I like the emphasis in Buffy that life isn’t necessarily happy and easy for everyone. And in the end we all just have to keep living anyway. It’s so honest. It’s like Spike says, “Life isn’t a song, life isn’t bliss, life is just this, it’s living.”
Many pieces of fiction try to tell us that things will work themselves out, and not to focus on how difficult things can be. Which is valid. But this show in season 6 is literally just saying “okay, things are bad right now for Buffy. They’re really bad, she can’t seem to feel right and she’s not sure things will ever be good again.” And there’s something so powerful in just admitting that. There’s no miraculous twist that heals her, she just has to keep coping. And her friends know that living is hard, like she told them. Dawn repeats it back to her in “Once More With Feeling.”
As someone watching with depression and a suicidal past, who has trouble feeling the right things, who wonders often when it’s going to be better and why aren’t things easier, it’s so nice seeing a character, a protagonist no less, struggling with the same feelings. She sings about not feeling right, about going through the motions, and everyone reminds her that living is hard. It’s so earnest, and it means a lot to me. I’d bet it means a lot to a lot of people. And I’m so glad this show exists and is written to depict that sometimes things are hard and hopeless. But we have to keep on living. Even when it’s the hardest thing.
okay but this is a great episode: once more with feeling (btvs | 6x07)
big smiles, everyone! you beat the bad guy. what a lot of fun, you guys have been real swell. and there’s not a one who can say this ended well. all those secrets you’ve been concealing
– say you’re happy now, once more with feeling.
No, it doesn’t stop. It never stops. Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or, God, even studying! But I have to save the world, again.
∟ 6x07: once more with feeling >> “I gave birth to a pterodactyl”
There’s something to be said about the secrets that are spilled through songs in this episode. Xander and Anya’s doubts first surface and foreshadow the events of Hell’s Bells. Tara and Willow have their last moment of happiness before the break up which is so beautiful and Amber Benson shines in this episode. To cap it all off though, Buffy finally admits through song to the Scoobies that they tore her out of Heaven. Willow’s face after the realization tells it all. Also Spike and Buffy have their first real kiss in a truly Hollywood moment. I listen to the soundtrack more often than I care to admit and the poster is on my wall. Never has a musical episode played so well than in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I still think it was the bunnies.