This summer, my wife and I are presenting papers at Slayage in St. Augustine, Florida. For those of you unaware, Slayage is a biennial national academic conference dealing with any and all of the Whedonverses.
Jennifer presented there in 2008, while this is my first go-round. To say that I’m excited would be fairly understated. I mean, for us Whedon nerds, this is the place to spend a few days when it comes around every couple of years.
Since the conference schedule was just recently posted, I thought I would share a little of what kind of research we’re doing and what’s going on our little corner of Joss Whedon scholarship these days.
If you haven’t noticed, I love Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. It returns from its hiatus December 4th to finish its run. I’ve written a post over at TVverdict.com regarding elements I think viewers should be on the lookout for as the series ends. Below is an excerpt:
Friday, December 4th marks the return of internet fandom’s favorite cancelled series—Dollhouse. Fox is airing all of the remaining episodes in two-hour blocks in order to fulfill their half-hearted promise to see the series through to the end of season 2.
Now, I admit that I’m saddened by this. I loved Dollhouse probably more than any new series in years. It had such potential. Actual literary potential that just is not found in most television shows these days. But since it’s on a major broadcast network instead of a cable niche channel, its small but dedicated fanbase was not enough to keep the Actives, well, active.
There are nine episodes left, which leaves plenty of room for things to look forward to.
Head on over to TVverdict to read the rest of the article and see what I’m looking forward to most as Dollhouse draws to an end.
Even though this is a subject that could potentially get me crucified among Dollhouse fans and potentially subvert my part of the Save Dollhouse campaign, “Belonging” solidified a belief I’ve held for a while:
Eliza Dushku is the weakest aspect of Dollhouse.
I’m not going to say she is a bad actress. I am just going to say that for her acting range and style, Dollhouse is not a good role for her. Dushku’s acting is so stilted, I have yet to honestly believe that she is any character she portrays. To me, her acting range is not conducive to a lead actress; it is more appropriate for supporting roles—like Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
If I had to put my finger on a single aspect of Dollhouse that drives away potential viewers, it would be that skeptics are turned away by her consistently subpar and awkward performances.
My newest post over at TVverdict is a topic obviously near and dear to my heart: keeping Dollhouse on the air. This week, I tackle why the show is worth watching even though you might’ve heard otherwise.
Below is an excerpt from the post:
Unlike Whedon’s other shows, it is set in a world not so different from ours. There are no vampires. No werewolves. No Alliance, Reavers, or Evil League of Evil. The primary antagonist of Dollhouse is unchecked and irresponsible corporate technological advancement.
How’s that for an abstract villain? And to further complicate matters, this abstraction is also what motivates our protagonists because it’s their behind-the-scenes employer and reason for being.
It really is a sticky mess.
And among all that, Dollhouse manages to embed societal commentary about human trafficking, prostitution, and free will. And the shows creators also manage to find time to create an ensemble cast with incredible synergy and style as well as provide intriguing plots, action, hot girls with guns, handsome guys who can legitimately act, and some humor thrown in for good measure. I can’t remember where I saw the quote, but I agree: Dollhouse is the smartest show you’re not watching.
Intrigued yet? Be sure to check out the complete article at TVverdict.com.
Leave Echo Alone!
Seriously, leave her alone. Echo has been through a lot since the end of last season, and the Dollhouse management always seems to want to push her out into another engagement instead of giving her adequate time to rest and recoup. Well, enough is enough.
The girl needs some time off.
After watching “Instinct,” I began thinking about how Adelle and Topher are purposefully and negligently pushing Echo harder than she needs to be pushed. They both know that something is catastrophically wrong with her because of the composite event she went through with Alpha during the season one finale (not to the extent that Ballard does, however). They’ve even mentioned being worried she’ll snap during an engagement because of it.
Yet Adelle always signs off on giving Echo extended engagements that are known to be stressful, such as her faux-partnership with Ballard in “Vows” and her mommying in “Instinct.” She also signs off on Topher screwing with Echo on a glandular level in “Instinct” instead of experimenting on another doll like Sierra who is known to be in perfect shape and not likely to experience another composite event.