My apologies if this doesn’t read as well as most of
our reviews. I’m still not completely over the bug
I’ve been fighting, so I’m not sure I’m as lucid as
usual. (The last review I wrote while feeling like
this was for “Brigadoon,” which embarrassed me a bit
when I went back and reread it a few days later.)

Cast and Crew


Complete information is
available from this
IMDB
page
.
The main stars are:

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers

Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris

Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg

Anthony Stewart Head and Rupert Giles

Amber Benson as Tara

Emma Caulfield as Anya

James Marsters as Spike

Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn

Adam Busch as Warren

Tom Lenk as Andrew

Danny Strong as Jonathan

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past TV reviews can be found here.

A Warning

If anyone out there is following this show on DVD
having never seen
the broadcasts, beware of the special features. The
Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences interview on disk three
will ruin pretty
much all of the surprises for the rest of the season,
and the last
entry in the special features menu on disk six has
some minor spoilers
for season seven. Also, in the interest of providing
spoiler
warnings, I should warn people who haven’t seen the
season to skip the
Low Point discussion below.

Original Airdate

This season originally aired from 2001-2002.

Synopsis

Buffy has to deal with life in general, and immature
nerds in
particular.

High Point

“Once More With Feeling” (better known as the musical
episode) is
probably the best episode of the series. Other
highlights include
the last few minutes of any of the last seven or so
episodes,
“Smashed,” “Normal Again,” and “Seeing Red.”

Low Point

For the season ender to work properly, Spike
shouldn’t have mentioned
the chip that much. (Personally, I think he should
have mentioned it
once to Clem, just before leaving, and then
maintained ambiguous
dialogue for the rest of the season. He shouldn’t
even have said
that’s when he started to change. Had it been up to
me, he’d have
complained about how much easier it was when they
were trying to kill
each other, say that he can’t even do that because of
“this bloody
chip,” and then stormed off demanding to be “put back
the way I was.”
The rest would have worked better if he hadn’t
mentioned the chip
three more times.)

The Review

This season took an original direction for
the series. For
the first five seasons, the viewer had the option of
shutting down the
higher brain functions and pretending the series was
nothing more than
some fun escapism. This season, reality starts to
creep in, and
there’s just no way to get through the season without
thinking. There
are some dark and unpleasant journeys here that many
people will find
difficult to watch. In any event, these aren’t
journeys the series
has taken us on before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are actually better than the
previous seasons.
This was the first UPN year, so they had a bigger
budget, but most of
that extra cash went to paying cast and crew
salaries. For whatever
reason, be it more money, the move to more physical
rather than CGI
effects, or just the cold realization that things
could end at any
moment, they did a better job. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was well told. The progression
was smooth and
believable, and was packed with resonant moments.
This writing team
knew what they were doing. It wasn’t pleasant, but
if it wasn’t well
written, it wouldn’t be this uncomfortable. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The acting was good. Alyson Hannigan, Amber
Benson, and
James Marsters really got a chance to go somewhere
new with their
characters. There were a lot of emotional extremes,
which really gave
the cast a chance to show off. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was remarkably
strong. As I said
above, this wasn’t a pleasant journey for the
characters, but the
audience was getting dragged through that pain right
along with them.
There were some very powerful moments this seasons,
and not just in
the episode ending cliffhangers. I give it 6 out of
6.

The production was well done. They did a
few new tricks,
like the rotating camera to change location (cool all
three times it’s
used), and reused the good ones they had before. I
give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a good season. It’s
remarkably different
from the other six, though. Personally, I respect
the quality they
gave us, but it just doesn’t provide the sense of fun
that I got from
the other years. If not for the musical, this would
be an extremely
dark season. Yes, there were some very happy moments
in the end of
“Entropy” and the beginning of “Seeing Red,” but that
didn’t exactly
last. The cast and crew did a good job putting
together a season with
some great writing, universal themes, and realistic
consequences to
bad choices, but they didn’t give the fun and
empowerment that I’ve
come to expect from the series. I give it 4 out of
6.

In total, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season
Six
receives 35
out of 42.