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February 27 2009

Joss Is Featured In Today's Penny Arcade Comic. "The Whedonite's Dilemmna".

Funny strip, I wonder what they have to say about dollhouse in the blog post...
Huh. I would've expected Tycho to have a little Whedon shrine, but not Gabe. Even though I get the impression they both are Firefly fans.
I'm not sure that "I keep watching" really applies to "I watched the first two episodes." (Text message from the Globe, 1605: "OMG, jst saw 1st sc. McB. I can't mpthize w/ 3 wtchs at ALL. WTF is 'Grymlkn'? Shkspr is SO ovrrted! LOL. Y do I kp wtchng ths crp? He'll nvr do anther '2 Gntlmen of Vrona.'")
I think nobody sees Dollhouse out of loyalty.
Jerry Holkins is someone whose opinion I generally respect quite a lot. And yes, he mostly reviews video games. Which I don't even play, but I read a lot of his news article/review writings anyway, because he has a beautiful way with words and he's quite often very funny too. His new post isn't not live yet, but I'll be reading it with great interest.

More importantly, when he and Mike make a point about geek culture, it's usually biting in its wit and devastatingly accurate. I see no deviation from that here, even though I do like the show myself. I see an awful lot of comments from people about how they don't like the show but since it's Joss they're watching it anyway. And I get that a lot of that has to do with supporting his work, and I think that's a noble thing to do in its own way. I'd probably be doing the same for awhile if I didn't like the show, and hoping that it got better. But I do think their point about idolization is accurate. Exaggerated of course, but accurate.

I do wonder why he's wearing a toga-thing and has massive arms. is he dressed like Apollo or something?
Huh. I can't stop watching Dollhouse because I find it quite fascinating. There's a lot going on underneath it all; I picked up on that from the get go. Can't wait for tonight! Dollhouse is the only show I watch as it airs only because I can't wait (the limited commercials helps too).
The blog post is up now. It begins "Dollhouse is not an enjoyable television program." It gets worse from there...

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2009/2/27/

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-02-27 19:35 ]
It stings a little.
I'm watching a different show and will continue to do so; I will also continue to enjoy Gabe and Tycho's brand of insanity. I disagree with their game reviews a lot (and I quickly became bored with their own game(s), but kudos to them for putting the old money where the mouth is), but I enjoy reading what they have to say.
That's an absurdly overstated review. This is: "I was so sure you'd give me something I would love immediately but I don't and now I hate you, I Hate You, I HATE YOU!!!" Again--two frickin' episodes. No plot holes. No wild changes of character etc. The only thing he's got against the show is that there aren't enough likable characters in it. Now, it's fine to say that you only watch a show if a lot of the people are likable (it's a bit shallow, of course, but it's your privilege to be shallow), but it's absurd to suggest that making a show without a lot of immediately likable characters is some kind of dreadful affront to everything that is decent and right in the world.

This is Whedonite backlash stuff, and best disregarded.
I like PA, but I don't really agree with the sentiment of the blog post. It's fine if he doesn't want to stick around--if you don't wanna watch the show, obviously you shouldn't. But if a writer has created your favorite TV show(s), then I don't think it's unreasonable to stick with his current one, even if you're not crazy about it. It's not just loyalty--it's earned loyalty. Joss has shown that he can deliver, and until he fails to do so significantly, I'll trust that he still can. Tycho seems to be attacking the reasoning here, and I think it's perfectly sound (the reasoning, I mean, not the attacking).

That said, I love Dollhouse, so this isn't so much a dilemma for me.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-02-27 20:06 ]
Because it can't be restated enough times... there have only been TWO episodes! If all 13 episodes had gone straight to DVD, I bet the vast majority of these naysayers would have bought the set and watched the whole thing in a day. There are too many people who devoured Firefly on DVD and failed to notice that not all of the episodes were so great. Weekly shows require patience. There are always bad weeks.
But if a writer has created your favorite TV show(s), then I don't think it's unreasonable to stick with his current one, even if you're not crazy about it. It's not just loyalty--it's earned loyalty.

I think this is exactly why I'm watching. Though I don't see much to interest me yet, I have reason to think it will become more compelling.
Peeps need to be a little more patient with the series, like someone further up said, "Again--two frickin' episodes. No plot holes. No wild changes of character etc."

Also, given enough space/money, I would consider building a statue of Joss.
I might be the only one but I am not convinced about this show yet. I guess I am where PA is. Now that doesn't mean much. Once I watch 2-3 episodes of a show I kind of have to know what happens next. Also my faith in Joss, Tim, and Eliza tells me this :
They have all said (minus tim maybe) that the show kicks off around episode 6.

This means I can wait it out.
Allow me to elaborate a tiny bit. This show is way better then 95% of television. I'm not crazy, it is entertaining but it doesn't mean that I'm 100% sold yet.

Again once more, good show, but not up on my favorites yet, will it be? Probably.
I have been enjoying Dollhouse so far. Now, Nip/Tuck I'm only watching out of bizzare fan loyalty, because the first three seasons were so great.
He's not wrong, but given Joss's track record, I think it's worth sticking with it for a lot longer than two episodes. But if I was not an obsessive Joss fan, I would not have stuck around past the pilot, which is why I'm skeptical that the show will survive.
Also, given enough space/money, I would consider building a statue of Joss.

Don't build it out of mud. Those have a high rate of accidental decapitation.
It's really unfortunate the pilot was so bad. I think we all felt the 2nd episode was much, much better, but I think the first episode may have done some irreparable damage to the show's reputation.

I agree that the biggest Joss fans (including me) will continue to keep watching because he's earned our trust to deliver a good product. And I have faith that it'll deliver, even though I also feel that the premise doesn't really intrigue me much.

There's the hope that people are continuing to discover the show and as long as the remaining episodes are good they'll want to keep watching.
That statue looks about the same size as the paper mache statue of Eliza Dushku I built in my front garden.

/You wouldn't believe the fuss the neighbours made.
//It's not as if she was naked.
///Okay, she was naked at first.
Well, Joss' work can not please everybody all the time.

So far I liked all Joss' work. And I like Dollhouse too. I'm going to enjoy it all the time I can. If there is a lot of people like me, the show will last long. If there isn't a lot of people like me, the show will not do it.

This is how things work.
I think Penny Arcade is pretty spot on. I love Buffy and Angel, and Firefly. Scratch that, I didn't just love Firefly I was obsessed with Firefly. I find myself randomly quoting it to this day without even always realizing I'm doing it. I'm still pissed that my only source of new Firefly is in comic book form. I say this so you know I'm not some random Whedon hater.

However; and I know it's blasphemy to say it here but if Dollhouse got canceled in it's current form I wouldn't miss it. I'm not wishing harm on it by any means. I'm glad other people are enjoying it more than I am. I'm going to keep watching because it's Whedon but had any other name been attached to this show I'd have already stopped watching it. And I know everyone keeps saying "Oh give it time it will get better" and while that might be true I've loved most Whedon shows from day one so this show has me more than a little worried. And sure a lot of shows do get better over time but given my current lukewarm view of the show it'd have to get better a pretty significant margin for it to become must see tv for me and honestly I can't think of a single show I've been this ambivalent about becoming suddenly amazing. Though "Sons of Anarchy" this past summer went from "meh" to "It's actually pretty good" but at no point would I say it was mind blowing.

Again I'm not hating on people that do like it more than I do, however I do think some of you shouldn't go around throwing all the hate at the PA crew because they don't like as much as you do.
I watched the first episode even though I'm not a huge Dushku fan because Joss has earned my loyalty.

I watched the second episode even though I didn't much like the first episode because Joss has earned my loyalty.

I liked the second episode much better than the first episode and thought it was a shame they couldn't have started with a two-hour opener. I expect to like the third episode even more. I will stick with it until we get through 6 - 13 because Joss has earned my loyalty.

I did not love Buffy until sometime in the second season and I'm glad I didn't quit after the first couple of episodes. I think Firefly is the only show I have loved from the first episode and I really don't expect that any other show can live up to that standard. In my ideal world, shows would get a full season to get going and build an audience, but I guess that's why I don't run a tv network.

I'm glad I don't love Dollhouse yet. Any show I love early on lives a short life. I should have done Joss a favor and waited until midway through the second season to start watching.
I think it's hipster cool to hate on Dollhouse.

(and being "hipster cool" is dumb).
However; and I know it's blasphemy to say it here but if Dollhouse got canceled in it's current form I wouldn't miss it.


It's not blasphemy, I've read that same sentiment from someone here in comments, chat, or email at least once a day. It is, however, inconsiderate to actively root for its demise in front of folks who dig it :), which you aren't doing, so fair play. I don't really see a lot of hate directed at PA in the thread, either. They are "of our tribe".
Right off, that comic made me smile, so thanks for that, PA.

However...

The blog post almost reads as if he resents the rest of us for having that trust/loyalty/faith in Joss. There's so much knee-jerk anger. Look, I know the pilot wasn't awesome. It's problematic at best, but then, most pilots are. The pilot for Lost was, I'm afraid, a fluke. An anomaly. Yes, it's true, you can't please everyone all the time, but there's no reason to pitch a tantrum when one doesn't immediately get their way.

There's something about the way the post is worded too that feels like opinion being stated as fact, to me. That's unfortunate. But really, after two episodes, he's seriously going to declare, "Dollhouse is not an enjoyable television program"? Seriously? That seems to imply that one gets nothing, absolutely nothing out of those 2 episodes. There are no good performances. The sets are lousy. It's not shot well. The direction is a mess. The dialogue is stilted and lazy. The music and effects are bad, too. Even those clothes are an eye sore. That's what I get from such a blanket statement, and that's just sad. I mean, if he really feels that way, fine. Say that. That's what a good review is: You state your like or dislike of something and then lay out your reasons why.

But hey, that's just me and my opinion. The comic itself is still funny, and I guess that's what really counts. :)
I think a lot of people are going to be eating their words when this show starts getting really kick ass. That said, I've enjoyed the first two episodes. I'm not in love with the show like I am with Joss' others but I am intrigued. I didn't love Buffy, Angel, or Firefly the way I do now after having seen just two episodes.
I find a lot of the criticism absurdly overblown. I'm pretty confident that if Joss's TV career were reversed (he started with 7 seasons of Dollhouse and then did Firefly)and just now we were seeing the opening episodes of Buffy and Angel and having to wait a week between each episode we'd be far more disappointed and the reviews would be even harsher. That guy who plays Angel can't act! Why were there no bodies in the Bronze at the end of 'Welcome to the Hellmouth'? Did 'City of' really need to have that much poorly written exposition? Frankly, there's far more to criticise in those episodes than in Dollhouse and Dollhouse is the one that has a much harder premise to explain and has been jerked around by the network.

The only force I can see behind those criticisms lies in the fact that Dollhouse unlike Buffy and Angel, might not have time to develop. That said, I do believe Joss when he says that the show finds its way in episode 6. So if worst comes to worst we'll have half a great season

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-02-27 22:04 ]
@Let Down - Personally, I find those opening scenes in Angel to be some of the better written exposition on TV, but I see your point, and do agree with it. From the consistent praise I often hear of the original pilot script "Echo", I sometimes wonder if it was a case of Joss and the network mutually going in and trying to fix something that wasn't actually broken in the first place, thereby breaking it, sort of. Then again, I haven't seen it/read it myself, so what do I know?
I think a lot of people are going to be eating their words when this show starts getting really kick ass

Amen. It was interesting seeing those old Buffy season 1 reviews being dredged up the other day. After seeing those, it seems to me that none of Joss's shows have been very well received at first. People seem to forget that Firefly took quite a beating from more than a few critics.(Admittedly, I haven't seen any Angel reviews from the time but I'd be surprised if they were that good after the first two episodes)
Kungfubear, we might actually agree with each other. I think the teaser for 'City of' was great - it went from funny to cool to exciting to very slightly sad, and it got across a lot of information (Angel is new in town, he's pining over a girl, he's a hero, he's a vampire, and he's cut off from the world) very elegantly. My criticism was really aimed at Doyle and the way he comes along and tells Angel his life story with the assistance of flashbacks. To me it just felt like 'oh here's the expostion'

From the consistent praise I often hear of the original pilot script "Echo", I sometimes wonder if it was a case of Joss and the network mutually going in and trying to fix something that wasn't actually broken in the first place, thereby breaking it, sort of. Then again, I haven't seen it/read it myself, so what do I know?

It seems like a fair assumption to me given that seemingly everyone praised the script or finished product for 'Echo' and given how much better 'Serenity' is than 'The Train Job'. I'd be surprised if most of us don't end up thinking that 'Echo' was better than 'Ghost' (that's not a diss of 'Ghost' which I loved). The more interesting question to me is whether Fox was right about the changes being necessary to get viewers. Maybe they were, or maybe they weren't giving enough credit to viewers. At the least, I think the well publicised 'production difficulties' contributed to the show's low ratings

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-02-27 22:19 ]
I agree that people do need to give it some time. I adore Buffy now, but re-watching Season One is pretty darn painful. If I think about Buffy in terms of how to hook new viewers, I tend to want to move them past season one as quickly as possible, or skip it if I think I can summarize well, because season two is so much better. I'm really hoping that's the case here as well.

On the other hand, I understand people's frustration, because I want so badly for it to get better sooner rather than later. And right now I'm very glad it is on before Battlestar, because then I can treat Battlestar like a nice satisfying dessert at the end of a slightly undercooked meal.
@Let Down - Funny you should say that. I was in fact referring to the scene in the opening credits with Doyle. I mean, you're right about both scenes. The teaser does introduce us to this world beautifully, and the top of act one is essentially just, "here's the exposition. Did everybody get that?" but I feel it was done nicely. The flashbacks to go along with Doyle's telling of it was a good use of what I like to call Show & Tell, and I liked how they hung a lantern on it by stating the obvious and connecting the audience with the protagonist: "Now that you've just told me my life story, which I already know because I was there..." :)

@chickenbird - I rather like that uncooked meal analogy. I may use it in my next Dollhouse commentary.
Well given the bile of some of the critics it seems possible that Dollhouse gave them foodpoisoning

Kungfubear, the 'I was there' was slightly amusing but it felt like a bit of a copout to me. Instead of making a joke at the expense of the exposition, why not just do smoother exposition in the first place? Anyway, it's not like I hate those scenes; I just it's good to remember the flaws in the early episodes of those shows while we're blasting Dollhouse after two episodes
I'm going to stick it out for the season if they let me. The shows haven't been bad. They've even been pretty good. Just because they're not "Whedontastic" doesn't mean they're not worth watching. Remember the early shows have the production touch. What was written for early viewing is not what we've gotten watch. Be patient and perhaps the production will reward us with the stuff we were meant to see.


*edit for spelling

[ edited by thatweirdgirl on 2009-02-27 23:27 ]
Fact is, 'Dollhouse' was such a long time coming that I think many critics (and fans) went in to the show with an expectation that it was going to absolutely change TV for ever. And they haven't seen that...yet.

Still, someone better put PETA on alert, as I have every reason to believe there will be an awful lot of crow consumption come Episode 13.
@Let Down - Fair enough, but if there is a way to make that scene better, I wouldn't know how. I'm perfectly happy with it, so I guess we can agree to disagree on that one little thing. At least, I'm sure we can both agree that "Echo" should indeed be on the DVD set for Dollhouse in some capacity, if and when that happens. :)
I think all Tycho is saying is that he thinks the first two episodes weren't great so why watch the third? If Dollhouse does turn out to be fantastic, it's not going to be very hard for him to catch up, but in the mean time there's plenty of other better shows to watch (I disagree, of course).

I think a lot of people are going to be eating their words when this show starts getting really kick ass.

I don't think that sort of attitude helps though.
It's really unfortunate the pilot was so bad. I think we all felt the 2nd episode was much, much better, but I think the first episode may have done some irreparable damage to the show's reputation.

I thought the pilot easily the best first-aired-episode of a Joss show, and thought it much more thought-provoking than ep 2 (which I also enjoyed, but not quite as much).
I think, first of all, that if you haven't read much Penny Arcade, this sounds like an incredibly harsh review. But if you have read PA a bit, you realize that it's not that harsh; they deal in hyperbole.

Also, while I like Dollhouse, I fundamentally agree with the point that one should not watch the show out of loyalty to Joss if one does not like it. That just doesn't make much sense (and, unless your Nielsen household, it's not like you're doing Joss any good by watching it). Of course, one SHOULD watch the show out of a hope or belief based on past experience with Joss that it will get better (which is different from loyalty, and is the sentiment I see expressed more often by people who are watching but not really liking).
Oh, and someone mentioned the early Buffy reviews I gathered. Here are some early Firefly reviews:

The wild, wild West gets a futuristic transplant in Fox's "Firefly." Cheeky and charming, Joss Whedon's attempt to fuse oaters with "Star Trek" is just silly enough to work --- and there's absolutely nothing else like it on TV. Skein doesn't quite have the kitschy appeal afforded the creator's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" --- its lead is much too dull for cult status --- but there's plenty of B-movie attraction here to win over young Friday night viewers who have little else to choose from at 8:00.

--Variety


With Buffy entering its seventh season, Whedon has by now probably grown accustomed to the fawning idolatry he tends to rouse in television writers. So it must have been a serious jolt, or at the very least a major bummer, to read some of the savagely unkind notices about Firefly. One critic in the United States went so far as to label it television's Ishtar. Personally, I agree, but only because I've always thought that Ishtar is actually quite a hoot.

--National Post (Canada)


Judging "Firefly," the Whedon outer-space adventure that begins tonight at 8 on Fox, turns out to be a bit tricky. The original two-hour pilot, which I never saw, was shelved by the network and will air later in the season as a special. A subsequent one-hour episode, shown to critics a few months ago and introducing all the characters and relationships clearly, has been shelved, too, replaced by the episode airing tonight.

And while I've previewed that, too, and I enjoyed it, it's hard to unlearn what I already know about the characters, and how they got aboard the renegade space transport ship Serenity. But of all the new shows I've seen this fall, this is the one I most expect to improve. Whedon's history, with both "Buffy" and "Angel," is to course-correct his shows until the second season, when they blossom in a big way. Viewers should be patient; so should Fox

--Daily News


Not all the critics were impressed with the partial screening tape of the series. "In space, no one can hear you yawn," was how one wag dismissed it. The original two-hour pilot has been shelved and Whedon was still fine tuning his vision when he took critics on a tour of the set in July. "It's just about life when it's hard," said Whedon. "This is about nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things."

--Toronto Sun


I for one am convinced that the concept could work. But I admit this does seem a minority opinon.

--Toronto Star


"Firefly," the new series from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon, is a mess - a wonderful, imaginative mess brimming with possibility. About a dysfunctional family of space cowboys, the sci-fi series arrives not fully formed, like an elaborate photo that's still clarifying in developing fluid. While many shows burst onto the scene with slick pilots and quickly deteriorate into mediocrity, I'm thinking "Firefly" is on the opposite creative journey.

--Boston Globe


Do you like your "science fiction" filled with fistfights? Then choose Fox at 8 for Firefly, a disappointingly forced effort from Joss Whedon, whose Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been one of the best shows on TV for years.
...
Whedon gets credit for trying something new, or at least mixing two things old. But the show lacks any trace of the humor and subtlety that makes Buffy so much fun. Friday nights on Fox is the TV equivalent of the edge of the galaxy, and if the strikingly more compelling Dark Angel died there, there's little hope for Firefly.

--Philadelphia Inquirer


Verdict: Joss Whedon, creator of the mighty Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its successful spinoff, Angel, might get his first taste of small-screen failure if the rest of the series is as convoluted, riddled with sci-fi cliches and surprisingly boring - coming from a crackerjack mind like Whedon's - as its premiere.

--Montreal Gazette


The result is "Firefly," an unmitigated disaster, a convoluted mess and one of the worst new fall dramas.
...
This tripe is set 500 years in the future and six years after a bloody civil war that left much of the galaxy in ruins.
...
None of it works, and "Firefly" looks like the "Ishtar" of television.

The early buzz on "Firefly" wasn't good. Fox asked Whedon to shoot a new opener that was more action-packed. The original two-hour pilot is scheduled to air later this year. That move quickly slapped "Firefly" with the dreaded "troubled show" label.

That hasn't kept fans from buzzing about the series on the Internet. The show already has at least six Web sites _ and it hasn't even premiered yet.

Perhaps "Firefly" will get better over time. Right now, it just looks lost in space.

--Cox News Service


5. "Firefly" (Fox)

Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel") may think he knows what he's doing with this oddly conceived sci-fi/Old West outing set 500 years in the future. If so, clue the rest of us in. The first episode's stick-figure characters include a laughable, resoundingly German despot who apparently is meant to be taken seriously. Are we all supposed to be dummkopfs?

--Dallas Morning News


ETA: I find it interesting to see comments here that suggest a very similar debate going on about Firefly then as there is about Dollhouse now: i.e., is it worth sticking around to see if it improves.

Once again, though, the takeaway is that people have just forgotten how mixed its reception was. I'd say that none of Joss's shows have been "critical darlings" out of the box.

[ edited by snot monster from outer space on 2009-02-28 01:00 ]
But the show lacks any trace of the humor and subtlety that makes Buffy so much fun.

I find this line particularly germane to the discussions of Dollhouse. It's a little confusing, though--Train Job was a pretty funny episode.
Snot, your "text message" just MADE MY MILLENIUM!

ET*fix stupid typos...

[ edited by QingTing on 2009-02-28 01:19 ]
I find this line particularly germane to the discussions of Dollhouse.

Yeah. I think the "two frickin' episodes!" thing covers a lot of this.

But "Train Job" wasn't a great episode, and while it has some jokes, they're mostly (with a couple of big exceptions) not all that funny and it sure as hell isn't "subtle." It wasn't as interesting or rich as either "Ghost" or "Target."
Snot, your "text message" just MADE MY MILLENIUM!

Why...thank you very much.
"The first episode's stick-figure characters include a laughable, resoundingly German despot who apparently is meant to be taken seriously. Are we all supposed to be dummkopfs?"

We were supposed to take Niska seriously?
The PA post made me go and read the comments on the PA forum (which is a pretty good forum, though not one that I frequent often). One in particular struck me. It characterized Tycho's attitude (and that of people who want Dollhouse to be funny/likeable like other Joss shows) as "why won't this cat bark" syndrome. I liked the phrase. Dollhouse is a different animal from previous Joss shows; darker, more serious, with less immediately-likeable characters.
Beh. Niska is Czech. Not German. Dummkopf.
I think Train Job has a few funny moments that aren't as funny unless you already know the characters. Particularly the relationships between Mal and Zoe, Mal and Inara, etc. As an introductory episode, probably not the most impressive, outside of the engine kick of doom.

But thanks for posting those reviews, snot. I knew they hadn't been good, yet they're oddly comforting now. (Except that bad reviews make people not watch.)

[ edited by hacksaway on 2009-02-28 01:24 ]
By the way, one thing I should add about those Firefly reviews above: they're mostly representative. That is, I skipped over two or three more straightforwardly positive ones, but these bad/equivocal ones are definitely majority (which is true, too, of the Buffy reviews I posted earlier).
"The Train Job" is besides the awesomeness of Niska (who is both funny and scary--isn't that allowed?) and the engine kick mostly a forgettable outing--reasonable, with a few good moments, but a mediocre episode and possibly the worst. As a pilot, it seemed even worse--but in the proper context ("just an episode" rather than an intro to the world) it's still good television.
But thanks for posting those reviews, snot. I knew they hadn't been good, yet they're oddly comforting now.

Well...I understand the comfort, but there's also a horrible sense of "history is repeating itself...all the way to cancellation."

The infuriating thing is knowing that most of the people who bitched about the early Firefly have spent the last seven years railing at Fox for their stupid shortsightedness in canceling what was "obviously" a brilliant series. I'm sure the same thing will happen with Dollhouse if that gets canceled.
A program either engages you or it does not, and this has nothing (or everything) to do with who writes it, stars in it, produces it or reviews it. In the Jossverse, Buffy is my zenith of TV, Firefly is beloved and Angel leaves me cold. DH has not engaged me at all, and I am not sure it ever will. But this has nothing to do with supporting Joss- as if he needs support for anything.
"...doesn't quite have the kitschy appeal afforded the creator's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - its lead is much too dull for cult status."

I wonder if, in the history of the 'verse, there has ever been a critical assessment I disagree with more? Hang on a sec... lemme check.

Nope.
In the Jossverse, Buffy is my zenith of TV, Firefly is beloved and Angel leaves me cold. DH has not engaged me at all, and I am not sure it ever will


Hmm. This isn't a million miles away from my preferences -though I would upgrade Angel to warm/occasionally bubbling over, and Dollhouse to "interested, and enjoying the scripts and acting."

I'm currently persuaded by my own theory that it's the genre - mystery, - that doesn't quite work for me, rather than the episodes or the premise. I don't really like being bombarded with lots of questions from the off. But, y'know, still enjoying it and will persist. And not "because it's Joss," but for the elegant "earned loyalty" formula described by Jobo above.
Hmph. It took me a few episodes to cotton onto Firefly and I gave it those episodes because of Buffy. I initially like Dollhouse more than I initially liked Firefly and now Firefly is one of my favorite serieseses ever so I have high expectations of Dollhouse and there's no way I'd stop watching now. So, yes, I guess you could say my loyalty to Joss is keeping me watching, but it's a loyalty based on concrete results.
snot monster from outer space: "I'm not sure that 'I keep watching' really applies to 'I watched the first two episodes.' (Text message from the Globe, 1605: 'OMG, jst saw 1st sc. McB. I can't mpthize w/ 3 wtchs at ALL. WTF is 'Grymlkn'? Shkspr is SO ovrrted! LOL. Y do I kp wtchng ths crp? He'll nvr do anther '2 Gntlmen of Vrona.'")

Seriously, this was totally of the real snort-laugh variety - thanks, snot monster from outer space.

Not to be re-cycling too much, but you might like this, then - which your text message brought to mind:
the link's to my post, but do read the whole thread, if you have a moment.
I now find myself wondering what a statue that looks like Joss and John Stamos would actually look like. Aside from wicked hot of course.
Honestly, if things go like they might, and Dollhouse gets cancelled, only to have everybody be like "OMG why the hell did it get cancelled" a couple years later, I'm not going to be able to decide whether to cry or laugh my head off.
You say that now, but you'll be in the theatre for the Dollhouse movie ;).
I'm a Penny Arcade fan and read the comics every time they come out, but 90% of the time these days I skip everything Tycho says in his entries because all he's doing is reiterating what you can read from any message board across the web, but doing it in "PRETTY" prose, and thinking that he's some kind of genius because of it. Don't get me wrong, those two have done some great stuff with charity and PAX and all that, but he just likes to stir the pot every so often.

As others have posted, pretty much this same thing has happened to Joss before, specifically with Firefly. It's probably BECAUSE of Firefly that the internet is going a little wacky trying to pile on Dollhouse, but just looking at Whedon's record, it takes a while for his shows to catch on, and in my opinion, the first two episodes were pretty darn good TV.

Mutant Enemy has never done a bad show. I don't know why people are so eager to hate on this one.
Okay, my very first response was....okay, that was stupid.
Ah Tycho. Sometimes you and Gabe make me think you're stealing my thoughts (especially when Gabe was saying how they should make a Star Wars fighter sim set in the New Jedi Order), and then you say things that are baffling to me (this, plus the condemnation of Force Unleashed, amongst others). But they are still very funny.

I sorta wish I had gotten their signatures at Comic-Con, but I was uncomfortable enough asking Jan Duuresma and Georges Jeanty for sigs, and its not like I had any Penny-Arcade swag.
Talking about history repeating itself, I've actually read a few people comparing Dollhouse to Ishtar just like two of the reviewers did with Firefly. Depressing
Digging up this old thread to point out that Penny Arcade has a podcast that records their thoughts on the show as they write the comic (and muse on other stuff like current games). It gets pretty harsh (discussions of "hookers," and "side boob," and some serious harshing on Eliza's acting), but their criticisms are not all wrong either, IMO.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-03-05 14:56 ]
The podcast is kind of hilarious for all the comments on how badly the show sucks and exactly how, and a comment about how people wanting more of the show here specifically is "grotesque"... followed by a little rant on how come they can't just bring back Firefly, that show was awesome!
I know this won't go down well here, but I pretty much agree with the PA guys.

The show is leaving me seriously cold, unless it picks up significantly soon I'll be ditching it. It's a pretty show, don't get me wrong - but the arc needs a bit of a speed boost, and a lot of the acting leaves a fair bit to be desired.

This said, it's only a 13 episode season right? So I figure it's worthwhile to hang in there for a little bit longer.

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