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January 09 2009

Short review of Dollhouse's second pilot. AfterElton.com (A website for gay and bi men) has a quick mention of the Dollhouse pilot. The author admits he is a fan, but isn't impressed. It's a bit harsh...

Since I disagree with pretty much everything else in this article, good chances are I'll disagree with the review of Dollhouse pilot when I finally see it for myself.

Five weeks to go, people!
The reviewer also finds Supernatural 'really good' and would like to see T:SCC cancelled. I'm going to keep reading these reviews but I'm sure I'll be amazed by this episode nonetheless.
I almost didn't post it since it wasn't a "full" review, and it's kinda rough to hear about someone who didn't like it... but I just figured we should see all points of view.

Of course, I still expect it to be a great show. *shrug*
Yeah, since he also pans TSCC, I'm not worried by his review because I love that show.
J.I.G., Supernatural *is* really good. It's one of the only shows on TV at the moment that comes close to balancing humor, drama, and frights the way Whedon did in Buffy and Angel. Maybe you threw in the towel early in the series, but each season has gotten progressively better, and this past season was--for me any way--the best show of the Fall 2008 season.
I really am enjoying T:TSCC and hope it can survive, but simply because he writes things you disagree with doesn't mean he doesn't raise a valid point.

I'm worried that Dushku isn't going to be able to pull off a *new* character every week. Perhaps it's like Whedon said and she was just cast in the same role over and over again so we haven't been able to see what she is fully capable of. IDK, I just can't see her playing any sort of sensitive character. She always has that "Imma go kill a bear, cuz I'm a tomboy" vibe.
Hm, what an annoying site. It seems like he's just being bitchy for the sake of it. I don't for one moment believe that all the shows I'm excited about are going to suck when they return this/next month.
I can see the "pilot" for dollhouse sucking.

Also in the way of terrible predictions went horribly right I predicted that by Jan 09 (before DH was announced as midseason) that the doll in Dollhouse would be cancelled and it would just become House.

Which kind of came true.

I hope the writing can save this and the cast turns out to be the most amazing thing ever and that the first episode is good enough to entrap people into staying with the show. BUT. I'm not sure it will. Train Job didn't work as a Pilot. Joss' original dollhouse pilot was interesting but still didn't seem right. The new one I have less faith in.

So yeah for now I'm gonna hope to be pleasantly surprised.
i'm not the sorta guy to support things unseen, but the dismissive, snark filled, blurby quality of that entire page is EXACTLY why i often times very much hate the intertubes...
My opinion is the polar opposite to the writer's on every show mentioned in the article, so I hope that also goes for Dollhouse. I honestly dont understand how in the 'verse you could possible want to part ways with BSG now.
I'm more baffled by the lack of faith (no pun intended, I swear) in Eliza's acting chops. How can we know she can't pull off being a new character every week until we see her trying it? Besides, actors as a general rule are supposed to be able to play very different people, are they not? I wish she was at least given the benefit of the doubt.

As for the other opinions in this piece, I can't comment on Supernatural (never watched it), I've grown to love T:TSCC and I'm very excited about the final half-season of BSG but I do have this annoying voice in the back of my head telling me I'm heading for huge disappointments with it. So I totally get where the writer is coming from regarding BSG.
I happen to think Supernatural is brilliant and it's only gotten better (okay, ses. 3 was shaky as a whole but had some great ep's.) and yes, Castiel is awesome. XD (But I'm not on the Wincest boat.)

And seriously, I love love Summer Glau so I really tried to watch T:SCC but it just wasn't worth having to fight over the remote to watch it. Maybe I'd like it if I got it on DVD or something in the future. *Shrugs*

And I don't think he's being bitchy at all. Just stating an opinion. Gotta say I'm still excited and all, because I think Eliza is awesome and everything, but well, ya know, I'm just wondering how they are going to pull this off. XD

I'm sure it'll be good as it gets further into the season (if the plug is not pulled like immediately but I'm a pessimist so...) but I'm not sure the pilot will be all OMG amazing. If it does turn out that way, then I'm wrong and that's okay. That happens. XD
His main problem is that he thinks Eliza Dushku "just isn't the sort of actor who can pull off a character who assumes a different identity every week"

I say that this is an chance for Eliza to show us some acting depth. And besides, I learned a long time ago not to judge a show based on the merits of it's 1st season. Had I cast a judgement at the end of BtVS Season 1, I never would have watched the other 6.
Five weeks to go, people!
Wow, when you put it like that, it seems like hardly any time at all!

ETA: I just realized that might look like sarcasm, but it isn't, I assure you.

[ edited by swanjun on 2009-01-09 15:47 ]
How can we even be certain he's even SEEN it? There is no real review of the episode, more of a jab at Eliza's acting ability. He has no real credits in terms of reviewing TV shows. How did he see it. Is Fox sending screening copies to gossip sites now? I mean, he can see the trailer and come to his conclusion without ever seeing the episode. He even says "My TV prognostications are notoriously unreliable". Translation: I am an amateur, who is guessing so maybe a real review site might hire me, because i don't really make any money of the crap books i made the last 3 years.
Um, he started his mini-review with this sentence:
Yes, I’ve seen the “revamped” pilot for Joss Whedon series that’s coming in February.

and that mean he saw it why?
Because he said he saw it. We seem to be going around in circles here.
It's the internet, anyone can say anything and someone will believe/agree with them!

Also, one of the AfterEllen.com bloggers saw the pilot and was disappointed with it as well, just FYI.

edited because i thought hated was a bit much after i typed it.

I'll decide for myself though.

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-01-09 17:52 ]
None of these reviews really bother me, because I don't feel the need to blindly defend him from criticism, which is what I'd be doing, because I haven't seen it. He doesn't need me to do that.

I'm going to watch the show because it's Joss, but I may not like it once I do. I hope I like it, I hope he's able to find the happy place between what he wants and what the network wants, and I'm happy with what results.

But I'll wait till I can have an informed opinion before I either take people to task or agree with those who already have one because they've seen the show.

ETA: I don't know if "take people to task" was the right phrase to use, but I've always wanted to say it.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2009-01-09 18:01 ]
Is anyone planning anything special for the premiere? Viewing parties, taking the phone off the hook? That sort of thing.
Me, I just ignore my phone. But no, no viewing party. I don't have any local Whedon-pals.
Well Nryk, Eliza has mainly always played a badgirl(or at least come off as one) in all her roles so people assuming that she won't have the depth to play this role are only going off of what they have seen.

Also, some of these early reviews aren't very impressed with her performance. =/

[ edited by Rhodey on 2009-01-09 18:04 ]
I'll definitely be taking the phone off the hook. I'll turn down the lights, too, to ramp up the darkness of it. My husband, who's not the rabid Whedon fan I am but is a pretty big admirer of Whedonworks, will be watching and he'll be behaving himself - i.e., being quiet. No snarky comments allowed during the airing. Or he'll be in big, big trouble. :)
But no, no viewing party. I don't have any local Whedon-pals.


We'll no doubt be doing some form of live coverage here so assuming we don't crash from all the interest, everyone is more than welcome to come to Whedonesque's party.
IMHO, I think regarding disliking Eliza's performance might come from having an engrained image of Faith, but unlike some others I'm willing to let that go.

Having that image of the perpetual *bad girl* isn't Eliza's fault, I think the people who won't let that go are the people who will not be impressed with Eliza....(of course maybe this is Joss' apology to Eliza for starting the ball on that *typecasting*....kidding....sort of)

now i'm rambling, shutting up now :-*
Tru Calling is a pretty good example of Eliza playing something other than a "bad girl".
I'm not saying that Eliza has NEVER played anything but a bad girl it's just for the majority of her roles she has.
I started a thread over at .org so those interested in making an event of it can figure out if there are potential Dollhouse-watching pals nearby.
I agree about Tru Calling, I just think that was a bad break in general, being so close to the end of Buffy. Maybe now that it's 6 years later people will be more open I read that ep 3 is when Dollhouse really gets going.
My plans for Feb. 13th involve not letting my wife have control of the remote. Not sure if she'll be interested in watching or not -- she loved Firefly and has enjoyed Buffy and Angel somewhat (she's not too keen on the "oogie" parts of those shows and has to avert her eyes at certain points), so she may actually tune in with me.
Watching Eliza steal the season three trailer yesterday made me wonder how television ever let her off the screen.
"Translation: I am an amateur, who is guessing so maybe a real review site might hire me, because i don't really make any money of the crap books i made the last 3 years."

This comment seems out of place on Whedonesque...
Personally, I think Eliza will be able to pull it off. I don't think it'll be easy, I don't think it'd be easy for a lot of actors (unless it was a chameleon like Gary Oldman), but if she pushes herself, I think she'll get there.
I doubt a series really lives or dies on the pilot. Of course, it won't help if there's a lot of negative buzz after the first ep., but if Fox airs the full 13 episodes, I think that's time enough for that ship to be turned around.

I, for one, was pretty unimpressed with "Train Job," and was utterly heartbroken when Firefly was canceled. I'm not going to make up my mind about Dollhouse on the basis of one episode.

(I have to say I have my own questions about Dushku's ability to sell me on being a completely different character week after week--but then, as I understand it the point of the show is that she proves recalcitrant to complete wiping/imprinting. So perhaps a certain consistent "Eliza-ness" to all her characters will kinda fit the storyline.)
I was pretty impressed with her brief appearance in that clip a while back. The "blank slate" Echo. She even had a blank look in her eyes. Playing nobody I would think is even harder than playing somebody.
Right there with you, pat32082, although I also really liked her "I'm not nobody!"-scene in the old trailer. :)
I found Eliza completely convincing as good girl Buffy in the "This Year's Girl" episode. Whether she can pull off a new identity or identities every week, we'll see.

But that said, I completely agree with this guy's take on BSG. It has felt like they're making it up as they go along. (Didn't the Robot Chicken guys make the same point with their season opener? It's not like this is a completely out of left field criticism).
People still have phones with hooks?
BTW - I just noticed that Dollhouse's competitor "Flashpoint" premieres tonight, so anyone who will be watching ratings might want to see how it does.
People still have phones with hooks?


I will drag this fandom back to 1999 if it kills me.
Ooh, then I hope I can be the first one to post that Riley is no Angel.
Okay, the one part of Dollhouse I'm NOT worried about is Eliza. As his record clearly shows, Joss is one hell of a talent spotter. Period.

Killer, kick-ass pilot? It's probably not. Hardly any pilot is.

It just needs to be good enough.

Good enough to pull in the viewers. New viewers. Repeat viewers. Viewers that will stick around long enough to bear witness to the unfolding of a brand new world.

You know the stories will be great for the most part.
You know we will fall in love with the characters.
You know our hearts will bleed with them.

What we don't know is whether anyone will show up...besides us, that is.

Will the show's themes tap into the zeitgeist?
Will Joss give 'em what they need?
There's no controlling resonance.

Shit, I just wish they'd put out better ads? Cuz frankly, the trailers they have now are really lacking. They are confusing and well, a bit boring. If I didn't know already know what the project was and what Joss can do...I wouldn't bother based on those ads. Here is the best chance of enticing people to watch, one thing that can be controlled, given the way Dollhouse is being rolled out and I think they are blowing it.

There should be salivating! And drool!
Um, do we really need to always end with 50 posts every time some critic says something we don't like? It is sort of the nature of criticism, that some will be good and some will be bad, and that is just the way it is. No one loves Magma or In Treatment as much as I do (I think!), but all that matters is that I like it, and if some critic does not it really means nothing to me at all. I never quite get the need to expend energy defending what we all love, trying to diminish what a critic says ("Did he watch it?" "He's just being snarky.") This is part of fandom I sort of don't like- and boy, it is really not bad on this site, but you should see what goes on on other ones. Some critic says something negative and people want to destroy his life. Why bother saying over and over again what we have said over and over again? The show has not been on yet, we don't know if it will succeed, but we sure hope it does. What more is there, right now?
What more is there, right now?

Who would win in a fight: Cavemen with phones with hooks, or astronauts with phones without hooks?
Do the astronauts have distracting games on their high-tech phones?
What, you think playing Ninja Ropes is going to distract them from the nearby cavemen attacking them?
What, you think cavemen can't be sneaky?
They are hunters.
Maybe it's just me, but I would notice cavemen with PHONES WITH HOOKS more than I'd notice Ninja Ropes.

Then again, the one time I played Ninja Ropes, I sucked.
Ooh, then I hope I can be the first one to post that Riley is no Angel.


Post about it on our Geocities site!
How big are the hooks?
The standard size hooks are were on phones with hooks!
You wouldn't notice cavemen at all until it was too late. And by then they would've figured out some way to weaponize clunky old phones into a makeshift bola.
Cavemen are large and grunty. You'd totally notice them from a mile away. When they aren't getting all distracted by giant black monoliths (which wouldn't phase the astronauts at all).
You know, I don't think there is any evidence that suggests cavemen were, in fact, grunty. They could have been very stealthy and quietlike. But the appearance of a monolith would change the game...
Hah. Geocities. Good times.
Oooh. Hooks! As in the older type of phone! I have no idea why I was thinking some kind of fishing hook (or larger) since that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Holy crap I have a serious case of the stupid today.
They were on average shorter than people are now, and about as intelligent. I doubt the grunting in a stealth situation.
Sorry to go in a non-Caveman direction, but has anyone noticed if Dollhouse ads have started on FOX? Or is that likely to wait until they've got new episodes of their shows playing again?
Yeah, it is, after all, January. They promised us some marketing.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-01-09 21:23 ]
I came back when I saw there were loads of new comments about a teeny tiny review, to find that no, you're all talking about cavemen and astronauts now. I'm with the astronauts, myself, but I agree the cavemen would probably not be grunting.
Or is that likely to wait until they've got new episodes of their shows playing again?

Pure speculation: That's my suspicion at this point.
Not grunting & if I've got it right now their phones would be heavier and in the hands of stocky men used to physical confrontation with things much stronger than your average astronauts. I say cavemen.

ETA: and I've not seen any ads.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2009-01-09 21:26 ]
All will be forgiven if they pimp the hell out of the show once American Idol starts next week.
"Flashpoint" premieres tonight, so anyone who will be watching ratings might want to see how it does.

I'm not sure that how it does against Bruce Almighty will tell us much of anything about how it will do against Dollhouse.
But once people start watching a show, it's hard to make them change. So if it does really well tonight, its perma-viewers may include people who would otherwise have watched Dollhouse.

I think you're all forgetting that cavemen were not hulking huge guys, most were shorter than 5 feet. So I always go with astronauts!

And I won't be having a viewing party for Dollhouse because I'll be working. *cries* And I will have to not be online that night too because everyone will be buzzing about Dollhouse. :( *cries some more*
That's how I'm going to have to be with BSG every single week, because I don't have cable. Couldn't watch it day-of if I wanted to. (And after the first five episodes, Hulu will have an eight day delay. Feh.)

Dollouse, though, that I will have.
Yeah, I'm going to be up until 8 or 9 a.m. every Saturday morning catching up on TSCC, Dollhouse, and BSG before I go to bed. I'm already tired just thinking about it.
Dollhouse is going to be a big event for me, premiere night in particular. Except by big, I mean small. Just the girlfriend (hi!) and me. And probably some sort of mass Joss-a-thon beforehand. Maybe an episode from each of his series and Dr. H.

And if anybody calls me between 8 and 9 Friday, the 13th, they'll be sent to the special hell.
I'm not sure that how it does against Bruce Almighty will tell us much of anything about how it will do against Dollhouse.


No, but it will start to give us a general idea of how it does and how it gets affected (if at all) when Dollhouse starts up. It'll also help with determining a baseline number that Dollhouse will need to reach for.

Also, cabri's point about perma-viewers.
I couldn't care less what others say about it, especially someone who doesn't like Terminator and BSG. Dollhouse will be awesome, no doubt in my mind. I'll try and convince my roommates to watch it, but chances are they'll be drinking and partying while I'm watching, yelling at them to shut up. Ah, college.
The combination of a low center of gravity and a Flintstonian rock-phone? No contest, the cavemen will win. The astronauts will be texting home for instructions, and they won't know what hit them. The cavemen will be silent creepers in their Fred and Barney feet. There may be some victory grunting afterwards, though.
It's going to be a great TV Friday for me! First on will be Terminator, than Dollhouse, than BSC, but I still haven't seen any ads on Fox for Dollhouse yet.
Hehehe, I think toast may have finally overcome my anti-caveman bias, I can picture that scenario perfectly! :D
First on will be Terminator, than Dollhouse, than BSC,...

BSC? Baby Sitters' Club? What channel!?!
Wow, I sure got the subject changed, huh? :-)
I'm glad most people aren't getting upset over one critic's comments. Not everyone will like the same things...

"Some people juggle geese."
But those geese jugglers deserve to be insulted, taunted until they break down and acknowledge the error in their ways. ;)
So apparently an ad aired tonight, according to people who saw it (people not me). Anyone record/YouTube it? Or at least can someone describe it?
For what it's worth "Flashpoint" opened with 10.06 million viewers with a 2.2 in the 18-49 demo. It was right in line with the other shows CBS had for the night.

Fox meanwhile got 4.2 million viewers for Bruce Almighty (1.6 in the demo).
That's intersting. Do you have info on the share among 18-49?
My guess is Dollhouse will live around the 2.5 rating in the demo.
Flashpoint had a 6 share in the 18-49 demo.

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