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June 21 2010

"For a little while" - a look back at Dollhouse. A highly enjoyable article about how one particular fan viewed the show. It's a must read.

That was absolutely wonderful. Truth in the storytelling - this is a great yet simple view that isn't weighed down by essays or detailed analyzing.
Very well written! Intelligent & passionate.
Awww. I miss Dollhouse so much. :'( What could have been...
It was an enjoyable essay, and I appreciated the comments on Dushku, but I have to disagree with: "I donít want to spend a paragraph talking about how Vows upset me. I expect more from Joss, simple as that. "

The Whiskey stuff in that episode (with Topher and Boyd and the end scene) was some of the most powerful dialogue in the entire series, and Amy Acker and Eliza both did some nice acting. I found Vows quite entertaining.
Made my heart ache again. Pure genius in two short seasons.
Great article. Too bad about the extreme snottyness in the blog post's comment section.
Made me nostalgic for the live viewing parties I attended with friends for the last few episodes of S2. =)
Great read. I now have the strong urge to host nightly viewings of Buffy and Angel. Heck, let's just throw Firefly and Dollhouse into the mix. A Whedonverse marathon all day, every day :)
Dollhouse had many great moments, but it was uneven, and often boring. I never really cared for those characters and for that reason, the show washed over me without consequence. I was sad when it was cancelled, because it was surely better than most stuff on TV, but it never reached the heights of Buffy-verse and Firefly, and whilst the latter's demise hurt, Dollhouse's didn't.
Loved this article, and yep, the first comment over there pissed me off too.

But - everyone - check out IMDb's quote for today.

*big smiles*
check out IMDb's quote for today.

Ha! Great one! :)
But - everyone - check out IMDb's quote for today.
didifallasleep | June 22, 09:35 CET

Better yet, click on "more from this title", for more of the great dialog from Vows. And remember that like all of Joss's work, even the relative clunker eps had more than their share of goodness.
The article made me miss Dollhouse terribly, then this from IMDb. *sniffle*

Love the article, love DH getting it's due, which it so ofter doesn't IMO, even from fans. If anyone thinks there's anything on TV right now a fraction as good, I'd like to know what it is.

Too bad about the extreme snottyness in the blog post's comment section.
ShanshuBugaboo | June 22, 02:25 CET

I never read comments on the articles. More often than not, it's just snark for it's own sake and adds nothing in the way of meaningful discussion. But I went back and read these. The last one must have been especially offensive, it's been removed (good for the blogger).
The usual stuff about Eliza's acting, which I will defend as passionately as the blogger. Given what had to be one of the most difficult roles in the history of series TV, she seldom faltered, and sometimes rose to amazing heights.

I for one do not miss the days of only being able to watch a show when it came on. I don't have TiVo and the record function on my DVD player is messed up, but just having an old VHS tape recorder is better than being tied to a specific time.

And as for DVD sets .... no commercials! Even without the extras, they'd be worth it for that alone. :)
His enthusiasm is great and he captures his own feelings really nicely but it doesn't actually say much of interest to me. He liked it, cool, pleased for him (and all the rest of us who liked it). He's sad it was cancelled, yep, me too. Joss is great (yep), the second season was compressed (yep), Eliza actually can act (yep) and so on. It's just the guy's blog so it doesn't have to set the world alight and, well, for me it doesn't.

As to his point about spoilers, well, don't click on that link, don't watch that behind the scenes show and if you try to avoid them and are still spoiled then I totally sympathise. But don't click/watch and then moan about being spoiled, that's just daft (FWIW, I didn't know about Dominic until the episode and I only knew about Summer because personally I don't consider casting a spoiler - some disagree and that's fine, I get that - so it can be done, with care, a bit of luck and some consideration from your fellow posters).

I disagree about 'Vows' too, liked the whole episode but even if the rest was crap, that scene would redeem it IMO (between Topher and Saunders, as if anyone here needs telling). Pitch perfect. And about Caroline being the essence - if it was about any one thing for me 'Dollhouse' was about resisting that sort of simple answer. And personally i've always seen "Man on the Street" as a less massive leap in quality than many seem to - it was good, don't get me wrong but 'Stage Fright' aside, I thought the first 5 all had quite a lot going for them (and even 'Stage Fright' was bursting at the seams with ideas).

And he conflates Fox the studio (who've never been anything but supportive of ME productions AFAIK) and Fox the network (who, not so much). I do like the idea of us "pouring" over the DVDs though, it's like gushing only more sustained ;).

(and Mark Sheppard played Badger not Bowler - the part of Bowler was played by his hat ;)
Just yesterday I started writing about Dollhouse too, but I decided to rewatch the whole thing and comment on each episode individually.
Ah man, a great Dollhouse blog. Totally made me miss the show, and I now want to watch again. Sigh...I heart good story telling :)
Hardly seems worth commenting, Saje has covered pretty much everything I wanted to say.

It took me a long time to see where the author of this was going, particularly when he diverted away from 'Dollhouse' and onto making TV dramas as an event. Then I realised that he wasn't really trying to make much of a point, other than him really liking 'Dollhouse'. Not much wrong with that though.

I'm along with those that don't really understand the hatred for 'Vows'. It wasn't the best of the series, but it was a long way from the worst. An enjoyable opening that also had the already gushed over Topher and Whiskey scene to make it that much better. I would take it over the first season opener any day (not the original pilot though.) I'm also not sure about there ever being another completed version of that opening episode. The post-apocalypse scenes were mentioned a while before the start of season 2, but I imagine they were removed during the editing of the episode or even earlier, rather than a whole new episode made. I doubt very much we will see a different version on the DVD.

I imagine he is right in his conclusion that the show will be looked upon much more favourably when the dust has settled and more are won over by the DVDs, but I doubt it will be as big a shift as the Firefly love. As much as I enjoyed the series as a whole (and I defend even the opening 5 episodes - contrary to popular belief, 'Stage Fright' was the episode that won me over with the group dynamic I saw emerging and that "look" that closed the episode, establishing much to come,) it is the weakest of Joss's work. The tension between what he had to make and what he wanted to make is clear through out the whole series, with him constantly having to wrestle with the restrictions placed on him. One of the reasons I think 'Man on the Street' is seen as such a game changer is because much of what we were promised by Joss early on is present there and we finally started touching upon ground that makes sense of Joss saying there were aspects that he felt uncomfortable with. But this remained a rare episode, even as things progressed. Joss has said himself that they were never sure what to do with the premise and, like Echo herself, the personality of the programme shifted too.

The rapid pacing, noticeable forced upon them in season 2, became reminiscent to me of the final few episodes of season 5 Angel. I don't think this is simply down to the fact that they were restricted to just 13 episodes a season, as the blog post suggests, but due to them always being on the brink of cancellation. Trying to cram all of the ideas they had for the characters and the technology the show was exploring into 2 season instead of the desired 5 became very apparent during those final episodes, where characters were going through huge amounts of development over the course of brief moments (Adelle's alcoholism being a great example of this.) If the show had of continued, but stayed at 13 episodes a season, I think it would have been quite beneficial to the programme, rather than them having to drag it out across 22 episodes, something I notice a lot of American shows doing (although, this could just be me being a Brit used to shorter seasons.)

Still, a weaker Joss series is better than the vast majority of television drama and I really do think the ideas and overall plot will be looked upon more fondly as more people discover the programme, particularly those that gave up on it early on.

I do have to disagree with his nostalgia for pre-DVD boxset/TiVo-esque systems era of television though. Perhaps because I have never been involved in TV-parties for a live broadcast (outside of watching things with family, which is rare due to our differing tastes,) but the ability to watch multiple episodes in one go and to not have to watch adverts makes drama much more pleasurable for me. I think the reason he doesn't watch anything live now is simply because it is so much better not to.
Good article but didn't they get the years wrong. Didn't Dollhouse premier in 2009 not 2008? Nitpicking I know but for a fan...that's what we do :-)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it aired in February of 2009. I'm thinking on the 14th, because that's close to my B-Day. ;) Ill have to check...
He said everything I would have said, but better than I could have said it.
I'd missed episodes 3-thru-7 of season two because of overseas travel so I skipped over much of this post. Please don't spoil, I've been mostly successful in avoiding the gist so far. Though I caught some. Really looking forward to the Sierra epoisode, understand it was heartbreaking.

Which beings me to point two: DVD release of season two? There be fire and brimstone if Fox doesn't release it soon. For that matter, I may even drag my pitch fork into the works!
Ah, another "Dollhouse" retrospective, makes me feel all nostalgic and warm inside.

Props to everyone who called the author on missing THAT scene from "Vows" (still haunts me), to Vandelay for making me laugh, "Hardly seems worth commenting....". That's not a having a go laugh btw, more wry amusement. Valid points all the way.

I miss "Dollhouse". It was, of all Joss' shows, my own personal favourite. And like a good parent, I ignore any of it's faults, and focus and it's strengths and triumphs. It's not a matter of debate for me. I'll happily allow The Browncoats, The Scoobies, The Ones That Do The Weird Stuff, etc their reasons for why they think "their" show is the best. But "Dollhouse" is mine. (So bring on the Season Two DVD already, will ya fackrissakes.)

Finally, "Dollhouse" also introduced me to the wonderful ARG, and a sub-community of the Whedonites known as the CTP's, a group of folk who came along when I was very lost and lonely, and made me feel connected to the real world again. (Oh the irony of utilising the "tech" to transcend boundaries and continents, and establish honest to goodness friendships with decent, and generous,and witty, brothers and sisters, in arms.) Thanks "Dollhouse".

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