Mark Re-Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: Life Serial

Thanks to Jennifer for commissioning this episode! Oh god, season six.

The video file for “Life Serial” can be downloaded here, and all Mark Watches videos will be indexed in my Dropbox folder!

So. So.

  • So, season six of Buffy will always be my least favorite of the bunch. Despite that large parts of “Life Serial” are hilarious, I admit that having seen the season’s endgame, I found this episode more disturbing than funny. Most of this centers around the fact that I just feel awful for Buffy and the predicament she is in.
  • Like, okay, I’m sure folks who have been poor and painfully broke totally understand the entire line where Buffy says she’s figured out how to arrange payment of her bills in order to prioritize who she’s not going to pay. Not only is that an illuminating bit, but it highlights just how money can strip the idea of a future away from a person. When you have none of it and need lots of it just to get by, you really can’t think about things like, “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?” The thought rarely, if ever, crosses your mind.
  • Lord, this episode really sets up a lot of heartbreak. Giles leaving (NOOOO, WHY, NOOOOO), the Trio gaining confidence, Buffy and Spike finding solace in one another while simultaneous making so many bad decisions that I can’t count because why.
  • I will say that hindsight doesn’t ruin or tamper how goddamn sweet and touching it is that Spike and Buffy (largely) hang out and treat each other well. Like, why couldn’t their relationship have been more of that? Okay, I do know the answer to that question, but still. It’s cute!
  • Oh, I’m so glad Clem became a regular character. And kitten poker! This is the episode where Buffy gets super drunk and judges kitten poker!!!
  • Man, fuck the Trio. It’s so hard to go back and find pretty much anything they do to be funny once you see what they do. Granted, Warren deserves the bulk of that ire, and I will hate his character until the universe ceases to be. I barely feel bad for Jonathan because dude. At the very least, Andrew gets a lot of surprising development on both Buffy and Angel after season six, but I don’t know that I ever felt love for him as a character. Mostly, I’m just mad about Tara, and I get the sense that this will never go away. lol i am an adult.
  • I dunno, y’all. Season six is just all over the place in terms of tone and characterization. I get that people enjoy the realism that is injected into the narrative, and I would never suggest that there’s anything wrong with enjoying this season or finding it empowering. In the end, I’d probably just say that it’s not my thing. There are some great moments – and kitty poker is one of them – but it all left a bad taste in my mouth. And my soul. Oh god, and my heart.

Thank you, Jennifer!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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