Loving Season 8 is having a complete fan-melding of hearts with other fans and having to ignore their posts lambasting something you enjoy.
Loving Season 8 means having to struggle to enjoy your own reading in the face of others' disappointments.
Loving Season 8 means having to search ever harder to find fans who you can share your enjoyment with.
Loving Season 8 makes you the minority BtVS fan who's just not smart enough to get it.
Loving Season 8 makes you blind to the fact that Joss is trying to cash in on the cash cow that is the comics industry. /blessed sarcasm
Loving Season 8 means you accept everyone else who calls it trash and crackfic and awful, that most of the time you just swallow it and sometimes you respond in defense when you just can't take it anymore.
Loving Season 8 sometimes SUCKS BEYOND THE TELLING OF IT. And yet I still love it, so what does that tell you?
I guess it doesn't matter much in the big scheme of things. Whether another person likes Season 8 or not doesn't really matter to me, it doesn't determine if I love it. Fandom is icing on the cake for me; the text is where my love is born. I loved BtVS from the first season it aired. I watched it without fail for seven years before I ever even dipped a toe in the fandom pool. A fandom pool that, let's face it, some people keep pissing in. I came for love of Buffy. I stay for love of Buffy and for the thrill of discussion (that sometimes turns ugly).
People will like what they like. People will hate what they hate. People will be disappointed. People will swallow their own sorrow that they can't share their pleasure with other fans. At the end of the day, no fan has the obligation to like Season 8 because I do. I let it go. I try to let it go. I'm a huge believer in free will and freedom to determine your own way. In some ways, this makes me a bad fan. I don't push Buffy on my friends to watch. I cherish what I myself enjoy and am heartened to find other fans when I do.
Much discussion has been made of B/R and the Xander speech recently. I find this line might be useful now: "If the Buffy comic's not the story for you, if what you need from it just isn't there, let it go. Break its heart, and make it a clean break. But if you really think you can love this comic ... I'm talking scary, messy, no-emotions-barred need ... if you're ready for that ... then think about what you're about to lose."
Sometimes you're not going to love a story the way another person loves it. Sometimes it's the medium. Sometimes its the expectations brought to the table. Maybe you're critical of story structure or a characterization development. The Scoobies graduated high school and the switch got flipped. Tara died and fans turned off the TV. Buffy robbed a bank and the comic was thrown in the waste bin (or Dawn was a giant or Mecha Dawn or a vast number of other complaints). The show or the comic isn't giving you what you need and you can just decide to let it go. That's cool. Break up and let someone else date him. I'll happily be the Sam/'Buffy fan' who dates Riley/'Buffy comic'. And yeah, the metaphor isn't making me jump for joy considering I'm a Spuffy fan through and through.
But I get what I need from this comic. I get emotion. I get witty wordplay. I get character development. I get a larger direction. I get inspiring meta. I get to have thinky thoughts. I get to have Buffy back.
I just wish I didn't have to feel like the redheaded stepchild of the fandom for loving Season 8. The one too stupid to have wised up. It reminds me of how I used to not tell people I loved a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was in middle school and high school ("You watch Buffy? What a loser!"). It's kinda sad to feel that sense of judgment within the fandom, too.