A bunch of brainless, pretty, zombies walking around hollywood?
October 14, 2009 12:12 PM   Subscribe

A document has recently surfaced online, published by an Adelle Dewitt, asking all of the employees of the Los Angles branch of Rossum inc. to please, for the love of god, buckle down and bring in more clients. The only problem? Rossum has denied that Dewitts department even exists. Which is why Sen. Perrin is threatening to call down the thunder.

This is all of course, a part of an ARG promoting the second season of Dollhouse(direct hulu link to Belle Chose- an amazing episode from the current season), the newest show from Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible creator Joss Whedon. The show has been performing poorly in the ratings for FOX. But fans have been buoyed by some recent good news about the show's DVR numbers, and the news that, no matter what, FOX will air all the ordered episodes in the second season.

Whether or not the show gets a third season, fans should at least be happy that the series has produced what some feel to be one of the high water marks in Whedon's output, the unaired 13th episode of the first season, Epitaph One (megavideo link)
posted by tylerfulltilt (85 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:19 PM on October 14, 2009


I am pretty impressed with this marketing.
posted by josher71 at 12:20 PM on October 14, 2009


I think we've just been wiped.
posted by The Whelk at 12:20 PM on October 14, 2009


Where's the "game" in this alternate reality? Should I be delving into the Dollhouse wiki to understand this, because it seems like a teaser for those already into the world of Dollhouse.

And how is Doc Horrible involved?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on October 14, 2009


Call down the thunder? He'll need to roll at least a double 6 for that.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2009


Did I fall asleep?
posted by Servo5678 at 12:24 PM on October 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Strike my last question - it's covered after the break.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:25 PM on October 14, 2009


Does it involve a ski area in Taos?
posted by ericb at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2009


http://www.senatordanielperrin.org/information/senator-perrin-calls-for-rossum-corporation-investigation/

weak
posted by jckll at 12:35 PM on October 14, 2009


The more MetaFilters FPP I read and utterly fail to comprehend, the more I realize that I am hurtling beyond the gravitational pull of popular culture.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:35 PM on October 14, 2009 [14 favorites]


FOX will air all the ordered episodes in the second season.
I call bull****! No way I'll believe that, not with their track record... (Not that I watch/care about Dollhouse...)
posted by StarmanDXE at 12:40 PM on October 14, 2009


I guess I should've been clued in to this being a fake by the name of the company.
posted by Target Practice at 12:40 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The more MetaFilters FPP I read and utterly fail to comprehend, the more I realize that I am hurtling beyond the gravitational pull of popular culture."

Don't worry, apparently nobody is watching the show anyway.
posted by clearly at 12:41 PM on October 14, 2009


Epitaph One was like Firefly with all no Nathan Fillion and the Whedon wit taken out.
posted by winna at 12:42 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm ready for my treatment.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:44 PM on October 14, 2009


So this show has something to do with robots, then?
posted by egypturnash at 12:45 PM on October 14, 2009


egypturnash

As I understand it, it revolves around the somewhat squicky concept of human beings whose brains have basically been wiped of their original personality, who are implanted with various other personalities to do whatever the company's client wants them to do.

...and yet I get the idea they've avoided making the show about living sex toys. Somehow.
posted by Target Practice at 12:48 PM on October 14, 2009


So this show has something to do with robots, then?

Hey now that's unfair. Eliza Dushku has gotten a lot better in the 2nd series.
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on October 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


I was lukewarm on the series until Epitaph One where

Lbh yrnea gung gur Qbyyubhfr vf onfvpnyyl tbvat gb RAQ GUR JBEYQ pnhfr bs gur cenpgvpny nccyvpngvbaf bs gur grpuabybtl naq rirelguvat vf tbaan trg nyy tene tene zvaqjnfuvat qlfgbcvn ...V zrna, gung'f n cerggl tbbq cerzvfr evtug gurer.

I mean, if they're going to get away from the Crazy Doll Of The Week and more about the consequences of their squicky technology, then I'll be happy.
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am trying not to be bitter that Firefly was cancelled and Dollhouse got a second season.

Does anyone actually like this series? I never understood people who dissed Eliza Dushku when she was in Buffy, but now I'm a total convert: the girl couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:55 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I haven't watched it at all, though I think I might add Season 1 to my Netflix queue.

And yeah, Firefly died way before its time, although I can't help thinking it would've jumped the shark pretty early anyhow. The movie itself had its share of issues, although I still loved it.

...On that note, I think I'm going to go re-watch my Firefly DVDs.
posted by Target Practice at 12:58 PM on October 14, 2009


Don't worry, apparently nobody is watching the show anyway.

Sure, it's just that the way this FPP was written, it was almost as though it were a different language. This isn't the only time this has happened to me on MetaFilter, and on some other sites it's even worse.

I keep expecting encountering girls names "Chevette" wandering around with holographic vaginas on their lapels, clutching books about interstitial communities.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:01 PM on October 14, 2009


Belle Chose was good, yes, but man, the second season started out weak. Always gotta have an obsessed man in pursuit, huh? The Instinct episode almost made me cash in the chips the first season won.

And the seemingly smaller role for Harry Lennix is a bad thing. Paired with her, he counterbalanced Dushku's acting, um, style.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2009


only the kind of dirtbags who would get involved in human trafficking use scribd, amirite?
posted by sexyrobot at 1:06 PM on October 14, 2009


This is about Ghostbusters 2, right?
posted by mosk at 1:08 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


>I mean, if they're going to get away from the Crazy Doll Of The Week and more about the consequences of their squicky technology, then I'll be happy

Starting around the midpoint of the first season they did kind of abandon the whole "what sort of crazy shenanigans will eliza dushku be up to this week?" approach and they started to really delve deep into the really dark side of the shows premise.

Ever since it's been fantastic.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 1:12 PM on October 14, 2009


I think the network demands a certain amount of a "Oh What Crazy Role Will Eliza Play This Week?!" to lure in casual viewers and these all seem to be clustered at the beginning. Man, Instinct was bad. I couldn't find the cilent's motivation with spelunking equipment and a team of trained bats.
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on October 14, 2009


Will the documents explain why aliens have chosen to send Dichen Lachman as their representative to Earth?

I do like her freaky looks, but man, does she look freaky.
posted by cereselle at 1:17 PM on October 14, 2009


tylerfulltilt and The Whelk -- agreed. I'm really interested to see what they do with Sierra's backstory this week; if they can pull it away from Eliza Dushku finally and really concentrate on the speculative fiction part of it, it will be a huge improvement.

Also, they need more BSG actors on there. It only makes it better. We're up to what, three now? Can I get a little Tricia Helfer?
posted by olinerd at 1:18 PM on October 14, 2009


Does anyone actually like this series?

Yes, and next to Doc Horrible I think it is close to the high water mark for Whedon. For perspective's sake I was never a-giant-gold-Whedon-statue-in-the-backyard-type-of-nerd, so I diverge a little from his usual fan base. I'm well aware of the reasons why people don't like the show, but I think the guy should at least get kudos for trying new things and not rehashing the old ideas.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:20 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


BSG actors… after last week's episode, make that four.
posted by asfuller at 1:31 PM on October 14, 2009


I knew, immediately upon clicking the first link, before clicking more inside to read about it, that this was an arg, based on just glancing at the logo in the righthand corner. I'm not a graphic designer, or even smart -- just handsome -- but it immediately screams "not a real logo."

People who make args seem completely incapable of doing this shit correctly. Either fool us entirely, however briefly that entirely lasts, or don't try to fool us and give us a fun nutty world to fuck around in.
posted by Damn That Television at 1:34 PM on October 14, 2009


Given that nobody read it in the first place and we seem to have Dollhouse fans in the room, I'd like to re-present my Whedon as Alpha theory.

And also the far better name we use around the house for this show.

I'm more or less in agreement with the majority opinion above: the less time the show spends on how to get Dushku into a kinky (or merely kicky) outfit every week, and the more time it spends on the icky, icky implications of the Dollhouse, the better it gets.

The one thing I liked about the "so we can't afford Crispin Glover, well, let's give it a shot anyway" episode last week was establishing Topher as a baseline moral barometer: if he thinks something is wrong, you can be pretty dang sure it's wrong.
posted by Shepherd at 1:34 PM on October 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought this Whedon quote was interesting. From here and here:
JW: [Dollhouse] became just a scoach too whore-y. Never had a better meeting, everything was great, then they [FOX] said "so they're kinda like prostitutes and that's not ok" Word came down that it wasn't ok. I wanted to make a show thats about feeling bad about feeling good or good about feeling bad. Fantasy is just that, fantasy. FOX wanted to back away from these implications. Every episode is ridiculously hard because the central core has been ripped out just enough, that we're constantly dancing around our own premise.
posted by and for no one at 1:37 PM on October 14, 2009


...and yet I get the idea they've avoided making the show about living sex toys. Somehow.

Nope, they haven't avoided that at all.
posted by heathkit at 1:41 PM on October 14, 2009


> Epitaph One was like Firefly with all no Nathan Fillion and the Whedon wit taken out.

Yeah. Wasn't this episode written by Joss Whedon's half-brother, Jed?

The plot of the episode is very interesting, because, hey, it's all story resolution.

Yet the dialogue is terrible-- many, many Whedonisms, no Whedon.

It's almost like this episode's story is this hale, healthy, vigorous, youthful body... and it's turned into a passive, unresisting receptacle for any crap you want to put in there.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2009


I think the guy should at least get kudos for trying new things and not rehashing the old ideas
You don't get any argument from me on this account. I'm all for trying new things on network TV.

But Dushku's character, and her acting, just ruins the whole thing for me.

I see folks suggesting they spend more time focusing on the Dollhouse itself, instead of the weekly adventures of Echo-the-fucked-up-barbie, which I generally agree with.

But I'm pretty sure I've watched my last episode the week before last. I predict it will last about a half season more before Fox yanks it. Not because it is a bad idea, but a good idea poorly executed on a medium not known for its successes because of people who don't care.

Fox is probably just making sure it has enough material for the inevitable DVD release so it can charge a premium.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:52 PM on October 14, 2009


"Does anyone actually like this series?"

I like it. Amazingly compelling considering it's so depressing.
posted by Mitheral at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


When it works, it sparks like nothing else. The season one scene, when Ballard was in the kitchen of the rented house with the Internet magnate? That was some of the snappiest dialogue I've ever seen on screen. I was enchanted. Knowing the show has that in it is enough to keep me watching. But it needs to start doing better than an alternating chain of brilliant episode, horrible episode, pretty soon.

They're trying something new here, for TV generally, and definitely for Whedon and his writers specifically. There have been some real failures, but also some enthralling drama, and the fact that they're willing to make mistakes means they're trying to really figure out the characters. If they can buy enough time, it'll turn in to something very richly imagined and immensely rewarding.

But, yes, more arc, less doll of the week. Epitaph One suggested where this could go, and it's amazing. If Fox won't let Whedon do his show about identity, well, the gripping tale of dystopia-in-the-making is a pretty good consolation prize, and it's right there in his lap.

But someone please get Alexis Denisof a haunted past to work with, ASAP. So far he's a setpiece, not a character.
posted by regicide is good for you at 2:55 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Count me among the surprised that it's still on the air. It's not penance for Firefly, it's realizing that Firefly made them a ton of money on DVD, so it's worth sticking with this Whedon guy.

Unfortunately... in this case, it's not. I can't imagine Dollhouse will end up with one tenth of the cult cachet Firefly has. I'm curious as to how well the DVDs have actually sold so far.

It's a tough premise. Morally murky, and very hard to sell to a mainstream audience. Hell, Joss has admitted the struggles the writers went through in the early going. And it shows on screen. Unfortunately any momentum built up near the end of the first season where things actually started to get interesting has been completely absent thus far this year. I understand the need to draw in new viewers with self-contained episodes, but the three episodes aired thus far (and yes, I'm including Belle Chose, although it was a bit better) have been confusing messes riddled with plot holes. And this isn't Alias, where you can dress the star up in a sexy new outfit and wig and accent each week and have it thrill... it could be, except for the prostitution angle, and the fact that Dushku, much as I loved Faith, really doesn't have the range to pull off one or more new characters every week.

I keep watching, despite the headslapping moments and the derision of my peers, but I have never been able to convincingly argue that this is a good show, even to myself.

Full Whedon disclosure: I am an avowed Buffyholic, an Angel apologist, but not a Firefly fanatic, although I think it could have eventually been an amazing bit of television if given the chance. My Whedon enthusiasm is wavering though, mostly because I'm realizing he only has a few stock tricks. Let's kill off the most beloved characters in a way you'll never see coming, for no reason! And half the time barely mourned!
posted by yellowbinder at 3:00 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm realizing he only has a few stock tricks. Let's kill off the most beloved characters in a way you'll never see coming, for no reason! And half the time barely mourned!

I would actually call that a "tic," not a trick, as the only person who seems enamored of it is Joss Whedon himself -- I don't know anyone (and I know some hardcore Whedon folk) who think that's one of his more endearing tropes. ("Heroes" seems to be a show about nothing except this trope*, at least after its first season, and you see how well that's turned out.)

*Well, this trope, minus the word "beloved."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:25 PM on October 14, 2009


Goddammit. I was all "what the fuck is Rossum and why haven't I heard of it" and "who the hell is Senator Perrin?"

I am pretty impressed with this marketing.

Sorry, but this is pretty shitty marketing.

[more inside] FAIL. I guess that's what I deserve for using lofi.mefi
posted by mrgrimm at 3:26 PM on October 14, 2009


NO! For the love of God and all that is holy! No more payphones!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2009


I enjoy it and there have been some stand-out episodes along the way (Epitaph One and Bella Chose instantly come to mind) so I am keen to see how the rest of season 2 pans out. I never wanted a popular show - as good as that would be for Joss - I wanted a good show. I just never thought that would be a cause for concern when Whedon was at the helm. I don't think it's a bad premise, I think it's very interesting and I love the concepts he's trying to work with. But, it never really found its feet and I can only blame that partly on Dushku's fail acting. The show should have never been on Fox in the first place, Joss knew that and he knew the consequences of it so he can't start blaming them now for ruining his ideas about how it was going to work. And I say all this as a die-hard Whedon fan, but that doesn't mean I don't see where he has failed either.

All that said, I really thought Bella Chose was great and the promos for the next couple of episodes look like they deal more with the nitty-gritty concepts that the Dollhouse is founded on. Joss has stated he will give fans some closure on things in the season finale while leaving some things open if anymore episodes are ordered. So that's more than Firefly ever got and probably more than Dollhouse really deserved.
posted by liquorice at 4:15 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm just getting more support for my "Dollhouse is really uneven" theory. It feels like a different show from episode to episode. Some great, some really awful. So I like the show if it acts like the episodes I like, where the Dollhouse Technology is THE WORST THING TO HAPPEN EVER. Cause, seriously, it is. There is no way that tech can be used for good, and that's what draws me in.
posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on October 14, 2009


And I want to say, as someone who has worked with actors and seen progress and the like, that Eliza Dushku really *is* expanding as an actress and that's kinda *awesome* to watch, but she still has all these Tough Girl Tics and Action Movie Shortcuts and Fallback Moves, so she's not really there ..which is interesting cause that's who Echo is, and I almost feel like we're seeing her progress in the character, which is super-duper double meta-weird. YOu know, like Liza in Arrested Development, was she really good as a drunken sot or was she just a drunken sot?


More crazy implications of the technology, and more using the nerdy Audience stand-in as a device of pure, amoral nastiness.
posted by The Whelk at 4:31 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm realizing he only has a few stock tricks. Let's kill off the most beloved characters in a way you'll never see coming, for no reason! And half the time barely mourned!


Real Whedon tics are "Characters are only Murderous, quippy, or Sarcastically Quippy Murderous."

That and Older Man,/Younger Woman bonds and Deadly Youths and Dads Are Always Evil, which means you need the Older Man/Younger Woman thing.
posted by The Whelk at 4:34 PM on October 14, 2009


I never understood people who dissed Eliza Dushku when she was in Buffy, but now I'm a total convert: the girl couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag.

Yeah, but she's playing a doll, and she does that bobble head thing all the time; it's method acting!
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:41 PM on October 14, 2009


Yeah, but she's playing a doll, and she does that bobble head thing all the time; it's method acting!


Can we talk about the most tone deaf actress in the series, Glory? She could do snotty, spoiled very well, but when she had to be , you know a GOD, like she was, it was like chewing tin. At least Dushku was trying, Clare Kramer was just one awful note after another without even the feel of effort.

yes about actressess Hannigan was the bestest and to be fair, SMG had only two moods, sarcastic and troubled but she sold them well.... but no one says anything about Amber Benson, who used her complete lack of lines or scenes to good effect.
posted by The Whelk at 4:53 PM on October 14, 2009


also Trachtenberg gets no love, cause she was really good at being a character that was supposed to be annoying and scrappy doo, when she had to bring it to the table, I thought she did very well
posted by The Whelk at 5:01 PM on October 14, 2009


Or in ANOTHER WAY, like Buffy, Dollhouse could succeed despite it's lead character.
posted by The Whelk at 5:04 PM on October 14, 2009


I certainly hope it does. I mean, Dushku as echo is going to be the central storyline. But as long as they continue to make the show an ensemble show I think there's a chance it could do well.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 5:08 PM on October 14, 2009


I want a Topher/Whiskey episode. Pared down, no restraints. They would just murder each other, with DeWitt and Ivy as spear carriers.
posted by The Whelk at 5:11 PM on October 14, 2009


Dollhouse got off to a rough start, but by about halfway through started picking up steam. Last week's episode was very enjoyable. If the show was a Tuesday night or Thursday night...or any night other than Friday night, I think the ratings would be higher. This is evident by the DVR numbers, folks want to watch it, just not at Friday night at 9/8 central.

In terms of his previous work, I say give Dollhouse more time. Buffy's first season was pretty uneven and the more time the writers had to gain experience and explore the world and characters, the better it got.
posted by Atreides at 5:26 PM on October 14, 2009


Say what you will about SMG, lord knows she's not the greatest actress in the world, but over seven seasons and some pretty ridiculous plots, and she never once phoned it in. She's a pro.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:42 PM on October 14, 2009


Say what you will about SMG, lord knows she's not the greatest actress in the world, but over seven seasons and some pretty ridiculous plots, and she never once phoned it in. She's a pro.

Indeed, I mean the show really showed her limitations, but it wasn't lazy. At least not head-bashingly obviously lazy.
posted by The Whelk at 5:54 PM on October 14, 2009


Score one for Fox marketing...
posted by Noon Under the Trees at 6:01 PM on October 14, 2009


I have to admit to liking Dollhouse. It took a while - the first few episodes really really sucked, but once Fox got out of the way, it improved. I'd like to believe that Epitaph is the end of the story arc, and we get to see how we got to that point, but it is Fox - it's almost a surprise when the opening credits start each week. I'm happy to see that Faith Echo seems to be one of the ensemble now, rather than the lead character; easy on the eyes as long as she doesn't try to do anything.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 6:25 PM on October 14, 2009


That scene in the episode one of this season--with Topher and Clare (Amy Acker)--was the sort of thing that makes me think this show could make it work. After all, it took about a season and a half "Angel" for me to come around (and David Boreanaz is really not much of an actor). So I wait for this to be worth it. In the meantime? Don't really like it.
posted by thivaia at 6:54 PM on October 14, 2009


Pepsi Blue! Also...

Shepherd: Given that nobody read it in the first place and we seem to have Dollhouse fans in the room, I'd like to re-present my Whedon as Alpha theory.

...

Read your theory, still don't know what this "alpha" you're referring to is. Top dog? The greek "a"? Your first clone iteration in the Paranoia RPG? Help?
posted by Decimask at 8:47 PM on October 14, 2009


Read your theory, still don't know what this "alpha" you're referring to is.

Okay, so you don't follow the show. Maybe just leave it then?

Does anyone actually like this series?

Shit yeah. Being in the wrong market, I personally have no opinion...
posted by pompomtom at 8:53 PM on October 14, 2009


I recently watch all of season one at the insistence of a friend of mine who is a tried-and-true Whedonite. I adore Dr. Horrible, but have never really "caught" on any of his other work, aside from maybe Toy Story (and does that really count?) Buffy and Firefly... meh. Perhaps in a different lifetime but they were forced on me too avidly by people far too enthusiastic, and after being oversold, they never lived up to the hype.

Anyway, I watched all of season one, in just a couple of days. And by the time I was done, I really didn't give a shit about ANY of the characters except Boyd. Everyone else seemed to be just a 2 dimensional toy for the use of the authors within the context of the story. Boyd was the only person involved who felt like he had a past outside of the authors' creation and as a result who felt like a real person to me.

Talking to my friend about the show was fun, but the talk was never actually about the series. It was about the concepts of the series. And while they were fun to turn around and twist like a mental rubik's cube, it was soon clear to me that this was a series where the ideas were better than the execution, and that was frustrating to me.

I've not bothered at all with season two. Perhaps I will watch it once it is all out and easy to watch in a block as I did season one. But despite having really given it a chance (14 hours of viewing spread over 2 days), it never transcended the hype, yet again.
posted by hippybear at 8:53 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Okay, so you don't follow the show. Maybe just leave it then?

Ah, something within the show. I assumed it was a reference to something else. Carry on.
posted by Decimask at 9:17 PM on October 14, 2009


The dolls designations are in the International Radio Operators Alphabet:

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, Zulu

But we've only been introduced to a few of the dolls thus far.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:03 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


It took a while - the first few episodes really really sucked, but once Fox got out of the way, it improved.

I can't find a citation for this, but earlier this year, when the series was still in its first few weeks, I remember reading that Whedon had agreed to begin the season with a half-dozen or so standalone episodes that would serve to hopefully hook viewers with the overall concept before progressing with the more interesting 'Echo evolves' plotline.

I'm really enjoying the progression of the story and very much hope that Joss gets the chance to flesh it out properly.
posted by KatlaDragon at 10:04 PM on October 14, 2009


>
Can we talk about the most tone deaf actress in the series, Glory? She could do snotty, spoiled very well, but when she had to be , you know a GOD, like she was, it was like chewing tin.


Actually, I kinda thought that was the point and the premise of Glory-- Godz R People Too, not least because they reflect the needs and wants and projections of their worshipers. If you were a god, as humans (or in this case, green, sniveling, masochistic humanoids) imagine them to be, why wouldn't you be snotty, spoiled, impatient, and trivial?

(On another note, I just found Glory, of all the villains, to be the funniest.)
posted by darth_tedious at 11:26 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like the show and premise (even if it skews into creepy uncomfortable territory sometimes), but I think it would make for an intriguing video game. An action/shooter adventure starring the dolls would mire the game down with the same problem that hampered the "identity of the week" plots of the early episodes of the series, so here's my idea: do it as a action RPG.

Echo and the other dolls would gain experience points and level up as the story unfolds, but at the end of each mission they are wiped back to their blank states, losing those newly acquired skills and abilities. However, because Echo and some of the other dolls are gradually becoming self-aware (fragments of past imprints are combining in what Dollhouse personnel call "composite events"), some of those lost skills may suddenly become available again for a limited time when the right conditions are met. This puts the emphasis on the story rather than the action, a tactic that has helped improve the television series.

I've written two articles on my blog about this idea. Check 'em out if it interests you.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:41 AM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"so we can't afford Crispin Glover, well, let's give it a shot anyway" episode

Oh my god. I would pay cash money out of my own pocket to see him on Dollhouse. Please, Fox? PLEASE?

I like the show. It's not Firefly, it's not Buffy, it is what it is. (And I am a major league superdork when it comes to things Whedony). Poaching a bunch of ex-Battlestar Galacticans has done the second season well, I think, and if it can keep going into the darker side of things instead of the "hey look! on this episode, Eliza Dushku is a lumberjack! A SEXY LUMBERJACK!" stuff, well, so much the better.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:42 AM on October 15, 2009


There's an Amazon Wire Podcast from Sept '07 where Whedon raves about BSG, so I'm guessing he doesn't mind throwing action their way and the fact he gets crossover fans.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:21 AM on October 15, 2009


One of the Dollhouse writers is Jane Espenson, who was one of the writers of BSG, and previously, a writer on other Whedon projects. I think there may be another writer cross-over, too, which is one of the reasons there's a significant Dollhouse / BSG crossover in actors that's been occurring. And yeah, Whedon loved the show - that helps when you're trying to be casted, too.
posted by Atreides at 9:45 AM on October 15, 2009


Just another comment to say, Yeah, I like this series. As it aired, I was a little blah about many of the episodes, but interested overall. I recently rewatched all of Season 1 on DVD while knitting and I freaking LOVED it. I think it's something that vastly improves the more contact you have with it. I was surprised on my second viewing just how subversive the show is.

The structure of most of the eps is that in the beginnins a power structure is established, usually one which is exploitative of women and/or the dolls, and then the rest of the ep turns the power dynamic upside down. (I'm pretty sure if it wasn't 4PM I'd be able to explain that better. Oh well, no more words here.)
posted by threeturtles at 2:04 PM on October 15, 2009


I like it too. Kind of a lot. I think what turned a lot of people off at the beginning was that it the premise seemed inescapably episodic...how could you have any continuity or develop any interesting arcs if a bunch of the characters didn't persist from week to week? To me, though, that feels like a strength...many of the shows can stand alone as springboards for conversation about something real, without having to talk about backstory or remember something that happened months or years ago. I explained it to someone as "Well, it's like the Twilight Zone, but it's mostly about the patriarchy." Sure, big oversimplification there :) but that's the appeal for me.

Also I am LOVING the BSG actors this season! Apollo in a fistfight with Helo! Tigh being dastardly! It's just fun seeing those fools on TV again, I guess.
posted by crinklebat at 10:39 PM on October 15, 2009


The Whelk: Clare Kramer was just one awful note after another without even the feel of effort.

Yeah, but when the 2006 Firefly convention organizers pulled out the very day of the convention, after everybody showed up, she hosted all the fans at her restaurant (one of several moments of very cool behavior by Whedon actors that weekend):
Saturday night the whole mess moved to the new restaurant owned by Claire ("Glorificus" from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and her husband, which isn't due to open for another couple of weeks, and for a time this betrayed, ripped-off, and let-down group of fans who had come hoping to get a few autographs and a fleeting word were suddenly partying with the stars at the hottest secret nightspot in Hollywood. If they liked these actors before it's going to border on worship now, deservedly so.
posted by WCityMike at 7:34 PM on October 17, 2009


Awww, that's awesome. My negative appraisal of her chops aside, that,s a fairly fuckin, solid thing to do snd now everyone there has a story they,ll be telling for ever and ever.
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 AM on October 18, 2009


Ugh, bad news, and I hate to be the one to post it, but it looks like Fox is swapping out Dollhouse during sweeps for repeats of Bones and that the show will likely be shut down after completing the current season. (Spotted at the futon critic and confirmed at Whedonesque.)
posted by KatlaDragon at 9:24 PM on October 21, 2009


But evidently Whedon'll be directing a number of Glee episodes. Which is great, because I love the dark humor they stuff into every crevice of that show, and I think Whedon'll be a good fit.
posted by WCityMike at 10:21 PM on October 21, 2009


If true, which wouldn't be surprising, is to bad.
The more I think about the show, the more I move towards the idea that the whole 'creating hookers for fun and profit' is really kind of a red herring topic that is kind of lame. It's kind of like a self serving conflict that acts as a dynamo. As in Whedon not trying to make a show all about prostitution but questioning aspects about love and relationships. Then everyone standing around pointing and saying it's a show about prostitution. Well not everyone, but the controversy both helped and hurt them.
Although, I'm kind of surprised they never inserted the ghost In the shell question at some point.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:57 AM on October 22, 2009


This isn't surprising news. I think the show would have had a better chance had it been given a slot on Monday through Thursday. Unfortunately, the first few episodes weren't nearly as good as they could have been, and probably helped to reduce folks initially interested in the show.

When you refer to ghost in the shell, what specifically are you referring to? I'm familiar with the anime, but what themes precisely?
posted by Atreides at 5:29 AM on October 22, 2009


To put it simply, just add a question mark: ghost(soul) in the shell?
If you watched the thirteenth episode of Dollhouse, it looks like they threw that whole notion out the window.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:13 PM on October 22, 2009


Bah. I haven't seen that one yet. It'll have to wait to when I get around to watching the dvds.

I know that the matter of identity is slowly building in the show, such as Echo's "personality" that is evolving as some kind of amalgamation of her past identities. The send off episode for Whiskey also played on the idea.
posted by Atreides at 4:37 PM on October 22, 2009


I kinda want a Doll who is a major movie star. Like the studio bought the doll to be the perfect action hero and in return gives some share of the profits to Rossum.
posted by The Whelk at 6:55 PM on October 22, 2009


I know that the matter of identity is slowly building in the show, such as Echo's "personality" that is evolving as some kind of amalgamation of her past identities.

Thus the "echoes"!

I guess the whole "who am I" question is part and parcel of what I'm getting at, but it seems they've already supplied the answer. At least in one form.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:02 PM on October 22, 2009


A lot of people have been talking up that episode. I'll have to see if its on Hulu or something so I can better contribute.
posted by Atreides at 5:22 AM on October 23, 2009


Atreides: A lot of people have been talking up that episode. I'll have to see if its on Hulu or something so I can better contribute.

No. It didn't air; it was on the DVD. But you're looking for "Epitaph One." And, arrr, if you be lookin' at a bay that be inhabited by those of the pirate persuasion, ye might find yourself finding a bit of a torrent of rain – and there, in that tempest, ye might be finding it.

what? *looks around innocently*
posted by WCityMike at 2:02 PM on October 23, 2009


WCityMike, or.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:00 PM on October 23, 2009


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