"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, June 17, 2003

YET MORE BUFFY STUFF: Just finished my weekly TAS column (and on time, for once), which should be posted tonight. It's on Bill O'Reilly's... particularly poor choice of words. Thanks to Kevin Steel for the title.

So now I can give some impressions of season four. In response to my calling him a whore, Cosh writes that he'd link to me more often but he doesn't share some of my "unhealthy preoccupations," namely Buffy:

Unfortunately, Buffy was already an overanalyzed cult object by the time it really came to my attention--it arrived on the radar screen trailing sulfurous clouds of obnoxiousness, so I've never taken the trouble to watch more than ten minutes of the show at a stretch. I'm unusually confident--thanks to reports of self-contradictory story arcs and frequent admissions (from fans!) that much of the show's run was crap--that my decision is an instance of economically sound rational ignorance.

Conceded: The seventh season did suck and was very bad.

Conceded: Many people think the show lost its rudder in the sixth season. (Though not moi.)

Conceded: The whole Buffy phenomenon can sometimes lend itself to overanalysis.

That said, the first five seasons, at least, were some of the best television for your money. I finished season four Saturday night and was not blown away quite as much as seasons one through three, but still breathless. The big challenge was to move Buffy, which was a high school show, into a college setting. If seasons one through three were expansions on the insight that high school is hell , this season was about the dislocation of college and how we adjust. Old relationships are severed, people change, and life gets more complicated if, in the case of Buffy, that is possible.

And it worked. There are maybe four episodes out of the 22 that I wouldn't care to watch again.

When people, like Cosh, tell me that they can't get into Buffy, I always tell them to get the first season and watch a few episodes and see if it grows on them. My kid brother was an ignorant Buffy skeptic and is now, if anything, more of a fan than I am.

posted by Jeremy at 2:23 PM