Saturday, April 11, 2009

Top 5 Reasons Dollhouse Deserves to Survive

(Yes, I'm back again, let's all be shocked and make jokes and blah blah blah.)

The year was 2002, and Joss Whedon's latest television opus, Firefly, was not-so-shockingly given the axe after receiving dismal ratings despite favorable reviews and loyal fan support. Whedon swore he'd never work for the FOX network again, returned to work on his more successful shows and eventually rebuilt his empire around the Buffyverse, feature film Serenity and surprise online smash hit Dr. Horrible. Suddenly, last year the news came down that a new Whedon series was in the works, on FOX no less. Still, Joss fans like myself allowed themselves to get excited again, assured that there was no way FOX would risk incurring the wrath of Joss fans again by canceling another of his shows prematurely.

But here we are, and Dollhouse stands on the edge of an abyss. Poor ratings and tepid reviews are threatening to sink yet another of Whedon's young works. And why not? It's failing to make money or establish even the loyal fanbase that Firefly gained in so little time? I'll tell you why not. I'll give you five reasons...

5. Wrath of the Browncoats - History has proven that it's really a bad idea to piss off the ComicCon crowd. Cancellation of Dollhouse could mean a substantial drop in nerd support for FOX, which bodes poorly for this summer's Wolverine movie. The latest X-Men film has already suffered a major hit after it was leaked onto the internet. Can they afford to piss off Joss loyalists who can now just as easily steal the movie out of spite than pay to see it?

4. Joss is calling it quits after Dollhouse ends. That's right, Joss has announced that after (whenever) his latest show ends, he'll be devoting himself exclusively to online projects. Sure, his first web movie was wicked awesome, but there's only so much he can do with just his own money. I for one am not ready to say goodbye to Mutant Enemy on weekly television. So please, FOX, have some pity - we'd just miss him too damn much!

3. The viewership isn't really that bad. Think about it: the sixth episode of the series, "Man on the Street" (which is so far the undisputed best chapter) was up against the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, a cable series that is considered to be a huge financial success. The BSG finale was watched by 2.4 million people. "Man on the Street," which found itself in DIRECT competition with the sci-fi television event of the year (if not the decade), earned 4.1 million viewers. Honestly, I fail to see what all the fuss is about. If the suits at FOX are really unhappy with this turnout, why not try the show at a better time slot next season?

2. Honestly, you guys, what else are you gonna play? Nanny 911?

1. Storytelling Potential - Dollhouse has an extremely exciting premise that allows for every episode to be new and exciting, totally different from all the others. Joss Whedon has created a show that has an extremely broad framework - it can be whatever kind of show it wants to be from week to week. Let the cast and crew show you what this show is capable of!

Odds are Dollhouse will be cleaning out its proverbial desk by the end of April. It very well could be goodbye to the show (and to Joss) on television forever. But, as a note, if FOX doesn't pick up the series for a second season, the SciFi channel is stupid if they don't make an offer. Seriously.

5 comments:

David L said...

If Joss swore that he wouldn't work with FOX again and did so anyway, there is reason to believe that his statement about TV may be contradicted in the future as well.

Jenny Roth said...

I actually think that the most recent episode (which I just watched via twitter) was the best. We're beginning to get past the plot set-up and seeing the characters' layers -- not least Katherine DeWitt.
The show started off weak, in my opinion, but so do a lot of shows, so I gave it a chance and kept tuning in. I agree with you that they probably don't have anything to put on Friday nights that will get better ratings, and that if they don't take it, cable will.

Mike Pfeiffer said...

Reason 6: There's a legion of people who will commit murder if Joss Whedon is ever creatively stifled again.

David L said...

Knock Knock
Who's There?
Update
Update?
Update your blog, dammit! You don't have an excuse!

kevinphiggins said...

man, am i late to this party. luckily, dyl hasn't updated since! burn!

anyway i'm about 8 episodes into the series and i really like the way it's going, but i'm pretty sure they stole most of the plotline from 12 Oz Mouse. that's not much of a problem though, because i've seen every ep of 12 Oz Mouze like 4 times and i only barely grasp the story. they do their best to make it incomprehensible, but there's a whole secret thing going on with secret agents, altered personalities, false memories, and other fun tricks like in Dollhouse. Echo is a lot nicer to look at than Mouse Fitzgerald anyway.