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May 13 2009

"Dollhouse fans shouldn't lose hope". So says James Hibberd's sources. "[D]espite the show's recent ratings, the show is still alive. Whedon pitched the network on his vision for season two late last week. Discussions have commenced between Fox and the studio about how to make the show work financially."

DVD/Blu-Ray pre-orders, people! Get the studio motivated to reduce the price for the network! http://www.amazon.com/Dollhouse-Season-One-Eliza-Dushku/dp/B0024FAR66/
I'd love to know if this is a credible source!
If they DO make another season, It'd be nice/smart if they put it on a different night.
Yes, DVD pre-orders, and respectful messages earmarked for Peter Rice, chairman of entertainment. You can make those via phone 310-369-3066 (viewer comment line) or email askfox@fox.com (viewer comment address).

At this point, it might be worthwhile making your urging via the phone number if you can. While snail mail is frequently seen as more "real" than email, a phone message at least is clearly a real person.
Man, articles like this need to stop showing up. I'm starting to be optimistic again...
Is the part about joss pitching last week true? That actually might get my hopes up.
Just sent another email to Peter Rice. I've sent one after each of the last two episodes praising the show and Fox's commitment to air the entire first season while showing my support for a second season regardless of the constraints required to make it happen.

Maybe I'll give them a ring tomorrow.
What's this site's track-record? How credible is it?

Anyway, if what they're writing is true, I'm beginning to feel a lot more optimistic about Dollhouse's chances for a second season (which, because the universe revolves around me, is probably also the precise point in that that Fox' executives decide to definitively can it ;)).

Also: ouh, Shawn Ryan taking over 'Lie to Me'. Haven't watched the show, but will now. I've loved every single bit of 'The Shield' I have seen (am watching the fifth season on DVD now) and am also pretty much in love with 'The Unit', despite disagreeing with almost all of its politics. So, 'Lie to Me', any good? :)

As for mailing executives: that's probably pretty useless for us international viewers, right? I guess I'll just stick to pre-ordering that DVD.
Hey, does anyone know how many new shows as of right now are definitely being picked up by Fox for the fall season?
I know about Human Target, but are there any others?
This is killing me.

Monday is not arriving fast enough.
Monday is decision-day for Chuck too, isn't it? They're going to make me wish away my weekend.
How do we believe articles like this now? There are too many nay-sayers out there.
Again, two kinds of articles: People using the ratings and factoring in historical decisions and their own judgement; and people with sources telling them it isn't dead yet.

The first is an entirely legitimate way to try to judge what shows are dead; but if the actual parties aren't limiting themselves to automatically using ratings and ratings alone, then the second kind of trumps the first.

That doesn't mean "talks" inevitably leads to "renewal". But if the network and the studio aren't simply going "ack, the ratings, forget it", then the articles focusing only on the ratings don't make much sense at the moment.
Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain have been consulting producers on Lie to Me this season
Consider also that the most sizable chunk of Dollhouse's budget went to building that awesome set. With the set built, the rest of the finances should be simple to deduce for next season, which should happen unless they are morons.
brinderwalt, I'm not sure what other shows FOX has picked up so far, other than "Glee."
Sons of Tucson was picked up.
Desertpuma, I'm with you on that thought. Totally agree.
Well, let's be clear, the money that would've gone to a traditional pilot went to that set, not the lion's share of the budget overall.
I actually don't understand that. What's the difference between a pilot and episode 1?
They don't decide whether or not to pick a show up until after they've seen a pilot. Dollhouse, instead, was picked up with an order of several episodes right essentially right off the bat, without first making a pilot.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-13 04:29 ]
Well. I broke my self-imposed promise and wrote an email to Fox. Sigh. Taste the inevitable betrayal.
I still would really, really like to know how credible this source is. If they actually had Joss in late last week to pitch the second season, I think that's the best sign yet. On the other hand, that would have been before the horrendous season finale ratings...
I just hope Fox doesn't want him to do more episodes like at the beginning of the season because the ratings were higher. He wouldn't do that, would he? Geeze, I would be sooooooo disappointed.
this is what Mark Sheppard tweeted an hour ago. Do you suppose it means anything for Dollhouse? Should we picnic?
Squishy, I don't know for sure, but this is a pretty big website (it's where fast national ratings get posted first, for instance). And the news about negotiations jives with what Eliza tweeted. So I'm guessing it's safe to trust the info, but I don't have any actual guarantees (and short of Joss actually posting I doubt we'll get any more details about that pitch).

ETA: nyrk, maybe that just means he's done filming Leverage?

[ edited by jkalderash on 2009-05-13 05:13 ]
Alright. out of pure curiosity/boredom, I decided to attempt to analyze what is currently known about Fox's potential fall line-up to see if there is anything we can extrapolate in regards to Dollhouse. Feel free to critique, criticize, correct, etc... (especially if you have wisdom/information on the subject I lack).

Fox currently has 2.5 hours of cancelled/not returning shows from the past year (see list A below), as well as another 2.5 hours of shows in danger due to low ratings (see list B below). Fox has apparently picked up 3 hours of new programming so far (see list C below).

Now. Assuming the amount of time allotted for scripted programming this fall on Fox is the same as last year (an over-simplification I'm sure), Fox has already filled the space vacated by its cancelled/not returning shows as well as 1/2 hour of its shows classified as being in danger (translate: Sit Down, Shut Up). This would further indicate that the only Fox shows whose futures are truly in question at this point are Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse, of which Dollhouse has a very slight statistical edge (going purely by numbers).

What does this mean? Essentially, if Fox picks up another hour of programming it's meant to replace Terminator, and if they go for an additional hour after that it's to replace Dollhouse.

So keep your eyes open for more new shows being picked up by Fox.


List A: cancelled/not returning shows (2.5 hours)
King of the Hill (1/2 hour)
Prison Break (1 hour)
Do Not Disturb (1 hour)

List B: shows in danger, safest first (2.5 hours)
Dollhouse (1 hour)
Sit Down, Shut Up (1/2 hour)
Terminator: TSCC (1 hour)

List C: New shows picked up by Fox (3 hours)
Human Target (1 hour)
Sons of Tucson (1/2 hour)
Cleveland (1/2 hour)
Glee (1 hour)


Update: Do Not Disturb is actually 1/2 hour as pointed out below. I would still say watch out for any additional new shows being picked up.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 05:52 ]
The Hollywood Reporter and Variety are THE trade journals for Hollywood. They may not always be right but they are as trustworthy as anything and anyone at this time. They speculate as well, but if James Hibberd says that Joss was pitching the show last week and that there are talks, you can believe it.
brinderwalt, I think Do Not Disturb was only half an hour.

Also, I believe Sit Down Shut Up is essentially a non-factor at this point.
Argh, I made a spreadsheet of all this last week and then deleted it because I decided I was tending towards insanity. From what I remember, if we just look at the fall schedule:

(1) Sunday night will be a block of animations, so we can pretty much ignore this night:
Simpsons
Family Guy
The Cleveland Show
American Dad

(2) Shows officially renewed for the fall include:
Fringe
Hell's Kitchen
Lie to Me
possibly Til Death (I think I read somewhere this might not be on the fall schedule)

(3) Shows presumably returning for the fall:
House
Bones

(4) New shows:
Human Target
Glee
Sons of Tucson

Assume there are 10 hours of programming, not including Sundays. Then we have 8 hours taken so far (7.5 is Til Death doesn't come back in the fall). That leaves two hours, one of which could potentially go to Dollhouse (and I assume they'll pick up one more show or possibly bring back some reality show like Don't Forget the Lyrics).

There's also the ever-pressing question of what two shows will end up on Fridays. I think we can all agree that Dollhouse would probably do better on another night, but then which show should be there instead?
Argh, I made a spreadsheet of all this last week and then deleted it because I decided I was tending towards insanity. From what I remember, if we just look at the fall schedule: [...]


Is it sadder that I used wordpad?
This story WAS fact checked. Just FYI.
I was thinking about the number of hours thing too. Basically it looks like the only chance Dollhouse has is the Friday Death Slot again or as a mid-season replacement. Neither looks too good sadly. I'm surprised they're considering placing Human Target with Dollhouse on the same night. I've would have thought they'd place it with Fringe since it features Mark Valley who was on Fringe. But maybe Fox is afraid Fringe might crash and burn without American Idol's support and is going to use House as a lead-in for Fringe again?
Well, Human Target seems thematically more similar to Dollhouse.
Personally I don't see how the pickup of Human Target is in any way an encouraging sign for Dollhouse since their premises just sound too potentialy redundant.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 05:59 ]
You all are going to drive yourselves crazy. It could go either way at this point and we will know when we know.
You all are going to drive yourselves crazy. It could go either way at this point and we will know when we know.


That is assuming some of us aren't crazy already.

Besides. I am actually enjoying this!

And, believe it or not, this is way less stressful than what I do for a living.
I'm not going crazy at all. I'm just working on the assumption that the show has been renewed, and GlobalTV unintentionally announced it. Any Tweets along the lines of "We're currently in talks" etc. are just folks covering it up.

Logic? I don't think I know this word...
I am glad to hear that they may be at least in talks about the show. Means they might not be ready to just chuck it based on numbers. That's good news, if true. It's also true a lot of the money goes to set, which they have. I think they should show Dollhouse in the Off season. There is nothing on then, really, it might stand a better chance there, than up against giant shows like House and Fringe. And I'm not just saying that because my tv calendar for the next two months has a whole 9 eps listed.
Dollhouse could never be up against House or Fringe. They are on the same network.
In all seriousness, I think it's fair to say that Dollhouse's fate rests upon whether Fox determines that there are any new pilots out there that stand a significantly better chance of succeeding in its place. Really, that's true with all these bubble shows, and is an entirely normal part of the tv production process. Networks normally have faith in their shows and want them to succeed, otherwise they wouldn't have picked them up in the first place. I feel we whedonites are oftentimes too quick to read malicious intent in the goings on of the minds behind the great tv machine because of the bad behavior of generations past, as it were.
I think Eliza Dushku just made the official nickname for Dollhouse fans "Doll-babies".
Am I wrong that Lie to Me has been launched reasonably well? And yet even there they haven't committed to a full order, only 13 episodes. So maybe they're looking at having a number of short-season orders, making them more flexible?
That seems like a potential possibility, although it could also mean that due to current market conditions even a show doing "as well" as Lie to Me isn't worth risking a full season order on.
Oh, I LOVE Doll-babies :)
Yes, I was trying (I know! Don't faint!) to put a glass half full spin on it.
Sorry. Answering questions like that is just a reflex. Didn't mean to burst your theory...
The last time I checked a couple of weeks ago, Lie to Me has been doing just okay as a lead-in for American Idol. They were getting 2.3-2.4 in 18-49 demos which did win the slot (Wed 8pm I think) but overall rather mediocre numbers compared to its previous ratings and other shows were scheduled with Idol. So without Idol, Lie to Me may end up doing pretty poorly for Fall '09.
Wasn't looking for an apology. Was just explaining what I was doing. ;)
That's alright. I'm too tired to care right now anyway.
Lie to Me


Seeing as Shawn Ryan is now the new show-runner for this show, we can now officially say that former Mutant Enemy staff have taken over all of Fox's shows. Probably.
Seriously, I had resigned myself to the fact that this was the only season and there was no way of saving Dollhouse.

Now I'm feeling like it has to come back with all of the stuff going around the last couple of days. I feel like might just be some elaborate practical joke to make this the most stressful week ever.
I'm still at the hopeful, yet cautious stage. I'm using the power of positive thinking, praying to the Great Muppety Odin, the Knife-Wielding Gibbon, the Bubble Boy (2001 Movie Version) and all other various Gods and Deities that exist in this world.

Does that help?
Re: Shawn Ryan now with Lie to Me

It's kinda weird to see creators/showrunners who've really made it on cable (like Ryan with The Shield), after already seeemingly graduating from network TV, return to network TV after having that kind of creative freedom, but I understand they go where the money and opportunities are. And maybe sometimes have ideas that fit pretty well within network constraints.

Ryan Murphy (from Nip/Tuck to Glee) is another recent example and Tom Fontana (from HBO's Oz to various short-lived crime and law dramas) is an older one. There are probably more.
Wake me up when Fox releases their line-up. This is getting old.

*me curls up in chair.
Want a little more to speculate about? Here's our old friend Nick C:

I know a lot of what goes on at FOX. Something is going on right now with FOX and Mutant Enemy and I don’t know if it’s DOLLHOUSE season two or something entirely different, but DOLLHOUSE is on the table.


ETA One more of his comments:

There was never a pitch for season three of TSCC. I know that for a fact. FOX never asked for a pitch. They specifically asked Whedon for some pitches. Yes, plural.


[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-05-13 11:10 ]
Hopefully Nick C is right. I've always wondered where he gets his info, though.
Don't anybody else suddenly love the word plural.
Faith, the Series!

One can dream ;)
Seems to me that means one of two things: (1) they wanted a few ideas for Dollhouse season 2 to pick from; or (2) this fits in with the comment the other day that there was some talk about a potential show spinning off from episode 13. I'd love it to be (2) but (1) seems more likely

(Edited to say episode 13 rather than 3. I'm not sure anyone wants a spin-off about angsty pop-stars)

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-05-13 11:32 ]
Or, of course, (3) Faith the series :) But, you know, I once would have leapt at that idea but I think I love Dollhouse much more than I'd love a Faith series.

But Ripper .... I hope that Joss remembers that one day
Are any of the shows returning or new half-season shows, because they would have to make room for 24 in the new year (if the star isn't in jail.)
Maybe Whedon pitched TSCC Season Three while he was there :p
I am in the "really want more Dollhouse" camp, so I hope Joss wows them with one of his pitches. The only shows I make an effort to watch are Dollhouse, Supernatural, Castle (just because Nathan is that good!), and Lie to Me (because Tim Roth is that good too!).

RE: "Lie To Me" I've watched the whole season and really enjoy the show. Everyone in the main cast is excellent, and Tim Roth makes the show. His character is "unlikable" and "likable" (reminds me a bit of the House character in that way). Looking forward to see what happens with Shawn Ryan involved.
There seems to be a lot of talk this year about 13-18 episode seasons for many shows. I have a feeling that's what they're considering for Dollhouse, too.
I think that might be a good thing, too. Certain Buffy and Angel seasons could have done with some editing eg. get rid of 'Bad Eggs', 'Beer Bad' and so on. Although, there's not really any guarantee that it would be what we think of a the weakest episodes that would go if we got shorter seasons. For all we know, 'Bad Eggs' was one of the first things the writers came up with for season 2 and were really attached to the concept

ETA: that said, cutting 9 episodes out of any Buffy or Angel season would be hard (maybe Angel season 1 wouldn't be so tough :) )

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-05-13 13:26 ]
I think the writers first think of the main storylines and then think of the episodes to fill the season up like Bad Eggs and Beer Bad. So 13-18 episodes would be fine by me!
No, thank you. I love Bear bad, and specially, bad eggs.
I would love more DH, but I'll settle for anything starring Alan Tudyk written by Joss.
Bear bad actually sounds like a cool episode

Truth be told I didn't hate either episode first time through. Beer Bad is still okay but watching Bad Eggs a second time is pretty painful
I love "Bad Eggs" for the Buffy and Xander teaming together stuff.

"Alright, Willow said something. Uh, a name. What was it?"
"A bozo! Not a bozo."
"A bezoar."
"That's it! Okay, so now...we look it up?"
"In what?"
"A book?"

And the Buffy getting swallowed but killing the bezoar and crawling out all covered in gunk and then giving Lyle the "Go ahead and try and mess with me" badass slayer stare. To which he replies, after having cliche-y remarked that it wasn't over between them, "Okay, it's over."

But before that, her and Lyle working together. I always like it when good guys and bad guys team up. Then there was Xander hard-boiling his egg and everyone's reactions to that. And Buffy naming her egg, "Eggbert."

Lots of things to love about that episode.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2009-05-13 13:55 ]
Glad to see I'm not the ONLY one who likes Beer Bad ;-) The plural pitches is very exciting. I mean, tons of shows get pitched but never see the light of day. Really, other than Firefly season two I can't imagine anything I'm more excited about than Dollhouse right now.

Maybe if they did Fray, the animated series :-)
My guess would be this: (1) They are addressing concerns that have been raised by fans and critics about character investment, and looking to see if something can be done to provide a stable identity for one character so that fans can have a point of reference (yes, this was my pet concern, but it was not unique to me), (2) They are looking at a truncated second season, providing enough episodes to bring closure to the story, but more on the order of say, 8-10 eps total, (3) They have to look to cut costs in recognition of low ratings, meaning that some characters may not return or may be used only as guest stars in specific episodes. I cannot see DH getting a full slate of 23 eps for a new season, but I could see it getting somewhat of a limited run, so to say.
Well, if they're looking to have input creatively, then they haven't learned their lesson from the majority reaction to the first five episodes. Let Joss do what he wants creatively within the necessary episode, financial restrictions, promote it, and stay the heck away.

Because, I'm sorry, I have no interest in watching a Season 2 if it is changed from the path Season 1 ended on, in order to make it more accessible. If they change the mood, or the characters, or the moral ambiguity, it will cease to be Dollhouse as I've come to know it.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2009-05-13 14:02 ]
I cannot see DH getting a full slate of 23 eps for a new season, but I could see it getting somewhat of a limited run, so to say.

I also see no way of Dollhouse getting a full order. Only Fringe, a demo hit with House and AI, got one, Lie to Me only got a 13 episode pickup. Dollhouse won't do better than Lie to Me, I guess.

But hell if I know, they will probably look to stabilize the Friday for years to come and give them the Friday 9pm slot for 2 full more seasons. You heard it here first.

Well, if they're looking to have input creatively, then they haven't learned their lesson from the majority reaction to the first five episodes.

Again, looking at the ratings, that statement just doesn't add up. The allegedly Foxy First Five did way better audience wise than the fan-favorites in the second half of the season. There will always be creative input, and there will always be good and bad creative input from networks.
They weren't just Joss fan-favorites. They were critical favorites, and favorites of other people who stuck out the run. The first five got good ratings because people gave it five episodes then left.
I don't remember bad eggs very well but beer bad was most awesome.

I seriously hope Friday's ratings did not kill the momentum from Joss's pitch.
Heh, I'm in the 'hated Beer Bad, even the first time 'round' and 'Bag Eggs maybe isn't the best Buffy out there, but it's still a lot of fun and has lots of funny dialogue' camp ;).

As for the rest of the discussion: I'm taking the pitches as a positive thing. But, man, I want the reveal already. Waiting on the news is becoming more and more difficult now that the reveal-date is nearing.
Man that is good news keeping my fingers crossed
I like "Beer Bad," personally. I love Willow's response to what gave away the fakeness of Xander's ID. :) And Cave!Buffy is pretty cute, too.
They weren't just Joss fan-favorites. They were critical favorites, and favorites of other people who stuck out the run. The first five got good ratings because people gave it five episodes then left.


If you look at the final viewer demo numbers for Dollhouse, it started at its strongest, fell some before rising to its post-premiere peak at episode 6, then fell consistently there after. No cigar.
Just reread Nick C's post - it does sound a little like some of the multiple pitches weren't even for Dollhouse. Could it be that they've decided they don't want to keep Dollhouse but they'd like to get Joss to do another show for them (possibly with the same actors)? That would still suck but a different Joss show would be one hell of a consolation prize

More imporartantly, I think Beer Bad was a fair bit better than Bad Eggs which was quite dire (apart from Xander hardboiling his egg). Bad Eggs had the characters way out of character (Joyce going back to season 1 mode with her harshness on Buffy which is especially jarring given how she's basically a different person in Surprise / Innocence). And Beer Bad, unlike Bad Eggs, had some really great scenes (eg. Willow pretending to fall for Parker's lines)

Random season 4 comment: does anyone else think that the minor chracters they introduced in season 4 (Parker and Professor Walsh) were great but the major new characters (Riley and Tara) kinda sucked? Probably not wise to criticise Tara but what the hey

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-05-13 14:45 ]
I cannot see Fox offering Joss an entirely new show as some sort of consolation. That just makes no sense. If they are talking pitches, in the plural, then they are almost certainly talking about different ways DH could move into a second season: as a post-apocalyptic show, as a show that is more an ensemble than an ED star vehicle, of shifting focus, of something. Again, I think that if the show is renewed- and as I ahave said, I am not invested in the show but I believe it will be- it will certainly be with some changes. One thing is for sure, any direction it takes in S2 will be with agreement on the part of Joss and Fox, so it is silly to say you will have no interest if it does not go on the path planned, because (1) you have no idea what that path is, and (2) Joss will still be doing it, with Fox's input. End of story.

And look! I am not taking the bait! :-)
I never said "path planned." I said "changed from the path Season 1 ended on." I don't know where it's going, but I like where it ended up, and if their changes negate that, causing Joss to deviate from where he intended to take the story, I'll have no interest. Call it silly if you want, but that's how I feel.
Things are lookin' good.
I never said "path planned." I said "changed from the path Season 1 ended on." I don't know where it's going, but I like where it ended up, and if their changes negate that, causing Joss to deviate from where he intended to take the story, I'll have no interest. Call it silly if you want, but that's how I feel.


pat32082, I think what you really mean is if they "mess with the continuity of the show", since we are technically unable to make judgments about where Joss originally planned to take the show.
Yes, that. Thank you. :-)
I have to concur.. I WANT to see where this goes, certainly.. I LOVED Omega.

But..

If they say "Joss, we want you, and your fans.. but not this show. We want a Buffy show. Or Faith. Or Ripper. Or Book (yeah.. a BOOK prequel would be awesome.)"


I would mourn the loss of Echo, and welcome my fave verses back.
Ok, gossi...what do you know this time?
If they really want to resurrect Firefly instead or a Faith spinoff (which I can't see just for the CGI and set-building money reasons alone, besides, you know, actor availability), I'll blink in stunned shock.

Blink hard.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2009-05-13 15:18 ]
Things are lookin' good.


Cryptic, gossi... did you hear something more?

[ edited by flugufrelsarinn on 2009-05-13 15:16 ]
Yeah. I would drop everything I currently like being broadcast in a heartbeat in exchange for a Firefly continuation. (Sorry Dollhouse, etc. Nothing personal...)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 15:19 ]
Well End of Show just reported Fox picked up Human Target (revolves around mysterious freelancer Christopher Chance, who takes on a different identity each week to help those in need) and considers pairing it with Dollhouse.
So that's good news, right?
Seems like a great pairing.
I agree that (1) pitches, plural, is a good thing; (2) said pitches are likely for different directions that Dollhouse could go; and (3) too great of a deviation from the direction indicated by the end of the season would be troubling.

But, I would not be upset with something of a re-boot for Dollhouse, either. The best aspects of Dollhouse are its premise/idea and the cast. If they keep those and tweak some of the other stuff (episode format, plot arcs, etc.), I'd probably be okay with it. I would welcome more of an ensemble focus and fewer standalone episodes, for instance. (But, I am not an anti-standalone purist, either. I like big arc-y character-developing stories as much as the next Whedon fan, but my absolute favorite episodes from most shows tend to be standalones -- this is partly true of Buffy, though even the standalones tend to do a lot for character development in Buffy, and really true of other shows like, say, the X-Files.)

So, yeah, a little creative re-booting may be in order for s2, and I wouldn't mind it and might even welcome it. (If it's what it takes to get a second season, I totally welcome it.)

Edit on Preview: Oh sure, gossi, write a four-word comment while I'm writing this long-ass one, that totally overshadows whatever I had to say... fine! (So, since I cna't help but take the bait, what does "lookin' good" mean?)
Well End of Show just reported Fox picked up Human Target (revolves around mysterious freelancer Christopher Chance, who takes on a different identity each week to help those in need) and considers pairing it with Dollhouse.
So that's good news, right?
Seems like a great pairing.


Old news (relatively speaking).

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 15:23 ]
Is it possible that Fox wants to keep Joss in their tent because of Dr. Horrible and his other success in “new media.” He seems to understand where television is going, so they may want him as a partner instead of a competitor (either on his own or at another network.) I know that Hulu, Itunes, and DVD sales make up a small part of their revenues now but they are growing and ratings for live television seems to be falling every year. Joss seems like a great long-term investment.

I’ll take off my tin-foil hat now.
Down, down, optimism! Bad... er, emotion, or whatever you are.
Is it possible that Fox wants to keep Joss in their tent because of Dr. Horrible and his other success in “new media.” He seems to understand where television is going, so they may want him as a partner instead of a competitor (either on his own or at another network.) I know that Hulu, Itunes, and DVD sales make up a small part of their revenues now but they are growing and ratings for live television seems to be falling every year. Joss seems like a great long-term investment.


Negative, conspiracy theorist spin on what you just said.

Don't believe it myself, but you never know. ;}

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 15:34 ]
If the source is reliable, then it seems that FOX are really leaning towards renewal.
I think a sci-fi series such as Dollhouse is the perfect choice for Fox to experiment with a new model of business... the fans of such shows are likely to be the most clued up when it comes to watching online, or DVR or even DVD. They just need a business model that works for those shows that doesn't rely solely on Neilsen ratings. Maybe this is what they are thinking.
Each doll gets stuck in whatever personality he's loaded with when the Dollhouse gets shut down, and they have to make their way in the world. 'A Guy, a Gal, Twenty-six Dolls and a Pizza Palace', new on Fox.

cutting 9 episodes out of any Buffy or Angel season would be hard (maybe Angel season 1 wouldn't be so tough :)

Not to be touching my beloved Angel season one, please. You can have season four. :)
I think a sci-fi series such as Dollhouse is the perfect choice for Fox to experiment with a new model of business... the fans of such shows are likely to be the most clued up when it comes to watching online, or DVR or even DVD. They just need a business model that works for those shows that doesn't rely solely on Neilsen ratings. Maybe this is what they are thinking.


Key phrase: new business model. This is the ultimate solution in my mind to the prevailing trends in the tv business at large: A transition to a new, essentially internet-oriented business model. Unfortunately, any shows made during the experimental phase will have virtually no chance of surviving in the long run, since that's where all the mistakes that will contribute constructively to the final model will be made.
Nick C claims that he posted the Human Target info on TVByTheNumbers. Does anyone have a link for that? I don't get who this guy is or why he would want to post "insider info" to a public website, so it would be nice to have some confirmation.

I'm just excited to see what leaks today! Monday it was GlobalTV, Tuesday it was pitches and negotiations... who knows what could happen!
Although, I still think it won't be coming back, I am a bit more hopeful at the news that Joss got to pitch to execs again. He always comes in fully prepared.
We ran the Human Target thing yesterday.

I don't think anybody will say anything public which could risk screwing things up; all I say is, well, cross yer pinkies.
Man, give me a Faith spinoff, Buffy animated, or anything Fireflyesque ! Let's hope.
I'm practically squealing (yes, honest-to-God squealing) as I sit here. Trying to keep calm, though. But my hopes are high like that kid in the Jack in the Box commercial. i.e. very.
What is the correct manner to cross pinkies?

I really hope that something good comes out of these pitches. Whether it's a slightly different Dollhouse (more ensemble, less client-of-the week, please!) or something new entirely, or perhaps a move to new media format, I will watch whatever Joss creates. Here's hoping Fox gives him that chance.

By the way, this does feel very opposite to Firefly, it seems like Fox is actually trying to find ways for Joss's show to succeed. Imagine that!
*standard copy&paste about Kevin Reilly goes here*
I'd like to see some of the posters on TVByTheNumbers apologise to Nick C after this... He was never denying the ratings were bad, just that he was hearing the show was still in with a chance. Even if Dollhouse doesn't get picked up on Monday I think he's pretty much been vindicated (at least, in the face of people who were saying it was 100% dead).
It still felt like Dollhouse was getting shafted by being stuck on Fridays, and again when we discovered that the 13th episode would not air. But now I feel once again ... hopeful. If we get a season 2 I'll be a true believer. ;-)

(Hey, True believers could be a good fandom name too.)
Everyone ran the Target thing yesterday. (And technically speaking the "might pair with DH" bit appeared first on Airlock Alpha. It was actually mentioned here at the time.)
Regarding the "Unsympathetic main character who changes identity every week" think I could perhaps see Echo becoming more self aware but happy to stay a doll, as it looks like Whiskey has chosen this path.
I would have loved to have seen Echo talking to Ballard, Boyd and Adelle after escaping from Alpha but before she was wiped. She was then self aware, she knew she was a doll and that her brain was on a hard drive.
Did Boyd and Adelle just shove her back in the chair and wipe everything like she was just an imprint? Or did they acknowledge she was an individual and ask her if she was happy to do so?

I'd love to see a flashback of that.

It could, if needed, set the stage for a self aware Doll, one that agrees to go on missions, one that's part of the team but still leaving room for plenty of twists and questions.

Maybe Joss pitched two versions of S2, one with Echo still slowly becoming self aware and one with her quickly becoming an individual, ones the fans can identify with?
Kevin Reilly, he's our guy, if he can't do it...
Somewhat on-topic, I discovered the other day that the amount I want Joss' various shows to be continued seems to be inversely related to the degree to which I favoured those shows (please excuse sentence structure for lack of sleep).

At the moment Dollhouse s2 is what I want above all (so much more to tell, and post apocalyptic spin-offs and Amy Acker as a doll make my brain explode). An Angel movie would be a close second, followed by Serenity 2 (let's face it, a second season of Firefly isn't likely). And while I'd love a Buffy movie, the show had pretty much gone everywhere it could, so I'm happy with what's already out there.

This is despite Buffy being my favourite Whedon show (favourite show, actually), followed by Firefly, Angel and Dollhouse in that order.
Not sure where this idea came from that the *fans* need someone to identify with. It isn't the show's *fans* having that problem, but its *detractors*.
What b!X said.
Not detractors. Potential viewers that it needs to survive.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 17:34 ]
Well, we don't *know* what they'd want. Just saying that the word "fans" is being used in that part of the discussion here and it's inaccurate. The only people I've seen make that complaint are people who don't like the show, not fans. That's all I mean.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-13 17:39 ]
that depends on whether you're talking about Joss Whedon fans, or dollhouse fans.

I'm both

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-05-13 17:44 ]
On Sunday Variety said Target was a "cinch" for pickup. I posted here saying it was deffo a go yesterday. HR announced it shortly after. Not related, obv.

I'm hoping this all shakes out well, 'cos Monday should be interesting. Fox should stay in TV business with joss. If it's with DH, it needs tweaking creatively. It also needs Fox to step up and stamp out all the negative buzz if they reboot the show.

My belief? Purely personal. Do 8 more DH episodes for fall. Then spin it off to an entirely new show in the same universw with the same cast, about taking down the organisation behind it.
Just because a couple detractors say there is a problem with the show creatively, doesn't mean there is a problem with the show creatively and in no way do we even have the tiniest clue as to what Joss and 20th/Fox are discussing.

There is nothing wrong with the show creatively. I can identify with the characters/situations without any problem. I can especially identify with the whole idea of a modern woman having to be multiple imprints/personalities depending on surroundings, company and situation. Spot on Joss!
And just to be clear, I don't have an opinion either way on the issue of identification being discussed (by us, or by Joss/FOX if it is). I just wanted to try to derail the use of "fans" being the ones with the problem, because that is just going to yield people going "see, even fans had this problem with the show" and I'd prefer not to be misrepresented that way.

Ask me later how I would like to be misrepresented.
I agree that there's nothing creatively wrong with dollhouse... I think episode 6 onwards has been brilliant television.. unfortunately the show has a problem with attracting enough viewers.

edit:

This came out seeming alot more obvious and less insiteful than I thought it would... I think I need to go to sleep

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-05-13 18:07 ]

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-05-13 18:08 ]
ThorpeWithoutShrimp, Nick C moves his goal posts so it's easy for him to get it right one way or another. It might, partly, come from being in the know but part of it comes off like the work of a faux fortune teller too.
I'm not so sure Gossi, I suspect there are "Fans" (Of Joss and of Dollhouse) who at least subconsciously struggle to identify with a character who has a different personality each week, and have read comments from people saying "I want to like the show but don't like Echo" or words to that effect.

Joss has spoken about the difference between what we need and what we want. Perhaps some people don't "want" Echo to have a constant personality but they do actually "Need" it?

Clearly fans have less trouble with this than many non fans but I don't think it's exclusive. You can be a fan and have certain reservations and no one expects ever fan to think the show is 100% perfect.
I don't know, if I would like seeing DH being about people trying to take down the corporation behind it. I found Paul's arc quite significant in that he went from being such a person to being a person inside, and the whole theme of the show is not about good guys bringing down bad guys but about the complicity of the so-called good guys in the things the so-called bad guys are doing. That's for me one of the aspects where I think Joss' storytelling has significantly evolved - towards the better. And wouldn't be too happy if Season 2 would step back to old rules.
You're suggesting the basic premise be changed to accommodate a subconscious struggle the audience might be having? That seems like baby/bathwater territory to me.

ETA: this was in response to zz9. I like what wiesengrund just posted.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-05-13 18:14 ]
Then spin it off to an entirely new show in the same universw with the same cast, about taking down the organisation behind it.

I've seen that show. It was called, I think, "Angel Investigations versus Wolfram & Hart" or something.
I think the show had creative issues. It needs to connect more. Neither network nor Joss are dumb and will know that. You don't green light another series of a show which lost half it's audience without shaking it up.

Change can be good. Have some faith.
and have read comments from people saying "I want to like the show but don't like Echo" or words to that effect.


Well, some of my biggest Buffy fan friends find Buffy herself to be the least relatable character for them. Some people need characters that they like, some like picking through the mess to find a glimpse of something positive in a character, some like to watch no-goodniks getting away with being no good until it catches up to them.
I don't fear change. I fear stupid change made out of, basically, fear. Time, hopefully, will tell us which changes, if any, they make.
I like to think it will be more an evening out of its unevenness and a focus on the elements that fans and critics responded to. We shall see... Hey, it worked for FNL after a bumpy S2 start.
I think all that change just happened, in Omega. We have an interesting villain in Alpha. Ballard is now working for the Dollhouse, and I suspect he is not fully converted to their way of thinking and may work from the inside to bring it down over time. Echo is retaining more ("Caroline"). Topher is showing symptoms of guilt and actually caring about other people (Briar Rose). And of course, Whiskey is now self-aware.

We already have a different direction to continue off from, and I'd personally love to see where things go from here!
I'm with gossi (once again). :>
A shake-up is fine. A shaking out of the good stuff because it makes some people uncomfortable is not. The moral weirdness is at the heart of the thing. Changing that very much means we get a really different show.

They should certainly rethink how they're getting at these elements, because the unevenness is a definite problem. But a show where we have some clearly good guys who take down the House is not this show.
Then spin it off to an entirely new show in the same universw with the same cast, about taking down the organisation behind it.

I've seen that show. It was called, I think, "Angel Investigations versus Wolfram & Hart" or something.


Hahahaha
Maybe they will do it like Lie to Me (which also lost half it's audience and got renewed): Bring in a new executive producer/showrunner.
Yes, that was just my idea Sunfire. This is why I work for a company which makes tuna.
Yes I'm similarly typing this from a desk strangely lacking in scripts and any FOX memos. I'm just going to be very sad if the thing gets renewed and its loses the parts that made it unique and interesting to me.
...a show where we have some clearly good guys who take down the House is not this show.


... or not yet, at least. I think it is within the scope of the show's basic premise for that to not only occur, but to have been the intended end-result from the get-go (say, after five years of plot development).

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-13 18:38 ]
Pitches? Pitches? Okay, that's interesting!
I'm just going to be very sad if the thing gets renewed and its loses the parts that made it unique and interesting to me.

I'm with Sunfire. Obviously I wouldn't prejudge because even ordinary stories can be done in good ways... but what I especially love about this story are the elements that are unique and challenging. The part of me that is all bouncy with excitement because there's hope the show can continue is *completely* tied up with the uniqueness of the show. And yes, shaking up the audience's complacency is not obviously compatible with the need to attract a large audience. It's just been so cool to see it tried. One more season with the fixable things fixed; sink or swim. That's what I'd really like to happen here.
Especially if they add a talking car or a cute dog. Ugh.
Maybe the imprint chair will start talking.

"There ya go, Topher! Her mind is as good as new! None of those nasty thoughts cluttering it up anymore!"

"Thanks, Printy!"
They could change the show name to "printy the friendly chair", and put it in a children's early morning time slot
I would find nothing amiss whatsoever if the imprinting technology itself became self-aware and started communicating with Summer Glau's voice.
I will not register dollhousefansforprintythechair.com, I will not register dollhousefansforprintythechair.com, I will not register dollhousefansforprintythechair.com.

ETA: Yes, this originally said "pointy" instead.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-13 19:05 ]
Pointy the chair? That's absurd, b!x.

Also, this all sounds more like PeeWee's Playhouse than Dollhouse. (yay Chairy!)
I'd like to note that I completely blew my monthly allotment of exclamation points with that post. Only for you guys.
I would just like to throw in my two cents that, no matter what happens with Dollhouse, I want to see Printy the Friendly Chair.
Or we could affectionately call it Cherrie.
I just hope that if we get a season 2 Fox will work more closely with this Joss fellow and assist him with fixing and improving all his scripts. The show could probably use more standalone episodes and sex appeal. Maybe they could also try finding a better order for some of the episodes, or perhaps try out some different days/time slots... ;)
Oh god... I might have to draw a Printy oneshot comic...
What gossi said, as well.

This concept of change is interesting. What, exactly, would represent a change in S2, given we have no idea what Joss intended to happen in it? It seems odd to be arguing about changes that may or may not come when we don't know what the intent has been. But also, in terms of change, I think shows have to change or they lose viewer interest. How long can you keep Gregory House the angry misogynist but correct doctor? Each episode of that show follows the same formula, without change, and that has been the case for 5 seasons now- which is why I think they are losing viewers. Something has to give on that show. Despite the comments to the contrary, the issue of identification is one that does exist with DH; it is not just me saying that but many critics as well, and I full well believe that issue is on the table if talks are indeed occurring- that is, they are asking, what can we do to increase the viewership? I am certain they are not sitting there and saying, well, let's just do S2 without any change because we think this show is great as it is and needs nothing done to get the viewership higher and more profitable. If they are talking, change is integral to the talks, and it would be naive to think otherwise.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-05-13 19:09 ]
Maybe Printy could turn out to be the big bad of season 2
How long can you keep Gregory House the angry misogynist but correct doctor? Each episode of that show follows the same formula, without change, and that has been the case for 5 seasons now- which is why I think they are losing viewers.

I'll probably watch House until the day it ends, but this frustrates me. The show teases every single season finale that some major change is going to happen. Then within a few episodes of the next season, everything's back to normal. Plot elements might be different, but the characters have reverted to their same old relationships. I should really just stop watching House except for the last four episodes of a season and the first two or three of the next.
Wait, now I'm confused. Dollhouse needs to change because it's too confusing and not comforting, but House needs to change because it's entirely the same all the time?
IMO Dollhouse is right where it needs to me. All the major players are in house and now are the "family" that many crave. We know the Dolls are all part who they have always been so their characters aren't as elusive but are still in many ways. This is the point the series really begins. I do think a new show runner would benefit Dollhouse. I think that could help with the unevenness of the episodes and the season as a whole.
Interestingly, the same formulaic-ness and simplicity that makes House lose viewers now is what made the show so successful to begin with... whereas Joss Whedon shows (in my opinion) only get better as they go along, but sometimes struggly (for numbers) early on because they're not as formulaic and easy to figure out as shows like House...

Joss starts with something complex so as to give himself somewhere to take the show, which unfortunately makes his shows harder for alot of people to get into.

In an ideal world House would only get 1 season (since that's all you really need to get the idea of what that show is all about) and Dollhouse would get 5 seasons or more.

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-05-13 19:22 ]
I'm a big fan of DH as-is, but I pretty much trust Joss in any direction he deems acceptable for his show. I just think of Angel, which pretty much had a different dynamic every season, and still managed to please me with each one.
Buffy was pretty formulaic from week to week. It rocked the formula though, and wasn't afraid to go off of it when called for.

ETA: A forumalic episode pattern is different from adhering to it to a point of tedium or making the usual tv mistakes, namely that a couple episodes can contain a powerful arc and that events are the same thing as character development.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-05-13 19:25 ]
I think Buffy started formulaic and simplistic, but grew in complexity as it went along... whereas firefly and dollhouse were complex from the start... or dollhouse had the elements in place to be complex and became so in episode 6
With the direction Dollhouse is heading and it's vast improvements over the season added to a different night, ANY night (minus el Friday) I see a huge hit for Fox. Kinda like a scifi Cinderella story. My hopes are high, like a balloon untethered from Topher's muck high.
Someone call the horrible Dr. and have him shoot me with his Freeze Ray so I can hold my despair/hope in abeyance until the upfronts are upon us.
Come on, b!x, you know that was not what I said. I said only that if Fox was in talks with Joss about continuing DH, then change would be part of that discussion and to think otherwise is to be naive. I did not say it had to change because "it's too confusing and not comforting." I did say House should change because, as jobo noted, it never does and it is hurting the program. My point being that change is often necessary to keep shows vital and alive; ergo, let's not fear change here or worry too much about it.

(Hell, in the House season finale last year, which was nearly as emotionally wrenching as Buffy's "The Body," there should have been serious repercussions to what happened, but within 5 episodes of the new year it was as if nothing had happened at all. And the end this time out, which was this week? Meh. And given the show, the implications of that ending means little, since the show is, after all, called "House" and will likely have him be different for a few eps before he returns to exactly what he is all the time.).

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-05-13 19:57 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-05-13 19:57 ]
I think mortimer's on to something. Printy could become sentient and take over the Dollhouse. It could start imprinting other inanimate objects such as houseplants and coffee tables. Alpha could then lead an army of furniture.
I think Buffy started formulaic and simplistic, but grew in complexity as it went along... whereas firefly and dollhouse were complex from the start... or dollhouse had the elements in place to be complex and became so in episode 6.


To be perfectly frank, Dollhouse didn't become "complex" to me until the very end of episode twelve. I got the premise, moral complexities, character interactions from the first episode. Consequently, the rest of the series has come off as being essentally redundent up until the last 15 minutes of "Omega". As the show currently stands, the only characters whose motivations/courses of action I find compelling on a personal level are Ballard and Whiskey.
I know we're not supposed to talk about ships here, but I can't help it. I've started shipping Printy and Mr. Pointy. Fan fic to follow.

And to tie two aspects of this thread together, I watched a repeat of House last night and Harry Lennix was playing a jazz musician.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2009-05-13 20:16 ]
I think Buffy started formulaic and simplistic, but grew in complexity as it went along... whereas firefly and dollhouse were complex from the start... or dollhouse had the elements in place to be complex and became so in episode 6

Formulaic doesn't mean simplistic. Having a formula doesn't mean you just follow it all the time. Buffy played with its formula from day 1, that's what made it special. It used its formula rather than just obey it and become it. House has a tendency to obey its formula except on special occasions. It's a formula made of high-ratings win, so I expect they don't have a ton of incentive to experiment with it heavily outside of season climaxes. They do play within the formula sometimes, which I like a lot. But yeah they're not taking a lot of risks in general. It's the opposite of the evil genius who turns his pop culture horror trope show into a musical just because he can and who likes terrifying his actors.

Dollhouse felt like it started mid-series to me. Both in terms of complexity and in terms of undermining what we think about the people onscreen. I've liked it, but I realize many people haven't. It's been interesting but also maybe a bit of a misstep at times for a new show. They might've been going to some dark places they shouldn't have yet without having earned more of the audience's willingness to go there. It might've been better to have twisted some screws more slowly while still introducing the main ideas of the thing.

Except I think they were going all out in case they got canceled. A slow twist isn't good when you may only have 13 episodes to do it.
Just because a couple people thinks things should change does not at all mean that "that" change is what is possibly maybe we think could be being discussed. This line of thought is not just a little silly.

If (and that is a very presumptious assumption) change is/was/might be discussed it could have to do with # of cast members, number of writers, filming technology, night of airing, number of episodes, salary cuts, production timing, and about 5 million other things.

This mythical "change" doesn't have to have anything to do with story no matter how much 2 or 3 people wish it would change so that they could like it.
gossi said:

My belief? Purely personal. Do 8 more DH episodes for fall. Then spin it off to an entirely new show in the same universw with the same cast, about taking down the organisation behind it.


Did you just (re)watch Alias? Sounds very similar to the second season with the taking down of SD-6 mid-season. Although they didn't really change the name of the show or anything - but it was a pretty neat spin and also made the second season of the show my favorite.
Tamara, they got Joss in to pitch. Creatively. Not the things you just suggested.
"Printy The Imprint Chair" just made my day.

Yes, QingTing, please do. We need to see this, forthwith and posthaste.

I will work on Printy's Theme Song.
But even that pitching doesn't inherently mean "changes" beyond what one would normally expect from one season to another. (It might, of course, but lots of thigns might.) It makes perfect sense that the network, given the circumstances, would want to specifically hear what Joss would want to do with a second season.
No chance on forthwith or posthaste, QG, but I'm gonna have to do it.
My belief? Purely personal. Do 8 more DH episodes for fall. Then spin it off to an entirely new show in the same universw with the same cast, about taking down the organisation behind it.


Hmmm. I might be looking at your idea from the wrong angle, but that sounds a lot less interesting, both subtextually and, er, regulartextually.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2009-05-13 21:35 ]
I think Printy's cohorts are Three Flowers in a vase.
The Green Flower is pretty damn scary.
Good to know, gossi. Then I like bix's answer. I just don't buy that the show has to become all cuddly with white and black hats in order to be successful or you know, good. It's damn good without the hats and the cuddly. Give me morally challenging and lots of depraved evil tinged with earnestness and heart. I'm happy there.
There's a new promotional tagline. "Dollhouse: I'm happy there."
Dollhouse: "Are you happy here?" "Should I be?"
Something tells me the answer won't be "for a little while".
Printy sounds a bit like the Sorting Hat. A painful, adult-oriented sorting hat.
Oh, I'm all for a rainbow of hats and Minearygrayness of character. The minute Joss makes a film where a black hat dude walks in with thundering THX sounds smashing out my earlobes is the minute I ain't watchin'.
"Alpha could then lead an army of furniture."

...and Sierra could try to molest it...

He's Printy, the Imprint Chair
You may like your soul, but he doesn't care.
He can snatch it out, put another there
He's Printy the Imprint Chair.

He's comfy-soft, like a fuzzy bear.
If you lean straight back, he won't muss your hair.
You can take a breath, but you can't prepare
For Printy the Imprint Chair.

He will zap you hard, give your heart a scare.
Then your voice could change, or you'll grow a pair.
He can make you smart; lend you fashion flair.
He's Printy the Imprint Chair.

You'll forget your life - you won't be aware
That your kids are wild and your boss unfair.
When life's tapestry looks all bleak and spare.
Go see Printy the Imprint Chair.

Oh the things he does in his techno-lair
Make you flush with joy or with dark despair.
Think he's always right? Au contraire, mon frère.
'Cause he's Printy the Imprint Chair.

Yes, he makes mistakes - you should buy aware.
When he's done with you, you may need repair.
Still those other seats, they just can't compare
With Printy the Imprint Chair.

When your spouse is cold, like a Frigidaire.
When your heart's in pain from your last affair.
When your sorrow's more than your soul can bear
Think of Printy the Imprint Chair....
Printy the Imprint Chair.
(softly): Printy the Imprint Chair...
(louder now): Printy the Imprint Chair!
(shout it out): Printy the Imprint Chair!!




(And yay! to QingTing - and please note: my hurrying was to express excitement and by no means to suggest that you must rush to do it... ✌)
QG, tremendous!

and can't wait for the episode where Printy meets Alpha's chair! Oh the scrapes those krazy kids will get up to!..."They're cousins...Identical cousins!"...
That was wonderful QuoterGal! Now that tune is going to be stuck in my head all day! Need a fix? Just go see 'ol Printy! :D
*applause*
Sometimes Whedonesque is the very bestest place to be. Thanks, QuoterGal. I am in awe.
I'm watching my baby grow with QG's help. Truly the most miraculous thing.
T'anks, folks. Let me just say:

"We are happy, we are merry.
We got a rhyming dictionary."
- Bart, THE SIMPSONS, "Bart the General"

Ya know, if you think about it, what I wrote about "Printy" sorta applies to Joss himself, too.

Maybe Printy is Joss.
It would be his, what, third cameo in his own works?
That was flat-out amazing, QG. Giant, floating, neon-lettered kudos to you :)

(also, 'Printy the Imprint Chair' should totally be a Dollhouse-centered Whedonfan-generated webcomic)
Certain Buffy and Angel seasons could have done with some editing eg. get rid of 'Bad Eggs', 'Beer Bad' and so on


Gasp! Sacrilege!
Don't get rid of 'Beer Bad', that is the great episode with Kal Penn!
That is lovely. I am now looking forward to the YouTube video of the song.
That song is hella cute, QG. I bet it would make Joss smile.

Going back to the issue of change, I think DH could definitely use some. The first season, IMO, had two major issues: (1) lots of unevenness in quality and tone; and (2) insufficiently accessible, relatable characters (which was particularly a problem with the main character, Echo).

The first problem, I think, was due mainly to Fox's creative mandate for standalones in the first five episodes. This made the first five eps "less good" than I suspect they otherwise would have been, but I think it also impacted the other eps because it undoubtedly threw off the timing of the larger arc Joss originally had planned. As a result, a lot of stuff seemed rushed IMO, even in the more awesome later episodes. It sometimes felt like there were too many plot twists and character developments coming too quickly, without sufficient time to explore them. The lesson? Let Joss do his long, arcy stories. Don't mess with the narrative.

The second problem, I think, is probably a conceptual issue with the show's premise, and one which I don't think can be blamed on Fox. I'm not sure how this gets addressed without actually making some changes to the underlying premise, perhaps along the lines of what gossi and Dana have mentioned (e.g., make it more an ensemble show, have a more clear distinction between pro- and ant-agonists, etc.). If Joss and Fox are talking about doing stuff like that, I think that is very good news. In fact, I don't think the show could survive without taking a hard look at this issue and seeing what can be done to address it.

Of course, as I've tried to emphasize, all the above is IMO, and I don't pretend to know more about this stuff than the writers or producers. But I do think that the show has some issues that need to be addressed if it is ever going to compare favorably to other Mutant Enemy shows.

[ edited by Squishy on 2009-05-14 04:02 ]
If there really is some festering character identification problem for people, the best option for addressing it would not be to alter the very premise of the show, but for the writers perhaps to work harder at showing, within that premise, the ways in which identification is possible.

Clearly, it is at least possible, since so many of us are not having the identification problem. Maybe there's a way for the writers to more clearly enunciate whatever it is some of us are picking up on within the existing show that allows us to not have the identification problem?
hear, hear, b!X!
I think Buffy started formulaic and simplistic, but grew in complexity as it went along... whereas firefly and dollhouse were complex from the start... or dollhouse had the elements in place to be complex and became so in episode 6

Formulaic doesn't mean simplistic. Having a formula doesn't mean you just follow it all the time. Buffy played with its formula from day 1, that's what made it special. It used its formula rather than just obey it and become it. House has a tendency to obey its formula except on special occasions. It's a formula made of high-ratings win, so I expect they don't have a ton of incentive to experiment with it heavily outside of season climaxes. They do play within the formula sometimes, which I like a lot. But yeah they're not taking a lot of risks in general. It's the opposite of the evil genius who turns his pop culture horror trope show into a musical just because he can and who likes terrifying his actors.

Dollhouse felt like it started mid-series to me. Both in terms of complexity and in terms of undermining what we think about the people onscreen. I've liked it, but I realize many people haven't. It's been interesting but also maybe a bit of a misstep at times for a new show. They might've been going to some dark places they shouldn't have yet without having earned more of the audience's willingness to go there. It might've been better to have twisted some screws more slowly while still introducing the main ideas of the thing.

Except I think they were going all out in case they got canceled. A slow twist isn't good when you may only have 13 episodes to do it.


I would say that by "playing with it's formula" buffy became not formulaic... plus Joss Whedon had different formula's for episodes that he followed.

For me, formulaic tv means that it always follows the same structure (ie: with House: somebody gets an illness, House attempts to solve the mystery of what the illness is while pissing people off and quipping one liners).

I don't really know why you're arguing with me about this. Of course every show had formulas for episodes, but that doesn't make every show on tv "formulaic", since shows like buffy mix and change their formula regularly.
hear hear to doubtful guest's hear hear. I'm getting a little sick of people saying the whole premise of the show should be changed because what appears to be a vocal minority has issues with it. I don't much like House but I'm not going to start suggesting they throw out the essence of the show to please me, especially since I know that the show really works for a lot of other people
I think FOX will want some change to the show because so far there just aren't enough people watching it as is, and that isn't just because they aren't in on a Friday as people who watched earlier on stopped watching as the season progressed. Clearly the people who are fans of the show don't see a need to change it and no one would suggest the show should change if it had an audience large enough to sustain it. FOX need something to persuade people who gave the show a go this season to try again next season and for that addressing some of the issues of people who aren't fans becomes worth discussing.
as long as, helcat, it doesn't destroy what is working already for those in love with it...it is a difficult premise, and as deeply as I want this show to return, I prefer cancellation to over-reworking to make it satisfactory to those who dislike it...I think there is a route to success that involves tempting back people who never saw it or saw only a bit of it. This show could be turned into many different more successful shows, the vast vast vast vast vast majority of which are either already in existence or are so far from what is being attempted by the current show that they aren't worth considering as serious options. I want Dollhouse to return, not Dollhouse lite.
I agree, helcat, but I'd only be interested if the changes were true to the show. Some of the things suggested in this thread (especially by gossi and Dana5140 - no offence guys) basically amount to creating a new show and calling it Dollhouse. Sure, that's a caricature but not much of one
I agree it's a difficult balancing act to figure out what can be changed to maximise the chances a new season could build and sustain an audience and not destroying what the existing audience loves in the first place. Worst case scenario you don't pull in new people and you lose your existing audience. I'm sure Joss and FOX are both very aware of this and I guess in part this depends on them finding a solution they both think will work plus probably some financial wheeler-dealering.
Brava! QG Brava!
THR:
Negotiations continue on fan favorites "Chuck" and "Dollhouse," with the shows facing cost-cutting requests from their respective networks, NBC and Fox, and their pickup odds seeming to shift from moment to moment. Both could go down to the wire.

Let Down said:
[...] but the major new characters (Riley and Tara) kinda sucked?

Oh. My. Joss.

I cannot even begin to believe that I live on the same planet as someone who is not 100% unconditionally in love with Tara!

Ok, now that I think about it, there's only one possible explanation: you are confusing Tara with someone else. Yeah, that's it.

Tara is this beautiful woman (sugary music video on YouTube).
Tara's ok... never really liked her until her and willow broke up. I felt like this gave her a chance to be a more interesting/singular character (since she wasn't just Willow's girlfriend anymore)... then once I'd learned to like her they killed her off which really made the death mean more and meant that it hit me harder... good work Joss

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