So, I've been watching Buffy off and on for the better part of the year, usually in spurts of a season at a time. I took a lengthy break after Season Five because it was so excellent overall and ended more or less perfectly, and also because I'd read so much poo-poohing of Season Six and its "darkness/depressing-ness." But I've gone back to it and... I've been watching it like a madman. I've got 6 episodes left (just finished Hell's Bells... ouch) and will probably finish it in the next 3 or 4 days.
So I'm wondering, why the hate? It's depressing as hell overall it's true, and I haven't gotten to the death of Tara even (I'm fully spoilered, no worries), but it's... exquisite pain, if that makes sense. Everything seems right and the character beats all make sense - Buffy's disconnection from the Scoobs (pulled from heaven was a brilliant decision) and use of Spike, Xander and Anya's eventual breakup, Willow's addiction and Tara's leaving (funny how a character I was fairly lukewarm towards back when she was first introduced has become so wonderful)... just all of it really. Even the Trio, as much of a step down as they are in villainy, fit with the more toned down approach towards the supernatural and focus more on their lives.
This isn't like Angel Season 4 where Joss & co. misstepped and some of the major arc points just seemed petty and mean and ugly. Is the aura of depression on Buffy S6 making it sad? Yes, but it makes sense too and it's played so well, imo. I hate what these characters are going through but none of it feels "wrong" if that makes sense. And of course some of the individual eps (Once More With Feeling!) and character moments are just brilliant.
Anyway, I guess I'm just wondering why it seems to get a lot of dislike, assuming I'm right that it does? So far I'd rank it behind 5 and just a bit behind 3, but equal to 2 and better than 4 or 1.