In light of the recent complete debacle over Edward Norton’s firing from the part of the Hulk, in order to wash the taste from my mouth, I’ve now decided to imagine a world where everyone awesome and not awesome alike is fired from Avengers because Marvel Entertainment, despite now being owned by Disney, continually gets cheaper and cheaper. In this new dimension, Joss is forced to hire mid-level, slightly recognizable actors, but not stars — no, stars have egos to satiate and the power to get paid what they’re worth. No, these actors should have followings but no power, and so will be ridiculously cheap. In other words, Joss’s regular cast of actors.
So, any of you out there that watch Buffy and read my ramblings may find me extremely thick for this, or you may be in my boat…
I only just realized, when someone else pointed it out on a message board, that at the end of “Chosen”, the series finale, when the sign falls into the crater…that was Spike knocking down the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign for the last time. I got a chill that almost made me tear up when I realized it, and I should have caught that on the first watch.
That is all.
Because he didn’t create some weird prequel to Buffy the Vampire Slayer that’s about her going to school in LA only Buffy is played by Mylie Cyrus or some shit and instead of just having Merrick as her Watcher, for some strange reason Merrick is already on the Watcher’s Council and some dude named Tae Bo Francois is her Watcher for like ten seconds and then gets killed only Merrick still doesn’t become her Watcher, and Pike is ten years older than Buffy and they run into an all-CG character named Uncle Tom Tom and he helps them get through the haunted forest and none of it makes any fucking sense and Angel’s there stalking Buffy when she’s like 14 which always was a little creepy and Twilighty and there’s a young Willow already there which is just FUCKING INSANE and it seems like Joss HASN’T EVER SEEN HIS OWN SHOW. None of that happened. Mr. Lucas fucked up ROYALLY and everyone’s still buying the toys.
All Joss did was work with Fox again, which is really Eliza’s fault, anyway. How can he say no to her? And he still created one of the most challenging and scary pieces of cyberpunk since Philip K. Dick passed away, once the show was dead and he got to do whatever he wanted. Definitely the best on network television since The Prisoner or something. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a Saints fan, and 13-2 is a fucking awesome record. Joss has misstepped along the way, but always manages to blow me away at least a whole bunch before all was said and done. J.J. has entertained me a lot, but never really made me think. Lost is Damon Lindelof’s baby.
Joss Whedon’s most recent foray into network television, Dollhouse, has been as plagued as any of his prior efforts with reshoots, network interference, rumors of cancellation, and endless debates about the message being sent by its premise since before day one. I won’t rehash the premise of the series nor any of the old news that have been its numerous issues here, seeing as if you don’t know them already, you definitely aren’t interested in reading the rest of this. One thing I will say is: everything you’ve heard is most likely true.
Watch an episode of Dollhouse. Each one begins and ends with a series of tiny video squares rushing towards and away from the screen, respectively. Watch any video on Hulu. It begins with a slightly less intense, slightly slower and more comforting version of the exact same effect. Now, in a less obvious place, mouse over the Hulu video and take a look at your clickable options. Notice the shape of the “share” link — the five small circles connected to a center point by lines, arranged in a sort of upside down star pattern. Now look at where the Actives sleep in Dollhouse. Familiar?
Never mind that they both are vaguely reminiscent of inverted pentagrams, universally recognized as a symbol of the devil (although regular pentagrams are protection sygils). Did Joss Whedon subconsciously design his show with Hulu symbolism? Eliza was in the second major ad for the site, in their delightful ad campaign made up primarily of stars from shows that are going to do well online (30 Rock and Dollhouse do not have good ratings, but do excellently in “time-adjusted viewing”, and Family Guy was brought back on the air due to DVD sales, something they should have waited for when it came to Firefly). Or, did he plant subconscious connectors between his show and Hulu? Does he want us to watch it online this time? He’s mentioned that the networks are watching those numbers now, and Eliza says that may save the show.
Truly, if you’re going to put anything on Fridays, the Nielson ratings, which only actually correlate to 112,000 or so people in the entirety of the US (and its the type of people who get Nielson boxes), are essentially useless. Online, DVR, and DVD sales are much better tabulators, and they count every customer, as opposed to Nielson guesswork.
I suppose it comes down to, is Joss simply in the online mindset now, as he’s hinted whenever asked about new projects, or is it all a plot to take over the world, as Hulu suggests?
There have been many reviews of Dollhouse floating around the net lately, most of them negative, so I thought I’d chime in with my usual fair and balanced defense. Some issues that have been raised are how this show contradicts Joss’s feminism, the weakness of the engagement parts of the storyline, the lack of the regular Whedon family feeling, whether we’re rooting for anyone on the show, Eliza’s weakness in the lead, and the sustainability of the premise.