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"Because, sir, to be blunt, the last time you became complacent about your existence turned out rather badly."
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November 25 2009

(SPOILER) Nine To Go - a rundown of Dollhouse's final episodes. The rollercoaster ride begins on December 4th.

Sounds amazing! I just can't help but wonder why, oh why couldn't they have started this "arc" style from the very beginning. I know, Fox wanted to do standalones and Joss agreed (for some reason!). And while I don't blame anyone or any company for Dollhouse's demise, I do wonder why it couldn't be done right.

With all of the skill and all of the knowledge that our boy Joss (and our good old pals at Fox) have gathered over the years. Just the TV biz, I guess.
It's difficult to type coherently while SQUEEing so loudly...
oh why couldn't they have started this "arc" style from the very beginning

Groundwork has to be laid first. That's why Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine worked so well in their later seasons.
ABRAMSology, along with what Simon said Joss doesn't have complete creative control, no tv show creator does. Joss didn't want Rossum to be as evil, more grey and FOX said no. He didn't just "Agree", it was asked of him. I think the first six episodes are way too slow but the original pilot was way too fast, The first two episodes are ok, Grey Hour is ok Stage Fright and True Believer should definetly have been killed and replaced with something else, Although (most of) the Paul stuff from both episodes would have to have been kept and Ballard would probably have to have seen Echo somewhere else, and also it was important Dominic try to kill Echo. But the entire engagement from both episodes weren't nessecary.
Did we know episode 11's title before this? Getting Closer is fitting considering it'll almost be the end of the series.
Nope. I've also added the episode 12 title and the writer for 8.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-11-26 00:17 ]
So Joss himself won't be writing any more episodes? That's supremely disappointing.
That said, I love seeing that Maurissa and Jed are writting a few more before the end.
Can't wait to have these eps!
Tim Minear revealed the title for 11 a few days ago on Facebook, right after they wrapped the episode. All those episodes do sound really intriguing, I'm wondering who will be directing those last few.
The Hollow Men - oooh, intriguing. Kinda strange though that none of these remaining episodes are written by Whedon. And it seems that this is Jenny DeArmitt's first time taking the reigns for herself.
Jenny DeArmitt was the writer's assistant during Season 1, this kinda strikes like Diego Gutierrez penning "Normal Again" in S6 of Buffy. Looking forward to it.

Also, does anybody know who directed "The Public Eye"?
My favorite episodes so far have been written by people who are not Joss. It's a very talented room on that show. Which is to Joss's credit I think.
Jenny has been the writers assistant on the show since way back. Pretty big episode to land on - so that's exciting for both her (I imagine) and us.

Also, my favourite episodes of the series have been by Maurissa, Jed, Andrew and Tracy. I sound like a bit of a suck up there, but I mean it; they've turned in better scripts than Joss in my mind. It's not a Joss dig - it's a testament to the quality of talent the show has found. Combined with the likes of Fran, Dichen and Enver - there's been some amazing finds on this show.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-11-26 00:56 ]
Just for the record, I wasn't condemning Joss or the show... just wishing that the show really went for it in the first season as it has been doing this season. I think we can all agree that season one wasn't what it could have been.

I am still definitely going to enjoy the new episodes to the fullest -- I can't wait!
I agree with you gossi. Tracy Bellomo (Needs) and Andrew Chambliss (Spy In The House Of Love) in particular really knocked my socks off in Season 1.
Yep, I'm also very excited about the amount of Jed, Maurissa and Andrew coming up. They are definitely my favorite new writers that I've discovered in the last few years.
Oh no, don't get me wrong. Chambliss, Jo and Mo have done the best scripts in my opinion. And I knew that about Jenny, and I'm really happy for her.

It's just interesting that Joss hasn't done anything beyond Vows this season. Considering it's his show, you'd think he'd at least do 2x13. Oh well though, I'm not complaining.
Thanx for all the great info, gossi. It looks very promising. I can't wait for Dollhouse to return on TV.

However, the absence of at least one further episode penned by Joss is a little bit disappointing. I was hoping, that he would write the finale (not saying that it's not in good hands, but still...). Didn't he say in an interview, that he would?
Maybe it's just that Joss spotted a bunch of his writers really dialing in to the premise in ways he appreciated more than his own. That in itself would probably be something of a rarity in Hollywood.
I've been thinking about Dollhouse a lot lately (who here is surprised by THAT revelation?), and one of things which tickles my brain is how difficult a show it is to write. Seriously. Try and break a Dollhouse story. Now try and break one which doesn't suck. The premise is so wide you can do anything with the Dolls in any hiring - but just because you can do anything doesn't mean it is engaging to the audience. I think it's very easy to give bad Dollhouse - far moreso than other shows. Say you've got a 'bad plot' Buffy episode - they exist - the audience still has a core of characters to latch on to. If you're writing it, you can still elevate an episode by having a great few lines or a scene you know will work with a character. You can have that emotional scene for the audience, or the funny scene. With Dollhouse, if the Dolls are different every week, it becomes very difficult to pull the audience in. It comes down to a flaw in the premise which makes it incredibly easy to take a good idea (Echo has a baby) and then quickly lose the audience connection. The premise is also what makes the show interesting.

So you have to be hella talented to be able to pull it off and make it work. The only way I can make it work is to break the rulebook and burn it. I take an emotion I want to explore, work out how the audience relates and invests in it, then build the imprints and engagement around that. You do that to some extent in TV anyway, but I think it works (for me) very differently - particularly on a season one standalone level - to other shows. You can't sit and list stand alone engagements and just expect it to work. But the network will demand that; that's their model. You either have to aim for 'holy fuck' moments and build around that, aim for arc ('here's something Echo does which is new and here's how it fucks up the Dollhouse'), or aim for emotion and build the episode around it.

Or in other words, if you're an aspiring writer and you want a nightmare show to break an episode with, pick Dollhouse. You can probably race through a script; but it might well suck. If you can write Dollhouse and it not suck, you're gonna get hired if the employer has a clue.
I agree the lack of Joss is disappointing. It's also crazy how the young writers are pretty much writing everything this year. Don't get me wrong, I love it, and they are super talented, but Tracy, Andrew, Maurissa and Jed, and now Jenny, are all on their first shows as writers, I believe? And I think all but Jed are under thirty?

It makes sense, though -- the Reaper ladies are showrunners, so they are probably busy with that, as is Joss, Minear's just a consultant, Espenson's not consulting this year, and last year's showrunners went to Lie To Me.

Still, it's kinda crazy that Chambliss is getting his name on like five scripts this season. Good for him, that should help him get post-Dollhouse work.

I think we've been spoiled with how much Joss wrote for the early seasons of Buffy (and the one aborted season of Firefly).
It was unusual at the time (and still is, kinda) for someone to have created a show and be running it and also be writing/directing five-six eps a season, as Joss did in season two and three of Buffy.
Good point Gossi.
I think to write Good dollhouse, you also need to be familiar with a book or two about meta-ethics (In my opinion the best episodes of DH have basically been philosophy lessons)

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-11-26 01:35 ]
I don't think Fazekas & Butters are the showrunners for season 2. Tim's been promoted from consulting to Executive Producer, and I think Joss and Tim are effectively running the show, which might explain the relativ lack of explicit Joss- and Tim-scripts. You know, besides the talent the others bring to the table. :)

I really do think this might be the most talented writers room Joss has ever had, and the sheer smallness of it and the number of co-written episodes by two and three writers in multiple combinations makes it seem like it's a wonderful team effort, which might also be a reason why there's no big need for explicit showrunner-episodes.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-11-26 01:40 ]
There's one more thing I'd like to know in regard to the remaining episodes... Will we get to learn Boyd's back-story and the reason that led him to the Dollhouse? It would be a shame if the show ended without exploring this part of the story.
Yeah I wasn't sure on Fazekas & Butters wisengrund, I was just guessing since they replaced last year's showrunners and because they have showrunner experience.
I'm always heartbroken a little when show creators don't write series finales :(
I wrote a Dollhouse ep. this summer, gossi. It was indeed tremendously difficult. But so fun, too. I'm pleased with how it turned out, ultimately.
I think it'd be funny to not get Boyd's backstory. Then he'd really be the Book of Dollhouse.
@ B!x- That's be wesome ;D If Boyd became the Book of Dollhouse, then there'd eventually be a comic about his backstory and most likely more Dollhouse comics, which we ALL want :))
What, must I always chase you people with a rolled-up newspaper?
I get the impression that the very newest writers get the most heavily rewritten by Joss (which would be part of the reason why everyone made a great first impression on Buffy). So it wouldn't be as Jossless as it might appear...

[ edited by daylight on 2009-11-26 11:53 ]
I also wished Joss would be listed here, but there are no informations about the director, maybe he'll direct the finale ?
daylight, I think you nailed it. Joss has always had final edit on his shows. Even Jane Espenson (IIRC) made the comment that the best lines are always Joss's.

In addition, Joss has a history of not putting his name up as a co-writer, even when he's contributed heavily to a script. He gives full credit (and pay) to the writing staff members. That's one of the things he does that earns such tremendous loyalty.
I was also disappointed to not see Joss's name on there, but I guess its like many people have said, that hes just not being credited or something.

The rest of the season sounds so great, really looking forward to it :)
All episodes arc-ified?

I'm on the verge of

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