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January 02 2009

Zap2it's Amy Amatangelo resolves not to panic about Dollhouse before it even premieres. About the pilot she says "it's good, not great (thereís a lot of exposition to cover), but it has potential". Also, Dollverse says that there won't be "Best Buy" preview DVDs for Dollhouse.

heh, reading this I had this flash of Xander going "I'm not panicking, stop looking at me like I'm panicking" in Tabula Rasa. But maybe I'm projecting.
Bah. Disappointment on a grand scale about the preview DVDs.
Sunnydale wasn't built in a day.

Words for Whedonites to live by.
True, but Firefly practically was. And I think that's why people are all over Dollhouse. "If Firefly was fully-formed and gelling right out of the box, why isn't Dollhouse?" (Random Internet Posting, by Random Unreal Guy or Girl)

ETA: Meaning what was actually on-screen. Off-screen, people were slipping on gel and the box was being sat on.

ETA 2: But I've learned my lesson with pilots. With Veronica Mars I stopped half-way through, before the revelation . Luckily I gave it another shot, and I'm glad I did.

I think I would've been more intrigued from the start had the network let Rob Thomas use the original, cold open that's on the DVD version.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2009-01-02 18:14 ]
Fair point, pat. I saw Firefly starting with the original pilot and was totally hooked within the first hour, but Buffy never grabbed me, even though I watched a few hours. That said though, I have no doubt that Buffy ultimately developed into something that appealed to a good-sized audience. And something that actually lasted more than half a season. So maybe there is something to be said for a slow build.
Oh, Buffy definitely developed beyond what it was in the first season. I think in Buffy's case, forgetting the budget constraints and being on a brand new network, Joss was kind of playing safe with the stories at first. Plus, it was his first TV show that he had to run.

But I still love that first episode, anyway. :-)
I was in love with Buffy as soon as Xander held Buffy's stake, and asked if she was building a really small fence. Firefly, it actually took me until Our Mrs Reynolds - I wasn't that into it at first.
gossi, You first saw Firefly on network TV, no? If I had to watch it that way, starting with "Trainjob," it might have taken me longer too. But I saw it on DVD knowing almost nothing about it, starting with the original pilot, which IMO, helped introduce the characters and set the stage for the following episodes a lot better.
I think what really worries the hardcore fans is less that Dollhouse might not be perfection from the start, than the idea that FOX is interfering already. If the show seems a little sluggish in the beginning, we have faith in Joss and his team that they are building something and will find their stride. We were assured that the studio shared that faith, but more recent reports seem to indicate the opposite. When Joss wrote something to the effect of "The show they bought is not quite the show I sold them," it struck icy terror into my heart.

Panic? I have no idea what you're talking about.
BrewBunny, rather sadly my first experience of Firefly was from a pirated VHS of "Serenity", the original pilot, before it was reshot. I didn't love it - in fact, I got bored half an hour in and stopped watching. I then went on to The Train Job after it aired on FOX (wasn't THAT fond, although I liked Mal kicking the dude through the engine), "Bushwhacked" (sorry Tim, thought it wasn't great), then "Our Mrs Reynolds". Loved OMR, and was hooked in. Glad they aired it 3rd.
Personally 'Firefly' had me from 'Yeah, we win.' but admittedly i'd seen the rest of the pilot before I saw that line (missed the first 20 minutes when I watched it ;). Saw it on Sci-Fi BTW, who aired them in the DVD order.

And i'm gonna just not panic I think, same as almost all of us have been since the very beginning, despite the ever increasing calls for us to stop that which we were never doing in the first place ;).
Oh, on rewatch of "Serenity", it has me hooked in when Kaylee gets shot. 'cos, Kaylee. There's actual stakes at that moment where Mal, Simon, Inara and Book are arguing.
how big are the differences between the pilot befor it was reshot and the actual episode?
So ... I'm a little more confused than normal. I distinctly remember much being made of the fact that Dollhouse wouldn't have a pilot per se, that all the money usually thrown at pilots was going to be plowed into the admittedly gorgeous set instead and Fox resolved to pick up all 7 episodes pitched by Joss. Are people just using 'pilot' because it's a convenient word or is the first episode now considered a more traditional pilot since Joss reshot it?
People are using "pilot" because its a convenient word for "first episode".
Rats, I was hoping for a Best Buy Dollhouse DVD preview. They did have one of the Dollhouse trailers on a DVD for the preview of "Lie to Me" Fox show on cover. Cost me a $1.00.
I think folk (including Joss in some interviews, if I recall correctly) have been using the word pilot all along, although obviously it was going to series anyway. wiesengrund, I think Firefly's original-original pilot is online somewhere still.
Anonymous1, which Dollhouse trailer was it, presuming it was one we've already seen online?
Yeah, it depends on taste, I suppose. Buffy hooked me right from the teaser. With Firefly, I thought Train Job was mediocre, and Bushwacked was worse (the first two episodes originally aired).

I felt like Firefly was just getting good when it got cancelled. Nearly all the best eps were after the first six - Our Mrs. Reynolds, Ariel, War Stories, Objects In Space, Out of Gas, and, to a lesser extent, Trash and The Message.

I also didn't really care for the original pilot. Better than The Train Job, sure, but I sort of agree with the network's decision (don't shoot me!). It felt slow, light on humor and action, and the storytelling seemed quite clunky.
I AM (or was) expecting Dollhouse to spring fully formed out of the box - even though Buffy and Angel took their time develpoing and Firefly, which I consider to be as perfect a string of episodes as there ever was, didn't hook me from the first moment - and the reason is simple : Joss grew tremendously as an artist since the buffy and angel days, as evident in Firefly and Serenity (and even to some degree Astonishing X-men). He has a clear picture of what he wants, and goes for it.
And despite whatever is being said, it really seems his original ideas *were* compromised, and I trust his initial instinct much more then the demands of the studio.

That said, I trust Joss. Most evidence indicates that I'm going to watch every minute of Dollhouse that ever sees the light of day anyway (be it one episode or ten season), so all this speculating is a little pointless :) I know, I know...
I liked "Serenity." And good for a pilot, there's like a minute in there toward the end that's Firefly in a nutshell. Wash in suspenseful alarm, our heroes literally riding to the rescue, Simon hesitating to shoot the bad guy, Mal walking in and shooting the bad guy without breaking his stride, quick disposal of the body out of the airlock. They're space pirates with horses!
I remember when I bought Firefly and started watching, right when the crew landed on Persephone, I thought: "Why did I buy this again?" That thought continued until I got to Shindig and have now learned to love the first few episodes after seeing the rest of the series. Same thing happened with Buffy, seeing the later seasons first made me appreciate the first season.

I'm trying my best not to expect brilliance from Dollhouse right from the first episode, but my anticipation meter is just way too high.
Our Mrs. Reynolds was the hooker for me, too. Then it was in the middle of Shindig that I thought, "Why am I not recording this?"

There have only been a couple of pilots that have wowed me right from the start, but that doesn't mean I won't end up loving the shows.
Our Mrs. Reynolds was the hooker for me

Honestly, I was hooked on "Firefly" when Kaylee gets shot and River appears. Before that, especially in the first few "war"-minutes, I was not convinced on whether I would like the show or not, but that particular scene and what followed was really powerful and I wouldn't have cared so much about the characters at this point if they had not been introduced slowly for 35 minutes.

If I had seen "Train Job" as first episode however, I probably would never have continued to watch the series.
I dunno, I think they could've showed any ep of the series first and I would've kept watching.
I know, b!x. I've been sitting on that line for 6 years. (I can't believe it's been that long.)
Is it more wrong that you've been sitting on that for six years or that you would admit to it? ;) Amy should try picnicking, it seems to be working for us.
Worth the wait ;).

'Heart of Gold' is probably the only episode that wouldn't have absolutely guaranteed that i'd watch next week and even then, there's enough good stuff that I probably would've (plus that Whedon name carries a bit of weight with me ;).
Pass the potato salad.

AHH! Bees!
Is there bee-free salad?
Our Mrs Reynolds gets funnier every time I watch it, but I will say I was hooked the moment Serenity rose up behind Mal, Zoe, and Jayne in The Train Job. Like Mal, I fell in love with the ship at first site.

As for Dollhouse, it will get what all shows get from me: 3 episodes to draw me in. I'm not talking about being great or the next best thing since instant potatoes (I love them!) but just good enough to keep me interested. Most shows aren't perfect out of the gate. They have to find their rhythm. But a bad show is bad from the first episode.

ETA: but I won't panicing either way.

Who has potato salad?

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2009-01-02 22:17 ]
Pretty much how I've felt about the show since the Joss's status update post.

I mean, he himself even wrote that in the beginning he was depressed and frustrated with how the show was turning out. Around episode 5 I believe, things were finally back on track and the network was satisfied and Joss excited again.

While these mixed reviews are dissapointing, they're not surprising and I'm not expecting the show to amaze immediately. No one SHOULD assume that, regardless of Joss's amazing track record.
Firefly grabbed me partway through 'The Train Job', I think (and I watched them from DVD after Serenity had already come out). I wasn't really hooked, though, until 'Safe'. Buffy took til the second season to grab me. So I'm not expecting Dollhouse to amaze me from the first instant. Even if Joss is a better writer now than he was, and even if Dr Horrible managed to be awesome in the length of a network TV episode, Dollhouse is still going to have to convey all the exposition necessary for a genre series, and that's gonna slow it down.
$ owed to me:

circusgeek $1
Saje $1
Amy Amatangelo $5

With all of this money rolling in (not kittens), we might be able to sponsor our first ever Nit-Picker Picnic. With potato salad. Bees are optional, but they cost more for the bee-trainers and bee food. Stupid bee contracts and potential harm that may be involved with bees.

zeitgeist, however, gets a shiny gold star and a cookie for good efforts. We don't believe in rewarding someone with more work here. :)

Seriousfully, though, our picnics have produced a more zen-like state here in the black/'esque.

That's not to say that the writer isn't entitled to their opinions, or that people who respond aren't entitled to their responses. But I think it helps reduce the fish-bowl state that's been created on our Joss. And it helps kill the self-perpetuating anxiety: we read articles that cause worry on a certain project, writers read our worried responses, and in turn write an article about fans freaking out of the worrisome state of said project... which in turn we read, worry, etc...

It may not be true (is from eyes), but it seems to be some of the state that we've seen. This articles comes off as a "negative" for Dollhouse even though all that was stated in their view was said here to be standard production dealings with television. Her actual opinion about the pilot as "itís good, not great" holds merit, and to me seems the only thing that does in her review of the pilot.

Taking a picnic, getting some fresh air, gives us some space between our viewings and what we love./morning rant without breakfast

willbueche | December 31, 05:34 CET
says the Dollhouse trailer on the "Lie to Me" Best Buy DVD is

It's this one on the dvd:

I think the relaxation thing may only work with actual picnics though korkster ;).

(what do I owe money for BTW ?)
Panic? I'm not panicking at all. I will watch the first three episodes of Dollhouse, and if I like the show and cast, I will continue to watch it.
Oh! Can I have a gold star and cookies too? (I made the potato salad, with added bees and a bee free one for those who are intolerant and break out into... 'hives'.)(Sorry, just had to do it)
(Slaved all night, those bees are hard to catch and kinda ouchy.)

[ edited by RollingInKittens on 2009-01-03 08:24 ]
I watched Firefly when it came out on TV and was hooked by the end of "Train Job". When I accidentally caught an episode of Angel on repeats on Space Channel, it took me ten minutes of an episode (S1) already in progress to hook me. Buffy probably didn't even take that long and that was starting with the first episode - again on Space. By half way through the first season, I started buying the DVDs because four nights a week wasn't fast enough for me! I also fell in love with Dr. Horrible (both show and character) from his first evil laugh.

This is all to say that Joss generally has me within minutes! So I will be watching for as long as Dollhouse is on the air or in DVDs. I'm trying not to get my expectations too high, but Joss hasn't let me down yet so I'm looking forward to February 13th and not panicking - or picnicking (it's too cold!!!).
Saje, what makes you think that I don't actually mean to have a picnic? ;)

(what do I owe money for BTW ?)

I respond to that by saying that:

Little Green Kid owes $2
samatwitch owes $1

For the cold factor, it could always be an indoor picnic, complete with a viewing of Dollhouse. :) And the money thing, well, I keep waiting... but I expect I'll get paid when zeitgeist gets his cookie. :)
I almost completely missed Firefly on television!

I was home one Friday night, and I caught the beginning of what I later learned was "Objects in Space", (the camera rushing towards the ship, through the pipes, and right up to River's face). It took me a while from then to figure out what I had even been watching, but I loved what I saw of it.

Then the pilot hooked me entirely. I enjoy reading the differences of opinion illustrated here, though! Its hard for me to imagine anyone not enjoying the slower pacing of the pilot ... it had a feeling of confidence, to me, of not rushing itself to a snappy conclusion.

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