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"Yes, sir, Captain Tightpants."
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February 11 2009

(SPOILER) The Dollhouse info dump (part trois). First up, Eliza tells io9.com that Joss has a five year plan for the show. UGO.com has a couple of video interviews with Joss and Tahmoh from NYCC (read what NPR's Monkey See had to say about it) and it's also Dollhouse week at Zap2it with interviews galore (well two). Elsewhere Joss tells Forbes.com why television has taken a turn for the worse. Heads up for tomorrow, Joss will be on the NPR talk show 'Fresh Air'. And finally new pics of Joss on the set of Dollhouse.

I hope he enjoys doing interviews half as much as I enjoy reading them.
To be honest doing a press junket for Dollhouse seems like a terrifying experience to me -- and trust me, I did a bunch of them in the background during Serenity, so I know how insanely tedious they can be. It seems to be - tell me about how doomed this show is, tell me about how insane the fans are, tell me about how hot Eliza is you terrible manchild, and finally - tell me what's on your TiVo. That said, there have been one or two great questions throw into the middle of the pile. I particularly like the questions about how TV has changed in the 6 or so years he's been away.
I noticed that Joss cited BSG as his favorite TV show. I wonder if he still thinks its the best TV show he's ever seen and if he includes his own work in that assesment. I like BSG, but I don't think the writing is all that great, especially since season 3, and I don't think it compares to the writing of a show like Firefly. To me, Joss writes characters much better than Ron Moore; they seem both truer to themselves and to real life than Moore's do and I would hate to think that RDM is influencing Joss in ANY way.
Spotted both a reference to Lennix's character as Echo's "active", and the ol' classic "Josh" in the io9 article.

[ edited by GreatMuppetyOdin on 2009-02-11 20:45 ]
In other news, I just saw a Dollhouse promo on the show Fringe, omg, I cheered when I saw it!! :o (hey, I'm trying to remain spoiler-free this time so I don't click links here)
Re: the forbes.com interview, I hadn't realized that "Dollhouse" would be in six acts rather than four. Weird. I wonder if I would have noticed a momentum shift or something on my own. Now that I've read this I'll be paying real attention to how the act breaks affect the rhythm of the show and how this all jibes with my experience of past Jossian shows. Huh. Have all shows gone to six breaks? Have I been living under a rock or something?

Also in the same interview, Joss mentions the contributions of DVD sales to calculations of "Dollhouse's" success. I wonder how true this is in the case of "Dollhouse." This dredges up in me a return to direct-to-DVD ponderings. I'd be so happy if there were a way for this scenario to be financially viable for 20th Century Fox. There has to be a way to deliver intelligent niche shows to those who want them. Oh, wait...is that what cable is for?
"The hardest thing for [Paul] is he's receiving leads from people on the set, and there's a lot of information he's getting from an unknown source, so he's not sure what to believe." - Tahmoh.
I just imagine Paul answering secret phonecalls from the boom operator or the DP.
Yeah, GMO, and as Christian Bale will certainly tell you at length, those DPs are T-R-O-U-B-L-E!
The Fresh Air interview should be good. Looking forward to that.
Didn't Joss mention in a slighter-earlier-this-week interview that he'd pitched Fox a six-year plan (not five)? Anybody corroborate? Or am I just wishful thinkin'?

Despite the general so-so-ness of many reviews (gathered from headlines without spoiling myself by reading them), I don't find my enthusiasm is dampened at all. I'm sure Joss put his heart into DH, and busted many body parts to make it the best it could be under the circumstances.*

And amen to hearing him on Fresh Air with Terry Gross (who can always be depended on to ask interesting, definitely non-stupid questions). I expect it to be at least ten times more informative than anything else in the current cavalcade of pre-premiere media coverage.

* Because, well, FOX.
Penthos, I agree that season 3 as a whole wasn't as strong as previous seasons, that was mostly network interference. Parts of season 3 were among the best the show has ever been, it was just whenever the standalone episodes were going on that the show seemed uncharacteristically weak.

And I definitely have to disagree with you on BSG's writing being "not that great". I don't even understand where that comes from. Have you been watching the latest episodes?
Agreed that BSG's writing is great. Just not always exactly to my tastes. The mid-season S4 finale and opening of the second half of S4 were among the best things I've seen on television, ever. And there's quite a few other BSG episodes that could stake a claim on that title.

In the end though, I haven't fallen in love with BSG nearly as much as I should. The first two seasons had me on the edge of my seat, while the internal struggles of the last two have been tiring. There's times where I feel frustrated and depressed after watching BSG - in fact that's almost always the case these days - instead of riveted. But that's all a matter of personal taste. I like my drama with a pinch of hope and humor and after a string of BSG episodes, I feel like lopping myself out of the closest window (only, actually, not ;)). I like gritty at times, but what's really getting to me on BSG is how the support base for everyone is falling away, whereas in the first two seasons things were beyond tough, but at least they always had each other. Somewhere along the line, that got lost. That's not bad writing - actually, it's pretty strong writing - but not really for me.

Anyway, I had a point in here somewhere. Ah, yes: like Penthos, I do hope Joss isn't getting too influenced by BSG and RDM. Not because RDM's writing sucks (on the contrary), but because both of them have things they're really good at. If Joss wants to expand beyond his usual style - all the more power to him. But hopefully not because he feels he has to live up to someone else's work (although there's nothing really wrong with being influenced, of course).

Note, by the way, that Joss hasn't said that was the case anywhere (and I actually don't believe it is - in fact - the case), but I'm just supporting Penthos's notion that that would not be a good thing.

Although, in the end, that point is probably pretty moot anyway.
The more I hear this tenor of remark from Joss or Eliza about DH:

"If I've done my job right the audience will walk away feeling
compromised themselves."


and like this, from Joss' answer to pinkraygun:

"The idea is to get the audience to look at their own desire and to figure out what of it is acceptable and what is kind of creepy."

and so much more in this same vein, I'm reminded - in a good way - of one of my {{John D. McDonald Spoilers ahead}} favorite endings of an early Travis McGee novel, A Purple Place for Dying, in which Travis, the first person narrator and the series protagonist, addresses the reader:

"Maybe he was glad dying came so hard, by her hand. Maybe, in his times of lucidity between the terrible spasms of the poison, he kept himself from saying her name and how she had done it. It would be one kind of penance. And there are never enough kinds. Not for me. And certainly not for you, my friend."

That would be very noir, indeed.

And I think things are gonna get a whole lot darker and more upside down before they get any brighter or clearer - but I like the idea of being brought in for the ride in this way - it's more involving than just watching the battle play out with distant opposing forces that ain't no none a' you. 'Cause it's always true that it's about you, too - but most TV gives you too many ways out.

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