Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Second Look at the Seventh, Which Features the First

I'm almost done my DVD-watching of season 7 of Buffy: only four more episodes to go. Sadly, while it does contain some genuinely brilliant moments, I think I still have to peg it as my least favorite season. Too many potentially interesting ideas handled far too clumsily. Too many heavy-handed iterations of "Oooh, look, we have theme! See, this is the theme! Don't worry, if you missed it, we'll repeat it again in five minutes, whether it's actually in-character for the person who's saying it or not." And it starts out with a great concept, then loses momentum completely on the follow-through, which, if you ask me, is much worse than starting off slow and getting more interesting.

I will say, though, that in some respects it does improve on second viewing. My biggest complaint the first time was that, for several episodes in the middle of the season, we get a lot of "OK! Big things are going to happen! Everybody get ready!" And, y'know, big things would then completely fail to happen, week after week. Just more damn speeches. It was clearly meant to be tense, but mainly ended up being frustrating. I've discovered, though, that when you're watching them at a rate that's closer to one a day than one a week, it comes much closer to achieving the intended effect. Partly because you lose the "I've been waiting all week for this?" effect, and partly because that seems to put you somewhat closer to the characters' timeline, where individual episodes might take place only a day or three apart.

Should be interesting to watch the final episode again...

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