The WB (ended 2003)
First, I am going to say I spent the time to read The_Void's best to worst and was highly entertained. That was really a very long explanation on that link about the dislike/hatred of season 6. However, it was easy to get through everything that was said about it. Okay, that's all I really wanted to say. I do plan on rating from best to worst but I must rewatch Buffy again before I give mine. As it stands I couldn't really explain properly I think and on top of that I would actually really like to rewatch all of Buffy.
Finished (re)watching Buffy+Angel a few weeks ago, I find it pretty much impossible to come up with a proper list, so instead I just list some of my thoughts...
One strange thing I did notice this time, is that the episodes that felt bad the first time, were actually pretty enjoyable this time. Maybe it's because you know what to expect and concentrate on some of the smaller stuff; like the interaction between Xander and Spike in 'Him' (7x06) or the overall weirdness of 'Beer Bad' (4x05).
Season One. The thing that started it all... Strong points: Kick-a$$ pilot and finale, overall "sweetness". Weak: just 12 episodes, lack of the overall storyline (well, sort of).
Season Two. It's a cliché, but this was the season that Buffy went from 'good' to 'great'. After getting to know the characters in the first season, it was time to explore them deeper. The only bad thing about this season is the large-ish amount of fillers, like 'Go Fish' just before the finale. Season Two also has the best season premiere, 'When She Was Bad'. The way just the teaser for that episode manages to capture the feeling of returning to school is incredible.
Season Three. I really can't think of much to say about this season. It somehow manages to be great and awesome but still lacking something.
Season Four. For some reason this season just clicks for me. I could really relate to Buffy's difficulty in adjusting to college life at the start of the season, and the overall separation of the group during the season. I know many people don't like Adam or the Initiative, but I thought they worked pretty well - certainly better than the non-corporeal First or The Trio. Highlights of the season are of course 'Fear, Itself', 'Hush', 'This Year's Girl'/'Who Are You?' and 'New Moon Rising'. And 'Restless' is most likely my favourite episode (at the moment at least...).
Season Five. This was probably my favourite season the first time through, but it has too many average episodes. I honestly have hard time remembering the individual episodes from roughly around 'Family' to 'The Body'. The great thing is of course, that there aren't that many fillers. And it has the season finale that was, well, THE finale.
Season Six. Everyone says it has too much angst, but for me, not really. Season Six is bit like a darker version of Season Four.
Season Seven. The worst season. However, the nth time watching this, it wasn't so bad. I could easily ignore the Potentials, and Kennedy, and some of the other stuff that was either stupid, annoying or didn't make much sense. Much like Season Five, it's hard to remember the individual episodes (apart from 'Selfless', 'Storyteller' and of course 'Chosen').
After writing all that, I could probably rank the seasons: 4-2-3-5-6-1-7.
Before i post, i must say i started watching Buffy just 2 months ago, i bought the first season on impulse, first few episodes were very cheesy but by the time i finished the season i was hooked. Then bought the whole series collection and watch'd the whole 7 seasons in 4 weeks time, now i absolutely love Buffy, a shame i didnt begin earlier, but enough talk, this is my list (for now, it may change when re-watching):
Season 3 (Almost flaweless, many perfect episodes, a great three dimensional villian The Mayor, and offcourse Faith, one of my favorite characters in Buffy)
Season 2 (This is the season i went from liking the series to LOVING the series, overall many great episodes, and the best big bads of the whole show in Angelus, Spike and Drusilla together they were just awesome and took the show to a higher level)
Season 4 (I hear many people dont like this season, but it for me it clicked, a breeze of fresh air, the loss of Angel, Cordelia and Oz hurt, but there replacements are more than great, didnt really care much for the initiative and adam, riley is worthless, but thats made up by episodes like Hush en Restless)
Season 5 (Good season, Xander and Anya's relation was on their peek, Glory was a great villian, and the episode The Body left me speechless)
Season 7 (Many flaws, but still a great last season, sure the potentials were annoying, the first wasnt really that much danger, too much talk too less action,Spikeand Buffy were less likeable, but this season cleaned agreat deal of the mess season 6 left behind, episodes focusing on the smaller characters (Selfless, Storyteller) are awesome, Faith is back, Caleb made a great baddy, Coversations with dead people, and the series finale Chosen was just epic)
Season 1 (Not all that bad at all, just mainly filler, and much cheesyness, the master got way to less screen time, on the plus side the stand alone episodes are mucho fun, we still have the closeness of the "core four", not that i dint like the bigger scooby gang i love them, but its nice to see how in the beginning it was just them, and after all this is the season that started it all)
Season 6 (Damn, where shall i start, this season destroyed a lot i loved about the show, most of the characters were unsympathetic, they killed of tara and for what 3 episodes of dark willow, (dont even get me started on the "magic addiction")who isnt even that cool, xander and anya break up, the trio isnt really a worthy big bad, not nearly enough Giles and much more, it not all worthless but mostly a lot of dissapointment, at least we have Once Again With Feeling, one of my favorite Buffy Episodes
The thing is, there was no real bad season...
Season 5: Most emotional. Between Joyce's death and Buffy's sacrifice it was hard not to feel something. Also, I really loved the scene in episode where the Watchers return when Buffy is challenging them. She tells that one guy to keep quiet, he screams she's beingdisrespectfulso she throws a sword across the room close to him. And hey, killing a god, howatheist.
Season 6: The thing is, I felt this season dragged on the most. But it was a great concept. Willow's guilt leading to basically drug abuse followed by Tara's murder and her descent into madness and rage. And I know it's not kosher, but I did get a vicarious thrill out of Warren's death at Willow's hand. C'mon, as a character he was a person I really wanted dead. Add to it Xander/Anya's descent, Buffy's personal insanity and it was a great season.
Season 3: The Mayor was probably one of my favorite villains. Classy yet controlling. Introduction of Faith also made for a great storyline, made a very interesting contrast with Buffy.
Season 7: Hell of a way to up the ante when facing the Big Bad. Go from old vampire to deadliest vampire to pure demon to hybrid demon to god to friend turning into a god to fighting evil itself. Loved the concept, loses points for the delivery. It felt less fluid and more jumping from point to point.
Season 2: Return of Angelus gets dropped to this point mostly because the season wasn't as emotional as 5, 6, and 7 and I still think the Mayor/Faith combo was cooler. Loved the scene where Giles goes commando and attacks Angelus solo.
Season 1: Good, just didn't have the same power as the seasons above.
Season 4: Good villain, bad everything else. I thought the Riley/Buffy romance was pointless. Does get points for introduction of Tara.
I'm not sure which season I like best..
I think I like season 1, 3-6 very much.
I can't really seperate season 2 from season 1 and 3, it didn't had something to make itself unique to season 1 and 3, I believe.
Season 4 was something I really had to get used to, since they've left high school. Later that season I really did enjoy it. The first part of the firstdouble episode from season 6 was boring, with the motor-cycle demons, but was quite exciting when they summoned Buffy from the great beyond. And the last few episodes of season 6 I disliked, since Tara died. I really liked her character. I liked Willow getting evil, but I didn't like that she wanted to destroy the Earth, and the truck scène when she wanted to ram Buffy & co.
I hated season 7, it was lame and stupid. I found it really boring, quite a waste of time. And it was like ''I have to watch it, because I want to see the end.'' The ending was quite spectacular though.
It's difficult to be final with this but this is generally about it.
2.-Angelus, Spike, Drusilla really were the best villains on the show.
3.-Introduction of Faith & Anya who are brilliant. The Mayor was awesome. Beginning of Spike's weird friendship with Joyce.
4.-Probably the most fun. Some brilliant episodes and so many absolutely wonderful moments.
1.-An enjoyable introduction to the cast. The Master is great.
7.-I liked certain things about it, therewere some really goodepisodes and moments. Faith is back. The finale was wonderful.
5.-Glory was a fun bad guy. Hated the start of Spike's obsessive 'love' for B. I really dislike Dawn a lot. Harmony is hilarious.
6.-There was some good things about it, but I disliked about 97% percent of it.