Buffy the Vampire Slayer is perhaps Joss Whedon’s most brilliant work. With it, Whedon explored human nature and took viewers on a journey of incredible highs and despairing lows. I never thought a show about vampires could be so intuitive and deep. I never thought it could touch me and leave me wrestling with my emotions like it did.
Buffy probably isn’t my favorite Whedon show (I think that honor goes Firefly), but that doesn’t mean that I find it lacking. Buffy was a fantastic journey and once I got started, it was almost impossible to stop. I literally just requested one disc after another from Neflix until I had seen the whole series.
I suppose I could sit here and write an in depth analysis of what the series means to me, but that doesn’t sound like a lot fun. Instead, I’m just going to list out some of my favorite things from the show, because I like making lists and it’s a hell of a lot easier. Oh, and if you haven’t already guessed, spoilers ahead.
Favorite Season: Season 3
This was a really hard choice. I chose Season 3 mostly because it had a whole lot of Faith and she was an awesome character, but also because I felt like the show really hit its stride that season, producing a slew of very good episodes.
I also considered seasons 2 and 5. I really liked season 2 because it had a lot of funny episodes and Spike and Drusilla were possibly the best villains in the series. Season 5 was great because it had an excellent ongoing story arch and brought some new and interesting elements to the show.
Least Favorite Season: Season 6
Season 6 was just depressing. Buffy came back from the dead and was miserable; she dated Spike despite the fact that she loathed him; poor Tara died at the hands of a really crappy villain; and Willow went bad. There really wasn’t much that I did like in terms of plot. It was still Buffy, so there were always positives that I could take away from each episode, but it was a major letdown after an excellent season 5.
Favorite Episode: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
I don’t really know if that was my favorite episode, but it was fantastically funny and stands out in my mind as a very enjoyable 42 minutes.
Another episode that really stands out in my mind is Prophecy Girl, the season 1 finale. I would say that episode was the one that really sold the show for me. Up until that point, season 1 was mostly campy fun with some occasional deep episodes. The finale, however, made me realize how much potential that the show really had.
Least Favorite Episode: Beer Bad
Just really lame. Enough said.
Favorite Character: Xander
Really, I liked most of the characters in the show a great deal. The characters were definitely one of the best parts. They were just so well written and developed. Buffy, Willow, Giles, Angel, Faith, Spike, Drusilla, Xander–all great characters. I picked Xander because he was such a lovable loser, one of the only characters with no special abilities. He was the guy that you could always relate to, the guy you could count on for a laugh, and one of the only good male characters in the later seasons.
Least Favorite Character: Anya
I could never really get into Anya as a character. I just always found her to be annoying. For the first three seasons, I always thought that Willow and Xander would pair up, but, well, that prospect was crushed in season 4 for other reasons. Nonetheless, Xander and Anya was not nearly as cute and Xander and Willow would have been.
Favorite Villain: Faith
Faith was an awesome villain, a slayer gone bad, an equal to Buffy in deadly skill. She really was a sad case and you could feel for her–she wasn’t your typical villain, but she still kicked some serious butt.
Spike and Drusilla (from season 2) were definitely a close second.
Least Favorite Villain: The dudes from season 6
Yeah, they could be somewhat humorous, but I’ve always felt that one of the reasons that season 6 wasn’t as good as the others was because there wasn’t a good villain. Plus, the whole Tara thing made me pretty mad.
Well, I think that pretty much tells why I loved watching this show. After writing this, I feel like I need to add seasons to my Netflix instant queue and watch some of my favorite episodes.