So over the last week I pretty much watched Season 3. And I was quite disappointed with most of the season. I just couldn't connect with it, found that a lot of the tension was lost in the being so familiar with what was going to happen next that I really lost my enthusiasm for it. I think also, ten years on, I have outgrown that whole need for angst in relationships. I've moved on from that personally and it's no longer attractive to me (what? I grew up? Huh). Does this mean I no longer buy into the Buffy/Angel? Which was the main interest in the show for me all along. And does this mean I will change my relationship with the show? All interesting to me as I move on.
And then I suddenly got sucked in at about the episode Choices. I still love watching Faith/Buffy throw downs. And leather. Everything is better with leather. But I love watching Buffy outgrow the Watcher's Council and empower herself. She is so much more awesome when she has the confidence to trust her own instincts, and I like her so much better when they (the writers) let her be smart and not the blonde bimbo. Possibly my favourite episodes would include Prom (I still teared up watching the "Buffy Summers Class Protector" scene and I love the Wild Horses dance number) and Graduation (mostly for the Faith/Buffy showdown - it's here that we see the beginning of the interesting aspects of Faith).
So I guess ... moving into Season 4, I'm back and LOVING it and what I love here is that its the beginning of Xander being awesome. I remember being so devastated at the end of Season 3 when Angel, and Cordie, left the show. I wondered how Buffy would survive without Angel and would the show be any good without him. And now I think that the shows had to diverge, and Season 4 had to start over and be a completely different entity to what had happened before. I love that in many ways everyone has to start over.
I'll be watching Angel at the same time - which is cool because I think I have only seen Angel once through. I never liked it as much as I liked Buffy but again, I suspect I might see it differently this time through.