Return to the Dollhouse

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by DigificWriter, May 19, 2013.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Story (as per this suggestion).

    For reference, here's the order in which I'll be watching and reviewing Season 2:
    Vows
    Belle Chose
    Instinct
    Belonging
    The Public Eye
    The Left Hand
    Meet Jane Doe
    A Love Supreme
    Stop-Loss
    The Attic
    Getting Closer
    The Hollow Men
    Epitaph One
    Epitaph Two: The Return
     
  2. SAndrews10

    SAndrews10 Captain Captain

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    Personally I think it adds something in Season 2 to know half the bookend of the series and where things will eventually go.
     
  3. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, it's pointless and ultimately not even that important. However, Ghost to Omega is only a broadcast season and personally I don't care so much about that, production is what matters to me and in that case Epitaph One is the season finale. Personally I don't care about forced chronological order, some fans put too much importance on that.

    I also agree with SAndrews10 that seeing the events of Epitaph One before season 2 adds something, I can't say more because I don't want to spoil anything but I think it's a very powerful episode and it's perfect at the end of season 1.
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yea, I've never seen Epitaph One, myself, because I recorded from TV Broadcast onto DVDs. So, when I do rewatch it, my intention is to get the Season 1 DVDs and watch Epitaph One in it's proper slot, and then Watch Epitaph one a second time right before Epitaph Two
     
  5. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    I have a little extra money, so I'm thinking of getting Dollhouse. I loved Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. While I wasn't a huge fan of Faith in Buffy, I don't think that having the same actress in Dollhouse will really effect what I think of the show. I did say the premise sounds stupid, but like someone pointed out, so does the premise of a cheerleader killing vampires. But, I also heard someone say this starts out completely different from a Joss Whedon show, and it being a Joss Whedon show is the reason I'm interested. I don't expect it to be another Buffy or anything, I'm just wondering if people would reccomend it to a fan of Whedon's stuff like myself.
     
  6. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ The show's early episodes are largely devoid of Joss' stylistic trademarks, but that's a plus rather than a negative because it gives the show an identity that is unique in his pantheon of works.

    As for the question of 'to watch or not to watch', I definitely say 'watch'.
     
  7. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    I ordered it. While it seems to be a mixed bag with what people think (Some love it, some really don't) it was only about $10 with shipping, and I do like Whedon, so it will probably end up being worth it. I've been wanting to give it a shot for awhile, and it was cheap enough where it won't be a huge deal if its not very good. Still, looking at (non spoiler) reviews and trailers on youtube, it looks interesting, or atleast has the potential to be, so I think its atleast worth checking out.
     
  8. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, the writers had a reason why they made it a season 1 finale, and I think it worked really well that way and added a lot of season 2. I don't get the insistence on viewing everything chronologically, instead of the production order, which is how the creators wanted to episodes to be seen.
     
  9. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For me, it's a personal choice; nothing more, nothing less.
     
  10. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk55555, there's a lot of misogyny early on in Dollhouse, that turn a number of viewers off. The misogyny is important to the story and things do change in S2. I can't think of anything aside from possibly the early misogyny (Judging by things you've been disappointed by in your other posts) that would irritate you in Dollhouse, but, I think you'd enjoy the story overall if you stick with it.

    Oh yea, and Nolan wrote and directed it, and Chiana is the Co-Star (Jus' Kiddin' ;) )
     
  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I never got a misogynistic vibe from any of the episodes in Season 1, although there is certainly a high level of questionable ethics and moral ambiguity present, which, incidentally, ultimately works to the series' advantage, at least IMO.

    Incidentally, I'm in the process of watching Belle Chose, and should be back with my reviews of it and its predecessor, Vows, sometime tomorrow.
     
  12. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not getting the mysogyny accusation either. :shrug:
     
  13. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm back with reviews of Vows and Belle Chose.

    Vows
    It's not often that you find a situation in a Joss Whedon show where a season finale is so well-written and executed that it puts the writer and/or director of the next season's premiere episode at a disadvantage, and its also not often that said writer or director ends up being Joss himself, but that's what happened with Omega and Vows.

    Don't get me wrong: Vows is a great episode and premiere; it just doesn't and can't match Omega.

    As I was watching the episode, I couldn't help thinking that it represented exactly what you would've gotten if Joss had written True Lies - especially the parts of the movie featuring Eliza - and was also reminded of the 2008 film version of Get Smart.

    It's also representative of everything that typifies Joss' storytelling style from the structure to the dialogue, and gives most of the cast a lot of excellent material to work with, although Amy Acker's arc stands out the most, as Joss once again gives her material that lets her grab ahold of the audience's emotions, material that she then again knocks out of the park.

    The only downside to the episode - and the thing that ultimately drags it down a bit - is that there are parts of the climax that are downright confusing.

    I'm giving the episode a 9.5 rating in spite of the more-than-slightly confusing ending because of the strength of the character moments and because it was genuinely a great ep even if it couldn't match the quality of Omega.

    Belle Chose
    This episode felt a lot like two of Tim Minear's ANGEL episodes - Sonnambulist and Are You Now or Have You Ever Been - mixed with a typical episode of CSI or Law and Order: SVU, and, while not nearly as good as Omega, was still a great example of Minear at his best.

    I have to say that I really wanted to see Paul's reaction to Echo's tryst with the college professor, especially after his ill-disguised discomfort in the scene where he's being briefed on its particulars, and was slightly disappointed when he was pulled off the job at the last second by Boyd, although I understand why it needed to happen in light of what Gopher discovered about the comatose Terry Karrens and did lead to one of the funnier exchanges I've seen in a Joss Whedon series when Paul makes fun of Karrens' full name.

    When I read the description of the episode, I was expecting something entirely different when it came to Victor and Echo's Imprints meeting, and was consequently caught completely off-guard by the twist of Terry ending up in Echo's body and the Kiki persona ending up in Victor, and have to give props to Minear for surprising me.

    Belle Chose was a great followup to Vows - and should've been presented as such both initially and on the DVD release - and earns a 9.5 rating from me.
     
  14. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    If it gets good, I can handle stuff like the misogyny. I was on the fence about getting it, but the more I saw of trailers (non spoilers), the more I got interested. It definately seems like something I could like, and if anyone could make this concept into an entertaining show, its Joss Whedon.

    With Nolan, after seeing Memento and Inception, even if he was involved I couldn't call it an automatic failure (damn him for making two awesome movies :klingon:). As for Chiana...that would be a deal breaker :rommie:
     
  15. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm back with reviews of Instinct and Belonging.

    Instinct
    I touched on this briefly in my review of Belle Chose, but I have a hard time figuring out why this episode was left out-of-order when Season 2 was released on DVD, because Echo's character arc and the evolution thereof really doesn't make nearly as much sense as it does when this episode is viewed in the order it was shot as opposed to the order in which it was originally aired.

    This episode is really the first opportunity we have to see Paul actively filling his role as Echo's handler, but we really don't see him serving in that capacity in the same fashion as we'd seen Boyd and other Handlers do in previous episodes. In fact, most of Paul's role as Echo's handler in this episode is conveyed through his interaction with Topher and in his conversation with her at the conclusion of the episode, which really isn't so much about their relationship as it is about his goal of taking down the Dollhouse from within and freeing her and everyone else.

    As I was watching the episode, it dawned on me that this is really the first episode of the series not to feature a 'B' plot, which actually makes a lot of sense and works very well given the structure of the episode and its 'A' plot, which is entirely driven by and focused on Echo, with Eliza Dushku delivering what I think is her best performance of the series to date, with a standout scene sequence for me being her confrontation with Nate Jordan in his kitchen as the 'wiped' Echo.

    Ratings-wise, I give this one a 9.7, and reiterate that I'm really not sure why it wasn't restored to its proper place on the DVD because it wouldn't have been nearly as good or resonant had I watched it in the order in which it was originally aired.

    Belonging
    I said back when I reviewed Echoes that I'd fallen in love with Topher Brink's character, and this episode only reinforced that. Fran Kranz knocked one out of the park with his performance in this episode, proving that he's more than just the 'funny guy'.

    Dichen Lachman was also excellent in this episode, particularly in the shower scene with Victor and in the episode's closing moments with Topher.

    Previous episodes of the series have dealt with and featured interconnected story threads or character elements, but not to the same degree as this episode, and never without an accompanying 'Previously on Dollhouse' recap segment. I was particularly struck by the very subtle reveal that Sierra being chosen to be the 'avatar' for Topher's birthday companion in Haunted wasn't as random as it might've seemed; there's a bond between the two of them that, like Sierra's connection to Victor, goes deeper than anything that the Dollhouse's technology can reach, and this episode makes that crystal-clear by showing us that Topher is actually more or less responsible for her being in the Dollhouse in the first place. The episode also evoked for me echoes (no pun intended) of the scenes between Saunders and Topher in Vows, and Topher's connection to Siera as explored and revealed in this episode actually seems to be on many levels the antithesis of what we see with regards to him and Saunders/Whiskey in that episode.

    If there's one thing I disagreed with about the episode, it's Adelle's insistence that Topher has no morals; I don't think it's consistent with what we've been shown about his character through the course of the first season and the first 3 episodes of this season, and, if anything, is totally at odds with the depiction of his character in those 15 episodes.

    The 'B' plot involving Echo was seemingly inconsequential and unconnected to the rest of the episode, which was about revealing Sierra's past and exploring her connection to Topher, but this isn't the first time that an episode of Dollhouse has featured a 'B' plot that didn't seem like it had much to do with the 'A' plot yet still managed to tell us things that are important in the grander scheme of things, which is exactly what happens here. The most significant things for me about Echo's role in this ep are the fact that she instigated Topher's investigation into Sierra's repeated engagements with Nolan, and that she revealed the fact that she's more or less lucid to Boyd.

    I was also struck with the thought that, as originally aired, Echo's role in this episode really needs to be viewed directly on the heels of her character arc in Instinct, which only adds to the confusion as to why the correct order of things wasn't restored when Season 2 was released on DVD and Belle Chose and Instinct were left out-of-order.

    I'm giving this ep a 9.8, and it's currently my favorite of the season.
     
  16. Halmirdax

    Halmirdax Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I liked Dollhouse, it was brave in its subject content (probably put a lot of people off.)
    But I wouldn't have said it was better than Firefly. Firefly was elaborate in its storytelling and effective, with only one season it delivered one hell of a punch.

    Dollhouse was dealing with big issues and had two season to move somewhere, but it didn't feel like that happened. It was a series of wake up, dress slutty, fall asleep, with bits of great plot intermittently. Surprising ending to be sure, cut off before it reached its prime? Definitely. It had some loveable characters.
     
  17. SAndrews10

    SAndrews10 Captain Captain

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    I loved Dollhouse, and I TRIED.SO.HARD to like Firefly and it just didn't work for me. Sorry Joss, I did try.
     
  18. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Firefly didn't work for me, either. I feel really bad about it, but it just didn't do anything for me.
     
  19. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ You've got no reason to be sorry; not everything Joss has done is going to appeal to everybody; I personally have no interest in Dr. Horrible despite being a huge fan of Joss' works.

    I inadvertently spoiled myself on some of the details of The Public Eye, but that didn't adversely affect my enjoyment of it (more on that when I post my reviews).
     
  20. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do like Dr. Horrible, but I don't love it, and I wouldn't call myself a fan as I would about his other TV shows.

    One thing that Joss has done that I really detest (apart from certain episodes he's written and certain plotlines he's come up with or okayed) is the comic Sugarshock. (I also dislike Alien Resurrection, but Joss has talked about his dissatisfaction with it, and I don't know how much of my dislike is due to his script and how much to other aspects.)* But the things I love or like are certainly in the majority.

    *I'm not counting the Buffy movie - Joss' script was good, but it's very different from what ended up in the movie, and I don't consider the movie his work.
     

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