Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He's Dead, Jim. Dollhouse Canceled

You heard it hear fifth, folks. Dollhouse just got the axe. The most positive spin on it can be found at Variety where they at least say that the remaining episodes will go to air.

This is one of those occasions where it's hard for me to be the one breaking the news. If it were Tara, she'd just let the show go quietly into that good night and Michelle... well, Michelle wouldn't write a post about this. But you've got me and that's... slightly unfortunate. I am genuinely sorry for the cast and crew and for all the people who were fans of the show. I do think the show deserved to be canceled though. It was a misstep for so many reasons, in my opinion. The concept was never going to be sustainable as an ongoing series, Eliza never quite nailed the part of Echo the way I'd wished she had, and Joss, clever though he is, has yet to learn that you have to work with the system if you are going to be a part of it. You know who else has a show whose ratings are in the toilet? J.J. Abrams. Fringe could get canceled but it probably won't because he knows how to listen to and work with network executives. That's a hard lesson to learn. Nobody likes to have their creative vision screwed with but such is the nature of the beast.

I'm sure we'll get some angry responses for this opinion so let me say that it is mine and mine alone. It doesn't reflect the opinions of Tara or Michelle. It really is a shame that so many hard working people have got to pack it in. I don't relish in that one jot but, for the sake of all involved, I hope that, once the smoke clears, they can all really evaluate the reasons why Dollhouse never took off other than "it's Fox's fault".

UPDATE: Here's the quote from Joss:

Hmm. Apparently my news is not news.

"I don't have a lot to say. I'm extremely proud of the people I've worked with: my star, my staff, my cast, my crew. I feel the show is getting better pretty much every week, and I think you'll agree in the coming months. I'm grateful that we got to put it on, and then come back and put it on again.

I'm off to pursue internet ventures/binge drinking. Possibly that relaxation thing I've read so much about. By the time the last episode airs, you'll know what my next project is. But for now there's a lot of work still to be done, and disappointment to bear.

Thank you all for your support, your patience, your excellent adverts. See you again. -j."


Ewan said...

Tragic. Whedon doesn't have much talent, which is readily apparent to anyone who is paying attention. This latest cancellation is just another indication of his mediocrity. He only has the following he has because of those Whedonphiles out there who walk in lock/step with his political ideology, and hence his every word and act. You know it (whether you want to admit it to yourself or not) and I certainly know it. It's pitiful and so very conformist (which is ironic, considering elitist uberliberals consider themselves at the forefront of all that is progressive and unique, but that's an entirely different topic we could spend all day on).
I'm very happy market forces put this latest example of Whedon nonsense in the gutter, where it belongs.
Perhaps Whedon should have agreed to contribute to a new Buffy movie, afterall that really is one of the few things he's ever done right.

Anonymous said...


First I will start by saying I love Joss's TV shows and some of his movies. I don't agree at all with his politics, but I don't play politics with my sci-fi and fanatasy stuff.
I think he is talented, but doesn't do things the way the TV execs want him to. They all seem to support shows that have no real content; that don't make you think, but only hynotize you and reveal everything about the characters and plot within the first 3 eps. I can't stand that stuff, especially those half hour comedies and realtiy shows that, oddly, seem to do really well.

As for doing another Buffy movie, from everything I have read, he was not even invited into that foray.

Try not to be so mean spirited in your comments next time, ok?

Damien Valentine said...

The best thing to come from this is Joss now turning his attention to more web video. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed Dollhouse so far, it's a very unique show but I am looking forward to seeing what he'll do next (hopefully more Dr Horrible).

Tara said...

I'm pretty sad since I do think it takes Joss some time to hit a character stride and I really thought it was about to turn a corner. I LOVED the last episode. Loved it.

I'm mostly pissed that FOX sacrified T:SCC for DH, though, knowing full well that it prolly wouldn't make it.

And really, what the fuck, Ewan? Stop bashing us and our readers. As you can tell from this very post, we are not all simpleton Whedon worshippers here...we are fans of the fiction because most of it is fabulous. The end.

Anonymous said...

Oh No! I was just getting into it!

Ewan said...

You're certainly an exception in the "Whedonverse." I really hate that term, by the way. It's enough to make any intelligent person weak in the knees. As I've said before, Whedon sycophants irritate and bore me because they are so dull around the edges. AirborneVet, I shall try to take your advice and be nicer in future comments. I actually think I'm quite nice, but some people just can't handle the truth, and invariably resort to nastiness in an attempt to negate what they intuitively know is true. AirborneVet, I really appreciate your honest comments.

I don't criticize en masse. I only criticize those that deserve to be criticized. It's a mitzvot. And as for most of Whedon's fiction being fabulous (your word), get real. Your vested interest is all too visible. Excluding zombie-like minimal brain activity Whedon zealots, it's quite obvious what the rest of humanity thinks of Joss Whedon and his talent, or lack thereof.
My personal opinion is in line with Shlomo's. Whedon got lucky with Buffy, and the rest of his stuff mostly sucks. Hence, the Dollhouse cancellation, a word Whedon is all too familiar with.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was the eternal optimist on this one, but I can't say I was surprised to see Dollhouse get cancelled. I am a little surprised to see someone who clearly doesn't like Joss reading and commenting at Buffyfest, though. I mean, why bother? The only real reason I see for your comments is because you are a bully who likes to kick people when they're already down.

It's no secret that I'm a Joss worshipper and I pretty much love everything he's ever done. Apparently that makes me stupid and liberal. I can assure you, Evan, I am neither. I'm a professional and also a Conservative party committeeperson.

But it doesn't matter cause you just want to be a jerk. Well, so far, you're doing a great job.

Emily said...

Whoa Ewan. Why are you saying that on a place that is filled with whedonites. I knew from a mile away you were going to get attacked. By the way, why ARE you on a blog that is filled with whedonites and buffy lovers if you think he has no talent? Also, have you given Firefly a chance? It is written by him and I think it is fantastic -and I normally dislike space ship shows-. No, I do not know and do not need to admitt it to myself that he is terrible because I think that he is a talented writer. I can respect your opinion if you will not bash mine.

Be nicer next time and don't make fun us of because some of us "Whedonphiles" are actually open to other people's ideas.

Ewan said...

Thank you for your question. Why do I visit Buffyfest? First and foremost, I really enjoy irritating Tara. It brings me much joy. Just joking, kids. Okay, maybe not. Second, I'm here because I'm a gargantuan fan of the Buff. Just as big as anyone here. Huge. Monumental. Me, my lifelong pal, and his brat brother have been watching Buffy for years and years. We really truly love the show.
Emily, I have tried Firefly. It, like Whedon's other piles of subpar fluff, sucks. Firefly is horrendous. Truly. Guess that's why it didn't even last an entire season. But hey, you'll have Whedon zealots defend it to the death. Kinda tells you something, doesn't it?
Emily, I can tell you're a sweetness. Therefore, you're cool with me. You've definitely earned the Ewan Seal of Approval.

Hey, thanks for that hardcore posting. I'm lovin' it.

I've got a bone to pick with you. I noticed you didn't include any Jewish themed Holiday swaps, but only Christmas/Christian type stuff. I'm going to be honest with you, this type of exclusivity really hurt my feelings, and even though he wouldn't ever say anything because he's far too classy to do so, it hurt Shlomo's feelings, as well. We're not going to tell Alex B. about it, even though he comes back in a couple weeks. You really hurt our feelings by excluding us. :-(

Emily said...

I laughed out loud at how I'm a sweetness. Why thank you Ewan ;) I will wear my seal of approval with pride. As for firefly, yes that's your opinion and yes some of us will defend it but if that's how you feel then I doubt anything I say or do can change that. I mean, at least you've given it a chance.

I still think you're first post was mean but I guess I can get over it if you love Buffy so much. ;) I'm not saying I agreed with what you did on here, but I'm able to get over it if you will take Airborne's advice and be a tad nicer.

I just realized that I never got around to talking about Dollhouse! In my honest opinion, I would have not watched it if Joss or Eliza had not been on it. I would have been gone the second episode of season 1. If that make me a Whedonphile, which I'm thinking in Ewan's terms it does, well I'm the coolest creep ever. I'm not bashing it, I'm just saying it was not my cup of tea. I have not seen any of season 2 yet, but I have heard the last episode with Sierra was good. So I am sad that it was cancelled but I can't say I'm surprised. I never really excpected a season 3. Maybe Joss will be able to move onto something bigger andd better now.

Anonymous said...

Ewan, clearly you're a jerk with a sense of humor. Glad to hear you love BtVS; sorry you don't get other Joss-ness, but I guess its not a prerequisite for life. Although it should be. I can play nice if you can.

Actually, I really can't. Once I got a work review that said "Does not play well with others." Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Ewan and other fellow Buffyfest readers,

I thought you all might like this.

It combines two of my favorite topics- Joss Whedon and Psychology, or more specifically, neuropsychology.

Ewan said...

Emily and buffygroupie,
Alas, we are united through our love of Buffy and the Scoobs. Life is good. And bg, concerning that work review, are you one of those conservatives with attitude? I'm betting you are.

Thank you for that link. I love when Buffy is linked to science, art, or the humanities. But at the end of the day, scholastic implications aside, the only thing that really matters is what Buffy means to us on an individual basis. Don't you agree? I can't believe the author named his son after Captain Malcolm. I'm betting next year's salary he's definitely another Whedon weirdo.

Emily said...

Hey I'm named after Emily of New Moon! What's wrong with naming your kids after TV characters?

Hehe yes, I know what's wrong with it. I just thought I'd throw that out there. I've got to agree with Ewan on this one (nobody attack me please) naming your kid after Captain Malcom is in my opinion, going a little too far. I do want to name one of my children Anya though. Not after the character (Can you picture with my genes and that name what kind of crazy literal comments she would make?!)but just because I honestly love the name. Buffy was just the first time I heard it.

lol Buffygroupie. I love reading your comments on here. I always agree with them and like the way you put stuff.

Anonymous said...

Well, since the name thing has been thrown out there, I must confess. I named my son Alexander Rupert. We call him Xander. It helps that my mom's side of the family is British and I was told that this is a good British name. ;-)

Ewan said...

That's a solid name. Quite beautiful, actually. They say a name gives a child something to live up to, and if that's true your son should have lofty goals, indeed. Thanks for sharing that.

Jamie said...


I'm going to have to disagree. I do think Whedon is talented, granted, maybe not as talented as alot of us make him out to be, but talented. I think both Buffy and Angel had great storylines throughout their run (well, the majority of them, some are definite misses, but most tv shows definitely have missed storylines), and I think Firefly had the most well-rounded cast of characters of any television show ever.

So my main question is exactly why do you think Firefly sucks? If you didn't like it, I can accept that, some things aren't for everyone. But I honestly think it's a cleverly-written piece of fiction that unfortunately didn't get to live to its full potential, and this was me watching it without knowing it was made by Whedon.

To summarize this long winded post, cause I think I've mostly rambled as I've been watching something at the same time, calling Whedon untalented is harsh when he clearly has written good fictional stories before. To say he is overrated might be a point you would be able to argue, to say he isn't talented just isn't true.

Ewan said...

Words are everything, and you're right. Whedon does have some talent, considering he did such a bang up job on Buffy. Overrated is a much more appropriate word. Highly overrated.
As for why I don't like Firefly, there are several reasons. Cast, characters, storyline, acting, etc. I think the show has been propped up by Whedon zealots to make it more than it really is. But as you said, each to his own. Some things aren't for everyone.

Jamie said...

What specifically is wrong with the cast, characters, storyline or acting though?

I could buy you just not enjoying it because it's not your niche, but such a vague statement really implies to me that you dislike it for the sake of disliking it.

Ewan said...

I was running late for lab, so I didn't have time to adequately respond to your question the other day. Sorry. Also, I don't see anything wrong when one dislikes something for the sake of disliking it, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else. We might intuitively feel something without having a logical roadmap as to why, and that is okay.
At any rate, I really disliked most of the characters. Jayne, River, Hoban, Zoe, Simon, and definitely Shepherd. I liked Inara the prostitute, or, as future Whedon political correctness would have it, the "Companion." I liked how they took our views of prostitution and turned them upside down, to make a morally reprehensible act of desperation look not so horrible. Noble, even. Now that I think about it, maybe I don't like her all that much. Ha. I do like her, mainly because of the pro-freedom and anti-authority (contemporary aspect) aspects of her role. But that's about it. The Captain is okay, as well. He's nothing special, however. Fiction is full of heros.
The storyline was a complete bore. A friend of mine thinks Firefly is a quasi ripoff of Star Trek Voyager, and he's probably right. Nothing new under the sun here. Combined with the lackluster acting, and Scotty, we have a problem. Compare it with other beloved shows (like Buffy) and anyone who is paying attention might very well agree with me that the acting leaves a lot to be desired. I actually think the acting is horrendous. But since I'm not a drama professor, that's my intuitive opinion.
Jamie, all-in-all, I simply think Firefly sucked. Didn't even make it an entire season. There might be exceptions, and no doubt there are, but it's my opinion that Joss is backed by a legion of conformists who follow his every word because, for them, he validates their contemporary ideas about the world at large. That irritates me, and I must admit I go into every Whedon endeavor thinking of all those sophomoric Whedon sycophants drooling with anticipation at his every move. So, considering my very hostile stance concerning this subject, I concede to the possibility I might just be biased.
So there you have it.
Hope this post adequately, or semi-adequately, answers your questions this time around.

Jamie said...

It actually didn't. It was a longer rant of what you already said. That you didn't like them. You didn't state why, or what exactly about them. The only thing you really elaborated on is which characters you hated more than others, and once again, with no real reasons listed (other than Inara).

This conversation comes off as, "I hate this show."
"IT sucks."
"Because I hate it."
"Because it sucks."

Repeat ad nauseum.

And the problem with disliking something for the sake of disliking it is that you honestly cannot criticize the show one bit when you merely dislike it for the sake of disliking it.
Once again, your vague answers makes me think that you haven't really given the show a chance, or went into the show with the intention of not liking it and thus, did not like it.

I'm not a rabid fan, like I've said before, feel free to dislike the show. I have friends that have seen a couple episodes with me, didn't suit their taste, and thus moved on. I get that. But I feel like you are one of those people, yet criticizing elements of the show and basing yourself in a subject you have no real understanding of.

It's one thing to not like a show. It's another to try and make a critical standpoint with no real jurisdiction (and sorry for the strange word choice, but the first word that popped into my mind) on the subject matter.

If you want to say the show sucks, prove it. Prove that the storylines are flawed, boring and full of plot holes or whatever. Prove that the characters are written poorly, that they're one-dimensional, and consistently written out of their personality. Prove that the acting is bad, give examples from the text, give me an example of when the actors made a scene cringe-worthy and damn near-impossible to watch. Give examples from the text where there plot didn't work thematically, the metaphors and meanings of the subtext fail the story as a whole.
All you're giving me is "I don't like it."

You've shown you disliked it. You have failed to show that it sucks.

I'm sorry if this seems crazy Whedonite-y. I do like Whedon, and I will defend him (most of the time, there are certain storylines of Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse that I will agree he fucked upp 100%). So when you say a show that I find incredibly well-written, intelligent, with actors who I think do their job very well giving life to an amazingly well-rounded cast of characters, sucks. I say prove it. I'm not unwavering in my views, I can see why things I like are poorly written in areas, or have weak points, but you have just failed to show that. (For example, I like Dollhouse, but the mass amount of criticism towards the show is for the most part, true, and I can see the merit their point has.)

End rant.

Ewan said...

One can't prove a subjective, unless there is promise of future empirical accuracy. Since drama/fiction isn't an empirical science, I can't "prove" anything. The best I, or anyone else, can do is give opinion as to why one likes or dislikes this show. Nothing more. If you deem my opinions insufficient, that's quite alright. Opinions vary, as exemplified by the diversity of opinion on this thread. Excluding Whedon lapdogs, seems like majority opinion is in my favor, considering the series went down in flames.
I dislike the show, and therefore think it sucks. Whether it sucks or not, let the individual viewers decide (they already did, and that's why it's off the air).

Whether it's the ridiculous notion of Chinese and American governmental fusion, the ripoff of better space survival sagas, the idea that clergy (and hence contemporary religion) will still be around 500 years from now, the exodus of excess human population to other planets, the glorification of prostitution, or the utter lack of confidence in the individual, this show hits rock bottom. Firefly is all about facing similar struggles we face today, only hundreds of years from now. I have too much faith in humanity (and more importantly the individual) to think we will not have evolved (spiritually, morally, and ethically) to solve the problems that bind and shackle contemporary progress via the show's timeline. A very tired and worn out plot in the sci-fi world. Whedon's vision (or lack thereof) fails in all of these respects.

The characters suck. The Tam storyline is doltish. I do hope by the time we have mastered space travel, we will likewise have come to the point where we will no longer feel the need to experiment on human beings. I seriously doubt there'll be this sort of human experimentation 500 years from now. Come on. Scientific progress has by and large obviated this notion even in our contemporary world. Then there's Shepherd. Why is he even in the show? Anachronistic, to say the least.
The acting. A lot to be desired. The character interdependencies don't work for me, either. I certainly don't get that chill or that involuntary smile with these gems like I did with the Buffy crew. Know what I mean? And the show's introduction music. It's just about as bad as Angel's. Awful. Totally cringe worthy, but I can't really count that against the show.

What else can I say? The show sucks. My opinion, Jamie. Nothing more. Whedon isn't what he's cracked up to be. He got lucky with Buffy, and the only reason Angel lasted as long as it did was because of Buffy. We all know it. Whedon whackos had a lot to do with Dollhouse lasting more than one season and everything to do with Firefly's post-broadcast success. What can I say? Since I think for myself, and don't need Whedon to make me feel good about how I view the world, I don't have a vested interest in seeing his shows succeed, regardless of how lousy they are.
Take care and thanks for forcing me to think a little, Jamie.

Jamie said...

That was the response I was looking for. Thank you for actually outlining your problem with the series instead of the vague non-answers of before. Granted, I disagree whole-heartedly, but I can see why someone would dislike the things you dislike.

I, who has little to no faith in people and where we push ourselves, find the story an interesting outlook on the future.
So now I will be happy to agree to disagree.

Emily said...

Whedon to stop with the name calling Ewan? As I said, you can have your opinion, but that does not mean you have to stereotype every person who happens to like Joss's work. It's hurtful, mean and immature. Tell us your opinions, but leave the middle school playground bullying antics behind.