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"Remember when this place was just flame-throwers and rotating knives? I miss that."
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March 30 2009

Pajiba gives Dollhouse a Mid-Season Review. Pajiba, who previously gave Dollhouse an extremely negative review after the second episode re-visit the show after episode seven.

Still not liking it.

hes not exactly wrong.....
I don't agree with him. And I'm sick of being labeled a blind fanboy just because I enjoy the show.
As much as it pains me to say, he raises some valid points and observations about the shows weakpoints thus far. The telling problem for me so far is that the least interesting and engaging character is the lead. It's no surprise the most memorable moments thus far have primarily involved other characters.

However, it's still very early and unfair to write the show off as a failure and lacking in depth, just as it's too early to mark it as a creative success and amazing work. I wish people would stop working in such extremes after seven episodes. Unfortunately, the most prominent issue is whether FOX will let us find out.
I disagree overall, I like the show and I think that most episodes have been good, while Man on the Street and Echoes have been fantastic (and Stage Fright was... not so great). However, he does address valid concerns; the Attic threat cannot keep coming without some kind of follow-through, and imprint-of-the-week episodes cannot last forever.

However, I think that he forgets that the weakest episodes of Buffy and Angel tended to be in their first seasons (of course, there were a few exceptions). [This idea makes me even sadder about Firefly's demise because if what we saw was the "worst" of Firefly, my mind can barely imagine what would have been coming]

Finally, the whole "blind fanboy/girl" thing is something you/we will need to get used to. It is a pretty well-used argument that gets thrown around a lot today by people to describe things from popular creators that some people argue aren't so good. I have accused many a person of being blind fanboys/girls due to their love of certain television shows.
Yeah the "for all those who don't agree with me it's just because you're blind fans" is really quite tiresome. Can't stand it when people say that. It's do disrespectful and so ignorant.

I like the show, I’m not afraid or “blinded” to say otherwise. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t waste my time to watch it. I remember seeing an odd episode of ‘Firefly’ and found it as boring as watching paint dry. It took me about a year later to finally just give it a go because I had nothing better to do and I ended up really enjoying it. But I didn’t pretend to like it or watch it just because Whedon wrote it. People are so ridiculous.

The show hasn't hit the highs Btvs or Ats did but neither did they in their first seasons (ok maybe Prophecy Girl). It's still a quality show IMO.
While I don't agree that those who are enjoying the show are blind Whedonites, I agree with pretty much everything else said in this review.
I 100% disagree. I'll admit I was a bit concerned after the first couple (2) episodes, but it has picked up tremendously since. I think it is a very strong show, its a bit different than the others due to the fact that it seems to have less humor, but it is as good IMO. I wish people could get over the fact that Buffy isn't a show anymore. Everything Joss does is compared to Buffy and its getting old. I loved Firefly, Angel, and Buffy, but those shows are no more. I'm glad I didn't get some rehash of those. I like the new show, the characters, the writing... I hope it sticks around.
I have to agree with the article as well. My biggest problem is that I get almost no emotional response from watching Dollhouse. This is compared to when I watch Friday Night Lights or The Wire (which I'm watching for the first time on DVD) where I'm so emotionally attached to the characters that I love watching almost everything they do. I'm giving the show time but to be honest I had those attachments after the pilot or the first few episodes of some of my favorite shows. From Dollhouse I get the occasional "oh thats cool" or "hmm I wonder whats going to happen next" feeling, but I don't care about any of the characters, even the ones who aren't getting wiped. I'm still watching, there is no question about it (which is probably where the "blind fanboy" thing comes into play), but I'd definitely be lying to say that I'm dying to see it each week.

With that said I'm super intrigued by the idea of "The Awakening" so I am a little excited about that. Hope is definitely still there, those are just my opinions thus far.
For me, it all boils down to... "I love watching every episode of the show and I've been watching each one numerous times throughout the week. I love this show. I love Eliza Dushku. I love Joss Whedon... I ... LOVE.... DOLLHOUSE."

You can quote me on that, because I just did.

Go Dollhouse!
I don't agree with him at all. And I loved Reed Diamond's acting during the infection scene. He made me laugh.

I like the show and I am finding myself looking forward to the next episode. I think people want to pick, pick, pick it apart too much sometimes.

[ edited by TOASTERslayer on 2009-03-31 06:00 ]
Oh, I strongly disagree with this guy- stonedBoyd made me laugh really hard.

I do agree that the imprint-of-the-week thing isn't that good, especially long-term, but I strongly would disagree with his idea of "the show's empty mythology"- I think there's a lot of potential for the mythology here, and Joss is working it slowly. There where a couple of intriguing lines from Adelle last week- about believing in the company and in what they do- that raised a lot of questions in my mind. I do agree that Caroline/Echo isn't that interesting of a character, but that's okay because Boyd is cool enough to keep my interest.

I get the sense that, no matter what he claims, the author expected Dollhouse to blow him away out of the gate, and only get better from there, and his grudge that it didn't made it so he's pretty much inclined to never like the show. Eh, too bad for him. My little sister- who likes Firefly and Doctor Horrible, but refuses to watch Buffy or Angel- loves the show, too, and we've spent a lot of time talking about it, so no matter what this guy thinks, I'm enjoying the show, and not just out of blind loyalty to Joss.
I like the show. I've watched every episode. But I would have to say that I like a lot of the other characters more than the Echo character.

And last week's wardrobe....I just didn't get it at all.
I personally believe that if more then a few of the reviewers removed Joss's name from Dollhouse they would like it a lot better. This show is a departure for Joss and it does have a Fox imprint on it but it's still a d@man fine show imo.

madmooly about Echo's wardrobe, Anime Echo was many guys fantasy and I took it as the show showing the opposite of the returning engagement of Man on the street. Matt was a raunchy young follow instead of the guilt ridden widower.
I think the fanboy thing should join the mentioning of Hitler as a disqualifying element to any argument. And it's *so* damn arrogant. It immediately puts me off and the reviewer loses me even in those cases when I agree with the rest of his/her points.
I think the show needs to get better. For sure. This reviewer has pointed out very reasonable flaws (stepping carefully past the blind fanboys/fangirls argument). But I believe strongly that Joss is too good of an artist to have his work cut off at one season. Even if it's struggling. (And seriously, people, watch season 1 of Buffy. Would you have renewed it?) It's a very rare show that finds its footing after one season.

I've had a couple of people (in real life, not here) say to me, "Oh, I hope it's only one season, I like that I can watch all of Firefly in a day." That attitude is more upsetting to me than any negative review. Why would anyone want all of these efforts by all of these wonderful people to fail?
I got no problem with the reviewer disliking the show -- that's their right. I know there are a lot of shows that other people like that I don't enjoy. That's alright too. But I wish he could not try to imply that I'm a blind follower for enjoying it, or that one day in the future I'll come to my senses and stop doing so. Because entertainment is a subjective thing, and his opinion is no more right than mine -- so why can't he accept that some people don't think the same thing as him without resorting to implying their tastes aren't as worthwhile or are tainted by bias? If someone likes something I don't like, I personally think that's a good thing; because it means that they're getting enjoyment out of it, which, in my opinion, is better than not.

And I know the blind fan thing is going to get thrown around a lot, and maybe I should try to get used to it... But I don't like having other people judge what I should and shouldn't enjoy. And I wish they could find a way to just say people have different opinions without insulting the other person's taste.
It took me almost a year to fully admit to myself that Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown was a terrible movie.

He lost me there.

I love that movie! You should have seen my face when I finally had the shiny dvd in my greedy hands :D

Anyhow, I get it if people don't like Dollhouse. It's not an easy popcorn show, it has multiple layers. Heck, I even have problems following it at points, because there is soo much hidden information.

And I'm not a fanboy. I just like shows like this to have a chance. There is too much crap on tv already (gorram reality tv for starters).
Honestly, though, I just ask myself: Am I being entertained? Yeah. Big Yeah.
Hm I did think Reed Diamond was pretty terrible when in his drug-induced state. He massively overplayed it IMO
Elizabethtown was a great little movie. The road trip at the end is worth the ticket.
Not to get too tangenty but having read this review, with which I largely agree, and seen last night's episode of Chuck in such close proximity, it occurs to me that that show is in some very key ways--warmth, humor, over all level of entertainment and general fun-ness, my caring about the characters, and recently much more skilled writing (plus Mr. Baldwin)--more Whedonesque than our Friday night show, which, btw, I will continue to watch, hoping for more.

And of course it too is in grave danger of cancellation so that we can watch Jay Leno amuse himself by interviewing poorly educated folks on the street in prime time five nights a week...

[ edited by Brett on 2009-03-31 17:07 ]

[ edited by Brett on 2009-03-31 17:12 ]

[ edited by Brett on 2009-03-31 17:14 ]

[ edited by Brett on 2009-03-31 18:04 ]
Is it just me, or does it seem like if you are writing a review, others' opinions shouldn't enter into it. If you have your own opinion, state it, that's what a review is for. Not for assessing what you think "fanboys" or whatever are thinking about it. A review is for presenting your own opinion, not your opinion relative to others'.

Of course, the reviewer, in his paragraph "relating" to fanboys, demonstrates that he has trouble coming up with his own opinions sometimes. He posits that if he has trouble deciding if he likes something due to the creator's other output, the rest of the audience must be suffering the same plight. That just strikes me as silly, and bad writing.

In the end, it's more than okay to not like Dollhouse, and express that opinion. It's okay to not like "Elizabethtown" (which I personally loved) and still love Cameron Crowe as a director. But to write about why other people don't share that opinion seems to me a demonstration of not holding a solid personal opinion. This sort of reactionary journalism just seems immature and irresponsible to me.

Of course, that's just my opinion ;-)
I agree with much of this guy's review. Dollhouse simply isn't all that engaging. The high point so far for me has been Eliza's Faith-like fight with the FBI guy. That's not very encouraging.
rilynil wrote:

The high point so far for me has been Eliza's Faith-like fight with the FBI guy. That's not very encouraging.

Loved that scene my self. But I like action movies and series in genereral, so I'm easy to please I guess.

*dreams of having Summer Glau against Eliza*

I'm that shallow I guess *grin*
I have to wonder if siterunners actively encourage their content creators to cook up something with a Whedonverse angle. No matter if it be good or bad, accurate or smeary... just make it provocative. Then watch the hits skyrocket as we "fanboys" flock to the link.

And the Dushku dissing, both in the article and the comments -- it just seems beyond harsh. She made this series possible, she's doing what I find to be some damned good work in it. You can swing a cat at the Emmys and hit scores of lesser actors. What would we all be talking about (not just here, but across the entertainment blogosphere), if not for her?
The Eliza bashing is really getting me down. If I read one more review that slams her acting or mentions that an episode was strong despite her, I think I'm gonna scream. I've now had two people watch the show and tell me that she's the worst actress they've ever seen. What the? I realize she's not Meryl Streep, and that there's a lot of opportunity for growth on her part (as with any young actor), but I don't get the hostility.
I think its interesting to see people's reactions to the show and especially whether they feel they need to justify those reactions by putting someone down or by putting another show down. I guarantee you that Editors encourage people to write controversial or provocative articles to get hits/generate discussion.
Hostility equals jealousy IMHO.
I cannot find the word "fanboy" anywhere in this article. In fact, the only thing I could find was his statement that "I’ve been there, and I truly appreciate their blind loyalty to Whedon." And that seems in some ways a fair statement, because there sure are some of us who do just that, like "Joss Whedon is my God" and, y'know, "For me, it all boils down to... "I love watching every episode of the show and I've been watching each one numerous times throughout the week. I love this show. I love Eliza Dushku. I love Joss Whedon... I ... LOVE.... DOLLHOUSE.""

So near as I can tell, no one got called a blind fanboy, though he did criticize some people's unquestioning love of all things Joss. This is creating an argument shift- you can forget about his comments of substance and try to reject his entire argument because of this one comment. Look, this is whedonesque. Get over it; the reason you are here is because you enjoy Joss' work, so own that rather than keep trying to say it is not an issue. It colors how you view his work, and so what? The only thing that matters here is not whether or not you like the show, it is whether or not the show is going to be able to continue after this season, and that seems pretty doubtful to me, despite the recent renewal for 2 years of Friday Night Lights, which would suggest some stations will invest in small circulation but good shows. Like HBO bringing back In Treatment for S2. But I just don't think DH has been so compelling it has earned a second season. It has flaws, and he brought out a good number of them. Say what you will, this is not Joss' best work.
Of course it colors how we view his work, but I think that the number of downright negative comments and constructive criticism both week after week here show you that we are not cut whole from the cloth of blind loyalty. There are very few people here who think this is the perfect show, but a lot of folks are getting tired of the fact that because they are fans of Joss' work, people are being dismissive of their overall positive opinion of the show. You can't throw a rock in Whedonesque fandom without hitting someone who loves one Joss show and doesn't care for another.
I've never been much impressed by any of Pajiba's TV assessments. Granted, I dislike much of what is on TV, so that probably puts me in a strange demographic, but still, I don't place any weight on Pajiba to guide my limited TV watching.

The blind allegiance thing grates because it comes across as a form of dismissal; i.e. "I don't like this, and anyone who thinks differently must be basing it on blind allegiance." Frankly, I dis-liked most of late series Angel, so blind allegiance is not me, despite my high regard for Joss and his teams, and my membership on this site. However, I do accept that there is some truth to this assessment (see below).

On the substantive merits of the arguments made against Dollhouse, I disagree with most of the points; that obviously indicates a serious rift in preferences between those reviewers and me. There isn't much you can say to that, except that there are few objective standards in such cases, and we're left with exchanges of "I like it" and "I don't like it."
I don't expect Dollhouse to be renewed; I will be pleasantly surprised if it is, and I hope that it will be, but I'm not counting on it. I think this show is exploring some themes and questions that are new, original, and uncomfortable to many people, and I think that we (the human race) need to address those questions and issues.
Most TV shows, most of the time, don't raise uncomfortable issues. Most TV raises "issues" that aren't new, gives pretty socially-standard (for the USA) "answers" to those issues, and everyone smiles and nods and is comforted and reassured that their world is exactly the way they expected it to be. There is a limited value to that, but just like adding sugar to processed food to make it "taste good," this kind of standard fare has become a crutch for TV and for TV viewers.
One of the reasons I appreciate Joss's work so much is that one of highest forms of praise in his vocabulary is to describe something as "subversive." He values that, it is the kind of thing he wants to create: a piece of art that will not only entertain, but raises questions that are not easily or quickly answered by the viewers. Art that challenges their world-view.

This leads me to a blanket judgement about critics of Dollhouse; they dislike it because the questions it raises are questions they don't want to have to deal with.
Just as with the assessment about "blind" allegiance to Joss, it probably isn't entirely or universally the case. But I think there is truth behind both statements.
Dana5140, the key word isn't fanboy, it's blind. And he does seem to think that anyone watching the show is only doing it out of blind loyalty- let alone those of us who are enjoying it, he seems to think that we'll come to our senses eventually and decide it's crap.

Odd, I thought I had a better idea of what I was thinking than someone else did.
What zeitgeist said. In addition:

a) I don't see much difference between blind loyalty to Joss's work, blind dismissal of his work, and blind loyalty to reviewers' work (whichever reviewer happens to be the flavor of the week.) So far, I don't think Dollhouse is Joss's best work, either - or at least, it hasn't grabbed me like Buffy did - but that doesn't mean that every reviewer with a bone to pick against anything Whedon is dispensing Unvarnished Truth, either.

b) Whether or not we as viewers like the show certainly does matter here; I hope that most of us are here for more than to just sigh about the chances of a second season, and the number of posts dissecting each episode pretty much confirms that.

c) Fifty-three years of viewing has convinced me that if every show had to earn a second season by virtue of being "compelling" TV by the end of six episodes, there would be very few shows that ever made it past their maiden run, including some of those that lasted ten or twelve years...
Look at 'Cheers' as just one example among many. Think it was dead last in the ratings at the end of its first season. Course, TV Land has changed a lot since then.

Odd, I thought I had a better idea of what I was thinking than someone else did.

Well kishi your loyalty is clearly blinding you to what you actually think, see ? ;)

And yes: I’m enough of a sucker for Whedon to stick out the entire season/series in the hopes that there’s a little of that Whedon magic at the end of the run. I’m stupidly optimistic that way.

"Stupidly optimistic" ? Isn't that basically, y'know, "blind loyalty" ? Ah no, wait - the things he doesn't like are all really there, whereas the things we like or dislike can't be.

Whatever, they're valid complaints because (I assume) that's how the reviewer genuinely feels and in subjective appreciation that makes it valid. The initial 3-4 paragraphs of pre-emptive defence, cherry picking of criticisms, dismissal of opposing viewpoints and broad generalising felt a bit like padding but once the actual review started it was all fair enough, don't agree with a lot of it and I prefer reviews that back up their assertions with justifications but ultimately it's his opinion and he's entitled to both hold it and express it.

(don't remember us being that nasty to him right enough, i'd be surprised if we were allowed to by The Mods That Be ;)
I wouldn't say that "stupidly optimistic" that it will get better is the same as "blind loyalty."

"Blind loyalty" suggests that the person is insisting that it IS good, even though it is not. The person is blind to the real qualities of the show.

"Stupidly optimistic" suggests that the person knows that there are problems or that it is not great, but remains hopeful that it will be (or sees potential for it to be).

Needless to say, I'd put myself int he latter category.

There is, of course, a third category: actually liking the show for what it is now. There ARE people that fall into that category, too. And they are not all just blindly loyal to Joss.

Edit for embarrassing spelling errors.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-03-31 21:53 ]
the folks over on Whedonesque said nasty things about me; and not the good, dirty kind of nasty, either). Readers complained that I had not given the show a proper chance

It would appear that "said nasty things" is pretty much a euphemism for "disagreed with his opinion"...
Yeah, we few proud orangey types don't allow nasty things to be said about people, whether theuy be posters, reviewers, or creative types. Fair enough if you don't like someone/thing, but calling names is childish, pointless and divisive.

even if I did wait until two episodes had aired

Oh, two whole episodes? Generosity unparalleled in human history! I kid, of course, if it doesn't grab you, it doesn't grab you and maybe its just not for you. A thought I much prefer to "everyone who likes/doesn't like it is a big jerkface!".
If I don't read certain words in your post and also add some then you just called the reviewer a big jerkface zeitgeist ! He's right, we are nasty to him ! For some values of 'we' ! Frankly, I exclaim !

I wouldn't say that "stupidly optimistic" that it will get better is the same as "blind loyalty."

"Blind loyalty" suggests that the person is insisting that it IS good, even though it is not. The person is blind to the real qualities of the show.

"Stupidly optimistic" suggests that the person knows that there are problems or that it is not great, but remains hopeful that it will be (or sees potential for it to be).

Right but it's only "blind loyalty" by that definition if it's actually not good i.e. if his opinion is objectively correct. Otherwise the difference between the definitions rests on the claim that people that are enjoying it see NO flaws in it whatsoever.

Which is patently unsupported by reality, as reading the episode threads (even just on here) would tell him. So in other words what he's claiming is "blind loyalty" in others is the same thing he's claiming as "stupidly optimistic" for himself (or rather, they're on the same subjective continuum).
Woah, that was deep. But now I get it.
Every now and again my logic is not insane and happenstance ;).
zeitgeist, your orangey approach is the sane approach. Me like, and me grateful in general for your moderation in all senses of that word.

Other orange people here are also deeply appreciated.

Saje: Well and funnily put.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2009-03-31 22:37 ]
I think what's interesting is that for years, fans of Joss' shows had an uphill battle in selling the show to their friends or family. (It's called "Buffy"??? It's a sci-fi western that takes place 500 years in the future and it's set in space? etc. etc. etc.) Everyone reading this post knows what I'm talking about. However, the difference between now and then is that back then, we all saw the show's superb writing, acting, etc. and there was no debate; this was quality story telling and it was just a matter of convincing people that they were "missing out" on something great.

However, now even the biggest of fans of Dollhouse aren't really sure how well the story is going, where it's going or if it will even have a chance to span a full arc on broadcast TV.

Further, there really hasn't been a stand-alone example of the show's Objects in Space or The Body or You're Welcome (or Smile Time, couldn't pick just one AtS ep). While Man on the Street was the best so far, it didn't feel like a prime example or defining moment for the show.

So you've got a group of highly enthusiastic Joss fans trying to "save" or create buzz for a show that even they aren't sure will be Earth-movingly great...or even on the air in a matter of weeks. That seems to be the difference between then and now. I'm hopeful that this is just a case of an early and limited perspective.

For the record, I've really enjoyed each episode. And if I'm being honest with myself, I'm guilty of giving the show an unfair advantage b/c it's Joss and Eliza and Amy. That being said, I'm glad I did.
You can't throw a rock in Whedonesque fandom without hitting someone who loves one Joss show and doesn't care for another.

Ouch! Who's throwing rocks in the fandom?

As for the review itself:

But “Dollhouse” is a tremendous letdown, and I think in years to come, even Whedon will come around to that acknowledgment.

Well... maybe? I guess that's possible. I have no problem with the review as an opinion piece (I'm not in love with the show either, though I'm clearly more entertained by the "mediocre" eps than this reviewer, and I did think Man on the Street was fantastic) but yes, the implication that viewers who are loving it (and even the creator himself!) will eventually come around to sharing his opinion is a bit odd. I assume it was an irritated response to being told he just had to "give it time," and I can understand that. While the very best of any Whedon-made show is often what is "earned" through seasons of character development, if something doesn't engage you or bores you, why would you keep watching?

That said, I found the "blind fan" thing a little off-putting as well. While this is the first time I've watched a TV show because of who is involved, I have many favorite writers whose new books I'll invariably read, and I enjoy some more than others and every now and then I'm really disappointed ... that's normal, right? We admire an artist, so we follow their work. The notion that anybody convinces themselves that they like something when actually they don't is very bizarre though, and I don't think anybody does this. Well, probably there are a few people in the world that do. People do all kinds of wacky things. But most people are pretty much aware of their enjoyment level, methinks.

I'd feel badly if people really said nasty things to / about him, though. If I had his address, I'd send him some cookies.
the documentary wrap-arounds were lame and gimmicky

Eh, I guess the writer and I have very different sensibilities, because I'm having trouble seeing this one.

He talked about how he was disappointed in the "big kicker" for Man on the Street, which some people here have also stated. First, I think the big kicker was the global nature and hidden mission of the Dollhouse (natural, but it hadn't occurred to me), not the Doll reveal. Second, it doesn't matter how "obvious" something is, if it is executed well. The Doll reveal and the payoff (neck crunch) were well done. By the author's line of thinking, "House" should be a disappointment each and every week, because Greg (once again) figures out the peculiar ailment afflicting the patient.
I didn't read this guy's first bad review, but what I noticed through reading between the lines in this article is that his problem is mostly with Eliza Dushku, it isn't all about the show. Also, he blames the "imprint-a-week" failure episodes on Joss, but anyone who's done the least bit of research knows that Fox kept Joss from doing what he wanted to do with the show in the first place. The morality of the Dollhouse is confusing because it's not like the show's writing and production team can say "Fox wouldn't let us do a show about human trafficking." Such a statement would probably yield some consequences.

ETA I just took a second look at the ratings for the past two weeks. Compared to some other shows, I think Dollhouse is doing better than people are giving it credit for.

I don't blame the messenger for bad reviews, because this country is about free speech, it's healthy. I just think that a lot of this man's judgement has to do with Eliza Dushku, and if I'm right and he is trying to condemn a show because of one actress, he is fighting a losing battle, because I don't see a lot of people out there hating Eliza Dushku.

[ edited by sarahi on 2009-04-01 04:07 ]
I guess I have to put myself in the "fangirl" category - I have total respect for all the Whedon projects I have seen thus far - however, not including the original Buffy film. I have watched The Dollhouse and will continue to watch on Friday nights and online.

Do I like it as much as I did Buffy or Firefly? No - but then this is a totally different style and type of drama. With all his other projects, the viewers could easily connect their own lives with the situations and stories because they reflected real life troubles every viewers understood or had lived through. Dollhouse is something completely different - the viewer can't relate easily to what the characters are doing on screen - it's all very outside our "real life" reality and not the easy to connect with. This is an important point when viewers speak of "making connections" with the characters. The Dollhouse Actives,for me, are more as abstractions being used to explore a theme.

For me, this works just fine - I like having to change my way of seeing a Joss Whedon project. I don't expect to always have my emotions and heart invested in the characters - but I do expect that the series will ask questions that I have to think about. In my opinion, The Dollhouse is doing that - not at the same level as his other shows, but I will support his efforts and continue to watch.

I personally don't particularly like the weekly Active Story Change but I know that things will eventually all connect.
I don't need to justify my reaction in any way. Dollhouse is a major disappointment, and I'll be relieved when we get the official notice that there'll be no second season.
Do I like it as much as I did Buffy or Firefly? No - but then this is a totally different style and type of drama. With all his other projects, the viewers could easily connect their own lives with the situations and stories because they reflected real life troubles every viewers understood or had lived through. Dollhouse is something completely different - the viewer can't relate easily to what the characters are doing on screen - it's all very outside our "real life" reality and not the easy to connect with. This is an important point when viewers speak of "making connections" with the characters. The Dollhouse Actives,for me, are more as abstractions being used to explore a theme.

This is the crux for me. "Dollhouse" might just be the most potent vehicle for parable and allegory Joss has ever concocted. Seven episodes in, it addresses issues and conventions primetime television will normally not touch. I think it could be spun out and mined for seasons worth of thoughtful, challenging, intense entertainment.

Joss has gone on record stating he has blocked out five years worth of story. The very real probability we will be denied that arc just kills me. Because what are the chances of the stars aligning and Mutant Enemy helming a primetime series again -- at least in the near future?

Warts and all, this "Dollhouse" thing has legs. And while I'm not normally fond of perusing warty legs, I'd welcome the opportunity to continue watching these.

(OK, that was the most strained analogy. Ever. I am so sorry.)
I honestly think that he's writing off Dollhouse too soon. As stated by numerous other people, Joss seems to take a season to hit his stride, after which the show explodes into raging awesomeness. Though I'd rather he start with a bang and get even more awesome from there, the guy's been tested and proven as a success in the TV industry.

To say that Dollhouse won't get renewed for another season is somewhat ridiculous considering that its renewal will be a result of how well the show does for the rest of the season. If Fox has a sleeper hit on their hands like Buffy was, it's not going to let go.

If none of that made sense, it's because it's 3:30 AM and I'm all hyper from unnatural ammounts of caffeine.
Has anyone done any research on critical reactions to and ratings for Season 1 of Buffy? How were the reviews? I know Buffy never had stellar ratings, but did they increase episode to episode or waver and dip? My sense is -- and if the evidence contradicts me, I stand contradicted -- Buffy got a lot of love from the critics early and the ratings held steady or improved. (Had they not, why would the WB have renewed the show?) That doesn't seem to be the case with Dollhouse. The reviews have been generally mixed or poor, with a few exceptions for the consensus standout of the bunch: Man on the Street. The ratings have generally trended downward, though not dramatically.
Dollhouse is a major disappointment, and I'll be relieved when we get the official notice that there'll be no second season.

This is what I don't understand. While I may not find the show as compelling as I'd like, nor particularly enjoy Eliza as the lead, other people do. Just because I don't like ice hockey or the WWE, it doesn't mean I want to see them taken off the air. I have friends who would be very disappointed if they were.
I disagree with cronopiogal's wish for Dollhouse to be taken off the air, too. I want to see it continue and get better.

But I think the reason a Whedon fan might want Dollhouse not to be renewed would be so that Joss could concentrate on something else. Whereas, I can't imagine most of us are chomping at the bit to see what hockey players or wrestlers would be doing if they only had more time.
'Hogan Knows Best' ?

Actually, that's not fair cos i'd totally watch "Whedon Knows Best" ;).

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