Needless to say, if you don't want to be spoiled about anything, ever (but especially season seven), then please don't read any further.
The over-all idea of season seven was kinda cool. I thought the first was lame in some ways (read, the constant tendency to look like Buffy or Dru), but I liked the idea of Slayer Potentials, and that they were all activated in the end. Some of the potential girls were awesome characters. Kennedy, Amanda, Toruk Ahn, and Molly were some of my favorites. We got to see Faith again-- she makes an awesome almost-good-guy. She and Buffy have a lot of sexual tension going there, too. There were some really snappy lines, most courtesy of Xander and Robin. I liked the glimpse we got into Spike's past. Seeing Niki's son was cool, as was the story behind the first slayer.
Cons? Well, I'd have to say, after carefully thinking things over, weighing everything, that the number one worst part of this season was that...
THEY KILLED MY SPIKE!!!!!(further unnecessary exclamation points)1!
We are not a happy Meredith, here. This obvious blasphemy is followed by the continued rotting pile of dog shit otherwise known as Spuffy. Good God, Spike is Love's Bitch, but he's not _that_ bad. I've never understood the idea behind Spike being in love with Buffy anyway-- it's so out of character that I keep waiting for everyone to show up with a little pointy beard. In canon, I'd have to say that the most convincing pairing for Spike is Spike/Dru.
of course, we all know that Spike and Xander are really passionately in love and creatively shagging like bunnies, damnit. ^_~
Other bones to pick:
-Xander is not a jerk. The writers seemed to forget that sometimes.
-They killed Anya. I'm surprised to find myself bothered by this.
-Buffy. "I am your leader!"/"Wait? You disagree with me? Wah! I'm going to run off and kick someone out of their home now!" "I have ambiguous feelings for Spike, so the obvious solution is to... snog Angel and then act like it's nothing!" "We're all gonna dieX100000". Shut up already.
-They killed Spike! *wails*
-Angel was in this season for what-- three seconds? Not that I mind, 'cause I can't stand the guy, but it seemed kinda pointless.
-There was WAY too much doom and gloom. I get that this was worse than anything in previous seasons, but sometimes they laid things on a _little_ thick.
-Xander's eye? NO.
-They killed Jonathan. They should have killed Andrew, instead.
-Did I mention that they killed Spike? Because I'm still upset about that.
-Also, Spike dying to be redeemed? No. That's Angel's shtick. Spike is morally ambiguous-- he protects those he loves and couldn't give a damn about anyone else. He understands that the world will kick you when you're down, so he kicks back. He's Spike. He doesn't need Buffy to give him purpose.
I have officially decided that my favorite seasons of Buffy are 2-5. Six was very lame, with all Buffy's 'I was in heaven, damnit!' angst, her 'now I'm screwing Spike, now I'm not' bit, and the Nerd Brigade. One was nice for setting the ground work, but it wasn't spectacular.
Now, Season Two introduced Spike and Dru, two of the most interesting vampire characters I have yet to encounter. Some of my favorite episodes are in that season-- 'School Hard', the swim-team thing, 'Halloween', 'The Dark Age', and so on. Granted, I haven't seen Season Three, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. I like Faith. Season Four has the return of Spike, so many great Xander/Spike moments, the Basement of Doom, and the Willow/Tara goodness. Season Five has Dawn, more W/T, and we get to ditch Riley. Not to mention there's 'Fool For Love', and the Split!Xander episode. True, we have the pesky beginnings of Spuffy, but it can be ignored.
All time favorite characters? Obviously, Spike and Xander. Closely followed in a three-way tie by Tara, Willow and Dawn. Then Faith, Oz, Giles, and Jonathan. I don't know why I like Jonathan, I just do.
Therefore, in the World According To Meredith, this is what happened:
Spike never thought he was in love with Buffy. He and Xander guard the hellmouth, gleefully shagging in all sorts of unusual places/positions. Tara never died-- she and Willow are running a school for witches. Buffy and Faith trade off being the Slayer of the Hellmouth, Giles is shacking up with Ethan, and Oz is just cute and furry. Sometimes Dru comes by for a crazy moonlight tea party. There.
*nods to herself, goes off to hunt down some S/X fic to make herself feel better*
To Amber, Raven, Ra, Miyeko, and Abyssinia4077th, I have this to say:
I'll get you. You won't know how, and you won't know when, but someday... I'll drag you into a fandom as pay back. ^_~