I’ve just rushed through the final series of Buffy and some of the episodes in the final series of Angel, because they leave Amazon Prime in a few days.
I’m reminded about how much I liked the final series of Buffy, despite popular opinion. Yes the potential slayers were mostly dull and cannon fodder, like most viewers I wished Kennedy would die early, and Buffy made just a few too many speeches. But Faith was back, Principal Wood was hot, and it was a great ending. There were also some really funny bits (Buffy and the bazooka, Anya in general) and some genuinely touching moments (Xander’s extraordinary talk with Dawn).
But I’m also reminded of how much I didn’t buy into the Buffy and Spike thing. I really enjoyed the episode in Season 4 where Willow cast a spell on them and they were getting married. And I suppose I could understand the self-loathing, no-strings sex. But the romance? To me it always felt like Spike just wore her down, professing his love so much she felt obligated to reciprocate. I don’t really believe in ‘falling’ for someone just because they’re in love with you: sounds a bit too much like settling. I’m not saying I wanted her to end up with Angel, but at least that felt equal: they liked each other and fell for each other at the same time (no matter what happened after).
I wish I could say I enjoyed the final season of Angel. The standout episode is Smile Time (where Angel is turned into a puppet), but mostly it felt like a drag. One in which they killed off their two lead females, replaced their great female antagonist with one no-one cared for, at least brought Harmony back for some comic relief; and brought more men into the picture. Don’t get me wrong: I love all the male leads, and ‘Spike and Angel’ was great. But I really missed Cordelia, and killing Fred was just cruel. To be fair, Angel started going off the rails when Connor came into it, but I felt like it could’ve been recovered. Admittedly more difficult after Season 4, but not impossible.
Part of me wonders if the male-female ratio was in some way to counteract all the women in the Buffy TV finale, but most of them didn’t speak; and they actually increased the number of men (5: Xander, Giles, Spike, Andrew, Wood) so it compared more favourably to the women (6: Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Anya, Faith, ugh Kennedy and other non-speaking potentials) compared to earlier series. And they killed Anya.
All that being said, I still intend to buy the comic books and continue to follow the Buffyverse.