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January 26 2010

Joss says "I do hope to create something in this calendar year". He also talks about Dr Horrible 2 and his upcoming Glee episode (and whether Neil Patrick Harris will guest).

Is the misleading headline deliberate? Why would they want to hide the fact that the interview is with Joss, not NPH?
Didn't he say we would know about his next project by the end of Dollhouse? I could've sworn... Oh well, in the meantime I can look forward to a Whedonesque Glee and that'll be good.
He did mention something like but nothing in tv land is ever set in stone.
He did say that. I was, like, clinging to that comment. Nuzzling it fondly. Especially when this season of Dollhouse has been so utterly awesome.

I so want Joss to be doing some more serial TV-type episodes; I don't care if they're on network, cable, or the web. But it's what he does best, he needs a serial to do the narrative and character arcs he's so brilliant at, and he needs to know in advance how long he's got to tell his story. Is this so much to ask?

Also, I want to know NOW what he's doing next. So I can cling to that too! (sobs)
I think we should find out what Joss is doing when he's doing it, myself. One of the things I took away from Dollhouse is sometimes the fandom is so observant - and I realise I had been a part of this - it can take away from the product.
That is weird how the headline only mentions NPH, when it is a Joss interview.

I look forward to whatever Joss does next. It would have been nice to have known what he is doing by the Dollhouse finale, but I didn't really expect to know that quickly. I'm glad that Dr. Horrible 2 is going to happen, even if we have to wait on that.

So good luck Joss, hope you manage to secure a deal at a cable net that gives you some freedom to tell another great story.
I love how NPH checks in with Joss about a sequel - it just goes to show how much fun they had on the project. I also agree that it's "rude and disgusting" that Joss' collaborators are busy working and being successful. How dare they. ;)
Forgive me if this has already been hashed out in another thread, gossi, but I'd like to know what you meant. Are you talking about artistic response to the criticisms from the fandom? Or something else.
Yes, the headline thing (over at Eonline, not the one here) is a bit strange and misleading. Dissapointing that Joss doesn't seem to have some project up his sleave, I was expecting an announcement one of these days. Always nice to read Joss' 'voice' though.
I dislike how they tell us that he's using his trademark sarcasm. (I'm kidding!)

Anyway, I love how Joss is approaching his freedom. It seems like its trying to pin down exactly what story he wants to tell, where to tell it, and have a lot of fun before getting there. I definitely want a behind-the-scenes for his Glee episode. I wouldn't be shocked if he dropped by and directed another The Office while he's breaking.
"I do hope to create something in this calendar year"

And so say we all!
I wouldn't say artistic response, I'd say artistic or project pressure created by fandom and/or networks. I now believe the hype cycle has to be carefully managed on a project, otherwise it risks negatively affecting things. "Dr Horrible" worked out quite well in some respects because less was more; people didn't know it was coming until a few days prior to shooting, people didn't know what had happened at the filming, people didn't have any spoilers about the plot at all, people didn't know what the trailer meant fully as it wasn't explained etc etc.

My experience from the Why I Watch trailer days was that the trailers people responded to were the ones which showed little. The still images composed in interesting ways. We did a trailer with a barrage of episode footage, and it easily got the least response. The days when I thought Dollhouse suffered were during season one where every casting side was leaking so people had dialogue before the writers had finished scripts, things from production (like the shutdowns) kept getting leaked etc. It was too much information, and it was difficult for FOX to manage (because they didn't, in truth, know how - is the impression I got).

Because there was so much information - much of it which could be read negatively - and there wasn't context to it I think it worked against Joss. Instead of the publicity aiding Joss and the viewer finding the show, it divided the two. Which isn't the point.

So I don't know where the dividing line is, but I'd prefer not to know who Joss is having lunch with. Because now there's going to be every interview for a year asking how things are going with FX.
Damn, I was really hoping for an announcement this week. As much as I love Glee and look forward to Joss's episode, I much prefer his own creations. But all good things come to those who wait, I suppose.
I think every fan has a threshold where the amount of behind-the-scenes knowledge they have about an object of their fan-atical attentions starts to interfere with their ability to freely enjoy it. Think of it as being the equivalent of braking a person's willing suspension of disbelief. It follows that the modern era of voluminous production information about shows like DH being available to the general public is likely - through the sheer fact of increased audience exposure - to engender more viewers, especially the most ardent fans, to develop preconceptions about what to expect from a show long before it airs.
In other words - A fan is more likely to develop unfulfillable expectations about a show since they are pre-dispositioned towards filling whatever gaps exist in their knowledge about a show with whatever they find the most appealing on a personal level; a level of expectation far beyond the realm of possibility - unless they are the show's creative director.

However, I really don't think this phenomenon has much relevance in the grand scheme of things; it strikes me as one of those phenomenons serious fans would be likely to over-rate due to it primarily effecting their own demographic.

ETA: My - that's a mouthful!

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-01-27 02:09 ]
I'm with you on that sentiment Gossi and Brinderwalt. It seems like a few weeks ago a site stated Fringe wasn't doing so well on it's new time schedule and I watched a bunch of other sites pick it up and add just a bit more doom to get people interested and it snowballed to the point where in an interview Abrams was asked if this was going to be a season or a series finale, his response was in the vein of where are you getting this from? Less is most certainly more in my opinion when it comes to how much detail and information of every decision we are given. I don't really see that happening though with all the interconnectivity we have out there.
Fringe's doubt isn't unfounded, silent knight. When Thursday night was packed, it didn't do well, plain and simple. People were opting to watch the NBC Comedies or FlashForward instead. It was seriously struggling. It's doing better now since that episode following House and its return to its Thursday night slot without FlashForward, its averaging a 2.5 18 - 49 currently, I think.

Oh, and on the flipside of internet exposure is getting the internet-savvy audience in the palm of your hand, like Lost have done. The Lost Experience, teasing posters, not much exposure on all things spoilers (unless you look at set pictures). Lost is one of the most buzzed about shows, so even though everyone seemingly knows everything - nobody really knows anything. Of course, its massively helpful to have your studio creatively on your side...
Didn't he say we would know about his next project by the end of Dollhouse? I could've sworn...

He said, but it wasn't, say, a promise. (For what it's worth, the author of the linked item had asked for questions to ask Joss. Mine was, in fact and precisely because people kept bringing it up, whether or not the suggestion that we'd know his next project before the Dollhouse finale aired was going to come to pass.)
Whatever Joss's next project is, I say we give him as much or as little time as he needs. Technically, Dollhouse isn't a "success," but it IS crazyawesomewickedmind*u*king good times. Honestly, even though there were missteps, Dollhouse as a whole was rockem' sockem'; just really excellent television. It means that my Whedon faith, going nine years strong, is once again validated. Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible, Buffy and Angel comics, Cabin in the Woods; I think we've got an embarrassment of riches from the Whedon camp right now. So as much as I'd love love love to hear "OMG New Whedon Show *On Cable* THIS FALL!," I say we give the man time (maybe that elusive vacation he missed out on to give us the Spectabfabulicious Dollhouse Season 2) BEFORE we start hounding him over his next project. Whatever it is, and however long it takes to come to my screen (be it TV or computer), I'll be there.

Unless Topher dies on Friday. -_-

...Nah, I'll still be a loyal Whedonite.

[ edited by CarpeNoctem on 2010-01-27 04:32 ]
The whole Fringe kerfuffle is and always was patently ridiculous. FOX has a competitive scripted (read $$$$$$ from advertisers) Thursday night for the first time in well, forever. Fringe is credited with a huge portion of that and is beating all expectations from the network in that extremely crowded timeslot. FOX never expected to win that slot, just be competitive. Anything to the contrary is pure speculation by folks who just need something to worry over.

How I wish that Dollhouse had had half of Fringe's "challenges". Ha!
I now believe the hype cycle has to be carefully managed on a project, otherwise it risks negatively affecting things. "Dr Horrible" worked out quite well in some respects because less was more...

And I wonder to what degree that was made possible precisely because it was a project they were doing themselves, independently. Presumably when working witb a studio and for a network, there's an expectation that you attend PR events and generally respond to entertainment reporters.

That said, setting aside the question of alleged script leaks, for example, they've done a pretty good job of sitting on The Cabin in the Woods, all the more so given it being pushed back on the schedule not once but twice. So I suppose it's not strictly limited to non-studio projects.

From the personal perspective, even though I wasn't really straying from what they themselves were saying, I long ago shuttered my Cabin-focused blog precisely to stay basically in tune with the way they were approaching talking about it, or rather not talking about. And most of what fan support I tried to give Dollhouse tended towards the same attitude: support based upon the level they set themselves to.
See. I don't want to know what's going to happen in a show before it happens (I'm spoiler-averse) partly because I understand that writing is about presenting the story in a very specific way, and knowing how everything ends up before you get to it completely ruins that entire aspect.

It's like what Joss says in "Heart, Broken".

I want to fully experience what wonderful writers there are on whichever show I'm watching, and I want to be led astray and surprised and not know what's coming next because that's part of the enjoyment of a story.

I actually can't even fathom the idea of learning everything first, and then enjoying a show. But that's me.

Also, I'm a writer. So that might help, too.
Dr. Horrible was a delicious surprise. I want more surprises!
Agreed on the element of surprise. I also think that it was a damn shame the post-firefly-us got so hung up on ratings. When the threads on ratings are more popular than the threads on the actual show content, you've got a problem. That meant that even the hardcore Whedon crowd were giving the project bad buzz. I'm, not sure what can be done about any of it. I sometimes feel the internet is like a giant lumbering toddler with no sense of delayed gratification. Describes me well enough.
It can't hurt to refrain from looking up shit about the characters of a new show, or a show's new season, before the show airs. So many folks were spoiled on Mellie being November (at the same time, yeah, it was easy to guess that she might be a doll, seeing as the neighbor-as-spy/mole is a pretty common plot device in TV drama and film) because they'd read about the original pilot script or casting info or something along those lines (where maybe the reveal came earlier ? I can't even remember if the surprise was ruined early in "Echo", or if November was even in that at all--the final cut that we got on the DVDs, I mean, of the unaired pilot). Why people, why ? Then you get folks saying, "I enjoy the show despite knowing what's gonna happen ahead of time", which yeah, of course that's possible. But aren't you wondering how much more you might've enjoyed the show, had you valued the element of surprise ?

When Dollhouse first aired, I knew basically what the premise was, that's it. It's the best way to watch a show, but so many of us have this obsession of "I just have to know, ASAP!". You will know, when it airs, when you experience the story as it unfolds over the hour. Patience. Look up the extra behind-the-scenes stuff after the episode is finished.
I would love to stay away from spoilers, but when you live in Australia and get everything months later, reading even non-spoiler-tagged whedonesque posts smetimes give stuff away. I know people don't mean it, and even now, I'm in Papua New Guinea and have very slow internet... here I am!
Myself, when I first discover a film/tv show that seems to pique my interest, I go through a specific evaluative process in order to determine whether it's worth my time. I start by reading the most spoiler-free info on a project I can find and continue reading whatever open-source info is out there - delving into increasingly spoiler type stuff as I go - up until one of two things happen: Either I reach the point where I know I would enjoy what I'm reading about more by actually watching it and stop spoiling myself, or I run out of spoilers and come to the conclusion that the project isn't actually worth my time after all.
In essence the way I treat a show's spoilers actually turns out to be a subconscious critique of the show itself: If I'm finding the spoilers more entertaining than the actual show (why else would I willingly over-spoil myself?) that's a pretty good indication I must logically find the show itself lacking in some fundamental way.
Just to be clear, my point wasn't neccessarily about spoilers - it's about how a project falls together in the public eye

We all consume so much information nowadays that it's very important people clearly understand what that information means. FOX did a much better job this season on Dollhouse keeping production woes out of the press -- and there were some -- but you can see a classic example where a Joss Whedon project plays negatively when the show was moved to Friday night. That one was botched by FOX -- it got announced on Twitter and took a while to spin positively online -- and that helped create the climate of negativity. As soon as you have some perceived negativity the press are gonna be all over it, because fear sells. That is why the press are asking JJ Abrams about if Fringe is going to be a series finale this year. I'll give you a hint: FOX are happy enough with the numbers (I asked one of their execs) and they want to keep it around as they think patience will pay off.

The FX lunch thing is another great example. One of the first things somebody asked about FX here was how many FX shows get cancelled. Ding - Save Dollhouse.

Fandom can be a powerful force for good, I love being part of it, and I absolutely think buzz around a project is right. But you have to be careful about how much information is out there. I'm glad Joss isn't on Twitter tweetin' about everything he's doing.
Breaking News on next Whedon project: musical bromance.

Xander. Topher. Lorne. Ghost Wash. Moist. Whiskey (really, Clyde 2.0) as a feisty bisexual bartender. Throw in a demonic yet harmless baby and an adventure that involves a post-apocalyptic Vegas, camping in Tibet, and a "to the death" pie-eating contest.
I agree with everyone regarding spoilers and over-saturation of production details in the press. When Dollhouse season 1 production was suspended for retooling, everyone panicked, the press had a field day, and the public got a bad impression. But that is all just a natural part of a tv series growing pains, and it would have been better just to have not heard about it at all. (And I think we can definitely see how the show improved over the first season. Does anyone remember which episode had finished filming during the time of the production break?) Dollhouse kept being discussed as a troubled show long before it even aired, and that influenced people's decision to watch the show at all.

All that said, I personally am very interested in all the behind the scenes stuff. I just hate the way it gets treated by the press, and how spoilers can leak out there before the story gets aired (or sold by the local comic shop).
Fandom can be a powerful force for good, I love being part of it, and I absolutely think buzz around a project is right. But you have to be careful about how much information is out there.

One thing about that - Managing information about a show is not the job of the fandom. It is the responsibility of those people professionally involved in the project; a responsibility that should never be abdicated to the fandom given its tendency to screw that kind of thing up (no offense guys, but any creative professional with half a brain knows that one of the most dangerous things you can do is trust your fan base too much - remember where the word 'fan' comes from.) Fandom just reacts to what's already out there.

I'm glad Joss isn't on Twitter tweetin' about everything he's doing.

As am I - Even I like having a little mystery about things I like!

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-01-27 22:24 ]
I don't think the fandom broke any of the negative stories - the news was out there and we saw it and commented - and so I don't think the fandom being too observant is a problem (we're going to obsess over shows and creators that we care about, that kinda comes with the sickle IMO - people only have a "take it or leave it" attitude to "take it or leave it" TV). Despite how it might've seemed at the time from all the requests not to panic, the response on here was worried but for the most part calm right from the start, it was the entertainment news sites that tried to spread the FUD and (on here anyway) the fandom didn't fall for it.

As to the article, without any pressure whatsoever, I also hope Joss creates something this calendar year. The prospect of 365 days without a Suffusion of Purple gives me the cold pricklies.
I *totally* agree, Saje - in a way that is complete and total.

You know, sorta. ; >

And yeah, contemplating any year without Jossian-Bisonanity gives me the creeping collywobbles and mulligrubs in my pandenoodles.
brinderwalt, I completely agree. Managing information should never be part of the fandom responsibility. The only responsibility fandom has is to watch and enjoy a show, and be respectful to the people making the show. I'm not making a play that fans need to do anything different; I'm saying networks need to respond differently in the Internet age.
I'm also fine with Joss not on Twitter. (But I do still think M.E. should have a presence at this point.)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-28 08:14 ]
And yeah, contemplating any year without Jossian-Bisonanity gives me the creeping collywobbles and mulligrubs in my pandenoodles.

Yikes! Hibiscus tea is good for that, I hear (for the creeping, not for the contemplating).
Ha. "Fantods" is going to be my salutary toast from now on...

"Merry fantods to you all, my dears!" I'll say, as I sip my soothing hibiscus tea with my drinky-pinky crooked genteelly.

(Actually, what I experience most of of the time is the cold robbies.)

BTW, I heard from a very reliable source (IMDB) that "Fantods" is going to be the name of Joss' upcoming series at FX - a fast-paced future-world one-hour zoological procedural dramedy set at Oxford in 2050, starring Bradley Whitford, Summer Glau and Alan Tudyk as cynical-yet-fun-loving etymologist-cryptologist-lexicographers from another planet. Please pass it on...

There. My work is done.

"Spreading High-Quality Rumor-Satisfaction since 2006."
I'd watch it. But I hear it's already in danger of being canceled. :)

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