The comics are pretty good, actually. It's just later on in the run (Volume 5 Trade Paperback wise), it goes through an extremely shitty arc to Season 8's wrapup.
Following that, Season 9 has been Okay so far, but that finale was just not well done.
The "Vampires Go Public, Slayers are bad to them" thing was really started the ball rolling in the bad direction. The climactic arcs and reasoning behind it are okay in theory, but part off the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Short version: The Big Bad of the 8th Season is known as the Twilight. Yeah, no relation. It's actually a representative form of . . . the Universe's desire to kill itself. Buffy and Angel get Super-Powers (I mean, like Super-man Tier) from varying sources and the Universe manipulates them into consummating again, creating a new Universe which will then destroy the old one. They don't want to see their friends die and break out of the whammy the Universe put them in and fight back. Stopping it all together by destroying the Seed Of Wonder, which destroyed all magic/cut off access to alternate dimensions.
I could see how it works on paper in the overall plan, but some of the ways they got there were just hard to swallow. The Big Bad's plan was to push Buffy tot he edge so she'd get the power necessary to birth the new universe. It pushed her to that edge by trying to exterminate the Slayers as a front, using a rogue US military group at first before turning the world against her.
In universe wise, the condition must have driven many inhabitants of that universe insane--but that was not clearly evident and is only present in hindsight so . . . yeah, I don't really buy into it.
Season 9 starts with Buffy going back to basics, living a simple life but then weirdness gets even weirder. The theme of it so far appears to be owning up to your mistakes, which Buffy has yet to do so far, but the consequences are biting her in the ass repeatedly.
Metanarratively, compared to the early arcs, it came off a bit like this "Crap! We've gone to crazy and over the top with this idea, we need to bring everything back down to normal--in a fast and strong way!"
To give you an idea of how crazy things had gotten, in the prior arcs there was:
Buffy fighting an initiative-like organization.
Dawn being cursed to become first a Giant then a Centaur.
In the Japan arc, she fights a similarly giant Mecha-Godzilla with her face in effigy.
That arc also features a team up with Dracula because a bunch of vampires from Japan stole his secrets of powers and the like (by cheating at a (not a children's) card game).
A Time Travel story/crossover with "Fray", setting up the loss (and eventual return) of Magic in that season's conclusion.
There were also nice, simple stories too. Two rogue slayer stories (one having Faith try and stop one, the other is still building up), a story about Buffy's Decoys (one in particular, but another is mentioned as a continuity nod) and a throwback episode (Read: a script recycled from the proposed Buffy animated series (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnUvZP7-5LM
) done as a dream sequence).
Then the Masquerade breaks and the logical problems begin.
That said, the sister series of comics in general have been a lot better. IDW's Angel: After the Fall was simply brilliant. The Dark Horse followup "Angel & Faith" is also better than the sister series of Season 9.
After the Fall gets special commendation for doing an entire issue describing the Movie of itself.
For those that don't know, the end of Season 5 of Angel had the gang battling Wolfram and Hart in a "Vs. an Army of Orcs, monsters, giants and a Dragon" sort of way.
After the Fall begins with all of LA sucked into a hell dimension. Time resets and things are brought back to normal of sorts 4 volumes later, with 2 dealing with the aftermath. Part of that aftermath is screenwriters. So a movie was bound to happen. It is the epitome of adaptation decay and it's hilarious. Not to give to much away, aside from being hilariously cliche, Angel is played by Nicholas Cage.
And it just gets sillier from there, complete with worthless movie license tie ins and action figure commercials.
ISARMA: Daikaiju Coordinator
: Just Add RadiationJustice League
- Molly Hayes
: Respect Hats or Freakin' Else!BrowncoatSupernatural Taisen
- "[This Story] is essentially "Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?" Followed by explosions."
Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.
"God! Are you so bored that you enjoy seeing us humans suffer?! Why can't you let this poor man live happily with his son! What kind of God are you, crushing us like ants?!" - Kyoami, Ran