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So, this has conceptual spoilers for BtVS.

So, I now regret missing Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was running initially. I really like this show, though I frequently wish for a mix between Angel and Buffy, tone wise. I now wish that, before I decided to watch the show, I hadn't read as much about it as I had. Especially seasons 5 and 6. 5 and 6 are incredible downers, more so if you know what is coming up. I'm in the mid game of season 6 right now, sort of the long dark night section of the story. (And ugh, my tendency to get songs stuck in my head mixed with the Musical episode made up of almost entirely depressing songs (except for Under Your Spell, which instead of being depressing, outlines the most depressing aspects of the whole season by demonstrating what there is to lose) doesn't help at all.)
Willow has been my favorite character since the beginning of the show, followed closely by Tara, and watching Willow's betrayal and subsequent self destruction is not a happy thing. On the other hand, I want, someday, to be able to write characters like her. (Characters that you can grow attached to, feel protective toward, even as their basic personality causes them to falter and fall. Though, honestly, what she's doing to Tara is a reflection of a part of her personality, a selfishness that showed up well before she met Tara. I'm not looking forward to the Seeing Red episode at all.)
I really like a good redemption story, but I wish that the need for such had been dealt with in one season (preferably 5) with 6 and 7 reserved for redemption and a return to the norm. If Gifts had happened around 5.11 or 5.12, (Do The Body at 5.9, have your setup at 5.10, and do Gifts at 5.11. Save the Dracula shtick for season 6 or 7, and make the musical in 6 a healing point, not where the center ceases to hold) the rest of 5 could have covered the characters dealing with the issues surrounding that episode, Willow could have done her thing, though preferably with a different trigger event, and season 6 could have been devoted to fixing the things that had broken giving a more centered cast for season 7, a return to the tone of the earlier seasons with Buffy and gang being more mature, having grown and ready to take up their leadership roles.

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