Tag Archives: Dollhouse

A Few Thoughts

“Epitaph Two” was certainly a finale.

I mean that in the sense that it really ended the story. So, in that way, it was highly successful. I’s dotted, T’s crossed, arcs completed, et cetera et cetera.

That said, I gotta say, it was not my favorite Whedon finale.

Mostly because it was just too neat and tidy and, frankly, kind of lame.

I’ve said “it hurts me to say this” before. But seriously this time. Criticizing the sadly premature Dollhouse finale brings me real emotional pain. Because if I put on my Critical Analysis Hat, it really was lacking.

Let me break my reasoning down into characters.

  1. Alpha. I’m sorry, but WHAT THE FUCK. I’m sure this is a development that would have been expanded and explained had the series continued long enough. But given the information we had at the time of the finale, this was just gross. Making Alpha one of the good guys? Having him be the engineer of Echo’s happiness at the end of it all? I love Alan Tudyk, but I don’t love him so much that I want him to come in and throw the narrative stream halfway to hell.
  2. Sierra and Victor. Actually, I had the least complaint about this one. Oddly, their relationship is possibly the most complicated and most developed in the entire show. Yeah, the tied-up ending with them happy with the kid was pretty cheesy. But sweet. And it more or less made sense.
  3. Topher. As with Alpha, this is just something that really needed more series to make sense. We could see the seeds of this personality transition in him. But where we left off right before “Epitaph Two” was a far reach from self-sacrifice in the interest of all humanity. One thing I will say: Fran Kranz is freaking genius in the finale, and in the series as a whole and he really should get more recognition for it.
  4. Paul Ballard. He unfortunately fell victim to the golden rule of Whedon series: the faithful male lover of the strong female heroine must always die. (Seriously, it happens EVERY TIME: Angel, Spike, Wash, even Wesley and Doyle could count here.) So that was a predictable, but solid choice. Not so kosher: putting him in Echo’s head. I’m sorry, but when did the Whedon team decide that happy endings were necessary? CORNY CORNY CORNY CORNY EW. Do not approve.

I feel like “Epitaph Two” was mostly an exercise in showing everyone exactly how much Dollhouse needed to go on longer. The hints we saw of the things that would happen – character transitions in Topher and Adelle, the tech-heads, the Priya/Tony relationship, the Echo/Paul relationship, Mag and Zone – were just enough to prove that having them not occur is a tragic thing. There is no doubt in my mind that Dollhouse would have grown into a mindblowingly amazing show had it run its full course. But, sadly, that was not the case due to network politics and a slow start.

As for how it all ended, my final verdict is that this finale was just not up to standard for Whedon series finales. Even Firefly‘s “Objects In Space,” which was not planned as a finale, was more effective, I feel, in terms of summarizing themes but leaving the right amount of openended-ness (if you consider Serenity to be the finale of Firefly, I’d say the success is even greater). The main problem with “Epitaph Two” was that it was name-appropriate. It really doesn’t feel like there’s that much story left. I just don’t care about the aftermath. It feels done. Closed. Self-contained.

Maybe that works for some people. But I feel like it took a different stance from the series. The end was too much of a fairytale.

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This Week 1/25 to 1/31

Tonight:
8pm – Chuck on NBC
8pm – House on FOX
9pm – Heroes on NBC
9pm – 24 on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
10pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Southland on TNT

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – Leverage on TNT

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
9pm – Fringe on FOX
10pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

FRIDAY:
8pm – Dollhouse (SERIES FINALE) on FOX
9pm – Caprica on SyFy

Once again, this is the SERIES FINALE of Dollhouse. It’s called “Epitaph Two: Return.” I am simultaneously majorly excited and extremely sad.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Jon Hamm and Michael Buble) on NBC

SUNDAY:
8pm – Grammy Awards on CBS

I am still/again sick. And I still don’t have internet OR television service, so it’s not even particularly useful. STILL, I am trying my utmost to fulfill minimum blogbligations (e.g. Reaction Time on Tuesday). Also coming THIS WEEK (no, really!) Hindsight: BSG. Woo!

IN OTHER NEWS: It is my brother’s birthday. He doesn’t read this blog, so this is sort of an empty gesture, but it’s the thought that counts? HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER.

Dollhouse: A Non-Review

I’m gonna say it straight up (again): Joss Whedon is basically my god.

Why?

Because he makes me feel insanely stupid.

Obviously, this is the reason why I haven’t been writing weekly reviews about Dollhouse. I know I am absolutely not capable of gleaning any meaningful amount of understanding or analysis from a given episode until the very end of a story arc concludes, at which point the knowledge falls under the “duh” category. Take for instance, the current Dollhouse elephant in the room: BOYD IS THE BAD GUY.

Until halfway through “Getting Closer,” I had absolutely no idea. And at that point my knowledge was only intuitive. I couldn’t have told you that he was going to be The Big Bad, I just wasn’t surprised when the final reveal took place. (Outraged, scandalized, horrified, and shouting at the television, yes. Even shocked, but not genuinely surprised.) Why? Because Joss Whedon et al are freaking INGENIOUS. This is not a plot twist grabbed out of the air to make the end of the season (read: show) all the more WowAmazing. They have been laying the groundwork since the first episode. It’s only now that I’m realizing it. I mean, really, think about it:

  • at the very beginning of the show, Adelle mentions how Boyd just sort of showed up out of the blue. We note this is suspicious, but then more suspicious things occur and we sort of forget/we get used to the idea that Boyd is just a nice guy drawn into the situation. This thinking is later reinforced by Paul following (what we assume to be) more or less the same pass.
  • Harry Lennix has always been the second individual listed in the credits. Again, this is just confusing/forgotten because we constantly assume Paul is the more important character.
  • Boyd always knows. We have no idea how he always knows, but he always knows. And, while Adelle gets called out for her minor(ish) indiscretions by Rossum folk, Boyd disposes of the body of a client killed by a Doll and he gets away with it.
  • and then there’s the whole shitload of dropped hints in “Getting Closer” and the episodes directly previous, but I’m sure you can figure those out.

And the ingeniousness isn’t just Boyd-related. I mean, Fran Kranz listed third in the credits? Topher? Suddenly makes sense in “The Hollow Men” when Topher’s character (and by that I mean his personality, not necessarily his person) drives the entire episode. Did you notice that? How Topher’s personality allowed for every manipulation/progression in that storyline (contained within the episode AND leading up to it, no less)?

This is the thing that I cannot find the words to describe. The thing that makes Joss Whedon and his teams so very good. They are master storytellers. Master and commanders of The Slow Build. All the inbetween stuff is good too (the humor, the romances, the smaller hidden agendas). But the overarching storylines that always make sense but are never predictable – those are the masterpieces.

They’re also the unfortunate downfall. Because it takes a particular type of appreciation of and patience for that to watch series that work that way. The average network television viewer doesn’t necessarily have those qualities. And that’s part of why networks are so reluctant to pick up shows like Dollhouse. It’s kind of a Catch-22 sort of situation. There really isn’t away to resolve that conflict of interests. Which is just a damn shame for all of us.

(Since this is sort of a review of “Getting Closer” but not really, I’m also gonna throw out some major kudos for Amy Acker. She really does not get enough recognition for the amount of talent that she has.)

“Epitaph Two: Return” is NOT coming next week because FOX is hosting a Telethon for Haiti (see, the networks aren’t ALWAYS evil). But the end is still nigh. Tune in in two weeks, and bring your hanky.

This Week 1/11 to 1/17

I WAS SO CLOSE TO POSTING THIS ON TIME. BUT I WAS RE-CHECKING TIMES/DATES AND CHUCK STARTED AND I HAD TO RELEGATE FINISHING THE SCHEDULE TO COMMERCIAL BREAKS.

Tonight:
9pm – Chuck (Two-hour season 3 premiere!) on NBC
9pm – Battlestar Galactica: The Plan on SyFy

GodDAMN don’t I wish I could watch both.

MONDAY:
8pm – House on FOX
8pm – Chuck (Timeslot premiere!) on NBC
9pm – Fringe on FOX
9pm – Heroes on NBC
10pm – Castle on ABC

I do not know why Fringe is in this timeslot.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
10pm – Southland (Network premiere!) on TNT

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS
10pm – Leverage (Midseason return!) on TNT

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
9pm – Fringe on FOX
10pm – Project Runway (Season 7 premiere!) on Lifetime

So Fringe is ALSO today. This week’s Bones is called “The X in the File,” which is awesome. And Project Runway returns to New York. Hopefully that is just the first of many ways the show is going to bring itself back from the disaster that was Season 6.

FRIDAY:
10pm – Dollhouse on FOX

Well then. I guess FOX changed its mind on the whole two-episodes-a-week thing. That’s okay, because that’ll stretch it just a liiiittle longer. Which is totally cool.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm РSaturday Night Live (Sigourney  Weaver and the Ting Tings) on NBC

NEXT SUNDAY:
8pm – Human Target (Series pilot!) on FOX
9pm – 24 (Two-hour Season 8 premiere!) on FOX

Remember, this is the first of two two-hour season premiere events for 24. The second two-hour night is Monday January 18th.

This Week 1/4 to 1/10

Well, Happy New Year folks!

I’m making a change to This Week. From now on, schedule posts will start on the Monday and run through the next Sunday. This is because, a) apparently I’m just not very good at getting my shit together on Sundays, and b) there are a lot of premieres coming up on Sundays and I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t give fair warning (read: I won’t remember to watch things unless I put them on this schedule). Another change: no more Melted Brain to-do lists. This may or may not be a good decision on my part.

MONDAY:
8pm – Heroes on NBC (Two-hour Mid-season Premiere!)

Of course, I probably won’t be able to watch this because I forgot how soon its return was and haven’t caught up yet. Whoops. Maybe I have time?

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS

I guess these don’t really count as returns or mid-season premieres because it’s only been, like, two weeks. (Also, this is my half-birthday! Hooray!)

WEDNESDAY:
8pm & 9pm – Reruns of Glee, “Mash-up” and “Wheels” on FOX
9pm – People’s Choice Awards on CBS

Does anyone actually watch/care about the People’s Choice Awards? I mean really. You hear more about the Teen Choice Awards.

THURSDAY:
9pm – Dr. Strangelove on ABC

WATCH THIS MOVIE. It is so excellent and ridiculous and it has Peter Sellers (and also a crazily young James Earl Jones).

FRIDAY:
9pm – Dollhouse on FOX

No, no I do not know why FOX is airing only one new episode this week. But, uh, this week’s sounds pretty exciting? (No, seriously: apparently we finally meet the elusive and sinister head of the Rossum Corporation. I do not know who it is, actor or character. I could probably find out, but I have this thing against spoilers. If you know things, bully for you, DO. NOT. TELL ME.)

SATURDAY:
9pm – Rerun of Castle on ABC
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Charles Barkley and Alicia Keys) on NBC

Next Sunday:
6:30pm – Serenity on SyFy
9pm – CHUCK! (TWO-HOUR SEASON PREMIERE!) on NBC
9pm – Battlestar Galactica: The Plan on SyFy

I was conflicted about watching The Plan because, while I’m curious and still missing BSG quite a bit, I’ve heard some pretty negative things about it. THANKFULLY, crisis averted. Because there is NO WAY IN HELL I am missing out on Chuck

Don’t ask me why (It’s probably because I’ve been more or less neglecting Melted Brain for a month, shhh!) but I didn’t realize mid-season premieres/returns were coming up so quickly (i.e. this week). BUT. HEY. IT’S ALL GOOD. Well, except for me not being ready to watch Heroes. If I didn’t have to be places and ready to make a good impression at 8am tomorrow, I would totes stay up. And I might anyway(?). IN ANY CASE. Exciting stuff. Chuck! Yes!

Have  a lovely week.

This Week 12/14 to 12/19

Well, another week has gone by (almost) completely without productivity. This week is different, though, because after this morning is over I will have exactly two real world commitments for the week and so will be able to devote time to catching up here (which I DO intend to do, thankyouverymuch). But anyway, here’s what’s on TV this week:

Tonight:
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX

TUESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 6/Finale) on FOX
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS

SYTYCD is screwy this week. I don’t know why they’re doing the finale with the Top 6 and not the Top 4. I don’t know why that is supposed to only take an hour. I definitely don’t know why FOX thinks airing an hour of Gordon Ramsay live is a good idea. I guess we’ll find out (about the first two things)?

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Results/Finale) on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

Seriously. SYTYCD is completely screwy this week. Also, Adam Lambert performing on live ‘family’ television…

THURSDAY:
8pm – SNL: “A Very Gilly Christmas” on NBC

I’m not sure why I mention this. I will not be watching it and I strongly suggest you don’t either. Actually, just stay away from NBC completely this week.

FRIDAY:
8pm & 9pm – Dollhouse on FOX

One of the episodes is called “The Attic.” Get excited.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (James Franco & Muse) on NBC

A closing note on SNL: Taylor Lautner did not completely crash and burn last week. He wasn’t great, but he did manage to keep up for at least some of the time. And regardless of his comedic abilities, he deserves your undying respect because of the opening monologue acrobatics. I mean seriously.

Melted Brain To-Dos (Really!):

  • Glee “Sectionals” Review/Season Overview
  • Catch up on Heroes/Reaction Time
  • Catch up on FlashForward/Instant Replay
  • Catch up on other shows (this is a much lower priority than all else)
  • Hindsight: BSG
  • Hindsight: Veronica Mars
  • Mid Season Premiere Schedule (Lost, Chuck, Glee, FlashForward, and more)
  • A post about my favorite and least favorite series finale episodes (possibly tying into the Dollhouse finale in January?)

This Week 12/7 to 12/12

I’m late with this again. But only by a little bit. And there isn’t too much happening this week anyway.

Tonight:
10pm – Castle on ABC

TUESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 8) on FOX

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Results) on FOX
9pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

Last new episode of Glee until 2010!

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
9pm – Fringe on FOX

This week’s Bones includes guest stars Ryan O’Neal and Zooey Deschanel!

FRIDAY:
8pm & 9pm – Dollhouse on FOX

SATURDAY:
8pm – It’s A Wonderful Life on NBC
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Taylor Lautner and Bon Jovi)

It’s going to be a low-key week. This is a good thing, considering how behind I’ve managed to get. And what is in fact airing looks exciting. I’ve got some big hopes for Bones, Glee, and Dollhouse (FOX, you are almost solely responsible for my entertainment this week – don’t screw it up!). And I’m just dying to see how Taylor Lautner does on SNL. It’s a morbid but burning curiosity.

Melted Brain To-Dos:

  • Heroes/Reaction Time catch-up (three weeks)
  • FlashForward/Instant Replay catch-up (two weeks)
  • V catch-up
  • Hindsight: BSG (I swear, it will get finished)
  • Hindsight: Veronica Mars (Yes. Yes I did finish the entire show in a weekend. And I’ve got some stuff to say about it.)
  • Various other catching-ups (reviews unlikely, except for Lie to Me because my input has been requested specifically)

I haven’t quite registered that it’s December yet.

It’s Like CRACK

…sooooooo it’s been kind of awhile since I even logged in. The absence started out due to I Get Sick Every Single Thanksgiving Weekend. And then I was sleeping a lot (because of sick and because of otherwise). And then I discovered the addiction that is Veronica Mars. I started two days ago and am already a third of the way through the second season. It’s that bad (the addiction, not the show). ANYWAY, I apologize for the unintended hiatus and I hope to be all caught up by this time next week. Or nearly.

Here’s this week’s schedule (from today onward):

Tonight:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 10) on FOX
9 & 9:30pm – Scrubs (season premiere!) on ABC

I am not actually watching Scrubs. I gave up awhile ago for no real reason, but now I can certainly give you some reasons why that was for the best. I just thought I’d mention its return (especially since none of my other Tuesday shows are airing).

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Results) on FOX
9pm – Glee on FOX
9pm – Grammy Nominations Concert on CBS

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
8pm – Bones on FOX
8pm – Fringe on FOX

FRIDAY:
8pm & 9pm – Dollhouse on FOX
10pm – White Collar on USA

Dollhouse is back for its last hurrah. The first two-hour run starts this week. Enjoy it while it lasts.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Blake Lively and Rihanna) on NBC

 

In hindsight, maybe it’s good I didn’t do this week’s schedule sooner. Because it is damned depressing. No new NCIS/NCIS: Los Angeles (which is sad and ironic since I finally caught up this weekend), no V, no CSI: NY, and the coming of the end of Dollhouse. On the plus side, less for me to get behind on.

Melted Brain To-Do:

  1. Catch up on Heroes/Reaction Time (two weeks)
  2. Catch up on Castle (this week)
  3. Last week’s Glee review (notes taken, thoughts complete, just need to do the legwork)
  4. Catch up on FlashForward (last week)
  5. Catch up on V (three weeks)
  6. Catch up on House
  7. Catch up on Lie to Me
  8. Hindsight: BSG
  9. FINISH VERONICA MARS SEASON TWO (and hope Season 3 isn’t also readily available).

…wow. To-do list is even more daunting than usual this week. Yikes. Um. I guess we’ll see how that goes, then.

R.I.P.

Well, it’s official.

Dollhouse has been cancelled.

Don’t panic – the rest of this season’s thirteen ordered episodes will air. They’ll run two in a row on FOX starting December 4th, with the season/series finale tentatively scheduled for January 22, 2010.

Sad day for Dollhouse fans, though admittedly not unexpected. We can at least remember that it had a good run, that “Epitaph One” gives us an opportunity to see what the future of the show might have been, and that Joss Whedon is now free to do other things – sequel to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog? Speaking of Joss Whedon, he was quoted as saying the thirteenth episode of Season Two is a “proper finale” because, y’know, they were already expecting this cancellation and planned accordingly. At the very least, we will not be left hanging. There is, unfortunately, no real hope of the show being picked up by a cable network. SyFy, which would be the most likely candidate, expressed (via Twitter) having no interest in picking it up.

Deep condolences to Mr. Whedon for once again being too awesome for rating-mongering networks. And also to Eliza Dushku, for losing a chance at long years of greatness on a popular network.

Alas, alas, for those of us who actually want our television smart.

In other cancellation/renewal news: ABC’s Eastwick has been discontinued after its initial thirteen episodes (totally called that one), barely-on-the-radar ABC comedy Hank has been cancelled, and, in a strange twist of fate, more episodes of The Forgotten have been ordered (remember how I only made it thirteen minutes into the pilot on this one?).

Ohhhh, Sweeps month. You make life so dreary.

Source: SideReel post from the lovely RachelL

Here’s the News 10/29

From all corners of my television universe, here’s some fun (and notsofun) stuff:

  1. Castle’s Facebook page has posted an album with screenshots of Nathan Fillion in Mal Reynolds get-up. It’s fun stuff. And also somehow saddening for the nostalgic among us.
  2. Zooey Deschanel is finally going to be guest starring on Bones. After several years of schedule conflicts, the Deschanel sisters will be united in a holiday themed episode called “The Goop on the Girl,” which airs December 10th. (Personally, I’m rooting for them to do a caroling duet. It would be way out of character for Brennan, but it would be so awesome.)
  3. Other guest stars to look forward to: Summer Glau on Dollhouse and Paula Newsome on FlashForward.
  4. Creator Marc Cherry has reached an agreement with ABC committing him to at least three more years of Desperate Housewives. This show could still be around in 2013. Yikes.
  5. Funeral gong for Trauma. The first thirteen are the final thirteen, and once those are aired, the show will be lost in the one-season-less-than-wonder graveyard. Alas.
  6. BUT, Trauma’s early exit has paved the way for some really good new: CHUCK IS COMING BACK EARLY, BITCHES! AND AN ADDITIONAL SIX EPISODES (making the season total 19) HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED!

BONUS: This might be my favorite Glee video clip ever: http://www.hulu.com/watch/104102/glee-swingers#s-p2-sr-i1

This week, the source for all news items was the SideReel news tab.