So, a discussion in the comments of this entry got me thinking about this, because in that entry I mentioned how I still didn't like season seven of Buffy, which is a weird thing for me, because if you'd asked me at that time I'd have said (and did repeatedly say that) season five was the worst season of Buffy, but recently when I went back to watch again I found that season five didn't strike me as terrible as it did during the original outing, though I still had several (major) problems with the season/story I have to say that overall it was watchable and did not feel as bad this time around. OTOH, season seven had not improved at all for me (i.e. time had not softened things).
(For the record, or another point of interest, is that while the first three seasons of Buffy are still in my opinion the best seasons of Buffy I noticed that in the rewatch even they wasn't as good as I remembered them being. Weird. On the other hand, season four was so much better then I remembered it being - weirdly season six and seven are the only ones I managed to feel exactly the same about - for the record, I'm one of those few who actually liked most (but certainly not all) of season six the first time around.)

Anyway, I mentioned one of my problems with season seven was Buffy and Spike, not Buffy/Spike the relationship or non-relationship, but the characters (or the handling of) Buffy and Spike. And I added that handling of, because after thinking about it I realize it's not necessarily Spike I had a problem with, but more how the narrative of the show itself seemed to support Spike even when he was wrong or it just didn't make sense, which probably explains how I was able to get my love for that character back long before I was able to get my love for Buffy back. Take him out of the biased narrative and he's not bad, or is bad but is supposed to be bad.

But as was pointed out Buffy and Spike weren't the only assholes in season seven - every character had their moments, some more then others. Giles is another that was extremely not likable in seven, but as I said I can't exactly blame season seven for my problems with Giles, because for me it's season six that the character of Giles went completely off the rails for me, and while seven continued that trend my problems with Giles still cropped up before season seven.


Anyway, the point is that all the characters in seven caught the asshole disease at one point or another, and that's what got me thinking about this really. Because Xander and Willow also had a big moment (kicking Buffy out of her own home) of asshole, but I realized that I never blamed the characters of Willow and Xander for that, I'd always (and still do) blame the writers, because I really felt that for Xander and Willow that whole thing was WAY out of character.

So why couldn't/didn't I also blame the writers for my problems with the characters of Buffy and Spike... Well, I did and I didn't, or rather I didn't but now I do at least with Spike. Though at the time I did blame the writers, but I only blamed them for being to far up Spike's ass to write a decent arc for the character, but still felt that the character of Spike was pretty much in character. And it's the same with Buffy, while I feel like the kicking Buffy out of her house was a douche move it was also a move that at least for Willow and Xander felt out of character (so far out of character), where Buffy being more then a little cold/bitchy doesn't/didn't exactly feel out of character just a tad extreme.

I guess to understand why I feel this way we have to look at the exact point season seven Buffy as a character lost me, and that was the episode where Buffy blamed her friends for everything that was wrong in her life. Just no! For one, if not for Xander Little Miss Thinks Too Much Of Herself wouldn't have lived long enough to become the legendary Slayer instead she'd have been dead within a year of having been called, and would've probably been mostly forgotten in Slayer history. Alas characters/show forgetting that Buffy without her friends wouldn't really be as effective as she was is sadly not out of character.
(That's why sometimes, despite Faith having went bad (and the fact that I like Buffy more then Faith), I feel Faith might actually be the better Slayer, because Buffy's died twice - well, actually four times, depending on how you look at it/think about it. She did flat-line after Warren shot her, and without Willow would've probably died again. Then she was stabbed in the finale and the First said it was fatal, but then she just got back up, so...)

However, considering the fact that I was by that point used to the show forgetting that without her friends Buffy just wouldn't have been all that it wasn't her rant against Xander and Willow that lost me. Though, really, you want Willow, who has the potential to destroy the world with magic to just start using magic all over the place again. Also, ignoring the fact that Willow might rightly more then a little scared because in addition to that whole world ending thing she'd also recently skinned a human alive with magic. [sarcastic]So, there's no reason other then Willow being a selfish bitch to be holding back on the magic. Nope, no reason at all.[/sarcastic] However, even then it was her rant against Anya that truly lost me... Strange because again I have no great love for the character of Anya, but it is what it is. Early in season seven Buffy invited Anya in to her home because she (Buffy) wanted to keep her friend safe, not because she expected Anya to be helpful, or at least she didn't say I want you to stay with me so I can keep you safe but you have to make yourself useful to me. SO, her rant against Anya stood out as the wrongest of the wrong. Really it's actually the ShITs she should have been rating against there anyway, because they was the ones sitting around whining and being pretty damn useless. But no, instead she turns on the people who've been by her side forever, and because of that she really did lose me as a sympathetic viewer to her pov.

And I think that's another reason that I tend to not be as bothered by Willow and Xander siding with the kick-Buffy-out-of-her-own-home group. First, as I said it felt out of character for them to actually do that (and so I blamed the writers rather than the characters), but another part is that because Buffy's rant against them came first I'd almost unintentionally built up sympathy for the unfairly (in my opinion) bitched-out ones that I just couldn't get all that upset over Buffy being kicked out of her own home. Though I freely admit that it would've made more sense if Xander and Willow had just decided they was done with Queen Buffy and left her ass alone with the ShITs, as it would've made more sense for Anya to walk out and leave Sunnydale entirely after Buffy unfairly bitching her out. No, I'm serious, it really felt out of character for Anya to mostly just sit there and take that shit from Buffy.

So, that's it in a nutshell, the reason I blame the character of Buffy and not necessarily the characters of Willow, Xander, and Anya for the assholery. Because I do believe if I could blame the writers for all of it then I could probably go back and watch season seven without it still pissing me off pretty much as badly as it did the first time around.
(Though admittedly I'd still dislike the overall storyline even if I could work around the character dislike, or if the reasons for said character dislike simply hadn't cropped up in the show.)

*sigh* I hate my brain sometimes, because really I'd just like to forget season seven, or at the very least the latter end of season seven existed entirely, and yet after that convo my brain just wouldn't stop thinking about it.

Okay, I can't actually hate my brain, though I really hate thinking about the season seven canon as it stands, because my fanwank there which was really instrumental in my being able to get my love for characters back, except for Spike. Strange, though I don't think I've ever shared my little fanwank... Anyway, my fanwank is that the kicking out of Buffy was planned telepathically between Buffy, Willow, and Xander because they got together and realized that the others needed to realize that while Buffy might be a buzz-kill she was pretty good at keeping them safe. Which is probably why I thought I'd be able to stomach rewatching season seven, alas I discovered that I can't make my fanwank hold up while being slapped repeatedly in the face with the canon, so my theory only works to make things work in my own head but doesn't really soften the canon in any way for me.