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
"Very sweet she was, like clover and honey."
11944 members | you are not logged in | 01 September 2014




Tweet







September 05 2010

The Dollhouse promo we never saw. International airings, for the win. There's also a batch of three Australian promos here, which include a Rossum TV spot.

Thanks gossi, it's a nice promo. Dushku rules.
The international trailers seem to get the show much more then fox ever did. I really like the season 2 promo we got here in the UK, which really caught where Echo is. Would link, but on my phone and not sure how. It's on You tube.
I've added the Australian promos in.
Oh jeez. I miss this show. Haven't really been able to re-watch episodes. Still upset I can't have new ones. :C

*sigh* C'est la vie.

*Looks around, sees MGM exec and stares pointedly* When's that Cabin movie coming out again?
The obvious question: why didn't we get promos like these here in the U.S.?

Damn, I miss Dollhouse. There's nothing on TV now that even compares. Except Mad Men, and that's beyond apples and oranges.
I really miss it too. I miss being excited and inspired and I miss feeling like a kid again from the anticipation and sparked imagination.
Y'know, I feel like I should point out that it's a lot easier to "get" the show after the entire thing has already aired once than it might be to "get" the show when promoting it before its release or during its run.
I miss this show so much. It had so much potential. I'm grateful that we got what we got, but it could have been so good.

Did Fox even have any decent promos? I don't remember them promoting the show very much at all.

Quick question for those who know the TV industry more than I do: why doesn't the actual production company (ie Mutant Enemy) create these promos? I mean, the network doesn't "get" the show as well as its creators would, so I don't see why they would create the promos instead of the people actually making the show.
Yes there was this Grindhouse style promo that says absolutely nothing about the show except sex and action. And there was enough material there that FOX didn't have to advertise it like this: there are clips there from Man on the Street. The trailer on YouTube they posted is better than the sex ads they used. But it's not even that it's a Dollhouse sex ad because it could be cool if it was smart edgy sexy advertising, but it just makes the show look dumb and caters to the wrong crowd.
That's the one, scottbert. It actually feels like the advertisers had watched the show, whereas the fox ads seemed like they had just seen pics of Eliza holding a gun. You can't really blame those that watched the show after seeing those ads for being disappointed in what the programme actually was.
Great promos from Oz and yet *stll* never seen here on free-to-air (and, I'm starting to suspect, never will be)!
I saw it, on my TV last week :D

I can't even tell you guys how good it feels to be watching this show again. I mean, I have it on DVD, sure, but there's just something special about watching it on my tv, even with terrible reception and all those irritating add breaks.

I'm usually bitter and twisted when it comes to the the lag between US and NZ airing times but this one has worked out kinda nice.
Here's a FOX promo...

They ultimately did their best and some of the branding stuff the network did was actually kinda sweet. But some of the aired promos were kind of awful - I'm looking at you, season two baby comedy promo. I could always tell from the FOX adverts there was an identity crisis going on with the show behind the scenes. FOX always tries to badge itself as the action network (as they're catering for males 18-34 in that Friday slot), but it does. not. work.

And KoC, the linked promo on this thread is for season one, and by the time the promos were airing in the US they had already shot almost all of the first season - so FOX would have had the material to do something like that.

As for why the production team don't cut promos - they're too busy, erm, shootin'.
That promo... "AWSUM" it definitely wasn't.
Yes the Maxim promo. Awesum.

As for why the production team don't cut promos


20th Century Fox Television Studios did do a promo recap timed for the season one finale on the Fox network. I thought that was slightly unusual.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR0RRMwEFHY
Good promos, but my favorite remains WhyIWatch's. Click on Propaganda, then Video Gallery.
That was amazing. Like, I had shivers watching the whole thing and then I had this horrible feeling when I realised it's truly ended. Which genuinely surprised me because whilst I loved the show when it was airing I have not really missed it. Now I do.

I don't blame FOX for everything. Reflecting back on the series I think Episode 6-13 of S1 was actually better than most of S2 (which shaved off a lot of the show's complexity in the final few episodes) and I do think it wasn't as consistent as it should have been. However, the way FOX advertised this show was absolutely awful. I watch promos like this or watch the Australian promos that air here and I just do not understand how the US failed so badly at marketing this series. Why is FOX the only channel that didnít get it?

When the show was renewed for a second season I promised that I wouldnít criticise FOX if it was cancelled after S2. Iím still really grateful we got another shot and I love KR for taking a chance on the show just like I love him for giving me The Office. But FOX were absolutely lousy with their advertising and I do attribute that as one of the reasons the show bombed. Not the only reason (as I said I think it was partially the writing as well) but a big part of it.
I'm right there with you, vampmogs. I'm extremely thankful the show got renewed, but amazed at how badly some of the promos came together for the second season. There didn't seem to be a message or a theme or... well... much of anything in them.

I did find out recently that some other broadcast networks get show producers involved in the cutting of promotional material now. They get notes for each episode, for example, from a producer - then they cut a promo, and run it back by the producer. The producer then sends back notes if they think anything is kinda lame or needs tweakin'. FOX don't do this, as far as I can tell, with any of their shows.
Not only were the promos not particularly good or coherent, they were uncoordinated across media and sometimes just plain factually inaccurate (wrong times/dates etc.). No idea what difference it would have made (the numbers went down which means people that had been watching stopped - no matter how much we may want to blame Fox, that has nothing to do with bad promotion) but better promos and a more coordinated campaign surely couldn't have hurt. Still, it's moot now, old ground, dead horse and i'm also grateful for the second season, it's more than they've done for a lot of shows, even those doing better in the ratings.

Personally I quite liked the Grindhouse one though, it had a good sense of humour and an (apparent) self-awareness on Fox's part that would've got me watching if I wasn't already. It's tempting to claim it didn't go down well because of the hoary old chestnut about Americans not getting irony but personally I think that's bollocks, it hasn't been my experience of the vast majority of yanks i've had contact with, either online or in the world.
FOX was advertising a FOX show. Unfortunately Dollhouse should have never been there in the first place. It wasn't a FOX show. However, I don't know of a any other network in the US that would have greenlit it in the first place not to mention give it a (ratings-wise) undeserved second season. Not sure this show would have been greenlit on any cable network either.
FOX was advertising a FOX show.

Erm, you get that these other channels were advertising the same show right TamaraC ? If they can do it why can't Fox ? Not really sure what you mean.

As to not being greenlit, we can speculate of course. Why is it you don't think any other network (or possibly even cable channel) would've been interested ? Joss has some currency in TV land obviously, not to mention an in-built fanbase.
Personally I quite liked the Grindhouse one though, it had a good sense of humour and an (apparent) self-awareness on Fox's part that would've got me watching if I wasn't already. It's tempting to claim it didn't go down well because of the hoary old chestnut about Americans not getting irony but personally I think that's bollocks, it hasn't been my experience of the vast majority of yanks i've had contact with, either online or in the world.

Yeah, that promo is probably my favorite that I've seen anywhere for either of those shows because of its genre savviness, and genre savvy advertising is most definitely not something you see every day.

And KoC, the linked promo on this thread is for season one, and by the time the promos were airing in the US they had already shot almost all of the first season - so FOX would have had the material to do something like that.

The material, maybe, but the time to mull over the big picture and - more importantly - audience feedback from previous marketing efforts to inform their strategy? Not in this space-time continuum.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-09-05 21:10 ]
The Grindhouse ad is "nice" but not thought out. The problems I have with it were: Grindhouse the movie performed below expectations and was not the success in America they expected it to be, so that would not be my first choice for an ad style in; the actual show Dollhouse has neither as much action or "sex" that this ad offers so the male demo that saw this ad and liked it and saw how slow-paced and hardly any sex there was compared to the ad would be turned off, they were totally advertising this show with T:SCC and Summer Glau for virgin geek boys "spend your Friday night with us, let's make it a regular date" and it was just a poor idea because Dollhouse was way more intellectual than that and wasn't just a tits and ass show, and neither was T:SCC. The ad also makes Dollhouse seem a lot funner than it really is because while it had moments of being a fun show and the fandom was extremely fun, it's obviously a dark and serious show at its core.

It is a nice ad visually and it's catchy but it sells the show in a different way and one that I don't think was successful. Maybe if they paired it with more intellectual ads like these international ones, a bigger audience could have been grabbed.

But I do like the Grindhouse ad because I personally like that style, and of course I like seeing the fun scenes spliced with close ups of Glau and Dushku. And I like this a lot: Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku Host the Terminator/Dollhouse Double Feature. And the bloopers.

But even look at the start of the bloopers, that opening image of the girls asking the virgin geek boys to be theirs for Valentine's day. That's all FOX did with the show, they didn't even show that it was smart.

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-09-05 22:29 ]
Well... looks like saje just may have to dust off that hoary old chestnut after all...
Saje, what I was trying to say (obviously not very well) was that FOX was advertising the show that they wanted Dollhouse to be. They wanted an action show that appealed to 18-34 year old men. That's their target and who they advertise for. Dollhouse was a square peg that they just couldn't shove into that round hole. Does that sound dirty to anyone else? Ok. Nevermind.

And I just can't see a cable network in the US in which a show about the definition of a soul, exploitation and human traffiking would fit right now. Maybe Showtime. Maybe.

Not TNT (they only want procedurals), not USA (only want blue sky aspirational feel-good fare), not FX (wants gritty very male driven action), not A&E (just dipping their toe into scripted and will play it safe for a while), not TBS (only syndicated dramas, sports and a couple sitcoms), not AMC (wants only very literary, highbrow drama dram drama dramas), not HBO (Dollhouse wouldn't be over the top enough for them). That leaves Showtime and Starz. I could see a Joss show on Starz in the future. That makes sense to me. Who did I miss? Syfy. Not in a million years. They don't take risks.

Then we have to remember that the reason Joss did the show and the reason that it was on Fox is that is where Eliza's holding deal was. They had no option of going anywhere else.

Just the way I see it. Many here will disagree. They always do. :)
I pretty much agree, Tamara. I think Starz would definitely work with Joss, if he walked into their office - and with their stuff nowadays have licensing fees up to $2m, they might even be able to afford a set like that. With the likes of Syfy, not a chance in hell.

The good thing about FOX, in my mind, is they take risks; a show about a woman who can talk to random objects, space cowboys, an illegal cross country roadrace. The bad thing is that there's a lot of internal politics which means that not everybody gets behind a show - and that kills the projects.
Something I really like that FOX did was allow so much spent on photo shoots and posters and things of that nature. There are so many great pictures of Eliza and co. in very high quality. I think maybe they relied on the internet to do too much of the work in this case. We are getting the word out, it will just take a few years.

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-09-05 23:56 ]
The Grindhouse ad is "nice" but not thought out. The problems I have with it were: Grindhouse the movie performed below expectations and was not the success in America they expected it to be, so that would not be my first choice for an ad style in; the actual show Dollhouse has neither as much action or "sex" that this ad offers so the male demo that saw this ad and liked it and saw how slow-paced and hardly any sex there was compared to the ad would be turned off, they were totally advertising this show with T:SCC and Summer Glau for virgin geek boys "spend your Friday night with us, let's make it a regular date" and it was just a poor idea because Dollhouse was way more intellectual than that and wasn't just a tits and ass show, and neither was T:SCC. The ad also makes Dollhouse seem a lot funner than it really is because while it had moments of being a fun show and the fandom was extremely fun, it's obviously a dark and serious show at its core.

I know I'm explaining the joke and all that, but...

The true beauty of that ad was in how it was so obviously and outrageously a purposeful miss-representation of the true nature and content of the shows it purported to represent. In a nutshell, it painted them as being about as tasteless and campy as one could imagine, but (here's the irony part) it did so in such a ridiculous fashion that the audience couldn't help but pick up on the blatant miss-representation staring them in the face and conclude that the ad must be full of lies. 'And the point of such an exercise?' you may ask. ''tis a matter of elementary logic and reverse psychology,' says I:
1. The add claims the two shows are tasteless and campy.
2. These claims are presented in such a way that they appear to be patently false.
3. Therefore, the two shows must not be tasteless and campy.

Which, in turn, insinuates that the two shows must be tasteful and classy - aka worth checking out. Imo the whole thing is an excellent example of tv promo advertising gone right. It aims to get viewers interested in tuning in by promoting the most honest and open paradigm for content assessment there is: Don't listen to us, judge it for yourself.

Infact I think it's a pity there aren't many more ads like it out there - might actually make me want to watch live tv again.
Ohhh, well I don't like confusing advertising either. Grindhouse was a failure in America so I don't know why they went with that.
When is the Time Magazine quote from (in the trailer) ? At what point during the show's North American airings did they say "Haunting, cerebral, and gorgeous" ? 'Cause stuff like that's said in film posters and trailers, but doesn't often get aimed at TV shows, plus it sums up the show nicely (haunting--often, cerebral--usually, at least moreso than most of what else is on network TV, and gorgeous--damn was it a beautiful-looking series. Except for the explosion in the penultimate ep).

Oh and yeah, that's a great trailer New Zealand's made. Good song selection helps huge.
I adored the Grindhouse ad. Found it to be witty and imaginative. It may not have had the desired result, but I thought it was different and well done.
I really like the use of the song, Ben Cooks "So Cold". Can anyone see where it can be purchased?

Song at Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMwIMyDeEyo
I take it that was a fan-made video? Whatever the case, well done!
Saje, what I was trying to say (obviously not very well) was that FOX was advertising the show that they wanted Dollhouse to be. They wanted an action show that appealed to 18-34 year old men.

Ah right, think I get you TamaraC. So you kind of mean Fox advertised a Fox show in the Fox way [regardless of what would actually be most appropriate for the show] ? Fair enough, that's how it seems to me too.

And thanks for the breakdown re: cable. My (less informed) thinking there is, 'Dollhouse' could've been a more cerebral sort of show (so more fitting AMC - it's them that make 'Rubicon', right ? I'm really enjoying it BTW - liked Zack's episode last week - so have to ask, what's AMC's reputation like for giving shows a chance since I hear it's not doing brilliantly in the ratings ? ) and it could've been raunchier/more OTT in some ways (so HBO may have been interested) and so on. I.e. the show we got was, to some extent, the show Fox was willing to air and if Joss had known he wasn't making it for Fox early in the creative process then it may have been slightly different (though as you say, he had no choice). I agree about the show we got though, that seems to fall between too many stools to appear on cable (previously I thought it'd fit on FX but if they mainly do male lead programming...).

I know I'm explaining the joke and all that, but...

Have to say, this aspect of the thread has made me smile. I actually have my head in my hands on your behalf brinderwalt, if that's any consolation ;).

(pity cos I really hate dusting)
Saje, in regard to AMC, I can't imagine a Joss show airing on AMC just yet, but I give them major, major kudos for airing Breaking Bad. I've tried a lot of new shows recently and usually stop after several episodes. I was riveted from the first episode of Breaking Bad and inhaled it like an addict for the entire run to date. Gotta love a high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth producer. Straight drama isn't usually my first choice, but the acting and cinematography are top-notch, first-rate fare and now I lurve AMC like a crazy fangurl. For at least a week I kept saying, I had no idea there was anything this good on TV!! Maybe they'll be open to fantastical elements down the road? I can only hope so.
Whilst Dollhouse may have been a cheap show on Fox, I doubt it would have been seen as such on a cable network. Plus it was an inhouse show where costs could be fiddled distributed on a spreadsheet.
What Simon said. Season 2 was a gift. Really. Totally a gift.
Very true, Simon. But, we still enjoyed it immensity, cheap network or not.
Saje, in regard to AMC, I can't imagine a Joss show airing on AMC just yet, but I give them major, major kudos for airing Breaking Bad.

Watched the first 3 or 4 episodes of 'Breaking Bad' WhoIsOmega? and thought it was brilliant, the dad from 'Malcolm in the Middle' was an absolute revelation. The sole reason I stopped was that I found the censorship (occasional though it seemed to be) annoying and distracting so I thought i'd stop watching it on TV and get the DVDs. That was one of those best laid plans though (i.e. I haven't actually done it yet ;).

And as I say, 'Rubicon' went from being intriguing with potential to must-watch TV for me, probably from the fourth episode, "The Outsider" (the pilot felt a little bit self-consciously "Look, aren't we Clever!" to me but afterwards they toned it down and sort of settled into their own game - it's pretty refreshing to watch a show that's happy to take its time and the low-key tone reminds me of e.g. "Tinker, Tailor ..." or "Smiley's People"). If AMC gives it a second season i'll be a) really happy and b) lauding them right along with you.
Anger flaring up at FOX again...:(
Saje, is not so much that FX is focused on male lead programming (Damages has not one, but two female leads), but more that they are geared towards dark and gritty dramas with large amounts of killing and intrigue centered on one or two lead antagonists. Echo would have been seriously morally compromised herself, perhaps even a "Magnificent Bastard ," and Paul would have been a dirty cop if Dollhouse had been on FX. I remember even a dog bit the dust on the first season on Damages.

I cannot wait for the Dollhouse comics. I miss this series so much, and those trailers are just absolutely awesome.

[ edited by NotLikeCousteau on 2010-09-06 21:42 ]
I know people talk about about FX's dark and gritty dramas, but I can't help think they are somewhat changing that up with Terriers. Justified is less serialized than the normal FX, but Terrier's seems like a mix between a bit of grit and a bit of USA. And Archer as well, a cartoon isn't exactly the norm.

That might just be my skewed perspective from the UK though.

And apart from Sunnydale, everything else Joss has done has been fairly gritty/down-to-eath, especially for science-fiction. I dunno. I prefer AMC, but I can see a Joss show fitting on FX.
That was amazing. Like, I had shivers watching the whole thing and then I had this horrible feeling when I realised it's truly ended. Which genuinely surprised me because whilst I loved the show when it was airing I have not really missed it. Now I do.


Same here. The show could have soared on a cable network where they actually nurture and give their shows a chance.
Echo would have been seriously morally compromised herself, perhaps even a "Manipulative Bastard," and Paul would have been a dirty cop if Dollhouse had been on FX.

Strange you should say that NotLikeCousteau cos by the end of 'Dollhouse' it kind of felt like Echo was morally compromised (she kills an innocent) and one of the things I liked about Ballard's arc was the way it examined how complicit he was. I.e. as I say above, that's not that radical a change for 'Dollhouse' IMO - the show we saw maybe wouldn't fit but a few tweaks and it'd be in like Flynn.

I remember even a dog bit the dust on the first season on Damages.

Yep, I remember that too (that's the line so few TV shows will cross - you can kill all the men, women and even children you want but people are aghast if you kill a dog ;).

Justified is less serialized than the normal FX...

"Justified" also wasn't all that dark and gritty IMO (one of the things I liked most about it in fact was its wry sense of humour), certainly no darker/grittier than e.g. 'Dollhouse' (which, lest we forget, in at least one episode featured what basically amounted to child rape).
I've always considered Echo to be morally compromised and Paul to be a dirtied-ex cop.

The truth with cable networks (and any network) is they constantly rebrand. What Showtime is now, they won't be in ten years. So you can't say Joss isn't a fit to any cable network, because ultimately I think a few of them would love to work with him on a show. It's not like Dollhouse was a particularly good fit for FOX - they still jumped straight into it with a multi-episode order and massive set.
HBO isn't only into over-the-top fare. In Treatment and early Big Love didn't feel over the top to me (Big Love is mostly focused on a family who're members of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints/kinda-Mormons faith living in Utah, it barely features swearing and I can't recall more than one or two eps with nudity, if that. It's gotten over the top in its arguably kinda-soapy plot ambitions, at times, but not early on). In Treatment, though it does feature swearing when things get heated in the therapy sessions...it's never felt over the top, to me. It's one of the most restrained shows on cable.

On cable you're likely to find dramas labeled by many critics as "high concept" ideas (a family who owns a funeral home, head of mobster family who sees a shrink/story-explores-his-"business"-and-family-life, a 1930s traveling carnival, a serial killer who only kills murderers, etc), though they're not more "high concept" than a lot of the non-procedural/doctor/lawyer/reality/family-sitcom formulaic/too-common stuff that populates most of network TV/manages to slip through (though a lot of this stuff couldn't be done or wouldn't survive on network TV, like Dexter or offbeat Six Feet Under). I don't know if the simple act of showing the human body unclothed or allowing swearing qualifies for "over-the-top", but yeah, HBO and one or two other premium cable networks may've played up the titillation factor earlier on (during HBO's Oz, Sex & The City, and Sopranos days, sure, it felt a lot more deliberate, or exploitational--not that teenaged to current-aged me has minded one bit, long as there's substance to go along with the flash).

Joss'd fit right in at Starz though, yes. Jump in while they're still in the process of making a name for themselves. HBO's open enough to genre these days that he'd work there as well (unless his next TV idea is a straight-up drama without sci-fi or supernatural elements, then he could fit in at a few more cable outlets).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-09-06 18:30 ]
gossi, has a point the branding of several cable networks may be different by the time Joss might be ready to go back to TV in maybe 3-5 years.

For clarification I was never saying that a Joss show wouldn't work on different cable networks. I was saying Dollhouse (as we knew it) wouldn't have worked. And let's not completely rewrite history and forget that Dollhouse got 26 episodes and only 1 of them wasn't aired. It's not like it wasn't given a chance. It may not have been handled with kid gloves and given preferential treatment, but it was certainly given a chance.

I hope he will work with FX or Starz when he is ready to take a break from $100M budgets and superheroes.

Maybe we shouldn't hold our breath.
I've always felt that Caroline was the morally compromised, "means to an end," aspect of Echo's personality, whereas Echo herself, despite being as flawed as any one of Joss' heroes and heroines, was undeniably heroic. As for killing an innocent, do you mean the guy whose body Harding was wearing in Epitaph Two? Not very moral of her, I admit, but akin to when Buffy stabbed Faith with the intent of killing her. Is Echo flawed? Certainly. Perhaps the best example is when she outright tells Boyd that she needed to use Victor to wake up the actives. Is she morally compromised? Perhaps, but that's why in the original post I qualified and brought up the Magnificent Bastard trope: she is still very much the hero unlike FX's antagonistic leads. Joss has a lot of faith in humanity for the show to ever go where Nip/Tuck went with its characters.

As for Ballard, he was certainly complicit and very very conflicted, his ethics were thrown out the roof (which I presume is what makes his connection to Caroline so strong: they are both outrageously self-righteous), but while working for the FBI he wasn't actually committing any major crimes, so I doubt he is anywhere near as dirty as FX's dirty cops.

The reason why I feel Dollhouse would not have worked, as it was, on FX is because the science fiction elements were there from the onset, though more prominent in the re-worked pilot versus the dominantly noir feel of the original pilot. Also, the superhero element of Dollhouse was too pronounced in comparison to FX's usual ouvre. As a gritty noir thriller with speculative fiction elements somewhat lessened by the actual drama, I'm sure it could've have thrived on FX, and perhaps even AMC, but as it stands, the genre elements were too strong for cable and the intellectuality was too grand for network.

Wasn't it recently mentioned that cable is alright with genre as long as it's made by famously non-genre folk? Which, considering Frank Darabont is leading The Walking Dead and Alan Ball's True Blood seems like it will be running for at least a couple more years, strikes me as accurate reasoning.

I do hope that he returns to television if and/or when he is ready, like TamaraC mentioned, to move away from the fantastic and supernatural. Then again, that is also what I love about his work. His universes aren't as escapist as most fiction, but they are really unique mirrors to our own world.

[ edited by NotLikeCousteau on 2010-09-06 21:36 ]

[ edited by NotLikeCousteau on 2010-09-06 21:36 ]

[ edited by NotLikeCousteau on 2010-09-06 21:42 ]
Gotta say, the fantastic element of his stuff is a big draw for me so my own preference would be that he doesn't stop doing that anytime soon. But getting back to TV and with a show/network combination that's a better fit than maybe Fox/'Dollhouse' were would be great (though to offer my own bit of clarification, I do accept that the show as is probably wouldn't have fit anywhere else).

I've always felt that Caroline was the morally compromised, "means to an end," aspect of Echo's personality, whereas Echo herself, despite being as flawed as any one of Joss' heroes and heroines, was undeniably heroic.

Well NotLikeCousteau, that goes to the heart of the show really in that it's about whether Echo was a person herself or still ultimately "just" a composite of Caroline et al. My own take (and it also seemed to be what the show itself was saying though I should stress, in my view that doesn't in any way make that the "right" interpretation) is that by the end Echo is a complete person. So what Echo does is what Echo does i.e. it's not "the Caroline part of her" to me, anymore than I might consider of an action of my own that it was the "my father part of me" that did it. Part of being a person is the responsibility of agency.

The innocent I was actually referring to was wiped Boyd BTW. The stance from the outset was that wiped people are innocents in every way so that what Echo did was effectively use a child suicide bomber to accomplish her goal (when she had plenty of other options). It's too close to the end for us to really see any consequences but i'm not at all sure we're meant to feel she's undeniably heroic afterwards (I certainly didn't personally, whether that was the intent of the creators only they can say I guess) and it even felt to me like the endpoint of her "fall from grace" i.e. now that her hands are dirty she's become fully human, just like the rest of us.
So what Echo does is what Echo does i.e. it's not "the Caroline part of her" to me, anymore than I might consider of an action of my own that it was the "my father part of me" that did it. Part of being a person is the responsibility of agency.

I didn't mean Echo did not share the responsibility, since she is the dominant personality in that body, but using a wiped Boyd to blow up Rossum was an action undertaken post the Caroline imprint. It begs the question of whether or not Echo, without the influence of Caroline and/or her many other personalities running around in her expanded thinking cap, would have been able to detach from bond of trust Boyd purposefully built into her active architecture. I don't see Echo as a composite of Caroline, but there are certain similar patterns of reasoning between the two of them, which Echo could not have foreseen: again, the scene where she bemoans no longer being able to use Victor, strikes me as closer to Caroline's personality rather than Echo's, who by that point in the show knew explicitly that exploiting people as means to an end is unethical. Likewise, Buffy and Angel make similar choices that although morally problematic, I do not think were intended by the creators to lessen, in the long run at least, the audience's perception of them as heroes. Well, the Twilight thing and "bestest, weirdest, best day" incidents notwithstanding.

I do not like that Echo used a wiped Boyd to blow up Rossum, and I agree that it was certainly morally questionable, and incidentally, completed her course in humanity. However, let's not forget that Echo must have been planning to wipe out the technology and restore original personalities all along, at least in a lesser scale than what Topher eventually accomplished. There's no way she could have done so with the head of Rossum still alive and with the possibility of having his original personality returned to him. Theoretically, Echo's first action after "The Hollow Men" might have been to find and destroy any wedge containing Boyd's personality. Which, if the intent was that the Rossum building blew up entirely in that episode, might be a moot point considering it should have housed at least one of his wedges.

It's too close to the end for us to really see any consequences but i'm not at all sure we're meant to feel she's undeniably heroic afterwards...

Alright, I agree, but like Buffy and Angel, she is still very much the hero of the series, regardless of how flawed she is. That's one of the biggest pulls of any Whedon creation for me: realistic protagonists who make mistakes, but own up to them. I think in large part, Echo's self-assumed solitude, her inability to let anyone in, is her fear that Paul and the others might not like what they see - that she is not the perfect hero despite the cerebral evolution, so to speak. That makes Adelle's last comment to Echo, about it being funny that the last fantasy the Dollhouse should fulfill is hers, such a touching moment.
"As a gritty noir thriller with speculative fiction elements somewhat lessened by the actual drama, I'm sure it could've have thrived on FX, and perhaps even AMC, but as it stands, the genre elements were too strong for cable and the intellectuality was too grand for network."

I'm fairly certain Joss has said that he original envisioned the show as being very noir, something which was ditched after the original pilot. I could imagine that it would not have been so heavily focused on the tech if it had of been closer to the ideas he had before that pesky network fiddling. Some of the ideas about where the technology could lead to or the possible abuses of the mind wipe would probably have become more prominent as the show progressed, but I would imagine Ballard's investigation of the Dollhouse would have been more central.

Out of all of Joss's shows, I would say Dollhouse was potentially the closest to a cable channel show (Firefly possibly too, although genre elements would probably restrict who would take it.)

As for Joss trying his hand at a show with no fantastic elements, I would be quite interested to see how he would handle the obvious restriction that will bring along. Then again, I share Saje's comments of it being an element of his programmes I particularly enjoy. Probably as an experimental piece in the vein of Dr. Horrible or a miniseries rather then a anything much longer would be good.
I didn't mean Echo did not share the responsibility, since she is the dominant personality in that body, but using a wiped Boyd to blow up Rossum was an action undertaken post the Caroline imprint.

What I mean is, Echo has no-one to share responsibility with - when she acts, the actions are hers alone because to me she's a person by the end rather than a collection of several persons. It's not like Echo steps aside and Caroline "takes over", as I say it's more that Caroline being a part of her influences Echo's actions in the same way that how we're raised or the last significant book we read might influence our own. Blaming Caroline to any extent is like blaming that last book you read or how you were raised - philosophically you could argue the toss but legally and ethically, it's not how personal responsibility is viewed.

But I agree that it raises the question of how much Caroline influences her and to what extent Echo's choices are therefore freely made (or if such a thing is even possible/meaningful to talk about), s'what I meant about the heart of the show.

Not sure if that's just a difference in terminology or an actual difference in our perspectives on the character NotLikeCousteau ?

Alright, I agree, but like Buffy and Angel, she is still very much the hero of the series, regardless of how flawed she is.

Well, I agree she's very much still the protagonist of the series but 'Dollhouse' is different (IMO) to previous Joss shows in that I actually think it is asking us to wonder if she's still the hero of the piece (or if there even is one or even if the Dollverse can accommodate heroes as we traditionally think of them to begin with).

BtVS touches on the idea with "General Buffy" in season 7, Ats touches on it, well, pretty much throughout but especially in the "grey Angel" arc from season 2 and the "corrupted Angel" element of season 5 but neither show embraces ambiguity quite as thoroughly as 'Dollhouse' IMO, s'one reason why I love it (and IMO, one possible reason why some people really didn't).

I'm fairly certain Joss has said that he original envisioned the show as being very noir, something which was ditched after the original pilot. I could imagine that it would not have been so heavily focused on the tech if it had of been closer to the ideas he had before that pesky network fiddling.

I think this depends on what exactly Joss meant when he said noir Vandelay. Mostly we think of noir as rain and detectives and not SF but to me it's really more about an overarching moral stance (or rather, a lack of one) and about seedy underbellies, of what lurks beneath the veneer and in that respect 'Dollhouse' felt pretty noirish to me. No-one's motives are pure, no-one's lily white, to function in that world is to compromise and getting back to square one is actually a pretty good day (and added to that, we frequently see "beautiful people" who, inside, are anything but). Cyberpunk was (partly) a fusing of sci-fi and noir for instance and that worked pretty well as both. Or look at the neo/SF-noir Takeshi Kovacs books by Richard Morgan (particularly 'Altered Carbon' which is more conventionally noirish in that it's a detective story, albeit a sci-fi one). There's no reason why you have to avoid futuristic technology or the fantastic in order to tell noirish stories I reckon.
Mostly we think of noir as rain and detectives and not SF but to me it's really more about an overarching moral stance (or rather, a lack of one) and about seedy underbellies, of what lurks beneath the veneer and in that respect 'Dollhouse' felt pretty noirish to me.

Very true. I would certainly class something like Blade Runner as a noir film almost as much as it is Sci-Fi. In fact, Noir is often associated with a visual style, rather than a thematic one.

In common discussion, Noir is probably used to mean crime fiction, but someone like Joss could use it to mean many things (the Wikipedia page, here, talks about the problems with definitions.)

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