Ever since Evan Ross Katz's Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts (you can purchase it here) dropped last week, we've been covering just a few of the dozens of heartwarming, heartbreaking & enlightening personal perspectives from an impressive line-up of interviews. How impressive? How do Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, James Marsters, Anthony Head, Seth Green, Marc Blucas, Nicholas Brendon, Danny Strong, Tom Lenk, Bianca Lawson, Julie Benz, Clare Kramer, K. Todd Freeman, and Sharon Ferguson; and writers Douglas Petrie, Jane Espenson & Drew Z. Greenberg sound? What really separates the work from others is the access Katz had to those who helped him address both the franchise's immense impact on pop culture and society as well as a number of its failings (including directly addressing the abuse accusations leveled at series creator Joss Whedon by many connected with the show in 2021).
As fans of BTVS know, the series ended its run in May 2003 with the Whedon written & directed "Chosen," the 22nd episode (back when seasons used to run that long) of a seventh season of a series that many fans debate should've ended with its fifth season. During her time speaking with Katz, Gellar revealed what it was like filming the finale as well as her thoughts on how it wrapped up the series. In addition, the series star explains why ending the series with five seasons was never something she considered though it's clear that Gellar was no fan of the sixth and final seasons.
"I finished on the soundstage on a Friday night at like five in the morning. People weren't even there, they had gone home 'cause it was so late. And then I had one day on location left and that was kind of it. Everyone else went back to the soundstage to finish filming, but I had to leave because I was contractually obligated to do 'Scooby-Doo 2.' It was weird because all of the sudden it was just over. And you have to process things," Gellar explained. But the series finale itself is a work that she stands by even if the overall experience was "bittersweet," adding, "Overall, I was happy with the direction of the finale. I loved the idea that any girl who has the power, who wants the power, can have it. That's the ultimate message of the show. And so I'm very proud of it. I think 'bittersweet' is the right word."
As for whether or not BTVS should've ended after five seasons, Gellar had a very concrete reason to believe that the series would roll on to a sixth season and beyond. "That would have been out of my hands because we were all contractually obligated for seven years, so I don't know if it ever crossed my mind, you know?" she explained. That said, Gellar did not mince words when it came to letting us know where those final seasons rank in her mind (sorry, Buffy/Spike stan fans). "I think I've been vocal that Season 6 is not my favorite. I think that a lot of Season 7 was pulling the trajectory back to where it should be. But if I had to rank seasons, I wouldn't put 6 and 7 up as my top two. I don't think anybody would. Even if you love Buffy and Spike together, I still don't think you would put it at the top.