I'm also amazed by the affect it seems to have had on general Internet fandom. There's a lot of catch phrases that I had no idea had spread from the show. But Joss's funnies are funny, and that they've sprung to new life shouldn't be that much of a wonder. It took a lot in tribute, and it gave back. The little nods to the fandom gives a kind of a feel that the fans aren't being underestimated. I think it has been funnier for me to come to stuff like "That's insane troll logic!" after they've already spread to common web lingo.
I actually had a bit of a moment of realization about that with the episode 'Killed by Death'. When Buffy got up from the hospital bed I had just enough time to think 'Wait, what about the IV? That's such typical TV', only to have her actually wake up from the precog dream and to have the first thing she did upon getting up to actually be removing the IV. There was a moment of 'I know what you're thinking' connection, right there. It's a lot tricksier, the show, than a lot of people give it credit for.
And a lot of the themes in the show are spookily enough stuff that I have come to independently. Enough that I've actually been accused of ripping the show off in my writing in the past, in other fandoms, before I had seen or heard or had any interest in the episodes in question. And sometimes I notice actual over-identification with characters whose heads I feel I've been in. Wheelchair bound Spike. Oz, Willow and Tara during season four. I feel that I know some of what they're feeling because I've felt it.
Watching some of the interviews, it's also kind of curious how disconnected the actors feel from the characters. I think that the most prominent example of this is how Joss didn't let James Marsters in on the fact that Spike was leaving to get his soul back, and so he thought and played it out as though the character had been leaving for entirely opposite motivations. And yet it works out, somehow. I got an odd kick out of a Robin Sachs interview where he states that he thinks Ethan and Giles had been acquaintances in the past. Not friends, but just barely friendly.
This is the person who brings more emotion out of Giles than anyone, beating whom seems to come very comfortably and naturally to a usually composed and reserved man. There are canon mentions of orgies within the group they belonged to, which was composed of four men and one woman. And in 'A New Man' Giles first just naturally assumes that Ethan is flirting with him instead of the waitress, and says as much. Come now, past acquaintances. How can you be completely oblivious to erotic tension you're playing right into?
I want ficcage on this.