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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Badass Depowered Cyclops."
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October 07 2009

Why I Watch. The smartest show you're not watching.

Yeah, I'm really not watching. All it says is "Loading......0%".


ETA: Nevermind, it seems to be loading now, just very slowly.

[ edited by JMaloney on 2009-10-07 15:26 ]
Great concept, and it looks fantastic, but the site is moving way too slow to be of any use (at least from what I'm experiencing here). The music isn't even playing properly.

I really really want to love this.
Not loading at all for me
It's done in Flash, so if you have a fast PC with Flash, it should work.

I love it anyways.
I have a fast PC running Flash 10 and it won't load at all for me. Something is wrong.
It's been cancelled half way through.
I think it's just a whole lot of data and a really slow connection right now. Do people usually pounce on Whedonesque links fast enough to hammer a site this badly?
It's been cancelled half way through.

I didn't even get to see the pilot! Not even FOX is so... nevermind.
I think that's a big ol' "yup".
It takes a really long time to load, but it's totally worth it. The site is really beautiful.

BTW: I've finished filming the recruitment viral vid, and should be done editing by tonight, so we should have something else to add to the Propaganda! :)
It's definitely a very nice looking site, but I would highly recommend an HTML alternative to users with slower connections or who don't have Flash installed. I have a brand new Mac on a 15 Mbps connection and it's still loading very, very slowly for me. I highly doubt non-fans will be willing to invest the time required to load the site.
If they're patient enough to wait for the site to load, this will prove that they'll be patient enough make it through the first 5 episodes of dollhouse without giving up on the show.
Maybe the message is, "This season is a slow starter"?

I just get a black screen...

edit: No, wait. After about five minutes of blank screen, I now see a "Loading..." bar. Which doesn't appear to be moving, though.
I understand it's supposed to be a real labour of love so do hang on in there.
I must admit I didn't have the patience to wait for it to work for me but I'm sure it's great and I want to thank all the people involved. I'll go back in a less busy time of the day (for the either the site, the Internet and me ;)
It looks really great.. amazing job
Can someone please describe what it is exactly while I drink my mudders milk and read War and Peace? Thanks.
I'll wait for it to load, for sure. But, yeah, if you're going to launch an all-Flash site in the midst of a fan campaign sure to draw traffic, buy the bandwidth to handle the likely incoming load.
(I say the above, of course, as the guy who, in the midst of the R. Tam Sessions releases prior to Serenity, was hosting on a Linux box on his home DSL. Ah, times.)
Do you guys have a time machine? When I click the link it says "You have reached the future home of".
yellowcrayon: Yo tambien.
I've given up. I even tried to download the .swf directly. Someone post when it works.
It looks amazing. The wording is great too, nicely invoking mystery along the themes of the show. Very awesome effort.

Also, very ironical now that a site asking for patience in dealing with a complex show is itself asking for patience to load. :)

But if the bandwidth-problem gets solved, this should be plastered all over the place. I like it a lot.
DNS hasn't propagated to my neck of the web, yet. I still get media temple's "You have reached the future home of" message.

ETA: others before me. At least I mentioned the Domain Name issue as the likely cause.

ETA: And now I see it, as well. I can't download the images kit zip, though (404 error.)

[ edited by peacemonger on 2009-10-07 18:45 ]
For what it's worth, when I tried earlier today (just after the link was posted) I got the loading screen. It got stuck three times, so I closed the tab. I just reloaded it and now I'm also getting the "future home" message.

ETA: Uh, just kidding. Tried it again and it worked - quite speedily too! Man, that's a pretty site.

[ edited by Ildeth on 2009-10-07 18:42 ]

[ edited by Ildeth on 2009-10-07 18:42 ]
OK, first of all, it's been a hell of a morning and I thank you all for your patience and indulgence. The site should be up on Media Temple now and it should hopefully run much smoother and faster. If the DNS hasn't propagated to your neck of the woods yet, it hopefully will soon (I'm in NYC and can see it fine).

If you have time in the near future, please write a "why i watch" blurb or post it here and I will collect and put them up. I was also supposed to finish an ad spot for this today, but after all the hosting craziness, it'll be more like tonight. If you have videos you'd like me to put up, please contact me and I'll stream them within the Flash.

Thanks again and sorry for the glitches!
The smartest show you're not watching.
Really? I thought that was Mad Men.
Very pretty site. Loving the music especially.
Oh, that's much better! Looks very nice, I can see a lot of work went into this.
D'oh. Now I'm at the coffee shop without my headphones. I have the Bad Timing.
I was able to load the site rather quickly. So it looks like that might be all cleared up. The site looks awesome. Great job by everyone involved.
Loaded for me. Great looking, but can I go on record as saying I hate all-Flash sites? They're bad for many reasons, not the least of which is there's nothing for a search engine to index, thus it won't show up when searched for. Also, won't work on hand held devices (goodbye, iPhone?) or for for those, who for security reasons, block Flash installation.
The music's still lagging for me, but overall it does seem faster.
It kept freezing up for me before, but now it's working. Very nice.
Moving smoothly for me. Beautiful site.
That's really impressive. Puts the official site to shame.
Oooh. Pretty.

Now, how do I politely nudge people there, without having it be, "Here, this is what I think you should think, too!"

Hah, I've been jonesing for some of these songs. If nothing else, I may just have the site up in the background so I can listen to them.

[ edited by ManEnoughToAdmitIt on 2009-10-07 19:25 ]
i'm already receiving a few "why i watch" testimonials from people, so thank you for this (and all the wonderful encouragement) and keep 'em coming! i will compile a page of them this afternoon and if we can get decent volume, would like to set up a targeted banner campaign via google's ad placement that showcases us on multiple entertainment-related sites and gives the show the exposure it's not getting.
Anyway to make it non-flash for the mobile browsers like safari on the iphone and ipod touch.
Still far too slow for me, maybe the new servers haven't routed to the UK yet? Beautiful though, if you've got the patience.
Beautifully done. I have a lot of respect for Grant McCracken (other thread), but his analysis of the show and its hefty premise pales in comparison to the well-writen 'Why I Watch' commentary presented on the site. I got chills when I read 'searching for a soul' on the final screen of the introduction slide show. Very nice.
whyiwatch, I've been pimping this site and asking for testimonials on twitter, hope that's ok. If you have a twitter account I think that would help get the word out.

Also, have you checked out CrazyKidBen's Save Dollhouse graphics? Maybe you could link to them on the site too.
I can see it (and hear it) all right with no slowness from Italy. Wow, color me impressed!
Spectacular work in (presumably) a very short time! My classes are intensifying right now, and I can't contribute a great deal to the effort except by spreading the word of mouth, but it's incredibly wonderful that this effort in general, and this site specifically, exist. Thanks, whyiwatch!
Beautiful site!
And you can also Digg it:

One thing though... it says "Friday @ 9 PM", but it doesn't say where...
It's on other parts of the site, but maybe it'd be better to be there in the main page.

[ edited by maxsummers on 2009-10-07 20:34 ]
Very beautiful.... wish this would have been done in the summer instead of now when it a viewer surge seems unlikely. Sad. :(
The smartest show you're not watching.
Really? I thought that was Mad Men.

Except that a lot of people are watching it.
That is a really amazing bit of work (and now it loads very quickly and smoothly). It deserves to work, simple as that.
Awesome site! Fox should take notes.
Oh my god. This is beautiful! The song brought a tear to my eye. Amazing work. Wow, thankyouthankyouthankyou Gossi!
Is still can't get it to work properly. The music in particular plays about a second and then stops, and then plays another second. I wonder if it's not Safari compatible?
It's a Flash site. It shouldn't matter whether or not you're using Safari. Unless you Safari never plays Flash anyway.
Dunno then. I mean it is working, just too slowly. It's not my connection, cause I'm in 20MB cable.
It works great for me. Really gorgeous work!
Beautiful, whyiwatch, and loading fine on US Left Coast ~2PM. Why do I fear it's too late?
Excuse possible double-post, as I got a funny screen the first time.
Works perfectly now. Amazing site!
It's very pretty indeed, though still a little slow for me. It would be helpful, I think, if the home page at least was non-Flash. However, it really is a work of art in itself.
Seemed to load just fine for me. Absolutely incredible. I really hope this site gets around!
Wow. A gorgeous, beautifully done site. Right on, whyiwatch! I love your account of why you watch. Couldn't agree more with your insights as to why Dollhouse is a very, very smart show.

Simon's right. This puts the official site to shame. And how.
Four hours and a couple different browsers later (it doesn't like Flashblock, FWIW), I can finally check out everything the site has to offer.

And it is magnificent. Perfectly selected and cropped images, evocative music, elegantly laid out... the mind boggles at the work that went into this. The capsule descriptions of the cast of characters alone is... well, pretty much perfect.

Send everyone here. It makes the case for Dollhouse as well as anything I've seen.
Excellent work gossi! I love this site! The fandom is lucky to have you.
It isn't Gossi's site. He knows better than to self-link. ;)
Yep, not my site! It's WhyIWatch's.
That's a very pretty site, whyiwatch! It does put the official site to shame.

Also: the background music is great. I'm now officially heavily in love with the second song ('The Drifter & The Gypsy'). I've actually left the site open for just the songs at the moment :).

Anyway, I'll be sure to drop a line on why I watch soonish. People need to support this effort.
I've left the site open for the songs as well. (Those SONGS are something that is going to hook people.)

Is there a good list somewhere of Dollhouse-used songs? I think I want them. All of them. Right now. ;)
It says episode 2.03 for Instinct and 2.02 for Belle Chose. Is that a typo or is FOX playing out of order again?
I really love your pitch, whyiwatch. It addresses what I love about the show better than I could have myself.

Mostly I rant about Whedon's overwhelming and clearly under-appreciated genius. I think a big part of the reason for his inability to get widespread word-of-mouth buzz is that the people who become fans tend to make the leap from casual viewers to devotees very quickly, thus scaring off many other casual viewers. Maybe we tend to trigger people's suspicious that it's too good to be true. Not to mention, Whedon seems to love flying under the radar in order to subvert people's expectations in as sudden and shocking a way as possible - and he's too good at it. The very things that make him amazing seem to keep his following a cult one.

(Of course, it doesn't help that FOX seems intent on helping him fly as far under the radar as he can.)

You've written one of the few testimonials that is earnest but retains a semi-detached, casual approach, thus allowing newcomers to make up their own mind. I could certainly learn from this. I'm constantly getting the feeling that my non-fan friends (and even some of the fellow fans) tend to look at me like I'm crazy.
Fantastic site. I also forgot that I never bought Jed and Maurissa's Epitaph One song. So thanks for the reminder. Just a gorgeous site.
It wasn't working for me earlier, but is now . . . and not only is it freakin' gorgeous, it has fabulous songs and short, intelligent words. Color me impressed.

I found a good site for TV show music, and found out that the one song is not called 'The Drifter and the Gypsy' but it's called 'Hazy'. By Rosi Golan. You should also check out 'Lonely Ghosts' by O+S. (Maybe also put that on the site? A beautiful song.)

And the site works perfectly for me.
I can see it now! Totally worth the wait and very well done.
Hello again, everyone! Thank you for the incredible outpouring of support! All this has made me remember why I started working in the online industry ages ago and that the absolute best use of my time and effort is putting them to use for what I truly believe in.

I have added a whole slew of testimonials to the site and have tons more to add (though they will have to wait till tomorrow). Objectively, I don't think that non-devotees will want to read through all of them, so apart from posting everything, I plan to also make a slideshow with one-line exerpts (kind of what they do with critical acclaim in trailers).

If you have other ideas or video clips that we can use (without stepping on Fox's toes), please email me. Also, keep the testimonials coming! Thank you again!
Gorgeous site. I sent in a few lines that aren't nearly as thoughtful or articulate as yours whyiwatch but I hope they help. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who loves this show.
There's an online petition to Save Dollhouse.

Usually I don't think those things work but... can't hurt, right?

And maybe we should do some noise in the Official Dollhouse forum?

And what about emailing askfox??

[ edited by maxsummers on 2009-10-08 04:26 ]
Wow. Absolute beautiful job.

Why couldn't you be running the official promotion. :(

One nitpick, the "Smartest show you're not watching" is just a little condescending don't you think?
Rhodey, my kneejerk reaction was to say the same, but I think it's just because it resembles comments like, "It's too smart for you" even though it in no way intends that. It just brings them to mind because of the unfortunate resemblance in word combinations ("you're not watching!" because it's a "smart show!" vs. "Smart show that you're not watching" and should!).

But maybe your issue is something entirely different. Either way, I very much am fine with the phrase, it just has the unfortunate effect of bringing to mind arguments I'm less cool with.
This is slick. It makes me like the show better than I actually like the show. If this doesn't attract new viewers then I don't know what will. It's attractive, that's what it is. The fact that this was a fan made effort is mind-boggling to me. Way to be.
Just sent in a comment...would love to hear that gorgeous song at the end of man on the street. I bought it on itunes. Love it!!!

This website is stunning. So beautiful. And no matter what happens it is so great to have a place to express our feelings on this amazing show.
I had the same feeling, that maybe it took countering Fox`s advertising a too far in the opposite direction and became a bit elitlist for my own taste. Beautiful site though; the music is wonderful and the best creative one-sheets I`ve seen.
There's also a problem in that many of us clicking on the link are watching!

Heh. (I'm listening to the songs again.)

Ooh, and there are "reasons other people watch" now!
Fantastic site! Well done WhyIWatch. I'm really enjoying the music - gorgeous selection! I'm just gonna keep it playing in the background. :)

If I can make a few suggestions, I would recommend including a reference to Fox next to the "Fridays 9/8c" (as well as on the Episodes page for upcoming episodes) so that people know which station to tune into. And if it's possible to add the Season 1 Hulu links in the Episodes area, that would allow folks to catch up. Also, as Ivalaine noted, the episode numbers for "Insticts" and "Belle Chose" are around the wrong way. It might also be helpful to add the official Fox Dollhouse site to the Links list.

Thank you for putting such a wonderful site together.
Finally able to load it, and need to add to the chorus.
Really lovely site.
Gorgeous site. whyiwatch, thank you for using your amazing talents in aid of the DH cause!
Ah, it's working much faster this morning. It really is gorgeous.
Amazing work. And I don't think the tag line is condescending. What it says to me is, the show is smart and "you", being smart as well, are missing out.
Great site. And I love the description of Ballard as a knight in tarnished armor. A perfect description of the character. Joss should steal it for the show. (Well, unless it is a line from the show and I forgot about it.)

BTW it works just fine with Safari on my MacBook.

[ edited by Michael on 2009-10-08 17:33 ]
It might be more effective to change the "you're not watching" phrasing to something with a lower risk of making someone feel defensive. It could be painted more as "The smartest show you haven't seen." I would even add "Don't miss this season's sleeper hit!" Self-fulfilling prophecy can be a powerful tool.

Bonus: "sleeper hit" is punny for people who are already watching.
Wow, what a great site! Eloquent and gorgeously executed. I agree with Sunfire's comment ("the smartest show you haven't seen").

For the record it loaded without any noticeable delay and is smooth as silk here (Safari 4.0.3, OS X 10.5.8).

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