I was saying what I did more as an "isn't it interesting how different people's reactions to the same things are?" comment. I wasn't offended or anything.
I do, actually agree with the Doublemeat Palace ep, though I'd put it, series wide, down there with the beer making people neanderthals episode as one of the absolute worst. I think he just did that as a 'funny' break from the intensity of everything else. But I agree with his reasons for the season being as bleak it was: he said that [spoiler for major plot point of the end of season 5 and early season 6]
bringing her back from the dead following her being in 'Heaven'
had to be EARNED. It shouldn't
have been easy. And she had to find enough to keep going. And that can easily take a year to happen.
With you, I also think the magic/addiction parallel - since never even touched on in prior seasons as a possibility - came way the f out of left field. But it needed to be in place for the final few episodes to work. Since Joss'd been so intensely focused on the Buffy aspects, he ended up cramming too much (the idea of it as addiction) into too short a time.
And, actually, I disliked the three geeks... pretty much everything they did and episodes they were in.
So really the only things that I really did
like in the season was the 'Buffy finding a reason to go on' stuff. [And, personally, though I can't sit through any other musical, I found the musical episode to be possibly the second best episode of the series, following behind 'The Body'. Joss just played the whole thing perfectly: such a flawless juncture of plot points and lyrics/actions in it. (Plus, it was nice to know they got David Fury's mustard out.