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Buffy Season 5 - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About Buffy Season 5

Previous Entry Buffy Season 5 Dec. 2nd, 2004 @ 09:17 pm Next Entry
Some of my more astute (people that can count) readers (people who leave such pathetic lives they obsessively read my blog to live vicariously through me) may have noticed that I did not review Buffy Season 4. You are correct! I watched this season on TV when it aired. I watched the first few episodes and knew all the stuff and was eager for some new unseen stuff! So I skipped it. I now wish I had actually watched it because I forget minor things like how Willow and Oz broke up and early stuff with Willow and Tara, etc. But it was too late I was on to Season 5 goodness. And goodness it was! I know a lot of people say the series declined once Dawn came into the picture. This may be true, I am not completely impartial because I picked up the series mid stream so a lot of amazing revelations, that made seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 so cool, were known to me going in as mere back-story. All the same I think season 5 was amazing, simply amazing. I am a villain guy pure and simple. I think a good story hinges on the believability and nuance of a villain. Yet season 5’s villain Glory was great fun to watch but wasn’t all that nuanced, so how could I still like it so much? The show made up for that big time with the world being a villain. I was hooked deep by this season. I love Riley’s character, and yet he is too normal for Buffy. Riley and Spike’s interactions were perfect. Spike, became the mouthpiece of the fans. He was right, Riley is a great guy and an amazing boyfriend to Buffy, but she could never love him and even Riley knew it. It was so tragic to watch. It also allowed Buffy to be selfish and not a very good person, a side that we are not always allowed to see from heroes and heroines. I found Dawn cool at times and annoying at others, all in all I think she is an okay addition. I have always admired the series ability to be a metaphor for other things. The episode with Tara’s family being mad about her “lifestyle” was very well done. I remember the network was pretty shook up when it was decided Willow and Tara were lesbians. In typical sly fashion, the show talked about how “unnatural” a magic life style was, and how hard it was when one’s own family looked down on “those types of people.” Very well done it is a good story and an effective metaphor. But the real hook for me this season was Joyce’s death. I knew she died going in, but it still really got me. It was really amazing how she died just out of the blue when you thought everything was okay. It was so horribly true to life. She didn’t die like a hero, she died like a person. The episode “The Body” is quite possibly some of the most amazing 40 min I have watched on TV. The way they traced Joyce’s body’s journey from death to grave was amazing because the scenes kept cutting back to Buffy and the Scoobies reactions and grief. The director would show the completely unemotional coroner and then Dawn crying and so on and so on. It reminded you that death was a part of these people’s job. It also was a very poignant way of reminding you that a lot of people die in the show, and the whole Buffy Gang is pretty aloof about it, because they have to be, but when it hits too close to home it is real. The parts of the story were Buffy would suddenly day dream that she saved her mother and than snap back into reality were devastating. It gave the feeling of “is any of this real?” It conveyed the emotions of the character without the character having to look right into the camera and say, “Is any of this real?” “The Body” is just an amazing episode. There is little or no background music and the cinematography is amazing. Shooting through various filters and using odd angles and camera speeds added to the pain and surreal feeling of the death. Of course the cast of Buffy is amazing, but this was amazing by Buffy standards of amazing. I have always said the best thing about Buffy is the characters, and that is why I so loved season 5, there would be entire episodes without demons, vampires, or much Glory, it was just about the characters and their humanity. And even if the entire season was complete crap prior, “The Body” and episodes after it more than made the series a masterpiece.
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