It took me forever to read this book because I hated season six SO MUCH.
The very first episode I ever saw was 'Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered", season two. I was hooked. I was OBSESSED. My life revolved around the show. I once faked being sick to stay home and listen to a ten minute interview with David Boreanaz on one of our local morning pop radio shows. That night Mom said she knew I wasn't sick so I should have just been honest and I could have stayed home either way.
A few months before I read this book in Feb of this year, I finally gave in and let Eleanor start watching. I have to censor some things of course, but she is hooked too. We've watched the first three seasons, and the rest is on hold a bit for now.
When allthe shit with Joss started coming out earlier this year, I was DEVASTATED. How could these things be true? He created BUFFY, the most iconic hero of all time. But I believed Ray Fisher immediately, and Charisma, and everyone after that who finally could stand up and say that Joss Whedon is terrible human being and deserves none of the respect he's been given for the last twenty+ years.
It was in this time of complete upheaval that I started this book, and finished it quickly. The majority of the essays are fantastic, something I recognize despite my deep burning hatred of season six. Buffy has always been about family, both the family chosen for you and the family you choose for yourself. That is the heart of these seven seasons of magic (no, the comics do not count. I want live-action or NOTHING!) The essays are penned by a variety of authors working from various backgrounds and do not disappoint even when I disagreed with what they were saying.
I still hate season six with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. This season also plays a lot differently now in the context of what a POS Joss is. But the season also begins to make a lot more sense. After the show ended, there were multiple reports that Sarah Michelle Gellar had major issues with how Buffy was being written, that Buffy was doing things that SMG knew Buffy would never do, and that she addressed that with Joss. It also makes sense why she decided to walk away after seven seasons.
But I have made the conscious decision to not let Whedon ruin something so seminal to my teen and young adult years. It was harder at first, and just seeing his name on the screen made me want to throw up when Eleanor and I would watch a couple episodes, but I can separate the two now. I remind myself that even though Joss may have written the words and/or directed the episodes, the insanely talented cast brought the characters to life. Credit should be given to them first and foremost for the brilliance we saw week in and week out on both Buffy and Angel, especially given what we know now of the working conditions on both shows.
This is an must-read for any fans of the show.
And Joss Whedon can fuck off into the sun.