Half a season from newbie to bitter old fic queen - it must be a new fandom record…
I think it’s time to rename Murphy’s Law, and while I’m at it, I’ll rewrite it, too: If anything can happen to make Buffy more miserable, it will. (If you don’t sense spoilers coming with this one, you don’t deserve to be warned.) For a season in which Buffy started out dead, things sure have been going downhill fast for her. Silly me, I thought six feet under was the lowest you could go. I respect Joss Whedon for the dialogue, but his characterization, now that I look at it more carefully, reminds me of the unremitting character-torture of which certain teen fanfic writers are all too fond.
The Mayor was right - that entire Buffy/Angel thing was doomed from the start, and while Buffy had the excuse of being a minor, Angel and Joss had no such excuse. Pardon me for harking back to Midnight Buffy reruns, but I was an unhappy witness to the graduation arc recently - Angel breaks up with Buffy, Buffy can’t really enjoy her prom, Buffy can’t really enjoy her graduation, Buffy had, I was surprised to see, an even worse time when she started college than when she went back for Warren’s time-warped version this season. Buffy can’t really enjoy anything, and it’s not just a lingering aftereffect of death. It is the show. I haven’t seen five minutes of Buffy happiness yet, and I’ve watched this entire season and large chunks of the others. The gypsy curse wasn’t on Angel, after all.
Maybe I just sound newbie, saying I didn’t know the show was even more depressing than real life. I thought the whole kill Buffy thing was a heroic exit and the subsequent resurrection an ironic last-minute fanfix. I thought Giles leaving Buffy in the half-dead lurch was some sort of obscure character development; we had none of that in Trek so I didn’t feel I could criticize. Tara was no great loss for me when she left Willow - the show was ship-heavy then, anyway. Little did I know that the character massacre would extend from Semi-Evil Willow to Random Spike and Neanderthal Xander. Those of you keeping up know that BtVS is down to no ships, unless you count Spike and his out-of-the-blue tart. He must have picked her up along with the out-of-the-blue career as a weapons dealer. Right. And thank you Joss for a half a season of wedding buildup, only to destroy Xander at the altar. I’m rooting for Anya to go back to the demon realm. I would, in her place.
“What this show needs is a big fat reset button,” I told Dr. Deb, fellow refugee from Trek. Two minutes later, I saw the preview. That’s one mother of a reset button, and the worst part is, I think Buffy would be better off institutionalized. I’m half-hoping that it doesn’t turn out to be another one of Warren’s tricks - more than half-hoping. At least the bloody field of corpses that once were Scoobies leaves plenty of room for fanfic first aid.
Where did I put my reset button?