This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"No power in the 'verse can stop me."
11973 members | you are not logged in | 30 October 2020


October 30 2009

The best and worst Doll personalities. Television Without Pity looks at "the imprints that kicked ass and the ones that fell flat".

I don't think it's possible for me to disagree any more with this article.

[ edited by Enisy on 2009-10-30 20:50 ]
Yay, finally an article that has nothing to do the great cancellation anxiety!

And on that note, I agree with much of it, but not geek date Sierra! That was some of the sweetest stuff, I thought!
And the old lady imprint was one of my favorites too. Besides what's up with the comment where they imply only children watch this show...?
The roles of Sierra as RPG geek or November as "overbaker" fulfilled a need, and should be judged based on that. I thought Echo's first role as Eleanor Penn wasn;t as good as it should have been only because she looked too young. Giving that role to Claire or even Adelle would have been better.
This list was only made because there's no "Dollhouse" tonight. Why not have a list of best or worst clients of the DH? It would be an excuse to rave about Patton Oswalt's performance in "Man on the Street" again.
Hating Mellie?!?! I didn't know anyone COULD hate Mellie!

Seriously, though, I've liked all the characters this person hated, often for the same reason. I *like* Topher, and having two Tophers is even better (as an adult with a taste for laser tag, sci-fi and video games, I can relate). And, yes, Haunted is sort of Murder She Wrote. Why? Because classic detective stories are awesome! This is why shows like Castle, Monk and House are around these days, as much as Murder She Wrote and similar shows were around in the past!
Save for Sierra in "Haunted" and Echo in "True Believer", I pretty much agree with this article, although I'd never be as harsh about it. That's something I run into far too often concerning Television Without Pity. They're a bit too mean and snarky for my taste. I guess I'd prefer Television With Just A Tiny Shred Of Pity Or Perhaps Compassion. :)
I still don't feel that really any of the clients have had much to their personality. Off the top of my head I really only remember Patton, the skeezebag Priya just killed, that blonde guy into motorcycles with no name nor discernible source of income, and that killer guy The Middleman played. (...Oh, and I suppose Adelle's friend.)

As for the article... Eh, I'm okay with it for at least giving people a shot to remember the fact the series exists even if it's off the air for a month. That has to count for something as subjective and occasionally off it is factually. (Particularly they're off with Victor a lot... that wasn't the imprint's father and while he could have had a glancing blow, I thought it was subtly empowering that he as the co-ed girl/basically gay male punched out a hater.)

I'm even gonna second them on not quite liking Mellie. While yes she's sweet and lovely, it is a bit one-sided and sad that she clearly did bake "extra" food for him or that one suicide fakeout. In fact I generally do agree with most of their dislikes (geek Sierra was okay by me though) but I do think that one "woman solving her own murder" thing was sort of brilliant use of the premise and hey, her second go around with the up-do did rather sell me on Dushku's ability to play someone who didn't go around punching folk.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the only reason Echo was blind in "True Believer," because of the cameras in her eyes? It wasn't an idea Topher had for the imprint, but instead a drawback of having eye cameras...
The imprint of Adelle's friend was one of my favorites. It's not the type of role Eliza plays, so I thought it gave her a chance to stretch a bit. On the other hand, Victor as Kiki is absolutely epic. I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard watching this show.

And I find it absolutely criminal that they didn't include Victor-as-Dominic. That has to be one of the best, IMO.
Victor imprinted with Dominic is my favorite. By which I mean utterly terrifying.
Load of rubbish.

Eleanor Penn? Really??? Sexy Secretary who is meant to demonstrate something to me about abuse? I hated that.

I loved Mellie. I loved Geek!Sierra. I loved Kiki!Echo and Kiki!Victor.

Damn their cruel and disagreeable summary articles.
Oh man, how could I forget Domivictor? That was the first HOLY*G%F$*S^!! Victor moment for me. And I really didn't like Eleanor Penn. I think back up singer/body guard could have gone in as worst over Mellie, for sure.

I actually don't think there are any Victor imprints I don't like: Lubov, Dominic, Kiki, Italian Art Guy Whose Name Escapes Me, Ambrose, Roger- all solid.
It's Victor for the overall win, I think. :)
I think the only worst I agree with is "lacating mom".

I actually loved all the other imprints they indicated they disliked. Also, what's with all the Topher-bashing in this article? Topher is pretty much pure undiluted awesome, so, pssh.
I loved Eleanor Penn (even wished she had her own show!) but I don't agree with a lot of this list? Geek-Sierra was fantastic but if they don't like Topher (sadists) I guess I can see why they weren't fond of it.
One of Eliza's best performances was as Adelle's dead friend. And Eleanor Penn was one of the weakest I thought. How can you not like Victor as Kiki?! He was hilarious!
No idea why exactly but one of my favorite roles Victor got to be was the rancher in "Haunted", he played it so perfectly it always makes me smile.

Also Domivictor is a legendary moment and a great new word as well! :)
This list was absolutly... retarded.
Enver Gjokaj is, in my opinion, one of the best actors on this show. So far I've loved all his imprints. Fran Kranz is quickly stealing the show though showing us a differetn side of Topher (how could anyone hate Topher?) and yeah, few of the imprints are kinda blah, but they never feel like they are just put there. There is a reason and makes for awesome storytelling.
I agree with all the best ones, disagree with a couple of the 'worst'.

I loved Echo as Adelle's dead friend. Some of Eliza's best acting, because it's so against type.
Also loved Sierra as Topher's female alter-ego.

As for the Topher hate? This is TWoP, they live to annoy (and they're smashingly good at it).

Hating Mellie?!?! I didn't know anyone COULD hate Mellie!

"Hate" is a bit strong, but I have an intense dislike for the Mellie imprint. Saccharine and needy .... bleech.
Okay, I don't think Margaret ("Old Lady") was deserving of the worst of the imprints, but I really didn't think it was good at all. Just because it was a chance for ED to play against type doesn't mean it worked out. At all. IMO, of course.

And I personally like Topher very much, but I get the critical lambasting. But don't take it out on GeekSierra, she was adorable! And the whole birthday engagement was so sympathetic... Totally endearing, and it worked to solidify the sadness that makes Topher interesting, even if he isn't totally aware of it. Or wasn't, until recently.

Long story short, TWoP should probably watch eps before rating them...
I wasn't 100% on board with Topher as a character for most of Season 1 (I like him a lot more in Season 2), but I can't really see hating him. Hating his actions and finding him detestable as a person, sure, but the character isn't poorly drawn or anything worth hating in that vein, IMO. Some of his one-liners are a little too...I dunno how to describe it exactly. They're the kind where you can see the strings on the puppets and the writers up in the rafters going, "this is nerd-humor and a genius-nerd-man-child is saying it--laugh, damn you!" It feels a little forced sometimes. Sorry M.E. writers, it's just how I feel you've written Topher sometimes. You're killing it with the humor of pretty much every other character, especially Adelle, but Topher grates in that area for me sometimes.

TwoP complains about the imprint of Adelle's friend from "Haunted" because she and the plot surrounding her weren't youth-oriented enough ? Expectedly bitchy of TwoP, but ruthlessly age-ist too (although yeah, I know younger demos are more valuable to advertisers and all that--'course, TwoP is selling the younger portion of the audience short, saying they can't relate to Murder She Wrote-ish plots). Which is weird, since I don't think all their writers are all that young-ish.

Their nonsensical complaint about Mellie is...yeah, the spine they want her to show, she was not imprinted to have.

As usual, TwoP does poorly focused/poorly thought out snarkyness for snark's sake, to get the bitchier of their readers on board and agreeing with them, presumably. Hey, I read and often like TwoP and I'm thrilled and more than a little surprised that they're editorially on board with Dollhouse compared to how most of the staff back in 2002 turned their noses up at Firefly, but they still just completely blow sometimes.

[ edited by Kris on 2009-10-31 09:27 ]
Yeah, it's seeing the show on only the level of who the characters are as people, rather than also appreciating them as "devices" to tell stories. Which is fine in one sense, characters have to be believable as people (or the "real" ones do anyway) but they certainly don't have to be likable IMO.

Some of his one-liners are a little too...I dunno how to describe it exactly. They're the kind where you can see the strings on the puppets and the writers up in the rafters going, "this is nerd-humor and a genius-nerd-man-child is saying it--laugh, damn you!" It feels a little forced sometimes.

Yeah, I totally agree about the S1 Topher lines, they were the most "Whedonesque" on the show in form but many of them hit a bum note to me (possibly because the rest of the dialogue was much more naturalistic so they seemed out of place). At the time I thought that might be deliberate, in light of Joss'/Tim's comments since (about how little they think of some of the early S1 stuff) and the fact that it was less apparent in 'Echo', i'm now not so sure.

I also don't agree that his "playdate" made him more likable or less amoral BTW. So he's lonely, big deal. I'm sure if you check down the list of the world's biggest (human) monsters you'd find that some of them were lonely too. Forgetting that is the sort of mistake people make when they assume that because of what e.g. Hitler did he therefore can't also have had human qualities (or at least not the sort we ourselves have, he only had the bad ones).

It's realising and taking responsibility for what he's been doing to (what are rapidly turning out to be) people that makes Topher more likable/less amoral and not being a bit sad cos he's got no-one (real) to play with on his birthday.

Like the character though, for the most part (some of his ideas strike me as a humanities graduate's take on how a scientist might see the world), just not the man (until recently). Similarly i'd find someone like Mellie very annoying in person but she's so clearly there to be the "homebody" that I don't really get disliking the character for that reason.

As to hate BTW, how anyone can really hate any fictional character is pretty much beyond me to be honest. Either that's an overly liberal (or maybe jokey) use of the word or a misapplication of (to me) a very strong emotion.
Thank you! Way to articulate it better than I can... It is snark for snark's sake, which is worse than shock value humor, IMO. I find Topher's nerdy pride sort of endearing, and his isolation-as-a-defense-mechanism makes him kind of a po-mo Chandler (sorry to reference Friends, it had to be said), but the humor and dialog can be forced. I tend to excuse it as a buy, since sometimes I make jokes like that myself- who's to judge? But he was never the center of season one, which is why I think it's a little unfair for the critics to pound him like they did. Obviously, they all have had to partake in a fair bit of tongue-biting since Epitaph One, so all is forgiven.

And I won't defend the Margaret imprint, but she isn't bad because she's isn't my age. I find Adelle and Boyd to be a bottomless pit of fascinating, and they have 20 years on me. Youth is overrated. On television, anyway.
No jewellery thief?! Shame, she was rather spunky in Grey Hour!
And harsh words about Mellie... She was imprinted to not give up and get in there with Paul!

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home