one more so than Buffy. She has died for the cause not once, but twice. She's always steered them right in the end, and she's always had to make the tough decisions.
Yet somehow, they act as if they can't trust her. Like everything she's ever done means nothing. Even Xander, Willow and Giles gang up on her. The three people who should understand better than anyone.
And of course, the final verdict is that they throw her out of the house. WHAT? WHY? SHE'S JUST COME UP WITH THE ONLY PLAN OF ACTION YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW, AND YOU TELL HER SHE'S WRONG AND THROW HER OUT OF HER OWN HOUSE?
And what totally annoys me, is that in the next episode they're totally lost without her. Buffy actually does go to the Vineyard, faces Caleb alone and finds the Scythe there. Proving that everything she said in Empty Places was right, making the rest of them look totally stupid.
So anyway, that's what I think. Let me know what you thought of this Blog, and I hope to do another one like this very soon.