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January 13 2009

Coverage of the Dollhouse TCA panel. There's also write-ups of the panel at Dollverse, IGN, The Live Feed, Wired and a bit from iF Magazine on Dollhouse vs. My Own Worst Enemy.

Thanks, pointy!

Is it really live blogging if you're actually thousands of miles away just picking up what people from other media sites actually in the room are posting to Twitter?

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-01-14 00:51 ]
Yes! 'cos it's live, blogging, and collecting all of twitter and friends in one place. However, I don't write the dictionary.

I want to see episode 6.
I'm just saying. This is basically just stealing other people's actual reporting and packaging it to look like you're there, you know?
To be honest, the TCA has hundreds of people in it, everything gets reported everywhere and used online (that's why the network has the TCA), and if people don't want things online they shouldn't twitter it.. More importantly, though, the linked site is about getting information to fans, and they could either search all over for it, or read it there.

Has anybody seen Eliza sing before?
There's a video on youtube on her singing girls Just Wanna Have Fun with some girl, it was the girl's birthday think she mentioned it at Comic-con....can't hear her too well though.

ETA: Link:

she's on the right.

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-01-14 01:06 ]

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-01-14 01:07 ]

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-01-14 01:08 ]
Joss has never read Flowers for Algernon?!

I've got to think he must have misheard the question...
I thought the same thing, Septimus. It's one of those standards that every teenager is expected to read at some point in their education.
I remember a "Flowers for Algernon" reference in season five of Angel. That spooky doctor hired by Wolfram and Hart to do a brain upgrade for Gunn tells Gunn after Gunn loses his brain upgrade that he's suffering from a kind of "Flowers for Algernon" syndrome.

At least I think I remember that. Could be my own brain, never upgraded, has steadily degraded since last seeing that episode of Angel.

At any rate, cool to read about the Dollhouse TCA. God, it must get tiresome for Joss and the cast to always be put on the defensive about the viability of their show in light of the reshoots, etc.
Perhaps Joss was in England during the Flowers for Algernon years. Is it at all popular there? Seems like a very American kind of classic.
Perhaps he thinks of it as "Charlie".
Really, I'm just now hearing about the book. I don't know anyone who has read "Flowers for Algernon." Then again, it may be a generational thing. Apparently, I'm a member of Generation Y aka the Millennials aka the Net Generation.
I'm Generation Y, and I read it. I'm not sure if I read the short story or the novel though.

ETA: It's a book that gets challenged/banned a lot. So it might depend on your local school system. Mine apparently liked corrupting my young mind with lots of banned books.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-01-14 02:50 ]
DOCTOR: "Oh, acute 'Flowers for Algernon' syndrome. (laughs) It must be sheer torture." - "Smile Time"

I read it on my own as a short story called "Flowers for Algernon" but I knew kids later that read it in classes as a "novel" called Charly.

When I was about 11 or so and read it, it struck me as about the worst fate that could befall anyone ever - experiencing the joy of your blossoming intellect/consciousness, then having to watch your intelligence regress and disappear - until you could no longer understand that it was happening, which would seem like a blessed relief, except...

I thought afterwards you'd be filled with such an unfulfillable emotional longing that it would be unbearable, since you wouldn't even really know what it was for, and you'd be incapable of doing much of anything about it...

It still seems pretty sad to me now, but with nothing like the force it had when I was a child...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2009-01-14 03:00 ]
Sunfire, I don't think my school district would've banned it. They pretty much let my school do what it wanted. No dress code, facial piercings, off campus was awesome. Plus, we read Catcher in the Rye and (unedited) Huckleberry Finn. And we regularly saw movies after reading the corresponding books. I might look into it.
I don't know anything about the book, but it says it's sci-fi, leading me to ask... your schools had you read sci-fi? That's kind of impressive.
I had to read "Day of the Triffids" for high school, plus many others - CitR, 1984, Lord of the Flies, Call of the Wild, The Painted Bird (very risque that one!! But a great read) Faust, Julius the top of my head.

And the aformentioned, "Charly", of course.

[ edited by buffywrestling on 2009-01-14 05:36 ] Doc twittered that "We saw a Dollhouse billboard! Cross-over"

Do you think he meant actual physical billboard or something on the internet?
The mean one of the actual billboards in LA. Because, you know, all TV viewers live in LA.
I swapped the URLs around cause the B&C articles goes into more detail. And added a THR link as well. Be nice if they'd just stream the event but you can't have everything in life.
He said where the FOX execs of the past "were expecting to sit us on a Friday [with Firefly], not promote us, then expect us to be a huge hit instantly," the powers that be these days (who are almost all different than those during the Firefly era), "are about putting the 13 [episodes] on the air, and letting it grow."

So...there will be promotion? One month to go.
Am I going nuts here? I was sure to have read somewhere in these articles that Joss referred to the sixth episode as "like a pilot" (or something to that effect), but it seems I can't find the quote.

ETA: Ah, got it. Of course, it was on twitter. :)

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-01-14 12:21 ]
Thanks for all the extra links.

They're a nice lesson in how the editing of comments changes their resonance... AND how a writer's bias/POV emotionally effects the info we receive... AND how to make news out of not much of anything. ;)

They all provided a nice united, and I thought, a refreshingly non-defensive front. Especially for a "Dollhouse" press op.

Anyone feeling calmer now?

And Joss is definitely The Wizard (re:giant head) except, you know, with something actually behind his green curtain.
Not much joy from the Beehive.
That Beehive writeup doesn't make much sense to me. Joss has never been 100% original (whatever that would mean); his shows have always been able to be compared to other movies/shows/books/whatever. What's great about joss is what he does within/to those conventions. Also, the author's timeline seems a bit disingenuous: he heard abut Joss's new show, got excited, and THEN heard about Eliza's involvement? Weren't they announced at the same time?

Finally, we get it, it's not funny. Not every episode of Buffy was funny, much less Angel or Firefly. Let it go. (And this is coming from someone who's favorite parts of Buffy are the humor.)
Write-ups like the one from the Beehive remind of the days when Arcade Fire's Neon Bible leaked, and the people were literally racing each other to not liking it. "I was over Arcade Fire way before you. Look at my blog! Ten days earlier!" Even the statements seem similar: "Funeral was original, the new one is not", "Funeral was funny, this one is not", "Funeral was independent, this one is not", "Funeral was pop, this is too broody and dark" etc.

Of course, Neon Bible went on to become a mainstream hit, with some of the old fans truly disappointed, some confessing to liking it a year or so afterwards, and some liking it in the closet till today. :)

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-01-14 18:36 ]
I am a hoppy, hoppy bunny* over word that all 13 episodes will air.

ETA *Of considerable dignity.

[ edited by Pointy on 2009-01-14 18:26 ]
I've never heard of Arcade Fire but then I have been out of the music scene for a while. But it sounds like Nirvana fans bitching when Nevermind got out released "Oh they sold out, they signed to a major record label. It's too mainstream blah blah blah".
"Once comparisons can be made, it is obvious the new offering is not that original." - Rick Bentley/Fresno Beehive

Few sentiments have struck me as so completely off the mark as this one - ordinarily, I have little to say about Dollhouse reviews, not having seen the screener, but this just cried out for comment. It really shouldn't appear in any review of anything - it seems like such a sweeping, peculiar and oblivious statement.

I almost don't know where to begin - it's such a bizarre thing to say about anything, much less a genre show of any kind - but if one took the sentence seriously, you'd have to throw most literary criticism ever out of the window. ("It's got some of the agonized pain of Hamlet combined with the dark guilt of The Scottish Play, though the tone reminds me of Ibsen and the dialogue of Ionesco, so obviously there can be nothing original in this new work by Joss Whedon.")

Comparing stuff to other stuff - comparing works to other works - can form the backbone of understanding any new creative piece. Seriously, wha-a-a-a-t? I really got nothing more to say about this, I'm so flabbergasted - other than that's the only thing that seems "obvious" to me.

Wait, I find it just odd that one thing that supposedly "shattered" this reviewer's confidence in the show was discussion at the TCA Dollhouse panel in which comparisons to some other TV shows & movies were made (which comparisons were made by whom was not reported). Even allowing for hyperbole, it makes little sense to me.

If he didn't like the screener himself when he viewed it, well, fine, he didn't like it, tant pis. But this review, also including the essentially-Woody-Allenesque-complaint ("I liked his earlier, funnier TV shows") seemed so odd to me that I'm actually further encouraged by it about Dollhouse's quality - if you know what I mean. It's having a reverse effect on me, based on what the reviewer reveals about his understanding through his writing...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2009-01-14 19:23 ]
Yes. What QuoterGal said. That's what I meant.
Yup. Me, too, Septimus. What QuoterGal said about the silly meaninglessness of the Beehive review. Also, what wiesengrund said about the race to sing the lead in the reigning narrative ("Dollhouse is doubleplusungood!") chorus. It's vastly annoying and growing annoyinger. Measured, thoughtful reviews are one thing. They don't have to be glowing. But there's fresh blood in the water and the sharks are circling and when that happens, measured thought sinks right to the bottom.

Grrr arrgggh. Why do I torture myself by reading these kinds of thread topics when I know I'll get aggravated? It's not good for the old acid reflux problem. It'll be so refreshing to have threads devoted to discussing actual episodes of "Dollhouse." Won't *that* be juicy and new.
Since starting to pay more attention to people who write about TV for a living over the past year, it's started to depress me. Many people here, for example, actually know how to write and present interesting viewpoints when they do.

But a lot of positively awful writers, and awful thinkers, are out there actually getting PAID to write about TV. It's kind of galling.
You said it, b!X.
Wow. I read QuoterGal's terrific post and thought "he can't really have said something that dumb, could he? Surely she must have misread." No--he really, truly said that if you could compare this show to anything else then it wasn't original. Breathtaking.

Somehow, though, I don't think one has to worry too much about the enormous pop-culture pull of the Fresno Bee. ("Oh man, the Fresno Bee says it's no good--no way I'm going to watch it now!")
I found Ghost to be very original. Can't really think of what is could be derivative of. The only way to describe it is as an interesting mash-up of about 4 different TV shows, a couple movies, and a few science fiction books. How is that unoriginal?
It sounds like Joss has taken ingredients from other shows (action, mystery, drama = carrots, lettuce, cucumbers) and put them together (into a salad) and added his own style (dressing). Then Fresno Bee comes by, takes one carrot from the salad, and says "this salad is SO unoriginal! Who would eat this??" Maybe people who like salads? People got to eat, don't they?
b!X, I'm writing about TV right now, professionally...just not getting paid, sigh. But I definitely use the opportunity to highlight the goodness on TV. I'd rather point out the good things on TV rather than take potshots at the crappiness. When I preview Dollhouse, I hope it'll get posted on Whedonesque, but if it does, I'll most likely not point out that it was my writing.
The only way to describe it is as an interesting mash-up of about 4 different TV shows, a couple movies, and a few science fiction books.

Aha! He copied EVERYTHING!
That's so unoriginal. No wonder nobody does that.

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