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August 02 2010

Fox's Kevin Reilly comments on Dollhouse at the TCA press tour. When asked about the show, the network's Entertainment President said "Well, Joss does his own thing anyway and by Season Two, there was an understanding, we're going to do the show and see what happens".

Which is pretty much what he's said most of the way.
I don't really get this comment. Joss does his own thing anyway> Really? not from the beginning.
Huh. Saying ain't doing.

Water under the bridge, of course, but: huh, or maybe hmmmppf, with an emphasis on the "mppf".
I figure, in ratings terms, by "own thing" Reilly meant "small but devoted". And the "see what happens" referring to them let him do what he wants and see if the audience turns up by themselves. I do love Reilly though, so whatever. I hope they do better with their next go at scripted Friday's.
One of the problems with Dollhouse, which I've heard Joss readily admit to, is the fact that he wasn't able to do his own thing. The fact that they were constantly not able to do show he originally envisioned left them at a lose as to what to make the show about. I think it was the interview he did with Ira Glass (probably my favourite Joss interview,) where he said that he had never been able to really box what he wanted from the show. Other comments he has made, such as recently saying that the networks don't know the difference between discussing sex and being sexy, show that there was conflict between the expectations and what he was making.

If Joss had of done "his own thing anyway," then it would have been a very different programme. Even the second season, which was really good (I did also like the first season a lot, by the way,) suffered from these initial teething problems, as well as having to cram in a lot of story to reach a conclusion. By the time they actually allowed him to do his own thing, it was already too late.
A lot of the stuff I really like about Dollhouse is only in there because of network notes. So I'm kind of ambivalent about this stuff. I can't resent Fox too much over how they handled the show - they gave us 27 episodes, which on ratings alone is probably more than it merited.
I see both points, I have mixed feelings about it. I just am sad that I think we will never see Joss on TV again, but I suppose you should never say never.
If Joss had his way from the beginning it likely would never have been canceled to begin with. The content and storyline Fox wanted just didn't work and that was what killed the show IMO. Alot of stilted acting didn't help much either but it was bearable for the most part, especially with Enver in the cast.
We have no idea what's "likely" or (AFAIK) how much Fox changed the storyline and whether a different one would've appealed to vastly more people. The flip side of that though is:

"A lot of the stuff I really like about Dollhouse is only in there because of network notes."

Interesting daylight. Like what specifically (genuine question, I didn't think we knew too many specifics about their notes) ?

And Reilly's pretty much just sticking to his line all along. Not much to see there IMO. We can analyse an off-the-cuff comment for malice or significance (cos hey, that's what we do ;) but to me there's none there (of either).
Well, seems to me that Joss was allowed to do his own thing in season 2. I appreciate that he was allowed to do that so that we got an idea of what the show would have been like.
If Joss had his way from the beginning it likely would never have been canceled to begin with. The content and storyline Fox wanted just didn't work and that was what killed the show IMO.

Though it was pointed out at the time, the worst of the ratings came *after* Joss started to do it his way. The first 5 or so episodes of Season 1 were the highest rated of the series. They were actually somewhat steady until "Man on the Street", at which point they began to drop, steadily, each week. That continued throughout season 2.

Artistically, the show was far better at that point, but there's a definite correlation between Joss doing his thing, and the ratings decline. Personally, I think that's because the people that were watching had, essentially, been sold on a different show than what it ended up being (it was a fairly dramatic shift in terms of both the look and the tone of the show from MotS on). But, I don't think it's a given that had Joss been able to do what he wanted from the beginning, that the show would have been a success. Again, though, the show was definitely artistically better -- just not commercially.
Yep, absolutely true. Not saying Joss doing things his own way was causative since correlation != causation (and there'll always be those that say - with some justification - that even doing it his own way he wasn't really doing it his own way) but it's around episode 6 of season one that the ratings start to drop more steeply (excluding the standard drop off after the premiere and the "Watchmen blip").

Though personally I think it's because there actually wasn't that dramatic a shift in the show from MotS onwards i.e. people waited because they'd been told "Man on the Street" was where the show really kicked off and then stopped watching after being underwhelmed (I thought it was really good myself but then - with some reservations - I also quite liked the first 5).
Just my two cents, but I think the main reason "so many" people watched in the beginning was because they wanted another Firefly, which obviously Dollhouse was never going to be. Then again, we've all made these points in comments past so no real reason to bring it up again! I appreciate Reilly's effort in bringing Dollhouse to TV, even if it wasn't handled as well as it probably should have been.

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