Sharpen your stakes and floss those fangs, because fandom is coming for #BuffytheVampireSlayer's sixth season, and their will be blood! In 2001 #JossWhedon's vampiric vacation was called out for jumping the shark, or in this case, jumping the portal. Coming off the back of the superb Season 5, Joyce's death and Clare Elizabeth Kramer as Glory, some still argue that Season 6 is the worst thing that happened to Buffy.
Certainly, the show entered its darkest years for the #horror #comedy, especially when Tara suffered that fatal gunshot wound and we were met with Dark Willow. Behind the scenes, the show itself suffered its own casualties; Joss Whedon left as showrunner and the show moved from The WB to UPN. Although Whedon remained as Executive Producer, his lack of presence was definitely felt. While Season 6 remains divisive among fans, it appears that even the cast and crew can't decide if they love or loathe Buffy's return to the land of the living.
The Jury's Out
As Buffy the Vampire Slayer celebrates its 20th anniversary and the cast reunited, it seems that #SarahMichelleGellar finally got her angst about Season 6 off her chest. Speaking at the reunion, she revealed exactly what she thought about the year of singing and Spike:
“I’ve always said that season 6 was not my favorite. I felt it betrayed who she was. Even just getting to talk to Joss and be able to get his opinion was not as easy when he’s not upstairs. He had three shows. He had Angel and Firefly so that was hard. But he made sure to dedicate the time to season 7 and that was his promise to me: that we would right all the wrongs and he kept that promise.”
Certainly, with his action-packed schedule, Whedon's influence was fleeting; however, it is ironic that the show's famous musical episode was the only one of Season 6 that he wrote himself. Also airing his views, the show's creator felt it was time to cast off the bad rap that the sixth season frequently gets:
“I love season 6. Marti and I wanted to talk about an unhealthy relationship. It was borderline abusive until it actually became abusive. It was on both sides. It wasn’t just that she was with someone dark—she found the darkness within herself. This has to do with the consequences of power.”
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Slay It With Feeling
It doesn't take a Watcher to notice that the show became a lot grittier in its later years. The season got off to a bleak start with the big reveal that Willow resurrecting Buffy had actually pulled our deceased slayer from Heaven, and things got worse from there. We had Buffy's growing depression, a lack of Giles, and Spike nearly raping our titular slayer. It wasn't exactly sunshine and singalongs — well, yeah actually, it was. We also forget that Season 6 had some superbly crafted episodes like musical number "Once More, With Feeling," Anya reverting to vengeance demon, and the growing bond between Xander and Dawn.
Whedon has previously said that Season 6's magic theme represented the end of the naivety that the show's formative years had contained. As the cast of characters grew up, they lost the "magic" of their childhood and entered their adult years. There was no safety net of Sunnydale High or the UC Sunnydale Campus, it was just the Scooby Gang without (much) adult supervision.
Personally, I think the more serious tone of the show shifted it into a much-needed new chapter. Sure, we may have had the nerd squad that was The Trio, but with Whedon back on board for Season 7, things were soon back on the up.
Check out our video of Buffy's scariest monsters, and don't forget the poll below!
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Love or loathe 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Season 6?
[Poll Image Credit: 20th Television]