Dollhouse in Trouble?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Cain, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. FordSVT

    FordSVT Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On that we agree, ratings are not directly correlated to "quality", just as product sales figures do not indicate the best product. And what is "best" is going to be different on an individual basis.

    I've never said (and I know you weren't pointing at me) that his shows are crap because they have bad ratings, only that his programs don't appeal to the relatively broad audience necessary to keep a show on a major network, and in that case ratings are definitely relevant to the conversation. He's a geek with certain sensibilities that appeals to a narrow audience of devoted fans. I just wish they'd realize that instead of calling everyone else tasteless. And believe me, if you've run across a Browncoat on this board you've tasted that. Especially when Serenity hit theatres, that entire year was pretty bad. To say something bad about Whedon or any of his shows in the Sci-Fi forum was to invite the wrath of about a dozen posters, many of whom would skirt the line of warnable offences to give you their opinion of your opinion.

    "Post #827 about why the world is stupid and Fox is stupid for Serenity's failure", and "Ten reasons I can rationalize that Serenity was not a BO flop and there will be a sequel". Many of these conversations always led back to why the mainstream audience doesn't seem to love his work, and it's never about him, it's always about extraneous factors in some minds; that's what I was talking about.

    See Lindley's response in this current thread for a mild example of the "you obviously didn't get it but I'm sure if you watched it again with the right frame of mind you would" attitude. Not that Lindley was being hostile about it, he/she wasn't. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  2. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    Woo hoo! Jane Espenson (she of so many awesome Buffy episodes)? Steven S. DeKnight (ditto), albeit in his case only for one episode :( ?

    This should be a winner. I always love Joss' shows, and have enjoyed every one to date. I just pray Fox's interference doesn't mess up the quality of Dollhouse.
     
  3. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    I'll say it again: "Futurama" got it right when the Professor called them:

    "The new morons at FOX."

    And Joss is just sitting it there, making excuses over the changes the newtwork ordered and taking it. I hope he doesn't like his idea and characters too much.
     
  4. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

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    The more hostile responses tended to come from the anti-Serenity crowd, really. The fans were merely enthusiastic, not really hostile. Things did heat up a bit on both sides towards the end, but it was a mutual escalation. Unfortunate if a few folks not part of the build-up got caught in the crossfire.

    Frankly, that entire episode never made much sense to me. Everyone overreacted rather strongly on both sides.

    My theory: In a time when TV was fairly dull and Enterprise was a disappointment, Firefly provided a perfect storm----made all the more powerful by the combination of its own "underdog" message and its quick cancellation. There was something to point to, to say simultaneously "this is what's been missing", and when it was ended, "This is what's wrong with TV." Everyone knows there's something wrong with TV, but rarely has so obvious a rallying point presented itself.

    And the backlash? Well, I suppose it might have been just those who hadn't yet figured out there was a problem at all (or even liked Enterprise!), telling the neighbors to keep their campaign down to a dull roar. Plus a few trolls who fed on the misfortune of others.

    He.

    And if we say that, it's only because we believe it to be true. Since it's impossible to disprove and it is possible to gather supporting evidence, I see no harm in the belief.

    Those who drop Babylon 5 after 3 episodes have no clue of the depth and extent of the eventual tale, and possibly never will. Those who dismiss DS9 for "never going anywhere" are likewise unknowingly gypped. It's the same thing, really: The story is there, and the story is strong, and the characters are fun and constantly changing. What's not to like?

    A lot of times I can identify reasons why someone might not embrace a story or show. Things about it that could be off-putting. Certainly the whole "vampire" thing deflected my interest in B/A for years, and there are other aspects that fit this category: the low budget in season 1 primary among them.

    And they're all irrelevant in the grand scope. I see these tiny little objectionable things, and they're just so insignificant against the greater scope of what the shows do right......how can I believe other than I do regarding their "if only" appeal?

    For instance, Firefly's sense of scope never made sense. Hundreds of terraformable bodies and no FTL? But that's irrelevant next to the things it did right. The dust and horses thing? Certainly hard to get used to, but once you do, it's the signature look. I could go on.

    The only substantive reason I've ever heard for disliking Whedon's work is that some find his dialog grating. I'm not sure why; it's fairly normal 90% of the time. But that other 10% does crop up just enough that it could qualify as a problem to someone who didn't like it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  5. Bishbot

    Bishbot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's a similar experience to mine. When Buffy began on the BBC the promos made it look like a moronic children's show and, being of that age were children's programmes were of next to no interest to me (11, or maybe 12 :p) I didn't tune in until mid the second season, when, to my surprise, it turned out to be something else entirely. I'm not big into the whole vampire thing and probably never will be, in fact, I'm not usually a fan of Buffy's more vampire-centric episodes, so I rate Season 2 a little lower than most people do, and I heartily applauded how pathetic and weak your average vampire became by the end of the show.

    Firefly's idea appealed from the get-go but it never got an airing over here and I finally decided to pick up the DVDs only a couple of months before Serenity premiered, which was one of the happiest coincidences you can imagine, given how much I found I liked the show.

    As for the dialogue thing, I love it. I especially love Firefly's dialogue with its strange faux-historical syntax. It takes some getting used to, but it becomes almost lyrical, and the barbs are genuinely funny. As for Buffy and Angel well, I'm British, how do I know what American teenagers speak like? But if I they speak like that, I'm all for it. There probably is an argument that Whedon's dialogue is, on occasion, too clever by half, and it certainly stands out amidst the staginess and formality of say, Star Trek, but I've always found it to be a lot of fun.

    I was only around for the tailing off of the Serenity thing, but as far as I could see, the assessment that there were fanatics on both sides seems accurate. I've definitely seen enough "no-one watched Firefly and then no-one saw Serenity so they suck and always have done and so does Whedon and therefore retroactively Buffy and Angel and everything you've ever loved and you're too stupid to admit it" posts but there are also too many of the "you just don't get it" type as well. Probably that happened a lot because this stuff doesn't have its own forum, so the discussions happen here, and people who don't like it get irritated by the flood of threads about it when it lands. I mean, I don't like Stargate, so I avoid the Stargate forum, because its bound to be full of threads I disagree with.

    The problem is, while there are Whedon fans, there will always be Whedon bashers, and unfortunately, because his endeavours seem to be hitting snags lately, the bashers tend to feel the need to express themselves, and his fans become defensive, probably irrationally so.

    Perhaps the best thing to do would be to hope that Dollhouse is a success that lots of people (maybe even people that haven't liked his work before) can enjoy and not to judge it based on things that Whedon has rambled about on his blog or interpretations of his past work that aren't really born out by reality. (After all, how can you judge if dramatic events have enough buildup if you don't like the show enough to watch said buildup?)

    Christ, I've written a novel. Sorry for rambling so much. Erm.... Go Dollhouse!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  6. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    ^Actully Firefly did air over here, but it was on the Sci-Fi Channel. But I agree with pretty much everything else you said.
     
  7. Bishbot

    Bishbot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh yeah, I just had freeview at the time (still do). I didn't realise it had airred before Serenity came out.
     
  8. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Yeah, they aired it loads, I seem to remember they did a few marathons of it too, including the weekend Serenity was released. I believe it was one of their first shows to draw ratings as high as the movies at 10.
     
  9. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

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    "Lyrical" is a good description of Firefly's dialog. It's like poetry spoken straight sometimes....and yet it works.

    The notion that the dialog on Buffy and Angel is "teen-speak" is a common misconception, especially among those who haven't seen much. First off, Angel isn't a teen show. Second, Buffy only tried to use "real teen language" once---in the pilot. The scene in question is the most dated thing ever, and I'm glad they dropped that straight off.
     
  10. Top41

    Top41 Vice Admiral Moderator

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    At the end of the day, there are some people you're just not going to be able to sell on Whedon's stuff--people have differing tastes. And this is coming from a die-hard Whedon fan who thinks his shows are the most compelling and involving out there. Whedon is a genius in my book; at the same time, I understand not everyone thinks that way and his shows don't necessarily appeal to all viewers. Fair enough.

    As for Dollhouse, Whedon doesn't really have a choice but to find a way to work with FOX. You can't avoid the network, period. I'm looking forward to the show, and will go into it with the same open mind I did going into Firefly: it's something completely different from a writer whose work I love.
     
  11. man named Gorn

    man named Gorn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Dollhouse will debut Fridays @ 9pm - same timeslot as Firefly, if I am not mistaken.

    I officially HATE Fox now - that is the straw that broke the camel's back - I am DONE with that station for the rest of my life.
     
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  13. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Firefly aired at 8 and John Doe aired at 9 that year.
     
  14. OdoWanKenobi

    OdoWanKenobi Admiral Admiral

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    Well crap. Pretty much dead before it starts, then. Sigh, I wish Whedon had learned his lesson after Firefly.
     
  15. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wasn't too crazy about this show to begin with, but I'm sorry its not even going to get a chance to prove itself.
     
  16. I dont know, I saw that extended commercial/excerpts of Dollhouse MONTHs ago, i think they showed it during some trade show or some such thing. It really did look incredibly mediocre, maybe the show needed 'retooling'?
     
  17. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    SCC is dead no matter what and Kitchen Nightmares is cheap reality which would easily survive on friday nights so why not put Bones & Dollhouse on together for Thursday Nights. FFS if anything you get Dollhouse to air at 8pm to boost SCC since Dollhouse will have a bigger audience to begin with.

    Seriously why can't TV exec's never get there timeslots right especially frickin FOX.
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    The advertisers.

    They say what shows they want and what different amounts of money they will pay for air time depending on when it's airing on which day... Which means that some shows will never air in fortunate timeslots and some shows find it difficult to pay for their budget because there's no unconditional faith from the people with money.
     
  19. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I guess this is Fox's way of getting rid of two sci-fi series they don't really want anymore. I'm sorry, Joss. I hope you learn not to put your faith in Fox again.
     
  20. Bishbot

    Bishbot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've never understood why they'd want to "get rid of" a show they don't want. The series is being made, and Terminator is also continuing, the money is spent, why would it ever be in their best interest to stick them in a graveyard slot in order to force them off the air? Surely the hope is that the two shows will be good enough to win ratings in that difficult slot. I doubt they will, but I don't see why the people running Fox would feel the need to make the shows fail. If they don't think they're worth showing, why not just cancel production on them now?