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2003-04-28 00:29:37-04:00 - Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (jramire@attglobal.net)


In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series." Here's what I meant. Two of the most common story motifs on "Buffy" are dreams and hell dimensions. Buffy's prophetic dreams have played an important role in her life as the Slayer since the very beginning of the show, and several entire episodes have explored the connection -- and the differences -- between dreams and waking life. E.g., "Nightmares," "Restless." Similarly, the concept of hell as a dimension of existence that is separate from, but occasionally accessible to, our own mundane plane has received considerable attention, from Angel's banishment at the end of season two to the current season's renewed focus on the Hellmouth as the gateway between these worlds. (The recent "Angel" episode "Orpheus" is another obvious example.) But not until season six did ME devote an entire *season* to a sustained exploration of these themes, and when it happened both were pursued simultaneously. I call the theme of season six "The Hell of the Surreal" because the Buffyverse is reimagined as Buffy's dreamlike trip through hell on earth. I use "surreal" in both senses -- pertaining to dreams literally, and bizarre, freakish or absurd. Season six begins and ends with Buffy climbing out of a grave, and not until the second "resurrection" does she come fully back to life. So, if Buffy is neither dead nor completely alive during all the episodes between "Bargaining" and "Grave" (the latter title is a clear announcement that the cycle has been completed), what's happening? The answer is that she is experiencing the world as an extended journey through a dreamlike underworld. Among the first words Buffy utters in season six are, "Is this hell?" as she stumbles through a fiery Sunnydale populated by demons on motorcycles. The answer is "yes" -- at least for Buffy, at least for a while. Some of the elements of season six didn't make sense to me until I realized that they weren't *supposed* to make sense. Images and events in dreams often have purely emotional, not logical, impact. Season six story elements that might seem implausible, goofy or stupid work better when they're viewed purely as surrealistic experiences that are part of a season-long "nightmare": *A loan shark who really is a shark *Gambling for kittens *A friendly, floppy-eared demon fond of junk food and junk TV *Minor characters from one's past -- the Trio -- suddenly assuming inexplicably major roles in one's life, as happens often in dreams *Spellcasting at the Bronze that turns people into strange animals, giant fruits, etc. *Singing that comes out of nowhere *Suppressed or barely acknowledged sexual fantasies that involve risk, danger or taboos suddenly erupting, as in a dream *Becoming invisible and casting off one's inhibitions, or getting stuck repeating the same actions over and over *A creature that is little more than a giant phallic symbol ("Doublemeat Palace") *A wedding with a cast of grotesque, Fellini-esque characters who go through the motions of domesticity before rioting *The "dream within a dream" hallucinations of "Normal Again." Season six is also full of elements that suggest that hell is no longer a dimension apart from the everyday Buffyverse, but has merged with it, e.g.: *Buffy's fear of becoming what she hates most -- "a monster" -- coming true in her violent abuse of Spike *Anya's worst fear coming to pass with her abandonment on her wedding day *Xander's becoming what he despises -- the disloyal lover *The one-time gentlest character, Willow, turning into a friend-betraying, world-destroying hellgod (ironic, isn't it, that Willow, who hated Glory so much in season five, essentially became her in season six?). Most of the surreal elements I've listed above also evoke the "hell on earth" mood that's central to season six. I'm not arguing that every episode of season six is a gem, but I do believe that when reconsidered as suggested here, season six appears impressively consistent in thematic content. In a sense, from Buffy's point of view everything that occurs in season six is a false step. Only after Willow, who raised her in the first place, reburies Buffy in "Grave" does Buffy finally have the opportunity to take back that step and start moving forward again. Joe Ramirez

2003-04-28 00:29:37-04:00 - Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (jramire@attglobal.net)


In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series." Here's what I meant. Two of the most common story motifs on "Buffy" are dreams and hell dimensions. Buffy's prophetic dreams have played an important role in her life as the Slayer since the very beginning of the show, and several entire episodes have explored the connection -- and the differences -- between dreams and waking life. E.g., "Nightmares," "Restless." Similarly, the concept of hell as a dimension of existence that is separate from, but occasionally accessible to, our own mundane plane has received considerable attention, from Angel's banishment at the end of season two to the current season's renewed focus on the Hellmouth as the gateway between these worlds. (The recent "Angel" episode "Orpheus" is another obvious example.) But not until season six did ME devote an entire *season* to a sustained exploration of these themes, and when it happened both were pursued simultaneously. I call the theme of season six "The Hell of the Surreal" because the Buffyverse is reimagined as Buffy's dreamlike trip through hell on earth. I use "surreal" in both senses -- pertaining to dreams literally, and bizarre, freakish or absurd. Season six begins and ends with Buffy climbing out of a grave, and not until the second "resurrection" does she come fully back to life. So, if Buffy is neither dead nor completely alive during all the episodes between "Bargaining" and "Grave" (the latter title is a clear announcement that the cycle has been completed), what's happening? The answer is that she is experiencing the world as an extended journey through a dreamlike underworld. Among the first words Buffy utters in season six are, "Is this hell?" as she stumbles through a fiery Sunnydale populated by demons on motorcycles. The answer is "yes" -- at least for Buffy, at least for a while. Some of the elements of season six didn't make sense to me until I realized that they weren't *supposed* to make sense. Images and events in dreams often have purely emotional, not logical, impact. Season six story elements that might seem implausible, goofy or stupid work better when they're viewed purely as surrealistic experiences that are part of a season-long "nightmare": *A loan shark who really is a shark *Gambling for kittens *A friendly, floppy-eared demon fond of junk food and junk TV *Minor characters from one's past -- the Trio -- suddenly assuming inexplicably major roles in one's life, as happens often in dreams *Spellcasting at the Bronze that turns people into strange animals, giant fruits, etc. *Singing that comes out of nowhere *Suppressed or barely acknowledged sexual fantasies that involve risk, danger or taboos suddenly erupting, as in a dream *Becoming invisible and casting off one's inhibitions, or getting stuck repeating the same actions over and over *A creature that is little more than a giant phallic symbol ("Doublemeat Palace") *A wedding with a cast of grotesque, Fellini-esque characters who go through the motions of domesticity before rioting *The "dream within a dream" hallucinations of "Normal Again." Season six is also full of elements that suggest that hell is no longer a dimension apart from the everyday Buffyverse, but has merged with it, e.g.: *Buffy's fear of becoming what she hates most -- "a monster" -- coming true in her violent abuse of Spike *Anya's worst fear coming to pass with her abandonment on her wedding day *Xander's becoming what he despises -- the disloyal lover *The one-time gentlest character, Willow, turning into a friend-betraying, world-destroying hellgod (ironic, isn't it, that Willow, who hated Glory so much in season five, essentially became her in season six?). Most of the surreal elements I've listed above also evoke the "hell on earth" mood that's central to season six. I'm not arguing that every episode of season six is a gem, but I do believe that when reconsidered as suggested here, season six appears impressively consistent in thematic content. In a sense, from Buffy's point of view everything that occurs in season six is a false step. Only after Willow, who raised her in the first place, reburies Buffy in "Grave" does Buffy finally have the opportunity to take back that step and start moving forward again. Joe Ramirez

2003-04-28 06:04:49+00:00 - Re: Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (pdburnsy@aol.com)


>In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood >and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most >thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series. I agree with you, everyone's life changes in someway or another and Buffy's obviously dramatically changed. Say if you die tomorrow, and are brought back to life.... what would you do???? Burnsy

2003-04-28 06:04:49+00:00 - Re: Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (pdburnsy@aol.com)


>In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood >and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most >thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series. I agree with you, everyone's life changes in someway or another and Buffy's obviously dramatically changed. Say if you die tomorrow, and are brought back to life.... what would you do???? Burnsy

2003-04-28 14:25:18-04:00 - Re: Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (DarkMagic <slnospambilan@comcast.net>)


<jramire@attglobal.net> wrote in message news:3eacae86_2@news1.prserv.net... > In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood > and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most > thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series." Here's > what I meant. > > Two of the most common story motifs on "Buffy" are dreams and hell > dimensions. Buffy's prophetic dreams have played an important role in her > life as the Slayer since the very beginning of the show, and several entire > episodes have explored the connection -- and the differences -- between > dreams and waking life. E.g., "Nightmares," "Restless." Similarly, the > concept of hell as a dimension of existence that is separate from, but > occasionally accessible to, our own mundane plane has received considerable > attention, from Angel's banishment at the end of season two to the current > season's renewed focus on the Hellmouth as the gateway between these worlds. > (The recent "Angel" episode "Orpheus" is another obvious example.) > > But not until season six did ME devote an entire *season* to a sustained > exploration of these themes, and when it happened both were pursued > simultaneously. I call the theme of season six "The Hell of the Surreal" > because the Buffyverse is reimagined as Buffy's dreamlike trip through hell > on earth. I use "surreal" in both senses -- pertaining to dreams literally, > and bizarre, freakish or absurd. > > Season six begins and ends with Buffy climbing out of a grave, and not until > the second "resurrection" does she come fully back to life. So, if Buffy is > neither dead nor completely alive during all the episodes between > "Bargaining" and "Grave" (the latter title is a clear announcement that the > cycle has been completed), what's happening? The answer is that she is > experiencing the world as an extended journey through a dreamlike > underworld. Among the first words Buffy utters in season six are, "Is this > hell?" as she stumbles through a fiery Sunnydale populated by demons on > motorcycles. The answer is "yes" -- at least for Buffy, at least for a > while. > > Some of the elements of season six didn't make sense to me until I realized > that they weren't *supposed* to make sense. Images and events in dreams > often have purely emotional, not logical, impact. Season six story elements > that might seem implausible, goofy or stupid work better when they're viewed > purely as surrealistic experiences that are part of a season-long > "nightmare": > *A loan shark who really is a shark > *Gambling for kittens > *A friendly, floppy-eared demon fond of junk food and junk TV > *Minor characters from one's past -- the Trio -- suddenly assuming > inexplicably major roles in one's life, as happens often in dreams > *Spellcasting at the Bronze that turns people into strange animals, giant > fruits, etc. > *Singing that comes out of nowhere > *Suppressed or barely acknowledged sexual fantasies that involve risk, > danger or taboos suddenly erupting, as in a dream > *Becoming invisible and casting off one's inhibitions, or getting stuck > repeating the same actions over and over > *A creature that is little more than a giant phallic symbol ("Doublemeat > Palace") > *A wedding with a cast of grotesque, Fellini-esque characters who go through > the motions of domesticity before rioting > *The "dream within a dream" hallucinations of "Normal Again." > > Season six is also full of elements that suggest that hell is no longer a > dimension apart from the everyday Buffyverse, but has merged with it, e.g.: > *Buffy's fear of becoming what she hates most -- "a monster" -- coming true > in her violent abuse of Spike > *Anya's worst fear coming to pass with her abandonment on her wedding day > *Xander's becoming what he despises -- the disloyal lover > *The one-time gentlest character, Willow, turning into a friend-betraying, > world-destroying hellgod (ironic, isn't it, that Willow, who hated Glory so > much in season five, essentially became her in season six?). > Most of the surreal elements I've listed above also evoke the "hell on > earth" mood that's central to season six. > > I'm not arguing that every episode of season six is a gem, but I do believe > that when reconsidered as suggested here, season six appears impressively > consistent in thematic content. In a sense, from Buffy's point of view > everything that occurs in season six is a false step. Only after Willow, who > raised her in the first place, reburies Buffy in "Grave" does Buffy finally > have the opportunity to take back that step and start moving forward again. > This is really an excellent analysis of Season Six. It's not my favorite season, in fact, it comes in number two after season five as being my least favorite season, but given the dream-like perspective of your essay it seems to make quite a lot more sense than it did. It's strange that I never sensed the dream like theme behind the episodes considering my own life was filled with so much horror last year that I, too, often thought I must be living in a nightmare. So much bad fortune couldn't possibly be reality. It's true that almost every episode had a dream theme to it. The only thing Buffy didn't do was go to work, or school, naked, or have the final exam dream where she's taking the test but has never been to class. Everything from her nightmare job at the DMP, to her wacked out relationship with Spike, to the stupid villains all smacks of a bad dream. Shannon Spike: "We're bringing Mother, of course. I think you'll like her." Druscilla: "Do you mean to eat?" > > > >

2003-04-28 14:25:18-04:00 - Re: Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (DarkMagic <slnospambilan@comcast.net>)


<jramire@attglobal.net> wrote in message news:3eacae86_2@news1.prserv.net... > In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood > and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most > thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series." Here's > what I meant. > > Two of the most common story motifs on "Buffy" are dreams and hell > dimensions. Buffy's prophetic dreams have played an important role in her > life as the Slayer since the very beginning of the show, and several entire > episodes have explored the connection -- and the differences -- between > dreams and waking life. E.g., "Nightmares," "Restless." Similarly, the > concept of hell as a dimension of existence that is separate from, but > occasionally accessible to, our own mundane plane has received considerable > attention, from Angel's banishment at the end of season two to the current > season's renewed focus on the Hellmouth as the gateway between these worlds. > (The recent "Angel" episode "Orpheus" is another obvious example.) > > But not until season six did ME devote an entire *season* to a sustained > exploration of these themes, and when it happened both were pursued > simultaneously. I call the theme of season six "The Hell of the Surreal" > because the Buffyverse is reimagined as Buffy's dreamlike trip through hell > on earth. I use "surreal" in both senses -- pertaining to dreams literally, > and bizarre, freakish or absurd. > > Season six begins and ends with Buffy climbing out of a grave, and not until > the second "resurrection" does she come fully back to life. So, if Buffy is > neither dead nor completely alive during all the episodes between > "Bargaining" and "Grave" (the latter title is a clear announcement that the > cycle has been completed), what's happening? The answer is that she is > experiencing the world as an extended journey through a dreamlike > underworld. Among the first words Buffy utters in season six are, "Is this > hell?" as she stumbles through a fiery Sunnydale populated by demons on > motorcycles. The answer is "yes" -- at least for Buffy, at least for a > while. > > Some of the elements of season six didn't make sense to me until I realized > that they weren't *supposed* to make sense. Images and events in dreams > often have purely emotional, not logical, impact. Season six story elements > that might seem implausible, goofy or stupid work better when they're viewed > purely as surrealistic experiences that are part of a season-long > "nightmare": > *A loan shark who really is a shark > *Gambling for kittens > *A friendly, floppy-eared demon fond of junk food and junk TV > *Minor characters from one's past -- the Trio -- suddenly assuming > inexplicably major roles in one's life, as happens often in dreams > *Spellcasting at the Bronze that turns people into strange animals, giant > fruits, etc. > *Singing that comes out of nowhere > *Suppressed or barely acknowledged sexual fantasies that involve risk, > danger or taboos suddenly erupting, as in a dream > *Becoming invisible and casting off one's inhibitions, or getting stuck > repeating the same actions over and over > *A creature that is little more than a giant phallic symbol ("Doublemeat > Palace") > *A wedding with a cast of grotesque, Fellini-esque characters who go through > the motions of domesticity before rioting > *The "dream within a dream" hallucinations of "Normal Again." > > Season six is also full of elements that suggest that hell is no longer a > dimension apart from the everyday Buffyverse, but has merged with it, e.g.: > *Buffy's fear of becoming what she hates most -- "a monster" -- coming true > in her violent abuse of Spike > *Anya's worst fear coming to pass with her abandonment on her wedding day > *Xander's becoming what he despises -- the disloyal lover > *The one-time gentlest character, Willow, turning into a friend-betraying, > world-destroying hellgod (ironic, isn't it, that Willow, who hated Glory so > much in season five, essentially became her in season six?). > Most of the surreal elements I've listed above also evoke the "hell on > earth" mood that's central to season six. > > I'm not arguing that every episode of season six is a gem, but I do believe > that when reconsidered as suggested here, season six appears impressively > consistent in thematic content. In a sense, from Buffy's point of view > everything that occurs in season six is a false step. Only after Willow, who > raised her in the first place, reburies Buffy in "Grave" does Buffy finally > have the opportunity to take back that step and start moving forward again. > This is really an excellent analysis of Season Six. It's not my favorite season, in fact, it comes in number two after season five as being my least favorite season, but given the dream-like perspective of your essay it seems to make quite a lot more sense than it did. It's strange that I never sensed the dream like theme behind the episodes considering my own life was filled with so much horror last year that I, too, often thought I must be living in a nightmare. So much bad fortune couldn't possibly be reality. It's true that almost every episode had a dream theme to it. The only thing Buffy didn't do was go to work, or school, naked, or have the final exam dream where she's taking the test but has never been to class. Everything from her nightmare job at the DMP, to her wacked out relationship with Spike, to the stupid villains all smacks of a bad dream. Shannon Spike: "We're bringing Mother, of course. I think you'll like her." Druscilla: "Do you mean to eat?" > > > >

2003-04-28 21:49:24-04:00 - Re: Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (drfeline <drfeline@aaahawk.com>)


<jramire@attglobal.net> wrote in message news:3eacae86_2@news1.prserv.net... > In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood > and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most > thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series." Here's > what I meant. > > Two of the most common story motifs on "Buffy" are dreams and hell > dimensions. Buffy's prophetic dreams have played an important role in her > life as the Slayer since the very beginning of the show, and several entire > episodes have explored the connection -- and the differences -- between > dreams and waking life. E.g., "Nightmares," "Restless." Similarly, the > concept of hell as a dimension of existence that is separate from, but > occasionally accessible to, our own mundane plane has received considerable > attention, from Angel's banishment at the end of season two to the current > season's renewed focus on the Hellmouth as the gateway between these worlds. > (The recent "Angel" episode "Orpheus" is another obvious example.) > > But not until season six did ME devote an entire *season* to a sustained > exploration of these themes, and when it happened both were pursued > simultaneously. I call the theme of season six "The Hell of the Surreal" > because the Buffyverse is reimagined as Buffy's dreamlike trip through hell > on earth. I use "surreal" in both senses -- pertaining to dreams literally, > and bizarre, freakish or absurd. > > Season six begins and ends with Buffy climbing out of a grave, and not until > the second "resurrection" does she come fully back to life. So, if Buffy is > neither dead nor completely alive during all the episodes between > "Bargaining" and "Grave" (the latter title is a clear announcement that the > cycle has been completed), what's happening? The answer is that she is > experiencing the world as an extended journey through a dreamlike > underworld. Among the first words Buffy utters in season six are, "Is this > hell?" as she stumbles through a fiery Sunnydale populated by demons on > motorcycles. The answer is "yes" -- at least for Buffy, at least for a > while. > > Some of the elements of season six didn't make sense to me until I realized > that they weren't *supposed* to make sense. Images and events in dreams > often have purely emotional, not logical, impact. Season six story elements > that might seem implausible, goofy or stupid work better when they're viewed > purely as surrealistic experiences that are part of a season-long > "nightmare": > *A loan shark who really is a shark > *Gambling for kittens > *A friendly, floppy-eared demon fond of junk food and junk TV > *Minor characters from one's past -- the Trio -- suddenly assuming > inexplicably major roles in one's life, as happens often in dreams > *Spellcasting at the Bronze that turns people into strange animals, giant > fruits, etc. > *Singing that comes out of nowhere > *Suppressed or barely acknowledged sexual fantasies that involve risk, > danger or taboos suddenly erupting, as in a dream > *Becoming invisible and casting off one's inhibitions, or getting stuck > repeating the same actions over and over > *A creature that is little more than a giant phallic symbol ("Doublemeat > Palace") > *A wedding with a cast of grotesque, Fellini-esque characters who go through > the motions of domesticity before rioting > *The "dream within a dream" hallucinations of "Normal Again." > > Season six is also full of elements that suggest that hell is no longer a > dimension apart from the everyday Buffyverse, but has merged with it, e.g.: > *Buffy's fear of becoming what she hates most -- "a monster" -- coming true > in her violent abuse of Spike > *Anya's worst fear coming to pass with her abandonment on her wedding day > *Xander's becoming what he despises -- the disloyal lover > *The one-time gentlest character, Willow, turning into a friend-betraying, > world-destroying hellgod (ironic, isn't it, that Willow, who hated Glory so > much in season five, essentially became her in season six?). > Most of the surreal elements I've listed above also evoke the "hell on > earth" mood that's central to season six. > > I'm not arguing that every episode of season six is a gem, but I do believe > that when reconsidered as suggested here, season six appears impressively > consistent in thematic content. In a sense, from Buffy's point of view > everything that occurs in season six is a false step. Only after Willow, who > raised her in the first place, reburies Buffy in "Grave" does Buffy finally > have the opportunity to take back that step and start moving forward again. > > Joe Ramirez > > > joe...i absolutely hated season six. yet now, when i read your account of its interlocking thematic elements, i am forced to re-evaluate it in the context of the whole. thank you for pushing me to broaden my viewpoint... drfeline who nevertheless wishes all this could end happily...

2003-04-28 21:49:24-04:00 - Re: Season Six: The Hell of the Surreal - (drfeline <drfeline@aaahawk.com>)


<jramire@attglobal.net> wrote in message news:3eacae86_2@news1.prserv.net... > In another thread, I said: "People may dislike, or even despise, the mood > and some of the plot developments of season six, but it's easily the most > thematically unified, well-structured season of the entire series." Here's > what I meant. > > Two of the most common story motifs on "Buffy" are dreams and hell > dimensions. Buffy's prophetic dreams have played an important role in her > life as the Slayer since the very beginning of the show, and several entire > episodes have explored the connection -- and the differences -- between > dreams and waking life. E.g., "Nightmares," "Restless." Similarly, the > concept of hell as a dimension of existence that is separate from, but > occasionally accessible to, our own mundane plane has received considerable > attention, from Angel's banishment at the end of season two to the current > season's renewed focus on the Hellmouth as the gateway between these worlds. > (The recent "Angel" episode "Orpheus" is another obvious example.) > > But not until season six did ME devote an entire *season* to a sustained > exploration of these themes, and when it happened both were pursued > simultaneously. I call the theme of season six "The Hell of the Surreal" > because the Buffyverse is reimagined as Buffy's dreamlike trip through hell > on earth. I use "surreal" in both senses -- pertaining to dreams literally, > and bizarre, freakish or absurd. > > Season six begins and ends with Buffy climbing out of a grave, and not until > the second "resurrection" does she come fully back to life. So, if Buffy is > neither dead nor completely alive during all the episodes between > "Bargaining" and "Grave" (the latter title is a clear announcement that the > cycle has been completed), what's happening? The answer is that she is > experiencing the world as an extended journey through a dreamlike > underworld. Among the first words Buffy utters in season six are, "Is this > hell?" as she stumbles through a fiery Sunnydale populated by demons on > motorcycles. The answer is "yes" -- at least for Buffy, at least for a > while. > > Some of the elements of season six didn't make sense to me until I realized > that they weren't *supposed* to make sense. Images and events in dreams > often have purely emotional, not logical, impact. Season six story elements > that might seem implausible, goofy or stupid work better when they're viewed > purely as surrealistic experiences that are part of a season-long > "nightmare": > *A loan shark who really is a shark > *Gambling for kittens > *A friendly, floppy-eared demon fond of junk food and junk TV > *Minor characters from one's past -- the Trio -- suddenly assuming > inexplicably major roles in one's life, as happens often in dreams > *Spellcasting at the Bronze that turns people into strange animals, giant > fruits, etc. > *Singing that comes out of nowhere > *Suppressed or barely acknowledged sexual fantasies that involve risk, > danger or taboos suddenly erupting, as in a dream > *Becoming invisible and casting off one's inhibitions, or getting stuck > repeating the same actions over and over > *A creature that is little more than a giant phallic symbol ("Doublemeat > Palace") > *A wedding with a cast of grotesque, Fellini-esque characters who go through > the motions of domesticity before rioting > *The "dream within a dream" hallucinations of "Normal Again." > > Season six is also full of elements that suggest that hell is no longer a > dimension apart from the everyday Buffyverse, but has merged with it, e.g.: > *Buffy's fear of becoming what she hates most -- "a monster" -- coming true > in her violent abuse of Spike > *Anya's worst fear coming to pass with her abandonment on her wedding day > *Xander's becoming what he despises -- the disloyal lover > *The one-time gentlest character, Willow, turning into a friend-betraying, > world-destroying hellgod (ironic, isn't it, that Willow, who hated Glory so > much in season five, essentially became her in season six?). > Most of the surreal elements I've listed above also evoke the "hell on > earth" mood that's central to season six. > > I'm not arguing that every episode of season six is a gem, but I do believe > that when reconsidered as suggested here, season six appears impressively > consistent in thematic content. In a sense, from Buffy's point of view > everything that occurs in season six is a false step. Only after Willow, who > raised her in the first place, reburies Buffy in "Grave" does Buffy finally > have the opportunity to take back that step and start moving forward again. > > Joe Ramirez > > > joe...i absolutely hated season six. yet now, when i read your account of its interlocking thematic elements, i am forced to re-evaluate it in the context of the whole. thank you for pushing me to broaden my viewpoint... drfeline who nevertheless wishes all this could end happily...