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.
The reason for the hate is because nothing felt right and none of the character beats made sense.
Willow getting addicted to the power
of magic makes sense; going to a crack house to shoot up does not make sense. Xander's life finally coming together with his job and his relationship, but throwing it all away over fear of becoming like his father does not make sense. Giles randomly disappearing for no god damn reason to force Buffy to stand on her own two feet after a severely traumatic life experience does not make sense. Dawn randomly deciding to become a kleptomaniac (which is ignored and forgotten after a few episodes) does not make sense. Tara's random death caused by a physics-defying bullet fired by a gun in a Mel Brooks film does not make sense. As for Buffy and Spike's arcs, well, they do make sense, but they sucked.
As for the realism, I can't agree at all. Sure, The Cosby Show was unbelievably fake with its goody-two shoesness, but doing a complete 180 to Married With Children territory doesn't make things any more realistic. Basically, it was a season of Deus Angst Machina
rather than the realistic trial and tribulations of life.
"Deus Angst Machina wrote:
So, your character is angsting. It seems that his dog just died in a freak accident. That accident involved his kindly uncle, who didn't swerve in time to avoid the poor puppy. However, he did swerve in time to go off an embankment and hit a bus full of high school students, killing many, including his beloved girlfriend, to whom he'd just been engaged the previous day. Unfortunately, the shock of the news caused the protagonist's kindly old mother to have a heart attack, which left his father devastated. More unfortunately, economic recession hits, and the character and his father are left without a job and sunk neck deep in debt. The character's brother turns to robbery, but is caught and thrown in prison. Poor Daddy turned to drinking and lost all will to live, and finally shot himself (along with several others in a mad shootout), leaving the character all alone in the world to deal with the trauma. And that just happens to be the day when the mother of all earthquakes lays waste to the whole city, including the character's house. Our character (who now has to live on the streets) is pulled out of the ruins, perhaps having suffered a crippling injury, and is taken to the hospital, where the doctor diagnoses him with cancer.