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March 15 2009

Dollhouse is the new Phantom Menace? Whedon discussion on the latest issue of Geek in the City Radio.

Starts 1 hour in. Includes a (pretty one-way) discussion of all things Whedon, from all tv shows to the comics.

I couldn't agree with a single thing that any of them said.
This comparison comes from a guy who doesn't even get Dr. Horrible, so...
I'm not trying to convince myself Dollhouse is good, I actually believe it's good. I do agree that fans decided to hate the network automatically though.

I don't think I can't even take anything Fatboy says seriously. He didn't get Doctor Horrible. Oh, and he thinks Buffy should have stopped at season 3? Oh, I see. He probably doesn't like when it got really serious and dark. Now I get it.

And apparently we are incapable of critical analysis of Dollhouse.
And apparently we are incapable of critical analysis of Dollhouse.

Yes, which is why you don't see 200+ posts on here for every episode discussing what we liked and didn't like. Oh, wait...
That bugs me on other boards. We're "Just Whedon fanboys who think everything he does is fantastic". Clearly they have never read any episode discussion threads where everyone points out things they don't like in even the best episodes.
Um, am I hearing the right pod cast? The link goes to Issue 9 and it seems to be all about 'Escape to Witch Mountain' and 'Watchmen', I don't hear Joss getting mentioned at all, definitely not just one minute in.
Embers, that confused me too until I checked one hour in. That's where the conversation starts.
I'm not a boy.
That bugs me on other boards. We're "Just Whedon fanboys who think everything he does is fantastic".

It's one of the cheapest of rhetorical tricks IMO - you paint the "opposition" as irrational ahead of time so that anything they say can just be written off, doesn't need to be considered on its own merits. Lazy thinking.
Redeem--you don't need to be a boy to be a fanboy.

And did he really say, "unfortunately the best stuff of season 8 is stuff he doesn't write."

I feel sorry for be so close to something awesome and to just "not get it" is heartbreaking.
I prefer 'fangirl' alexreager. Though that's not entirely accurate anymore either.
Why is that not accurate?

I'd call myself a fangirl, not a fanboy. lol.
Iz old. Fanwoman?
I prefer fangirl too.
I think I'll lable myself just a fan and have done with it :D.

Yeah - it's like have conversation with a 12 year old, "you YOU!"...wait, isn't that the conversation Buffy and the college boys were having after drinking the Black Frost?
bubblecat, you hit the nail on the head.
Oh thank you electricspacegirl, I should have realized it was one hour in. And I have to think that they protest too much, I'm guessing that these are fan boys who haven't forgiven Joss for killing Wash so they want to tear down everything Joss has done since, particularly if it involves another sucking chest wound (ie in Penny's death, although I guess these guys hate musicals too). Obviously you can watch every episode of 'Dollhouse' with a huge chip on your shoulder, making fun of stuff in every one of the episodes (which is what I think they are doing), while blaming me for being an apologist for looking for the gold in every episode.
Sorry embers, I edited to make it more clear :)
I didn't even listen to it. To compare ANYTHING done to Phantom Menace is a travesty that they should revoke your geek card for. Episode I is like a singularity -- only Lucas had the geek-weight between accumulated properties nearing the mass of a star so that when he collapsed it, it would form a black hole of suck like the prequels. It doesn't even agree with the story implied in the original trilogy.

This is not the Faith Show, only it makes up stuff that contradicts everything from Buffy. This is really high expectations from fans followed by a show that does not follow a Joss formula, and is bound to piss off people. Did it not come screaming out of the gate? Yes, but we all know why, and we had the bias of knowing that it had been tinkered with before we sat down to watch it. Is it a slow build? Kind of, in that we didn't have a weak pilot followed by an amazing episode, but rather an ok pilot followed by an steady incline of awesome over the past three episodes.

I do not feel we're rationalizing a bad show so much as we're prepared to wait out the entire season to see if we dislike it. I was somewhat disappointed until True Believer. I remember being sorely disappointed by Firefly until Out of Gas premiered -- hey! both are Tim Minear episodes.

I wish people could be fired from their own podcasts. Podcasts, blogs, and TRL have proven the founding fathers were wrong -- Not everyone should have a voice.
"I do not feel we're rationalizing a bad show so much as we're prepared to wait out the entire season to see if we dislike it."

Totally agree with you PuppetDoug. I have seen enough of Joss's work to stick with it because I'm sure there's going to be a moment of ace which will cast another light on the story we're seeing so far. I liken watching Joss shows to reading novels by authors I love. Some I like more than others, but there's always a thread through each that sits well with me.
I have to add to the clearly they've never come to any of the episode discussions here (or the discussions on Season Eight or ATF or Runaways) because they can get so negative, I sometimes wonder if the people typing them are actually fans. I kid (mostly).

I was under the impression that being a fan of someone or something meant that you gave it/them the benefit of the doubt, or maybe that's just me. I will admit that I'm probably not the best person to have this conversation with as I have enjoyed to some degree everything of Mr. Whedon's I've seen, including his Roseanne episodes. Yes, that's right Darlene's poem made me cry. That doesn't mean I agree with every choice he's made or that I don't sometimes wish he had made a different one. Or that I like every part of it. I mean I hate, and I do mean HATE the Buffy episode Some Assembly Required, but even that has 2 moments that make it worthwhile (they are Jenny and Gile's first date and Xander's obliviousness to Cordelia's interest, if anyone was curious).

I'm of the school of thought that seems to understand that the story people are telling isn't always the one I want them too. These days everybody is always looking at a story and only seeing what they didn't do with it, instead of focusing on what we were given with it.

Sometimes I think we as a species, or at least a country (and by that I mean Americans, I can't speak for the others even if I do watch their shows, it does not make me of them) don't deserve really good television. Because everytime we get something that's really good we as a people seem to reject it, or tear it apart. And people really just don't seem to care about beauty for beautys sake anymore. But that my friends is a rant for another day.

I don't know if these guys have valid points or if they've taken the time to research and think them through, but I can say it's hard to take someone serious who just writes the oppisition off as nuts to make their job easier. And seriously why do they care if we like it or not? There are tons of awful, awful things out there that have fans but I figure if someone wants to like it, let 'em, it ain't hurting anybody but the viewer watching and they're happy with where they are.

I mentioned to my boyfriend the other month that I was going to stop watching a certain show because I found no more interest in it anymore, in fact, I found myself getting angry at how bad it was. And he just could not understand how I could stop watching something that I spent that much time watching and I just could not understand how he could keep watching something that he didn't get anything from. It takes all kinds, I guess. We still love each other. We still have things that we both like and things the other thinks we're crazy for liking.
These guys are not fans, that is obvious. I'm proud to be a fan, (if the moniker 'fanboy' has to be added very well, but I hardly think its accurate, not to mention sexist). I'm a proud Whedon obsessive fan, and a Star Wars obsessive fan. Does that mean I don't criticize things? Hardly. Star Wars fans always have issues with at least one of the movies (and lets not get started some peoples hatred of the EU, which is frankly often superior to the movies). But comparing Dollhouse to Phantom Menace is both untrue and insulting. A better comparison would be a particular episode or something, but none of the Dollhouse episodes are bad.

I'm proud to say that I love all of Whedon's shows, but that doesn't mean I don't criticize it sometimes. I love Buffy, but I always argue (mainly in my head) with a lot of the morality presented. Frankly Buffy totally has the right to kill evil humans, not sure why it was presented as bad when she killed Ted (he deserved it, even before he was shown to be an evil robot), and Warren obviously deserved to be killed by Willow. And I'm not a huge fan of Angel Season 4... but I still love all of Joss' works as a whole.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not a huge fan, which these people are not. I have to say I'm frustrated at all the negative reviews of Dollhouse, and I think that giving hits to these peoples sites isn't great. Not saying we shouldn't report to the stories, but I don't like supporting these sort of people.
I'm afraid my initial reaction was too harsh. I didn't mean to attack anyone. I don't like generalizations like the ones made about Whedon fans, and I don't like the dismissiveness of the attitude. However, I can listen to other things Fatboy or anyone else might say, but I may also disagree with a lot of it.

My apologies to Fatboy and anyone else I offended.
I gotta be contrary here and say that I enjoyed my first viewing of Phantom Menace a lot more than I enjoyed the first four episodes of Dollhouse ;)

(C'mon! It was first new Star Wars since I'd become a fan! Who cares if it had podracing and Jar Jar Binks!)
I enjoyed it a lot the first time I saw it too, ruuger, but I think that was mostly because I was only 10 years old. :P
Some people will get Joss' stuff, others won't. There's really not much more that can be said about this. We should save the fan passion for April/May.
It's all very amusing, though. As he's stated on Twitter, Fatboy owns Firefly and Angel on DVD. He's part of the team that brought Firefly to the big screen at the Mission here in Portland, an event people here fawned over and were jealous of at the time. Yet somehow now people are accusing him of not being a fan.

One doesn't need to like everything Joss has done to be a fan. (I mean, how many people out there consider themselves Coppola fans but hate Godfather III?) As argued here by many before: "Fan" isn't short for "sycophant".

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-15 22:18 ]
I would take sycophant over insane person ^-^. Amazing what you learn at Wikipedia.
Here's the thing: The first 5 episodes of Dollhouse are not up to Whedon snuff. If I compare the first 5 of Dollhouse, Firefly, Angel and BtVS, Dollhouse is the least amongst them.

And that if why I think it will get a lot better.

We know Whedon can do better, so why wouldn't we expect him to get there. Dollhouse is a tougher nut to crack, but if a guy can make a phenomenal Space Western, I think he can make a phenomenal Prostitue with Amnesia. It may just take a bit longer to hit stride, for whatever reason.
Thing is....I like Dollhouse more than I liked Firefly by ep 5. Different strokes for different folks I suppose.
I believe Joss is the greatest entertainer to ever live (and considering how much stuff I consume, I think I know from entertainers). I am an unapologetic fanboy, but Joss is not God. I've had my problems with Dollhouse. But I have loved the hell out of the last two episodes, to the point that I can't imagine someone not seeing its promise, and certainly to the point that I'm baffled with any comparisons to Phantom Menace.

But then again, I actually liked the prequels. So what do I know?
I would argue that Dollhouse first 5 episodes are better than Buffy. Probably because I just started Buffy last year, but between the music, the poor effects... can't compare at all to later Season 1, which is by far overshadowed by Season 2. That doesn't mean I don't love Buffy Season 1, but Dollhouse has gotten me in faster.

And I do like Revenge of the Sith (well the non romance parts... Lucas isn't the best at that stuff), and I liked parts of Phantom and Clones. But compared to the the original trilogy and the EU (at least the best stuff)...

And I see nothing wrong with being sycophantic to a great man like Joss. :)

[ edited by SteppeMerc on 2009-03-15 23:24 ]
And I see nothing wrong with being sycophantic to a great man like Joss. :)

"Sycophant" has negative connotations. I think the politically correct term is "lickspittle".

I am an unapologetic fanboy, but Joss is not God.

1) Blasphemer! ;-)
2) Evidently, you have not been reading the right t-shirts.

Although not everything Joss does works, I can see that even the failures are aiming for greatness. That's why I'm sticking with Dollhouse, the foundation is in place for spectacular entertainment to be built upon it. (To use a sports analogy, a lot of shows/network execs are playing not to lose, while Mutant Enemy is playing to win.)
I'm a fanthing.

But seriously, Dollhouse really does not seem to me to be an empty shell of show where creative direction is motivated by special effects alone. I'm also getting the impression that the actors in Dollhouse are getting a little more than "faster" and/or "more intense". Also - and this should be stressed to the extreme - there are no Gungans in Dollhouse.
Now I'm imagining Topher as Jar Jar and it is extremely amusing.
Haha! You're so right. "Eesa Alpha, eesn't it? Yousa tolding us he was the daaaark deadingness!" Oh god, my brain.
"Meesa having man-reactiony!"
This is not the Faith Show

It would be a hell of a lot better if it were.
I've seen up to episode four and it's better than the first five of ANGEL, not as good as the first five of FIREFLY and about on par with the first five of BUFFY. The glacial pace of exposition is what's causing trouble for me, but if word of a shift to a more serialised format with episode six is true, then I suppose this will resolve itself. Anyway I loved episode four.

I think this being the first Whedon TV show in about five years has created some enormous expectations which it could never live up to. Doesn't help that most of the fanbase last watched BUFFY when they were teenagers, their tastes are more sophisticated now (at least that's how I felt when I rewatched the whole series last year - this is good, but not as mind-blowingly awesome as I remembered it being!)
I loved the first five episodes of Angel. Maybe more than the first five of Buffy.

It's all so subjective, this thing called 'love.'
Personally I've really enjoyed the first five episodes of 'Dollhouse' a lot more than I did 'Firefly.' I'm a sucker for the big arcs and we've got a taste of that arc developing in every single episode so far, whereas on 'Firefly' it was pretty much "heist of the week/planet of the week" with nothing connecting it to an overall plot.

The show still has some kinks to work out, such as Paulís stagnating plot (a flaw that seems to be rectified by next weeks episode) but overall itís got a lot more positives than it does flaws.
I like stand-alone episodes with underlying character arcs. Perhaps this is why my favourite Angel seasons were one and five.
Compared to what's on tv now Dollhouse is magic. Compared to Joss's other show's I think my emotional involvement with the characters might have taken longer but they are there now and I've adore all 5 episodes. On another current show "Fringe", I'm still not all that into the characters except Water and sometimes Peter in relation to Water. That's what I'm comparing Dollhouse to-sci fi on Fox. Dollhouse has the potential to be a great Joss show but it's already great tv. Imo of course.

[ edited by beckyboo on 2009-03-16 04:37 ]
but Joss is not God
Of course Joss is not God.

He said God doesn't exist, and yah it is spoken, as is the Whedon Word and thus shall it be so. Versmen, praise be to Joss.

[ edited by zaphod on 2009-03-19 00:48 ]

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